How to Fight a Cold in an Unconventional Way

How to Fight a Cold

You probably want to do everything you can to stay healthy, and that can sometimes be a challenge during flu season. Of course, when those dreaded cold symptoms appear, there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies available that promise to clear up congestion and soothe a sore throat. However, while convenient, many of these medications can have side effects. Instead of fighting to stay alert after taking a “non-drowsy” cold medicine or struggling to down a foul-tasting cough syrup, you might try managing your discomfort in a more natural — and less conventional — way.

Here are some things you can do to feel better not only when a cold strikes, but on “healthy” days as well:

  • Manage your stress level — Some people brag about their “crazy busy” lifestyles as if a hectic existence were some sort of badge of achievement. But, chronic stress can take a very real and significant toll on your health and wellness, affecting everything from your metabolism to your immune system. Effective stress relievers can vary from person to person. To discover yours, think about what makes you feel relaxed — whether it’s reading a good book, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, talking with your family, writing in a journal or taking a warm bath — and make time to engage in these activities regularly. This can give your body a much-needed break and prepare your immune system to fight off the next cold that comes your way.
  • Sleep (and then sleep some more) — Studies suggest that if you don’t get the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye every night, your chance of getting sick can increase almost threefold. The reason is that, when you rest, your body has time to rejuvenate and repair itself. To help prevent illness, always make sleep a priority, and if you’re already feeling under the weather, sleep even longer than the recommended amount to help your body recover faster.
  • Get sufficient vitamin D — Vitamin D is important for strengthening the immune system. This vital nutrient is also replete with antimicrobials, which target and destroy viruses and bacteria that can cause colds and flu. To help keep sickness at bay, or to speed your recovery if you are already sick, try to get 10-15 minutes of sun exposure every day. Or, if that is not possible, talk with a physician about taking a vitamin D supplement.
  • Eliminate table sugar from your diet — If you enjoy eating sweets, this can be a tough one, but it can be done gradually. In addition to contributing to the development of several serious health issues, sugar can compromise your body’s immune response by impairing the ability of infection-fighting white-blood cells to engulf cold-causing bacteria. This effect can last up to several hours. Note that the consumption of natural sugars, like those occurring in fruit, is fine and even encouraged because the body processes these sugars differently.

If you would like to receive medical treatment for cold or flu symptoms, you can see a doctor right away at South Tampa Immediate Care. No appointments are necessary at our walk-in clinic, so you can simply stop in to receive an accurate diagnosis, prompt treatment, and peace of mind.