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Colds and Flu

Cold and flu are both related to infections of the respiratory tract so it is very difficult to determine them. Usually cold occur on a gradual basis, whereas flu comes suddenly which you cannot determine that easily since you will feel very normal in the morning but by the afternoon you will feel terrible. The recovery time typically varies from person to person. Generally cold lasts for about a week and for people with strong immunity may get affected only for 2 to 3 days. Flu is a much serious infection which lasts for about 10 to 15 days and the symptoms may lead to fatigue even after that to about a week or so. Cold rarely leads to various complications whereas flu may lead to bronchitis or pneumonia.

CAUSES:

  • Colds and flu are caused by viruses that affect the respiratory tract leading to infections in the nose and throat.
  • The virus just affects the respiratory tract, but symptoms are caused due to the over flooding of the infected region by the white blood cells fled by the immune system to prevent the infection.
  • Both these infections are most common during winter season wherein indoor heating literally reduces the humidity present in the air, leading to dryness of the respiratory passage resulting in providing a wonderful breeding place for the virus.

SYMPTOMS:

COLD:

  • Congestion.
  • Sneezing.
  • Sore throat.
  • Cough.
  • Watery nasal discharge.

FLU:

  • Fever and chills.
  • Fatigue to the extreme.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Cough.

TREATMENT:

  • Vitamin A – 50 000 IU twice a day with food until symptoms improves. If needed for more than a week reduce dosage to 25 000 IU a day. It is advised to take it along with 30mg zinc a day. If pregnant or considering pregnancy, do not exceed 2500 IU a day.
  • Vitamin C – 2000mg 3 times a day until symptoms improves. If needed for more than weeks reduce dosage to 1000mg 3 times a day. If diarrhoea develops reduce the dosage.
  • Echinacea – 200mg 5 times a day. For prevention, it is advised to take 200mg a day in a 3-week rotation with the herb astragalus taking 400mg a day.
  • Zinc lozenges – 1 lozenge every 4 or 5 hours as required. Do not exceed 150mg zinc a day which may be toxic.
  • Garlic – 400 to 600mg 4 times a day with food.
  • Goldenseal – 125mg extract 5 times a day for 5 days. Do not use during pregnancy or with high blood pressure.

OTHER REMEDIES:

  • To keep indoor air moist we can use vaporizer or humidifier.
  • To avoid the flu symptoms it is always advised to take in the supplements in autumn since prevention is better than cure.

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