5 myths and one truth about the cold and flu
(BPT) – Some people are always on the move. Their weekend begins with a list of things to do and ends with a bunch of checked boxes. Lunch hours are time to squeeze in a visit to the gym or take advantage of sale. Each day is a marathon of activity.
If this is you, then you know nothing is worse than getting knocked down by a cold. Sitting on the couch, waiting to feel better while you could be running errands, working out or any number of things, is beyond frustrating.
Speaking with a doctor isn’t always convenient when you’re sick, so many reach out to friends and family, desperate to find some way to feel better. More often than not, the home remedies they’re given are nothing more than old wives’ tales.
A better plan of action is to turn to your pharmacist for help. Often more accessible than a doctor, all you have to do is walk up to the counter and ask them for expert advice. If you’ve ever wondered how to prevent a cold or how to feel better when you do have one, registered pharmacist and health expert, Jim Morelli, is here to weigh in on some of the most pervasive cold and flu myths, and point you to what really works.
Myth #1: Going outside with wet hair can make you sick.
Pharmacist’s take: Going outside with wet hair can make you physically cold, but it will not cause a cold. It takes a virus to make you sick, which is contracted through exposure to germs.
Myth #2: Feed a cold, starve a fever.
Pharmacist’s take: Fevers do not respond to food. That being said, it’s always a good idea to maintain hydration and nutrition when sick.
Myth #3: Chicken soup can cure the cold or flu.
Pharmacist’s take: Chicken soup is not a cure for anything but hunger. However, there is some evidence it can be beneficial when you have a cold or the flu because it is hydrating and contains needed electrolytes.
Myth #4: The flu shot causes the flu.
Pharmacist’s take: The flu shot is actually a killed virus so it is not live. It cannot give you the flu. Even the weakened virus in the nasal spray vaccination should not cause the flu. Some people experience what is called a “serum sickness” from vaccinations, but this is a short lived period of feeling lousy as opposed to the actual flu.
Myth #5: Avoid dairy when sick.
Pharmacist’s take: Unless you are taking a tetracycline antibiotic, typically used to treat respiratory tract and intestine infections, dairy is fine when you are sick. Keep in mind, however, that in some individuals, dairy can upset the stomach if they’ve got a stomach bug.
While it might be disappointing to hear that chicken soup doesn’t actually cure a cold, the upside is there is an actual way to feel better. Morelli recommends stocking your cabinet with cold and flu medicine, and the #1 pharmacist recommended brand to treat your worst cold and flu symptoms is Advil Cold & Sinus.
Next time you’re sick and eager to feel better, go see your pharmacist and ask for Advil Cold & Sinus. Unlike a number of home remedies, it will actually help make you feel better, sooner.