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General Practice 2023

7 flu symptoms and how to relieve each one

Table of contents:

7 flu symptoms and how to relieve each one
7 flu symptoms and how to relieve each one

Symptoms of the common flu start to be felt about 2 to 3 days after being in contact with someone who has the flu or after being exposed to factors that increase the chances of contracting the flu, such as the cold or pollution, for example. example.

The main symptoms of the flu are:

  1. Fever, usually between 38 and 40ºC;
  2. Chills;
  3. Headache;
  4. Cough, sneezing and runny nose;
  5. Sore throat;
  6. Muscle pain, especially in the back and legs;
  7. Loss of appetite and tiredness.

Usually, these symptoms appear suddenly and usually last from 2 to 7 days. In general, the fever lasts for about 3 days, while the other symptoms disappear 3 days after the fever subsides.


How to relieve symptoms

To cure yourself of a bad flu, it is important to rest, drink plenty of water and, if indicated by a doctor, take medication to relieve pain and fever, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, for example.

Furthermore, to alleviate the main symptoms it is recommended:

1. Fever and chills

To lower the fever and relieve the chills, you should take the antipyretic medication prescribed by the doctor, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, for example. Also, some natural ways to reduce fever and chills include taking a slightly cold shower and placing damp cloths on your forehead and armpits to help regulate your body temperature. See more about chills and what to do.

2. Stuffy nose and sneezing

To improve breathing, inhalation of boiling water vapor or nebulization with saline solution can be used, in addition to washing the nose with a saline solution or sea water, available for sale in pharmacies.

In addition, you can also use a nasal decongestant, with oxymetazoline, for example, but it should not exceed 5 days of use, as prolonged use can cause a rebound effect. Check out 8 natural ways to unclog your nose.

3. Cough

To improve coughing and make the secretion more fluid, drink plenty of water and use home remedies that soothe the throat, such as honey with lemon, cinnamon and clove tea, and nettle tea.

In addition, you can also use a cough syrup, which can be purchased in pharmacies, to relieve cough and eliminate phlegm. See which syrup to choose.

4. Headache and muscle pain

Some tips that can help relieve headaches are rest, drinking tea, which can be chamomile, for example, and putting a damp cloth on your forehead. If the pain is severe, you can take paracetamol or ibuprofen, for example, with the doctor's recommendation.

5. Sore throat

Sore throat can be relieved by gargling warm water and s alt, as well as drinking teas for sore throats, such as mint or ginger. In cases where the pain is very strong or does not improve, a doctor should be consulted, as it may be necessary to use an anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, for example. Check out a list of 7 natural remedies for a sore throat.

Flu in pregnant women, children and the elderly

The flu in pregnant women, children and the elderly can cause stronger symptoms, and vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, as these groups have a weaker immune system, which makes the body more sensitive.

For this reason, and because pregnant women and children are not advised to take medication without a doctor's recommendation, in addition to following homemade tips to relieve symptoms, you should go to the doctor and only take medication according to medical advice, so as not to harm the baby or cause the disease to worsen. See how to treat the flu in pregnancy.

Difference between flu and cold

Unlike the flu, the common cold does not cause fever and usually does not bring complications such as diarrhea, severe headache and difficulty breathing.

Generally, a cold lasts about 5 days, but in some cases, the symptoms of a runny nose, sneezing and coughing can last up to 2 weeks.

Difference between flu, dengue and zika

The main difference between the flu and dengue and zika is that dengue and zika, in addition to the common flu symptoms, also cause itching on the body and red spots on the skin. Zika takes about 7 days to go away, while dengue symptoms are stronger and only get better after about 7 to 15 days. See also what are the symptoms of swine flu.

When to go to the doctor

Although it is not necessary to go to the doctor to cure the flu, it is advisable to consult a general practitioner when:

  • The flu takes more than 3 days to get better;
  • Symptoms get worse over the days, instead of getting better;
  • Other symptoms appear such as chest pain, night sweats, fever above 40ºC, shortness of breath or cough with greenish phlegm.

In addition, children, the elderly and patients with risk factors such as asthma and other types of respiratory problems should be vaccinated against the flu every year.

To find out if flu secretion is a cause for concern, see what each color of phlegm means.

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