How to Help Yourself with a Cold or Flu

How to Help Yourself with a Cold or Flu

BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR AND RETURNING FROM HOLIDAYS, closed due to the autumn chill of the window, overcrowding in public transport — all this contributes to the spread of viral infections. It is known that the best way to prevent influenza is vaccination, and for the optimal functioning of the immune system it is necessary to eat a varied and balanced diet and move more. If SARS, including the flu, has already begun, it can not be cured — you can only watch how the body copes itself. But this does not mean that you can not relieve your own condition during a cold and reduce the risk of complications. We tell you how it can be done.


Regular activity helps to reduce the risk of colds, but if you are already sick, trying to move SARS “on the feet” will not help to recover faster. If the temperature is elevated, it is not necessary to further increase its sports — it will only harm the body. Back in the nineties, it was found that training during the flu can lead to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome — a serious disease, which then have to fight for years. The best way to help your body recover is to rest and sleep, so take a couple of days off and lie down. When the temperature and well-being are normalized, residual runny nose or cough should not be an obstacle to physical activity, and a quick walk or light exercise will benefit.


Contrary to popular myth, cool air will not exacerbate a cold — and if you are cold, dress warmly or wrap yourself in a blanket. Open the Windows as often as possible to the air in the apartment is not stagnant; it is the lack of air exchange in poorly ventilated areas leads to the fact that many fall ill with viral infections. One of the methods of fighting epidemics and pandemics of influenza is the arrangement of hospital wards in the open air, in such hospitals to escape from the infection was able to a greater number of employees and patients.


Moist air helps to cope with the stuffy nose and relieve discomfort in the eyes. It is not necessary to breathe hot steam — just turn on the humidifier, if it is, put a wet towel on the battery or just sit in the shower for a few minutes (gadgets that are unstable to moisture, it is better not to take with you, so close your eyes and meditate). In humid air, viruses spread worse-perhaps one of the reasons for reducing the frequency of colds in the summer is just in high humidity.


With an increase in temperature, the body loses moisture, and in a situation of threat of dehydration to recover from viral infection is more difficult. Drink any non-alcoholic liquids: water, tea, coffee, juice or kefir. It is believed that warm drinks like tea or chicken broth help to cope with the stuffiness of the respiratory tract — and the latter will also serve as a source of energy, if there is no appetite and strength at all. Recall that the average recommended volume is 2.7 liters per day for women and 3.7 liters for men, including liquid in the composition of drinks and products.

Don’t be afraid of cold

Cold drinks and foods also do not make colds worse — but ice cream can relieve sore throats. Again, it is quite nutritious, but it is easy to digest and does not require cooking — even a plate is not necessary to get; just ask someone to go to the store or order delivery. It is better to choose soft ice cream (or frozen yogurt), without pieces of chocolate or nuts that can scratch the irritated throat. Another a means for pain relief throat — pieces of ice.

Take anti-inflammatory drugs

The flu won’t go faster from taking the medicine, but it will become more portable. Ibuprofen and paracetamol reduce fever, relieve headache and muscle pain and fight inflammation. Most drugs in tablets or bags, which are positioned as a means to treat colds, actually contain these anti-inflammatory in combination with components of congestion or cough. These drugs (according to indications and short course) are safe even during pregnancy.

Treat symptoms

The fact that a viral infection is not treated does not mean that drugs should be abandoned altogether. A cold-just the case when it is possible and necessary to treat not the disease, but its manifestations. Discomfort from pain or tickling in the throat can be reduced by stripes. When a runny nose will help vasoconstrictor drops (only use them strictly according to the instructions) or simply moistening the mucosa with saline. With a ache in the body or weakness, it is best to take a tablet of ibuprofen and sleep well, and if you are cold — get dressed warmly.

Do not get carried away with traditional medicine

Mustard plasters and jars, rubbing alcohol — containing liquids to reduce the temperature or inhalation over a hot pan-although these methods and bring a certain effect, it is incomparable with their danger. Reduce the body temperature of the child can be warm or cool shower, without exposing it to the risk of poisoning with vinegar or alcohol. Steam to moisten the mucous membranes should not be hot, and folk methods only increase the likelihood of a serious burn.

Do not take antibiotics

Let’s just say it again: antibiotics are useless in a viral infection. Neither the duration of the cold, nor the color of the nasal secretions say that the infection has become bacterial. Prescribe antibiotics” just in case ” you also should not. At least a third of antibiotic prescriptions in the United States in recent years have been excessive — and in Russia the figures are probably higher, given the still practiced unproven approaches, self-treatment and the availability of medicines without a prescription.

Do not spread the infection

A few days of bed rest will benefit not only you, but also others — it is better not to appear at work, in public transport or shops. Ventilate more often, wash hands, use disposable handkerchiefs. If you do not have time to get a napkin, sneeze not in the palm, but in the bend of the elbow — otherwise microorganisms from the palm will spread through door handles or other objects. Wear a mask if you get sick — it will help not to spread the infection.

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