Sore throats can be more than bothersome and sometimes they are a precursor to a more serious disease. It might start with some discomfort and end with you losing your voice altogether or permanent heart damage. If you need your voice for work or for other activities, then you’re aware of the importance of knowing how to get rid of a sore throat fast. While sore throats will generally go away by themselves, this is not always the case. Sometimes, sore throats can linger or leave behind an annoying cough. The good news is that there are some remedies that you can use to help speed the recovery.
- 1 Causes for sore throat
- 2 How to get rid of a sore throat fast and naturally
- 2.1 1. Berberine Sulfate
- 2.2 2. Salt water gargles
- 2.3 3. Vinegar
- 2.4 4. Onions
- 2.5 5. Warm compresses
- 2.6 6. ‘Benifuuki’ Green Tea
- 2.7 7. Organic Honey with Pollen
- 2.8 8. Steam
- 2.9 9. Humidifiers
- 2.10 10. Vitamin C
- 2.11 11. “Good” Bacteria for Sore Throat
- 2.12 12. Garlic
- 2.13 13. Milk and cinnamon
- 2.14 14. Ulmus fulva (Slippery Elm)
- 2.15 15. Echinacea purpurea
- 2.16 16. Zinc Tablets, Lozenges, or Syrups
- 2.17 17. Correct Vitamin D Deficiency
- 2.18 18. Pain medicines if nothing else helps
- 2.19 How Long Does a Sore Throat Last?
- 2.20 Conclusion
Causes for sore throat
A sore throat can be caused by bacteria, viruses, sinus buildup and irritants such as allergies, acid reflux, and anything that causes post-nasal drip. It can seem like a good idea to throw everything you’ve got at it and hope one works, but there is an easier way. To figure out how to begin treating your sore throat, figure out what is causing it.
Strep throat is caused by streptococcal bacteria that spreads through contact with infected fluid. This can be coughing, kissing, sneezing or touching.
The symptoms associated with strep throat are similar to a regular cold; the difference is that they are more severe. You may even experience a sudden onset of pain at swallowing, a high fever upwards of 101°F to 104°F, and appetite loss. This is often times accompanied by inflamed lymph nodes and the usual cold symptoms of sneezing, runny nose and coughing.
Sometimes, you may have a sore throat with white spots or yellow, on your tonsils. This is also a symptom of strep throat. If you think that you may have strep throat, talk to your doctor for testing and treatment options. The test for strep throat is virtually painless as it is simply a cotton swab of the back of the throat and the tonsils.
Treatment usually begins with antibiotics which mount an effective defense against the bacteria that causes strep throat. The traditional treatment is penicillin but there has been increase of the number of doctors reporting treatment failure. Not to worry, there are alternative antibiotic treatments such as cephalosporins, clindamycin or medicine derived by erythromycin. These treatments focus on eradicating the bacteria causing the infection.
If left untreated, strep throat may lead to rheumatic fever according to MedicineNet. Not everyone who has had strep throat gets rheumatic fever, but it is believed that antibiotics may prevent rheumatic fever from developing by quickly dispatching the bacteria that causes it. Rheumatic Fever causes inflammation and an autoimmune response from the body. Autoimmune response is when the antibodies in the body begin to attack the body’s own cells as it would a contaminant. This autoimmune response opens up disarray.
The symptoms of rheumatic fever begin mildly and get more and more severe as they progress. It starts out as arthritis and inflammation in multiple joints. After this, other symptoms are a skin rash and rapid jerking movements of the face and arms. The most dangerous of all the autoimmune responses is the inflammation of the heart which can leave permanent heart and heart valve damage.
Rheumatic fever symptoms will begin to arise only 2 weeks to 3 weeks of contracting the bacteria responsible for strep throat. This disease affects the heart, the skin, the joints, and the brain and can lead to heart disease which can be fatal. The treatment for rheumatic fever is treating the bacteria causing it. And, even after the strep bacteria has been eradicated, the involuntary jerking movement may still remain. So, if you suspect that you may be infected with strep bacteria, talk to your doctor about treatment.
