Management of common cold
Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables
for vitamin C. Consume garlic and chillies, which may act as a natural decongestant. Consume plenty of fluids to
People catch cold at an average of three
times in a year. Further, people are also susceptible to flu in the winter months. What makes flu worse is the
presence of fever as well as muscle and joint aches.
Colds and flu are highly contagious
respiratory infections that are caused by viruses. More than 200 cold viruses have been identified. Unfortunately,
developing immunity to one type of cold virus does not protect you from the others.
There are fewer flu viruses, but they
undergo frequent mutations. They change their protein structure a little each year as they swap around the globe.
This is why new flu vaccines are produced yearly that protect against the prevailing strains of the
Colds and flu are spread when virus-laden
fluid droplets are released into the air by coughing or sneezing or transferred to surfaces by touch. The virus is
activated at temperatures below 98.6 F, the normal temperature for humans. Hence, if you sit in a draft, your
temperature may drop just enough to activate the cold viruses that have been biding their time in your nasal
When you breathe overly dry air
(especially in aeroplanes and artificially ventilated office buildings), your nasal passages may form tiny cracks
that provide an entryway for viruses. The best defence is plenty of fluids to rehydrate the tender
You are more vulnerable to colds and flu
when your immune system is depressed. Preventive steps include avoiding alcohol, getting plenty of rest, and
reducing stress levels.
While there is no cure for colds or flu,
eating properly may help to prevent them, shorten their duration, or make symptoms less bad.
Vitamin C is known to have a slight
antihistaminic effect, so drinking more citrus juice or taking a supplement may help reduce nasal
One of the bad effects of high fever is
dehydration. During a cold or flu, drink a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of fluids a day in order to replenish lost
fluids, keep mucous membranes moist, and loosen phlegm. Drink water, tea, and broth.
Abstain from alcohol, which dilates small
blood vessels and makes the sinuses feel stuffed up. Alcohol may produce adverse effects when taken with may drugs
and reduces the body’s ability to fight infection.
Take chicken soup as it is not only easy
to digest, but it also contains cystine, a compound that helps thin the mucus, relieving
Take spicy foods. Hot peppers, or chillies
contain capsaicin, a substance that can help break up nasal and sinus congestion. Garlic, turmeric, and other hot
spices have a similar effect.
It is important to ensure that your diet
contains zinc-rich foods since zinc is important to a healthy immune system. Food sources of zinc include seafood
(especially oysters), red meat and poultry, yogurt and other dairy products, wheat germ, wheat bran and whole
grains. But take care not to take zinc supplements over long periods of time as it may actually weaken the immune
When to see a doctor
Ø Cough that produces green, yellow or bloody
Ø A severe headache or pain in the face, jaw or
Ø Trouble swallowing or breathing.
Ø A fever over 100 F that lasts more than 48