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INSIDE OUT: Who can fight off a cold the quickest?; There's no miracle cure for a cough or runny nose but research suggests a little TLC will help you feel better in no time. Penny Fray discovers which of these three snifflers will combat a cold first.

Byline: Penny Fray

THE HOMOEOPATH

Phil Hughes Age: 52

TREATMENT: ``Assoon as I suspect that I'm going to get a cold I'll take a homeopathic treatment like aconite and nux vomica when symptoms such as a chill or sneezing starts.

In my view, I think going to the doctor makes things worse. After all, they'll normally recommend lowering your temperature. But the body knows when it's being attacked by a virus and heals itself by sweating and releasing mucus. Sleep: ``I usually have eight hourssleep,'' says Phil who runs a practice in St John's Road, Waterloo. ``But when I'm feeling unwell I rest as much as possible.''Stress: ``I'm normally a fairly calmcharacter but I become extra irritable and stressed when ill.'' Diet: ``I have a very healthy diet inthat I don't eat red meat or much fatty food.

Instead, I eat a lot of fish, a little white meat and plenty of vegetables and fruit and that goes for whenever I'm ill or well.'' Exercise: ``Apart from doing martial arts, I take my dog for a 30 minute walk twice a day. That keeps me active without over doing things.'' Smoking and drinking: `` I used to smoke but now I just have the very rare cigarette during social events. And I'm a moderate drinker, never when I have a cold, though.''Verdict: Phil deals with his cold ashe should - by resting, eating well and avoiding toxins such as cigarettes and drink while ill. Also, science states that you come down with fewer colds as you get older thanks to gained immunity from past infections.

Survival score: 9/10

THE HOTEL BOSSStephen Roberts Age: 40

Treatment: ``I normally try to battle on against a cold for the firstcouple of days,'' says Stephen, the boss of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. ``If it takes over I go for the strongest brand of medicine.''Sleep: ``I prefer to keep active thanlanguish in bed.''Stress: ``My stress levels rise with acold and in my job there are always a thousand and one things to do.''

Diet: ``I try to eat sensibly, despite the long hours. When I have a cold Iinclude a lot of fresh fruit andalways eat three times a day.''Exercise: ``I keep fit three times a week in the hotel's gym for about 45minutes.''Smoking and drinking: ``I normally smoke between 10 to 15 cigarettes a day - never when I have acold. And while I like wine, I don'tdrink to excess. But if I have a cold I guzzle loads of orange juice.''

Verdict: Refusing to take treatmentwill only prolong the agony and a cold should be treated as soon as thesymptoms appear. Also, adequate sleep is important for the body's overall ability to stay strong. Finally, research suggests psychological stress makes it harder to recover.Survival score: 3/10

THE BAR MANAGER

Margaret Clark Age: 45

Treatment: ``As soon as I feel a coldstarting I take Beechams powers and hot lemon drinks,'' says Margaret, manager of Anderson's bar, Exchange Street East, Liverpool. ``Sometimes I have a hot toddy to supplement the treatment. I make it with whisky, hot lemonade and honey.'' Sleep: ``I normally sleep about sevenhours but if I have a cold I tend to sleep longer - say eight or nine hours, otherwise I find myself dozing off during the day.''

Stress: `` I am used to working hardso I don't get stressed out.'' Exercise: ``I used to go to the gymtwice a week. Although I still make an effort, it's not as regular.''Diet: I always ensure I eat threemeals a day. ``I normally start the day with a bowl of cereal and toast. At lunch, I'll have a sandwich and a quick evening meal. But when I have a cold I eat more, particularly fruit.''Smoking: ``I am an occasional smoker. To drink I usually have martini and soda - a favourite - and I never drink spirits.''Verdict: Taking an oral decongestant and drinking plenty of vitamin C early is a good way of aiding recovery, according to medics. But drinking alcohol while fighting a cold could cause dehydration and further suppression of the immune system. Ideally, you should neither drink or smoke when ill. Survival score: 6/10
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 7, 2003
Words:700
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