Should Antibiotics be prescribed for the Common Cold?

February 16th, 2012

 Ninety per cent of common colds are due to viral infections. The body’s immune system must be relied upon to deal with the virus, as antibiotics are not useful against viruses. In some cases, antibiotics are prescribed if the cause of the cold is thought to be bacterial. Antibiotics may also be prescribed if a secondary bacterial infection is considered likely or potentially dangerous to a particular patient.

 Preventing the spread of the cold

Contamination studies have demonstrated that viral infections are spread much more readily by direct contact than through the air.  Therefore cleanliness and not sharing utensils, toothbrushes, etc. should be observed.  This is especially important with babies and young infants as they have a greater tendency to be held and touched.

 Here are some vitamins and minerals that support immune function

A properly functioning immune system requires adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Typical adult dosages for use DURING an infection are as follows:

·  Vitamin A – 25,000-50,000 IU per day

·  Beta Carotene – 200, 000 IU per day

·  Zinc – 30 milligrams per day

·  Bioflavonoids – 1 gram per day

·  Vitamin C – 1-3 grams per day

 Vitamin C has been shown to decrease the duration of a common cold if given in large amounts (up to 8 grams per day) at the initial onset

 Botanical (herbal) medicines

Here are some herbal medicines that are effective for their immune stimulating and antiviral properties:

·  Echinacea

·  Astragulas

·  Licorice

·  Hydrastis

 Hydrastis is also considered to have antimicrobial properties which can be effective against bacterial infection.  Dosages depend on the form in which they are taken – i.e. tinctures, raw plant or solid extract.

 Dietary changes to make when you are sick

Diet  modifications necessary to support the immune system:

·  Decrease consumption of solid foods.

·  Increase consumption of water and fluids.

·  Eliminate completely all simple sugars and fruit juices.

 Rest and decreased activity cannot be overemphasized. Let your body rest so it can heal!

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