Stop a Cold at the First Sign With These 5 Tips

cold symptoms

While there is no vaccine for the common cold, there are a number of helpful steps you can take when you experience that first sniffle, sneeze or cough. Read on to understand how to stop a cold at the first sign.

Is It a Cold? Early Warning Signs

Colds and flu are easy to confuse because the illnesses share many of the same symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, runny nose, and head and body aches. However, one of the primary differences between a cold and the flu is the onset of symptoms: with a cold, symptoms tend to come on gradually while flu symptoms often appear suddenly. If you notice any of the following, it could be a sign that you’re coming down with a cold.

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

How to Fight a Cold

The gradual onset of symptoms of a cold gives you time to help your body amp up to better fight the infection. Here are some things you can do during the course of the illness.

  • Stay hydrated. As soon as you suspect a cold, focus on staying hydrated. Drinking enough water will help your immune system fight off the infection, replace fluids lost from fever and blowing your nose, and loosen up congestion in your airways.
  • Eat well. A vital defense against illness is giving your body the nutrients it needs to stay strong and ward off infection – those found in fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Learn more about superfoods that fight colds.
  • Avoid stress. Chronic stress suppresses the immune system, making it have a weaker reaction to infection. In 2004, researchers reviewed nearly 300 studies on stress and concluded that stress of any significant duration negatively influences all aspects of immunity.
  • Get plenty of rest. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are more likely to get sick. If you’re an adult, getting the recommended 7-9 hours per night gives your body time to repair and heal itself and ward off infections.
  • Keep exercising, in moderation. Sticking with a moderate exercise routine has been proven to stimulate white blood cells that fight off viruses – but don’t overdo it. Strenuous exercise actually increases your chances of getting sick.

Cold Got You Down? Head to RediClinic

RediClinic’s board-certified clinicians can determine whether you have a cold or the flu. They will properly diagnose your symptoms and prescribe a treatment and management plan to help you get healthy. RediClinic is open seven days a week, with online appointments available and walk-ins welcome. Feel better today!

Learn more about how to stop the spread of colds and other illnesses.