Ayurvedic treatment for Recurrent common cold

Recurrent common cold

Know More on Allergy & immunity / Infection & fever

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Recurrent common cold Ayurvedic treatment

The medical term for recurrent common cold is ‘Chronic rhinitis. As the name suggests, it means that the symptoms continue for long-term and may keep recurring. In many cases the symptoms are present for some part of the day on most days. In some cases the symptoms come and go.1

As per Ayurveda, symptoms similar to those of rhinitis or common cold (recurring or not) resemble that of Pratishyaya. If recurring or someone has it for long term it is called as Jeerna pratishyaya (Chronic stage of rhinitis). Immediate onset and repeated episodes of these nasal symptoms also indicate the Vata dosha dominance in its progression.2 Improper management of Prathishyaya leads to a severe and complicated condition called Dushta Prathishyaya which is very difficult to treat and causes lot of complications like Badhirya (Deafness), Andhata (Blindness), Ghrananasa (Loss of smell) etc.2

Many causative factors like dust, cold breeze etc. manifest the symptoms of the disease by producing Abhighata (morbidity) in Nasa (nose) part of Pranavaha strotasa (Respiratory tissues) and subsequent vitiation of Vata, Rasa, Rakta Dhatu (tissues). Prolonged and continuous exposure to Achayaprakopa Hetu (Long term causative factors)/Sadhyojanaka Hetu (Short term causative factors) also leads to systemic manifestations (spread throughout the body) due to vitiation of deeper dushya mansa (Muscles), meda (Lipids) etc. This leads to many conditions like bronchitis, bronchial asthma, nasal polyps etc.3

Causes

Recurrent common cold

Although the most common cause of persistent rhinitis is allergies, it may also be due to non-allergic reasons such as viral infections or due to effects of certain medications.1

If the cause is a virus, the condition often spreads by hand-to-hand contact with someone who has a cold or by sharing contaminated objects, such as utensils, towels, pens or other things. On touching the eyes, nose or mouth after such contact or exposure, there is increased chances to catch a cold.3

Symptoms

Recurrent common cold

The symptoms of ‘recurrent cold’ are similar to that of common cold. The signs and symptoms, which usually vary from person to person, might include3:

  • A running nose or blocked nose
  • Soreness in throat
  • Coughing
  • Severe congestion in nose and throat
  • Mild body aches or headache
  • Sneezing
  • A low-grade fever
  • Unwell sensation (malaise)

Diagnosis

Recurrent common cold

While most people with a common cold are diagnosed simply by their signs and symptoms, doctors may suspect a bacterial infection or other condition, and hence order a chest X-ray or other tests to exclude other causes of symptoms.3

If allergy is suspected, a skin prick allergy test may also be ordered.1

Management

Recurrent common cold

Ayurveda advocates nidana-Parivarjana (abstinence from causative factors) - which is assumed as the foremost strategy to conquer over any disease. Management of Jeerna pratishyay calls for calming of the vitiated vata. This is done by shodhana (Expulsive therapy by nasya (nasal drops) and basti therapy (medicated enema)], and following appropriate precautions [in ahar(food) and vihar(regimen)] plus symptomatic treatment with herbal medications.1

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Ushnodaka (Warm water) for use, Triphala churna (powder of rinds of 3 fruits – haritaki, behera and amalki) mixed with honey to be used in diet. Factors that are identified to cause symptoms should be avoided.3
  • Milk products, fish or sea food, alcohol and virudha ahara (opposing foods) should be avoided. 3

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Avoid diwaswapna (daytime sleeping), and Atapa sevana (excessive outdoor work).3

FAQS

Recurrent common cold
  1. How is sinusitis caused? Does it have anything to do with cold foods?

Sinusitis is basically an inflammation of the membranes of para-nasal sinuses or the group of four paired air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity. Colds, bacterial infections, allergies, asthma and other health conditions can cause sinusitis, or inflammation of the para-nasal sinuses.

In some people, cold foods may flare the condition and aggravate the allergies resulting in sinus problems. Such people should avoid eating cold foods.

  1. What are symptoms of Asthma? How do I know if someone may have asthma?

Symptoms of Asthma differ from person to person. Some may have infrequent asthma attacks, some have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or some have symptoms all the time. 

Asthma signs and symptoms include-

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
  1. My reports show a low platelet count, do I have dengue?

Diagnosing dengue fever can be difficult, because its signs and symptoms can be easily confused with those of other diseases — such as malaria, chikungunya, leptospirosis and typhoid fever.

Your doctor will likely ask about your medical and travel history. Be sure to describe any contact you may have had with mosquitoes. Certain laboratory tests can detect evidence of the dengue viruses, but test results usually come back too late to help direct treatment decisions. A low platelet count is generally seen in dengue but is not the only isolated finding. Fever, body-ache, skin rash, which appears two to five days after the onset of fever and minor bleeding accompanied by low platelet count is conclusive of Dengue.

