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How Common Is Common Cold?

Your body is spring cleaning and preparing you for the oncoming season

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


Do you often suffer a bout of cold and cough during a change of seasons. And do you think that means you have low immunity? What if I tell you that Colds are survival tactics..

A runny nose, watery eyed miserable cold is an internal cleansing process for the body. Our body is an intelligent being and it constantly strives to achieve a state of homeostasis(ability to maintain equilibrium). It’s first line of defense against unwanted visitors(microbes) is dilution. Diluting substances the body doesn’t need makes them less harmful. A cold may make one feel rotten, but it helps the body get rid of toxins that can threaten it’s survival. As long as one can develop a good cold, our body is still able to fight.  Did you know that people in final stages of cancer never have a cold or a fever due to a suppressed immune system.. 

Every time our immune system fights off an infection on its own without any interference or suppression, it gets stronger. It makes more antibodies specific to that infection and our army, our natural defenses gets bigger, more specific and more effective. Our body should be able to fight off an infection in less than a week and we can get sick as frequently as once a season. If our colds last longer than 1 week or if we are getting sick more frequently than once a season, then there is a problem with our immune system and we need to boost it.

Sometimes one just gets a bit of sniffles or a tickle in the throat but it doesn’t turn into a full blown cold, this is typically our immune system checking the virus and attacking before it becomes a problem. Now this is a sign of a strong immune system.

The intensity and the duration of symptoms in any sickness can give important clues about the status of our immunity. Ideally, infections should bring about intense symptoms but have short duration and resolve completely soon. These intense symptoms could be a sore throat, fever, lot of mucous production and even a strong productive cough. They indicate that the immune system has the power to be mobilized into action and can launch a full attack on the unwanted microbes(most often virus in case of common cold). 

When down with a cold, one may feel fatigued &  lethargic and have body aches. It is advisable to take rest for 1-2 days to let the body do it’s repair work efficiently. It may take 3-5 days for the symptoms to show relief. Some people feel more robust after their immune system has battled an assault like this. This is indicative of a strong immune system that can fight bigger challenges in future , specially considering the rise in “super” bug (antibiotic resistant bacteria). 

The fever that sometimes accompanies a cold and other ailments is another ingenious method of cleaning out the body. Fever kills off intruders. Pathogenic bacteria fare well in a temperature of about 98.6 deg Fahrenheit . Consequently, a controlled fever(upto 104 deg F) can dispatch germs, burn off toxic material and allow the body to resume its natural routine. Both science and culture acknowledge that fever serves a health-restoring purpose. 

In fact, You may be surprised to know that one of the adjunctive  therapies to heal cancer involve inducing fever. Known as hyperthermia, the fever can be induced locally, regionally or on whole body as heat has the ability to destroy cancer cells. 

A flu, however, is caused by a virus different from the one that causes cold and the symptoms are more severe. Lab tests can help detect if it’s a flu. People prone to frequent bouts of flu are advised to take flu shots during a change of season. 

Diet may be the instigator of a constant succession of colds. High protein intake constantly dumps toxins into our system, and our body will tolerate only so much accumulated toxin before its saturation point is reached.  

During cold, root herbs like ginger and turmeric help ease the symptoms. Including a multivitamin with zinc may be helpful. Jaggery helps clean airways to facilitate easy breathing and provides relief from congestion. Warm fluids like soups and broths aid dilution and help get rid of the virus faster. 

So everytime you get a cold, as difficult as it may be through your runny nose and tears, you should be thankful that your body still has enough vitality to defend itself. Your body is spring cleaning and preparing you for the oncoming season.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Mansi Chaudhary

Mansi Chaudhary is a practicing Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Nutrigenomics Expert & a Holistic Cancer Coach. Her integrative approach towards health & Nutrition helps patients learn about Mindful Eating and manage lifestyle diseases, autoimmune conditions as well as manage weight effectively

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