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Medical Warning signs a cold virus is trying to take you down?

  1. Feb 20, 2013 #1
    Say a pair of twins both feel like they are coming down with a Cold or flu. One twin wisely comes home from work takes a hot shower, warms the house temperature a bit, has a good meal and goes to bed early with her iPad. The other twin heads out to a night club and has the time of her life, drinks and dances till the early hours, gets home late and passes out on her bead. Is one more likely to get sick next morning? I know you are probably thinking if she had that much fun it was probably worth getting sick?

    I guess there is a tipping point where if you feel like a cold is coming on and if you make the right decisions you can help your body fight it off illness but if you make bad choices your body may lose the battle and get sick?

    Could we learn the signs that we are under serious attack from cold or flu viruses and then take steps to help our body fight back? Are there warning signs we are under serious attack?

    I feel like I'm under a serious viral attack right now and I don't want to be sick tomorrow, what should I do?

    Thanks for any suggested reading!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Well yes - and we do. Your whole post shows that you already know how to do this.

    Mind you, there are a LOT of things that present the same early signs as a cold or flu.
    By the time you can confirm you are genuinely under attack, it is usually too late to avoid a full-blown infection ... you are probably going to be stuck being sick tomorrow no matter what you do. Looking after yourself, you can reduce your recovery time.
  4. Feb 21, 2013 #3
    I think I'm still on the fence. I guess that's the question, if there are any warnings before it is too late to try and do anything to defeat the invaders? I was outside yesterday a bit, going in and outside and noticed that the cold weather seemed to go through me, granted it was a windy cold day, something didn't seem right. My energy levels seemed off. I have a break in work today so I'm in bed relaxing before heading out in the cold again. Googling did not turn up much info about symptoms before symptoms of a cold or flu, pre-symptoms symptoms.
  5. Feb 21, 2013 #4

    jim hardy

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    My taste buds change a day or two before other symptoms appear. Carbonated beverages tatse bitter. Just an observation, no idea why.
  6. Feb 21, 2013 #5
    With that amount of warning do you change your habits, go to bed earlier, drink less? The time our bodies have to fight off viral invaders before the invaders win or lose is probably pretty short?
  7. Feb 21, 2013 #6

    jim hardy

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    In youth's busy years i couldn't slow down and it usually turned into persistent bronchitis..
    After six weeks of hacking and coughing i'd give up and go get antibiotics.

    But nowadays i have the freedom to slow down. I believe the old wive's tales have a lot of truth.
    I found, by trial and error, that if i stay almost uncomfortably warm and rest a lot it reduces the severity and duration of the cold. The sooner i take notice the better it works.
    Fresh citrus seems to lessen symptoms I eat a small amount of the peel, too.

    my experience only...
  8. Feb 21, 2013 #7

    Simon Bridge

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    Of course - you can also slow down and look after yourself with no warnings at all: prevention is better than cure and all that.

    The trouble with the warning signs is that they could mean lots of things.
    By the time the flu shows symptoms, you are going to get the flu - but: "I felt a bit odd, thought it could be the flu, took the homeopathic flu remedy, and lo: no flu! Therefore ... " Maybe it wasn't the flu to start with? (replace "homeopathic remedy" with any steps taken - same thing. There is truth to old wives tales, the trick is figuring out what it is.)

    If you respond to every possible symptom, you stand a much better chance of avoiding a serous infection ... you will also be responding to a lot of things that are not the start of one. But if you wait to be sure... so there's a trade-off involved here.

    Note: though contracting colds and flu is associated with cold weather and getting cold, you can also contract the flu in warm weather while toasty.
  9. Feb 22, 2013 #8
  10. Feb 22, 2013 #9
    Also, from,


    "Worse still, twenty-five percent of everyone who catches a cold never experience symptoms. No one knows why. They really are sick and have active cold viruses replicating in their throats but they never feel bad."
  11. Feb 22, 2013 #10
    More interesting stuff, thanks Google.

    From, "How Not to Fight Colds"


    "There’s another intriguing paradox here. Studies suggest that about one in four people who get infected with a cold virus don’t get sick. The virus gets into their bodies, and eventually they produce antibodies to it, but they don’t experience symptoms. It may be that people like this are not making the normal amounts of inflammatory agents. "
  12. Feb 22, 2013 #11

    Simon Bridge

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    They are called "carriers".
    Even if you are not a carrier, how long between getting infected and sustaining enough damage to get symptoms?

    I avoid the flu in winter by living on an island within an island nation - the flu still arrives with the tourists in summer but by then there is a good vaccine and the taxpayer funds the jab. The southern hemisphere gets the flu some months after the north anyway. I very rarely get the flu.
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