Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you really cure a cold with heat?"
If i have a cold should I try to sweat it out? Should I use a lot of blankets at night and stay really warm. Does this help a cold go away faster or is it actually bad for you?
A cold is caused by one of many viruses and is characterized by a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and coughing. You may also suffer from fatigue, muscle aches, and a headache. Unfortunately, even in today's world of modern medicine, there is still no cure for the common cold. Trying to sweat it out will not make the virus leave your body any faster. It is not dangerous to use heat to help with your symptoms unless you are not drinking sufficient fluids to keep up with the water loss from the sweat in which case you can get dehydrated. Many people feel relief from their symptoms with heat so feel free to cover up with blankets, drink warm liquids or take a warm bath. You can also try taking an over the counter cold medication. It is very important to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids to allow your body to recuperate. A cold can take several days to up to two weeks to resolve. Please see your primary care doctor to rule out any other possible causes. Do this especially quickly if your symptoms are worsening after 7-10 days instead of getting better or if you are having trouble breathing. Good luck!
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