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‘Tis the Season for Fun Festivities and (unfortunately) the Flu

Just about the time we are all ready to don our party attire and head to parties, the flu symptoms begin to pile on – fever, sore throat, runny nose. While a prescription from your provider might be the first line of defense against the flu, there are also some home remedies and over-the-counter solutions that can help ease your ailments. We asked some Harbin Clinic physicians and providers how to best manage your flu symptoms at home so you can be out of bed and enjoying holiday cheer in no time.

Fever, Aches & Pains

The best way to start reducing a fever and muscle aches is to take acetaminophen. Drinking plenty of clear liquids is also important, including water, sports drinks, broth and herbal teas, to stay hydrated. Adding a zinc supplement or vitamin could also be beneficial since studies show that zinc can help ease cold and flu symptoms.

Nasal Congestion

A vaporizer or saline nasal spray can be very helpful in relieving congestion! If you don’t have a vaporizer, breathe in steam from a warm water pot or a hot shower. The moisture helps soothe your nose, sinuses, throat and lungs. It can also loosen mucous congestion. You can take over-the-counter medicines too but be mindful if you are already taking acetaminophen since it’s often included, and you don’t want to double your dosage. Also, be mindful of when it’s time to seek help from a clinician.

Sore or Scratchy Throat

For an irritated throat, gargling with saline water between two to four times a day can ease the soreness and reduce mucous. Sore throat spray, lozenges and hot tea may also help soothe your throat. Turmeric, ginger, and garlic can help ease a sore throat and can be added to hot drinks.

Upset Stomach

Eating a simple diet is the best way to avoid further irritating an upset stomach. Stick to foods such as crackers, gelatin, soup, toast, rice and applesauce. Some foods to avoid while having a stomachache are milk, cheese and meats, as well as any foods that are spicy, fried or fatty.

When to See a Doctor

Most people will have a mild case of the flu and do not require medical care or antiviral drugs. However, if you have symptoms of the flu and are in a higher-risk group, or if you are very sick and worried about your illness, contact your doctor or visit Immediate Care. If you have emergency warning signs of the flu illness, you should go to the ER. A list of those signs can be found here.

For more information about the flu and to see where you can receive a flu shot near you, visit our Be an Antibody Builder page.

Published December 20, 2023

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