Docs On Call: National News
What to Do When You're Sick, But Not Sick Enough
Story Updated: Jan 23, 2013
(NewsUSA) - Doctors agree that cold and flu symptoms are nothing to sneeze at and that the sooner they're treated, the better chance there is for a quick recovery and minimum disruption of lifestyle. Yet, people hesitate to take medication at the crucial early stage for lots of reasons.
First, it can be difficult to tell where early symptoms will lead. Some people try orange juice or a nap, adding different treatments, step by step, as time passes, if symptoms grow worse.
"I see it all the time," says Chris Gilbert, M.D., author of "Dr. Chris's A, B, C's of Health." "Patients take great proactive steps like washing their hands frequently and taking a multivitamin. They don't know what to do, though, when they start to get sick. They wait until their condition gets so bad that they can't sleep at night or function during the day, so they have nothing to lose by taking something that will put them in a fog."
Drivers, equipment operators, pilots and night workers can't take antihistamines or decongestants that can cause drowsiness.
Others just don't like to take medication or don't like to admit they're vulnerable.
The problem is that when cold and flu sufferers get to the point of taking a medication that will suppress symptoms until the body heals on its own, the action of suppressing symptoms is counterproductive to what the body is doing to help itself.
However, there are over-the-counter medicines that help nip symptoms in the bud. Homeopathic medicines work with the body to help it rebalance and heal itself instead of simply masking symptoms. Clinical studies show that top seller Oscillococcinum helps reduce both the severity and duration of flu-like symptoms. In fact, when patients took it within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, nearly 63 percent showed "clear improvement" or "complete resolution" within 48 hours, according to a study published in a British scientific journal. These results confirm results from previous studies.
"Patients have told me that they feel much better the next morning, even when they thought they would be bedridden the evening before. It's the step to take after proactively trying to prevent illness with vitamins but before it gets to the point where you think you need to mask symptoms with heavy-duty medication," says Dr. Gilbert. "For years I've been telling my patients to keep Oscillo on hand."
This family treatment for 2- to 102-year-olds has a 65-year safety record, no side effects such as drowsiness, and no interactions with other medications or supplements. When you're feeling run down and have a headache, body aches, chills and fever, you will be glad that these sweet-tasting pellets dissolve quickly under your tongue without water.