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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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby horizon » 16 Feb 2017, 1:32am

It was lovely spring day today and the season of colds is probably behind us now but here's some support for the Vitamin D argument in todays' Guardian:

Many studies have tried to discover whether the increase in colds and flu in the winter is partly down to a lack of sunlight producing vitamin D in the body, but they have had mixed results. The team from Queen Mary argue that their work settles the question because they have reanalysed and pooled the raw data from 25 clinical trials involving about 11,000 patients from 14 countries. The studies that found no benefit had usually given people a large one-off dose of vitamin D rather than regular supplements.


It's from this article in the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/201 ... y-diseases

Of course, they're not sure or all agreed it's lack of Vitamin D that's the problem but hey, that's maybe better than the huddling theory they had a few weeks ago. Basically they haven't got a clue.

BTW I do apologise for bringing this topic up with boring regularity but every so often there is a new take on it from some medical institute or other and each time I find it quite distressing. The human body it seems harbours the cold virus for the purpose of adapting the body to a change in environmental temperature when required. It's a short, unpleasant process when the virus gets to work but a beautiful one nonetheless. Why the medical profession spends so much energy trying to prevent it baffles me.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

Edwards
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby Edwards » 16 Feb 2017, 6:35am

I worked outside on my own with minimal contact with other people., some years I did not get a cold.
I worked in a school also visiting lots of junior schools and got a cold about 5 times a year. Normally getting one in the summer as well.
I now live as a near hermit as most years do not get a cold.

So from my evidence if you shut yourself away from other people the chances of getting a cold is greatly reduced.
I would also add there is no cure only prevention by not meeting others.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

francovendee
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby francovendee » 16 Feb 2017, 8:47am

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38988982

Worth a try, after suffering my third cold this winter (the downside of a young grand child) I'm ready to give it a shot

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mjr
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby mjr » 16 Feb 2017, 8:51am

horizon wrote:
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.


eileithyia, I need you to come in here. Everyone gets 2 - 5 colds a year. The virus is prevalent but the risk of infection is low. So really, why bother with the door handles?

Not much effort but reduces the risk of transferring bugs to your hands. Seems understandable some would consider it worthwhile. It's probably an easier habit to form than not touching vulnerable points (mouth, nose, eyes, ...) with uncleaned hands.

horizon wrote:Of course, they're not sure or all agreed it's lack of Vitamin D that's the problem but hey, that's maybe better than the huddling theory they had a few weeks ago. Basically they haven't got a clue.

Or, just maybe, basically there are different groups testing different hypotheses?

horizon wrote:BTW I do apologise for bringing this topic up with boring regularity but every so often there is a new take on it from some medical institute or other and each time I find it quite distressing. The human body it seems harbours the cold virus for the purpose of adapting the body to a change in environmental temperature when required.

What? How? And is there any medical evidence for that bizarre theory which somehow I missed in the preceding pages, or maybe attributed to one of our more, eh, "alternative fact" members?

horizon wrote:It's a short, unpleasant process when the virus gets to work but a beautiful one nonetheless. Why the medical profession spends so much energy trying to prevent it baffles me.

Because there's money in it so entrepreneurs keep hiring medical professionals to come up with new spins that can help sell products, plus governments want to reduce the last working time so keep hiring medical professionals to find out more so they can try. Remember professionals can be hired to profess. It's what the word means.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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661-Pete
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby 661-Pete » 16 Feb 2017, 10:54am

A word of caution.

Before taking this 'vitamin D' idea too seriously, it might be as well to read the excellent book Bad Science by doctor and former Guardian columnist Ben Goldacre. In particular the chapter entitled The Doctor Will Sue You Now, which was omitted from the first edition of the book due to a pending libel action, but reinstated in later editions.

You don't even need to buy the book: the entire chapter is available online here.

OK - back to the common cold. Well, I'm fortunate, I don't get it as often as I used to. I suspect that's partly due to the fact that I'm retired, I have less contact with children, or with younger adults who are the parents of young children. Most of the people I associate with are of my own generation, who by mere virtue of their age have more developed immune systems. I don't often use public transport, and don't often visit crowded places. Only a theory of mine: anyone wish to set me right, please go ahead!

As to vitamin D intake - I think for people who spend a reasonable amount of time outdoors (e.g. cyclists ?!) this isn't going to be a problem. Especially in the warmer months of the year, if they wear shorts or short-sleeved jerseys. Furthermore, anyone who consumes margarine is automatically getting a dose of D - it has to be added by law. Other sources are oily fish, mushrooms, eggs, cheese, beef liver.

