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lordsmurf 08-05-2012 10:14 PM

My Tips for Fighting Colds and Flu

i caught the flu..or a cold or...something. miserable
in all your healthy watch ways...any tricks to combatting it?
achy, fever, sniffles sore throat and cough
^ I got this via PM, but wanted to shared my answer with everybody. :cool:

The biggest way to "combat" colds are to avoid them. While that feels a bit like an "I told you so", it's good knowledge for next time!

Once you have it, you really just stave off symptoms, while your body fights it off. The most you can do is give your body the right fuel -- i.e., your diet while sick.

Best Ways to Provide Adequate Fuel:

Eat. Drink. Do not starve yourself because you feel bad. Do not forgo healthy food because you're unable to prepare it. You need vitamins and calories. Translation: orange juice and chicken soup. Noodle soup. Vegetable soup. Any lean non-meaty soup. No more than 2-3 glasses of the juice, because you don't want to ingest too much sugar. Consider the low-acid juice, too.

Drink lots of water. Lots and lots of water. More than 8 cups per day.

Sleep. Don't waste your body's energy with being awake. You must sleep. Forget work, etc. You'll sleep best starting 30-60 minutes after taking the Claritin D. You won't wake up because you can't breathe, because you have to sneeze, etc.

Best Ways to Fight Symptoms:

Claritin D -- the "D" is important -- uses the best decongestant that currently exists: pseudoephedrine. All that crap building up in your head will be dried up, and the pressure and misery of having a chapped nose will be gone. Get the 24-hour version. The generic Walgreens "Walatin D" is just as good. Be aware that not all generics are. It's not just the chemicals that matter, but the release system. Loratadine, in this case. Just be prepared for your boogers to turn into boulders (picking required?), though it's still better than snotting a Kleenex full of Ghostbusters slime.

NyQuil is a waste of money. Most "cold medications" are crap. You get a low dose of decongestant and NSAIDS. (NSAIDS = Advil, aspirins, etc). Take the pseudoephedrine. If you still feel like crap, take Advil separately for the sinus headaches.

If your throat is sore, drink a can of ice-cold regular Coca-Cola. It helps. Not diet, not a bottle, not warm, not "almost cold", not Pepsi, not Dr. Pepper. It needs to be regular, in a can, near-freezing-cold Coca-Cola. Drink two, if needed. Don't suck down too much in one day, however. Sugar isn't good right now.

Wear socks. Yes, even in bed. Cold feet are your enemy.

Plain cough drops will help give you temporary breathing abilities, after the pseudoephedrine has kicked in to stop production of more junk. Not cherry, mint, whatever -- the plain menthol ones. They're like $1/bag at the drug store. Suck down a whole bag in a day, if you want to.

Best Ways to Avoid Colds

It's as easy as avoiding germs. Don't touch things. Wash your hands frequently. If you wash less than 15 times per day, you're not doing it enough. With soap -- and scrub hands for at least 10+ seconds.

Your kids are germ factories. Wash hands after interactions with them or anything they would normally touch. Yes folks, kids are nasty, regardless of how much you love them. (Trying to purify them is bad for them. So don't try to overclean them -- just overclean yourself.)

It has NOTHING to do with how cold/chilly you are. Germs cause colds, not the cold. The cold, at most, weakens your immune system for existing germs to take foothold.

Take your daily multivitamin. Take extra C as needed.

Consider taking garlic supplements, or cook with garlic powder frequently. I do the latter. I love garlic in my cooked food. And I tend to only eat food that I prep at home. I don't eat out much, and I totally avoid fast food. Garlic helps the immune system.


These are all my tips, from my own experimentation and experiences through the years. (All have been run by doctors, too, FYI.)

I rarely get sick now, because I follow my own advice. :cool:

manthing 08-06-2012 01:47 AM

i agree with your #1 advice - avoidance!

i've been mostly at home for some time and have not caught the usual winter colds/flus. simply avoiding people (especially kids in busses & trains) has meant me being cold/flu free!

if you really have to get out and about, why not wear gloves & face masks in congested areas?
you will cut down the chance of catching something.
at the same time, you will look like a complete weirdo, get starred at, made fun of, possibly get barred from some places etc.
but which is more important to you?

on a different note: i hate shopping trolleys & baskets in supermarkets.

on top of all the bacteria people leave on the handles - including (sorry to say this) faeces - often there is product left behind - bits of food/fruit - which justs rots in the basket/trolley.

probably worst of all - the blood from meat/fish products that leak through the packaging and contaminates the basket/trolley.

then you come along and touch that contaminated area, your fruit & veg might also touch that area etc.

so you have to be extra vigilant about this.
perhaps use gloves when handling baskets/trolleys?
perhaps put all your goceries into those small clear plastic bags - then you have a small layer of protection?

and when you get home, wash & scrubs your hands (and the food?).

yes, follow all this advice and become a OCD freak! [88]
(ocd = obsessive compulsive disorder)

lordsmurf 08-06-2012 12:04 PM

Agreed -- going the grocery store is nasty.

