Cold season is traditionally late fall to early spring. Here in the high desert, cold and flu season is complicated by our allergy season which happens in the fall and in the spring.
Also, as we travel we are exposed to colds and flu.
What is a cold?
Colds are viral infections that generally begin in the throat, travel to the sinuses and then into your lungs. You may feel awful, congested, with a cough and a runny nose. Colds generally last 10 to 14 days .
You can have a bacterial infection, such as strep, that is usually in the throat, the sinus or the ears. It is generally more painful, creates more swelling and increases your temperature over 101.F.
The only way I can tell if the infection is viral or bacterial is to examine you in my office. The most accurate way to differentiate between virus and bacteria is a culture. However it is possible for a practitioner to make an educated guess based on how your throat and ears look, how your lungs sound, and if you have a temperature and/or swollen glands.
What is Flu?
Flu or Influenza is a viral infection that affects your muscles, respiratory system and/or your intestinal tract. The main symptoms are muscle pain and low grade fever. If it effects the GI tract, you will also experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Flu can be much more intense than colds and generally does not last as long.
Symptoms you experience, such as body pain and/or congestion are caused by your body’s response to the infection. Resting and sleeping is an important defense. While awake coughing and blowing your nose is actually helpful and necessary. You are the best judge of how much you can support your body’s natural response and at what point the symptoms are worsening and require professional help.
What are good treatments for colds and or flu?
- IV Vitamin Therapy:
This is the best treatment for colds and flu. It will stop the flu with in 24 hours in most people. Colds take two treatments 3 to 4 days apart and it will stop the cold within 5 days.The intravenous therapy is called Myers Formula and is a combination of Vitamin C, B complex, B12,B5, B6, Calcium and Magnesium. The fluid is slowly injected into your vein and is not a painful procedure. For an appointment contact us.
- Homeopathic cold and flu remedies:
Can be very effective if:
- You begin at the first onset of your symptoms.
- You are responsive to homeopathics.
- You have used them with good results for this or other health problems.
- Wellness Formula by Source Natural
This is my favorite treatment for colds or flu. This herbal combination has a lot of garlic so you need to be able to tolerate it. Wellness Formula comes in tablets, capsules, tincture and a fizzy tablet. In my experience the tablets work best. At the first sign of a cold or flu, take three tablets every three hours. This seems like a lot and it is what works.
- I use three tablets before I travel. If my flight is longer than eight hours, I repeat the tablets to prevent getting sick.
- I take three tablets three times a day as a preventative if I am exposed to anyone with a cold or flu.
Wellness Formula should not be used daily as a way to boost the immune system. It is less effective when you get sick and can over stimulate your immune response contributing to auto-immune diseases.
These are mostly over the counter. They can be very helpful with the congestion associated with a cold. However, in the high desert I find that decongestants dry out our mucus membranes and can make symptoms worse or delay healing. I use a Chinese herbal decongestant called Blue Earth Dragon that works well.
Musinex is the brand name and is sold over the counter. It breaks up mucous and makes it easier for your body to get it out. This helps with sinus and lung congestion that comes with a cold or flu.
Benedryl, which has a sedative effect, and non-sedating antihistamines such as Allegra, Claritin and Zyrtec can be helpful in decreasing the symptoms of a cold or flu.
There are many other herbal and homeopathic solutions and remedies for colds and flu. My clients have their own preferences. Try different things and trust yourself when you discover what works for you. Here in Santa Fe, Herbs Etc., Artemisia Herb and Dragon Herbs offer guidance with different approaches untill you find what works best.
WESTERN MEDICINE HAS FOUND THAT ASPIRIN TAKEN WITH VIRAL INFECTIONS CAN CAUSE NERVE DAMAGE.
It is important not to use antibiotics for a viral infection because it does nothing but disturb the gastrointestinal bacteria that you need. Antibiotics are for bacteria. Antiviral agents are for viral infections and anti-fungal agents are for fungal and yeast infections. We have to use the appropriate agent that is effective against what is causing your symptoms. Many people believe that antibiotics help with a cold. Often people wait to see a practitioner for a week or 10 days, just as the cold is ending on its own. Antibiotics have an anti-inflammatory effect. Overuse of antibiotics contributes to the development of bacterial strains that are resistant to the antibiotics.
All colds and flu symptoms are caused by an allergic reaction in your body to try and kill the infecting agent. This reaction causes inflammation and is helped by using antihistamines.
Want help? Contact us for an appointment