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  #1  
Old 11-21-2009, 03:21 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Possible to "flush" a cold out of my system before Thanksgiving?

So Thanksgiving, that amazing holiday of gluttonous feasts, is coming up in just a few days. Yesterday morning I woke up with a goddamn COLD. Not the worst cold in the world, but congestion at the back of my throat, slight sore throat, a little sniffling and sneezing, etc. Goddammit! I hardly ever get colds, and when I do get them, they make it impossible for me to enjoy anything. And I am going to be goddamned if I let this cold interfere with my enjoyment of Thanksgiving. By God, I am going to chase this cold out of my system and ensure that I feel 100% happy and healthy by the time Thanksgiving night rolls around.

How should I go about doing this? Is it even possible, in the way I've suggested, to flush a cold out? I already feel a little bit better today, although I have no idea if it's going to keep improving over the next few days, or get worse.

What can I do to stop it from getting worse? Should I avoid being around other people who might also have colds? Should I change my clothes and shower several times a day so that the germs are not on me for long periods of time? Would it help me to drink a large amount of water?

What would you do in this situation? Is there anything I can proactively do to flush out the cold over the next few days, or at the least, ensure that it doesn't get any worse?
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2009, 03:41 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Your body increases its temperature to fight off infections. I would try to work with this. Get under covers or well dressed to stay very warm. Especially your neck, since that is a cooler place where the cold could be hanging out. Wear a scarf, even indoors (or a turtleneck, I suppose).
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2009, 04:05 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Drink plenty of water
get plenty of sleep
don't drink or smoke, avoid caffeine
take a multivitamin if you have any doubts about how much nutrition you're getting generally.

Basically just give your immune system every chance to get rid of the adorable little bastards.

You can also take some extra Zinc (evidence is mixed whether it shortens the duration of a cold)

Last edited by Hello Again; 11-21-2009 at 04:05 PM..
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2009, 04:07 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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What about kissing my girlfriend? She said she is feeling slightly sick too; should I refrain from kissing her over the next few days? I mean, if we both already have the cold, would we just be furthering our infections by kissing? "Re-contaminating" each other, so to speak?
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2009, 05:14 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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If you've got the same virus, you'll give her as many copies as she gives you, so it's a wash. If they're different, get it over with now. (I've recently read that here is some interference one virus gives you against getting another, so maybe you'll get immunity to the second before it can infect you.)
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2009, 05:50 PM
sevenwood sevenwood is offline
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Properly treated, you can get rid of a cold in seven days.

Without this treatment, it will hang on for a week.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2009, 06:53 PM
Pyper Pyper is offline
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Zinc lozenges; Zicam or Cold-Eeze. For me, if I use them as directed, they cut the duration of the cold in half and significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms. Many people find the taste of zinc pretty gross (I eventually developed an aversion to the taste), so the Zicam RapidMelts are your best bet. I work with small children, and I am never without a supply in my medicine cabinet.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2009, 12:30 AM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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I'd refrain from kissing the GF, if you're trying to maximize your chances of beating the cold.

Don't take the risk she has another strain or that her similar strain might be a mutant strain with a new type!
Plus, any other bacteria or such in her mouth that is introduced into yours is precious resources that your own guys could be using to fight off your cold!
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2009, 12:45 AM
qazwart qazwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyper View Post
Zinc lozenges; Zicam or Cold-Eeze. For me, if I use them as directed, they cut the duration of the cold in half and significantly reduce the severity of the symptoms. Many people find the taste of zinc pretty gross (I eventually developed an aversion to the taste), so the Zicam RapidMelts are your best bet. I work with small children, and I am never without a supply in my medicine cabinet.
I'd be careful with zinc lozenges. There hasn't been any testing that has proven them effective and zinc based nasal sprays have been pulled off the market for permanently destroying people's sense of smell. The FDA has no jurisdiction over this type of medication.

Best bet is sleep, and drink plenty of HOMEMADE chicken soup. I don't know if it actually helps a cold, but cooking up a pot in my kitchen and smelling it simmering always makes me feel not so bad about having a cold.

There are over the counter medications that will help relieve some of the symptoms -- at least temporarily. I wouldn't take them right now. Let your body get over the cold a bit, and take them on Thanksgiving to help reduce your fever and stuffiness. Don't take an antihistamine.

