Is It a Cold or a Flu? How to Tell the Difference

‘Tis the season to be jolly, that is unless you’re suffering from one of the many cold and flu viruses going around. Then you might not be feeling the holiday spirit. But, how do you know whether you have a cold or a flu? Many of the symptoms of these pesky microscopic viruses are similar so it’s not always easy to tell. Below, I’ll explain the differences between the symptoms of a cold versus a flu and how to tell them apart. And, perhaps most importantly, I’ll share some helpful suggestions of natural remedies that work, regardless which one you’re suffering from.

Cold Symptoms vs Flu Symptoms

While colds and flu share many common symptoms, they frequently vary in their severity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some of the comparisons between cold and flu symptoms.

 

Signs and Symptoms Cold Flu
Symptom Onset Gradual Abrupt
Fever Rare Usually
Aches Slight Usually
Chills Uncommon Fairly Common
Fatigue/Weakness Sometimes Usually
Sneezing Common Sometimes
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort/Cough Mild to Moderate Common
Headache Rare Common

 

So, what’s a cold or flu sufferer to do? Fortunately, when it comes to natural medicines, they tend to work against both illnesses so you don’t really need to know which one you have in order to effectively treat the condition. Of course, you should always consult your doctor if you have severe symptoms.

Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

Here are a few of the best natural cold and flu remedies.

Vitamin C

While media still bash vitamin C thanks to some dubious studies, vitamin C can help to prevent, shorten the duration of, and reduce symptoms severity of either colds or flu. While the common dosage is 500 milligrams daily, I usually recommend taking higher doses during these types of illness. I usually take 500 milligrams every couple of hours, up to 5000 milligrams daily while sick with the cold or flu. This is a high dose so be sure to check with your doctor first. Vitamin C is water-soluble so excess amounts tend to be excreted by the kidneys in urine. Because vitamin C is depleted with any type of stress, including cold or flu, it is common to be quite deficient while suffering from colds or flu.

Elderberries and Elderberry Syrup

Research proves that these tiny berries have potent antiviral effects, which increase with the dose size. Follow package directions for the product you select. Learn how to make and use your own here.

Echinacea

Echinacea has also been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms of respiratory infections. In one study published in the journal Cell Immunology, researchers found that echinacea demonstrated potent anti-inflammatory properties that are likely responsible for these effects. Follow package directions for the tincture (alcohol extract) you select.

 

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and HealingFollow her work.

 

47 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y11 days ago

Thanks.

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Jack Y
Jack Y11 days ago

Thanks.

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John J
John J11 days ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J11 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Lesa D
Lesa DiIorio18 days ago

thank you Michelle...

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Angela K
Angela K26 days ago

noted

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Martin H
Martin H27 days ago

Thank you, Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook.

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David C
David C27 days ago

Do your best, thanks

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Leo C
Leo C27 days ago

Thank you for posting!

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Lisa M
Lisa M27 days ago

Thanks.

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