I woke up this morning with a sore throat. My pulse began to race and I started to sweat. For me, a sore throat is always the precursor for something more serious.

Instead of panicking when you start to feel a cold come on, run through this to-do list.

Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is an important habit for health all of the time, but it is even more important to stay hydrated when you are sick. You lose water through sweat and urination, so you need to constantly replenish your body’s water supply to ensure your overall health. Think of water as the oil in your car. It is required for a smooth ride. The standard is 8 for 8: 8 glasses of water 8 ounces full. Get yourself a reusable water bottle and keep it with you to remind you to drink water all day.

Use a humidifier. You lose a lot of fluids when you are sick. And dry air can only exacerbate your cold symptoms. Plug in a humidifier while you sleep. The moisture in the air can help alleviate dry skin and a dry throat.

Get extra sleep. If you are not feeling well, you might need more than the recommended eight hours of sleep. When you are asleep your body is able to replenish all of the sick cells. It allows your body to rest and rejuvenate. Being sick is not the time to pull an all nighter. Try and squeeze in an extra hour or so to make sure you get adequate rest.

Start taking pills. I’m not suggesting you become a pill popper, but over the counter drugs can really help nip a cold in the bud. If you prefer natural remedies, those can be beneficial as well. The key is to help treat your symptoms. An un treated runny nose might quickly aggravate the throat, and now you have a raging sore throat. So make sure you take care of your symptoms.

Take care of a sore throat quickly. Sore throats can make any day seem infinitely worse. To lessen the pain, try sucking on a hard candy or, even better, suck on a lozenge. Cep-a-col is my favorite brand. It not only soothes the throat, but also contains an ingredient that helps numb it as well. Anyone over the age of eight can gargle with warm salt water. This helps kill the bacteria in the throat that is causing the pain. Gargling anti-septic mouthwash can also kill bacteria if it contains alcohol. (Don’t be so shocked. Most mouthwash does. That is why they do not recommend swallowing it.)

If any of these symptoms continue for longer than a week, it might be time to visit your doctor. This is especially true if you have a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, or if you have difficulty breathing. Overall body aches are normal, but stiffness in your neck and shoulders could be the sign of meningitis, which can be quickly fatal if left untreated.


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