Monday, January 12, 2009

Do Relationships Contribute to Cold and Flu?

They could, if you shake hands or have other physical contact.

Cold season is here and people around us are coughing, sneezing and complaining of headaches and stuffy noses. Rather than discontinue the relationship, there are measures to take that will keep you healthy.

To make cold prevention very simple, let me repeat my favorite safeguard against becoming ill: Wash your hands. Keeping your hands clean is the single most important way to stop the spread of germs that causes colds.

When should you wash your hands? Cleanse your hands when they're dirty, after using the restroom, before and after you prepare food and prior to eating. However, the most significant time for washing your hands is after being around other people, sneezing, coughing, and blowing and wiping your nose.

When soap and water are not available, you can use the new waterless hand sanitizers. However, soap and water are the best to use on soiled hands. Wet your hands with warm running water and apply liquid or clean bar soap. Lather well and run your hands together for at least 15 seconds. Scrub under your wrists, the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails. Rinse well and dry with a clean or disposable towel.

Whatever you do, never touch your mouth, face or nose without washing your hands when you know you've come in contact with germs or dirt. The Journal of Applied Microbiology tells us you kill up to 97.7 percent of the viruses you come in contact with just by washing up.

Other cold preventative methods include certain vitamins and supplements. For starters, try zinc. A 2002 medical study found using a nasal spray containing zinc gluconate reduced the duration of a cold by seven days.

In whatever form you are taking zinc, be sure it is zinc gluconate, not zinc acetate or zinc sulfate. Zinc is most effective with viral infections by repelling them and hindering them from causing an infection.

You can take zinc in the form of liquid vitamins. Beware the citrus flavored zinc lozenges that can actually stop zinc's actions against getting rid of a cold. The bitter taste of zinc is a signal from your body that it needs more - when you stop tasting zinc, your body doesn't need it anymore.

What about vitamin C? What you need to know is that overdosing yourself on vitamin C won't do you much good in cold prevention. Fifty milligrams a day will help you get over a cold about two days faster than no vitamin C at all.

A balanced formulation of vitamins can help you avoid the need for buying various vitamin supplements during the cold and flu season. However, you may insist on using other natural cold preventive remedies like Echinacha. None of these alternative medications are guaranteed to work. Some experts argue that supplements are totally ineffective against fighting colds. Yet some people experience positive results in fighting colds and flus using these natural remedies.

To dispel myths about how we catch colds, there is no evidence that you get a cold from exposure to cold weather or from getting chilled or overheated. Research suggests that stress and allergic diseases affecting your nose or throat may have an impact on your chances of getting infected by cold viruses.

Experiencing stress? We can help. Call the Relationship Clinic today.

[From the John Tesh Blog]

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