You are more likely to catch colds if you become run down. You are more at risk when you are under stress, not eating well and not getting enough sleep. Take care of yourself and you will be less likely to catch a cold.
During cold season, wash your hands frequently, especially if you are around others who are sick. You are likely to pick up the virus from contaminated utensils, towels, pens or telephones. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, which are entrances for the cold virus.
Drink more fluids, especially water. Tissues should be used to cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and dispose of them immediately. Again, wash your hands after this.
Cold symptoms can last five to seven days. A cold usually begins with a runny nose and sneezing. A sore throat and a mild cough may be present. Fever does not usually accompany cold symptoms, but if it does, the fever is not high.
A high fever, aches, headache and fatigue are signals that you have a virus other than a cold. The illness in this case is likely the flu. Consult your doctor as soon as possible and begin sick day management. Have your yearly flu shot in the fall to prevent some flu strains from attacking.
An overwhelming number of different cough and cold remedies can be found in the pharmacy. If you take more than one product, there may be an unnecessary duplication of ingredients.
To avoid taking medications that are not needed, resist choosing a product that treats many symptoms. Instead, select products that meet your current needs only. It is important to find the right remedy for your symptoms. Do you have a stuffy nose and a cough? Do you need a pain reliever? Ask your pharmacist for advice.
Blood sugar levels may increase when the body is under siege from a cold. Additional blood glucose monitoring will likely be required. Avoid cough and cold medications that contain sugar, sucrose, maltose, dextrose or fructose, and those containing alcohol.
Oral decongestants, which treat stuffy noses, can increase blood sugar levels. Nasal decongestant sprays should not be used for more than five continuous days. A saline nasal spray will help relieve congestion and will not affect blood sugar levels. More frequent blood sugar monitoring may be necessary.
|SYMPTOM||SUGGESTED TREATMENT||ACTIVE INGREDIENT||FOUND IN||CAUTION! SIDE EFFECTS|
|Stuffy nose, sinus pressure, nasal congestion||Decongestant||Pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, oxymetazoline, phenylephrine and other nasal sprays||Sudafed, Entex LA, Sinutab, Benylin D, Tylenol Cold, Drixoral||Non-drowsy - watch use at bedtime, stimulating. Use topical decongestants for a maximum of five continuous days. Can affect blood pressure and glucose levels.|
|Runny nose||Antihistamine||Chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine||Dimetapp, Actifed, Drixoral||Drowsiness, dry mouth. Caution with glaucoma or prostate disease.|
|Dry cough||Cough suppressant||Dextromethorphan, codeine, diphenhydramine||Anything with DM: Benylin, Robitussin||DM: caution when used with SSRIs. Codeine, diphenydramine may cause drowsiness. Codeine may constipate.|
|Chest congestion||Expectorant, extra fluids||Guaifenesen, water||Robutussin, Nim Jiom||Well-tolerated|
|Fever, aches, pain, sore throat||Pain or fever reducer||Acetaminophen, ASA, ibuprofen||Tylenol, Aspirin, Advil, Motrin||Use recommended dose as high doses of ASA may decrease glucose levels|
Your Safeway pharmacist is available to consult on cough and cold remedies and can tailor a recommendation for a person with diabetes. Just ask at the pharmacy counter.