Take a decongestant instead. Pseudoephedrine based ones seem to work the best, but you can't simply run into a store to buy them any more. You have to go to a pharmacy, sign a statement that you are an upstanding citizen, swear on a bible, and cross your heart and hope to die that you're just buying them for your cold and not trying to brew up something illegal. After that, you get a certificate of good standing and have the privilege of being able to buying a single box of real Sudafed. The stuff on that they actually put on the shelf isn't as good.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2009, 12:49 AM
GameHat GameHat is offline
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I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but...

Neti Pot.

Seriously has worked wonders for me. It's just salt and water, very benign. But it clears your sinuses extremely well.
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2009, 04:31 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenwood View Post
Properly treated, you can get rid of a cold in seven days.

Without this treatment, it will hang on for a week.
I see what you did there....
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2009, 04:34 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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I take a lot of vitamin C, and it pretty much always works for me, but some people don't believe in that.
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2009, 05:08 PM
Bad Astronaut Bad Astronaut is offline
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Realistically, if there was an established, reliable method for significantly shortening the duration of colds, don't you think most people would use them every time (not just when they had an important holiday coming up)?
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  #14  
Old 11-23-2009, 06:40 PM
myskepticsight myskepticsight is offline
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If you're congested, take hot showers. Hot as you can stand. For me at least, breathing in all that steam makes me feel better, at least temporarily. Don't think it'll make your cold go away faster but it'll make you feel a bit better.

Last cold I had I tried those Cold-Eze zinc lozenges. Tasted pretty bad and my cold still lasted a week or so, no different than normal for me. I was trying everything I could to feel better quick - I had big plans a few days after onset too - and I was upset to find nothing helped. Good luck though.
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  #15  
Old 11-23-2009, 07:25 PM
Jormungandr Jormungandr is offline
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I do the opposite of myskepticsight, I take cold showers in the summer and barely lukewarm showers in the winter since I can remember. The result, my family can be ill with the cold or flu while I get a mild case or not get ill at all, despite being in the same room for hours. Apparently, there are studies that show that cold showers help fight illness. If I do feel congested and it's cold outside, I go outside and breathe deeply.
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  #16  
Old 11-23-2009, 07:50 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
I take a lot of vitamin C, and it pretty much always works for me, but some people don't believe in that.
I don't know about resolving a cold sooner, but I think it helps prevent 'em. I've been taking 1000mg a day for the past week and a half (and 1800mg of Echinacea w/ golden seal) because some coworkers were under the weather, and I'm now the only one in the house that hasn't had a miserable cold for the past week. Turns out that everyone has the a cold, not the flu like I worried since we still can't get vaccines here yet, but I'm happy to avoid that cold too since the state health department says that it's awful enough that 60% of people tested for the flu over the past couple of weeks have had that instead.
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  #17  
Old 11-23-2009, 08:34 PM
norinew norinew is offline
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I realize that the scientific reviews behind this are mixed, at best, but hey, you've got nothing to lose: the hubby and I have had good results from taking mega-doses of both zinc and vitamin C at the first signs of a cold.

ETA: Even if the zinc and vitamin C don't work, by Thursday you should be starting to feel better anyway!

Feel better soon!

Last edited by norinew; 11-23-2009 at 08:35 PM..
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  #18  
Old 11-23-2009, 08:57 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenwood View Post
Properly treated, you can get rid of a cold in seven days.

Without this treatment, it will hang on for a week.
Unless you can speed up time, the advice sevenwood has given is the absolute truth. No getting around it.

Fiddling with treatments may occupy your time and maybe even make you feel better. But it is a virus and must run it's course.

The best action to take when you get a cold or flu is to provide yourself with something to read, a comfortable place to lie, and a sympathetic friend.

Then wait a few days until you feel better.
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  #19  
Old 11-24-2009, 11:52 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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The is a problem with zinc lozenges is that you can't conduct a proper study with it.

It does appear to help, but you can't prove it.

First of all you have to suck the zinc lozenge, if you swallow it whole it's not gonna work (if indeed it does)

This is where the issues come in.

To properly test something you need a double blind study where neither the patient nor doctor knows who is getting the correct meds and who's getting the placebo.

Zinc lozenges have a definate taste to them, and no one, to date, has come up with an acceptable way to make the placebo taste just like a zinc lozenges so you can't tell which is which. The participants are always able to tell if they are getting the zinc lozenge or the placebo.

