Cold: dos and don’ts for infections

Autumn is often the time for colds: rainy days, constant weather changes and colder temperatures encourage typical cold symptoms such as a  sore throat , runny nose, cough, headache and body aches. The problems often only appear individually and easily, with increasing severity of the cold, combined symptoms and severe exhaustion and tiredness follow. This is what you should do when you have a cold and you should avoid it. These dos and don’ts can support a quick healing process.

Common cold – causes and symptoms

Viruses are usually responsible for colds, which particularly affect the upper respiratory tract. Those affected suffer from acute inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Typical cold symptoms are:

  • Itchy throat and a dry throat
  • difficulty swallowing and pain
  • difficulty breathing 
  • impaired sense of smell 
  • hoarse  and broken voice

In addition, those affected are often listless and tired and tend to have headaches and  body aches . In order not to procrastinate the cold and to prevent an infection of the lower respiratory tract, you should consider a few aspects. If the cold lasts for several days and gets worse, you should consult a doctor.

Thu: Rest and lots of sleep

An old saying goes: “Sleep is the best medicine”. When infected, the body is weak and takes a long time to recover. Sleep supports the  immune system  and enables it to work better and more effectively.

Anyone suffering from cold symptoms should find their way to the couch or bed and rest and sleep to get fit again faster.

Don’t: Sport and physical exertion

Anyone who suffers from a sore throat or a cold should refrain from sport and physical exertion. Sporting activity puts additional strain on the body and can slow down regeneration or make the cold even worse.

People with a viral infection or a cold expose themselves to an increased risk of  heart muscle inflammation  (myocarditis) through physical exertion. Viruses attack the heart and can lead to inflammation of the heart muscle. The result: dangerous complications and even death.

Do: Use home remedies for a cold

If you do not want to take medication immediately, you can use simple home remedies, especially at the beginning of a cold. The following tips can help with this:

  • Inhaling  steam from chamomile tea or salt water
  • Wadenwickel
  • onion juice
  • elderberry juice
  • Fenchelhonig

Home remedies can relieve cold symptoms, loosen mucus and support restful sleep.

Don’t: drink alcohol

Like sport, alcohol is an additional burden on the body and can have a negative effect on the immune system. This can slow down the healing process and potentially make the cold worse.

Warm beer as a home remedy for colds is still popular in many people’s minds. If you don’t want to do without the warm beer, you should  use non-alcoholic beer  . The natural bitter substances and essential oils in hops can promote healthy and restful sleep.

Thu: Drink enough

Many people drink more in summer than in autumn and winter. But especially during a cold wave, sufficient fluids can promote the body and especially the immune system. In addition to water,  tea , lemon water or warm soups are particularly suitable for maintaining the fluid balance.

Don’t: Sauna or bathing

Sauna sessions and warm baths generally support the immune system. However, the warm temperatures put additional strain on the cardiovascular system when you have a cold, which can lead to  circulatory  problems. This negatively affects the already weakened body.

Do: Cold or corona infection? A PCR test creates certainty

Cold symptoms are difficult to distinguish from a corona infection. As the Delta variant spreads and the corona signs change, it becomes more complicated to differentiate the diseases from one another. Even vaccinated people can become infected with  SARS-CoV-2  and pass the virus on to others, although the viral load can be lower than in unvaccinated people.

Anyone who feels cold symptoms should limit contact with other people and carry out a PCR test. With a low viral load, rapid antigen tests and self-tests can also be negative in the case of a corona infection, so a PCR test is recommended in case of doubt.



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