You Have a Cold – What Should You Do?

Understanding how your body responds to invading organisms can be a huge advantage in eradicating a viral infection and even in preventing a more serious illness that may follow.

The typical response is where you develop a runny nose, watery eyes and maybe even looser stools and vomiting. The goal at this stage is to help the virus to move more quickly out of your body. You may also develop chills as your body tries to increase it’s baseline temperature (fever), this happens in order destroy the virus with heat and to encourage the development and circulation of white blood cells.

You must not take anything during this stage to dry up the mucous secretions or bring down your fever. To do so would be to encourage the virus to continue to thrive and thereby prolong and/or worsen your infection. At this point in your illness, you should rest, keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and take herbs that support the development of the white blood cells. Any of the Echinacea’s available on the market are a good choice. A good Chinese preparation is GanMaoLing to serve a similar purpose, vitamin C and zinc will also be of benefit.

When your body has attained it’s new base line body temperature, it will stay there for several hours to several days. When the fever has accomplished it’s goal, it will start to come down of it’s own accord.

At this point, you will start to feel hot and sweaty and you will be less inclined to climb under the covers. It is now safe for you to try and decrease your fever. Cooling baths, and other fever reducing products may be of benefit.

Understanding this process makes it easier to comprehend why the use of fever lowering medications during the early stages of an illness may not be the best medicine. In fact, trying to stop your natural immune reactions will, overtime, do more harm than good. If you are unable to completely destroy the virus, it will remain dormant in your body and slowly deplete your overall health. This is the suggested cause of diseases such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue. Often in patients suffering from these illnesses they will be able to pinpoint a time in their lives when they were chronically sick with one “flu-bug” or another. If you have progressed to any of these illnesses, it is wise to consult with a Naturopathic Physician in order to overcome the latent infection and re-reinforce your natural immunity.