We are at that time of year where the weather changes so frequently that it is not uncommon to come down with a spring cold. Symptoms that can occur include sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, sore throat, cough, low-grade fever, headache, and malaise. Usually, these symptoms peak on day three or four and begin their resolution by day seven. A spring cold can often be made worse as the weather fluctuates. People are more active and the spring and summer, which can lead to stress and fatigue, especially in your immune system. Transferring from hot to cold and back again, or into air conditioning and back out can also have an effect on your health. Dehydration can also occur, making you more susceptible to catching a cold. While spring colds typically share the same symptoms as winter ones, having to deal with cold symptoms when the sun is shining seems that much more annoying. We've compiled some tips and tricks to help you banish that sniffle and get back out there.
Allergies vs. ColdFirst, it can be important to determine if you have a cold, or if in fact you have allergies. Spring, while beautiful, means that there is a lot of loose pollen in the air, as well as other irritants that can trigger allergies. While allergies and colds share many symptoms, treating one if you have the other will be ineffective and frustrating.
Spring Cold Tips and TricksIt is important to get plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, but stick to water and avoid beverages that will dehydrate you further (soda, coffee, alcohol). Rest, as always, helps the body in a multitude of ways. Resting during the early stages of a cold will help increase the body's immune response, and pull you back that much quicker. Eating, and the types of food you eat, will have an impact on feeling better immediately. Try to avoid stressor foods like caffeine, sugar, processed foods, and dairy products. Dairy products in particular cause their own version of congestion, which will only add to feeling more plugged up than you were before. Some people add herbs and supplements into their diet to help protect against the sniffles. Increasing your zinc levels with zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold can help to ward it off. Echinacea is known to help boost the immune system, and can help reduce the severity of your cold.
Some food products that people add in to their diet to potentially help a cold include:
- Ginger - helps to kill off bacteria and calm upset stomachs
- Honey (raw is better) - helps coat sore throats and has immune-boosting properties
- Spicy things - helps to soothe sore throats and clear congestions
- Lemon and citrus - help to boost your immune system and kill off bacteria