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Fever and a Runny Nose? See 7 Symptoms That Signal the Flu

Fever and a Runny Nose? See 7 Symptoms That Signal the Flu

Fever and a Runny Nose? See 7 Symptoms That Signal the Flu

Although it is similar to many other respiratory illnesses, influenza has some unique characteristics that help identify the condition.

Influenza is one of the most common diseases in winter. This is because, in addition to the cold and dry climate, we tend to concentrate indoors, which contributes to the spread of viruses such as influenza.

Patrícia Ruffo, a nutritionist and scientific director of Abbott’s Nutrition Division in Brazil, recalls that the influenza virus infects the nose, throat and respiratory tract. Symptoms can range from mild (sore throat and runny nose) to severe (high fever and muscle aches).

“Furthermore, influenza can also cause serious health complications, especially in people with chronic diseases, the elderly and children under 2 years old. This aspect of the disease causes high levels of mortality,” says the expert.

Know the main symptoms of the flu

The best way to protect yourself from the flu, according to Patricia, is to get the flu vaccine every year. However, infections can occur that cause the symptoms described below. Watch:

1. Fever

It occurs when the internal body temperature exceeds 37.3 degrees. It is a natural response to illness and signals that something is wrong with your body. The most common treatment, in this case, is the use of an antipyretic, but always under the prescription of a health care provider.

Additionally, fever may be accompanied by sweating and mild dehydration. Drinking water and electrolytes can help minimize fluid loss associated with fever. If you are dehydrated, drink plenty of water or an electrolyte drink to quickly hydrate and replace lost fluids and electrolytes.

2. Cough

Coughing is the body’s way of getting rid of an irritant in the throat (mucus or dust, for example). Coughing is commonly associated with a virus or infection, leaving the airways inflamed.

Research suggests that a tablespoon of honey has anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm coughs and reduce symptoms associated with upper respiratory infections. If honey alone doesn’t sound appealing, you can mix a teaspoon of honey in a cup of warm water with lemon juice. Honey should only be used for children over 1 year old.

3. Sore throat

A sore, itchy, or scratchy throat can make it difficult to eat and drink fluids. While a sore throat is a sign of the flu, it can also be caused by bacteria, so it’s important to see your doctor to rule out a strep infection.

Warm liquids can be comforting, but if you have a sore throat, you can also try sucking on something cold, like a popsicle or ice cubes. This can help numb your throat, relieve symptoms, and keep you hydrated.

4. Runny nose or stuffy nose

A runny nose or stuffy nose occurs when there is inflammation in the nasal passages, which causes the nasal membranes to swell. There is no treatment for a runny nose, although some people use antihistamines and oral decongestants to relieve symptoms. Remember, however, to always use these medications under the advice of a doctor.

If you have a stuffy nose, spicy foods can act as a natural decongestant. Although more research is needed, capsaicin (an active component of chili peppers) may have a beneficial effect on nasal symptoms. If you have a runny nose, a warm broth can help stop fluid loss.

5. Muscle and body pain

During a flu season, white blood cells work overtime to fight the virus. Inflammation is a side effect of this increase in white blood cells, which can lead to muscle and body aches.

If you are suffering from this flu side effect, the best thing to do is consult a healthcare provider. While no specific food has been shown to reduce body pain, electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are essential for several muscle functions, including muscle contraction and relaxation. Electrolyte deficiencies have been linked to muscle cramps in athletes.

Foods rich in electrolytes such as bananas, potatoes, walnuts, salted nuts, and yogurt can help ease some of the muscle pain.

6. Fatigue

It’s not uncommon to feel lethargic when your body is working overtime to fight off the flu. The best medicine for fatigue is rest. But if you need a boost of energy, drink some green tea. Green tea is hydrating, rich in antioxidants, and has a rejuvenating dose of caffeine.

7. Vomiting and diarrhea

The influenza virus can cause inflammation of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. This symptom is more common in children than adults and can cause dehydration.

In this regard, ginger can help relieve nausea and vomiting. Make ginger tea or add grated fresh ginger to chicken soup or vegetable broth and sip slowly to help ease nausea. To ensure proper hydration while you are sick, consult your doctor.

Flu Complications

In addition to the symptoms listed above, some people may experience moderate to severe complications from the flu, such as:

  • Sinusitis and ear infection;
  • Asthma attacks;
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the tissues of the heart, brain and muscles;
  • Multiorgan failure;
  • Sepsis.

“Children under 5, adults over 65, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk of developing these complications. If you or someone you love falls into one of these groups and has the flu, contact your doctor immediately,” Patricia stresses.

“Regardless of your age or health history, if you have difficulty breathing, chest pain, fever over 104 degrees, or any other complication, see your doctor immediately,” the professional concludes.

Source: Terra

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