Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Could I have the flu?"
I'm 17, 106 pounds.I'm 17, 106 pounds. For the last week, I've been waking up with a headache, chest pain, back pain, muscle weakness (on and off throughout the day), and fatigue. I figured it was the bed I was sleeping on, but the relocation didn't change anything. I've been taking cold medicine, to stop my symptoms, which didn't help either. My breathing seems restricted, even if I'm just sitting down, watching tv. It feels like when I breathe in, the oxygen only goes to the top of my chest and stops. I've had bad cold symptoms in the middle of the night, and I've lost my appetite, throughout the week. The heat is not working, so the house is freezing. My sister who shares the same room with me has had a terrible cold since the beginning of this week. I've shared a bed with her a couple times this week, also. Could I have the flu?
This is a good question. It is very important that you make an appointment with your primary care doctor as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms and have a full history and physical. Depending what your doctor discovers during your visit, he or she may order additional testing such as a nasal swab to check for flu or imaging such as a chest x-ray. It is very possible that your symptoms are due to the flu, or another respiratory virus. This is more likely if you did not get a flu shot this year. Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, typically presents as fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, runny or stuffy nose, headache, and fatigue. It typically lasts less than a week. If your symptoms are severe or getting worse than you need to seek emergency treatment such as in an ER or urgent care. You may need to receive breathing treatments to help open up your airway. There are other causes of your symptoms such as pneumonia or mono. It is very important to stay well hydrated and get plenty of rest. Again, as your symptoms sound severe, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible to get a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
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