WE all recognise the telltale tickle in the throat, the drippy nose and then the sinking feeling when you realise: “I’m getting sick.”
But don’t just sit there waiting to see how bad it gets. If you treat the symptoms early enough, you can see off your sniffles before they get serious. Fab Daily has put together this expert guide to stop your cold in its tracks.
07:00 – Take a hot shower
“A HOT shower can help a cough by loosening secretions in the nose,” says Professor Ron Eccles, a cold-and-flu expert and emeritus professor at Cardiff University.
While the steam helps clear bunged up sinuses, the hot water can relieve aching limbs.
08:00 – Dose up on Vitamic C
“THE morning is a good time to have a big dose of vitamin C,” says nutritionist Amanda Ursell.
“Try a fruit salad made with oranges or kiwi for breakfast or top your porridge with fresh berries. Whatever you eat, ditch the tea and coffee, which contain caffeine and may dehydrate you. Instead, enjoy a glass of fresh orange juice.”
10:00 – Try using a saltpipe
TRY using this inhalation device to ease coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath.
“Sufferers place the pipe in the mouth and inhale as normal, exhaling through the nose,” explains nutritional therapist Julie Silver. “It allows the microscopic particles of salt to penetrate the respiratory tract and can alleviate coughing and sneezing.”
- Saltpipe, £14.99, saltpipe.co.uk – buy now
12:00 – Stay in and keep warm
IDEALLY, stay indoors and keep warm when you get the first symptoms of a cold.“The nose is the first line of immune defence, where antibodies and scavenger cells tackle viruses,” says GP Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director of Healthspan.
“If the nose gets too cold, these immune systems don’t work properly, so you are more susceptible to infection. Staying indoors also limits the spread of infection. If you have to go out, wear a scarf around your nose to keep it warm and, if necessary, use a moisturising nasal spray.”
13:00 – Chicken for lunch
“IT’S not just an old wives’ tale that you should ‘feed a cold’,” says Adam Frosh, consultant ENT surgeon at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Herts.
“Chicken soup is warm, nutritious and it makes you feel better. It’s a great comfort food and if ever there was a time when it’s OK to have comfort food, when you are feeling unwell is that time.”
15:00 – Keep well hydrated
“IF you start to get that tickling at the back of the throat and you know you are getting cold, the most important thing is to keep well hydrated,” says Mr Frosh.
“Always keep up your fluids and drink lots of water.
“Some people like a hot toddy before bed if they have a cold. But,” warns Mr Frosh, “you have to be careful with drinking alcohol, as it can dehydrate you and that will make you feel worse.”
16:00 – Snack away on nuts
A HANDFUL of Brazil nuts is the perfect way to give your immune system an afternoon boost.
“Brazil nuts contain selenium, which is crucial for the immune system,” says Amanda Ursell. “It joins up with protein and enhances your body’s ability to fight off nasty viruses.”
18:00 – Have a curry for dinner
A COLD is a good excuse for a spicy curry, adds Amanda.
“Hot spices, such as chillies, irritate the linings of your nose,” she says. “This makes it easier to blow your nose and dislodge mucus. If you can clear it, you should feel better instantly.”
20:00 – Take some medication
PEOPLE are often wary of taking too many pills, especially at the first signs of a cold.
But Mr Frosh recommends a combination of paracetamol and ibuprofen if you are feeling unwell.
“Most people don’t realise you can take the two together,” he says. Check your labels but paracetamol can usually be taken four times a day and ibuprofen three times a day.
“Take the ibuprofen last thing at night, as that tends to last the longest and it will help you sleep better. They both do a similar job and will work together to combat fever, aches and pains.”
22:00 – Get your 8hrs sleep
“SLEEP deprivation can effect your immune system, as it decreases the production of protective proteins,” says sleep expert Sammy Margo.
“Not getting eight hours could weaken your body’s defences and make it more susceptible to a cold.”
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