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Thread: Colds

  1. #1
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Colds

    It's cold season here and there's a pretty good roundup of cold treatments in a recent article on Science-Based Medicine:

    Treating The Common Cold

    Basically, the author concludes the best tactic is to tough it out with maybe mitigation of symptoms with antihistamines and decongestants. I personally think supplements may be a harmless placebo (except zinc nasal sprays) to avoid the drugs. I got no jip with that (well...) but people should be well-informed.

    (related: Coughs, colds, and the “appealing but mistaken concept of boosting the immune system)
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  2. #2
    Out walkin' Dugan's Avatar
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    It continues to amaze me how stuck people are on believing that a cold remedy cures a cold. From vitamin C to echinacea to zinc to - most shockingly, the antibiotics some doctors prescribe* - all have been proven ineffective. Use them, and you'll feel better in about a week. Don't use them, and you'll feel better in about seven days.
    *shocking, because doctors should know something as basic as that antibiotics aren't effective against rhinovirus.

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    Plant-Based Person Raiem's Avatar
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    Why have doctors given anibiotics all these years??? They have known all along that they do no good. I suppose they thought it couldn't hurt, but that's not really good reasoning for a scientist. Did they give them just to get their patients to shut up?? More good scientific reasoning. This would be a good application for a placebo
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    Plant-Based Person Lentil's Avatar
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    Back when I was a teenager, I used to get colds frequently, and they would often progress to sinus infections. I would get antibiotics for my sinus infections, and it did seem like they helped, but at that point there may have been some secondary infection with bacteria even if the initial infection was viral. Or, I might have just gotten better over the course of that week that I got antibiotics anyway - who knows!

    I have gotten colds less frequently as I've gotten older. The biggest help to me has been using a neti pot - that study is interesting that long term neti pot use might lead to more colds. I could sort of see that, since it does seem like it could help viruses enter the mucosa in some way. I only use my neti pot when I start to feel stuffy, and it pretty much eliminates my annoying post-nasal drip cough and sore throat.

    What do you guys think of the "new" decongestant phenylephrine? If you look at the literature that comes in the package, I think it actually doesn't work much better than placebo (not a statistically significant difference from what I can remember, but it's been a while since I read it). It doesn't work at all for me. But, I don't like taking pseudoephedrine much either - I'll only take it if I must go in to work and I'm blowing my nose constantly. It does help with congestion, but my nasal passages feel dried out and painful when I take it.

  5. #5
    tiny careful adventure fire bluedawg's Avatar
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    i guess this means i should stop taking emergen-C twice a day when i'm feeling cold-y.

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    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dugan View Post
    It continues to amaze me how stuck people are on believing that a cold remedy cures a cold. From vitamin C to echinacea to zinc to - most shockingly, the antibiotics some doctors prescribe* - all have been proven ineffective. Use them, and you'll feel better in about a week. Don't use them, and you'll feel better in about seven days.
    *shocking, because doctors should know something as basic as that antibiotics aren't effective against rhinovirus.
    I heard doctors do that but never experienced it myself. It's sorta like their version of a placebo. It's especially alarming though since it increases the chances of drug resistant bacteria.
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  7. #7
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiem View Post
    Why have doctors given anibiotics all these years??? They have known all along that they do no good. I suppose they thought it couldn't hurt, but that's not really good reasoning for a scientist. Did they give them just to get their patients to shut up?? More good scientific reasoning. This would be a good application for a placebo
    Unfortunately with many doctors there's little scientific reasoning going on.
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  8. #8
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lentil View Post
    What do you guys think of the "new" decongestant phenylephrine? If you look at the literature that comes in the package, I think it actually doesn't work much better than placebo (not a statistically significant difference from what I can remember, but it's been a while since I read it). It doesn't work at all for me. But, I don't like taking pseudoephedrine much either - I'll only take it if I must go in to work and I'm blowing my nose constantly. It does help with congestion, but my nasal passages feel dried out and painful when I take it.
    I don't know anything about phenylephrine but I do lean on decongestants in scenarios like you describe. Being at work a constantly blowing my nose sucks.
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  9. #9
    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluedawg View Post
    i guess this means i should stop taking emergen-C twice a day when i'm feeling cold-y.
    Herbi drinks Tang when she's sick. The general idea of Vitamin C & junk is enough of a placebo to help. Now I do it too knowing full-well that it probably has little efficacy but I buy into it enough to make me feel better. If emergen-C works for you then why not?! Better than antibiotics eh?
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  10. #10
    Plant-Based Person Lentil's Avatar
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    Blah. I'm getting a cold now, I think. It seems to be more of a chest cold than a head cold, which sucks. I can't use my neti pot on my lungs... And, we're having a big snow/ice storm. I wonder if we have any mucinex in the house.

  11. #11
    half a block from Normal Emiloid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lentil View Post
    Blah. I'm getting a cold now, I think.
    Wow, now that's the power of suggestion! No really, I hope you feel better very soon.

    Personally, I think sleeping a lot and having lots of gingery-garlicy seitan-noodle soup makes colds go away faster. Or if not, at least it's not so bad while it's there. The last couple of times I thought I felta cold coming on, I took lots of vitamin C and some oregano oil. Bleh! I'm not sure if it worked or if I've been lucky and haven't actually caught a cold, but it's been a couple of years since I was sick with a cold.
    wocka wocka wocka

  12. #12
    Plant-Based Person Lentil's Avatar
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    I think it's been a long time coming. I've been low on sleep for a while now, and last week I went to an event with thousands of people crammed in an enclosed space, so the incubation time is just about right.

    Soup is an excellent idea. I <3 miso soup a lot these days.

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