Sadly, there’s no cure for the common cold, but there are a few ways to speed up your recovery and lesson the symptoms associated with a cold.
The cold is an illness caused by a tiny virus. The most common one is the rhinovirus, which is thought to be responsible for at least 50% of colds. Other viruses that can cause colds include coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza and parainfluenza.
Cold remedies that work
Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water with lemon & honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Rest. Your body needs time to recover and heal.
Soothe a sore throat. Try a saltwater gargle to relieve a sore or scratchy throat.
Combat stuffiness. Use saline nasal spray to clear stuffiness and congestion.
Relieve pain. Adults can take paracetamol and ibuprofen to treat aches and pains associated with a heavy cold.
Cold remedies that don’t work
Antibiotics. These attack bacteria, so can’t help with a viral injection such as a cold or flu.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C won’t stop you getting a cold but it can help shorten the symptoms.
Echinacea. Echinacea can be effective if you take it when you notice cold symptoms and continue it for seven to 10 days. Its can help speed up recovery.
Zinc. Zinc lozenges can reduce the length of a cold, take within 24 hours of the first signs and symptoms of a cold.
Dr. Arnous is an experienced GP having completed his training scheme in Spain in 2005. He has been working in Dublin since 2014. Dr. Arnous speaks many languages fluently including English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, French and Italian. Dr. Arnous holds post-graduate degrees in laboratory management, clinical analysis, Anti-Ageing, and Aesthetic Medicine. His special interest areas are Aesthetic Medicine, Dermatology, Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology, and ENT.
Nutritionist diet and exercise advice for keeping fit and healthy over the winter
The biggest risk to our health is poor diet and a lack of exercise. The cold weather can make it very difficult to find the motivation to go to the gym or exercise. Maintaining proper diet and exercise routines is also necessary to ward off illness.
1. Less carbs
We all love comfort food in cold weather. They raise your serotonin levels rise, making your brain think you are happier.
To counter this, eat a high protein breakfast to keep your energy levels up throughout the day, and keep you feeling full.
2. Fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, plant seeds and nuts. They help reduce joint pain and stiffness.
Mushrooms have immune-boosting properties. Stock up on varieties like white button or shitake mushrooms for their anti-biotic properties.
Fibre found in apples, oats and nuts decreases inflammation and boosts your immune system. It also reduces bad cholesterol and helps protect against diabetes.
5. Green and orange vegetables
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, squash, carrots and oranges are all high in vitamins, fibre, iron and good natural sugars.
Onions, garlic, ginger and coriander have been shown to help improve immune function. Turmeric helps reduce inflammation in the body and combat and heart disease, and it a powerful antioxidant.
7. Take Vitamin Supplements
Extra vitamin C during the winter will help your body to battle cold and flu symptoms. Extra vitamin D helps to supplement the lack of light experienced during winter, it helps to absorb other important vitamins like vitamin A, iron and calcium.
8. Herbal teas
Herbal teas like lemon and chamomile can help ease depression and anxiety. They can also help you sleep better. Teas like green and Rooibos are great as antioxidants.