Mononucleosis, also known as Mono is another illness that produces a painful sore throat. The mononucleosis symptoms include fatigue, headache, inflamed lymph nodes and tonsils, high fever upwards of 101°F to 104°F, body chills. Other identifying symptoms are a sore throat with white spots on the tonsils and pain near the spleen which is located to the upper left of the abdomen. Liver inflammation and spleen enlargement may also occur as a result of Mono. Immediately seek medical attention if there is pain in the spleen as it could be an indication of a busted spleen.
Mono is viral and most common among teens and some young adults. Because Mono is caused by a virus and antibiotics are useless against it, treatment for Mono focuses providing relief for the duration sickness which may last up to 8 weeks.
A sore throat can be indicative of another illness: tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is basically the inflammation of the tonsils. Common causes of tonsillitis include strep throat, mono, flu viruses, and herpes simplex virus. Sometimes, in severe cases of inflammation and swelling, or with recurring infections, the tonsils will swell large enough to block the airways.
Symptoms of tonsillitis are loss of appetite and voice, sore throat and earache, difficulty swallowing, headache, fever, chills, yellow or white coat on tonsils, and difficulty breathing through the mouth. Children may experience additional symptoms of vomiting, abdominal pain and nausea.
The tonsils play a very important part in the body’s immune system. They prevent contaminants from entering the body through the mouth. However when the tonsils are frequently getting infected, a tonsillectomy may be the answer. This surgical procedure involves removing the tonsils to prevent the tonsils from obstructing the airways, or from constantly getting infected.
Once a tonsillectomy has been performed, you may experience a low degree fever may occur in addition to light speckling of blood in the saliva or the nose. If you experience any more than this, such as a fever over 102F or bright red blood, contact your doctor promptly. You may be in need of immediate medical attention arising from the tonsillectomy. If a tonsillectomy is unnecessary, then there are other milder treatments available based on the causes of the infection.
How to treat tonsillitis depends on what caused it. If the cause of tonsillitis is bacteria, antibiotics will cure the infection in 7 to 10 days. However, if tonsillitis is caused by a virus, then the body must fight the infection on its own. You can, however, consume foods and drinks that boost your immune system to reduce the length of time your body takes to fight off the infection. There are steps you can take for how to cure a sore throat fast.
Post nasal drip
Often times, a sore throat is attributed to bacteria or a virus. If it’s not either of these, the cause of your sore throat could be post nasal drip. Post nasal drip can be caused by allergies, sinus infection, sinus inflammation, lack of moisture in the air, extreme cold temperatures, certain foods that increase your mucus production, fumes from irritants that increase your mucus production, pregnancy and certain medications. The list is certainly a long one.
Allergens and irritants
Again, to the best way to treat your sore throat is to find out what is causing it. If you are allergic to something in your home, you may find relief in many remedies but that is all that you will find. You must find out what that allergen is. You may start by changing detergents and removing anything with a scent and dusting. You can even begin by clearing out a room. Each day that you don’t experience the sore throat and other symptoms, introduce something else into the room. If this is impractical for you, there are allergy tests that you can be tested for.
If harsh weather conditions, such as extreme dryness or cold temperatures, are the cause of the sore throat, stay indoors with some warmth and a humidifier. Again, humidifiers introduce moisture into the air and work similar to steam treatments in that the moisture will help soothe and relax your throat muscles.
If fumes are causing your sore throat, then finding out which fumes you subject yourself to cause the irritation and remove yourself from them. This could be smoke, dust, even some food ingredients like spices or peppers. Sometimes the irritations cannot be removed, as in the case of pollen, then you may consider trying an antihistamine to prevent the post nasal drip and subsequently the sore throat.
