Jul 13

B-12 Vitamins

B-12 Vitamins

What To Do When You Have A Cold
By Brazos Minshew, TriVita Chief Science Officer

There is just one way to treat a cold, and that is with contempt. Sir William Osler

Ok, so you have read all those articles about prevention, but now you actually have a cold. What do you do now? A quick review of the transmission of trigger viruses and the interaction between viruses and your immune system can open the doors on a strategy to ease the symptoms and shorten the duration of a cold.

Is it a cold or the flu?
A cold is associated with the rhino virus and the flu with influenza virus. The symptoms are not exactly caused by the virus since many of us have the viruses without symptoms.

Instead, the symptoms of a cold or the flu are caused by an imbalance in our immune system in the presence of a trigger virus.

Symptom Cold Flu
Fever Rarely above 100.5 degrees F to 101 degrees F, and then only for a day or so Characteristic, high (102 degrees F to 104 degrees F); lasts three to four days
Headache Generally mild Prominent
General aches, pains Slight Usual; often severe
Fatigue, weakness Quite mild Can last up to two to three weeks
Extreme exhaustion Never Early and prominent
Stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort, cough Mild to moderate, hacking cough Common; can become severe

Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Reduce your exposure
The largest contributor to infection by a trigger virus is unwashed hands. Washing your hands with soap every few hours will reduce the chance for pathogens to gain access to your system. Equally as important as washing your hands is making sure they are completely dry. Then, use the disposable towel to open the door out of the washroom. Many ugly microbes lurk on door handles, usually from people who have not properly washed and dried their hands.

Next, disinfect surfaces that are shared by many people. For instance, the telephone brings you within kissing distance of hundreds or even thousands of people. Who knows what their hygiene habits were? In a typical day we may be exposed to germs from as many as 150 countries or more!

To the extent possible, avoid crowds, and try not to shake hands with people who obviously have a cold or flu. In addition, refrain from rubbing your eyes and nose. Other precautions include getting sufficient sleep, eating enough fruits and vegetables and being especially careful when around children. Why? Because they get between five and eight cold infections a year!

Chronic stress is like slow poison
Current research shows that stress can suppress your immune system, perhaps opening the door to a number of infectious diseases. Stress does not make you sick, says virologist Ronald Glaser. But it does increase your risk of being sick because of what it does to your immune system. There is particularly compelling evidence linking stress to colds and the flu. Although we are continually exposed to such trigger viruses, our immune system normally neutralizes their impact. But when a person is under emotional distress, these defenses can fail.

Your immune system may begin to overreact or not react in time to stop an infection when you are under stress. The source of the stress really does not matter. For instance, time pressure and an injury may seem like entirely different stresses to your mind but they are treated exactly the same way by your body.

Adaptogens build a strong defense against stress. Certain adaptogens such as Eleutherococcus have been proven to shorten the frequency, intensity and duration of trigger viruses that cause colds.

Can vitamins shorten infections?
Vitamin C and Echinacea are favorites for protecting against and even treating rhino virus infections. Russell Jaffe, MD, former director of the National Institutes of Health, recommends a loading dose of Vitamin C: one teaspoon of Vitamin C crystals every 15 minutes until you flush. By this, he means a complete bowel evacuation. After the flush, he recommends a daily serving of Vitamin C (for one month) that is equivalent to 75 percent of the amount it took you to flush.

Echinacea is used in a similar way. Significant medical research from Germany suggests that an hourly dose of Echinacea will reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of a virus infection. Taking a gram of Echinacea every hour for three days may even abort an infection that has already begun. Continue taking Echinacea three times daily for up to two weeks afterward to prevent a relapse.

Insulation and isolation
The best ways to protect against virus infections from colds and flu include:

Building up your system with the 10 Essentials for Health and Wellness
Reducing your exposure to trigger viruses through hand washing and other sanitary procedures

If you become infected, aggressive nutrition can restore balance to your immune system. Adaptogens and traditional remedies such as Vitamin C and Echinacea may shorten the course of an infection and provide quick relief.

Take Control of Your Health

Wash your hands every few hours and dry them thoroughly.
Aggressively apply the 10 Essentials; most especially, get your sleep.
Take a healthy foundation of nutrients:
A multiple vitamin and mineral supplement
An Omega-3 fatty acid supplement
Sublingual Vitamin B-12
Stress-busting adaptogens
Use traditional remedies:
Echinacea hourly for three days, then three times daily for two more weeks
Vitamin C flush, 75 percent of flush amount daily for one month

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