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Anatomy Of a Cold

by Debbie Twoney on September 18, 2014

Today’s guest blogger is Debbie Twomey




I am getting over a cold. I discovered there are still many myths floating around about how we get and treat colds. I was actually grateful for the advice and dear friends who thought to share it with me. I also was the recipient of 4 different homemade chicken soups as well as a wonderful vapor rub full of amazing Young Living essential oils. There is really an anatomy of the common cold.

In the past, I had many colds. I did not even get my first one till I was 17 years old and that one turned into bronchitis that lasted 3 months. Since then I have suffered through many wicked colds and anyone who knows me knows just how much I hate the “beast”.

Since I began using Young Living oils I can honestly say I have fewer colds and the symptoms are not as extreme as they once were. But the blight of bacteria still persists and I would like to share some Cold Bare Facts.

When they say there is no “cure for the common cold” they mean there is no cure. What we can do is discover the best preventative measures and symptom relievers. Of course then you have that argument — just which ones are most effective but my vote goes to which are safest for our body without side effects.

Some of the facts are still evolving as science evolves but the basic details remain as persistent as some of the coughs associated with a cold. While most myths are harmless, they still exist and I have to laugh when I hear one passed along—still.

Myth #1    You can “catch a cold” from being out in the cold. You can be out in a snow bank in your undies and no cold can be transmitted to you via the cold temperature. Frostbite certainly but not germs. Snow is not their mode of transportation.

Myth #2   If you have a cold longer than 3-4 days you should see a doctor. The jury is still out as to the life span of a cold but let’s just say 5-7 days is a safe estimate. Unless you have severe symptoms like high fever that does not go away, blood or brown sputum (which could be signs of an infection) or your breathing is compromised because of fluid in lungs, the most a doctor can do is give you a prescription for relief, nothing more. One cold may seem to last longer but usually that is because you caught yet another strain while you were in a weakened state. Right now my little granddaughter is just getting over the coughing cold we both had and already caught another one (from daycare) that is mostly a runny nose. She is very healthy so she functions very well even with these symptoms. I understand she needs to build up her immune system and it is a bonus that she has mild symptoms.

Myth # 3   You need to be on antibiotics for the common cold. This is one I hear quite often. The truth is antibiotics do absolutely nothing to treat a cold. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infection, Dr. Sharon Bergquist said. They may be prescribed for bronchitis and ear infection, which are bacterial in nature, but should not be taken for the common cold.” http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/02/16/cold.flu.myths/


Myth #4   Contrary to popular belief you do not catch a cold by going in and out of different places. What you do encounter is closed-in spaces that may be drier and somewhere along the line a virus was left in the air or on a surface. Remember these places also have many others going in and out. People may be there that could be contagious even without symptoms.

There are many other myths but I wanted to address the most widespread ones. Here is what we do know. The virus can only be passed on by a person who is infected with it. In the winter this happens more frequently due to many factors such as dry air conditions, more close person to person contact, dry nasal passages, and because the moist droplets from a cough or sneeze travel farther in cold weather than warm, humid weather (though yes you can still catch a cold then too).

A virus can remain on surfaces such as doorknobs and shopping carts for quite awhile. Telephones were once culprits for contamination but now that most of us have our own cell phone that risk is reduced. Still enclosed places such as elevators are hotbeds of viruses. For me the doctor’s office is a place I try very hard to avoid it is filled with sick people who can contaminate us.

A cold is most contagious at when you have the worst symptoms!

Here is one of the reasons we seem to catch colds even when we take precautions. A person can be contagious before we even know they have a cold because they show no warning sign till about the 3rd day. By then who knows who or what they came in contact with? You could have come in contact with an infected person and be symptom-free for perhaps up to 5 days.

The other major reason colds are so pervasive is because most people in the workforce cannot afford to take the time necessary to stay home and treat their colds. Sleep is the number one defense in fighting a cold but I know very few people who can actually stay home and get better or at least give it a fighting chance. So people have to go to work, infected and run down which is just spreading more colds.

“I have a cold because I caught it from someone at work but I can’t take time off so here I am spreading it to even more people and because I am so run down, now I will probably get yet another strain of virus.” Makes sense doesn’t it?  No time off for something as common as the cold so let’s just keep it going around and around!!!

That is how I feel about catching colds and the ineffective treatments people believe cure them. Around and around in vicious circles. How do we stop this? Stay tuned to my next blog where I will share some prevention tips and how best to keep from spreading this menacing virus.



Information shared here is not intended as medical advice, and cannot substitute for professional medical advice and information. Information provided is general in nature and may be helpful to some people but not others, depending on their personal medical needs. Always consult with your personal physician before  following advice designed for general audiences only. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay getting care because of something you have read here.



mouse and me  Debbie Twomey www.debbietwomey.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/debbietwomeySMM

Debbie is a Mommy blogger writing tips and stories for parents. She is also a Social Media Manager and Virtual Assistant helping businesses with on their online needs.



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