Cold, Flu and Cough
Colds and flu's are respiratory illnesses but there are several differences between the two. Colds are very common and usually mild. The flu is generally much more serious.
Symptoms of Cold, Flu and Cough
The common cold is caused by one of dozens of viruses. Flu's are caused by influenza viruses, either A type or B type. Typical cold symptoms include a sore throat, sneezing, a blocked nose and later a runny nose, temperature and a general feeling of being unwell. Flu symptoms include fever, sore throat, headaches, congested nose, sore throat, a dry cough, weakness or fatigue and possible other symptoms. A cough can develop easily during a cold or flu. Coughs are often caused by bacteria.
Diagnosis and Tests
A sore throat, a runny nose, temperature and a general feeling of ill health indicate a cold. A high fever and a more severe feeling of fatigue indicate the flu. It is usually not necessary to diagnose or test common colds. In the case of the flu, some people in risk groups may need to contact a doctor. A typically healthy person can generally treat the flu at home. A cough often follows viral infections but if it continues several weeks, it may be necessary to visit a healthcare professional to diagnose its type and its cause.
Treatment and Care
There are no medications for the common cold. The best treatments include rest, keeping warm and drinking warm drinks. Natural remedies include vitamin C, Echinacea, zinc capsules or lozenges, steam inhalations and salt water gargles for sore throats. Antibiotics do not work against colds or the flu, because colds and the flu are caused by viruses while antibiotics work only against bacteria. A severe flu requires bed rest. It is not recommended to suppress the fever unless it runs very high or the person is very old, young or has other health concerns including heart problems.
A cough is an infection in the respiratory system and mild coughs will disappear over time. Steam inhalations and chest rubs are natural home treatments. Strong chest pains or a continuing productive cough can mean a more severe infection.
To prevent colds and flu's it is important to maintain a healthy immune system by eating a balanced diet and avoiding stress. Your diet should contain enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Some people may benefit from vitamin supplements. Regular exercise boosts the immune system and helps to keep infections away.
Read More in Depth Content below:
The common cold and the flu have many things in common. The most important thing that they share is their type of infection. These are both viruses and they will typically occur when the immune system is suppressed or not working as well as it should.
Many people assume that more colds and flu viruses are spread and shared during the winter months because of the cold weather, but the reality is that people spend more time indoors, closed up with the germs that can linger in the air. Because people are not getting out as much, these germs spread quickly and people can get a cold or the flu much easier than they might during the summer months.
In order to better understand how to handle, prevent, and treat cold and flu viruses, you have to understand how they work, your body’s immunity, and the different symptoms and treatments that you should be looking for. Read through this guide to find out everything you need to know about colds, flu and immunity.back to top
Your immune system is what protects your body and makes sure that you are healthy. Immunity is an important part of your health because without it, you would be defenseless against disease, illnesses, germs, and the spread of viruses and bacteria. There are two types of immunity: innate and acquired immunity.
Innate immunity is the protection that you just have. It is designed to prevent foreign bodies from entering your tissues. The innate immunity will also eliminate them before they can do damage if they get past the front lines of protection.
Acquired immunity is built up over time in response to different germs and infections. The immune system works to adapt itself to the types of foreign bodies that it comes in contact with and learns how to fight them accordingly so that your body can be rid of disease, illness, and germs.
Immune cells come from your bone marrow, where they are produced regularly as long as the body is healthy. Anyone who has a serious illness can have suppressed immunity, which means that their body cannot fight infection as easily or produce the antibodies to keep things safe like it should.
B cell lymphocytes are produced in your bone marrow and help to attack foreign bodies when they are found in your system. Once these act, the T cell lymphocytes from your thymus will attack and kill the foreign bodies and diseased cells until the body is clear of infection.
Aside from poor nutrition, there are immune system disorders that can cause you to have a suppressed or compromised immune system, causing you to be more susceptible to infections and diseases. Generally speaking, this is referred to as immunodeficiency.
Of course, there are also some conditions that cause over-active immunity, which results in the body not being able to tell between good cells and bad ones. That also causes damage to your own body because it attacks the healthy cells as well as the foreign ones.
