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World's Best Advice for your Common Cold!

180. Dr. Bob has a common cold — thanks to cold air

“You should see a doctor for that” I cajoled him over the phone.

“yeah, right,” he grumbled, not appreciating the humor in my ribbing.  “I slept with the blanket over my head, am sipping hot cocoa, turned the heat up in the cold apartment.”

Midway through His latest shift in the ER, he discovered the heater in the Emergency Department rooms was not working and finally got a technician in to fix it.

He had been so busy  in his shift yesterday a hopping department full of sick patients that he didn’t realize how chilly the normally cold air had become.

But it was not so unusual that the department rooms had cold air.  Other staff often like to turn the thermostat down. In fact, many hospital clinics have a tendency to keep the thermostat low, perhaps in the belief that doing so generally prevents germs from growing?  But probably a more likely reason is that physically active workers tend to prefer cooler air in their work stations to feel more comfortable as they run around.

Little do they know that a cooler temperature actually nutures rhinoviruses to grow.

But this was worse. It took a while until Dr. Bob noticed the extra coolness since he was caught up in his hectic work of seeing the emergency patients, and was physically active examining patients and walking around the department. It was the patients who were sitting and lying still for longer periods who noticed the cold air first and brought it to his attention with their complaints.

So unfortunately, the upshot is that in those short chilly hours before he noticed the cold air he was breathing, the virus was able to replicate exponentially until he felt those unmistakable symptoms of a full blown cold virus come on strong. He then spent the next 24 hours of his time off battling the viral infection with hot drinks and warm steam and lots of sleep.

Too bad some faster intervention of heat and steam in the early stages could have saved him a lot of time and suffering.

It’s also part of his hazardous duty environment working in the ER to be constantly swimming through a flood of viruses, since many of the patients coming in are infected and are only too happy to share their germs with the ER staff, coughing, sneezing, breathing, and sometimes even vomiting on them. Lovely.

Bob says he is also wearing a surgical face mask on his shift today, both to filter out his rhinovirus germs he is exuding, and incoming germs from patients, and also to create a little pocket of warm air to breath, one more Warm & Steamy method he can easily do, even when the heater isn’t functioning.

At least this is one thing he can have control over, no matter what anybody else does.

— Peggy The Doctor’s Wife

177. My test flush today with a Neti Pot

In which, Finally, I try out a quasi-Neti Pot,

How can I call myself a credible journalist if I am unwilling to try out such a widespread practice for common cold relief as a Neti Pot.

It sounds international. It looks simple and natural, organic even. Perhap it is working with our bodies natural immune system.

But something about it just did not appeal to me.

Today I finally figured out why.

Neti pots: . First of all the concept of rinsing out ones own nasal cavities doesn’t make sense to me. When I have a cold,  the nasal cavities are already working hard flushing out the virus — so you want to help them flush more?

Nevertheless, today I just tried it…and quicly remembered why I didn’t want to do it.

I used to love playing in swimming pools when I was growing up. As a little girl, one of my favorite hobbies was somersaulting under water.

Very safe fun, with one big bummer. After going upside down I always got water up my nose and it hurt. Gave me a headache. Does not feel good or healthy, just feels like I got water into a WRONG part of my body that doesn’t want it there.

I do not like re-creating that.

But in the interest of gonzo journalism I tried a pseudo-Neti Pot today. My nose has been running like a firehose all day today, on the second day of my cold, so I found a clean  cup with a spout and put warm water, with a sprinkle of salt, to create a saline solution.

I tilted my head sideways over the kitchen sink and poured the water into one nostril, and then the other. The water basically drained down into the back of my throat. At first,  when I poured the water into my nasal cavity, it was not bad, it just drained down into my throat, a bit tickly, and clean. But I wasn’t sure it was the full Neti-pot experience.

So I poured some more in and sucked it up higher

When I tried to snort it up into my nasal passages it hurt. The familiar feeling of when I did somersaults and got water going the wrong way around inside my highly sensitive forehead bones.

