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Health 13 January 2018
By: Natasha Tanga

Understanding Your Body's Response to Cold and Flu


The common first response when you get the cold or the flu is to treat the annoying symptoms that come with it, such as coughing, sneezing, stuffy nose and fevers. Cough medicine, decongestants and painkillers might make you feel a lot better, but believe it or not, it is often wise to endure rather than to treat these symptoms. 

Cold and flu are common illnesses affecting a diverse age range, and seem to attack when you least expect them to be. Research found that adults suffer from at least 2 flu episodes on average per year, while children might get twice than that.

While they both are similar, cold and flu are not to be confused with each other. A cold is an infection of the upper respiratory system caused by one of about 200 viruses; flu is also an upper respiratory illness caused by one of several specific flu viruses. What differs is that some of the symptoms shown in flu are more intense than the ones you experience when having a cold, for example, body & muscle aches.

Since it is a viral ailment, doctors won't prescribe you antibiotics because it wouldn't fight off the illness itself. It’s up to your immune system to help fight back, with the assistance of prescribed medication. Luckily, your body naturally has ways to fight off cold and flu viruses—and get you back to health with the right cold and flu remedy. In fact, 

How Your Body Fights Back Against Cold and Flu Viruses

The immune system is designed to monitor, recognize, and even remember the virus and take action to eliminate it, when a virus invades healthy cells. The immune system does this by releasing chemicals that trigger anti-virus cells, which then are sent to fight off the enemy.

While the immune system is hard at work fighting off offending viruses, the body experiences infections in different ways. Many symptoms of cold and flu are the result of the immune system trying to fight the infection.

What Cold and Flu Symptoms Mean

While cold and flu symptoms aren’t just happening to keep you resting all day, they actually indicate what your immune system is doing to fight off the infection. Here are a number of common symptoms you may experience:

1. Sneezing

Your body is expelling bacteria and other particles with a sudden, involuntary burst of air.

2. Runny Nose/Nasal Congestion

A runny nose helps wash germs from the nose and sinuses. As your body has produce mucus to remove the cold or flu viruses from your nasal passages, sometimes it can congest the nasal passages and may be trapped in the sinuses because they are not draining properly.

3. Coughing

Cough is triggered when excessive mucus or other irritant has irritated the nerve endings in the respiratory tract. Within a few days, mucus from a runny nose may change color from clear to yellow to green. This is not to be alarmed about, since mucus is designed to trap offending viruses, which then can be quickly expelled from the body through coughing.

4. Fever

Since viruses are sensitive to temperature changes and cannot survive above normal body heat, fever is the body's method to defend itself against viruses by raising its temperature.

5. Muscle Aches and Pain

You may experience sore muscles with the flu as it is also a product of your body’s immune response. Body aches are a sign that your body is releasing protein from your muscles, helping your white blood cells fight off infection.

6. Swollen glands

You may also feel uneasy at swallowing or feeling like you have a sore throat. This may happen because your tonsil glands are producing an army of infection-fighting cells to battle the virus.

The Natural Way to Speed up Recovery

A good way to speed up your recovery is by taking herbal supplements to strengthen your immune response. Our Relief Sari line has Meniran in the forefront to help promote immunity, as its immune boosting and antioxidant property is great to lend a helping hand to your body while it heals itself.