There are many different causes of immunodeficiency and overactive immune systems, including nutrition (poor or unbalanced), environmental factors, drug and alcohol abuse, and genetics and heredity. Like all body systems, the immune system also becomes more susceptible to defeat with age and disease, which is why people who are:
- Over 65
- Suffering from lung, kidney, heart, blood, or metabolic diseases
- Immuno-deficient due to prolonged medication use
will have more issues with their health or a higher risk of getting a viral infection like the cold or the flu. Now that you better understand immunity, you can go on to learn about colds and the flu and their affect on the body.back to top
Colds are very common, which is probably why it is simply known as the ‘common cold.’ There are over 200 viruses that can actually cause a cold. This is part of the issue in finding a ‘cure’ for the cold, but the biggest issue is that colds are more of a pest than a serious medical condition so most people aren’t too worried about a cure. After all, there are many more life threatening diseases out there that still need cures and those should come first. The most common viruses that cause colds include:
- Corona Virus
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Typically, these viruses will run a course of 1-2 weeks and leave the system without causing any serious health risks or issues. In the event that there are complications, most cold sufferers will end up developing bronchitis, ear infections, pneumonia, sinus infections, or asthma. Beyond these more serious health conditions, there is no real danger in getting a cold.
A cold usually starts with an itchy throat or a tickle that brings sneezing and runny nose along after a day or two. A few days after the virus has taken hold, the discharge will be more substantial and frequent, and it is at this time that you are going to be most contagious to others. The symptoms can be alleviated with OTC medications and shouldn’t interfere with everyday activities for the most part. After a week or two, the cold will subside and the recovery process will begin.
There isn’t anything that you can do to cure a cold, but making sure that you have a well-rounded diet and nutrition and that you are giving your immune system the best support possible will definitely help prevent colds from even taking up residence in the first place. Supplements like MX Viral Shield and MX Vitamin C can help give your immune system the extra boost that it needs to be more alert and protect you from annoying viruses like the common cold.back to top
The Flu Virus- Influenza
The flu is not actually just one virus. The most common strain of the flu that people get from year to year is one of three forms of the virus: Influenza A, B, or C. This is the flu that starts out like a cold and then leads into the fever, chills, body aches, sweating, nausea, and other less than desirable symptoms.
According to statistics, anywhere between 5 and 20 percent of the population are affected with the flu virus every single year and most people wind up getting influenza A, B or C, which are all fairly common flu viruses.
Influenza A is strong enough to cause global pandemics of the virus, and often is more severe than the other forms. Influenza B is a bit milder in its severity, but can still cause local outbreaks from time to time. Influenza C is the mildest of the three, and typically has symptoms similar to a cold and won’t spread into the form of an outbreak.
Typically, the flu requires lots of rest and OTC medications to help alleviate symptoms. There is no cure for the flu, but people can get flu shots that will help protect them against getting the flu in the first place.
For normal, healthy individuals, the flu is usually nothing to worry about. However, those who have a more serious strain of the flu or who have a compromised immune system to some extent face more serious risks when they develop the flu virus.
Elderly people, infants and children, health care workers, those who live or work in long term care facilities and people with diseases that cause immunodeficiency can face risks like bronchitis, pneumonia, meningitis, encephalitis, and even death when they get the flu virus. For these people, flu shots are not an option but a necessity in many cases.back to top
Other Flu Viruses
There have been many different strains of the flu over the course of history, and while some are less common or nonexistent today, there are still plenty of viruses out there beyond standard Influenza A, which is the most common. There are more than a dozen types of influenza viruses, including the following:
- Influenza B
- Influenza C
- Hong Kong influenza - strain of Influenza A
- Russian influenza - a 1978 epidemic
- Spanish influenza - an epidemic in 1918
- Asian influenza - a strain of Influenza A in 1957
- Swine flu - an epidemic in 1976, in the United States
- Avian flu - a chicken flu in Hong Kong in 1997
- Orthomyxovirus-related Cold
- Type A Influenza
- Bird flu (avian influenza)
- Type A influenza subtype H1N1
- Type A influenza subtype H1N2
- Type A influenza subtype H3N2
- Type A influenza subtype H2N2
- Type A influenza subtype H5N1
- Type A influenza subtype H7N2
- Type A influenza subtype H7N7
- Type A influenza subtype H7N3
- Type A influenza subtype H9N2
- Type A influenza subtype H10N7
- Type A influenza subtype H1
- Type B Influenza
- Type C Influenza
- Type A influenza subtype H5
- Type A influenza subtype H7
- ype A influenza subtype H9
- Hemophilus influenza B
- Intestinal Flu
- Cold & Flu
- H1N1 Flu
Taken from Wrong Diagnosis: Types of Flu - WrongDiagnosis.comback to top
Know the Difference
Do you know the difference between a cold and the flu? Typically, people associate the flu with more fatigue and nausea, which is partially true. However, some less severe cases of the flu have been known to exist, only causing slightly more bothersome symptoms than the common cold.