So thus, you can't have a true double bind study.

You have to remember in any study of meds between 20% and 35% of a control group get better with the placebo.
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  #20  
Old 11-25-2009, 12:21 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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The cold is gone now anyway, but thanks for the advice everyone.
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  #21  
Old 11-25-2009, 12:48 AM
even sven even sven is online now
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Is there some reason why you couldn't conduct your study among people who have never tasted zinc lozenges?
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  #22  
Old 11-25-2009, 02:30 AM
Indian Indian is offline
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I have found this homemade remedy very good to prevent an onset of cold from becoming a full blown case.

Take a bit of dry ginger , boil it in water like you will boil a cup of tea, add little sugar for taste and drink it. ( Here we can buy powdered dry ginger ).I have found it very effective,to prevent cold from getting worse, but not so good for a full blown case

Last edited by Indian; 11-25-2009 at 02:32 AM..
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  #23  
Old 11-25-2009, 08:32 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Gargle with warm salt water every few hours, get a saline spray nasal inhaler (5 times a day), and take a couple of shots of apple cider vinegar, (cut with maple syrup, or grenedine, etc.).

The gargle will cure your sore throat very effectively, the nasal spray, (be sure to sterilize the nozzle after each use!), will keep things slippery in your sinus' and help your body fight the infection, the apple cider will thin the mucus in your chest and sinus' and they will drain, this being half the battle with any cold, your body will quickly get the upper hand, (bonus side effect; will quickly clear your sinus'!).

This isn't a cold cure, your body does all the work, really. But these few simple things will effectively aid your body to achieve the results you seek more quickly. Good Luck!
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  #24  
Old 11-25-2009, 08:50 AM
Chessic Sense Chessic Sense is offline
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Depending on how you feel, you may not have any germs in you at all. It could just be cold stress. The symptoms are just your body reacting to having been cold. It's just like a runny nose while standing at the bus stop in winter. No germs are causing that, it's just your body's reaction. And yes, it can last for days.

So the best way to get that to go away is to warm up. Take a really hot shower, turn up the furnace, dress warmly, etc.

Of course, if you DO have some germ-induced illness like a cold or flu, none of that will help.
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  #25  
Old 11-25-2009, 10:33 AM
norinew norinew is offline
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[Obligatory Joke Post] (Since the OP is feeling better anyway)
The "Two Hat Cure" for the common cold:
Wear your hat into your bedroom
Carry a bottle of Jack Daniels into the bedroom with you
Hang your hat on your bedpost
Lay down in your bed
Drink the Jack Daniels until you see two hats on your bedpost instead of one
You're cured!
[/OJP]
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  #26  
Old 11-25-2009, 11:06 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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The only way I have ever found to cut a cold in half is to catch a less severe cold. Honestly.

But I do find that if you really rest, you get over the symptoms a little faster - no working, playing, just sleep and watch movies.

Most of the time, however, I don't have time to do this.
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  #27  
Old 11-25-2009, 11:51 AM
Oregon sunshine Oregon sunshine is offline
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Take olive leaf. I've found that it can stop a cold while it's still in the "on its way" phase of development. Anecdotal only of course, but try it!
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  #28  
Old 11-25-2009, 09:23 PM
The Great Philosopher The Great Philosopher is offline
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Personally I find sleep is the only thing that genuinely makes me feel better when I have a cold. Everyone knows the advice is to get "rest" but whenever I have a cold and I try to sleep as much as possible, all day, I tend to start feeling better almost immediately. Plus studies have shown that getting less than 8 hours sleep makes it a lot more likely you'll catch a cold in the first place.

I've heard that taking Vitamin C helps reduce the duration of colds, there was a study on it recently (it doesn't stop you catching them in the first place, but it makes their duration shorter). There was also a study this year that concluded taking Vitamin D reduces your chances of catching a cold.

http://www.virologyj.com/content/5/1/29#IDASINYH
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  #29  
Old 11-25-2009, 10:35 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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Unless you have family and friends flying in for Thursday, why not just postpone Thanksgiving a few days and have it on the weekend?

I remember a few years ago my family was all over the country and we just couldn't get together for xmas. So we decided to have it the following weekend. We all got together and had dinner, opened presents, argued. It was the exact same experience just a week later. There's nothing very special about the date a holiday falls on. It's the gathering and observation that's important.
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