Common Cold Treatments That Can Actually Make You Sick

Overview

Common Cold: Whether it’s old wives’ tales or misunderstood science, there are plenty of myths out there about how to treat or avoid the common cold.

The problem? Many of those gems of wisdom can actually make you sicker. Let’s separate the good advice from the tips that just might prolong your misery. What really works to help you get through a cold, and which advice should you avoid?

Hot toddies

“A hot toddy is exactly what the doctor recommended to get rid of the sniffles.” Is it true or false?

False.

That hot toddy (whiskey, lemon, and hot water) will not cure your cold. Hand sanitizers containing alcohol may aid in the destruction of the cold virus on hands, but consuming alcohol does not. Alcohol causes dehydration. It dries up your mucous membranes, causing pain, and making fighting the infection more difficult. A shot of alcohol may burn away a coating in your throat, but the subsequent dehydration prolongs the duration of your cold.

Drink lots of fluids, such as water, orange juice, or mint tea. Staying hydrated will make you feel better. Good hydration aids in the removal of congestion. When you’re unwell, drink eight glasses of water every day. A more hydrated body aids the immune system in combating cold symptoms.

Zinc

“Zinc can help to decrease the duration of a cold.” Is it true or false?

True, but proceed with caution.

It is advised that you take zinc orally. Taking zinc supplements at the earliest indications of a cold has been proven in studies to reduce the length of symptoms by around a day and a half in people. There may also be some advantages to taking zinc on a regular basis.

However, using zinc supplements might have negative side effects. Zinc can induce nausea and leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. It has no favorable benefits in youngsters, hence it is not advantageous to them.

Powering through the symptoms

If you ignore the symptoms, your body will battle the cold more quickly.” Is it true or false?

False.

Some people believe that suffering from a runny nose, muscular pains, a sore throat, and fever is preferable to taking drugs. However, this does not help to lessen the duration of a cold. The cold virus is reproducing inside your cells, and runny nose mucus is not washing it out. Instead, it just spreads the infection to other people.

A better approach would be to treat your symptoms and relax. Anti-inflammatory drugs can assist you in getting some rest and may even help reduce the transmission of your cold to others. For fever and body pains, use ibuprofen, antihistamines for a runny nose, and a cough suppressant for a cough.

Vitamin C

“Consume a lot of vitamin C. That cures everything!” Is it true or false?

Something in the midway.

Vitamin C is thought to be effective against anything from the common cold to cancer. After years of being out of favor in the scientific community, fresh research appears to suggest that vitamin C has little impact in avoiding the beginning of a cold or lessening its symptoms. However, the same study discovered that vitamin C may be advantageous if you are an athlete who is exposed to extremely cold conditions.

A word of caution: excessive vitamin C use may result in diarrhea. Vitamin C may increase iron absorption and produce iron toxicity in persons with iron-related disorders.

Mixing medications

“Over-the-counter cold drugs are absolutely safe to take in conjunction with other medications.” Is it true or false?

False.

Even over-the-counter (OTC) drugs might cause drug interactions. There can be dangerous adverse effects if you use a decongestant that contains medications like pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, or oxymetazoline as a pill, liquid, or nasal spray. If you are already using antidepressants, OTC medications might have serious side effects. Decongestants should also be avoided by anybody with high blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Check the warning labels on cold drugs, especially combo medications, for a better alternative. If you use other prescriptions on a daily basis or have a medical condition, consult your pharmacist or doctor about potential drug interactions.

Echinacea

“I’m a strong believer in Echinacea. It always gets rid of my cold!” Is it true or false?

Most likely true.

According to other studies, there is no advantage at all. However, a bigger study found that extracts of the Echinacea purpura plant can shorten the duration of a cold by roughly 1.4 days.

Nonetheless, some people who are sensitive to plants like ragweed have had severe allergic responses to Echinacea. Molds and other allergies may also be present in some preparations. It’s critical to use caution when using herbal medicines, especially if you’re allergic to pollen or weeds. Herbs are not controlled by government health organizations, so make sure you buy from a reliable source.

Chicken soup

“Grandma’s chicken soup will heal any cold.” Is it true or false?

True.

Many civilizations swear by the therapeutic potential of chicken soup, and it appears that this legend is correct. According to 2000 research, chicken soup may have anti-inflammatory qualities that may relieve cold symptoms. Warm beverages and protein will also help you keep hydrated. The warmth of heated soup will also help to relieve congestion.

But be cautious. Many canned chicken soups include a lot of salt. Foods heavy in salt can dry you, making you feel worse when you’re fighting a cold. Try low-salt products or ask a friend to make you some homemade broth.

In Conclusion

Drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest to help you recover from a cold.

  • Water, juice, clear broth, and warm water with lemon and honey can all be beneficial in relieving congestion. Tea is OK, however decaffeinated tea is preferable.
  • A saltwater gargle can relieve a sore throat more effectively than many drugs.
  • Saline drops can relieve stuffiness and congestion without the negative side effects associated with decongestants.
  • Humidity is beneficial. Take a hot shower or use a clean humidifier in tiny amounts.

Check Out More At @usahealthline

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