As you’ve been hearing the flu this year is fierce. It has been reported in all 50 states (according to the CDC), and sadly has even claimed several lives due to complications.
While flu symptoms vary from person to person, many experience a similar combination of fever, chills, vomiting, coughing, diarrhea, fatigue, and sore muscles and joints.
The latter one is particularly difficult to bear if you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, such as arthritis, where joints are already weakened and in a constant state of inflammation and irritation.
Here are some easy ways to comfort your aching joints –and sore muscles–when suffering from the flu:
- Use a heating pad or soak in a warm bath.
- Drink as many clear fluids as possible to keep joints lubricated, and the body hydrated, especially if vomiting frequently.
- If your stomach can handle it, eat small portions of protein such as lean meats, nut butters, yogurt, and eggs to repair and strengthen muscles.
- Perform some light stretches with arms and legs (even while lying in bed) like simple limb extensions to promote blood flow and flexibility, both of which can help easy pain.
- Take OTC pain medication as needed.
If your symptoms are severe, such as a fever that reaches 103 F or above, or nonstop vomiting, seek medical attention immediately.
To protect yourself from the flu:
- Get vaccinated. Experts say it’s still effective and a good idea to do so if you haven’t already.
- Limit exposure to those who have it.
- Practice good hygiene with frequent hand-washing, using tissues, and covering mouths/noses when coughing or sneezing.
If you suffer from arthritis and are concerned about your risk for the flu, or whether a flu shot will interfere with your current medications, please contact one of our specialists for an appointment.
(Adapted from Livestrong)