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Influenza: Get the correct diagnosis and treatment

 

The method your personal health care practitioner uses to 

diagnose whether you have the flu depends on whether an epidemic of the illness exists.

If an epidemic already exists, then your practitioner’s job is easy.  He only has to observe your symptoms.  He may take blood to ensure that no complications are present alongside the flu.  An uncomplicated case of the flu shows a lowered white blood cell.

Once your health care practitioner has confirmed your influenza, she’ll send you home.  But not without a list of instructions.  She’ll advise you to get plenty of bed rest and to drink plenty of fluids.  In addition, she’ll recommend you take aspirin or acetaminophen to alleviate the fever and some of the muscle aches.  She may write you out a prescription for cough medicine or simply recommend a good over-the-counter cough syrup.

Amantadine – an effective antiviral drug – has a good track record in helping to alleviate the symptoms of the flu.  Your health care practitioner may prescribe this,

If your case of the flu is compounded by pneumonia, then you’ll definitely be required to take fluid and electrolyte supplements.  You may be administered oxygen to assist your breathing and you may even be placed on a ventilator, depending on the severity of your pneumonia. You probably will also be treated with antibiotics for a bacterial infection.

There is really nothing more your health care practitioner can do.  Hospitalization for an uncomplicated case of the flu is normally not required.

Here are some steps you can take, though, during your recovery that should provide you with some relief.

First, when your personal health care physician tells you to increase your fluid intake, listen to her.  The last thing you want is to get dehydrated. 

Take warm baths to ease your muscle soreness.  If you have an herbal therapy bag that you can warm up and place on some of the sore areas, now would be a good time to use it.

Keep your social calendar to a minimum.  If you have to, cancel meetings.  Don’t go out visiting unnecessarily.  Similarly, limit the number of individuals you invite into your home.  This works both to protect you as well as your potential guests.  You don’t have to worry about developing any bacterial infections from others.  It also protects your guests from catching the flu from you.

Be extra attentive to the proper disposal of used tissues.  The virus can lurk on a tissue for a while.  If another person accidently bump it or touches it, he may be the next victim of the flu.

Similarly, be ever mindful of washing your hands.  Once again, your mother’s advice proved to be correct.  You can eliminate the transmission of the virus with some attention in this area.

 

Influenza:  Alternative and Complementary Treatment

 

Build your immune system.  This is your body’s most powerful weapon against this viral infection.  It might surprise you that you can make remarkable strides in this area with a little effort and forethought. 

 

There are two fairly simple ways to build your immune system (aside from eating properly).  That’s through the use of herbs and dietary supplements.  These two modalities of natural treatments may also help provide you with some relief from the symptoms.

 

You might never have heard of the first herb that’s being suggested – Boneset – but it was a highly regarded herbal remedy of the Native Americans and later by the early American colonists.  They depended on it to alleviate the symptoms of the influenza – when they had little else with which to battle the infection.  Today, professional herbalists are re-discovering this effective natural remedy in this regards.  It’s also effective as an expectorant.  It helps break up the mucus in your lungs.

 

Goldenseal is another herb prized by Native Americans.  It may be a useful natural remedy for you when it comes to the flu.  Be prepared, though, for a bitter cup of tea if you take it in this form.  It is not a naturally sweet plant.

 

Lemon balm.  Even the name sounds as if it should be a pleasing, calming plant.  And indeed it is.  But it’s also a great tool to use when you’re fighting the flu.  Professional herbalists say that it not only helps you to sweat, but it also relieves the fever that accompanies the flu.

 

Garlic capsules may also help you through your week-long bout with the flu.  Many recommend you take two capsules three times a day during this week to help boost your immune system.

 

Don’t ignore the use of essential nutrients in your search for relief from the flu, either.  Consider pumping your system with vitamin C.  Dr. James F. Balch and his wife, Phyllis, a certified nutritional consultant, recommend between 5,000 and 10,000 mg in servings divided evenly throughout the day.

 

You may also want to stock up and have ready zinc lozenges.  Zinc stimulates and strengthens your immune system.  The moment you feel the symptoms of the flu grab you begin to use these lozenges.  Continue to use them until your symptoms disappear. 

 

Before you embark on any program of nutritional supplementation or herbal therapy, be sure to consult with your personal health care practitioner.  He’ll know if any of the alternative or complementary aids you wish to use will conflict with any of your prescription medications.

 

Similarly, be sure to consult with a professional herbalist before using any herbs.  She’s the perfect individual to help you decide what herbs will do you the most good.

 

Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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Home
Subscribe!
What's New?

Mother's Tea
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Site Features

Book Reviews
Mother Books
Cartoons!
Poems
Links
Birth Stories
Site Map
Advertising

Contact Us


Birth, Joy, & Raspberry Leaves
-a new video compiled by Catherine and Amanda Young
of The Compleat Mother

Go HERE for more information on the waterbirth video!


Click here to read: The Farmer and the Obstetrician

Click here for the Home Sweet Homebirth (Video)

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Greg Cryns
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