The various viruses that cause 'the common cold' are quite different than those that cause the flu (influenza viruses). It can be hard to tell the difference, however, between a bad cold and a mild case of the flu. A common cold is a viral infection that develops over the course of a few days, and symptoms are usually a sore throat, possibly followed by runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and a headache. The flu virus, on the other hand, usually comes on quite suddenly, often with more severe symptoms such as fever, shivering, achy joints and muscles. The flu usually lasts longer than a cold as well, and is a serious illness as it may lead to bronchitis, pneumonia, or respiratory failure.
See your doctor immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
- body temperature over 38 degrees Celsius
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- your symptoms are severe
- your symptoms do not get better after several days
Antibiotics do not help treat cold or flu viruses, as they are viral and not bacterial infections. Your doctor may prescribe any or a combination of various medications for the symptoms of cold and flu viruses, including antihistamines, decongestants, cough suppressants, pain killers, and even anti-viral drugs if your case of the flu is severe. Flu vaccines are of course an option, and are especially recommended for children and seniors, who are more at risk.
Like conventional medicine, natural health care can help treat cold and flu symptoms, although fever and severe manifestations should always be treated by a medical doctor (see the warning signs above). Once you are sick, resting a great deal along with drinking approximately three times your normal amount of fluids is generally recommended. Other diet modifications such as reducing refined carbohydrate and dairy products while infected is also beneficial. Consult one of our nutritional counselors for more suggestions, and to set up a healthy diet plan for prevention.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you prevent and manage the symptoms of cold and flu viruses.
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