Sore throats as a result of acid reflux disease are trickier to treat because of the nature of the cause. For the most part, less aggressive acid reflux can be controlled with a lifestyle change. Some of the changes that reduce or eliminate the acid reflux are quitting smoking (if it applies), not being in a smoky environment such as bars, restricting consumption of irritant fruits, vegetables, and drinks.
Among the list of problem foods and drinks are caffeine, anything based in tomatoes, spicy foods, anything carbonated, citrus fruits, mints, fats, and chocolate.
Lastly, not eating at least 3 hours before bed can aid in the treatment of acid reflux disease. Again, this is for the treatment of less aggressive acid reflux disease. More aggressive acid reflux disease is treated with surgery.
How to get rid of a sore throat fast and naturally
Natural remedies are always a plus because many of the remedies use household items and don’t require a lot of fuss.
1. Berberine Sulfate
Other names: berberine alkaloid, berberine, and berberine complex. Do NOT mistake it for Berberrubine, Berberol, or Piperine.
Berberine is extracted from the roots of different medicinal plants, such as Oregon grape, goldenseal, and barberry. It’s a natural alkaloid that’s usually bitter tasting and yellowish in color. Many herbalists and dietary supplement manufacturers recommend this to treat fungal infections, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
There are also some scientific evidences that point out berberine’s ability to resolve respiratory infections (e.g. common cold) and their symptoms, such as sore throat.
In one study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, researchers said berberine sulfate is a bacteriostatic. Meaning, it’s able to stop the growth of streptococcus pyogenes, a bacteria responsible for sore throat, and prevent them from attaching to the host cells.
How does berberine sulfate stop streptococcus pyogenes from adhering to host cells?
The researchers said there are two ways: First, it frees the lipoteichoic acid found on the cell wall of the streptococcus pyogenes. Second, it directly interferes with the lipoteichoic acid-fibronectin (a group of proteins that promote adhesion) complexes.
The right dosage for berberine varies per brand, but the common dosage range of berberine dietary supplements is 900 to 2,000 milligrams daily, divided into 3 to 4 measured quantities. Remember, it should be taken with food, or shortly after eating.
Taking too much berberine can lead to digestive problems, cramping, insomnia, and headache. It should also not be given to newborns and pregnant or lactating women because it can cause kernicterus, a rare kind of brain damage in newborns. Berberine is also not advisable for people with abnormally low blood sugar and blood pressure.
The good news is that berberine rarely causes adverse effects. That’s why health care providers use it as an alternative treatment.
2. Salt water gargles
Gargling salt water is a traditional age old remedy. You don’t have to always gargle with salt though. Alternatives include plain warm water, lemon juice, cider vinegar, or natural mint or cinnamon mouth wash. The gargling action helps to clear out phlegm and flush the area including post-nasal drip.
Salt is particularly beneficial in two ways. Salt increases osmosis or simply put, the transfer of liquids through membranes. The salty osmosis action helps to draw moisture out of your throat tissue, lessening the inflammation. Salt also fights bacteria by preventing its growth.
To gargle with salt water, salt the water until you can lightly taste the salt. Gargle with a higher concentration and you run the risk of drying out your throat tissues and causing even more inflammation.
One ingredient that works wonders is vinegar. The reports range from eating pickled garlic pieces and drinking vinegar, honey, lemon and water concoctions, to just gargling plain water and vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, in particular, is noted for its abilities. Apple cider vinegar is naturally antibacterial and is great for sore throat
Onions are effective in treating sore throats. Onions are antiseptic and antibacterial by nature. If you can find some pickled onions, even better. However, if your sore throat is cause by something other than bacteria, you may find only limited relief.
5. Warm compresses
Soothing your throat with a warm compress helps soothe a sore throat by keeping the throat moist. A variation of this is using a wash cloth lined with Epsom salt and soaking it in warm water. Heat it for 30 seconds in the microwave. The compress will keep your throat moist. The heat and the salt will aid in reducing swelling and inflammation.
