Monday, February 18, 2013

Getting the Cold or Flu

It is hard enough for those of us wth chronic illnesess dealing with our pain and exhaustion.  It is harder when we get a cold or the flu. I know for me it takes twice as long to ger over being sick.  I have a cold now and was looking for some adivce on how to deal with it in a quick manner.  So what I found was an article writeen by Robert D. Sheeler, M.D. Medical Editor — Mayo Clinic Health Below are some suggestions I found from the Mayo clinic to help one get through that nasty cold or flu. 

  Being sick with a cold virus for a week or two doesn't mean you have to be miserable. These remedies may help:
  • Fluids — Drink plenty of liquids. Water, juice, clear broth, or warm water with lemon juice and honey can help loosen congestion.
  • Saltwater gargle — To relieve a sore or scratchy throat, gargle with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water.
  • Saline nasal drops and sprays — These nonprescription products combat stuffiness and congestion. Unlike nasal decongestants, saline drops and sprays used over the long term don’t cause symptoms to get worse once use is discontinued (rebound effect).
  • Nasal decongestants — Limiting use of nasal decongestant products — such as Afrin and 4-Way — to no more than three consecutive days generally provides symptom relief without the rebound effect.
  • Chicken soup — The soothing qualities of a steaming bowl of soup may be due to its possible mucus-thinning and anti-inflammatory effects.

What doesn't work? Worth noting are antibiotics, which destroy bacteria, but are no help against cold viruses. As for zinc, a recent analysis had mixed results and stopped short of recommending it until more research is done. Zinc containing nasal gels or sprays have been associated with permanent loss of smell.

These days, taking care of yourself is a necessity of life — not only to stay healthy but also to avoid rising medical bills if at all possible.
I hope this helps when you get a cold or flu.  I have learned some new ideas, such as why chicken soup helps when you are sick, and the new research on zinc. Here is to everyone having a cold and flu free winter.

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