Starve a Flu, Feed a Cold?

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Starve a flu, feed a cold


Starve a Flu and Feed a Cold?

The old saying may be only partially good advice…

With flu infections reaching their highest levels in over a decade, hospitals across America are packed to capacity this winter.  Follow these tips to keep you and your family as safe as possible!

The common cold and the flu actually share many symptoms, and it can be difficult or impossible to tell the difference based on symptoms alone!  Medical tests can actually identify if you have the flu.

You should know that a cold and the flu are both the result of viruses; however, these viruses are very different.  Both are contagious, however, the flu is far more capable of causing harm to the respiratory system of the patient than the common cold.

Nearly half of all common colds are caused by rhinoviruses, however, more than 200 different viruses can cause a cold.  With an incubation period from one to seven days, colds can last seven to 10 days, or up to two weeks, depending on the viral strain.  Colds are considered mainly to be a mild respiratory illness.

Influenza (commonly called the flu) is a viral infection of the upper and / or lower respiratory system.  With a shorter incubation period of one to four days, the flu typically lasts five days to two weeks depending on the severity of the infection.  The flu can become intense and potentially fatal in some individuals, so medical attention is paramount.

Sage Advice?  When it comes to nutrition, the old saying “feed a cold, starve the flu,” is not completely accurate, according to experts.  This is because starving a fever by eating fewer calories may actually make it more difficult for your body to fight off the flu virus.

Simple Reminders:



-Stay home and rest

-Drink plenty of fluids

-Treat fever with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aches &

pains  with ibuprofen (Motrin)

-Wash your hands frequently

-Go to your doctor:

If you develop trouble breathing, have a severe sore throat, have a cough that produces green-colored mucus, experience chest pain, or develop a high and persistent fever.  Moreover, do you suspect that you have the flu and are pregnant or over 50?  Or, so you have a weakened immune system for any reason, or have ongoing medical problems such as diabetes?  You are at a higher risk of developing complications due to the flu and should contact your physician.  If you have a child less than 2 years of age with flu-like symptoms, their doctors need to be notified and it may be worth making a visit to them!



-Go to work/school

-Rely on over – the – counter medicine alone

-Touch your face with your hands


To conclude, a cold or the flu is no laughing matter.   Take the preventive steps that you can, and if you are unfortunate enough to come down with one, be smart and get the medical help you need if your symptoms tell you so.

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