Not only is it Autumn season right now (in a matter of weeks it will be Winter), it is also flu season. Ah, the lovely flu season that many people dread. For some, they never get the flu and for others they get it every season, which it makes it harder wanting to go to work and do anything in the house.
There are some people who mistake the flu for being the common cold, and vice versa. Not knowing what you actually have makes it a little bit harder to treat it with the correct herbs, tonics, and other medicines. For the most part, many of you head on over to your doctor so they can prescribe whatever pill they have in the pharmacy. However, if you know what you have, you are more likely able to head out and grab the what you need at the store without introducing your pharmacist or physician into the whole mix; or you can make it yourself (provided that you know how to make the tincture, salve, or any other medicine correctly).
Before getting in your car or sending someone out to go get the medicine, let’s take a look at the differences between the common cold and the flu.
Onset: For the onset of the common cold, it is gradual, whereas for the flu it is abrupt and dramatic.
Nose: When it comes to the nose for the common cold, it is more drippy and you need a lot of tissues. Whereas for the flu, your nose is more congested making it harder for you to breathe.
Throat: Your throat will feel more scratchy if you have the common cold. However, your throat will be sore with the flu.
Chest: When you have the common cold, you will have a slight cough that will occur as the symptoms wane. While with the flu, you will have a cough that can be extremely severe and lingers during the entire duration.
Heads: While both the common cold and the flu will have headaches, they are different from one another. With the common cold, you will have a light head from the congestion. Whereas with the flu you will have a more pronounced headache that will have you holding your head between your legs and crying.
Muscle aches:With the common cold, you will not have any muscle aches. However, with the flu you will usually have muscle aches, depending on how advanced it is.
Chills/fevers: When it comes to chills or fevers, it will usually be absent when you have the common cold. However, sometimes you can get one, but it will be a low-grade fever. When it comes to the flu, chills and fevers are present in most cases. If your fever does raise past 102 degrees, and stays there or even gets higher, please go to the emergency room.
Sensitivity to light: With the common cold, you will not be sensitive to the light. That part of your body is not “set on fire” so to speak, meaning that it doesn’t create a sensation of being sensitive to the light around you. Whereas it is present when you have the flu.
Fatigue: For the most part, it is absent when you have the common cold, though there have been some cases where fatigue has been linked to it. Fatigue is always part of the flu, all you want to do is crawl under the covers and sleep for the rest of the day.
Appetite loss: When you have the common cold, you have not lost any of your appetite. Whereas with the flu, you really don’t have much of an appetite. Usually the smell of food makes you nauseous and you can barely keep anything down.
Now, please keep in mind that even though you may have either the flu or the common cold, you may want to consult with your primary physician if you do get better within five to six days. If things have progressed in a sense of where you are having a hard time breathing and vomiting several times a day and it is in the middle of the night, please go to your local emergency room and get seen. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes the flu or the common cold can just be a stepping stone to something else.