Sunday, April 10, 2011

Seems my year to get ill

For years i go can along and not get ill once, only 4 months have passed this year and ive been ill twice, first i did something to my eye this time i got a common cold.

I was trying to find what happens to your body when you get a cold and i couldnt really find anything i did find the following though which sorta explains it

The common cold is a rhinovirus that affects the cells in the upper respiratory tract. Once it affects the cells, you want to sneeze and cough as it triggers the reflexes.

Unlike other respiratory viruses that kick off the interferon system to fight infection, rhinoviruses interfere with interferon production. Why is this important? Because as the result of this evasion strategy, you get a runny nose and fever, caused by the innate immune system's inflammatory reaction to the virus, rather than the flu-like symptoms you would get if you had the flu.

Because rhinoviruses are cytolytic (e.g. they kills the cells they infect), the innate system is on the lookout for excess cell death. Once it sees this happening, the innate system is so powerful, that it can eradicate the virus within a couple /few days.

The cough is from a natural process in the body called the "mucosal escalator".

There are 2-version, the 'up' and 'down' versions.

  • In the 'down' version, which is relevant here, the mucus from the nasal cavity is moved 'down' to be swallowed. Once in the stomach, it's destroyed.

This sounds good, right? Well...not so.

When getting moved down, the temperature cools.

And what does rhinoviruses look for so they can replicate? Cool temperatures.

Hence, the escalator actually helps the virus spread. Fortunately, the virus is also a weakling and the immune system can handle it at this point.

You feel weak because the immune system is fighting a battle. Generally though a cold will make you feel more miserable rather than weak.

Another way to look at it

You get a runny nose as the result of increased mucus production in the sinus and nasal passages. The increased production of mucus is usually the result of the body attempting to clear cold or flu viruses or irritants and allergens from the body.

You cough because you are clearing mucus from your lungs

You feel tired and hot from your body fighting the germs