Are you one of many people missing out on fall activities because of cold or flu symptoms such as a stuffy or runny nose, cough and tiredness? When do you ‘push through the pain,’ and when do give up and get help?
Both the common cold and flu are caused by a virus, not bacteria, so running to the doctor at the first sniffle isn’t going to make the flu go away. In general, the flu has worse symptoms than the common cold, meaning fever above 100°, more joint pain, intense cough and extreme exhaustion. The flu is achier and colds are leakier. The common cold usually lasts for two weeks, whereas the flu can leave you flat in bed for up to three weeks, so it is best to do everything you can to prevent getting the flu.
- Get the flu vaccine: This not only protects you, but prevents you from carrying it to others. You can get your flu shot at any Cherry Health medical site or by going to Heart of the City Pharmacy (walk-ins welcome!).
- Get rest and nutrition: If you are battling flu or cold symptoms your body needs all the rest it can get to fight off the virus that’s ruining your weekend fun. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to ‘make you chicken soup.’ Studies show those who have people helping them get well actually recover faster, so if you know someone who is sick, a card or meal really does help them recover faster.
- Zinc supplements: These can help your immune system even more than high doses of vitamin C. Eat fruits or using a juicer can also get you the fresh effect of enzymes in foods. If you’re interested in how the foods you eat can build a healthier you, come to Heart of the City Pharmacy any Thursday or Friday for the latest science on diet and supplement information.Enjoy the season!
Kelli DeYoung, RPh
Pharmacist at Heart of the City Pharmacy