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YOUR big day is looming and you start to feel a tickle in your throat, a fuzzy head and an achy body? Yep, you’re coming down with something and the pre-wedding panic sets in. The average adult gets three colds per year, each lasting anything up to nine days. But you don’t have to surrender. Here’s how to stop a cold before it takes hold—and feel better by tomorrow. Stay Hydrated As soon as you feel symptoms start drinking water or juice. Staying hydrated cuts down on symptoms like a sore throat and stuffy nose. Gargle with salt water To combat a scratchy throat add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. The salt draws out excess water in your throat’s tissues, reducing the inflammation, and clears mucous and irritants from the back of the throat. The rinse also flushes out bacteria and viruses, which may help whether you’re getting a cold or want to prevent one in the first place. Keep your nose clean Using a saline nasal spray right after cold symptoms first appear may reduce their impact, studies suggest. And take a hot shower as warm moisture helps clear nasal passages. Get help Within the first two hours head to the pharmacy. Grab a pain reliever recommended by the pharmacist to fight off achiness. Over-the-counter allergy meds help with symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes; allergy meds that contain decongestants, will help clear your sinuses and keep you alert. Keep it natural Avoid using an over the counter cough medicine. Good old honey works just as well - and tastes better too! Have one to two tablespoons straight from the jar or stirred into tea.

46 • REAL BRIDES • 1 March 2012

Take it easy Slow down if you can. Your body can fight off the virus better if you’re well-rested. But if you have to keep going, it’s not the end of the world. Just steer clear of people as best you can—the first few days of a cold is when you’re most contagious. To keep from sharing your germs, wash your hands regularly or use an alcohol-based disinfectant gel. Keep drinking Don’t forget the fluids. Keep drinking plenty of water, juice, or tea and have some chicken soup for lunch. Grandma’s favourite cure-all really does help to ease cold symptoms. At day’s end A healthy diet can help fuel the immune system, so choose a dinner that includes protein-packed foods like lean meat, fish, or beans, with a whole-grain side like brown rice and plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables. Take a hot shower before bed if you’re still feeling stuffy. Then get a good night’s sleep. The next day All better? If you feel worse or have a fever, start vomiting, or develop an increasingly bad headache, call your doctor—these are signs you’ve got something other than the common cold (such as flu or an infection), and you may need antiviral medication, antibiotics, or other treatment. Otherwise, keep up the routine for the next few days, just to be sure you kick that cold for good.


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