#2 on my nasty list is having to use the pens at the checkout lanes at any store. Yuck. Even those touch pads at ATMs and in stores make me want to wash up ASAP. I often use my knuckles, and try to use my own pens.

I tend to only buy whatever groceries I can hold in my arms. The only time I use a wheeled cart is when I'm buying something nasty that I don't want on my clothes, like the bloody meat or fish. And even then, I do that last. I buy fruits and veggies first, and bag them. The meat comes last. I'll often pick up the store sale ad to use as a glove while handling the meat packages and pushing the cart.

I also don't grab boxes from the front, because that's the one everybody else touched. I elbow it out of the way, and grab one from farther back -- especially when on the cereal aisle, where kids touch too much stuff.

Groceries are also a bit like women -- look, don't touch, unless you're willing to pay for it. :p

Wearing a mask is a bit much to me. But I do wear leather gloves all the time in the winter, even when indoors. I don't want the seasonal junk from Snotty McBoogers who has to touch everything. The gloves get wiped down with alcohol as needed.

Being healthy isn't OCD -- especially when you're uninsured, and can't afford to be sick. (You UK folks fortunately don't have to put up with that BS. Our idiot politicians would rather see people die than provide universal medical care.)

When I walk into a store or restaurant, and see kids all over the place, I tend to just leave and go elsewhere.

Ice cream parlors are the #1 nastiest place I've ever been to -- even worse than run-down bars.
Buffets are second. The idea of sharing serving spoons with unknown numbers of people is absolutely revolting. I'd rather not eat.

manthing 08-07-2012 03:43 AM

"Groceries are also a bit like women -- look, don't touch, unless you're willing to pay for it."

ha ha
very true.

yup, anything that is used/touched by many different people will lead to a build up bacteria.

all the buttons and handles in lifts, busses, trains etc. all filled with bacteria. so, use gloves.

internet cafe - oh boy - all those keyboards & mice - surely are bubonic plague areas? on top of everything else, people eat food and drop tiny bits all over the keyboard - especially into the gaps between the keys. some of this will be pieces of meat and we all know how bacteria breeds on that, don't we? so, use gloves. or avoid altogether.

money is a major bacteria breeding factory. many people will handle those notes and coins and leave nasty things behind. plus money may fall into dirty places, like garbage cans, drains etc and then be circulated.

when i used to work in a fast food joint, the staff who worked with food did not work the tills and so they did not touch money. sure, this was not always observed. but the point is the person handling the money should not touch the food unless they have properly scrubed their hands and/or use gloves.

that's why i like "subway" up to a point. i usually see those that handle the food wear disposable gloves when handling food. make sure the restaurants you visit do the same thing.

so to all you good people at TVP, either use gloves when you handle money or make sure you scrub your hands really, fully clean once you get home.

otherwise, you are just blindly increasing the chance of going down with the cold/flu/something really nasty yourself. this is exspecially true in the cold/flu season and at any time as you become old!

grillgoil43 08-08-2012 10:16 AM

I can see your points...but I also believe that we have to be exposed to a certain amount of bacteria so our bodies can build up a natural immunity to bacteria and diseases.
Maybe it's because I don't live in a heavily populated area, but I don't use all these antibacterial wipes and lotions, etc. I just follow the same common sense cleanliness habits I was taught as a child growing up on a farm...and I VERY RARELY EVER get sick.
But in the end it all amounts to "To each his own." :)

lordsmurf 08-08-2012 10:19 AM


Originally Posted by grillgoil43 (Post 84367)
I can see your points...but I also believe that we have to be exposed to a certain amount of bacteria so our bodies can build up a natural immunity to bacteria and diseases.

This is true. But we're already exposed to quite a bit already, even with clean interactions.


Maybe it's because I don't live in a heavily populated area
That's definitely part of it. ;)


but I don't use all these antibacterial wipes and lotions, etc.
I'm not a fan of those chemical-laced wipes and lotions, either.


I just follow the same common sense cleanliness habits I was taught as a child
Same here: "Go wash up!" :p

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