Tuesday, June 13, 2006
5 Tips to Fighting the Common Cold
Are you ready to learn how to fight the common cold and flu virus?
Did you know that the U.S. spends $40 Billion a year on the common cold but you could prevent it for next to nothing?
Yes, you heard right, the common cold costs the U.S. economy roughly $40 billion a year, much more than other conditions like asthma, heart failure, and emphysema.
Before I share the tips with you, let’s look at the statistics.
"From a bottle of cough syrup to missed time at work and school, the price tag of catching a cold really adds up," says researcher A. Mark Fendrick, MD, with the Consortium for Health Outcomes, Innovation, and Cost Effectiveness Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His study appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In it, he reports the results from a nationwide telephone survey of more than 4,000 U.S. households. Nearly 75% reported suffering from a cold within the last year, with an average of 2.5 episodes.
"A cold is the most commonly occurring illness in humans, so it was no surprise that there are approximately 500 million colds each year in the U.S.," says Fendrick. "What was a surprise is how often the public uses the health care system to treat a cold."
Those surveyed reported their doctors' bills, over-the-counter medication costs, and costs of prescription drugs. They also reported days when work and school were missed, a cost that is generally overlooked, says Fendrick. Fendrick found that
Americans spend $2.9 billion on over-the-counter drugs and another $400 million on prescription medicines for symptom relief. Also, more than $1.1 billion are spent annually on the estimated 41 million antibiotic prescriptions for cold sufferers -- even though antibiotics have no effect on a viral illness.
"We found that the common cold leads to more than 100 million physician visits annually at a conservative cost estimate of $7.7 billion a year," Fendrick says. "More than one-third of patients who saw a doctor received an antibiotic prescription. While these unnecessary costs are problematic, what is more concerning is how these treatment patterns contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance, a significant public health concern."
The study reports that an estimated 189 million school days are missed annually because of a cold. Also, parents missed 126 million workdays in order to stay home to care for their child.
When added to the workdays missed by employees suffering from a cold, the total economic impact of cold-related work loss exceeds $20 billion. "Because there is no cure for the common cold it gets far less attention than many less common conditions," Fendrick says. "An intervention that would effectively prevent or treat the cold would have a huge clinical and economic impact, far greater than for chronic diseases that we hear about on a regular basis."
Wow, the last time I checked there IS a cure for the common cold it's called a healthy immune system, unfortunately you can't make much money by helping someone build one, so our health care industry isn't interested!
Here are the 5 simple tips that will help you prevent and fight the common cold:
1) Sleep! Most research has shown that the optimal level of sound sleep a person should get a night is 8 hours. Without it your body can not fight off outside invaders such as bacteria and virus’
2) Water intake. If you are not drinking 8-10 twelve ounce glasses of purified water a day your body will have a hard time executing the crucial steps needed for a healthy immune system.
3) Avoid sugar and white flour intake. In the October 1993 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine there is a study that shows “the ingestion of 100 grams of sugar will stop the production of white blood cells for six hours.” White blood cells are what fight bacteria and virus’ in the human body. Without normal white blood cell production the immune system will not function.
4) Wash your hands through out the day. Use hot water and regular soap, not anti-biotic soap which weakens the immune system.
5) The daily supplementation of certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs will support the immune system to ward of infection. Some of the most effective supplements are; Vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, selenium, bio-flavonoids like quercetin, and herbs like Echinacea, St Johns Wort, Fenugreek, Cats Claw, and Astragalus.
So don’t wait for your immune system to fail! Put these 5 tips into action today!
Thomas Von Ohlen, MS
Thomas Von Ohlen is a clinical nutritionist and developer of Plasma Pro software for doctors. In his 15 years in private practice he has helped thousands of people, from all over the world, achieve their health goals through education and product recommendations. His FREE newsletter is available at www.healyourbodynow.com