Dr. Erika Schwartz is a leading national expert in wellness, disease prevention, and bioidentical hormone therapies. Dr. Schwartz has written four best-selling books, testified before Congress, hosted her own PBS special on bioidentical hormones, and is a frequent guest on network TV shows.

Tags: cold or fall allergies | differences between colds and fall allergies | treating cold | treating allergies | Dr. Erika Schwartz | cold symptoms | allergy symptoms

Cold or Fall Allergies?

Friday, 02 Nov 2012 07:30 AM


Allergy symptoms are similar to those of the common cold: runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing, sore throat, coughing, and nasal congestion. Like a cold, often only one or two of these symptoms appear, making it even more difficult to figure out what you are suffering from.

And at this time of year, whenever you get a sore throat or feel a little bit under the weather, the media hype can make you think that you have the swine flu. In fact, most people don’t have the swine flu, but rather suffer with either the common cold or fall allergies, or a combination of the two.

To best protect yourself it is important to understand how to differentiate between colds and allergies and treat them without delay.

Keep in mind the main difference is that the common cold lasts about one week while seasonal allergies linger for several weeks to months. (This time of year, ragweed pollen and mold spores fill the air, leaving millions of Americans suffering from fall allergies.) What’s more, most allergy symptoms are not associated with muscle aches, pains, and fever, while colds can be without being diagnosed as flu.

Allergies

If you think your symptoms are due to fall allergies, here are several tips to keep them at bay:

• Keep your windows closed and use air conditioning.
• Don’t mow your lawn or rake the leaves in the yard.
• Keep outdoor activity to a minimum, especially during morning hours when allergens are at their peak.
• Take a shower after spending time outside.
• Drink lots of water and green tea.
• Exercise regularly.
• Avoid food allergens.
• See an allergist to determine what you are most allergic to and follow recommendations to avoid allergy-causing foods.
• Change detergents and soaps if allergies commence or are worsened by introduction of new products.
• Do not leave clothes you wore outside in the closets or lying around your home. Shake them out outdoors.
• Make sure ventilation in your home is adequate.
• Eliminate dust from your home. Keep it clean with natural cleaning products.
• Change air conditioning and heating filters at least twice a year.


Should your allergies continue to be a nuisance, you can try using a mild decongestant or Benadryl at night. But be aware that decongestants decrease your immune system’s ability to fight infections. Your body actually does get rid of allergens by giving you a runny nose and runny eyes. Stopping that reaction stops your body from fighting the allergen.

Also, stay away from decongestant nasal sprays as they can often aggravate your other symptoms, leaving you feeling worse and even increasing the chance of respiratory infections.

And don’t forget fall allergy season ends with the first frost or by the end of November or early December (depending on where you live).

Colds

A cold is usually associated with sore throat, feeling sick, runny nose, headaches, muscle aches, and even a low-grade fever. If you think your symptoms are caused by a cold, here are some tips that can help you feel better:

• Start taking Lactoferrin 3 capsules twice a day for five days at the first sign of the cold. Lactoferrin is a natural immune booster that supports and enhances your body’s own immune function. (For more information go to my website.)
• Take Emergen-C. Mix one packet in a glass of water and drink five times a day for the first three days of the cold. (You can buy Emergen-C at the drugstore, gas station, deli, etc.)
• Take 5,000 to 10,000 mg of vitamin C a day for five days.
• If you have a sore throat, take a tip of a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper, mix it with a tablespoon of water, and drink it fast.
• Take a tip of a teaspoonful of powdered ginger, mix it with a tablespoon of water, and swallow it in one gulp.
• Soak your feet in hot water for 15 minutes the first evening you feel crummy. Put on a pair of socks and go to bed early. Do not watch TV.
• Increase your intake of protein (chicken soup, detoxification powder, tofu).
• Drink five cups of green tea or throat-soothing teas.
• Have four glasses of room-temperature water. (Avoid iced drinks.)
• Spend 10 minutes in the shower in the morning and breathe in that great healing steam!
• Stay away from junk food, alcohol, soda, and caffeine. They will only delay your body’s healing powers.
• Stay home from work or school so you do not infect your colleagues.
• Unless you have a fever, do not take medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There is no such thing as medication without side effects.

Give your body a chance to heal; it usually does a good job with minimal support from those of us in the healthcare system.











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Learn the difference between the common cold and fall allergies and how to treat each to feel better faster.
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Friday, 02 Nov 2012 07:30 AM
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