6. ‘Benifuuki’ Green Tea
Green tea is believed to contain certain properties that help ease the conditions marked by inflammation. Experts say it’s because of its anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory compound called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). One of the green tea varieties that’s particularly rich of this compound is Benifuuki green tea.
Benifuuki is actually the result of a crossbreeding of two plant varieties: MakuraCd86 and Benihomare. The anti-allergenic compounds of this green tea are epigallocatechin-3-O(3-O-methyl)-gallate/O-methylated catechins (epigallocatechin-3-O-(3-O-methyl) gallate (EGCG”Me) and epicatechin-3-O-(3-O-methyl) gallate (ECG3″Me), which are lost during black tea manufacturing.
Based on one randomized, parallel-group study, the O-methylated catechin found in Benifuuki green tea helps to relieve symptoms of recurrent or seasonal allergic rhinitis. The study included 38 participants with Japanese cedar pollinosis, a type of seasonal allergic rhinitis caused by Japanese cedar pollen.
Researchers of the study randomly designated participants to drink Benifuuki green tea with 34mg O-methylated catechin either short-term (from February 15, 2007 to April 8, 2007) or long-term (from December 27, 2006 to April 8, 2007).
Result showed that this green tea variety was able to ease the symptoms of Japanese cedar pollinosis. But it should be taken daily for 1.5 months before the start of a cedar pollen season.
What’s great about Benifuuki green tea is that it has a pleasant aroma and a smooth taste. If you want to really enjoy it, you should drink it without any sugar, milk, or creamer. If you have an allergic rhinitis due to pollens, it’s wise to drink it months before the start of a pollen season.
7. Organic Honey with Pollen
Honey has always been a favorite sore throat remedy. The claim is that it helps to ease the sore throat symptoms, like a dry and itchy throat, by serving as a protective lubricant. It’s also believed that honey contains certain properties that fight off many viruses and bacteria, including Staphylococcus pyogenes.
But many ask, “What’s the source of its antibacterial activity?”
One theory suggests it may be perhaps of its sugar content, which deprive bacteria of the water they need to live and thrive.
Another possible reason is its acidic pH level (normal range: 3.4 to 6.1 or an average of 3.9). The belief is the best pH level for Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria is above 6.5. BUT experts quickly refute this idea since there are other honey varieties (e.g. chestnut and honeydew) that have pH levels of over 5, but still exhibit bacteriostatic effects.
It’s believed that the non-peroxide antibacterial activity in honey is associated with its acid content, not pH level. (The non-peroxide antibacterial agent in honey is able to remain stable to heat and storage.)
According to the National Honey Board, honey has several acids: organic acids (0.17 to 1.17%) and amino acids (0.05 to 0.1%). The organic acids found in honey are gluconic (major), citric, lactic, acetic, malic, butyric, succinic, and pyroglutamic.
The Problem with Honeys from Stores…
According to an investigative study done exclusively for the Food Safety News, most of the honey we buy from groceries and pharmacies are not honey. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that a honey product that has been highly filtered to the point that it contains zero pollen is no longer considered a ‘honey.’
Why is pollen a crucial component of the honey products?
Pollen acts like the identity codes of honey to help authorities trace its origin. In previous incidents, groceries in the U.S. were swarmed with prohibited Indian honey with zero pollen, which was filled with toxic heavy metal and antibiotics. Examples of these unsafe honey products are:
- American Choice Clover Honey
- Busy Bee
- Pure Clover Honey
- Busy Bee Organic Honey
- Thrifty Bee Honey
- Walgreen MEL-O honey
- Mel-O 100% Pure Honey
Tip: The article suggested that in order to reduce the chances of buying an ultra-filtered honey, buy products that have the “organic” label. Because majority of the organic honey products (5 out of 7) they tested contained high amounts of pollen. Apparently, they came from Brazil.
