By: Annie Morgan
It’s that time of year again where drugstores and doctors’ offices are pushing everyone to get the flu shot.
But with so many scare tactics surrounding the flu – many people don’t know what the difference between the flu and the common cold are.
While there are some similarities in their symptoms, there are noticeable differences too.
So if you’re wondering how to tell if you’ve got a cold or the flu – here are the key things you need to look for.
Symptoms Of A Cold
Here’s the thing with the cold – you can only manage symptoms.
Since it is a virus, taking things like antibiotics won’t work – the key is to rest and keep your immune system as strong as possible.
People with a cold often experience common symptoms like a runny nose or congestion.
Sneezing and an overall feeling of simply “not feeling good” are common.
While fever and body aches are common, they aren’t as heightened as one who has the flu.
Colds usually last up to 10 days – but it’s more common for most symptoms to go away within 3 to 4 days.
And many people often don’t take any medicine for the cold – they simply choose to drink bottomless cups of green tea and other healthy hot broths like bone broth.
Other immune boosters like Vitamin C and zinc are good too.
Symptoms Of The Flu
Those who have the flu often face more severe symptoms than a common cold.
One of the key symptoms is a fever – we’re talking over 100 degrees.
But even though you have a fever, you might experience chills and feel cold – and find yourself curled up under blankets.
The flu also causes your body to ache – everywhere from your back to your limbs. You’ll feel awful and might not even feel like moving at all.
A nasty cough which can cause respiratory problems is another common symptom of the flu.
Medical experts say it takes about a week for the flu to make its way through your body – and during the initial onset and up to 7 days after – you are contagious so stay home!
Going to work or school to “tough it out” and getting everyone else around you sick is not a good plan.
Not to mention your body needs rest to recover.
Ways To Boost Your Immune System
Ideally, your immune system would be so strong you’d be able to withstand catching a cold or the flu.
But even those with strong immune systems can still get sick.
Make sure you take a good dose of Vitamin C, and other immune boosters like Echinacea, which can help fight infection by increasing the number of white blood cells.
Exercise is a natural immune booster (and it’s free) – and don’t forget to get enough sleep!
Your body needs to remain strong and rejuvenate, and if you are sleep deprived you are more likely to get sick.
So before you jump and get the flu shot, make sure you focus on prevention – a strong immune system really is the key.
Were you aware of the difference between the cold and the flu?
What are your thoughts on getting the flu shot?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know how the main differences between having a cold vs. the flu!