The common cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus. In the United States, adults have between 3 and 6 colds a year, and children have as many as 8 to 10. Signs and symptoms include sneezing and runny nose from nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, hoarseness, fever (102 F or lower), headache, and overall grumpiness. More than 200 different types of viruses cause colds. You can get a cold by touching a person with a cold, colds are also
transmitted through the air. Exposure to cold outdoor air and fatigue do not make you more likely to get a cold, although psychological stress may. People more likely to get colds include if they under 12 years old and over 65 years old, children who have parents who smoke, children who attend day care, smokers and those exposed to second hand smoke, those exposed to industrial smoke, toxic fumes, or other air pollutants, people with immune system disorders, like HIV, AIDS, or cancer, or compromised immune function, like those taking steroids for a long time, people under a fair amount of stress.
Colds generally go away on their own after about 7 to 10 days, although there are certain things that you can do to shorten the duration and minimize the symptoms as you work through your infection. As well, there are a few things that you can do that may help improve your immune system and make you less susceptible to getting colds: Exercise regularly, eat a proper diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in unhealthy trans and some saturated fat, get sufficient rest at all times, minimize your stress and your reaction to stress. Wash your hands frequently, especially after coming into contact with someone who has a cold.
A naturopathic approach to treating someone with a cold includes various combinations of clinical nutrition to boost the immune system, botanical medicine to boost the immune system and minimize symptoms, essential oils and homeopathic remedies to resolve the symptoms as quickly as possible. Lifestyle changes such as eliminating sugar and dairy from you diet for the period of time your immune system is fighting the “bug”, getting adequate sleep and rest, taking hot, hot baths nightly, steam inhalation, Chinese wet sock treatment and drinking hot fluids, are regularly recommended.