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Chest cold.

I have yet to meet a person who never had common cold in his life. That's why it is called common because it is an infectious disease that hits everyone all races - young or old, male or female, healthy or not healthy, or rich or poor.

The bad news is that to date there is yet no cure for common cold. The good news is that the symptoms can be treated.

Here are interesting information about common cold including a particularly kind of colds known as chest cold, which is more commonly known as acute bronchitis:

*Unknown to many, common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Normally, it is not advisable to take antibiotics when one is afflicted with common cold or other viral infection. Not to mention the danger that antibiotics may have adverse side effects;

*Common colds may last for only a few days but it can prolong to weeks depending on varying health circumstances of the person. If the person has strong immune system he will be able to fight off the infection within a short time;

*Usually a common cold starts with any, some or all of the following symptoms: Runny nose, cough or a feeling of fatigue. Barring complications of the common cold - staying at home and drinking plenty of water to keep the body hydrated and to wash out toxins, getting plenty of rest and taking vitamin C capsules/tablets, 2 or 3 times a day (not less than 500mg) is sufficient treatment for common cold;

*One should eat sparingly if one has common cold. Coughing on a full stomach when one has common cold is no joke;

*Sleeping flat on one's back is not advisable when one has common cold. Rather sleeping on one side at a time is more healthful and restful;

*When one has common cold, exposure to sunlight for about 30 minutes is advisable;

*Chest cold more commonly known as acute bronchitis is a condition that is caused when the bronchial tubes in the lungs become inflamed thus producing mucus that causes a person to cough. Symptoms of acute bronchitis (like watery eyes, sore throat, low grade fever, mild headache and/or mild body aches, fatigue and cough that produces mucus) can last for up to 8 weeks in some people;

*Chronic bronchitis is common among smokers;

*Acute bronchitis is almost always caused by a virus and normally antibiotics is not the treatment unless there is threat of developing pneumonia;

*There are, however, some bacteria (not virus) that cause acute bronchitis. In fact, there are bacteria that cause both acute bronchitis and the so-called "walking pneumonia";

*Usually acute bronchitis occurs after an infection of common cold or sinus infection.

If one has other ailments like sinusitis, heart disease, hypertension or other diseases, or has some drug sensitivities or allergies, it would be advisable to be very careful not to be taking prescriptive drugs without doctor's advice. Because there is such thing as drug interaction.

One may ask: What is drug interaction? Contrary to the common belief that drug interaction is limited to cases when two or more drugs react with each other - there are two other cases of drug interaction. The second case of drug interaction is when some drugs react with certain foods or beverage. The third case is when a person who has an existing medical condition takes a drug which results in an unwanted reaction.

Let me share more information about a situation when two (2) or more drugs react with each other.

Many of us do not know that drugs are foreign substances to our bodies. These drugs are usually discharged from our bodies in urine or bowel movements. There are some drugs that are removed unchanged by our kidneys and leave the body in urine form. Other drugs are being processed by the liver with the chemicals in the liver (the so-called enzymes) and are likewise removed from our bodies in urine or in the form of bowel movements. The drug goes from the stomach to the intestine to the liver and spreads to the rest of the body. The most common drug interactions involve the liver thus slowing down or speeding up the action our liver enzymes.

In the drug-to-drug interactions, a person may experience an unexpected side effect. For example, a sedative (drug to help one to sleep) and a drug for allergies (antihistamine) can cause drug interaction. And makes driving a car or operating machinery dangerous. It is therefore important that if a doctor prescribes some medicines for some of our medical condition, we should disclose to the doctor the other drugs that we are also taking including antioxidant tablets and/or multivitamins and mineral tablets. We should also ask our doctors if there are some foods or beverages that we should avoid as there are harmful mixing of some drugs with certain foods or beverages. We are in big trouble though if our doctors do not know about the consequences of drug interactions; or do not mind about the disastrous effects. Likewise, if we are buying non-prescription drugs without the advice of the doctor, we should carefully read and understand the drug labels that contain information about the ingredients of the drugs as well as uses, warnings and even directions. We should always read the drug label before use whether the drug is an over-the-counter drug or prescription drug.

The message I am trying to convey here is that we should not be taking prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs that do not need doctors' prescriptions for common cold or chest cold (or acute bronchitis) indiscriminately - especially if we are suffering from other ailments because of the danger of drug interaction.

Have a joyful day! (For comments/reactions please send to Ms. Villafuerte's email:


Nelly Favis-Villafuerte
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Title Annotation:Columnists
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Dec 21, 2018
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