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Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is a viral illness that assaults the respiratory system, causing symptoms similar to those experienced during a cold, but far more severe and uncomfortable. During a bout of the flu, most people are plagued with a feeling of weakness that is usually the result of the body’s increased immune system activity combined with dehydration and lack of proper nutrition. While there is no cure for this highly unpleasant virus, flu weakness can be combated through rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating small, easily digestible meals. To avoid the illness and its symptoms in the future, consider getting an annual flu vaccination.
When the flu virus invades your respiratory system, your body responds by sending your immune system into action to “deactivate” the virus. While you may appear to be doing nothing more than lying on the couch watching daytime TV, on the inside your body is hard at work. Combined with this heightened immune system activity is the fact that some flu symptoms, such as coughing, may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Together, these factors can leave your body feeling extremely weak.
One of the best ways to counteract this weakness is to simply take it easy. Weakness and fatigue are signs that your immune system is working to make you better, so do your body a favor and do not try to fight them. Try to get plenty of sleep at night, and avoid activity as much as possible during the day, resting and taking naps when you can. Do not attempt to go to work or school during the height of your illness. By pushing yourself to continue your normal activities, you not only risk prolonging your symptoms, but you may also spread the virus to your co-workers or classmates.
The fever and runny nose that often accompany the flu can lead to dehydration, which can also contribute to fatigue. In order to combat dehydration, be sure to drink a variety of fluids throughout your illness. Warm beverages, such as green tea, can be soothing, while cold beverages, like sports drinks or natural fruit juices, can replace some of the nutrients lost through sweating and mucus production.
Loss of appetite is a common symptom of the flu. Skipping meal after meal can further contribute to flu weakness, however, and should be avoided. While you may not feel hungry during your illness, try to continue fueling your body by consuming small portions of foods that are easy on the stomach throughout the day. These may include foods like toast, broth-based soup, applesauce, or plain rice.
If you want like to help prevent getting sick in the future, then get vaccinated for the flu each year. Flu shots are generally widely available at doctors’ offices and pharmacies throughout the US. Vaccination is usually most effective when it is performed in October or November, shortly before the annual flu season begins. While vaccination does not guarantee immunity from the flu, it is generally 70 to 90% effective.
Flu fatigue is awful. Not many things are worse. As the article noted, staying hydrated is so important when suffering through the flu. Being dehydrated can lead to other unpleasant side effects, some of which may require a trip to the doctor.
Sometimes it's strong flavors that decrease appetite and the desire to drink. Gatorade G2 is lower in sugar and not as strongly flavored as other sports drinks, so it may be easier to tolerate. Chicken soup is a universal cure for everything, and it really is good for helping a person stay hydrated and nourished without causing an upset stomach.
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