Along the same way, steam treatment is another natural remedy that you can use. Stick your head over a bowl of hot water with some thyme or eucalyptus oil and drape a towel over your head to help trap in the steam. Another concoction is to boil water and add lavender and honey.
Deeply breathe in and let the steam moisten and soothe your throat and throat pain. You can also run very hot water in a sink. Put a towel over your head to lock in the steam and then hold your head over the sink as you inhale the steam for several minutes at a time. You can do this as often as necessary to soothe your throat.
This also works with broth of any kind, but, steam treatment works with just plain hot water as well.
Humidifiers work the same way steam treatment does. Humidifiers kick water vapor into the air creating moisture. The moisture in the air can help reduce inflammation and sore throat pain. Even if you don’t own a humidifier, running hot water in the bathroom with the door closed will create a steamy environment. You can simply take a shower and make sure to take deep breaths of the steam.
10. Vitamin C
Foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene help strengthen the immune system. There are special types of molecules that tear down cell structures, such as cell membranes. These molecules are knows as free radicals. According to WebMD, antioxidants may help you beat a sore throat by neutralizing the destructive nature of free radicals.
The best way to get these antioxidants in your system is by eating more raw fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants. If the fruits and vegetables have to be cooked, using as little water as necessary will help retain many of the nutrients.
Fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene or vitamin C are cantaloupe, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, and tomatoes.
Other beta-carotene toting fruits & vegetables are apricots, asparagus, carrots, corn, mangoes and mustard/collard greens.
Other foods rich in vitamin C are kiwi, oranges, red/yellow/green peppers, cauliflower and strawberries. Vitamin E rich foods are corn oil, peanut butter, sunflower seeds and almonds.
11. “Good” Bacteria for Sore Throat
I’m referring to probiotics, which means promoting life in Greek. These live microorganisms are called “good” because they help keep your gut healthy, in appropriate amounts. People often used them to treat or prevent gas, cramping due to antibiotic intake, and diarrhea (frequent loose stools).
Although scientific studies are still going on, probiotics are said to help different illnesses, such as sore throat, tonsillitis, and other throat infections caused by the group-A streptococcus bacteria (streptococcus pyogenes). How?
Sore throats often occur because of the normal flora, specifically of the group-A streptococci, in the throat is disturbed, said researchers of one study. In order to stop people with streptococcal tonsillitis from continuously suffering from sore throats, researchers believed it’s only logical to restore the normal bacterial life by re-introducing the group-A streptococci (alpha-streptococci).
The researchers created a probiotic throat spray made with the bacteria. Just five days of used, it significantly reduced the recurrence of GAS (group-A streptococci) tonsillitis.
In fact, there was only one (out of 17) test subject who experienced a sore throat recurrence in the next 90 days or so. That’s definitely a great result compared to those who used a placebo spray treatment. There were eleven out of seventeen in the placebo group that got a sore throat.
So far, there’s still no consensus regarding the dosage range for probiotic preparations. To be safe, just follow the specific dosage instructions of the product you’re using. According to Medscape Multispecialty, there should be at least billions of microorganisms in order for good bacteria to effectively colonize your gut (or exert therapeutic effects). However, the common practice is take probiotics by mouth every day.
Based on its long track record, there have been no reports of probiotics causing ailments or minor discomforts. However, it’s wise not to give this to people with damaged gastrointestinal tracts, weakened immune systems, or taking drugs that suppress the immune system’s function to avoid opportunistic bacteria from wreaking havoc.
Garlic is a food that is shown to help fight bacteria that causes a sore throat, specifically, strep throat. Allicin is the compound that is responsible for garlic’s antibacterial properties and is shown to be the most active in fresh garlic cloves. So, sucking on garlic with light bite every now and again to release the allicin is one way to access the power of garlic. Another way is eating garlic and honey or adding garlic to your soup.
