I guess we are all well aware of the effects that the flu might have. Hence, we all try to avoid it the best way we can. Especially the transition period between winter and spring brings out all the viruses and you can see people getting sick every minute. However, did you notice that the flu is getting worse and worse each year? We also started wondering about the effects that it might have upon our brain.
When it comes to catching the flu, we can never be really sure where we got it from. We all work with people one way or another or we interact with people to a certain extent, therefore the possibilities of getting in contact with viruses are endless.
It’s quite hard at times to make the difference between a random cold and the flue. They both come with the same basic symptoms, sore throat, coughing, headaches, and fever. However, the flue differentiates itself through the general body pains and aches that it comes with.
Also, chances are you are going to find yourself saying things like “I feel like my head is a ticking bomb” or “my head hurts so much that it’s just bound to explode”. We are familiar with that common feeling which is called brain flu.
How do we recognize it?
As we are all aware of the huge importance of a healthy immune system, do we know why it’s so essential? Amongst the cells that constitute our immune system, we can find the killer cells, which have the purpose of finding and killing the virus infected cells.
So all in all, the symptoms that we are going through the moment we realize we caught the flu, are manifestations of our own body trying to fight back the virus.
And it doesn’t just stop there. Neurotransmitters also play an important role. The moment these killer cells that we mentioned above begin their journey towards ridding our body of the viruses, they also affect other areas, such as the neurotransmitters. This leads to a decrease in certain substances that help us function normally on a daily basis.
For instance, it can lead to a decrease in the serotonin level and the dopamine level. This will obviously make us feel less happy and joyous. A decrease in the noradrenaline level will make us react in a slow motion way. A decreased glutamate level will have an effect upon our muscles.
All in all, these decreases have a direct connection with the neural circuits in certain areas of the brain. This means that our arousal, motivation, anxiety, memory and other sides will be implicitly affected.
This is the region responsible for regulating body temperature, hunger, thirst and so on. Hence, the release of these killer cells in this area will make us feel an increase in the temperature, loss in appetite and worse sleep. The appearance of fever is basically our organism trying to create a proper environment for fighting the virus.
As we already mentioned above, while the immune system is activated to fight the virus, it has certain effects on our mood and cognition. It decreases our capacity to learn and induces a state of depression. It has the similar effects as sleep deprivation and alcohol.
Can the flu be prevented?
Unfortunately there’s not much that can be done in order to avoid the flu. I personally try to take lots of vitamins during the winter and opt for a higher C vitamin dose.
You can try to stay positive. Don’t get panicked when you see everyone around you has the flu. Chances are you are safe and it all depends on your immune system. However, positive thinking can work wonders.
Don’t underestimate sleep. At least in my case, whenever I skip a night or two I feel weakened and I can sense that I leave a huge door open for viruses to just walk in on. Sleep is essential in keeping your body healthy so that it’s able to fight back.
Don’t skip your morning coffee. Yes, studies show that coffee works hand in hand with ibuprofen when it comes to fighting viruses. Which is good news. Not only does it keep is awake but it also has benefic purposes!
These being said, I hope we shed some light upon the flu situation and we’re going to be more prepared for the new wave. Let us know if you have any other ideas that worked for you and let’s fight the flu together!