Why do Colds Seemingly Never Go Away?


By Edison de Mello, MD, PhD

Once you get a cold it can feel impossible to get rid of it… and for good reason, too. After all, in today’s fast paced world, it’s rare that anyone fully slows down and gives themselves the time they need to heal. And for a cold — that’s somewhere between 3 days and 2 full weeks, depending on your symptoms.

Often, if you’ve got a cold that just won’t quit, it’s not just ONE cold.. It’s several back to back infections, from the common cold to sinusitis. After all, when your immune system is weak, you’re more susceptible to getting — and staying — sick.

Plus, if you’re traveling, working at a busy job, or sharing space with others, you’re more likely to come across “bugs” and pick them up. So be wary of places like airplanes, shared restrooms, and busy restaurants if you think you’ve got a bug coming on.

B. What to do if this happens?

1. Get some sleep.  Sleep helps keep your immune system running like it should, so if you even think you’ve got a cold coming on, get extra rest. That’s the best way to help your body fight off a virus.

2. Drink more fluids. When you’re sick, it’s easy to get dehydrated. Whether you sweat it out with a fever, sneeze or cough it out, or just have trouble swallowing enough water, chances are, you’re losing fluid, fast. So double up (or more) on fluids such as water, tea, or soup, and avoid things like alcohol or coffee—they can dry you out.

3. Chill out: Did you know stress can have a huge impact on your immune system? It’s true — when you’re busy worrying about life and work and family, your body doesn’t have the resources it needs to fight off viruses — and it could keep you sick longer. So if you’re under the weather, start delegating! The more you take off your plate, the faster you may heal.

4. Exercise — lightly. If your symptoms are all above your neck (like a runny nose or sore throat), consider gentle movement like a walk in fresh air or yoga. It could actually help — and tire you out so you can rest better!

But if you’ve got chest congestion, stomach issues, or a fever, just rest. That means your immune system REALLY needs time to recharge.

5. Care for your gut and Stay Healthy  — I take ActivatedYou Advanced Restorative Probiotic every day, along with Morning Complete, Vit D 5000mg, and garlic tabs ( Akasha Naturals Allicillin Care), to help support my digestive system.

What does this have to do with a cold? Well, there’s a strong connection between your gut and your immune system, so keeping your gut in top shape could help fight off those frustrating colds too.

6. Blow your nose correctly:  Do not blow too explosively. The pressure from blowing hard can impact your ears, giving you an earache on top of your cold. Instead blow it gently, and only as often as necessary. Holding a finger over one nostril and gently blowing the other into a tissue is the best way. And Wash your hands each time you blow your nose. This will eliminate bacteria and viruses on your hands that could cause other infections (or spread infection to others).

Dr. Edison de Mello is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of the Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine. You can make an appointment with him by calling 310-451-8880 or emailing us at info@akashacenter.com