13. Milk and cinnamon
Dairy in relation to a sore throat has two sides. On one side, many people will refuse anything dairy because it will thicken the phlegm in the throat although it has not been shown to increase production of phlegm.
However, when the throat is too sore to eat, making a meal of milk, cinnamon, and honey is one way to coat and soothe the throat. Milk will do the coating and soothing. Cinnamon is quite interesting as a home remedy.
Cinnamon is spicy enough to help open up your sinus and help you breathe and reduce the amount of phlegm produced. It’s also packed with antioxidants to give your immune system that extra boost. Honey is a natural antibacterial ingredient, aids in coating and soothing the throat and it tastes great.
14. Ulmus fulva (Slippery Elm)
Slippery elm is a kind of tree that mostly grows in North America. Traditionally, Native Americans used this as a salve for skin problems, such as boils, burns, and wounds. Today, people widely use this for treating sore throat, cough, digestive tract problems (e.g. diarrhea and stomach acidity), sexually transmitted diseases, and urinary tract infection.
Slippery elm contains components that can help alleviate sore throat symptoms. One of these agents is its mucilage, which is a thick gel-like substance that’s produced by most plants and a few microorganisms. This works by covering the throat mucous membrane to prevent further irritation and give it time to completely heal.
According to scientific studies, the mucilage in slippery elm contains sugars (l-rhamnose, d-galactose, and 3-O-methyl-d-galactose) and galacturonic acid (a precursor of vitamin C).
Slippery elm is available commercially in various forms: lozenge, capsule, fine or coarse powder, capsule, tea, and extract. For sore throat, the standardized lozenge form of slippery elm is highly preferred over the unprocessed herb because it has a longer therapeutic effect.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking slippery elm capsule (400 to 500 milligrams) up to 4 times a day. Make sure to drink a whole glass of water when taking it. For its tea form, add 2 tablespoons of slippery elm powdered bark to boiled water, and then let it steep for 5 minutes max. Drink it three times a day.
Slippery elm is safe to be taken by mouth and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating irritated throat, digestive problems, and respiratory inflammations. Traditional healers believe that it can induce the abortion when taken orally, so it’s not advisable for pregnant women. But there’s no scientific evidence that back up this notion.
This has no known life-threatening adverse effects. One disadvantage of taking a slippery elm is that it delays the absorption of some of the medicines. If you have to take other meds or supplements, be sure to take the slippery elm 2 to 3 hours before or after.
15. Echinacea purpurea
Other names: echinacea, purple coneflower, and coneflower
Although it’s not clear when this was first used for medicinal purposes, some suggested that echinacea was used by the Natives of America for snake bites. The specific parts of echinacea that hold medicinal value are its flowera, leaves, and root. Glycoproteins, flavonoids, polysaccharides, volatile oils, and alkamides (anti-inflammatory, immune system stimulator, and pain-reliever agents) are just a few medicinal compounds found in echinacea.
People usually take this to help prevent colds or other upper respiratory infections from developing. If cold symptoms (e.g. inflammation, sore throat, and cough) are already present, people use this to ease the severity or completely eliminate them.
One of the main reasons why Echinacea purpurea is used as a medicinal herb is because of its supposed immunological properties. This herb is said to be effective in fighting bacteria and viruses because of its ability to stimulate the immune system.
For instance, when you drink echinacea tea, the polysaccharides I have mentioned earlier can stimulate immune system reaction by changing certain serum protein processes. Thus, more white blood cells are released in order to take care of a mild to severe bacterial or viral invasion, so infection or illness can be prevented. Certain chemicals are also activated to ease the inflammation that’s common in flu or cold.
In one study, standardized preparation of Echinacea purpurea extract (Echinaforce®) was able to completely stop and kill Streptococcus pyogenes in its tracks. It was even able to fully reverse its inflammatory effect. This result reinforced the recommendation to use a standard form of echinacea extract (Echinaforce®) to fight off symptoms associated with the bacterial respiratory infections.
