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Stop Colds And Flu Viruses In Their Tracks

In last night's edition of Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) it was revealed that Pro Dancer Derek Hough had to step out from the competition temporarily because he had the flu.

If you feel a cold or a flu virus is about to strike there are several things you can do to stop the onset, lessen it's impact or speed it through your system.

(Image of Orange Juice - Courtesy of Pulpdtp - May 29, 2007 - All Rights Reserved)

Note: These suggestions and recommendations may not apply to anyone with Swine flu or similar.  However it will often help with colds and seasonal virus bugs.  Please always consult with your own private physician before undertaking any suggestions listed below.

It's so important for me to stay well to keep up with and my other responsibilities so when I feel a cold or virus about to hit I follow the following steps which seem to personally help me:

1.  Amp up the Vitamin C. I like the powdered versions and will take them with plain water to help my body absorb the vitamin as fast as possible.  Although it's never been conclusively proven that Vitamin C fights colds or wards off symptoms, the evidence swings back and forth.  It's safe to take up to 1,000 mg. 

Other experts believe you can take many more times that amount.  Once the body has absorbed all it needs any excess will be excreted immediately from your body.  Some people will experience an overactive colon as a result of too much Vitamin C but this eliminates worry from overdosing on Vitamin C.

2.  Take Zicam - According to data published in the American Journal of Infection Control Zicam has been shown to knock out the common cold in as little as 1 1/2 days compared to 10 without the Zicam.  It's an OTC product that does have some side effects for some, but they are reportedly very mild.  Read the usage instructions to determine the best delivery for you.

3.  Zinc Gluconate Lozenges - Studies have demonstrated that zinc gludonate lozenges and similar zinc remedies will help to block a cold or virus before it hits or will speed it through your system if it does grab hold.

If you decide to take zinc, regardless of the delivery method, be sure to read use instructions.  When you take lozenges be sure to suck on them and not chew them.  Depending on the formula you may or may not be able to take zinc on an empty stomach.

4.  Take Echinacea/Goldenseal - I always load up on this herbal combination from my local health food store and it really helps me.  Echinacea and Goldenseal may not work for all people, especially those on some prescribed medications.  Before you take any type of herbs make sure they're safe for you.

5.  Drink Lots of Water And Fluids - It's important to keep the fluids flowing and water is best.  Of course it never hurts to add a little green tea, which in itself has known healing properties.  If you decide to do juices, make sure they are sugarfree.  If you opt for grapefruit juice make sure it doesn't interfere with your existing medications.

6.  Get Plenty Of Rest - When your body's under attack it needs extra rest.  If you can't get good sleep lying flat consider sleeping propped up with pillows or even sleeping sitting up in your favorite recliner.  When laying flat congestion can drain down into your lungs extending your period of illness.

7.  Don't Smoke - Studies have shown that people who smoke tend to get more ill than those that don't.  Why?  Smoke damages or paralyzes the cilia in the lungs.  These small little hairs help to whisk away infections.

8.  Avoid Antibiotics - Unless your doctor specifically prescribes them, avoid taking antibiotics since cold and flu bugs are caused by a viruses which don't respond to antibiotics.

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9.  Salt It Up - A great way to keep infected mucus at bay and keep the nasal membranes moist consider gargling with salt water, squirting it up your nose and taking salt water and epsom salt baths.  If you prefer take a herbal bath.

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10.  Take Decongestants - While nasal and oral decongestants help to relieve stuffy noses and eliminate mucous if you take too much you can wind up drying out too much.  Consider taking only half of the recommended dose or taking a herbal version instead.

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