Because the nasal cavities are next to your brain, we should be VERY cautious what we allow in. Putting non sterile water next to your brain, I am concluding, is NOT good.Which is probably why it hurts. Painfully.

I believe that this process is used in military interrogation and called Waterboarding. It doesn’t feel good there either.

Even worse, a young girl died of a brain infection after using NetiPot with unclean water (especially from Southern U.S. water systems) So I suggest its ok for just pouring through your nose if you want to rinse out nose to feel cleaner,  but not upside down, not snorting up into important sensitive nasal passages.

In contrast to this whole Neti Pot nettle, this controversy shows how simple and safe our Warm & Steamy advice is.

The simplicity of my remedy is striking, Non invasive. Clean, free, easy, accessible.….and come to think of it, steam is BOILED water that is therefore already sterilized, so no risk of contamination. Ha HA!

Conclusion: Although Neti Pots are not too expensive and are natural. I’d rather sit in a hot tub than do military waterboarding torture to myself.

So,to use a couple of U.S. Presidents as role models, you can go ahead and try it if you like, but DON”T INHALE!

for your Healthy Happy Life,

Peggy The Doctor’s Wife

178. Neti Pots – Good or Bad for colds?

The Risks and Benefits of Neti Pot Nasal Irrigation

See Peggy’s journalistic test of a Neti Pot

Though nasal irrigation with salt water has been found to an effective and inexpensive treatment option for sinusitis symptom relief, neti pot use may increase the risk of recurrence. A new study reveals why and what we can do about it.

A Cochrane Analysis –Yay some intelligence invested in this issue! –– shows that in studies of the Neti Pots, they can be helpful AND harmful for common colds.

An online discussion of the Neti Pots shows the controversy, that for people who have long term irritation of your nasal passages, especially due t the common cold virus, the rinsing of them with warm salt (saline) water can be good or bad

GOOD

It does seem to relieve symptoms, because, like the function of mucous, it is rinsing and flushing out the cold viruses that are multiplying.

No discussion of the temperature of the water in this article. WHY ARE THEY MISSING THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT? (answer because they are not making money from it)

but a scary article from National Public Radio NPR News in December 2011 warns about risk of “brain eating amoeba” if using contaminated tap water, which in this case was tap water from the warm waters of the southern state of Louisiana and pushing it up your nose.

“Second Neti-Pot Death From Amoeba Prompts Tap-Water Warning”

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/12/19/143960631/second-neti-pot-death-from-amoeba-prompts-tap-water-warning?sc=fb&cc=fp

The amoebas had already caused deaths in Children who were swimming in this kind of water had also died from the same “brain eating amoeba” since they probably did cannonballs that caused the water to be pushed up into their nose, whereas adults had outgrown that kind of behavior.

Then two adults had the same cause of death, and the second death triggered an idea to see if the victims had used Neti Pots

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/12/19/143960631/second-neti-pot-death-from-amoeba-prompts-tap-water-warning?sc=fb&cc=fp

So if you use only sterilized water, and carefully clean and dry it inbetween uses.

Some other medications were also suggested by other commenters, but do we REALLY want to explore all the possible chemicals and medicines we can use to fight off common cold virus in our noses, when there is already such a simple remedy?

Warm & Steamy!!!

this whole Neti Pot nettle controversy shows, in contrast how simple and safe our Warm & Steamy advice is….and come to think of it, steam is BOILED water that is therefore already sterilized, so no risk of contamination.

The simplicity of my remedy, in contrast, is striking, Non invasive. Clean, free, easy, accessible.

Some commenters discussed other pump sprays, and I’e also heard of using a cotton swab such as a Q-tip, expecially for a baby’s stuffy nose, dipped in warm salt water.

Sounds fine. But lets try the simplest, safest solutions first, shall we?

For your healthy, happy life,

Peggy The Doctor’s Wife

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