  1. How does one contract typhoid? 

Typhoid fever is caused by a bacteria called S. typhi. This bacteria spreads through ingestion of contaminated food or water, and occasionally through direct contact with someone who is infected. In developing nations, where typhoid fever is endemic, most cases result from contaminated drinking water and poor sanitation. The majority of people in industrialized countries pick up typhoid bacteria while traveling and spread it to others through the fecal-oral route or contamination of food and drinking water with fecal contact that may occur due to flies, etc.

This means that S. typhi is passed in the feces and sometimes in the urine of infected people. You can contract the infection if you eat food handled by someone with typhoid fever who hasn't washed hands carefully after using the toilet. You can also become infected by drinking water contaminated with the bacteria.

  1. Can malaria only spread from mosquitoes?

Although the commonest cause of malarial fever is due to a bite by the infected female anopheles mosquito, this is not necessarily the only way one can be affected. 

Because the parasites that cause malaria affect red blood cells, people can also catch malaria from exposures to infected blood, including:

  • From mother to unborn child
  • Through blood transfusions
  • By sharing needles used to inject drugs
  • Organ transplants
  1. Does yellowness of eyes always mean there is a liver problem?

In some people who eat large amounts of food rich in beta-carotene (such as carrots, squash, and some melons), their skin may look slightly yellow, but their eyes do not turn yellow. This condition is not jaundice and is unrelated to liver disease.

Yellowness of the eyes is usually due to the leaked bilirubin pigment in the blood stream. This is called jaundice and most probably occurs in cases of liver inflammation. Such patients will also have a visible yellowness of skin.

  1. How does one get elephantiasis? 

Elephantiasis is basically swelling of the lymph glands due to an infection. The disease spreads from person to person by mosquito bites. When a mosquito bites a person who has lymphatic filariasis, microscopic worms circulating in the person's blood enter and infect the mosquito. People get lymphatic filariasis from the bite of an infected mosquito. The microscopic worms pass from the mosquito through the skin, and travel to the lymph vessels. In the lymph vessels they grow into adults. An adult worm lives for about 5–7 years. The adult worms mate and release millions of microscopic worms, called microfilariae, into the blood. People with the worms in their blood can give the infection to others through mosquitoes.

  1. What is the difference between Pneumonia and Pneumonitis?

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing.

Pneumonitis on the other hand, is a general term that refers to inflammation of lung tissue. Although pneumonia is technically a type of pneumonitis because the infection causes inflammation, most doctors refer to other causes of lung inflammation when they use the term "pneumonitis”.

Factors that can cause pneumonitis include exposure to airborne irritants at your job or from your hobbies. In addition, some types of cancer treatments and dozens of drugs can cause pneumonitis.

  1. Is rheumatic fever same as rheumatoid arthritis?

They are different. Rheumatic fever occurs after an infection of the throat with a bacterium called Streptococcus pyogenes, or Group A streptococcus. Group A streptococcus infections of the throat cause strep throat or, less commonly, scarlet fever. Group A streptococcus infections of the skin or other parts of the body rarely trigger rheumatic fever. The exact link between strep infection and rheumatic fever isn't clear, but it appears that the bacterium ‘plays tricks’ on the immune system.

Rheumatic fever usually occurs in younger population especially children while rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammation of the body that mostly affects the joints in adults. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that certain cells of the immune system do not work properly and start attacking healthy tissues — especially the joints. The one that affects young children is called stilts disease.

  1. Every time I touch cold water I get these spots on my skin. There is no other complaint. Is this because of some allergy to water?

You may have a condition called Urticaria. It is a skin reaction that causes red or white itchy spots on the skin. There is a type of Urticaria called cold urticaria, in which skin that has been in contact with cold develops reddish, itchy spots. The severity of cold urticaria symptoms varies widely. Some people have minor reactions to cold, while others have severe reactions. Swimming in cold water is the most common cause of a whole-body (systemic) reaction.

References

Recurrent common cold
  1. Persistent Rhinitis. Available at http://patient.info/in/health/persistent-rhinitis accessed Aug 31st 2016
  2. Verma S. Role of Katphaladi Kwatha and Anu Taila Nasya in Vataja Pratishyaya. International Ayurvedic Medical Journal. 2013; Vol. 1(3).
  3. Sahu SK, Dhiman KS et al. Allergic rhinitis in Ayurvedic perspectives. World J Pharm Res. 2015; Vol. 4(8): 2192-98
  4. Mayo Clinic. Common cold. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/home/ovc-20199807 accessed Aug 31st 2016
  5. Patel MK, Hingmire NS et al. Studies on Dooshivish and Its Management According to Ayurveda in Co-Relation with Allergic. IRJIMS April 2016; Vol.2 (3): 29-37

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