Every year influenza infects 5-20% of the US population, sickening millions nationwide. According to the CDC, the 2018-2019 flu season was the longest in a decade, affecting more than 42 million Americans. With symptoms that include fever (101-102°F), muscle/body aches, chills, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose, cough and/or sore throat—it all adds up to a lot of discomfort and misery for a lot of people.
And, of course, for some flu sufferers, the virus can turn more serious, with symptoms that may include an even higher fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and complications such as dehydration or pneumonia that can land a sufferer in the hospital. Certain groups are especially at risk for such complications including infants and children, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems. In the 2018-2019 flu season alone, approximately 647,000 individuals were hospitalized. And that’s just in the US.
Keeping Dehydration in Check
One impact from the flu that you can prevent or treat easily right at home is mild to moderate dehydration. The flu can lead to dehydration since a number of its symptoms contribute to fluid loss. Vomiting and diarrhea are two of the leading culprits. But fever and increased perspiration also can tax the body’s fluid reserves as higher temperatures increase the body’s metabolism and need for fluids. Additionally, since flu cases often occur during colder weather, when indoor environments are artificially heated and the air is dry, this can dry up your nose, eyes, and mouth. What’s more, because the nose, eyes, and mouth are the conduits of entry for cold and flu viruses, when those areas are dry and not working optimally, they can make you more vulnerable to getting sick in the first place. Preventing and treating dehydration is key.
How Do You Know If You’re Dehydrated?
When you have a cold or the flu and feel rotten anyway, how do you know if you’re dehydrated? For mild or moderate dehydration, you may notice:
- dry skin
- muscle cramps
- restlessness or irritability
- dry mucous membranes
- decreased urine output
- sunken eyes, or a sunken fontanel (soft spot on the top of a baby’s head)
- absence of tears
Severe dehydration, which is more serious and requires medical intervention, can involve diminished consciousness, hallucinations, lack of urine output, cool or moist extremities, and a fast or weak pulse.
What Works Best to Prevent Dehydration?
When it comes to treating mild or moderate dehydration, no amount of water may be enough. Your best bet may be an oral rehydration solution (ORS), such as DripDrop ORS, which has the critical electrolytes you need to get dehydration relief fast.
Why Water Alone May Not Do the Trick
DripDrop ORS contains a precise balance of medically-relevant electrolytes and glucose. This carefully balanced combination of critical salts and sugars allows water to be pulled into your bloodstream via the sodium-glucose co-transport system—and speeds up dehydration relief. Water doesn’t contain many electrolytes and so, ironically, water alone cannot cure dehydration as effectively as DripDrop ORS, which is designed for fast absorption. On top of that, DripDrop ORS’ great taste makes it easy to get dehydration relief fast.
In the fight against the flu or a cold, reaching for oral rehydration solutions like DripDrop ORS is a smart way to feel better STAT.