December 20, 2019
Heading into the 2020 flu season, it’s essential to be prepared for what lies ahead. Statistically speaking, between 5% and 20% of people in the U.S get the flu each year, with around 200,000 hospitalizations stemming from the disease.
Because it’s a viral infection, there’s no formal cure besides doing whatever you can to help your immune system work through it. The good news is that it’s possible to put together some treatments for the flu at home. Here are some of the most popular and effective remedies.
What Increases Flu Risk?
Before getting into the specific treatments, certain members of the population are more likely to get the flu than others. Along with that, these at-risk individuals may have more health complications that result from the flu. Because of this, the following groups (and/or their guardians) may want to prioritize getting a flu vaccine earlier in the season, along with taking special precautions to avoid getting sick:
- The elderly
- Pregnant women
- People with compromised immune systems
In the case of those with immune system issues, note that this isn’t just autoimmune diseases that apply. Dealing with problems like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or even treatment like chemotherapy takes a toll on your immune system.
As a final note, even if none of these categories apply to you, you may still want to be wary. Any densely populated area with lots of opportunities for close intrapersonal contact carries a higher flu risk. This includes offices, college dorms, public transportation, schools, or childcare facilities. If you know you’re going to spend time in high-traffic places during flu season, you’ll want to make sure you watch what surfaces you come into contact with, and strongly consider getting your flu vaccine.
Treatments At Home
We should preface this discussion by saying that these treatments make for a great first line of defense. Depending on the nature of your illness or other medical conditions, using these treatments may not be enough. As a result, you want to make sure you see a doctor if you go through these treatments for a couple of days and see no change, or if your condition worsens. Better to be safe than have your symptoms progress. Here’s where you can find medical providers near you: https://answers.healthcareassociates.com/?query=providers+near+me.
With that said, let’s dive into some of the home treatment options you have for the flu:
Rest: It may be frustrating, but one of the best ways to fight the flu is by doing nothing. Your body’s immune system requires time and energy to fight off viruses, and the time you spend on work or household tasks is taking away from the healing process. As a result, don’t be afraid to take off from work or school the moment that you detect flu-like symptoms. Not only are you doing yourself a favor, but you are also helping those around you. At this point, people are highly contagious, and you could end up inadvertently infecting those around you.
Liquids: The flu is a respiratory infection, meaning that the body creates thick mucus as a part of the immune process. Getting a regular source of fluid not only ensures you don’t get dehydrated, but it also helps thin out the mucus and clears your airways. One thing to note here is that you’re not limited when it comes to liquids. Soups, juice, water, and tea are all excellent options.
Over-the-counter medication: There’s no cure for the flu, but you can treat some of the symptoms while you rest. Over-the-counter options can help you find relief from heavy coughing, fevers, as well as the aches and pains that generally come with the flu.
Immune-boosting nutrients: As we’ve been discussing, your immune system is the primary tool that’s going to get you over your flu infection ultimately. As a result, going into 2020, it may not be a bad idea to try and take the nutritional approach to build your immune system. There are a few ways you can go about this, but some of the most important nutrients include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B-6
If you find yourself frequently getting sick at this time of year, it may be a good idea to reach out to your doctor and have a blood test done to see if you have any nutritional deficiencies. They can either recommend some dietary changes or supplements to improve your levels of said nutrients if this is the case.
Taking Another Step
At-home treatments can do a decent job of helping ensure that your flu-like symptoms don’t progress any further. However, you want to make sure that you have proper medical professionals in mind to reach if you find your symptoms are not improving, both for further treatment as well as advice. At Healthcare Associates of Texas, we serve the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area at 15 locations. Our combination of expertise and service makes us the best fit for those who need acute help for treating their flu-symptoms, or general healthcare and guidance going into 2020 and beyond.