9 Ways To Treat Symptoms Of A Cold

9 Ways To Treat Symptoms Of A Cold

With cold and flu season upon us, we asked healthcare specialist and pharmacist Anshu Kaura for her golden rules on boosting our immune systems and getting rid of symptoms fast. From ditching sugar to the importance of vitamin C, consider this your health-boosting cheat sheet…

Boost Your Vitamin C Levels

Taking a vitamin C supplement may not prevent a cold, but studies show it can reduce the duration of one. Vitamin C does so much more too: it boosts the body all year round, works to protect our cells, supports wound healing and plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin and blood vessels.

Don’t Rely On Antibiotics

People often think the speediest way to get rid of their symptoms is antibiotics. However, as colds are usually caused by a viral infection, not a bacterial one, this really isn’t the case. Antibiotics can actually set you back if used incorrectly, as well as unbalance your system overall. Instead, you should aid your recovery by resting, drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, and upping your healthy eating.

Ditch Sugar Where Possible

If you feel a cold coming on, it’s important to try and avoid sugar because it is damaging to the immune system and suppresses our ability to fight infection. Sugar also makes the body acidic, and an overly acidic body provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and disease.

Take Echinacea For A Natural Approach

Studies show that taking echinacea may prevent or shorten a cold. While you should always consult your GP before taking it (it can interfere with other medicines), it’s a great, natural remedy that defends your body against germs. Research also shows it increases our number of white blood cells, which in turn fights off infection and can speed up recovery time.

Never Underestimate Steaming

It’s often taken as a myth, but inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water really helps to ease symptoms. Put simply, it decongests your airways by softening and loosening the build-up of mucus in your system. You can also add some menthol crystals or eucalyptus oil to the water, as they have antiviral and antimicrobial properties, which can be used to treat the symptoms of a cold.

Leave Exercising Until You’re Better

If you’re generally feeling like you can exercise, it’s not a crime to do so. However, it’s important to try and rest as much as possible – because nothing else aids recovery quite like rest. Those suffering with a fever or high temperature and chills should leave their running shoes at the door as they’ll only end up feeling worse. On top of that, those who exercise while ill often don’t stay as hydrated, which intensifies and worsens symptoms.

Invest In Good Decongestants

Decongestant sprays or tablets will help to relieve a blocked nose and stuffy sinuses. However, it’s worth speaking to your local pharmacist first on which one will suit you best. Lloyds Pharmacy Cold Relief Capsules are a brilliant remedy. Designed to help relieve the sinus congestion associated with colds, they work to provide relief from aches, pains and fever. The capsules also contain a decongestant to help relive both catarrh and nasal congestion.

Try Sucking Ice Cubes To Rid A Sore Throat

Sore throats often clear up quite quickly, but there are some simple remedies you can try to reduce inflammation. Try drinking warm liquids like herbal tea and soup, but also suck on ice cubes. This helps to soothe and can also loosen congestion in your chest and nasal passages to help with better breathing. Avoid alcohol and caffeine though – these can leave you dehydrated and interfere with sleep and, in turn, your recovery.

Treat Flu Differently To A Regular Cold

Symptoms of cold and flu can be similar but, in general, the latter is worse and symptoms come on fast rather than gradually. Due to the vast number of symptoms that flu can present, it’s likely you’ll be recommended an all-in-one medicine that incorporates an array of ingredients to speed up recovery. When taking these remedies, it’s important to be cautious of the ingredients each product contains, so you don’t go over your recommended dose. For example, many all-in-one medicines contain ibuprofen or paracetamol, so you shouldn’t need to take these separately.

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