Dudeletter Guide to Colds!

Dudeletter Guide to Colds!

So, over the last few days I have been down with disease, which is most likely the common cold (rhinovirus – nose virus of which there are 99 known version). While I feel like garbage, thanks to medical science I do feel manageable. So with a mix of my own personal experiences with illness and working in a pharmacy I will tell you a sure fire guide to making yourself feel better/me sounding awesome.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C – Does nothing! Yes, if there is an issue where you have a Vitamin C deficiency it will help, however, if you are fine and take it regularly, it makes it no less likely or any shorter.(1) In fact, if you have certain genetic markers, taking too much Vitamin C can cause Cancer. (2)

Echinacea, I am totally serious
This may shock you, but regular taking of enchinacea will actually make you up to 50% less likely to get a cold and last 1.4 days shorter. (3)

I know this sounds obvious, but you need lots of water. As you know, water cleans your septic system and flushes it all out. As your antibodies and helper-t cells do their thing, your bowels and kidneys clean up. It is much needed.

Mr. Tea
Tea – While tea does not necessarily fight disease, it does boost your immune system according to Brigham and Women’s. (http://www.brighamandwomens.org/publicaffairs/Newsreleases/tea_immunity_04_21_03.aspx)

Adding Honey to that tea is a great idea. It is an antioxident, anti-inflamitory, and antibiotic. Also delicious.

In general, most doctors will tell you that sleep is actually the best medicine, however, in modern day, that is the trickiest thing to get. I general then, you have purists who say take no medicine and just drink fluids and sleep. However, when I am congested I snore so my sleep is less deep, if I cough I wake and if I have a fever, my dreams wake me. So this is the medicines I took to help, remember, I am not a doctor, and while I worked in a pharmacy and was trained, I am not a Pharmacy tech, pharmacist, or RN.

According to Science writer Jennifer Ackerman’s new book, Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold, there are only two real medicines that most people need when they have a cold. Most need only a pain killer and a first generation . I only by generic in medications when possible and all these qualify.

Pain Killers!

Advil (Ibuprofen)
This is now my pain killer of choice. When I was a manager at Walgreens, the pharmacist told me that Ibuprofen was the best for muscle pain. This is those cold/flu aches and pains. Ibuprofen does this by “blocking the enzyme in your body that makes prostaglandins. Decreasing prostaglandins helps to reduce pain, swelling, and fever.” (no idea what that means, but makes this sound official).

Tylenol (acetaminophen)
Acetaminophen is a pain killer and was my weapon of choice in pains. It was designed to relieve pain it does it well. However, it is very bad for livers. “Acetaminophen causes three times as many cases of liver failure as all other drugs combined, and is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, accounting for 39% of cases. While it occurs through overdosing, even recommended doses especially combined with even small amounts of alcohol, have caused irreversible liver failure.

Aspirin is the oldest pain killer, possibly even older then unpolished opium. It was discovered by Native-Americans who got it from boiling willow bark like tea. I was told that synthesizing aspirin is one of the first experiments a pharmacy doctor (PharmD) does in school at UGA. They all said pure, it is stronger then morphine as a pain killer and is absorbed in the stomach rather than intestine making it fast. It works by thinning blood, which is why is also recommended during heart attacks, thins the blood to get around clots. I tend not to take it because thin blood can lead to other issues, but it makes you drunk faster and longer so there is that. (Note: For the love of God, do not give this to children. From WebMD “Children and teenagers should not take aspirin if they have chickenpox, flu, or any undiagnosed illness or if they have recently received a vaccine. In these cases, taking aspirin increases the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious illness. Tell your doctor promptly if you see changes in behavior with nausea and vomiting. This may be an early sign of Reye’s syndrome.”

Aleve (Naproxen Sodium)
This is the relative newcomer, recommended for low persistent pain, like arthritis. Thus I don’t take it for this. Also, similar drugs have been known to give blood clots, so if you are susceptible, be careful.

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