Is it a Cold or Allergies?
It can be hard to tell at times. Both conditions have similar symptoms, but there are distinct characteristics. And in a time where having symptoms at all can feel like a cause for concern of something greater, perhaps it’s a good idea to sort this out a bit.
Lately I’ve received a lot of calls for people suffering from allergies. This is not new, especially with living here in central Texas where the “allergy season” seems to be year-round. There is such a convergence of different topographies in this region, which makes it so beautiful, but that beauty also brings with it a vast array of different environmental pollens as well.
At present, ragweed is causing major issues for people. But, it’s been presenting in such a way to cause confusion as to what’s really going on. Is it something more than allergies? Is it a cold? Is it a sign of something greater or more severe?!
To clear some confusion about what you may be experiencing, here is a brief rundown of symptoms for each.
Generally, you can most easily tell you’re experiencing allergy symptoms when they tend to happen around the same time each year. Every geographical region will have it’s own “allergy season” so it’s best to become aware of what that is in your respective area. The trouble nowadays, though, is that people who have historically had seasonal allergies are now taking one or more common suppressive medications on an almost daily basis. So it will be hard to tell if you’re having an exacerbation of those allergies, or if in fact a cold of some kind is developing.
Here are some common allergy symptoms:
As you can see this could also seem like a common cold. Colds are caused by viruses in the environment, whereas allergies are the overactive immune response to an outside substance, such as an environmental pollen. How many times have you heard the phrase, “It just must be something viral” when no other explanation can be found?
Common colds viruses will present with similar symptoms as allergies, but there are a couple differences:
Note that there are overlap with the allergy symptoms, but the main differences are aches and pains, sore throat, and fevers are more common with colds than allergies. Both can have runny noses or post-nasal drip, which can also cause throat issues, like pain and/or irritation.
As with all situations for all people, you may have more specific symptoms that aren’t included in either list. That’s because it all depends on your individual susceptibility which is derived from many different factors like your family history or personal health experiences.
Fortunately, it matters not what the source is for homeopathy to help you. We’re simply focused on the presenting signs and symptoms, as told by you and observed by your homeopath. Sure, knowing if it’s an allergy “attack” occurring in your life at the present time, or if you’ve “caught” a cold may help your homeopath distinguish between certain remedies that may help you, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker. And I think that’s one of the great benefits of homeopathic medicine: treatment is individualized to the person, and not to the condition.
There are truly innumerable different homeopathic remedies that could assist each person at any given time. The best approach is treating you “constitutionally” with a well-selected homeopathic remedy that addresses your unique health profile. Though, at times, we need to address the individual situation with specific acute homeopathic remedies, too.
I hope this helps clear some confusion as to what you may be experiencing at the present time. As always, it’s important to let your homeopath know when you become ill so we can most readily help you before things progress or become worse.
In good health,
I'm grateful to have continued offering homeopathic services to individuals and families throughout this year. The journey towards better health is one of the key functions of a homeopath. And since homeopathy takes a holistic view of health, I can't help but try to understand this entire situation as a whole. Through continued observation, we have each landed somewhere individually, but as part of a collective. I've heard a lot of diverse perspectives across the spectrum of possibilities on what we each think and how we each are responding to present-day circumstances.
My main focus in every interaction I have with each patient is to distill down where everything meets. We in homeopathy see symptoms as just the sign of something "off" in the entire system; not to be addressed singularly as an isolated incident from a specific location of the body. Rather, there are connections to be made with all of our symptoms. Homeopathy is both a medical art and science. The art in homeopathy involves understanding the nuances of these symptoms and how they relate to the person as a whole, including also our mental and emotional health. The art of homeopathy is one of the reasons I love practicing.
One can also see the situation of a virus in the context of the greater societal impact it is having. It's possible to take a giant step back and see the whole situation from a meta-perspective, so to speak, just like I do with individual health. I've seen so many different ways in which our societal health has been impacted. It has left me with the sincere declaration that each of us have control in the status of our health. Knowing that we have control in the status of our health is also an inherently critical part of actually achieving it. We, in homeopathy, are in lock-step with you throughout that process.
As you go forth this weekend and celebrate the Labor Day holiday, know that no matter what you've been told, there is always more. More to you, to your potential, to your well-being; how you live this life, the freedom you feel, the creativity you experience. There is always more to YOU.
You are in control of your health, and I appreciate you allowing homeopathy into that process.
Yours in health,