Cold or Allergies – How Do You Know?

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My neighbor has been struggling with a cough, scratchy throat and runny nose for 2 months. She can’t figure out if it’s a cold or allergies. She is not alone. Fall is a prime time for allergies, but it’s also the time when you start to get more colds, thanks to kids bringing back all sorts of germs from school.

While colds and allergies share common symptoms, their origin is different. A cold occurs when a virus enters the body. Symptoms are a reaction to your immune system’s fight against the infection.

Meanwhile, allergies are an adverse reaction to a substance caused by an overactive immune system. For some reason, your body mistakes harmless things, such as dust or pollen, for germs and attacks them like they would a virus.

Signs and symptoms of a cold include:

• symptoms appear gradually
• colds should not last more than 2 weeks
• sore or dry throat
• green or yellow nasal discharge
• fever, general aches and pains

There are many things you can do for a cold. Drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest and take a supplement that supports the immune system. Echinacea can strengthen your immune system and studies have shown it is beneficial in preventing or treating colds. Choose a preparation backed by research and one made from fresh plant extracts.

Vitamin D and zinc are also effective cold busters. Click here to learn more.

Signs and symptoms of allergies include:

• itchiness (eyes, throat, top of mouth, ears)
• symptoms appear all at once and will be triggered by an allergen
• clear nasal discharge
• family history—seasonal allergies are hereditary

It is estimated that as many as 30% of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. For many, antihistamines are the go-to for immediate relief, however they may cause drowsiness, and they only focus on symptoms and not on strengthening your immune system.

Supplements can help provide relief of symptoms and also help strengthen the immune system. Pathway Allergy Support Plus is a comprehensive formula combining vitamin C, quercetin, nettle leaf extract, bromelain, turmeric, plus many other synergistic nutrients. This formula provides powerful upper respiratory support and is a must for anyone suffering from seasonal allergies.

There are also some homeopathic allergy remedies available that may not only treat your symptoms, but over time help control your immune system’s reaction to things like dust and ragweed. For more information on this, please contact Village Green Apothecary.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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February 2023