You start to feel achy, tired. Your nose clogs up, and your throat gets scratchy. When you feel a cold coming on, it can be one of the worst feelings in the world! Here are some ways to tell if you have the flu or a cold, as well as a couple of ways to help you kick that cold (and hopefully stay healthy for the rest of cold and flu season).
While they might have similar symptoms, the cold virus and the flu virus are different. The only way to tell for sure whether you have a cold or the flu is the speed at which you seem to get sick. If you get sick out of the blue, it’s more than likely the flu. If you start to feel tired, have a stuffy throat or a runny nose, and generally begin to taper into the sickness, you’ve most likely got a cold. Another way to tell is with some of the symptoms. If you get chills, a fever, a cough, or a headache, you more than likely have the flu. On the other hand, if you have more symptoms of the stuffy nose, sore throat, or sore throat variety, you probably have a cold.
Ways to Treat a Cold
Treating a cold is generally much more comfortable than managing the flu. Although there isn’t medication you can take for a cold, you’re more likely to kick it on your own, without help. If you want to try some medication, DayQuil and NyQuil are both great options. Some non-medication remedies you can try including zinc supplements, ginger, and vitamin C. The best remedies, though, are to sleep and stay hydrated. Eating chicken noodle soup, staying hydrated and keeping your electrolytes in check, and sleeping all day is the way to go. Stocking up on chicken soup, Gatorade, and water is the best way to flush the cold out of your system.
Cold Shopping List
As mentioned above, DayQuil and NyQuil are great additions to your cold survival kit. Gatorade, chicken noodle soup, and water bottles are also great things to keep stocked if you’ve got a cold. Tissues, Vaseline, and nose spray are also essentials if you’ve got a cold. While you’re out shopping, you might also want to include a movie or two to watch when you’re cooped up in bed. If you’re going to go the home remedy route, some zinc and ginger also might help dispel your cold that much faster.
The best way to avoid colds in the future is to avoid contact with sick people. This means cleaning your doorknobs, light switches, and anything that multiple people touch. Keeping hand sanitizer on you always is the least you can do to keep your hands clean as often as possible. Another great tip to protect yourself is to keep your hands away from your face. Eyes, mouths, and noses are excellent vectors for germs and some of the easiest ways to get sick.
Getting lots of sleep and eating a healthy diet is a great way to protect yourself from a myriad of diseases, of which colds are just one of them. Working out, staying as stress-free as possible, and avoiding drugs are all also great ways to stay healthy and prevent a cold. Avoiding cloth purses, which harbor incredible amounts of germs during the winter months, can also help prevent a cold.