Cause and cure for the common cold

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What do you think causes the common cold?

It is caused by a virus, possibly passed from person to person.
54
96%
It is the body's natural response to the dropping temperature.
2
4%
 
Total votes: 56

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horizon
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Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby horizon » 2 Feb 2012, 11:56am

It seems that the season of colds and runny noises is upon us once again. Cyclists are probably more aware than most about dealing with cold weather and its effects so I thought it might be useful to run a quick poll on this "hot" topic.
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Si
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby Si » 2 Feb 2012, 12:08pm

Having worked in a building that is commonly well below the outside temperature for much of the year I'm used to sniffles and the like, thus tend to be able to tell the difference between temperature induced symptoms and virus induced ones.

However, there is a third option not in the poll - I always find that I get cold symptoms when I haven't slept properly for a couple of nights. A proper night's sleep then makes them magically disappear.

And a fourth option - colds are caused by having another half who works in a primary school.

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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby karlt » 2 Feb 2012, 12:11pm

Hardly a "hot" topic. The germ theory of disease is now established and has been for over a hundred years, and not only do we know it applies to the common cold, we even know exactly which viruses are involved.

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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby Vorpal » 2 Feb 2012, 12:16pm

Although anything strenuous tends to make colds worse for me, I often find that a short ride in cold air helps clear some of the nasties out of my head.

The cause of the common cold in my house is having two littl'uns.
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby stewartpratt » 2 Feb 2012, 12:20pm

Si wrote:I always find that I get cold symptoms when I haven't slept properly for a couple of nights. A proper night's sleep then makes them magically disappear.


I get this as well.

(Plus the missus works in a school and the boy goes to nursery... Perhaps we just have colds floating round the house all the time and a shortage of sleep is just enough to drop the immune system below a threshold...)

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meic
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby meic » 2 Feb 2012, 2:35pm

karlt wrote:Hardly a "hot" topic. The germ theory of disease is now established and has been for over a hundred years, and not only do we know it applies to the common cold, we even know exactly which viruses are involved.


That is only looking at half of the problem.

The virus needs a nice vulnerable body to get a hold in, the correlation between vulnerability to (and the catching of) colds and a weak immunity system is clearly visible after marathons (and Audaxes).
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karlt
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby karlt » 2 Feb 2012, 2:58pm

meic wrote:
karlt wrote:Hardly a "hot" topic. The germ theory of disease is now established and has been for over a hundred years, and not only do we know it applies to the common cold, we even know exactly which viruses are involved.


That is only looking at half of the problem.

The virus needs a nice vulnerable body to get a hold in, the correlation between vulnerability to (and the catching of) colds and a weak immunity system is clearly visible after marathons (and Audaxes).


Oh yes, but strictly speaking we wouldn't call that a "cause". We'd call it a "risk factor".

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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby eileithyia » 2 Feb 2012, 10:22pm

...and remember all those nasties are left on door handles etc., indeed anywhere that people touch after they have sneezed into their hand and/or wiped their nose on tissues etc.
Our ward clerk always cleaned her telephone in a morning before she started work.
I will go around cleaning door handles, computer keyboards, light switches etc when someone in the house has a cold ( I do anyway but more frequently in these situations).
If exercising it is important not to become dehydrated and give chance for breathe-in bugs to become concentrated in the mouth.
As said if you run down, tired, stressed etc., there is more opportunity for them to take hold.

Echinacea, Zinc and Vit C to boost the immune system.
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby karlt » 2 Feb 2012, 10:25pm

eileithyia wrote:...and remember all those nasties are left on door handles etc., indeed anywhere that people touch after they have sneezed into their hand and/or wiped their nose on tissues etc.
Our ward clerk always cleaned her telephone in a morning before she started work.
I will go around cleaning door handles, computer keyboards, light switches etc when someone in the house has a cold ( I do anyway but more frequently in these situations).
If exercising it is important not to become dehydrated and give chance for breathe-in bugs to become concentrated in the mouth.
As said if you run down, tired, stressed etc., there is more opportunity for them to take hold.

Echinacea, Zinc and Vit C to boost the immune system.


Alas very little evidence that any of these have much effect.

