9 Things You Should Know about Colds and Flu ...

There are so many myths and old wives tales about colds and flu so isn’t it about time we learned the truth? What’s the lowdown on these dreaded little plagues of the winter season? What should all health conscious women know about colds and flu?

1. Antibiotics Will Not Be Effective

When you are stuffed up and feeling sorry for yourself with a cold or flu then you should remember that antibiotics will not work. Save yourself a trip to the docs as they will not prescribe you with the medicine due to the fact that common cold and flu symptoms usually clear up on their own in just a few days without treatment. Instead choose over the counter meds such as decongestants and painkillers. Professor John Oxford, a virologist from Queen Mary, University of London says if you need relief, seek a combination product which contains a painkiller and decongestant to relieve the symptoms

2. Don’t Starve a Fever

Yes we’ve all heard the saying, “feed a cold, starve a fever” however it is never going to be a good idea to starve yourself. While you are unwell, continue to focus on eating a balanced and healthy diet, with a focus on fruit and vegetables. Also, make sure that you drink plenty of water and fluids to avoid dehydration.

3. You Can Still Kiss <3

Good news! You can still kiss your partner if they have a cold or if you do. It is actually really difficult for the virus from saliva as the mucus holding the illness travels through the respiratory system. If you or your partner has a seriously bad cough then you might find that some of the mucus has made its way into the saliva, otherwise you won’t catch a cold by kissing.

4. Vitamin C Won’t Prevent the Flu

It is important to ensure that you eat lots of fruit and vegetables as part of a balanced diet, however chowing down hundreds of oranges and guzzling liters of orange juice isn’t going to protect you from the illness. In a study of 30 trials with 11 thousand people, it was proven to have very little effect.

5. Being Cold Doesn’t Give You a Cold

This is one of the things you should know about colds and flu. Being cold giving you a cold is a myth. Going out in the winter without a coat and spending your afternoon shivering is going to make you no more likely to catch a cold than if you were warm and cozy. You might end up with backache from all the shivering but you won’t be guaranteed to get a cold. If you don’t breathe in any air that has cold germs in, you won’t get a cold.

6. Wet Hair Doesn’t Give You a Cold

My mum used to always tell me not to go out with wet hair because I’d catch a cold. You catch cold from other people coughing and sneezing and sharing their germs with you. You don’t get it because you had no time to blow dry your hair before work.

7. You Can Still Hit the Gym

Now, it might be the last thing you feel like doing, however you can still exercise if you are feeling a little sniffley. Listen to your body though, but sometimes lazing about can actually make you feel worse. If you feel well enough for a swim or a workout at the gym then go. Just make sure that you wipe down the machines afterwards to prevent spreading your illness. Remember, even though you go to the gym to stay healthy, it is actually a very “germy” place so a few of yours will only add to the mix.

8. Alcohol is Not the Cure

This is one my Granddad used to swear by. He’d say that a hot toddy will help your cold and relieve your symptoms. However, alcohol will actually suppress your immune system and you might be more prone to getting a viral infection.

9. Cold and Flu Germs Are Transported by Mucus

When someone with a cold coughs or sneezes tiny droplets of infected mucus go into the air, on their hands and on surfaces. These droplets are then passed from person to person by hand shaking or touching infected surfaces. When you have these droplets on your hands and you touch your eyes, nose and mouth you’ll also catch the cold. You’ll be surprised how much you actually touch your face when you consciously think about it too. To reduce the risk of catching a cold or flu carry around anti-bacterial hand gel in your handbag at all times – and use it.

I hope the truth about colds and flu helps you avoid the worst of the sniffles this winter season. Please share with us any remedies handed down through your family.