We are in the middle of the flu season in the United States.
While going through the flu with high fever and body aches is horrible, recovery can take nearly twice as long.
There are actions you can take to speed up recovery and help you get back to normal.
The flu virus hits quickly and hard. The fever and chills can last 3-4 miserable days.
You have to build in recovery days following the infection which can take one to two weeks.
Because your immune system takes a nuclear bomb hit when the flu hits, it is vital to give your system some added protection.
Some suggested protections include:
- Zinc Lozenges – completely dissolve in the mouth 18.75 mg of zinc acetate every two hours when you are not sleeping. (No more than 8 per day). It is suggested you stop taking this after three days.
- Garlic – 9-18 grams per day until the symptoms subside. Take with food to keep stomach upset to a minimum.
- Vitamin D – Try taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D for the first four days, and then slowly lower daily doses to 5,000 IU per day.
- Melatonin – 3 to 5 mg at bed time.
These are immune boosting nutrients that naturopaths have been suggesting for many years.
Some additional potentially immune boosting strategies to try:
Cimetidine: Take 800-1200 mg daily in divided doses. This over-the-counter antacid seems to block and suppress t-cells and potentially improve the immune system.
French oak wood extract: Oak trees contain the tannin roburins which are only found in Oak trees which help the trees fight various stresses. This extract was given to older patients to help them fight acute fatigue and shows promise. This may help in your recovery.
Tamiflu: This anti-viral drug has been used for over 20 years and if taken within the first 24-48 hours of the start of the flu it has been proven to reduce the duration of the flu. How much will it shorten it? A 2014 Cochrane review found that the drug did not reduce hospitalization rates for the flu and only shortened the duration of people’s symptoms by 17 hours. But 17 hours isn’t anything when you feel totally terrible. Tamiflu works by stopping the virus from mutating which prolongs the infection.
Xofluza: This is a newly approved flu medication to put in your arsenal. This was just approved in October 2018 and is a new type of antiviral drug. It blocks the production of virus particles. Baloxavir interferes with the ability of the flu virus to multiply, while the older drugs interfere with the ability of the flu virus to spread within the body. This won’t prevent the flu but helps in managing it and slows or stops the spread to others. It also has the advantage that it is a single dose medication as opposed to Tamiflu which needs to be taken twice a day for five days.
On top of these drugs, vitamins, and herbal tactics, there is still no substitute for rest and hydration.
The more you are able to help your body recover by getting good nutrition and fluids, the better.
Be kind to those at work by staying home to slow down the spread of the disease.
Remember there is no substitute for sleep and rest for the quickest recovery possible.
Of course, the best way to fight the flu is to avoid getting it by staying away from infected people and washing your hands often.