As far as health is considered, colds and flu are not usually dangerous conditions although they can make us very weak. They make our noses run and make us cough intermittently, creating that miserable feeling.
The common cold and the flu are two different conditions, but both are caused by viruses. The common cold is caused by a virus - rhinovirus - and it attacks the nose and throat while the flu is caused by three viruses - types A, B and C. They go straight into the bloodstream and cause weakness and even loss of appetite. One sure sign that you have the flu are muscle aches and pains, high fever, headaches, loss of appetite and generalized fatigue.
If you just have a cold, count yourself lucky because you can expect to recover after about a week. The flu is a different story: it can last for weeks, and can recur. In serious and lingering cases you may want to see your family physician.
The elderly and those with impaired immune systems have to be watched closely when they have the flu.
Here's what you can do when you have the cold or flu:
- Rest - call in sick and stay in bed. You don't want to spread your germs to others in the office plus complete rest will help you recover quicker.
- Take extra care of your nose - when you're constantly blowing your nose, the skin around it easily gets irritated. Apply a lubricant. Try a natural decongestant such as Vaxa Sinus formula.
- Eat light but nutritious meals - people who have the flu don't have much of an appetite; some of them have sore throats making swallowing painful. But try to eat as many citrus fruits as possible, and take your soup and apple sauce.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water and salt at least twice a day - to ward off bacteria and to relieve your sore throat.
- Call your doctor if your symptoms last longer than 7 days or you don't feel better in spite of medication. If you feel pain in the chest area and your mucus is green or yellow, see your doctor right away. He may want to prescribe stronger medication.
- Ask your doctor if you can complement your medication with natural cold remedies or supplements specifically formulated for fighting cold and flu symptoms.
Select supplements that serve like a complete prevention package with anti-bacterial properties. There are supplements that target chronic sinusitis. They contain natural ingredients that will open up nasal passages that are blocked or filter secretions. Some natural remedies also provide eye relief and minimize dizziness.
You may also want to consider a neti pot - an effective nasal irrigation system for natural sinus relief. A neti pot will help you breathe and will eliminate allergens and pollutants. You can use your net pot with a special kind of salt, such as Scentgarden neti salt.
Whatever you do when you have a cold or flu, make sure to drink plenty of fresh water and get lots of rest.