Mountain View Medical Supply

Monday, March 5, 2012

Flu and the Importance of Fever

According to the media, flu season is officially in full swing. Did you get your flu shot? Are you not a fan of flu shots? How do you fight the flu when it hits you?

Inevitably, everyone will get the flu, usually several times throughout their lives. According to WebMD, influenza is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses, and it attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract. While similar to a cold, the flu is much worse. Both bring a sore throat, coughing, headache, and chest discomfort, but the flu typically has a high fever, fatigue, weakness and more. Plus the flu can lead to pneumonia.

There are a few antiviral medications available over the counter to treat the flu such as Alka-Seltzer or NyQuil, and of course getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids is always recommended.

While a fever may be worrisome, it is actually a positive bodily response to the virus that has invaded the body. The elevated temperature is essentially the body activating the immune system. Though it is discomforting, it really is natures way of trying to help.

Because the liver is responsible for processing toxins, it makes sense that it would be much too busy to be bothered with the task of digesting food. Great strain can be taken off of the liver if no food is given. It has been suggested that fasting lowers the temperature, relieves the distress and facilitates elimination. It might lessen the strain on the liver and prevent more serious complications. Basically, fasting allows the liver to handle the task at hand, and that is helping your body to get well.

It is suggested that a fast on distilled water, or at least diluted fruit or vegetable juices, should be continued for twenty-four hours after the temperature has returned to normal. A good rule to remember is that the bowel can be cleared of toxins in twenty-four hours; the blood in three days; the liver in five days, providing only liquid nutrition is provided.

It is also suggested that an adult with a fever of 102F or lower should not suppress a fever with anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Of course you should always consult your physician.

The old saying “starve a fever, feed a cold” does loosely represent sound medical advice, according to When sick with the flu, you probably wont feel like eating anyway since loss of appetite is your body’s natural defense mechanism for fevers, as it helps the immune system focus its energy on fighting pathogens. Adding fluids can only help fight the fever. Feeding a cold is simply a matter of keeping your nutrient levels up while the virus runs its course.

Lastly, since it is flu season, it is important to remember good hygiene when you are sick. Wash your hands often, cover your mouth when you cough, and use instant hand sanitizer for times when soap and water are not readily available. Remember that we don't know who may have ailments that would have disastrous consequences should they contract colds or flu. If you can, stay home from work or away from public places to help reduce the spread of infection.

Source:; Gary Krasner, Chicken Pox: Why Do Children Die?, Jan 1999, Well Beings;;

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