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Coughs and Cold
We all succumb to a cold and/or cough a few times a year. In fact, each year, Americans suffer through one billion colds, says the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, MD. Children catch up to 10 colds a year, while adults average up to four. Can you imagine the total cost spent on clinical visits due to seasonal cold and flu? An average of $10.4 billion! And, there is nothing we can do about it. Or, is there?
The runny nose, fever, sore throat, etc are all familiar (and dreaded) symptoms of the common cold, an ailment where doctors and pharmaceutical companies have still not made a miracle cure discovery. In fact, the over-the-counter drugs available only battle the symptoms, and not the cause. The fact of the matter is that little can actually be done for a cold or flu virus once it sets in, except to ride them out.
The best way to fight a cold is just to prevent it from overtaking the body in the first place. There are ways to prevent the flu and colds, including washing hands frequently, taking vitamins and avoiding people who have them. But perhaps the most important and easiest form of prevention is of the common cold is sometimes also the most overlooked: sufficient fluid replacement. Fluids flush out harmful impurities and toxins in our bodies, and aid in the production of mucus. Since the body uses even more fluid than usual when fighting off a cold or the flu, the body can be left severely dehydrated without it. Dehydration , among many things, can result in high fever. This is why extra water should be ingested when suffering these symptoms. In fact, the lack of water can make the cold and/or cough worse.
Water is obviously the fluid of choice, but juice, tea and soup broth are also acceptable. Water in other forms can be of help too. Hot beverages can be soothing to sore throat and can even help with decongestion. Also recommended is gargling salt water, and inhaling moist airpossibly through a humidifier.