It’s always better to err on the side of caution and get as much rest as you can when you are sick. Taking supplements can also help to boost your immune system and fight the virus so that it gets out of your system faster.
A cold will typically allow you to continue your daily routine and only last for a week or two. The most pronounced symptoms will be runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. With a flu virus, the cough will be dry instead of wet and congested, and there will be considerable weakness and swollen glands in even the mildest cases.
Being able to determine whether you have a cold or the flu could give you the ability to avoid spreading germs and allow you to get well faster because you will be able to tend to the virus accordingly.
Many times, it isn’t worth the effort to visit the doctor to determine whether you have a cold virus or the flu, but if your symptoms persist or become more severe, you definitely need to get medical attention to make sure that you aren’t suffering from something more serious.
Always take it easy and monitor your symptoms closely so that you can combat your virus to the best of your ability. Knowing the difference between a cold and the flu could mean the difference between a week or two of mild symptoms or 2-3 weeks of fatigue, fevers, nausea, and other symptoms.
If you take precautions to make sure that your immune system is strong and ready for anything, of course, you can easily minimize your risk of getting colds or the flu in any situation. With prevention, you won’t have to worry about figuring out what you have or how to handle it, which is the best outcome possible.
There is currently no cure for the common cold or the flu virus, but you can take supplements like MX Viral Shield to help lower your risk and boost your immune system as a preventative measure and as a support during a cold or flu virus that you catch.back to top
An average of 30,000 to 40,000 people die each year because of complications from influenza.
About 60-70% of flu deaths occur in elderly patients.
Rhinovirus is a strain of the common cold that causes 35% of cold infections, making it the most common strain.
Every year, 35 million to 50 million people are infected with a strain of the flu.
Common colds affect billions of people worldwide every single year.
Children will get 6-10 colds in a year while adults will get 2-4 on average.
The flu and pneumonia are the 8th leading cause of death in the U.S.back to top
Most people assume that colds and flu viruses are caught by the weather being cold and damp, but that’s not really the case. Viruses are spread when people come into contact with others who have the virus or by touching something contaminated with a virus. There are two basic theories about how the cold and flu viruses spread and their prevalence during the winter months is the basis for both theories:
Chill theory, as the first theory is known, suggests that there are more colds and flu viruses in the winter months because of the cold, wet weather that is experienced.
Viral theory, in contrast, suggests that people spend more time indoors with less fresh air during the cold months, which is why they are more susceptible to infection. The environment of warm, trapped air is a perfect breeding ground for foreign organisms and germs.
Either way, colds and flu viruses are generally caused by viral germs that are in the air or on surfaces that you touch regularly, and that’s how you catch these illnesses. If your immune system is as strong and vibrant as it should be, however, you can easily protect yourself regardless of the environment or the cause of the virus.
With MX Viral Shield, MX Vitamin C, and our line of multi-vitamins for men and women, Maxalife can help you protect yourself from colds and flu viruses year-round and boost your immune health overall.back to top
Signs and Symptoms
There are many different signs and symptoms associated with colds and the flu. A lot of them are similar, but the flu tends to be much more debilitating than a cold. A cold typically affects people, but not so severely that it disrupts their lives.