I shan't be taking any more pills myself, at any rate!
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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horizon
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby horizon » 16 Feb 2017, 11:02am

Edwards wrote:I worked outside on my own with minimal contact with other people., some years I did not get a cold.
I worked in a school also visiting lots of junior schools and got a cold about 5 times a year. Normally getting one in the summer as well.
I now live as a near hermit as most years do not get a cold.

So from my evidence if you shut yourself away from other people the chances of getting a cold is greatly reduced.
I would also add there is no cure only prevention by not meeting others.


What I do is take the evidence and make sure that it fits the theory (it usually does but isn't half as useful as evidence that does'nt). The theory is a good one: it says that the human body maintains homeostasis by calling on microbes (obtained from the body itself or from other humans, creatures, the environment and so forth) to transform cells, initiate and complete processes that return the body to good working order, usually in response to changes in the external environment. And so the human body has survived through the millenia. At the onset of cold weather, if the body is stressed or not yet well adjusted, we get a cold to make sure that we're well for the winter. That's the theory and the evidence isn't hard to find.

So back to Edwards:

I would say that working physically outside got you well adjusted for the cold weather. No colds.
I would say that working indoors, mentally, left you unprepared for the cold weather. Colds.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

Edwards
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby Edwards » 16 Feb 2017, 11:10am

Horizon colds in the summer when meeting people.
No colds now when not metting people but living like a Hermet not going out much.

I am not stating the I have the cure but I do have a solution. Do not go near others.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

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horizon
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby horizon » 16 Feb 2017, 11:29am

According to my theory it is highly advantageous to go near other people (if you don't have the microbes yourself) and indeed to get a cold - without the cold your body might not adjust to the changed conditions.

Whether you pick up the virus from other people or from door handles or wherever is pretty irrelevant as, as was pointed out some pages ago, the virus lives on your adenoids. It's there, ready to work when required. If not, then yes, by all means get it from other people.

It's a curious feature of the phenomenon of spreading germs that it exactly matches another aspect of my theory - that a lot of people will be "infected" at the same time because they are all responding to the same environmental conditions. What researchers find hard to do is to get everyone in the same room to spread the cold virus in artificial conditions. Your body already has the virus - whether it chooses to use it is another matter.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

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mjr
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby mjr » 16 Feb 2017, 11:30am

horizon wrote:The theory is a good one: it says that the human body maintains homeostasis by calling on microbes [...] At the onset of cold weather, if the body is stressed or not yet well adjusted, we get a cold to make sure that we're well for the winter. That's the theory and the evidence isn't hard to find.

And yet, when I search for terms like "common cold homeostasis", I get shown a load of homeopathy and alternative links, with a few truly awful "alternative medicine" sites mixed in (most offensive so far is one claiming that HIV is spread by touch). If you feel the evidence isn't hard to find, please find it and show it - the search engines may be showing you something different to me.

horizon wrote:So back to Edwards:

I would say that working physically outside got you well adjusted for the cold weather. No colds.
I would say that working indoors, mentally, left you unprepared for the cold weather. Colds.

And yet, I get far fewer colds now that I work indoors than I did the year or so that I worked part-time outdoors. Even when I was teaching, I got so-called freshers' flu a few times but not every year and I don't remember it even being bad enough to miss work. And I'm not exactly in good health (see the statins topic).
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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horizon
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby horizon » 16 Feb 2017, 11:55am

mjr wrote:And yet, when I search for terms like "common cold homeostasis", I get shown a load of homeopathy and alternative links, with a few truly awful "alternative medicine" sites mixed in (most offensive so far is one claiming that HIV is spread by touch). If you feel the evidence isn't hard to find, please find it and show it - the search engines may be showing you something different to me.

And yet, I get far fewer colds now that I work indoors than I did the year or so that I worked part-time outdoors. Even when I was teaching, I got so-called freshers' flu a few times but not every year and I don't remember it even being bad enough to miss work. And I'm not exactly in good health (see the statins topic).


There isn't much (any?) official evidence of the sort you are looking for. The evidence I'm talking about is what you yourself see and experience. But the medical professionals also struggle to make their own theories fit very much evidence. It's just another way of looking at things (and as karlt said a few pages back it does tend to overturn conventional medical thinking).

