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Can You Sweat Out a Cold?

Mar 09, 2016

Common colds are widespread especially during winter or cold season. There’s no denying that during these seasons, we tend to acquire cold and flu more than during summer. It is really irritating to have a runny nose, itchy throat and uncontrollable coughs, especially when you are talking to someone. It has been reported that adults experience cold and flu at least 2 to 3 times in a year while children experience it about 6 to 8 times annually.

And there're many old sayings about dealing with a cold, one such saying is that you can actually sweat out a cold. But is it true?

Can You Sweat Out a Cold?

No, there's no such a thing as sweating out a cold. Common colds take about a week to a maximum of two weeks to settle. They are caused by about 200 types of viruses that invades our body. There are things that can make you feel better but recovery time will not change. It is true that, in some occasions, our body would heat up to fight against illness, but forcing that process is not going to help. Some natural remedies can make you feel better when you have cold. For example, nice warm bath can help alleviate the symptoms like headache and muscle pain. However, these solutions are only temporary.

More Cold Myths You Must Know

Now you know the answer to "Can you sweat out a cold?" it's equally important to have knowledge about other cold myths so as to treat and prevent cold with proper ways.

1.    Myth: Being Exposed to Cold Weather and Going Out with Wet Hair Will Make You Sick

Truth: Cold is caused by hundreds of viruses and although it may seem to appear that one can easily get cold when exposed to cold.Going out in a cold day without a coat or with wet hair doesn't have anything to do with it. Flu virus is ordinary during cold winter and fall and it is acquired through exposure to these viruses.

2.    Myth: A Cold Can Develop into Flu

Truth: The truth is that cold and flu are both caused by viruses but the kinds of viruses causing these 2 different kinds of viral infections also varied. Flu is acquired through contact with respiratory influenza virus while cold is caused by adenovirus and coronaviruses.

3.    Myth: Take Multiple Doses of Vitamin C Can Detract the Virus

Truth: Just like the answer to "Can you sweat out a cold?" this is a common misconception about vitamin C. While vitamin C is an integral part of our diet, it has never been proven that it can relieve or cure cold. It helps support the body’s immune system against viruses and bacteria—but once you have acquired the cold virus, taking multiple dose of vitamin C will not detract the virus.

4.    Myth: "Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever"

Truth: This myth has been around since the 17th century. In truth, having insufficient food may make the cold worse, taking a longer time to recover. Our body requires sufficient enough energy to fight any kinds of diseases and the same thing is true with both cold and fever. So, the truth is "feed the cold and feed the fever".

5.    Myth: Nothing Can Stop the Flu's Severity

Truth: Flu is caused by influenza virus and there's always a solution to this. Having enough sleep and taking pain killers for muscle aches can actually reduce the symptoms. And, in about a week or less, when you have enough sleep or rest and nutrients to promote the production of new cells, you should be feeling better. If not, antiviral medications can help, but it’s recommended that you visit your doctor first.

6.    Myth: You Can Only Catch and Spread Cold and Flu Through Coughs and Sneezes

Truth: Can you sweat out a cold? No. Is it true that a cold only spreads when someone coughs or sneezes? Not really. While it's true that being coughed on and sneezed at increases the risks of catching the cold and flu virus aside from the fact that it really feels disgusting to be sneezed at, there are other ways to catch and spread it. The truth is, you can catch the cold or flu virus even if you’re away from them. The logic is because viruses can live within 24 hours, especially in small spaces like a bedroom or a comfort room. But cold and flu virus are most commonly spread through contact with contaminated surface.

7.    Myth: Chicken Soup Is Just an Old Wives' Tale

Truth: You may have heard about this from your grandmother when you were a kid. It may sound unbelievable but the truth is, it's just not a myth. Doctors discovered that a hot bowl of chicken soup has anti-inflammatory substances that helps ease the pain caused by cold or flu virus. It is also a good alternative to relieve the pain of upper respiratory infection. It is considered to be a good preventive solution for sore and itchy throat as it prevents the white blood cells from encouraging the movement of mucus that may accumulate in the lungs.

8.    Myth: Stress Can Cause a Cold or Flu

Truth: Cold is caused by cold virus, not stress. However, if you're chronically stressed, it may lead to a set of negative emotions such as anxiety, worry, depression, etc., which may be a factor that makes your body difficult to recover from cold or flu. Because when you're depressed or burnt out, there’s a tendency that you won’t eat well and your body will lack the energy to recover. Your mind will be affected. Therefore, a good relaxation technique is recommended.