Short-term intake of echinacea is most likely safe. However, people with known allergy to daisies, marigolds, mums, and ragweed should steer clear from this herb. Some of the adverse effects of echinacea includes diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomachache, dry mouth, and dizziness, among others.
Since commercial preparations of echinacea greatly vary per manufacturer, it’s best to ask your healthcare provider for a brand that he or she deems to be safe and effective. Make sure that you’re buying from a reputable and well-known brand, especially when purchasing online. There have been reports that some echinacea products don’t contain this herb or don’t declare the exact echinacea species or active ingredients they use.
16. Zinc Tablets, Lozenges, or Syrups
At small amounts, zinc is essential for our health. People use it to enhance their immune system function, fight colds and other lower respiratory infections, zinc deficiency, cataract, diabetes, night blindness, and others. Experts point out that it may even help prevent or lessen recurrence of common cold due to viruses. It does this by preventing common cold viruses from entering your nose lining.
Researchers of one study reviewed the different scientific evidences regarding zinc’s cold-busting powers. They surmised that zinc syrup, tablet, or lozenge may decrease the severity and shorten the duration of common cold if people take it at the first sign of the illness.
What’s more, those who regularly took zinc every few hours during the day were completely free from cold symptoms on the seventh day. The opposite can be said for the placebo group. The kids who were given zinc lozenge or zinc syrup (15mg) every single day for the next five or so months were better protected from common colds and less absent from school.
Since all 15 clinical trials they reviewed used varied doses and time period, researchers found it difficult to come up with a consensus. That’s why further studies need to be done to determine the exact best dosage range, formulation, and schedule for zinc.
According to WebMD, you can treat common cold by taking either one acetate lozenge (with 9-24mg elemental zinc) or zinc gluconate. You can take acetate lozenge every two hours if common cold symptoms are still observable.
Is it safe? Zinc is safe to be taken by adults when taken for a short period of time at a dosage not exceeding 40mg per day. It can’t be taken for too long and/or at high doses because it can cause toxic effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and damaged kidneys or stomach.
Zinc can also interfere with the absorption of antibiotics, thus decreasing their effectiveness. Examples of these antibiotics are enoxacin, grepafloxacin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, trovafloxacin, and trovafloxacin. If you’re under antibiotics therapy, you can take zinc an hour or so after taking antibiotics.
17. Correct Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency doesn’t really cause any obvious physical symptoms, but if it did, you’ll most likely feel muscle weakness and bone pain. A surefire way to diagnose this condition is to undergo the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.
Why do people experience low levels of vitamin D in their bodies? It may be caused by the following factors:
- Obesity (refers to a body mass index of over 30)
- Limited sunlight exposure
- Dark skin
- Strict vegan diet
- Kidney and digestive tract problems
Researchers from Israel say that a vitamin D deficiency could influence recurrence of group-A streptococcal (GAS) tonsillopharyngitis among adults. Tonsillopharyngitis refers to the inflamed tonsils and pharynx, which symptoms include sore throat, painful to swallow, fever, enlarged neck lymph nodes, and breathing difficulties.
For their study, researchers focused on the records of fifty-four patients diagnosed with GAS tonsillopharyngitis plus a control group without any history of this condition. Researchers defined a vitamin D deficiency as 30-20 ng/ml or lower. A recurrent GAS tonsillopharyngitis is 3 or more episodes annually for a series of two years.
What’s the result?
Researchers confirmed their earlier notion that recurrent GAS tonsillopharyngitis is linked to a deficient vitamin D levels (lower than 20 ng per ml) AND high levels of C-reactive protein (more than 3 mg per liter), which is an indicator of inflammation. However, further clinical tests need to be done to know whether vitamin D replacement therapy will solve the recurrence.
