You have a horrible cough, your throat feels scratchy, and you’re your head is pounding. Do you have a cold or flu?
The main differencebetween colds and flu is the intensity and duration. Flu symptoms tend to appear quickly and can last for up to 4 weeks.
Flu symptoms can include:
- Dry, hacking cough
- Moderate to high fever, although not everyone with the flu will run a fever
- Sore throat
- Shivering chills
- Severe muscle or body aches
- Stuffy and runny nose
- Severe fatigue that may last up to two weeks
- Nausea and vomiting (more common in children)
If you have a cold, you’ll probably have some of the following signs:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Slight body aches or a mild headache
- Low-grade fever
Zinc lozenges as nutritional supplements are touted by many as a cure for the common cold. So how can zinc lozenges help provide cold relief?
When zinc supplements are taken in the form of a lozenge it can directly kill cold viruses and thereby shorten the duration of a cold. The majority of colds are causedby a rhinovirus, which thrives and multiplies in the nasal passages and throat.Zinc may work by preventing the rhinovirus from multiplying. It may also stop the rhinovirus from lodging in the mucous membranes of the throat and nose and thus prevent the spread of infection.
There are various forms of zinc supplements available on the market but it is only zinc gluconate and zinc acetate that have been shown to be effective for cold relief. Some products may contain, citric acid and tartaric acid which can interfere with zinc’s antiviral action. Otherflavourings (sweeteners) dextrose, sucrose, sorbitol and mannitol are thought not to interfere.
The standard dose of zinc lozenges is13.3 to 23 mg of zinc given every 2 hours during the day while symptoms persist and this should be for a maximum of 7 days. Taking too much can have adverse effects.
Integrative health care approach
While Zinc lozenges can be a valuable short-term anti-cold remedy. You will get better results if you follow an integrative medicine approach i.e. ensuring that you also consume warm healthy fresh foods such as hot soups, warm turmeric milk, avoid cold drinks, stay warm and get sufficient sleep and rest.
It is important to note that there are many natural cures for the common cold but if they are not used in an integrative manner then the chances of ending the misery of the common cold are significantly reduced.