Four Cold and Flu Myths

If you're not getting enough sleep, call the sleep specialists at Bon Secours Hospital for an appointment in our Sleep LabCold and flu season has arrived! With the growth of alternative health treatments, many patients are curious about which vaccinations and supplements are safe and effective. Below we try to answer four of the most common questions about how to fight off the germs this winter:

  1. I heard the flu shot is dangerous – should I get one?
    Yes! Rumors connecting the flu shot to autism are just that – rumors. The scientific community has disproven this myth that the flu shot is unsafe and the CDC is recommending that everyone get vaccinated, especially the young, the old, and those who are susceptible to disease.
  2. If I got a flu shot last year, do I need to get one this year too?
    We don’t recommend skipping flu shots. Studies show that the vaccine’s potency fades after a year, which means that an annual flu shot can help boost the effectiveness of your vaccine and keep you protected longer. Why risk letting your antibody labels drop – leaving you vulnerable to sickness? If you’re especially vulnerable to immune issues, you should definitely talk to your primary care physician about scheduling a shot.
  3. Will probiotic supplements help my cold?
    In one study researchers showed that a daily probiotic supplement reduced cold symptoms, including runny nose and headaches, and shortened colds by an average of two days. The probiotics in DanActive may also help shorten colds.
  4. Is zinc effective for treating cold symptoms?
    Studies suggest that, for zinc to be an effective treatment, you must take at least 75 mg a day at the first signs of a cold. By acting quickly, zinc can help you manage your symptoms and recovery faster. But, for some, the side-effects of zinc (nausea, bad taste in the mouth) aren’t worth the potential benefits.

More questions about flu and cold treatments? Ask us in the comments below!

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