Flu, influenza! Need remedies? Got questions? The Empower Health team can help you.

Getting the Flu, also called influenza, we all dread this, and when it happens our first question is: How long is this going to last!?

The flu can make you uncomfortable and often bed ridden.  Influenza usually lasts between 7 and 14 days. During this time you experience fever, chills, sore throat, body aches, runny nose, and fatigue.  Below are some more questions about the flu answered:

What should I do if I get the flu?

In most cases when you have the influenza you just need lots of rest and lots of fluids. Many natural therapies to shorten the length of the flu and reduce the symptoms work really well. These include Naturopathic Medicine, Acupuncture, IV therapy, and Herbal Medicine.  We offer these therapies and more here at Empower Health Clinic. This is located on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver, BC. If your flu is really severe antiviral drugs may help.  It’s very important to remember the flu results from a VIRUS  so taking antibiotics will NOT  help you.

What are the symptoms of the Flu?

With the Flu you can experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • fever*
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • at times diarrhea and vomiting.

*Of note is that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.

Do I have the flu (influenza) or a common cold?


When am I Contagious?

Influenza becomes contagious before the symptoms start showing to one week after becoming sick. Children are contagious for a longer period than a week. So when you are sick, it is better to stay at home for at least one week to avoid spreading the flu to others. Resting also helps your body recover quicker from the flu.

How does the flu spread?

The flu spreads from one sick person to another through saliva or respiratory droplets. Sneezing, coughing or physical contact face to face with someone who has the flu. Sharing drinks or food with someone with the flu will spread the flu. If you touch microscopic droplets from someone’s sneeze and then touch your eyes or nose, you can easily get the flu as well. So be sure to not share food or drinks with others and wash your hands often, especially after blowing your nose.

What if I don’t feel better after two weeks of influenza?

Sometimes when you’ve had the flu you can have lingering effects. These lingering flu symptoms may persist for weeks. These symptoms include:

  • Fatigue & Weakness
  • Low appetite
  • Dry cough (irritation in the airway that can affects how long you can be active)

Don’t rush to resume work or physical activity as soon as you feel a bit better. Start slowly. Rebuilding your stamina and health gradually will help your body to defend against other colds and flus in the future. And as soon as you are able make an appointment with myself, Dr. Julie Cahill, ND, or one of our other NDs, Dr Rae… or Dr Raymond…..so we can help you with the rebuilding process. (Also maybe say something here about the effectiveness of the NetiRinse for easing stuffiness)

How long should I stay home if I’m sick with the flu?

When you have the flu stay at home until the fever subsides. When the fever abates, take one more day off.  Remember how long you will be contagious for, up to a week after getting symptoms.

(Thanks to Torrance Memorial for the use of their comparison table.)