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Is it a Cold or the Flu?

By Sara Butler

This time of year may have you asking a question you don't really want to ask: Are your symptoms simply a cold or could it be the dreaded flu? Here's how to tell which illness may have targeted you and what you can do about it to help reduce your symptoms naturally and get on the road to recovery.

Which is it?

Understanding whether you have a cold or the flu helps you determine what you need to do in order to speed healing and get better.

The common cold and the flu are both respiratory illnesses that are the result of a virus. Their symptoms often overlap, which makes telling which one you have confusing at times. One rule of thumb to remember is that while cold and flu symptoms may be similar, flu symptoms are often more severe.

The most common symptoms of the common cold begin about one to three days after you've been exposed to the virus and last about five to seven days. The symptoms include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • A sore throat
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • A cough
  • A runny nose
  • Achiness
  • Fatigue

While the symptoms may overlap, remember that flu symptoms will be much more intense than the common old and may result in complications, such as pneumonia.

How to Manage

As miserable as your cold and flu symptoms may make you, it's important to remember that the best thing you can do is support your body in fighting, not simply treat your symptoms.

The same healing mechanisms that make you feel ill are the same ones that will help you get better. For example, the stuffy nose you have? All that mucus helps your body shed viruses and bacteria. Coughing helps to move infection out of your lungs, and fever helps your body to kill off the viruses that are attacking it.

If you feel your symptoms are serious or out of control, then speak to a medical professional. Otherwise, just go with it and consider one of these home remedies to help you feel better:

  • Eat well - Avoid excess sugar to help support a healthy immune system
  • Drink plenty of fluids - This will help your body work optimally to fight against the virus attacking it
  • Sleep - Rest is important to help your immune system function at its best, so rest during the day when you need it and get six to seven hours of sleep at night
  • See the chiropractor - A healthy central nervous system will support a healthy immune system, so see your chiropractor for help

Take care of yourself this cold and flu season!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aurora, Colo.

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