Is It the Flu or Something More?


Is it the Flu or Something More?

Though the flu can often be treated at home without a visit to the physician’s office, more serious conditions can present flu-like symptoms or result from the virus unexpectedly.

Typically, a healthy person who contracts the flu virus can recover from the disease safely at home. Common symptoms of the flu include headaches, muscle pain, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, congestion, fatigue, fever and sweaty chills.

What to Watch For


In some cases, however, the flu does require the attention of a physician. If you think you have the flu and are trying to treat the illness at home, keep an eye out for symptoms such as a fever above 103 degrees Fahrenheit or that lasts longer than five days, severe earaches or chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, confusion, persistent vomiting, and coughing up colored phlegm. These symptoms may be the result of a new condition developing as a result of the flu, such as a sinus infection, ear infection or pneumonia.

In extreme situations, organ failure, sepsis, or inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues can also result from the flu.

Risk Factors


Certain people should always contact the doctor if they have the flu, especially if they have a pre-existing or chronic condition. If you have asthma, heart disease, a neurological condition, or a disorder that affects your blood, immune system, liver or other organs, then you should schedule a visit with your physician as soon as possible after common flu symptoms present themselves.

Additionally, pregnant women, nursing home residents, children younger than age 5, adults older than age 65 and people with a body mass index greater than 40 should always contact their physician if they develop flu-like symptoms.

If you’re unsure whether or not your flu symptoms warrant a visit to the physician’s office, consider scheduling an appointment regardless to prevent further health complications.

Women, Don’t Let a Heart Attack Sneak Up on You


Occasionally, flu-like symptoms can precede a heart attack, especially for women. These symptoms can manifest days or weeks before the incident of a heart attack and are fairly mild. Sometimes, simple nausea may be the only warning that a heart attack is on its way.

If you feel strange or believe that your symptoms may be more than just the flu, don’t hesitate to contact your physician or head to an emergency room. Quick and early action is the best way to recover from — or prevent — a heart attack.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

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Touchdown-worthy Tailgate Fare

Touchdown-worthy Tailgate Fare

Touchdown-worthy Tailgate Fare

Snack smart on game day.

Whether you tailgate at the stadium before kickoff or invite friends over to watch from the comfort of your living room, one truth is universal — game day is all about the snacks.

For those trying to eat healthier, however, many traditional game day foods should be benched. Many favorites are packed with fat, sodium or sugar, or all three. While these may be fine in moderation, be careful about including too much in your diet.

Make Smart Swaps


Fortunately, most tailgate snacks can be swapped for a delicious but more health-conscious substitute. Avoid a fumble with these tips to balance nutrition with flavor and fun.

  • Replace greasy potato chips with kale or root vegetable chips.
  • Ditch the bun and offer guests lettuce wraps or a whole-wheat alternative.
  • Make turkey, salmon or black bean burgers instead of all-beef patties.
  • Set out hummus, fresh salsa or Greek yogurt with a mix of lemon juice and herbs in place of the traditional seven-layer dip.
  • Chill water flavored with fresh fruits or mint instead of serving sugar-packed soda.
  • Substitute butter-laden hot wings with grilled chicken kabobs marinated in buffalo sauce.
  • Cut vegetables and whole-wheat pitas for dipping.
  • Bake sweet potato fries in place of deep-frying french fries.
  • Fill a bowl with mixed nuts for a heart-healthy snack.

You don’t even have to give up dessert. Keep the grill fired up and roast fresh fruits like pineapples, strawberries, peaches and mangoes for a delicious smoky-sweet flavor.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.