NATURAL VITAMIN D SOURCES
Vitamin D is usually formed when our skins are exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option for people living in a non-tropical countries, like the U.S. The next best natural option is food, although there are only a few foods that are rich in this vitamin.
The top 3 sources given by WebMD are mackerel (wild-caught), mushrooms (the more exposed to sunlight, the better), and salmon (wild-caught). Other food sources are a beef liver, canned tuna, cheese, and egg yolks. There are also supplements you can readily purchase after consulting your doctor.
Normally, vitamin D is safe to be taken orally, but too much could cause adverse effects. Some of these are metal-like taste, vomiting, fatigue, headache, dry mouth, and poor appetite, among others. If you take more than 4,000 IU/day for prolonged periods, your blood calcium can increase above normal levels.
18. Pain medicines if nothing else helps
Over the counter medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen will aid in the reduction of swelling, fever, chills, aches, and pains that accompany the sore throat and the common cold. This can be taken in pill form or as a liquid taken by mouth. Aspirin can be used to reduce inflammation but it is not recommended for flu treatment, especially in children. Using aspirin to help treat the flu has been known to cause Reye’s syndrome.
Although this condition is generally associated with children, adults can develop it as well. Children and adolescents are at higher risks for developing the disease. Reye’s syndrome is a condition when the amount of acidity and ammonia in the body increases while the blood sugar levels decrease. At this time, the liver may develop deposits of fatty tissue and swell.
The brain may also swell causing convulsions, seizures, and loss of consciousness. These symptoms usually present themselves three to five days after getting a viral infection. This includes influenza, enterovirus, chicken pox, mononucleosis, or a viral upper respiratory infection.
Symptoms in children two years old and younger begin as diarrhea and rapid breathing. For children above two years of age to adolescents, the symptoms expand to include sudden lethargy and continuous vomiting. As the condition goes untreated, even more symptoms begin to develop.
Included in these are extreme lethargy, weakness or paralysis of limbs, seizures, confusions/hallucinations/disorientation, and irrational, aggressive or irritable behavior and they are signs that emergency medical treatment is necessary as Reye’s syndrome can cause permanent brain damage.
How Long Does a Sore Throat Last?
Answer: it depends. You have to determine the root cause to appropriately treat your sore throat. Sometimes, you don’t even have to do anything because the cause is viral. Or you simply have to avoid the root cause. For instance, avoid smoking cigarette to prevent dry throat, which can lead to sore throat.
If your sore throat is not resolved within 7 to 10 days, call your doctor. A serious underlying condition may already be at play, so you want that addressed immediately.
Although certain herbs, foods, and dietary supplements are deemed safe, please don’t forget that they may still produce undesirable effects that could outweigh their therapeutic benefits. Make sure you know what you’re taking, including its side effects, drug interactions, and right dosage and timing, in order to maximize its intended positive effects.
Double check the product you’re buying. Not all products labeled as “organic” or “pure” really contain the active ingredients necessary to treat your condition. Check online websites, like ConsumerLab.com or USDA.gov, for counterchecking purposes.
Do you have other suggestions on how to get rid of a sore throat? I would like to hear your ideas.
Some of these remedies can sound pretty outrageous. But it’s only outrageous if it doesn’t work. With everything that can happen in a day, stressing out about how to get rid of a sore throat fast doesn’t have to be one of them. Just remember to get lots of rest because that’s when the body does most of its healing. Staying hydrated will help flush phlegm out of your throat, flush your system in general, processed foods, and medicine. Wash your hands often to avoid contaminating others or re-contaminating yourself.
Smoking or drinking alcohol will only increase the irritation of your throat so avoid it as much as possible. Also, avoid talking as much as you can to allow your throat a chance to rest. Keeping your body hydrated and stocked full of nutrients and antioxidants that boost your immune system will ensure that your body has what it needs to quickly fight off infection. Allowing your throat and your body some rest will help you recover from a sore throat in a shorter period of time.
You may also like our article on best home remedies for flu.