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Differences Between Allergies, a Cold, and the Flu

Woman sneezing; allergies, a cold, or the flu.

With the seasons changing, allergies and sicknesses are becoming more common, but it can be difficult to tell if you’re sick, or if it’s just allergies. While some of the symptoms overlap, there are a few differences that may help you know what you have. We also get lots of questions this time of year about what people can do for natural allergy relief and immune support. So, let’s discuss some of the differences between allergies, a cold, and the flu, and some supplements that might help.


Many people have seasonal allergies, usually triggered by pollen or mold. These allergies range in severity from person to person, and may be better or worse some days. Allergies can last from a few days, to a few months, with some people suffering with them year-round. Symptoms of allergies can include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes or throat, sinus congestion, and sometimes chest congestion. Hista-Plex may help alleviate some of the mild allergy symptoms like runny nose and itchy eyes.

While mild allergies are typically more common, severe allergies and allergic reactions can lead to serious symptoms including hives, difficulty breathing, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and anaphylaxis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

A Cold

Colds also become increasingly common this time of year, and they can be very similar to allergies. A cold can cause symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, chest and sinus congestion, and cough. Symptoms of a cold usually appear gradually, and many of these can also be symptoms of allergies, but may not last as long. Resting, drinking plenty of water, and eating lots of organic fruits and vegetables can help provide the nutrients your body needs to fight off a cold. If your symptoms persist and/or worsen, contact your doctor.

The Flu

This time of year, our patients start asking us what they can do to help prevent the flu. The flu is usually easier to identify than allergies and colds, as the symptoms generally appear suddenly and are more serious. If you contract the flu you may experience fever, joint and muscle aches, chills, fatigue, weakness, and headaches. While there are no foolproof ways to prevent the flu, you can potentially lower your risk. Anything that boosts the health of your immune system may help reduce your risk of contracting illnesses like the flu. Eating a variety of organic fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress may help keep your immune system healthy. Taking supplements like Liposomal C, Active Zinc, and Immune Essentials may also help your immune system fight off certain illnesses.

Eating plenty of organic fruits and vegetables can help provide the nutrients and antioxidants your body needs to fight off infections and keep your immune system healthy. Supplements can help provide vitamins and minerals you may not be getting enough of, and they can also provide immune-boosting herbs like mushrooms you may not get through food. Immune Essentials is one of our newer products and is a powerful formulation of several different mushrooms and green tea extract to help support immune system health. Remember to wash your hands frequently!

You can listen to our Differences Between Allergies, a Cold, and the Flu podcast episode here. You can also listen to it on our YouTube channel here.

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