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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby Hector's House » 2 Feb 2012, 10:38pm

karlt wrote:
eileithyia wrote:Echinacea, Zinc and Vit C to boost the immune system.


Alas very little evidence that any of these have much effect.


Will anecdotal do? :p I've been getting a cold for the last few days... Last few times I felt a cold coming along, I had some nettle tea with some honey; symptoms vanished the next day. AFIR, I probably had my normal sleep (either >6 hours, if I had to be up the next day; otherwise, about 8 or sometimes 9...: number of hours of sleep don't make much difference to me, I think; they're so varied throughout the year/day-to-day). Putting the kettle on. Will report tomorrow.
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby karlt » 2 Feb 2012, 10:46pm

Hector's House wrote:
karlt wrote:
eileithyia wrote:Echinacea, Zinc and Vit C to boost the immune system.


Alas very little evidence that any of these have much effect.


Will anecdotal do? :p I've been getting a cold for the last few days... Last few times I felt a cold coming along, I had some nettle tea with some honey; symptoms vanished the next day. AFIR, I probably had my normal sleep (either >6 hours, if I had to be up the next day; otherwise, about 8 or sometimes 9...: number of hours of sleep don't make much difference to me, I think; they're so varied throughout the year/day-to-day). Putting the kettle on. Will report tomorrow.


Short answer - no. That's why proper researchers use randomised trials.

In most cases I find cold symptoms go away in a day or two anyway. It's quite rare that they really develop. If I was in the habit of taking nettle tea with honey as soon as I felt the symptoms, I might attribute their disappearance to that. But I'd be wrong.

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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby Vorpal » 2 Feb 2012, 10:50pm

Zinc inhibits rhinoviral replication and has been tested in trials for treatment of the common cold. It is beneficial in reducing the duration and severity of the common cold in healthy people, when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby Hector's House » 2 Feb 2012, 10:51pm

karlt wrote:
Hector's House wrote:
karlt wrote:Alas very little evidence that any of these have much effect.


Will anecdotal do? :p I've been getting a cold for the last few days... Last few times I felt a cold coming along, I had some nettle tea with some honey; symptoms vanished the next day. AFIR, I probably had my normal sleep (either >6 hours, if I had to be up the next day; otherwise, about 8 or sometimes 9...: number of hours of sleep don't make much difference to me, I think; they're so varied throughout the year/day-to-day). Putting the kettle on. Will report tomorrow.


Short answer - no. That's why proper researchers use randomised trials.

In most cases I find cold symptoms go away in a day or two anyway. It's quite rare that they really develop. If I was in the habit of taking nettle tea with honey as soon as I felt the symptoms, I might attribute their disappearance to that. But I'd be wrong.


Haha, yes, I know it won't do - hence I put the tongue out. I do know quite a bit about trials. I certainly know that one anecdote provides no evidence, other than to say that it seems to work for me (sometimes) :)
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby meic » 2 Feb 2012, 11:01pm

karlt wrote:
Hector's House wrote:Will anecdotal do? :p I've been getting a cold for the last few days... Last few times I felt a cold coming along, I had some nettle tea with some honey; symptoms vanished the next day. AFIR, I probably had my normal sleep (either >6 hours, if I had to be up the next day; otherwise, about 8 or sometimes 9...: number of hours of sleep don't make much difference to me, I think; they're so varied throughout the year/day-to-day). Putting the kettle on. Will report tomorrow.


Short answer - no. That's why proper researchers use randomised trials.

In most cases I find cold symptoms go away in a day or two anyway. It's quite rare that they really develop. If I was in the habit of taking nettle tea with honey as soon as I felt the symptoms, I might attribute their disappearance to that. But I'd be wrong.


Unfortunately they dont always test what they set out to test though, the variables involved are far more than they understand.
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karlt
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby karlt » 2 Feb 2012, 11:03pm

Vorpal wrote:Zinc inhibits rhinoviral replication and has been tested in trials for treatment of the common cold. It is beneficial in reducing the duration and severity of the common cold in healthy people, when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036


Long way from knowing how much and how to actually use it though, as your link and http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD001364/ ... ommon-cold both point out.