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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Common Cold Home Remedies - Part 1

I'm taking a break from beauty tips this week as I'd love to talk about something which is getting rampant lately...

Yes I'm referring to the COMMON COLD.

The nephew had it weeks ago...then passed it on to IT Guy and now it's with Mom. I always tend to panic a bit every time Mom has it because hers ten to complicate into cough and then eventually leads to bronchial asthma.

I know we all know what a common cold is but just exactly what it is beyond the discomfort and inconvenience it gives us...

Colds are generally an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory passages. Its symptoms include nose and throat irritations, watery eyes. fever, headaches, chills, muscle aches , and temporary loss of smell and taste. A heavy cold may take the form of acute or chronic infection such as tonsillitis, grippe, sinusitis, bronchial catarrh, chronic cold, or other similar virus-type infection.

Note: Children who are a frequent recipient of colds and flues may have thyroid malfunctions and needs to have a thorough diagnosis.
Just how do we know if it's just a cold or a flu already? Here is the difference --
  • Headache - prominent in flu, but rare in cold.
  • Fever - frequent and sudden in flu, but rare in a cold.
  • Fatigue - extreme in flu and can last 2-3 weeks; there is only mild fatigue with cold.
  • Runny nose - occasionally in flu; common with a cold.
  • General aches - common and often severe in flu; slight in cold.
  • Cough - common with flu and can become severe; only mild to moderate in a cold.
  • Sore throat - sometimes with flu; common with a cold.

And now the perennial question -- What causes cold?
Well for one it is caused by a variety of viruses. Another and most common is a weak immune system, allowing the virus to take hold of the body. Factors which lower the body's resistance to virus infection are overexposure to cold, fatigue, recent or present infections, lack of rest, allergic reactions, inhalation of irritating dust or gas, overeating, sugar consumption, wrong eating and unhealthy lifestyle in general.
The common cold is not an infection that attacks just anyone. It is not even a disease, but rather cold is the cure of a pre-diseased condition and its symptoms are attempts by the body to reestablish normal conditions. It is the body's some sort of "spring cleaning". It's impossible to produce a suitable vaccine for cold as its virus can change size and shape and more than 100 different viruses which cause colds. And its symptoms can last for 7-14 days regardless of therapy though its incubation period is very short (1-3 days), while most viruses last for 10-21 days.
A cold is always in the upper respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat and upper bronchial). If congestion develops in the chest, it means it is worsening into something more serious and if you do not know how to take care of yourself, you better see a physician especially if --
  • chills and shortness of breath occur
  • you have fever which goes above 101 F
  • you see yellow or white spots appearing in the throat
  • your lymph nodes under the jaw and neck area are swollen or enlarged
    you experience any hot, extreme pain, such as earache, swollen tonsils, sinus pains or aching lungs or chest pains
  • you have excessively large amount of sputum that is greenish or bloody
    there is extreme difficulty in swallowing
  • wheezing occurs
Note: For children with high fever should be consulted with a physician.
Colds come like a theft in the night. So the moment you get a tingling nose and throat, nasal mucus, or scratchy throat DO NOT wait for the coughing, weakness, and fever to begin. Go to bed!
Part 2 of this post will be tomorrow and I will be sharing with you all natural home remedies for common cold!

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