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Possible dangers of OTC cough and cold medications

Updated on January 24, 2014

Cough and cold drugs under scutiny for under 12YO

 

It is interesting that the media has recently picked up on the possible dangers of cough and cold mixtures for young children. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7917188.stm

A cough is a normal response to allow the body to expel any unwanted foreign bodies or excess mucous from the body. A suppressant may stop this response and prolong the condition. Further research from the US has showed that in fact overdosing in children could be lethal http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/586718. The FDA in the US seems to be a bit further along in their investigation than the UK and their guidelines here http://www.fda.gov/Cder/drug/advisory/cough_cold_2008.htm for children aged 2 - 11 years of age are worth noting.

Why do we cough?

Coughing is part of our bodies protection system. We cough to expel unwanted toxins from our bodies. Our first line of protection against organisms that cause infections is in out nose and mouth. Inside our noses are very fine hairs which filter the air we breathe and offers protection against air borne organisms. In the mouth, our tonsils help to further filter air before it reaches our lungs.

The mucous membranes of our bodies, such as our mouths are used as exit routes for toxins. The dead bacteria and toxins are mixed with the excess mucous and expelled when we cough.

In some cases, when we cough we can make our throats sore and membranes dry out. Here a warm honey and lemon drink may help to soothe the membranes. Do not give honey to an under 1 year old as honey can contain botulism.

What can I do?

Once an organism enters our body the immune system produces "good" organisms to fight off the infection. Help boost your immune system to overcome a cough or cold more quickly.

  • ü Reduce your dairy intake as diary products may increase your mucous production excessively.
  • ü Drink plenty of still water (warm if you find it soothes your throat) so to flush as many toxins away
  • ü Don't stay in stuffy rooms or expose your self to a smoky environment
  • ü Wrap up warm and enjoy the fresh air, don't expose your throat to the cold air as it may exacerbate your cough
  • ü Echinachea may help increase your immunity
  • ü Vitamin C to replenish the body's store it uses during an infection
  • ü See your chiropractor

Why see a chiropractor?

The immune system is where the problem may lie. If the immune system is not functioning at full capacity our bodies will be unable to fight off the noxious organisms and infection may have the opportunity to set in.

Chiropractors are specialists in the detection of nervous system dysfunction and imbalance. It is the nervous system that controls every cell of your body including your immune system. If your immune system is functioning at its full potential then you will have a better chance of fighting off colds and infections.

If you or your child suffers from constant coughs, colds or sore throats get in touch with your chiropractor. It may reduce the number and length of colds you have. Less days off school or work could be well worth it.

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