Are you suffering from the flu? NEVER do these things!
Feeling under the weather and suffering from the flu can be a real bummer. We’ve all been there: the relentless cough, the achy muscles, and the overall fatigue that makes even the most minor tasks seem like the end of the world.
When the flu has a tight grasp on you, it’s vital to approach your recovery with care. That’s why Healthy Reads has compiled a comprehensive guide on navigating the tricky terrain of flu season.
We’ll highlight the top 12 things you should never do when suffering from the flu. From unexpected pitfalls to common mistakes, we’ll cover it all to ensure you make the best choices for your well-being.
So, if you’re currently suffering from the flu or simply want to be prepared for the future, keep reading for important tips that could make all the difference on your road to recovery.
Don’t double your dose of medication
Many of us automatically reach for Advil or Tylenol, a.k.a. acetaminophen, to soothe body aches and lower our fevers when we’re suffering from the flu. But be careful if you take over-the-counter medications to treat congestion, coughing, or sleeplessness.
Many of these “multisymptom” products also contain acetaminophen, and doubling your dose of this medication can lead to liver damage.
Don’t stay up late binge-watching your favorite show
There’s nothing like a good movie and a soft blanket when you’re suffering from the flu and feeling miserable, right? But trust us when we say that you should do your TV watching during the day so that you can get a good night’s rest.
A study published in 2019 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that a good night’s sleep can raise the effectiveness of specialized immune cells called T cells.
Your immune system needs time to build a defense, says a California-based chief medical officer. Rest and proper sleep will reinforce your immune system. So you should sleep as much as you possibly can to give your body a chance to recuperate.
Don’t forget your fluids
When suffering from the flu, staying well hydrated with water, sports drinks, decaffeinated tea, and sugar-free drinks is ideal to help fight dehydration associated with fever, according to doctors.
And some studies, including one published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that water can temporarily thin mucus, helping your nose feel less clogged.
Don’t try to be overly friendly with people
When you’re suffering from the flu, you should be trying to take it easy. So, snuggling up with a loved one isn’t recommended. This especially goes for kissing. The flu virus is highly contagious.
So if you contract the flu, make sure you stay inside and stay away from other people in your home, says an emergency medicine physician in Manahawkin, New Jersey.
Sometimes, just talking near someone is enough to pass the virus along since it lives in small droplets of moisture ejected by breathing, as well as coughing or sneezing.
Don’t ask your physician for antibiotics
Viruses cause the common cold and the flu. Many people don’t understand that antibiotics only work for bacterial infections. Not only will the antibiotics do nothing to help you when you’re suffering from the flu, they could even harm your health.
Taking this type of medicine when you don’t need it can make bacteria resistant, making them harder to get rid of.
These so-called superbugs can hang around in your body and cause some serious infections later on that can require more potent drugs or even a stay in the hospital.
Don’t take a cold shower to try and break a fever
You might have been told by a parent or grandparent when you were younger that an ice bath or cold shower is an excellent way to lower a fever quickly when suffering from the flu.
But cold water will simply make your temperature go up, according to doctors. Lukewarm water would be best to help you break fevers, they say.
Don’t start working out now
While it’s true that some light exercise can support your immune system, an intense workout will make you feel much worse. And living in denial of your illness can cause more harm than good.
You shouldn’t deny yourself rest or sleep when suffering from the flu. So if you love to exercise, just dial it down a notch to just walking for a couple of days or until you feel better.
Don’t be so quick to rush to the ER
Yes, the flu can be severe, sometimes even life-threatening, for certain groups of people, including children under the age of 5, pregnant women, seniors who are 65 and older, people in long-term healthcare facilities, those with weakened immune systems.
And also people with underlying medical conditions like heart disease, asthma, and diabetes, according to the CDC.
But unless you fall into one of those groups, you should be ok to fight it off on your own. It’s essential to recognize that not everyone who gets the flu will need an inpatient hospital admission and might not experience a severe illness.
Hospital emergency rooms can become overcrowded quickly during flu seasons, making it harder for those who really need the care to get it quickly.
Don’t cough in your hands
Of course, sneezing or coughing into your cupped hands is better than discharging virus-filled droplets all around you. But afterward, when you wash your hands, you’ll be leaving a virus trail on everything you touch, including the bathroom door.
The influenza virus can live for hours on even intricate objects, potentially infecting others. So be sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue whenever you can. If not, the crook of your arm.
Don’t think that it’s too late for Tamiflu
Even though antibiotics won’t help you fight the flu, prescription antiviral medications like Tamiflu definitely can, according to a review of research published in 2015.
Antiviral medicine works best if you take it within two days of getting sick. Some people can even benefit if they take antivirals later, according to the CDC. So you should speak to your doctor about your options.
Don’t think washing your hands isn’t important anymore
You can easily contaminate the people around you just by flipping on a light switch when you’re suffering from the flu. Most individuals don’t realize that influenza can survive for up to 24 hours on hard surfaces like tables, door handles, and railings.
So, ensuring you’re constantly washing your hands is crucial. The best way to go is to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Don’t go to any parties
We get that you might be missing your social life. But if you have any form of the flu virus, you shouldn’t be overly social, even with mild symptoms, warns an expert at Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security in Baltimore, Maryland.
Respiratory droplets containing the virus can travel up to eight feet in the air. Furthermore, drinking alcohol can weaken your immune system and dehydrate you, making it harder for your body to fight off any viruses.
If you need help rehydrating when suffering from the flu, these Fluid Tactical – Electrolyte Powder Packets can help!
Have you been suffering from the flu lately? Be sure to share any tips you may have with our readers in the comments section. And if you liked this post, Healthy Reads has much more to offer.
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