Common Cold Symptoms
These don’t need much of an introduction as so many of us have experienced them repeatedly. The cold will start out by causing you to sneeze, throat begins to get scratchy, your body starts to feel achy, you get a runny nose, slight headache, chest congestion sets in and you can also feel feverish often experiencing an elevated body temperature. Remember this is an upper respiratory tract infection.
How do you catch a cold
Ever wonder what causes a common cold? The answer is overwhelming, as more than 200 different viruses are known to cause the miserable signs and symptoms of the common cold. The viruses we are most familiar with are the rhinoviruses, corona viruses, and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The rhinovirus group causes 10% to 40% of colds. The corona viruses and RSV are responsible for 20% and 10% of cases, respectively. About 10% to 15% of adult colds caused by viruses are also responsible for other, more severe respiratory illnesses. Of the more than 30 kinds of corona viruses, three or four infect humans.
The causes of 30% to 50% of adult colds, presumed to be viral, remain unidentified. The same viruses that produce colds in adults appear to cause colds in children. The relative importance of various viruses in children's colds, however, is unclear because it's difficult to isolate the precise cause of symptoms in studies of children with colds.
The Human Rhino Virus is among the smallest of viruses. It proliferates in temperatures between 91 to 95 degrees F. this is why it occurs primarily in the nose. There are two modes of transmission: via aerosols of respiratory droplets and from contaminated surfaces, including direct person-to-person contact. Most infections occur between September and April due to people being enclosed in buildings and schools.
Infection occurs rapidly, with the virus adhering to surface receptors within 15 minutes of entering the respiratory tract. Just over 50% of symptomatic individuals will experience symptoms within 2 days of infection. Infected cells release distress signals known as chemokines and cytokines (which in turn activate inflammatory mediators). By this time you are well on your way to experiencing all the symptoms caused by the rhinovirus. There is no evidence that you can get a cold from exposure to cold weather or from getting chilled or overheated. .
Natural Methods for Dealing with Colds
We know there is no cure for the cold virus but there are a number of remedies that have proven effective in reducing the symptoms and duration of the cold. The best defense is a balanced immune system. There is a way to achieve this but we'll save that for last. Cold and cough remedies help to reduce symptoms giving much needed relief but will not reduce the duration of the cold.
Vitamin C is often thought to be a cure all for colds but truth is once the cold sets in there is no certainty it will help. Vitamin C helps when taken as a regular supplement. A study group showed that those who took Vitamin C regularly were 50% less likely to get a cold. The maximum daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 2000 milligrams. Vitamin C in lemons when taken with a tea does help the immune system as a strong antioxidant and reduces inflammation and swelling.
Zinc appears to lessen symptoms of the rhinovirus (common cold), but researchers can’t yet explain exactly how this works. There is evidence of its antiviral activity and has been shown to work against the herpes virus. Nasal sprays containing zinc are not recommended. They may cause permanent loss of smell. We get a substantial amount of zinc from various sources so the dosage taken as a supplement should be low and not used daily. Zinc picolinate is best to use for it's absorption properties by the body. Remember too much is often as bad as too little.
Congestion and stuffy nose often make for a poor nights sleep but a humidifier with some Vicks Vapo Rub added to the water will greatly reduce congestion and clear the nasal passages. Placing some Vicks under the nostril and on the chest will increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Some people also apply Vicks to the bottom of their feet, put on a pair of warm socks and swear it helps them feel better.
Saline drops for the nose will help thin out secretions and help remove excess mucus while reducing congestion. They are being advertised on TV so you can expect to see more of them in your pharmacy.
Inhalation therapy. The virus grows in the nose and respiratory tract. The virus infects a cell in the lining (epithelium) and takes over the cell’s processes directing them to reproduce the virus. The new virus particles are not viable (full assembled, etc) until just before they are released from the cell (with destruction of the cell itself.) In the meantime, the cell is actually more susceptible to alterations (increases) in temperature. So, raise the temp to 110 Fahrenheit, the cell will self-destruct. It takes about 6 hours for the virus infected cell to successfully produce viable new cells. So, if you inhale 110 degree steam every 6 hours, you keep the infection from “growing” and limit the overall effect.
