Health Advice For U


Management of common cold

Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables for vitamin C. Consume garlic and chillies, which may act as a natural decongestant. Consume plenty of fluids to loosen phlegm.


People catch cold at an average of three times in a year. Further, people are also susceptible to flu in the winter months. What makes flu worse is the presence of fever as well as muscle and joint aches.


Colds and flu are highly contagious respiratory infections that are caused by viruses. More than 200 cold viruses have been identified. Unfortunately, developing immunity to one type of cold virus does not protect you from the others.


There are fewer flu viruses, but they undergo frequent mutations. They change their protein structure a little each year as they swap around the globe. This is why new flu vaccines are produced yearly that protect against the prevailing strains of the virus.


Colds and flu are spread when virus-laden fluid droplets are released into the air by coughing or sneezing or transferred to surfaces by touch. The virus is activated at temperatures below 98.6 F, the normal temperature for humans. Hence, if you sit in a draft, your temperature may drop just enough to activate the cold viruses that have been biding their time in your nasal passage.


When you breathe overly dry air (especially in aeroplanes and artificially ventilated office buildings), your nasal passages may form tiny cracks that provide an entryway for viruses. The best defence is plenty of fluids to rehydrate the tender membranes.


You are more vulnerable to colds and flu when your immune system is depressed. Preventive steps include avoiding alcohol, getting plenty of rest, and reducing stress levels.



While there is no cure for colds or flu, eating properly may help to prevent them, shorten their duration, or make symptoms less bad.


Vitamin C is known to have a slight antihistaminic effect, so drinking more citrus juice or taking a supplement may help reduce nasal symptoms.


One of the bad effects of high fever is dehydration. During a cold or flu, drink a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of fluids a day in order to replenish lost fluids, keep mucous membranes moist, and loosen phlegm. Drink water, tea, and broth.


Abstain from alcohol, which dilates small blood vessels and makes the sinuses feel stuffed up. Alcohol may produce adverse effects when taken with may drugs and reduces the body’s ability to fight infection.


Take chicken soup as it is not only easy to digest, but it also contains cystine, a compound that helps thin the mucus, relieving congestion.


Take spicy foods. Hot peppers, or chillies contain capsaicin, a substance that can help break up nasal and sinus congestion. Garlic, turmeric, and other hot spices have a similar effect.


It is important to ensure that your diet contains zinc-rich foods since zinc is important to a healthy immune system. Food sources of zinc include seafood (especially oysters), red meat and poultry, yogurt and other dairy products, wheat germ, wheat bran and whole grains. But take care not to take zinc supplements over long periods of time as it may actually weaken the immune system.


When to see a doctor

Ø  Cough that produces green, yellow or bloody phlegm.

Ø  A severe headache or pain in the face, jaw or ear.

Ø  Trouble swallowing or breathing.

Ø  A fever over 100 F that lasts more than 48 hours.