It’s that time of the year when we see an increased incidence of colds and flu (caused by a completely different virus) and in some people, even allergies – all three of which have similar symptoms, yet need to be told apart because they require a different approach to treatment.
How do you tell them apart – you judge a “bug by its cougher”
Tips to identify your sniffles:
Flu comes on suddenly and hits you hard, whereas a cold has a gradual start – you know you’re coming down with something.
Allergies flair up immediately when exposed to the allergen (in Dr Mol's case cats)
Time of year:
Allergies are seasonal: grass pollens in SA from August to April.
Colds: Anytime (200 viruses) - see more colds in the winter time because we're all huddling together for warmth on the inside and spending more time in closer proximity – touching hands, coughing and sneezing on one another
Colds: 10-14 days
Flu: Man down for 2-4 days (tiredness for weeks afterward)
Allergies: for as long as you’re exposed (dustmite for Josh – 365 days a year)
Aches & Pains
Flu: Your muscles and joints will probably ache, you will feel chilled and could have a severe headache
Cold: Yellowish, cloudy white – even green … infection – caused by billions of white cells that flood to the area.
Allergy: clear – accurate in 90% of cases
Cold: Vit C – research shows that it reduces duration of colds but not the severity – and was partculalr effective amongst athletes in training. Be warned though that anything more than 2g a day could cause kidney stones or diarrhea.
Colds: Good hygiene – later
Flu: CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses
WARNING: Antibiotics: kill Bacteria, but have no effect on viruses – not indicated in any of these conditions unless your doctor suspects a secondary infection … don’t ask for it – you’re creating resistant superbugs if you take anti-biotics unnecessarily – and one of these days a bug is going to appear that cannot be treated by any of our anti-biotics … then we’re in trouble!
Other inserts - 03 May 2012
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Vitamin C and you immunity
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