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How to Treat Flu Symptoms

The aches and pains of influenza can be debilitating. Here’s how to feel better quicker.

The body aches come on suddenly and it feels like you’ve been hit by a freight train. The symptoms of influenza are no laughing matter. The high fever, chills, headache, fatigue, cough, and congestion can make even the most stoic person complain. By far the worst symptoms are the muscle aches that inevitably go along with this seasonal infection. If you’ve fallen victim, what is the best way to treat flu symptoms?

Get Immediate Medical Attention

If diagnosed within the first two days of symptoms, you may be able to shorten the duration and severity of your illness by taking a prescription drug called Tamiflu. You doctor can perform a nasal swab in office to confirm the diagnosis of influenza. If positive, you may be a candidate for this drug which helps to reduce symptom severity and get you back on your feet more quickly.

Take Anti-Inflammatories

Anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen can help reduce fever and reduce the severity of the body aches. Although they won’t shorten the course of your symptoms, they can help to make the aches more bearable. If you can’t take anti-inflammatories due to stomach irritation, Tylenol can be used, although it’s less effective in treating the body aches. Avoid taking anti-inflammatories if you have a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract.

Drink Fluids

The body aches and pains associated with influenza are made worse by dehydration. That’s why it’s important to drink fluids even if you’re not thirsty. Plus, you’re losing water through sweating due to the high fever which can lead to further dehydration. If you’re unable to keep fluids down particularly if you’re running a high fever, it’s important to contact your doctor.

Bed Rest

Bed rest is critical if you’re diagnosed with the flu. Not only will you avoid transmitting this highly contagious illness to others, you’ll help your immune system better fight off the infection. If you have the flu, do yourself a favor and call in sick.

Although it doesn’t offer 100% protection, you may be able to reduce your odds of getting the flu next year by getting vaccinated before the flu season starts. Ask your doctor if you’re a good candidate for the flu vaccine for next year.

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