Many can continue with their daily routine and even keep working simply because the symptoms aren’t that bad. With the flu, however, the body requires a lot of rest and can get very serious symptoms that make it all but impossible to carry on with your daily life. Symptoms of colds and the flu include:
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- Runny nose
- Slight fever
- Dry cough
- Joint stiffness or aches
- Extreme fatigue
- Flushing of the face
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Confusion and slow thinking
- Swollen glands
- Muscle/body aches
- Nasal congestion
- Chest congestion
- Sore throat
- Sinus pain
- Ear aches
- Watery eyes
As you can see, it is not terribly difficult to discern a cold from the flu. Typically, if you have severe symptoms of the flu you will be able to notice them and distinctly tell the difference. A cold will make you feel miserable, but you will typically still be able to carry on in your daily life. The flu, however, could cause you to become useless in daily activities and be completely debilitated to a point where you spend a lot of time in bed and struggle to function.
It isn’t necessary to visit the doctor every time that you get a cold, and even if you get the flu. However, when severe symptoms develop or you don’t get better after a week or so, you might want to talk to your healthcare provider to ensure that you don’t have a more serious issue or need medical assistance to recover. Taking supplements like MX Viral Shield and MX Vitamin C can help you get better faster and prevent the onset of these viruses in the first place.back to top
In most situations where a cold or simple case of influenza is diagnosed, people are simply told to let the virus ‘run its course’. While this is usually effective in itself, there are also over-the-counter and prescription remedies that can help to alleviate or lessen the severity of the symptoms of these conditions.
Until recently, treating the symptoms and waiting it out was all that people could do. Things like cough medicine, cold medicine, and medications designed to alleviate the many symptoms of the flu were available over the counter for people who wanted some type of relief since there is no real ‘cure’.
Today, the common cold is still treated this way. Influenza, however, has proven to be a little more serious for some people than others and has led to the development of anti-viral medications.
These medications are relatively new and have always been quite expensive. However, as time goes on, the prices are dropping and the treatment is becoming much more popular in cases where patients need relief or face too much risk from simply letting the virus run its course through their system.
The most common treatments for these viruses are vitamins, supplements, and prescriptions that address symptoms, not the actual condition. Some conventional treatments include:
- Antihistamines to alleviate sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and related symptoms
- Amantadine to help prevent or treat influenza A
- Tamiflu, often known as ‘the flu shot’, which can help prevent and treat influenza symptoms as well as shorten the duration of the recovery period
- Tussionex and other decongestants and cough syrups for alleviating cough and helping with congestion
- Pain relievers for fever, body aches, headaches, and sore throat
- Echinacea, Vitamin C, Zinc, Lysine, and other supplements to boost immunity and alleviate symptoms
There isn’t a whole lot that people can do for common viruses like this, but medicine is using new technology to help find better ways of preventing or treating the common cold and influenza in all of its forms. For now, supplementing for optimal health and treating the symptoms seems to be the best solution for most people.
An Important Note: Antibiotics are NOT helpful in cold and flu treatment and can even prolong the recovery period in some cases. Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses.back to top
Maxalife is committed to providing as many different natural treatments as we can to help people feel better and live healthier lives. When it comes to colds, the flu, and immunity, you can protect yourself with our products:
Each of these products is specifically formulated to offer optimal health support in various areas. You can get balanced health from our multi-vitamins or specific immune support from MX Viral Shield and MX Vitamin C, which are daily supplements that will boost your body’s ability to fight back against viruses and germs.
For viruses, supplements are a great solution. Most of these illnesses are required to simply ‘run the course’, but you can use supplements to keep your body healthier and ward off germs so that you can keep going with your day to day life. We know that you don’t have time to slow down to deal with a cold or the flu, which is why we have created supplements that we can offer to help improve your immune health and protect your body against those pesky viruses.back to top
Mandatory Legal Disclaimer: The products and supplements mentioned here have not gone through FDA approved testing and protocols for the cure or alleviation of any disease or medical condition. Therefore we are required by law to say that these products should not be construed as treating any specific disease. Please consult with your family or holistic physician if you have any questions regarding the health benefits of natural products and supplements.