Here's what you need:
A Good Cough Medicine
The most important thing to look for when purchasing over-the-counter cough medicine is the ingredient Dextromethorphan. It is a cough suppressant, meaning it blocks the cough reflex and reduces coughing. You can find Dextromethorphan in many different medications and many forms (syrup, capsule, lozenge, spray, etc.). One common medicine that has Dextromethorphan is Robitussin.
Plenty of Liquids
Mayo Clinic recommends 64 ounces for most body types and sizes. Many symptoms of the flu can cause your body to lose a lot of liquids. Vomiting, diarrhea, and fevers can deplete your body's fluid and lead to dehydration.
To tell if the person you are caring for is dehydrated look for these signs:
- dark urine
- extreme thirst
- lack of tears or saliva
And remember, you don't only get fluids from water. You can get fluids from some foods and it's also not a bad idea to get your fluids from soups or broths or drinks like Gatorade.
Vitamin C & D
Vitamins are an important part of your daily intake whether or not you are sick. It has been observed that vitamin C can help with immune system deficiencies and vitamin D can reduce disease. Neither is proven to cure the common cold or flu but you should be making sure you get enough of both when you are sick or healthy.
You can get vitamin C in the form of pills or chewable tablets or through eating fruits and vegetables, specifically oranges and other citrus fruits.
Vitamin D can be consumed through supplements or through foods like fatty fish and seafood, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
With a runny nose or congestion, you're going to be wiping and blowing your nose a lot. We've all seen the tissue commercials and experienced it ourselves: the irritated, red, and dry nose that comes from wiping with hard or cheap tissues.
Consumer Reports tested tissues based on softness and found tissues with lotion helped prevent irritation. A top on their list was Kleenex Ultra Soft.
Feeling like your throat is super dry from coughing? Or your nose from wiping? Or like you can't breathe because you are congested? A humidifier can help.
- Will help you breathe easier
- Help clear your sinuses
- Reduce the spread of the flu (it thrives in dry environments)
- Decrease dryness
Things to do with your humidifier:
- Use distilled or de-mineralized water
- Clean and dry every 3 days
For a guide to buying a humidifier, check out this article from Consumer Reports.
Do you have any other products you feel are essentials for fighting the flu? Let us know below!