Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Colds and Flu — Achoo!

Originally published in CREATIONS MAGAZINE : (
by Colleen A. Murtha, R.N., A.N.P.  Jesse A. Stoff, M.D., M.D.H., F.A.A.F.P. • Riverhead, NY

With the arrival of colder weather, you may have noticed that more of your friends and family are falling ill with colds. However, freezing your buns off doesn’t cause a cold, being cold is a form of stress, thermal stress, on our system.

Stress is one of the five processes that lead to immune suppression and with immune suppression comes an increased risk of all sorts of illnesses. The other four immuno-suppressive processes are: poor nutrition, infection, toxins and trauma. Essentially, stress occurs when we are in some way expending energy faster than we can regenerate it at that moment. Sensing this imbalance the body kicks in with a number of mechanisms to compensate and protect us, all too often robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Colds and flues are caused by different viruses. The usual suspects for the common cold are -- rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). On the other hand, influenza is caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses), and are divided into three types, designated A, B, and C. Influenza types A and B are responsible for epidemics, some of which have been devastating in their toll of morbidity and mortality upon humanity.

It's helpful to know the difference between the flu and a cold as the symptoms can be quite similar. A cold is a much milder respiratory illness than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, flu symptoms can make you feel miserable for a few days to even weeks. The flu can also result in serious health problems such as secondary infections like pneumonia and subsequent hospitalizations, or worse. The "Spanish flu" pandemic of 1918 killed 3% of the world’s population and that was before the fast paced age that we now live in where infections can spread at jet speeds. The drugs that we have available now are little better than what was available then, as they work best, when they work at all, only in the earliest stages of the illness. Research has shown that when we get a flu that the infection can penetrate to a much deeper level than the common cold does causing a huge lopsided response by the immune system resulting in what’s called a cytokine storm. Cytokines are small messenger molecules that are released by cells of the immune system to co-ordinate an immune counter attack. If they are released suddenly and in an uncoordinated way they can cause a high fever, extreme fatigue and nausea. In some cases the excessive immune reaction can be fatal, thus it is important to know the difference in symptoms between a cold and the flu so that you can start appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

Sore Throat Usually Sometimes
Cough Mild
Usually, and may be severe
Nasal congestion and sneezing Usually Sometimes
Severe exhaustion and fatigue Rarely Usually, can last for 2 weeks or more
Nausea and vomiting Not usually Often occurs
Headache Not usually Often
Fever Not usually Usually, 100-102 degrees

Achiness Mild Often, and may be severe.  Treatment is mostly supportive common sense; bed rest, fluids, chicken soup really does help because it also acts as a mild mucus liquefier. In cases of a high fever, chest congestion, severe achiness and fatigue see your friendly nurse practitioner or family physician. Otherwise, for both colds and flues we recommend:

- Bio En'R-G'y C ( 1 tsp in juice or water 3 times per day

- Zinc, Elderberry Lozenge ( dissolve one in your mouth every 3-4 hours while symptomatic

- Vitamin A 100,000 IU (Bio-Ae-Mulsion Forte) ( per day for a week, or until symptoms subside

- Black elderberry Extract (Sambucol) ( 2 tsp 4 times per day

- Fresh Ginger Root (organic from the health food store) tea, several cups per day, allow to steep for at least ½ hour

- Oscillococcinum ( comes in small granules, take 6 of them three times per day

- If the flu is suspected then be sure to add; CytoEss ( 1 capsule 3 times per day, as it is a true immune modulator and will help balance the immune counter attack.

Fever, under 102, or so, isn’t a bad thing. Amongst other things, it causes a release of communication molecules that can have a long term, healthy, immune stimulating effect. There have been many, well documented, cases of people who have had a severe or chronic disease, including cancer, that went into remission after an acute illness that was accompanied by a fever. So, “enjoy” your cold and be well.

Colleen A. Murtha, R.N., A.N.P. is the assistant director of the PACU at New York Hospital Queens. Jesse A. Stoff, MD, MDH, FAAFP is a licensed Medical Doctor, a Certified Naturopathic Physician, a Certified Acupuncturist, and a licensed Homeopathic Physician. He has authored/co-authored dozens of articles and 8 books including co-authoring the bestsellers Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Hidden Epidemic and The Prostate Miracle. He can be reached at the East End Wellness Center, Riverhead, N.Y. 631-591-2288 ( or by email,


Jesse A. Stoff is a highly-credentialed medical expert studying all medical remedies in pursuit of resolving the most challenging health issues of our time. In many circles, he is recognized for his 35+ years of dedicated work in immunology and advanced clinical research in modern CANCER treatments. He has spoken worldwide in some of the most sought-after medical conferences about his experiences and analyses on the study of human disease. His integrative practice (INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE OF NY, Westbury, NY) has been continually providing all patients with the many comprehensive clinical options and modalities available- including "ONCO-IMMUNOLOGY", the science of battling cancer cells and reversing pre-cancerous conditions through a complete prevention program that has earned him great success in this field.  For more information, visit:

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