Like many, you are likely to confuse these two infections (Cold & Flu), and it is not by mistake, differentiating their symptoms is tricky. Both common colds and flu are virus infections that can affect you the moment you are exposed to a virus. Without a host body, the virus dies in between three to seven days. The common mode of colds virus infection is by hand, you touch a surface or object with the virus and extend the same hand to your eyes, nose or mouth.
You can infect others even before you experience any colds and flu symptoms. Once you are infected with common cold, it incubates for about three days after which you will experience flu and symptoms. Cold symptoms include running and stuffy nose, lose of appetite, mild headache, general body weakness and at times a cough.
While you may consider colds and flu infections to be mild, note that they can lead to more serious secondary infections such as pneumonia. Like most people, you may try to use antibiotics as treatment for flu. Most people do this common mistake not knowing that antibiotics do not affect viruses in any way, not even colds and flu symptoms. Even the other appropriate allergies or cold medications do not offer treatment; they only mask cold or flu symptoms. Even after taking the appropriate medications, you remain infectious to others. The only effective treatment for common cold is your body’s immune system. While a strong immune system is a good prevention against colds, a weak system and flu are highly compatible. Note that you can aid or inhibit your body’s immunity by the things you eat, drink or do. Your overall environment can also affect your immunity.
Causes of Frequent Cold & Flu
While it is normal to occasionally have difference cold and flu, frequent cold is not normal and should alert you to take necessary measures to curb the routine. Frequent cold can be because of varied reasons:
1. Polluted Environment
A polluted environment poses a big health challenge. A dirty environment increases the risk of allergies with airborne diseases, colds included. Living in a dirty environment requires that you keep your nasal passage clear or else you will have recurring cold. Your nose is designed in such a way that it is able to filter dust and germs, preventing the same from entering your body. You need to restrict breathing to your nose rather than your mouth.
2. Poor hygiene
You are likely to have recurring cold and flu if your hygiene is poor. In particular, you need to wash your hands to keep them clean at all times. In doing so, the use of soap is vital because soap is capable of killing most germs on your hands.
3. Poor Diet
Your kind of diet plays an important role in determining the level of your body’s immune system. While regularly consuming a poor diet lowers your body’s immune system, a healthy diet with varied fruits and vegetables provides your body with necessary vitamins, minerals and amino acids that build your immune system, making it capable of naturally fighting disease-causing organisms.
4. Lack of sleep
Some vital immune enhancing compounds are only released while you are asleep. Inadequate sleep therefore prevents the release of the compounds, meaning that you will have a weak immune system incapable of fighting any disease-causing organisms.
These are just some of the reasons why you may have recurring cold. While remedies for cold such as the use of lemon juice, drinking of red wine and eating raw garlic are available, the best way to handle cold or flu is through prevention. Preventing colds relies heavily on your immunity, which you should strive to improve.