Is It a Virus or a Bacteria?
When we feel ourselves coming down with a cold these days, the most important information we need to know is whether it is a Viral invasion or Bacterial. The treatment for both is similar in the beginning stages, but quite different if the illness advances.
Most Important - Antibiotics Do NOTHING to a Virus
As a matter of fact....they can even weaken your immune system and hinder its fight against the viral invader.
Second - Bacterial Colds are Much More Rare
In this day and age where we have so many antibacterial soaps and products, true bacterial invasions are seldom and the cause of most common colds.
Virus symptoms include:
Headache --with fever over 100 usually
Scratchy Throat or Sore
General Fatigue or Malaise
Constipation or Loose Stool
Bacteria symptoms include:
Very Painful Throat
Redness of Back of Throat
Heavy Discharge or Drainage from the Sinus
Phlegm that is dark or smells bad
Any symptom that is wet, really red or smelly!
Now remember though, a Virus, if left untreated can turn bacterial, complicating and deepening the illness.
So here are your practical tips for the season:
Keep your immune system strong which means - get good sleep
Eat well - eating small meals and often is best
Drink two to four quarts of water per day
Take a good high potency multivitamin daily
Don’t work too much or over extend yourself in work or play
Wash your hand regularly as most of these germs enter through the eyes, nose and mouth
Here at the clinic, at season changes we prescribe one bottle of Jade Windscreen (Yu Ping Feng San) that boost the immune system and strengthens the respiratory function. The western herb equivalent would be Echinacea. Remember though, if you see Echinacea that comes with goldenseal added, it is really only for bacterial infections. Goldenseal has a strong antibiotic effect and should not be taken internally for more than 10 days.
If you DO need to take antibiotics, always take the full course as prescribed and afterwards either up your dosage of Vitamin C; add a probiotic for a few days; or eat a natural yogurt. This simple steps will help to re-establish a healthy gut and immune system.