Here are some things which AFAIK are incontrovertible:

The cold virus exists (it can be seen under the microscope)
It can be seen acting on cells (audax67 notes this) under the microscope
Colds happen more in winter (and is still unexplained)
A waste product is produced (that's the idea)
Humans require homeostasis
The cold virus is found in the human body even when there are no symptoms
Generally we get better from a cold
It's hard to spread the virus in experimental conditions
There is as yet no "cure" for the common cold

I do accept that it is certainly controversial that microbes (germs) act to help the body not to cause disease.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

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mjr
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby mjr » 16 Feb 2017, 12:33pm

horizon wrote:There isn't much (any?) official evidence of the sort you are looking for. The evidence I'm talking about is what you yourself see and experience.

To a degree, that's good for finding starting points, but I'm not interested in acting on the basis of a theory when there's no evidence supporting it because that's what leads to people wearing daft things for cycling, at least one of which caused me an injury. I'm going to be very cautious about repeating that mistake.

horizon wrote:I do accept that it is certainly controversial that microbes (germs) act to help the body not to cause disease.

Is it? I think it's fairly well-accepted that we've some microbes on/in us that help, like gut flora, or the talk on TV last week about eczema flares being linked to imbalances of what's living on our skin and the use of things like Goodskin Eczema to restore balance.

It may be controversial that the various common cold viruses are among them, though.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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horizon
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby horizon » 16 Feb 2017, 12:44pm

mjr wrote:
horizon wrote:I do accept that it is certainly controversial that microbes (germs) act to help the body not to cause disease.

Is it? I think it's fairly well-accepted that we've some microbes on/in us that help, like gut flora, or the talk on TV last week about eczema flares being linked to imbalances of what's living on our skin and the use of things like Goodskin Eczema to restore balance.

It may be controversial that the various common cold viruses are among them, though.


Absolutely. I've already linked (in another thread) to new thinking about the role of microbes. I also found out recently that (apparently) much of the human body is made up of microbes, parasites and the like. Learning to love our microbes might be the next step.

BTW, this thread should be in the health and fitness section but five years ago when I started it, there was no such section. But at least opinion as you suggest yourself is moving in my direction. I also think it's a real cycling topic: if my theory is correct then cycling, out of doors and in the winter is the best "cure" for the common cold.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

Stevek76
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby Stevek76 » 16 Feb 2017, 4:52pm

Hmm, unconvinced. My own experience would entirely suggest it's 99% down to irritating folk insisting on coming into work when they have a cold. :evil:

I certainly don't get colds more often in winter and have managed to pick them up when working in very hot countries in the summer, infact the flights always carry a good risk. Being stuck in a tin can with limited air that's hardly surprising really.

The only thing I've really noticed that makes a difference beyond treating ill people like health hazards is that lack of exercise/too much workload/stress/being run down seems to increase likelyhood of getting or catching one. Obviously quite hard to extract what the actual cause is tricky since those things tend to go hand in hand.

It's hard to spread the virus in experimental conditions

But incredibly easy to watch it's progression around the office, school etc.

There is as yet no "cure" for the common cold


There's no 'cure' for any virus. Viruses are tricky like that, and there are many that even the immune system cannot clear up and that remain dormant for years, or even until you die. e.g Herpes (almost everyone has type 1) or the various HPV strains.

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horizon
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby horizon » 6 Oct 2017, 2:08pm

Each year I try to flag up the latest rubbish from the Guardian about the common cold. It's come early this year but is very much more comprehensive - and just as appallingly awful. BTW, I'm not getting at the Guardian, this is aimed at all the researchers still blindly looking for a "cure" to what is the body's most amazing real cure and in the process doing a great disservice to humanity. It's here:

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/o ... ommon-cold

I haven't yet read the whole article (it's long) but just to say that I had a cold last week and came out of it stronger, happier, healthier and less stressed than before it. So, more later when I have some time - I'm busy and energetic today!

Oh, and Theresa - let me know next time.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Cause and cure for the common cold

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 6 Oct 2017, 2:35pm

Hi,
horizon wrote:Each year I try to flag up the latest rubbish from the Guardian about the common cold. It's come early this year but is very much more comprehensive - and just as appallingly awful. BTW, I'm not getting at the Guardian, this is aimed at all the researchers still blindly looking for a "cure" to what is the body's most amazing real cure and in the process doing a great disservice to humanity. It's here:

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/o ... ommon-cold

I haven't yet read the whole article (it's long) but just to say that I had a cold last week and came out of it stronger, happier, healthier and less stressed than before it. So, more later when I have some time - I'm busy and energetic today!

Oh, and Theresa - let me know next time.


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