When is a Cold More Than Just a Cold?

Every cold can feel like the end of the world, especially the ones that like to hang out in your system and keep you run down for a while. When we are sick, it’s normal to hate life. Who wouldn’t? You feel awful and the only thing you can do to truly heal yourself is rest, drink lots of water and tea and wait it out. Sure over the counter drugs might make it easier to breathe or not fall into a coughing fit but they aren’t a cure.

It is easy to forget, with them being so common, that colds and flus are no joke. They are serious illnesses and you need to treat them that way. Not only will it help your body fight off the illness better, it will make it easier for you to tell when what you thought was “just a cold” is actually something much worse, like a reaction to .

Here are some of the symptoms that you need to watch for:

When is a Cold More Than Just a Cold?


Headaches are very common while suffering from a cold. Heck, headaches are simply a common occurrence. Sometimes, though, a headache is a sign that something is going seriously wrong, like a hemorrhage. According to the doctors at Plush Care, a organization, if your headaches are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or if they are more painful than usual, you should call your doctor for an appointment to get checked out. If your headache also impacts your ability to think or concentrate, that is another sign that you need to call your doctor.

Extra High Fever

It’s normal to run a slight fever when you have a cold, flu, or virus. Typically, the fevers associated with the common cold run just a few degrees higher than your normal temperature (it is amazing what a difference in comfort those few degrees can make!). If your fever rises above 102, however, you need to head into the ER to get checked out. Better safe than sorry, right? It is also important to track your fever. If your fever lasts more than three days or is accompanied by chest pain, see a doctor immediately.

When is a Cold More Than Just a Cold?


It happens to all of us: we get sick, we start to feel better and then we get sick again. Maybe we picked up a new cold because our immune systems were still weak from fighting off the first illness. Maybe the cold we got was just stronger than we had anticipated. Whatever the reason, it’s still a good reason to get a checkup, just to be sure. Relapsing is also called “rebounding” and it could be a sign that your immune system is more than tuckered out from fighting the first cold. It is especially worrisome if you feel much worse than you did with the first illness.


“It’s easy to write off the common cold as

something you just have to suffer through.

Most of the time, that’s true.

If you experience any of these problems,

though, it’s time to seek professional help.”



Muscle Weakness

It’s normal to feel a little bit weaker than usual as your body fights off a cold. If you have to really exert yourself to get up or to move around, though, that is a sign that you have a flu, which is caused by a virus and, unlike a cold, your doctor can give you medication to help you fight the flu faster and keep it from developing into something worse.

Your Heart Feels Weird

A little flutter now and then, no big deal, right? But if your heart “skips a beat,” , and especially if you have chest pains, do not wait. Go straight to the emergency room. What might have started as a common cold could have invaded the heart or the tissues that line it. Irregular heartbeat is also a sign of a blood clot in your lungs.

When is a Cold More Than Just a Cold?

It Goes On and On and ON

Most colds clear up in a week or two. If you are just as sick in week three as you were in week one, this is a sign that your doctor should give you a thorough exam. Colds that linger are typically symptoms of larger illnesses and body issues.

Colors Matter

Yes, the gunk that comes out of your nose when you sneeze is gross, but you need to look at it anyway. White and yellow are fine. Green is bad. Green is usually a sign of an infection and those do not go away on their own.

When is a Cold More Than Just a Cold?

It’s easy to write off the common cold as something you . Most of the time, that’s true. If you experience any of these problems, though, it’s time to seek professional help.


How do you deal with the common cold or flu?

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