In today’s fast-paced world, it’s hard to slow down for a mere case of the sniffles. Sure, you can try to work through it and hope you’ll feel better quickly. And sometimes that happens. But more often, those pesky symptoms stick around and leave you feeling sneezy and sniffly.
Colds usually last 3 to 7 days, but sometimes they hang on as long as 2 weeks. If you’re under the weather for longer than that, one of these things could be to blame.
We’re more than a decade into the 21st century, and scientists are no closer to that most elusive goal: a cure for the common cold. If anything, cold viruses seem more formidable than ever.
Until recently, researchers thought there were about 100 varieties of rhinoviruses, the most common cause of the common cold. Now, using advanced screening tests, they’ve discovered a whole new group of rhinoviruses. “It’s beginning to look as if there may be as many as 200” cold viruses, says cold expert J....
Sleep helps keep your immune system working like it should. Once you have a cold, you need to catch enough Zzz's to help your body fight off the virus. Take it extra easy during the first 3 days.
Too little shut-eye can also make you more likely to get a cold. One study found that people who got less than 7 hours of sleep a night were nearly three times more likely to get sick than people who slept for 8 hours or more.
2. You’re Low on Fluids
When you’re sick, it’s easy to get dehydrated. A sore throat can make it less than fun to swallow.
A fever draws moisture out of your body. Plus, you lose fluid as your body makes mucus and it drains away. And that over-the-counter cold medicine you’re taking to dry up your head? It can dry the rest of you out, too.
So drink plenty of water, juice, or soup. A side benefit: All that liquid helps loosen up the mucus in your nose and head. Stay away from booze, coffee, and caffeine when you’re looking for things to sip though. They pull out more liquid than they leave behind.
3. You’re Stressed
When you’re freaked out about life, work, or whatever, it takes a toll on your immune system. You can’t fight off viruses as well as you should. That makes you more likely to get a cold, and once that happens, your symptoms are going to be worse.
Ongoing stress makes your body less able to respond to cortisol, a hormone that controls your body’s response to threats like the virus that causes the common cold.