• Monday, January 07th, 2013

It’s coming: the tickling throat, the rumbling cough, the foggy brain. A cold—precisely when we can least afford to get sick. Whether because of that big meeting on Wednesday, that much anticipated date on Saturday night, or simply errand overload, now is not the time to be laid up with a bug. How to vanquish the dreaded disease?

There is no cure for the common cold, but the story doesn’t end there. We’ve all got friends/relative/coworkers with their own brand of snake oil—a trademark blend of chicken soup, VapoRub, and Tabasco sauce—that promises to end all our woes. Is relying on these remedies like fighting a forest fire with a garden hose, or will they really help us get back on our feet within a few days?

Anatomy of a Cold
The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory system and is caused by one of three types of viruses: rhinoviruses, picornaviruses, and coronavirues. Though highly contagious, colds are rarely serious or fatal for people with normal immune systems. But because they are caused by viruses, there is no cure. This is important to remember, particularly for people who take antibiotics for colds. Not only are antibiotics ineffectual in curing colds, but they also increase users’ likelihood of developing a resistance to antibiotics.

Pick Your Battles
So, the simple answer is no—you can’t get rid of a cold once you’ve contracted it, because you can’t cure a virus. But you can treat your symptoms effectively and strengthen your immune system to reduce the cold’s severity and speed up your recovery.

The most effective treatment for colds is to handle symptoms one by one. Sore throats, coughs, runny noses, headaches, sneezing, achiness, and fatigue all require individual attention. Fever more often accompanies influenza, but it can occur with colds, too. Addressing these symptoms as soon as they arise will help you keep them under control and prevent your illness from completely disrupting your life.

  • To treat a sore throat, drink plenty of soothing hot fluids in combination with syrups to coat the irritated area. Throat lozenges usually help only while you are sucking on them; once they dissolve, you actually feel worse than before, since they break up the mucus that naturally coats and protects your throat. Choose tea or hot lemonade with plenty of thick honey instead. And resist the temptation to spike it, even though hot toddies are a traditional cold remedy—alcohol will also wear away that protective mucous membrane.
  • To treat congestion, steam yourself. Mucus is important to protect your body’s membranes, as it contains antiseptic enzymes that help you fight off infection, which is why your body produces much more of the stuff when you’re sick. But when mucus starts building up in your sinuses, it blocks those important infection-fighting agents from getting where they need to be. Not to mention the fact that mucus turns you into a phlegm-like version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You need to get things moving, and the best way to do that is with heat. Take a super-hot shower and let the steam run up your nose, sit in a sauna, or over a pot of hot water with a towel covering your head (a low-budget vaporizer). Aromatherapy preparations of menthol and eucalyptus, like Vicks VapoRub, are also helpful.
  • To treat a cough, try an over-the-counter expectorant, not a cough suppressant. The former helps you clear up mucus, whereas the latter simply reduces your urge to cough. Remember, when it comes to mucus, you want to unclog. That wet cough might not be pleasant, but it will help you get better faster. Just make sure to cover your mouth every time to avoid sharing your cold.
  • To treat a fever, a headache, and body aches, pop some aspirin or acetaminophen. All these symptoms are the result of your body’s fighting infection. If you feel overheated and sore, like you’ve run a marathon, it’s because you have—at least in terms of the sheer physical effort ousting those germ invaders requires.

For all your symptoms, especially the general fatigue that plagues every cold sufferer, the prescription is plenty of fluids and rest. Think of fighting off infection as vigorous exercise, in the sense that your body is doing a lot of work to get you back to normal. That means you need to hydrate and replenish your energy stores just as you would with any other physical activity. Rest is important for cell repair, and water is key for maintaining stamina and keeping the bad stuff flowing out of you.

Prevention Is the Best Cure
The best way not to have a cold is not to get one. That means practicing good hygiene to keep germs at bay and maintaining a healthy immune system to prevent infections from breaching your body’s natural defenses.

Wash your hands after using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing, and shaking hands. Do the same before eating and touching your mouth, eyes, nose, and face, even if your hands don’t appear dirty. Cold viruses can live for up to three hours outside the body, so you come into contact with them on everything you touch. Remember that antibacterial soaps offer no defense against viruses; the physical act of hand washing is what actually removes infectious particles from your skin.

Though the “cold” got its name from the belief that it is caused by chilly, damp weather, this is not precisely so. Winter is known as “cold season,” but the frequency of colds during those months is more likely because of behavioral changes, like staying indoors in close proximity to others and breathing recycled air from heating ducts. Colds are actually becoming more and more common in the summertime among people who spend a lot of time in air-conditioning, reaffirming the hypothesis that enclosed spaces increase opportunities to contract a respiratory infection. Therefore, a good way to prevent getting sick is to spend as much time in the fresh air as possible, even in frosty winter temperatures. A little cold outdoors in winter will keep you from getting one inside your body.

Most important is cultivating a strong immune system all year by eating foods rich in vitamins A, B12, C, D, and E and trace minerals iron, zinc, manganese, chromium, copper, and selenium. For most of us, this means taking a daily multivitamin. Many people load up on these nutrients when they feel themselves getting sick, but by then it’s really too late; it’s much easier for your body to ward off an illness than it is to fight one. Herbs like echinacea are highly touted among cold warriors, but studies have shown that they have no effect. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and reducing stress are better bets for sustaining overall health and immunity.


• Sunday, March 25th, 2012

The Hunger Games is the most violent PG-13 movie ever made. With the MPAA Guidelines getting more and more lenient, they have taken this movie and removed any sexual reference and almost ever swear word except for a Hell or Damn, so that they could push the bar to include as much violence and bloody gore as possible without getting an “R” rating. On top of the entire movie being nearly nothing except for violence, it is all teenage children that it is happening to and coming from. All of the killers and victims are from the ages of 12 to 18 years old, and you get to see them ripped apart, mauled, crushed, and blood coming out from everywhere.

I highly advise that before you see it, you check out a website that not only rates movies, but will give you details about how bad it gets for violence, sex, language, and substance abuse like the site

Here is a link for the Hunger Games details:

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• Saturday, October 11th, 2008

I read an article in which it said that Twilight is Pornography. The writer of the article was arguing that the definition of Pornography is any media that has content that will turn you on. He is upset about how many women are being turned on by the things written in these books. He also mentions that if you have the argument that they were married when they made love, that he then would ask you “If you had a porno movie showing a couple having sex, and they were married, would that suddenly make it not porn?”

His view was actually based off of a Christian standpoint with very conservative views.

I for one have read all of the Twilight Books. I may never have if not introduced to them by my wife, but I actually enjoyed them, overall. I am not sure if I agree with the opinion above. I see where the guy is coming from, but am not sure if it would be categorized as pornography. Whether it is, or not, I liked the books and they were a lot more clean than some PG-13 movies out there.

Feel free to add your own comment to this post.  I will moderate comments first for spam, but will add yours on, if not against my Website Host’s TOS.

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