Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do You Need to See a Doctor for a Cold?

It's 'cold season'. At least that's what 'they' tell us on TV. But is there really a 'cold season'? And do you need medical attention if you catch one?

Dr Leonard Coldwell says more than 300 different viruses can cause colds, so each time you have a cold it is caused by a distinct virus. It’s important to realize that there are currently NO drugs available that can kill these cold-producing viruses.

There are, however, a number of ways to ensure you won’t catch a cold. One of the most important is to make sure you optimize your vitamin D levels year-round. Our main source of vitamin D comes from the sun. As we receive less sun exposure in the fall and winter months, we may become more susceptible to viruses. This is the time to optimize your immune system so it can get you through the season unscathed. Consume seasonal (locally grown when possible) organic produce, antibiotic/hormone-free meats/poultry and supplements when needed. We like supplemental products from Herbalist & Alchemist and New Chapter (shop online). And there's something to be said for homemade (from scratch) chicken soup! It's easy to make, too.

Be aware that antibiotics have no effect on viruses, and are therefore useless when you have a cold, even if it’s severe. Not only that, but whenever you use an antibiotic, you’re increasing your susceptibility to developing infections with resistance to that antibiotic — and you can become the carrier of this resistant bug, and spread it to others.

The only types of infections that respond to antibiotics are bacterial infections, including sinus, ear and lung infections (bronchitis and pneumonia).

The following symptoms are signs you may be suffering from a bacterial infection rather than a cold virus, at which point you may want to contact your doctor:

• Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius)

• Ear pain

• Pain around your eyes, especially with a green nasal discharge

• Shortness of breath or a persistent uncontrollable cough

• Persistently coughing up green and yellow sputum

Generally speaking, however, if you have a cold, medical care is not necessary.

Be well.


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