Flu Complications | What to Expect & Are YOU at Risk?
Most people who get sick with the flu (influenza) will experience mild illness, not need medical care and recover fully within 14 days. However, there are some who will develop flu complications that could require serious medical care or be life threatening.
Keep reading as I explain why some people have it easier than others do when it comes to flu infection.
Flu Targets Your Respiratory System and Lungs
The flu virus triggers an inflammatory response in the body designed to fight off infection. This response shows up as symptoms of fever, body aches and breathing distress. Mucous membranes that line and protect the inside of your nose, throat, and lungs secrete mucous that serves as a protective fluid that ejects harmful germs. In other words, mucous acts as a shield against pathogens or foreign particles from entering your body.
The problem here is that the flu virus targets and infects the cells that line mucous membranes, making it easier for pathogens to get into the bronchial tubes and spread infection among the lungs.
What are Flu Complications?
If you contract a flu virus, it is possible to develop complications or worsen an existing chronic health problem. For example, if you have asthma, you could experience an increase in asthma attacks while you have the flu. Complications can be moderate like dehydration, sinus and ear infections, or very serious and life threatening.
Serious flu complications include:
- Inflammation of the:
- Lungs (pneumonia) – air sacs fill with fluid
- Heart (myocarditis) – weakened blood vessels, heart attack, stroke
- Brain (encephalitis) – seizures, loss of speech, memory, and hearing
- Muscles (myotosis) – weakness, pain, swelling
- Sepsis – infection triggers chain reaction throughout body causing major damage or death
- Organ failure – respiratory, cardiovascular, renal (kidney)
Factors Putting You at High Risk for Complications
Having a health condition increases your susceptibility to any pathogen and reduces recovery rate and time.
- Weakened immune system – can be driven by a chronic health condition or poor diet/lifestyle
- Heart problems
- Chronic lung issues – COPD/Cystic Fibrosis
- Age – At least 80% of the over 65 population have at least one chronic health condition and therefore weakened immune function
If you want the best shot at combatting the flu with minimal consequence, you must avoid developing chronic health conditions, stay smoke free, and maintain a healthy weight and immune system. These guidelines also create the bonus of longevity and better quality of life.
Although healthcare marketing may try to convince you otherwise, a flu vaccination or “shot” is not the answer for everyone. If you are high risk for flu complications, getting a flu shot does not negate your risk. Again, a healthy body and immune system will give you the best armor to handle and recover from the flu.
Reducing Your Risk for Complications
You may have noticed that almost all of these risk factors are preventable – they’re driven by diet and lifestyle. The common denominator among chronic health conditions is systemic inflammation in the body. Therefore, if you handle inflammation, you will have a lot more control over your weight, energy and overall health!
Here are the top 5 ways to lower inflammation:
1. Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet
✓ Drastically decrease or omit sugar, grains, and dairy
✓ Go gluten free – If you do eat grains make sure they are free of gluten
✓ Do eat healthy fat – avocado, salmon, nuts
✓ Increase your vegetable intake
✓ Go organic – chemicals, pesticides and GMOs wreak havoc on your gut and entire body
2. Avoid processed foods
3. Abstain from alcohol
4. Manage stress and exercise – just 20 minutes a day of movement has anti-inflammatory benefits
5. Supplement with appropriate vitamins and nutrients
What to Do if You Do Get the Flu…
Let’s be real, it’s impossible to avoid germs completely. In fact, you are exposed to about 60,000 of them a day! Having a healthy body will provide a solid foundation to handle harmful germs, but if you are exposed to the flu virus, it’s smart to get added support.
Sugar cripples your immune system, so if you haven’t ditched it by now, make sure you do so at the very onset of symptoms. Bacteria and viruses are known to thrive on sugar.
Next, stay hydrated, take vitamins and minerals and get fresh air and rest. Also, consider keeping my Super Flu Bomb formula on hand. You will not want to wait to take this if you feel flu symptoms moving in. Uniquely designed to help enhance your natural immune response, it contains nutrients that combat the damage that illness causes. Not only is it smart to take Super Flu Bomb at the early onset of symptoms, but you can also use it daily during flu season and times of heightened exposure to germs and stress.
Remember, the foundation of a healthy body is what provides you with an effective immune system. Supplementation with vitamins, minerals and herbs can help you achieve this status when combined with proper diet and lifestyle. There is no shot or pill that is going to make you healthy or reduce your risk for flu complications. What will? Well, you must address any underlying health issues. There’s just no way around it.
A healthy body will go to work for you, and I hope you get the opportunity to see this for yourself!
"I took 2 capsules of flu bomb when I felt symptoms begin - achey, tired, swollen throat. I took it easy for the evening and woke up completely symptom free and feeling good in the morning. I truly believe this product helped me kick whatever was about to wipe me out! I also gave my toddler 1/2 capsule dissolved in her drink the same morning she developed a fever and vomited. She took a long nap and when she woke up she had no symptoms and was back to herself. I will always keep this product on hand - it works!"
Erin Melrose | Super Flu Bomb
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