Colds and FlusRelated Term
• Upper Respiratory Infections; Influenza
A cold is an infection that can bother the nose and throat. It is caused by a virus. Influenza (flu) is a viral infection that may cause problems with breathing. The flu can make you a little sick or very sick. Sometimes it can lead to death.
Both the cold and the flu can cause problems that get in the way of daily tasks. Both are treated with home care and over the counter drugs. But the flu may need prescription drugs. A flu shot can also help stop you from getting the flu. Some people turn to natural therapies to treat health problems and lower the risk of a bacterial infection.
May or May Not Be Effective
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution
Talk to your doctor about all herbs or supplements you are taking. Some may cause problems with your treatment plan or health conditions. Some supplements discussed here have certain concerns such as:
- Ginseng may change blood sugar and blood pressure. Talk to your doctor if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Too much vitamin C may be linked to kidney stones. Do not take vitamin C with iron supplements. Use care when taking vitamin C and acetaminophen.
- Zinc in high doses may result in side effects that range from nausea and vomiting to reduced immune function or reduced iron function. Zinc nasal gel may result in loss of smell.
References [ + ]
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Traditional Chinese Medicine
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Last reviewed February 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Richard Glickman-Simon, MD
Last Updated: 2/22/2019
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