Flu season isn’t quite done with us yet.
It was a mild one… up until now. But the CDC is warning a powerful flu strain called H3N2 is making its way across the country.
H3N2 is more dangerous and tougher to treat than it’s more common kissing cousins H1N1 and influenza B.
And the CDC says we can expect it to keep popping up all the way through May.
But don’t expect that flu shot they strong-armed you into getting to help. It’s USELESS when it comes to protecting you against H3N2
So what happens if the flu bug catches up with you?
Well, influenza is a virus. Which means antibiotics won’t help.
That’s why most folks reach for some over-the-counter (OTC) flu meds to help them ride it out.
But before you do, there’s something you should know.
OTC cold and flu meds may SEEM perfectly safe. But they’re hiding a harmful secret.
Some of the most common cold and flu remedies could harm your heart.
Flu meds can send your heart risk soaring
When the fever, aches, and pains of the flu hit many folks turn to OTC products which contain NSAIDs for some relief.
But despite their reputation for being mild, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen are risky.
They can send your risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and blood clots soaring.
NSAIDs work by blocking COX-I and COX-II enzymes.
The trouble is those same enzymes have OTHER important jobs to do. And some of those have to do with supporting your cardiovascular system.
Experts say when you inhibit COX-II, it can interfere with your blood vessels.
It can suppress blood vessel relaxation and repair, for example. And that could cause your blood pressure to climb or blood clots to form.
The same enzymes play an essential role in the way your kidneys work too. And that can lead to water retention and increased blood pressure.
Plus, it can interfere with the processing of essential minerals like sodium and potassium.
Protect your heart with NATURAL remedies
Your risk rises the longer you take NSAIDs and the higher the dosage is.
Now if you’re healthy to begin with, a couple of days on ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), or aspirin (Bayer) might be fine.
But it’s easy to accidentally combine products with NSAIDs in them, raising your risks.
For example, taking a daily aspirin “for your heart,” popping an Aleve for your knee pain, and then swallowing a flu remedy to ease your fever.
And suddenly your risk is SOARING.
For folks with heart disease, heart failure, or other cardiovascular issues NSAIDs may be even MORE dangerous.
And if you’ve recently had a heart attack or stroke, it’s best to get on the horn with your doc BEFORE taking any new cold or flu medication.
But it’s not just NSAIDs you need to worry about.
OTC cold and flu drugs also often contain decongestants. And two of the most common… pseudoephedrine (Sudafed Congestion, Suphedrin) and phenylephrine (Sudafed PE Congestion, Suphedrin PE)… can affect your heart too.
But you don’t have to risk your heart for some flu relief.
To help with congestion breathing in steam from a hot bowl of water (use a towel over your head to trap it in) or a hot shower can work wonders.
A neti pot, saline spray, ginger, and eucalyptus oil are other effective stuffy-nose options. Plus, gargling with warm salt water or swallowing a spoonful of honey can help with a sore throat.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
Follow Alice and HealthierTalk on Twitter and Facebook.
Latest posts by Alice Jacob (see all)
- The knee-pain surgery scam – and how to AVOID it! - April 22, 2019
- Block heart attack & stroke EVEN if you’re obese - April 22, 2019
- Bone drug ‘breakthrough’ is a DISASTER in the making - April 20, 2019