In winter, its a common sight to see people affected by flu - coughing, sneezing and having sore throat. I am providing below some information which may be useful for preparing yourself to face the flu.
Influenza, commonly called as flu is a viral disease which affects the respiratory system.
Difference between flu and common cold:
1. Common cold develops gradually over several days and can start with a scratchy throat, sneezing, which can further lead tocongestion. Whereas, flu generally starts abruptly with headache and other body aches. There may also be feeling of being exhausted and fatigued.
2. The fever accompanying common cold may be mild, while in flu the fever is usually high.
3. The cough in common cold is generally hacking and can be moist because of congestion in the chest. The cough during flu is usually dry and hacking, and can last till all other symptoms of flu havegone.
4. Flu affects the whole body, while common cold may generally affect only the upper body.
Typical Symptoms of flu:
Rapid and intense fever, headache, drycough, sore throat, chills, eye pain, sneezing, running nose, tiredness, depression, weakness, muscle aches fatigues etc. The symptoms generally last for a few days, but sometimes can stretch upto even weeks.
Some people have a higher risk of flu complications, like pneumonia. For most people the flu goes away in a week or two, but some can get very sick because of it. Those groups include:
>> babies and kids under age 5
>> people older than 65
>> adults and kids who have health problems, such as diabetes and asthma
>> women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season
Flu Prevention tips:
To prevent flu, we need to keep our immune system strong by eating vegetables, fruits, whole food, drinking plenty ofwater, avoid smoking, alcohol and stress.
If you catch flu, then try the following suggestions:
a. keep warm,
b. lots of bed rest in a well ventilated room,
c. consume warm fluids like chicken soup, or other soups etc.
d. drink plenty of water,
e. take foods that boost your immune system like Vitamin C,vitamin E, grape extracts,echinacea etc.
f. Gargle with salt water to temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat. (1/2 teaspoon of saltwater with an 8-ounce glass of warm water).
>>The best way is to keep yourself healthy so that it is easy to avoid colds and the flu in the first place.
>> Make a serious effort to manage stress because stress lowers your immunity making you more prone to diseases and illness.
Cough is the sudden expulsion of air from the lungs. Coughing usually means there is something in the respiratory passages that should not be there. This can be caused by breathing in dust particles in the air or when a piece of food goes down the wrong way.
When a person coughs, there is a short intake of breath and the larynx closes momentarily. The abdominal and chest muscles used for breathing contract, which in turn increases the pressure needed to drive air out the lungs when the larynx re-opens.
The resulting blast of air comes out at high speed, scrubbing and clearing the airway of dust, dirt or excessive secretions. Coughing is a common symptom when the airways are 'tight', as in asthma.
The cough reflex is a vital part of the body's defence mechanisms. Normally, the lungs and the lower respiratory passages are sterile. If dust or dirt get into the lungs, they could become a breeding ground for bacteria and cause pneumonia or infection in the breathing tubes.
Cough is of two types : wet cough and dry cough.
Wet cough helps in bringing up mucus while dry cough is caused due to irritation in pharynx.
Causes of Cough:
There could be various reasons for cough like:
>> Weather changes can cause cough,
>> Cough can be caused by inflammation of larynx or pharynx due to bacterial infection
>> It could be caused by irritation due to smoke, dust, chemical fumes etc.
>> Common cold or flu is one of the most common causes of cough
>> In worst cases, a tumor can also cause irritation of lungs lining and cause cough.
If cough produces mucus of green or yellow color then it can be an indication of bacterial infection.
Caution: If cough produces with even a slight red color then it may indicate bleeding and in this case the lungs should be diagnosed as soon as possible.
Some Easy Home Treatments for Cough:
1. Grape Juice, if taken with honey can be very good for getting rid of cough.
2. Fill one cut lemon with black pepper powder and salt, then suck it to reduce cough.
3. Almonds are very good for dry cough. Soak them in water for some time, then make a fine paste with 20 gram of butter and sugar after removing the brown skin from the almonds. Take this paste twice a day - once in morning and once in evening.
4. Spinach juice can be effective for dry cough. It can be diluted with water. It may be helpful to gargle the mouth with warm spinach juice.
5. Basil(tulsi), mixed with aniseed (saunf) and black pepper should be taken 2-3 times in a day.
6. Drink warm carrot juice, it may provide relief from cough and improve the general health of the patient.
When should you call the doctor?
If you had cough for more than 3-5 days, it may be chronic. Chronic means that this may last for a long time.
The following can help you decide if you need to see your doctor:
>>> If you are coughing blood,
>>> If you are wheezing (making up a whistling sound while breathing in),
>>> Have a high temperature along with cough,
>>> If you frequently face this problem of coughing every few days.
Smoking and Cough:
Smoking may cause cough that does not go away easily. In such cases you need to stop smoking. Various methods to help you quit smoking are: nicotine patches, gum, nasal spray etc. You can seek professional help to quit this habit.
Recommended Resources to help you & your family:
1.Natural cough remedy for bronchitis:powerful Natural Remedy, That Helps Getting Rid Of The Cough,Phlegm And Mucus And End The Bronchitis For Good
2.Protect your family from bird flu
3. Get Rid of Insomnia Naturally
4. Home made sleeping pills
1.Prevent headaches, 2.Home remedies for various illnesses, 3.Tips for healthy sleep,4.Home-remedies for Diabetes
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Tuesday, January 2, 2007