Until you’re feeling better, it may help to drink plenty of fluids to replace those lost from sweating and having a runny nose. Try to get plenty of rest and eat healthily a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. You may lose your appetite when you have a cold. This is perfectly normal and should only last a few days. Don’t force yourself to eat if you’re not feeling hungry. You may also wish to try some of the medications and remedies described below to help relieve your symptoms.
It is said that catching a cold is like eating food, it’s part of life. Yet still, why does it makes us sick!
The main medications used to treat cold symptoms are: painkillers – such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen, which can help relieve aches and a high temperature (fever). Use decongestants to help relieve a blocked nose. Some medications are available from pharmacies without a prescription.
What to do
There’s no cure for a cold, but you can look after yourself at home by:
resting, drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthily taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to reduce any fever or discomfort using decongestant sprays or tablets to relieve a blocked nose trying remedies such as gargling salt water and sucking on menthol sweets Many painkillers and decongestants are available from pharmacies without a prescription. They’re generally safe for older children and adults to take, but might not be suitable for babies, young children, pregnant women, people with certain underlying health conditions, and those taking certain other medications. Speak to a pharmacist if you’re unsure.
When to see your GP
If you or your child has a cold, there’s usually no need to see your GP as it should clear within a week or two.
You only really need to contact your GP if:
your symptoms persist for more than three weeks your symptoms get suddenly worse
you have breathing difficulties you develop complications of a cold, such as chest pain or coughing up bloodstained mucus It might also be a good idea to see your GP if you’re concerned about your baby or an elderly person, or if you have a long-term illness such as a lung condition.