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What To Do Once You Actually Get Sick

by Dr. Jason Barker January 01, 2016

What To Do Once You Actually Get Sick

Now that you're sick, there's a few things to know, but first...

A Brief History of Cold Treatments

Back in the good ‘ol days, whiskey was considered a remedy for colds. Actually, our ancestors recommended whiskey for all types of ailments. (Too bad it’s not like that anymore, eh?) This recommendation essentially replaced the previous century’s standard medical practice of bleeding ‘bad humours’ from the body – illnesses were considered to be the result of bodily invasions by demons or other malevolent forces…thus the old superstition of covering our mouths when we yawn. It was thought if you didn’t do this, one of these evil thingies could easily gain access to your bod. (And waaay back, a 12 th century physician recommended “soup from a fat hen” – yep, chicken soup. Turns out this recommendation is the best of all..but that’s a post for another day.)

Then, if whiskey didn’t do the trick, it was onto morphine. (See? Those really were the good ol days!) Or, a combination of whiskey and morphine, which gave birth to all sorts of patent medicines that were sold much like a lot of the junk that is around today – we haven’t really moved beyond this recipe; today’s cold medicines are no better. They typically contain as much booze as a glass of beer or wine, and a dash or two of some other pain-relieving drugs.

The interesting thing about these ‘medicines’ is that there’s really no proof that they work – in killing cold viruses anyway. 

Cold symptoms are all created by your body – the capillaries in your nose swell to bring more blood there, depositing the troops to fight the virus (congestion), and the white blood cells begin combating the virus in your nose (inflammation). You get a fever because this is your body’s way of making it an inhospitable place for the virus to thrive. And all that mucus, well your nose makes that because it’s basically a nasty trap for all the buggies – it keeps them from getting into your cells and they are easily removed, thus the runny nose and phlegm.

In short, your body creates these symptoms to get you well. Taking meds that stop these symptoms will only confound your body and make it harder to beat the illness.

So, while having a cold may be uncomfortable, all the symptoms are actually a good thing. You will get quicker sooner if you don’t take an over the counter cold medicine. Oh and speaking of no good, ALL cold and flu meds were BANNED for children under six a few years ago…because they actually cause more harm than good in little kids. 

So, what should you do once you get sick?

Cold viruses are spread most effectively through contact – so yes, frequent hand washing is important. Also, don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if you haven’t washed your hands. These areas are the perfect jumping off site for a cold virus. 

Hydrate – dehydrated tissue, especially mucous membranes (lining your mouth, nose, eyes) becomes more porous, allowing easier access for the buggies. 

Gargle – with salt water. Probably one of the most effective ways to kill bugs in your throat. 

Rest – I know, it’s a four-letter word but it’s super important. The time you take now to rest and get over the illness won’t even come close to how much longer you will prolong an illness and feel subpar if you don’t rest NOW and try to ‘tough it out’. A day or two off today, will save you weeks of a nagging cough and fatigue if you keep training through an illness. 

Natural medicines- are great for colds because they actually boost your immune system, and help kill the bugs (viruses or bacteria). Antibiotics do not boost your immune system, and only kill bacteria.; And, guess what?...colds are caused by a virus…so antibiotics aren’t going to do an ounce of good for you. 

We use Acute's a super powerful natural medicine that kicks butt on colds. I keep it with me during the winter months so that as soon as I start feeling ill, I can take it immediately. 

Oh, and last but not least, this information is only meant as health information, not treatment. If you’re really sick, you need to see your doctor, not the Internet.  

Stay healthy!

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker

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