Influenza, commonly known as flu, is an illness pertaining to the respiratory system of our body. It is caused by a virus and is highly contagious in nature as it can be spread through the droplets present in the coughs and sneezes of an infected person and even by touching him/her or their used articles.
Sign and Symptoms
Symptoms of flu appear 1-2 days after infection and the affected adult is contagious even before having symptoms and up to 7 days after the infection. Easy tiredness and low energy levels are one the earliest symptoms of flu. Common signs and symptoms of flu include following:
- Sore throat,
- Running or blocked nose,
- Dry cough,
- Moderate to high grade fever (more than 100.4 oF)
- Chills and sweats
- Muscle pains
- Fatigue and weakness
Some other symptoms may also develop along with the above symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and loose stools. Also, not every patient present with all the above symptoms. There can be some other variations as well, depending upon the age and immunity of the person.
- Age: Children less than 5 years and adults more than 65 years of age are at risk of catching the infection and complications faster.
- Immuno-compromised patients
- Medical caregivers and residents handling these cases.
- Pregnant women and women up to two weeks after delivery.
- People suffering from chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, hepatic disorders etc.
Generally, these symptoms persist for about a week or two and may leave on their own without any complications. But some patients might develop complications which can be life-threatening as well in some persons who are at high risk. These are given below:
- Asthma flare-ups
- Heart problems
- Ear infections
Some general measures should be taken along with the medicinal management which include:
- Adequate rest
- Plenty of liquid intake
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
- Stay at home and maintain distance from other people
Under modern medicinal management, antiviral medicines are used which are not much effective. Since flu is caused by a virus, so antibiotics cannot be used.
Homoeopathy has unlimited scope for the treatment of flu. There are many Homoeopathic medicines which can be prescribed according to the totality of symptoms of the patients. Indications of few of these commonly used medicines are given below:
ALLIUM CEPA: When the discharge is copious, watery and becomes excessively acrid and the patient sneezes more on exposure to warm air, this medicine is indicated. Cough is short, dry and frequent especially on inspiration of cold air.
ARSENICUM ALBUM: This medicine is indicated when the nasal discharge is thin, watery and excoriates the nasal passage and the nose feels stopped up. Symptoms get worse in open air and better indoor. Throat feels constricted with burning sensation and inability to swallow. Patient will have high temperature with marked exhaustion and periodicity of symptoms with marked aggravation at 3 a.m. There is marked debility, exhaustion and restlessness along with increased unquenchable thirst and other common features of flu. The patient may have a marked fear of death with the above stated symptoms.
BELLADONNA: When the symptoms of flu appear suddenly and the mucus from nose is mixed with blood, this medicine should be given. Patient develops high fever with icy cold feet and decreased thirst.
BRYONIA ALBA: When there is shooting and aching pain in the forehead along with coryza and swelling at the tip of the nose which feels as if it would ulcerate on being touched. Dryness, of mouth, tongue and throat with excessive thirst is the peculiar feature of this remedy. With dryness, there is sticking pain in the throat which increases on swallowing. During fever there are chills with external coldness, dry cough and stitches.
GELSEMIUM SEMPERVIRENS: Sneezing with watery, excoriating discharge and fullness at root of nose. There is soreness and heaviness of eyeballs During fever wants to be hold as there is lot of shaking in the body. Chill without thirst and it goes along the spine in a wave-like succession from sacrum to occiput.
MERCURIUS SOLUBILIS: When there is marked sneezing and the discharge is acrid but thick in consistency which gets worse in warm room, this medicine is indicated. Discharge is greenish and has a fetid odor. Cough with two paroxysms which gets worse at night is a peculiar feature of this remedy. During fever there is profuse, yellow perspiration without any relief.
NUX VOMICA: It is indicated when the nose feels stuffed up especially at night. Discharge from the nose is acrid with stuffed up sensation in the nose. Throat feels rough and scraped with hoarseness of voice. Dry, hacking cough, sometimes with blood spitting. During fever the patient is chilly throughout and must be covered in every stage of fever. Sudden feeling of cold with excessive sweating of the body with blueness of fingernails during fever.
RHUS TOXICODENDRON: Tip of nose is red, sore and ulcerated with sneezing. Epistaxis which gets worse on stooping. Dry cough which gets worse from midnight till morning. During fever the patient feels chilly as if cold water was poured over him after which heat follows. With all the symptoms there is excessive restlessness of the limbs and continuous changing of position.
SABADILLA: Sneezing is spasmodic with running discharge from the nose, redness of eyes and watery discharge from the eyes as well. No thirst during fever along with watery discharge from the eyes.
Influenza, commonly known as flu is an illness pertaining to respiratory system of our body. It is caused by a virus and is highly contagious in nature. There is no specific treatment for flu under modern medicine. Some general measures are to be taken for every case like adequate rest, plenty of liquids etc. There are lot of Homoeopathic medicines for this condition. Among which best medicine to treat flu symptoms is Arsenicum album and above stated medicines.