Garlic is well known for its medicinal properties. It will help to flavor your food when you do have a cold but used frequently will aid in maintaining your health.
Dandelion Plant has amazing medicinal properties. The dried root is natures cure all. The leaves make a great salad and also adds to immune system defense. Dandelion has not been named as an item for treatment of colds but is one I would incorporate year round when available as fresh pciked or a supplement as dandelion root.
Traditionally, Ginger has been used for the relief of gastrointestinal distress. However, modern science has discovered that ginger has other therapeutic properties as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Ginger can promote a healthy sweating that aids in the detoxification of the body, which is often helpful when suffering from a cold or flu. Ginger is also helpful for settling upset stomachs as well as the dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweating, which can accompany gastrointestinal distress.
Ginger can be used as a tea using two teaspoons of fresh chopped ginger and some honey to sweeten it. Drink this and take a hot bath to induce perspiring. I've used exercise and sweating in the past with success. My cold almost vanished overnight. The ginger tea and tub sound like an easier way to do this.
Black and Green Tea are great sources of disease fighting antioxidants. The addition of lemon, honey and a shot of whiskey or bourbon have proven to be an elixir that works. This is commonly called a hot toddy. You can also add a slice of fresh ginger for added relief. Let’s see what the honey and lemon do.
Honey has a soothing effect on sore throats, making it an effective and natural cough suppressant. Honey may also boost the body's immune system by aiding in the production of white blood cells. This improves the body's ability to fight infection and decreases the risk of fevers. The natural sweetness of honey also balances the tartness of the lemon and the ginger's spice, giving honey, lemon and ginger tea its soothing flavor.
Lemon juice is a source of vitamin C, an antioxidant vital to a strong immune system. When added to a tea, lemon juice can provide the immune system with a much-needed boost. The vitamin C in lemon juice can also neutralize the activity of free radicals in the body, reducing the inflammation and swelling caused by free radicals in the body. By stemming the damage done by free radicals, vitamin C may decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Spices that are often added to chicken soup, such as garlic and pepper (all ancient treatments for respiratory diseases), work the same way as modern cough medicines, thinning mucus and making breathing easier
Chicken Soup is the best known remedy to the world for the cold virus. Irwin Ziment, M.D., pulmonary specialist and professor at the UCLA School for Medicine, says chicken soup contains drug-like agents similar to those in modern cold medicines. For example, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
A theory, put forth by Stephen Rennard, M.D., chief of pulmonary medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, is that chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory. The soup, he says, keeps a check on inflammatory white blood cells (neutrophils). Cold symptoms, such as coughs and congestion, are often caused by inflammation produced when neutrophils migrate to the bronchial tubes and accumulate there.
Another proven theory shows boiling the carcass of chicken (the bones) releases an enzyme which prevents infection with RSV (Respiratory Syncitial Virus),as sited in -Burtons “Repiratory Care”. It does not cure the disease once acquired, But having in your diet Three times a week during cold and flu season, can Prevent it. RSV Causes a serious Pneumonia infection in toddlers, frequently requiring a week or more of hospitalization. Go to Chicken Stock recipe for your Chicken soup remedy.
A slight fever is a natural way of fighting colds and viruses. this makes your body inhospitable for germs. 102 is not uncommon in adults for a few days. Infants should not exceed 100.4 Degrees. Seek medical treatment for infants if temperature increases. Children with a fever of 102 or under usually won't require medical treatment unless they are prone to other disorders.
Stay warm and rest for a few days. Let the body direct its energy towards fighting off the virus. Your immune system will also benefit from your rest.
You would need to live in a sterile bubble to totally protect yourself against getting a cold. The second best option is to stay healthy by keeping in shape, having a healthy diet that includes many beneficial herbs and foods. A diet that is high in sugar and carbohydrate intake can hinder the performance of the immune system.
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