What to do when you're sick, but not sick enough
(NewsUSA) - Doctors agree that cold and flu symptoms are nothing to sneeze at and that the sooner they're treated, the better chance there is for a quick recovery and minimum disruption of lifestyle. Yet, people hesitate to take medication at the crucial early stage for lots of reasons.
First, it can be difficult to tell where early symptoms will lead. Some people try orange juice or a nap, adding different treatments, step by step, as time passes, if symptoms grow worse.
"I see it all the time," says Chris Gilbert, M.D., author of "Dr. Chris's A, B, C's of Health." "Patients take great proactive steps like washing their hands frequently and taking a multivitamin. They don't know what to do, though, when they start to get sick. They wait until their condition gets so bad that they can't sleep at night or function during the day, so they have nothing to lose by taking something that will put them in a fog."
Drivers, equipment operators, pilots and night workers can't take antihistamines or decongestants that can cause drowsiness.
Others just don't like to take medication or don't like to admit they're vulnerable.
The problem is that when cold and flu sufferers get to the point of taking a medication that will suppress symptoms until the body heals on its own, the action of suppressing symptoms is counterproductive to what the body is doing to help itself.
However, there are over-the-counter medicines that help nip symptoms in the bud. Homeopathic medicines work with the body to help it rebalance and heal itself instead of simply masking symptoms.