After a sudden change in weather, after exposure to cold and humid air or wind, we experience a general sensation of coldness, illness, shivers, and high temperature. Our nose runs. The secretions are initially clear and watery. We sneeze a lot and the secretions become irritating. Then they turn whitish, then yellowish or greenish. Our nose becomes blocked and the dense, sticky secretions cannot be eliminated. We cannot breathe through our nose and it becomes difficult to breathe. We may experience difficulty swallowing and hoarseness with an altered voice, which becomes dry and low.
Measures to adopt
Here are few simple measures to relieve cold symptoms:
- Cover up.
- Blow your nose only with paper tissues that should be thrown away immediately after use.
- Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
- Wash your hands often with water and soap, especially after coughing or sneezing and after going to public places.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
- Use a face mask.
- Avoid close contact with people with cold symptoms.
- Measure your temperature.
- Inhaling warm-humid air is effective at the onset of the cold to fluidify the secretions.
Certain supplements are used to counteract the consequences of a sudden cold. The beneficial properties are mainly due to the presence of components that perform a protective and soothing action on the upper respiratory tract.
This is a derivative of cysteine, the sulphur-containing amino acid. It performs an antioxidant and mucolytic action. It is also a life-saving antidote in the case of excessive paracetamol intake. N-Acetylcysteine has a fluidifying action on mucous or mucopurulent secretions of the upper respiratory tract, in particular on dense, viscous, tenacious, difficult-to-expel phlegm. The rapid and intense action of the acetylcysteine on the mucous component of the secretions is due to the presence of a free thiol group (-S-H) able to reduce and break the disulphide bridges (-S-S-) responsible for the aggregation of the proteins and therefore high viscosity of the mucus. The disulphide bridges in the mucus proteins are attacked by the N-Acetylcysteine. The N-Acetylcysteine reacts with the disulphide bridges of the protein structure of the mucus. The mucus loses its viscosity and dissolves.
Palmitoyl Ethanol Amide (PEA)
This is an amide of an endogenous fatty acid. It represents a natural response by our body to pathological processes associated with inflammation, through the inhibition of mast cells. Taking PEA plays a key role in promoting the resolution of inflammation with pain reduction.