What Helps for Getting Over a Cold?

Although colds aren’t actually caused by cold temperatures, they are more common in winter. Whenever a cold strikes, it can sap your strength, cloud your mind, and leave you feeling miserable.

Sneezing, coughing, congestion, sinus pressure, sore throat… There’s still no cure for the common cold, but you can treat the symptoms and feel better faster.

Get Plenty of Rest

With our busy lives, it’s sometimes hard to slow down. But you need more rest when you have a cold so your body has the energy to heal.

Drink Lots of Fluids

Water, herbal teas, and fruit juices will keep you hydrated while helping to loosen congestion. Add a little honey to soothe your throat and possibly ease coughing. (Note that honey is not safe for children under one year old.)

Keep the Air Moist

If the air in your home is dry, use a cold-mist humidifier to add moisture to the air. It may help soothe irritated sinuses and help prevent reinfection.

Gargle with Warm Saltwater

If your cold symptoms include a sore throat, gargling a few times a day with warm saltwater may ease inflammation and help you feel better.

Use Saline Nasal Drops or Saline Irrigation

Saline nasal drops or irrigation may help ease decongestion and reduce sinus inflammation, making it easier to breathe through your nose.

Over-the-Counter Cold Medicines

Over-the-counter (OTC) cold medicines can help ease cough and cold symptoms. Children under the age of 4 years old should not take OTC cold medicines, unless directed by your doctor. For children 4 years and older, discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Pain relievers can help ease the aches and soreness of a cold. Many OTC cold medicines include some form of pain reliever, so be careful not to double-up by taking pain relievers in combination with cold medicines that contain them. Children under 6 months old should only take children’s dose acetaminophen. Children 6 months and up can take appropriately dosed acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Only adults should take aspirin, which can increase the risk of Reye’s Syndrome in children.

Give It Some Time

The only real cure for a cold is time. Colds are caused by what’s called a “self-limiting” viral infection: it will usually run its course and go away on its own. However, the CDC advises that you contact your doctor right away if your cold lasts more than 10 days, if you have a high fever (or a low-grade fever that lasts more than 4 days), if you have trouble breathing, or if your symptoms return and get worse. Also contact your doctor if you have any other symptoms that concern you, or if you’re just not sure what to do. When in doubt, call and put your mind at ease.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

If you’re suffering from a cold and want some advice, call your United Physician Group doctor for help.

Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?

Intermittent fasting has made a lot of news the past few years, with some preliminary studies suggesting it may be beneficial for weight loss, reducing insulin resistance, lowering blood pressure, and even supporting better brain function. These results are not settled science — we don’t yet know with confidence if the benefits are real — but some of the early studies show encouraging results.

There are a few different models of intermittent fasting, but the most common is called time-restricted eating. This is when you only eat during a certain span of hours during the day, either some days or every day. For example, in the common 16:8 time-restricting eating practice, you eat only during a predetermined 8-hour window each day and fast the other 16 hours.

During the fasting period, most people still drink water and other no-calorie drinks, such as black coffee or unsweetened tea. This may make fasting easier and protects against dehydration.

While the effectiveness is still uncertain, if you’re considering trying intermittent fasting, it’s important to first determine whether it’s safe for your health.

An article published by the Harvard School of Public Health warns that intermittent fasting is not safe for people who are diabetic, pregnant, breastfeeding, or currently using medications that must be taken with food. It’s also not safe for adolescents or others in a growth stage of life. And intermittent fasting is dangerous for anyone who currently or has ever struggled with eating disorders.

If none of these apply to you and if you’re generally in good health, intermittent fasting may be safe and could potentially offer some health benefits. But it’s always best to ask your doctor before starting any diet. They can advise you on safe eating practices suited to your present health. And they may offer better alternatives for achieving your health goals.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to monitor the latest results on intermittent fasting, and we’ll alert you as new information emerges.

Concerned About Your Weight or Insulin Resistance?

Contact your United Physician Doctor for an assessment and some sound advice.