Treating cold symptoms can mean days of taking medications and struggling with serious fatigue. Although you cannot cure your cold, making sure you take the right approach to managing symptoms will make you as comfortable as possible until the cold runs its course.
Use The Right Fever Reducer
If you have a fever, using the right fever reducer will bring relief with little risk of side effects. One fever reducer is acetaminophen, but other retail pain medications also have fever-reducing properties, such as ibuprofen. Only take ibuprofen if you also have significant pain, because it will help for both your fever and aches. If a fever is the only problem, acetaminophen is a better option because it is more effective at fever reduction but is less potent as a pain-reliever. Since the worst symptoms can last for several days, taking ibuprofen regularly is not advised due to the increased risk of stomach upset and bleeding. Depending on other medical conditions or medications you already take, acetaminophen might be your only option.
Be Wise About Multi-Symptom Medicines
Multi-symptom medications are excellent for colds because you can tackle all or most of your symptoms at the same time. Unfortunately, many people overuse these medications because they are convenient and can be less expensive than purchasing several different medications. If you do not have a specific symptom and medication for that symptom is included with the multi-symptom medicine, then you are over-medicating yourself. Another problem is some multi-symptom medicines have treatments that inadvertently counteract each other. For example, guaifenesin is an expectorant, which can help thin chest congestion and make it easier to expel mucous. If your multi-symptom medication also has a cough suppressant, then you are inhibiting the normal bodily function used to expel mucous, which is counterproductive. Cough suppressants are better for a dry, hacking cough, rather than a productive one.
The miracle of chicken soup may be slightly exaggerated, but any kind of soup can soothe some of your cold symptoms. If possible, opt for versions with a little spice and a thin broth. The combination of spiciness and steam might help clear your nasal passages and chest of mucous. Look for natural products that work for cold symptoms and include them in your soup. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, while ginger helps an upset stomach. You can find recipes for turmeric-ginger chicken soup, which is a good combination of cold-fighting ingredients. Soup is also good for people who may not have much of an appetite during a cold. This way they can continue to get nutrients to help fight their cold, and soup is easier to digest than heavier meals.
Taking the right medications, getting rest, and drinking plenty of liquids are your best defenses against a cold. Although a cold feels like it lasts forever, the worst of your symptoms will be gone within a few days. Contact a doctor to learn more about cold treatments.