WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: Is It Flu, COVID-19, Allergies, or a Cold?
Feeling sick can be especially concerning these days. Could your sniffles be caused by COVID-19? Or the flu? A cold? Or maybe allergies?
Determining the cause of an illness can be tricky because many share the same symptoms. Figuring out what’s making you sick, can help you recover and prevent spreading sickness to others. When it comes to the Flu, COVID-19, Allergies, and the common cold, according to News In Health, the symptoms are similar but there are some important differences.
Flu vs COVID-19
“Distinguishing COVID from flu can be difficult because the symptoms overlap so much,” explains Dr. Brooke Bozick, an NIH expert on respiratory diseases that affect the lungs. Flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses that can be spread among people. Flu is caused by the influenza virus. COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2. Both can give you a fever, cough, headaches, and body aches.
One telling sign of COVID-19 in some cases is loss of smell or taste. But because of other similar symptoms, there’s really only one way to be certain if you have COVID-19 or flu: Get tested. “You can go and get a COVID test at many pharmacies, and your doctor can administer tests for flu,” Bozick says. COVID-19 tests are also available at many health centers. And you can buy testing kits approved for use at home. Could It Be a Cold? Or Allergies?
Like flu and COVID-19, colds are also caused by viruses and can be passed to others. Symptoms of a cold tend to be mild. You may have a runny nose, cough, congestion, and sore throat. But you won’t usually have the aches and fever that are common with COVID-19 and flu. Often, you’ll feel better in a couple of days. There’s no cure for the common cold. Typical treatments include rest, fluids, taking vitamins, and over-the-counter medicines. Nasal rinses can also bring relief for both cold and allergies.
Allergies can cause a runny nose and sneezing. But they’re not contagious. If your eyes, nose, or ears itch, that also could be an allergy. Exposure to things like dust, pets, and tree or grass pollen can trigger allergies, which are caused by the immune system overreacting. Allergy symptoms tend to stop when you’re no longer exposed to the cause. If you’re sick with the flu, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs. Such drugs can make your flu milder and shorten the time you are sick. They work best if they’re used early in your illness
Building your immune system helps you fight a variety of illnesses naturally. One of the best ways to do so is through the foods that are high in antioxidants and Immunity Support. At Maximum Sim, we understand how important this is to live optimally. With our busy lives, we also understand how challenging it can be to get all of what we need through food alone. Our multi-vitamin supplements help fill in the gaps with key vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy.
Vitamin D is essential to the health and functioning of your immune system. Vitamin D enhances the white blood cells that are important parts of your immune defense — and decreases inflammation, which helps promote immune response. Many people are deficient in this important vitamin, which may negatively affect immune function. In fact, some studies show that supplementing with vitamin D may improve immune response. In fact, recent research suggests that taking this vitamin may protect against respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D has been highly researched in connection with COVID-19 because of its effect on the immune system. Studies have shown that Vitamin D can expedite healing and stall inflammation in the respiratory system (Trusted Source). Our Maximize Within Multi-Vitamin, Turmeric + Moringa, as well as our Immunity Defense has the vitamins and minerals you need to keep you healthy.
Zinc is a mineral that’s commonly added to supplements and other healthcare products like lozenges that are meant to boost your immune system. This is because zinc is essential for immune system function. Zinc is needed for immune cell development and communication and plays an important role in inflammatory response. Zinc also specifically protects tissue barriers in the body and helps prevent foreign pathogens from entering (Trusted Source). A deficiency in this nutrient significantly affects your immune system’s ability to function properly, resulting in an increased risk of infection and disease, including pneumonia (Trusted Source, Trusted Source).
Zinc deficiency affects around 2 billion people worldwide and is very common in older adults. In fact, up to 30% of older adults are considered deficient in this nutrient (Trusted Source). Numerous studies reveal that zinc supplements may protect against respiratory tract infections like the common cold (Trusted Source, Trusted Source). What’s more, supplementing with zinc may be beneficial for those who are already sick.
Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular supplement taken to protect against infection due to its important role in immune health. This vitamin supports the function of various immune cells and enhances their ability to protect against infection. It’s also necessary for cellular death, which helps keep your immune system healthy by clearing out old cells and replacing them with new ones. Vitamin C also functions as a powerful antioxidant, protecting against damage induced by oxidative stress, which occurs with the accumulation of reactive molecules known as free radicals. Oxidative stress can negatively affect immune health and is linked to numerous diseases (Trusted Source). Supplementing with vitamin C has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold (Trusted Source).
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