Considering how common they are, colds and flu are the subject of a great many misconceptions. Dr. Seth Feltheimer, an associate attending physician, and Patricia Ciminera, nurse practitioner at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, offer their insights and expertise on these sources of misery.
First, the differences: a cold is usually an upper respiratory tract infection with symptoms including a sore throat, head congestion, sinus pain, and low-grade fever. On the other hand, the flu is generally marked by a higher fever, a sore throat, a cough, and body aches. A common cold usually lasts two to three days while the flu usually takes a week or more to abate. Unlike colds, the flu can lead to more serious complications and even hospitalization, especially in high-risk individuals like asthmatics, people with compromised immune systems, and the elderly.
Now, on to the facts and the fallacies!
Click here to download a printable PDF version of this slideshow
Reviewed by Jason C. Baker, MD 11/13.
The best way to prevent a cold is to wash your hands.
FACT OR FICTION?
Tempeh Satay with Curried Cashew Sauce Peppered Swordfish Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup Quick Chili Black Bean Dip Ruby Glazed Chicken Breasts Banana Split Cake with Walnuts and Chocolat Impossible Berry Pie Vegetable and Wild Rice Salad Grilled Shrimp Kabobs
Lows are really nothing new to me. In the past (almost) 22 years, I've experienced every variety of low blood sugar. Two seizures, multiple black outs, the "I'm fine" at 32, the nauseating 85, and everything in between. That certainly doesn't mean that I'm used to them or that each low doesn't feel like a new and treacherous journey. They still scare me. They still annoy me. And they still overrun my life at times. Since I've hit the gym and the calorie counting on an aggressive...