Hi guys my name is Daniel and I'm 22.

The last week and two days has been really rough for me so I was kind of hoping someone could give me a second opinion on what might be causing me go experience what I'm currently going through.

As of Tuesday last week I woke up in the morning shivering around about 1am. I thought this could be weather related so I simply went back to bed. The next day during work I was extremely fatigued, had severe chills and a dry cough. I left work early that day and went straight to bed without eating anything for the rest of the day. Both Wednesday and Thursday I was completely bed ridden, I barely ate, had severe chills and all I did was sleep during the afternoon until my house mates got home. On top of this my cough had started to develop a lot of greenish phlegm. This entire time I've had a loss of appetite. I can't eat even a medium sized meal without throwing half the food away. On Friday I went home to Adelaide to see my family. I basically stayed at home sick all weekend and had developed a fever/night sweats during the night while still having the same symptoms during the day (chills, loss of appetite, etc). When I came back to Adelaide on Monday my fatigue seemed to have improved a bit, I no longer have chills however I now have very watery diarrhea, milder sweats during the night, still a loss of appetite and a cough with greenish phlegm. This has continued all the way until today (Thursday).

I went to the doctor on Saturday morning. She had told me it was a chest virus and that no antibiotics would be necessary. I went to another doctor on Monday and he had told me he believes it all came down to the cough and it looked to be like. A heat virus. He prescribed me some antibiotics and told me to take some as of Wednesday if my symptoms got worse.

My main concern is this whole loss of appetite thing. I'm losing weight and I don't seem to have much energy. I have been like this for 9 days now and I'm starting to get quite worried. Is it possible to have these acute symptoms for such a long time? Could both the doctors be wrong? Is there any other possible explanation for these symptoms?

Any feedback is appreciated.
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replied November 8th, 2013
Extremely eHealthy
Hello,

Doctors these days are reluctant to call a spade a spade in case it turns out it was in fact a shovel. Today everything is described as a "virus".

Your description of your symptoms make me think you have a dose of good old-fashioned influenza.

A heavy cold can produce all the symptoms you describe, depending on the state of your health and what antibodies you have already developed but it wouldn't have laid you quite so low for quite as long so it is probably the flu.

Do not underestimate this common-sounding affliction because it can be a killer. In 1919/1920 the Spanish flu or some such strain of the virus killed more people than the First World War. I seem to remember it was many millions and mostly the fit and healthy leaving the old and very young relatively untouched.

With a dose of proper flu expect to be bedridden for between seven and fourteen days and no use to anyone for about a month and feel below par for at least another couple of weeks. The remnants of that cough can hang on for longer.
In the first couple of weeks when you are conscious half the time you will think you are dying and half the time you will hope you could die and get it over with.

Doctor was right about the cough. It hurts and it can deprive a person of valuable sleep and even cause exhaustion.
I agree about resisting the use of antibiotics but both the patient and doctor needs to be aware being immobilised with flu can lead to some very undesirable complications so monitoring is important.

A Ventolin inhaler can make coughing easier and some codeine linctus can suppress the cough and aid sleep but it is addictive so don't overuse it.

Menthol is very soothing to sore chests and coughs and helps to cut the phlegm. Menthol crystals used in hot water as a steam inhaler and menthol sweets are very useful things.

Above all do not over estimate your capabilities. Give your recovery as much time as it needs. Influenza is a major illness and you are going to be much weakened by it.

I hope you find this helpful.
Good luck!
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