Because both the flu and cold have the same symptoms such as a runny nose, aches and pains, and a sore throat, it is best to try and find out exactly which one you have so that you can treat it accordingly.
The first sign to look at is your body temperature. A normal body temperature is about 98 degrees. If your temperature goes up to around 100 – 102 degrees, you have a fever, which can mean you may have caught the flu. A cold usually does not raise your body temperature.
The flu usually comes on suddenly. Your aches and pains are a little worse than they would be with a cold, and you may feel weak and tired. The flu also has the ability to turn into pneumonia or bronchitis if you do not allow your body to rest. In some people, a cold can develop into ear infections or sinus congestion.
Whether you have the flu or a cold, drinking lots of fluids and getting a decent amount of rest will help relieve your symptoms. Sometimes doctors may prescribe antiviral medications for the flu, however, these types of medications will not work if you have a cold. Because the cold and flu are caused by viruses, antibiotics will not help. Why? Because antibiotics treat bacterial infections.
Before taking any meds to help your flu or cold, talk to your doctor first. Many over-the –counter medications have side effects that can be dangerous to your health.