As I write this, I'm getting over a common cold. This is the first time I've been sick in 2 years and it's definitely not fun. What causes a common cold? The answer is a virus that you pick up from another person, usually during flu season. I'm pretty sure I picked my cold up from working at a health clinic and assisting sick patients all day.
If you have a fever, you need to go to the doctor. The fever shows that your body is fighting some type of bacteria like strep that you will need antibiotics to totally kick. If you have congestion, runny nose, cough, sneezing, and no fever, you probably have a common cold and would do better just staying home for a few days and watching television programs.
The best way to treat a common cold is rest and lots of fluids. Take a few days off from exercising and treat your body good with lots of rest. Above all, avoid other sick people because your immune system is already knocked down and you don't want to get another cold. A lot of people believe taking large amounts of Vitamin C help fight a cold. This is Not true. All the scientific studies to date show that taking a lot of Vitamin C has no effect upon speeding up recovery from being sick. I've done vast reading on this subject and the medical community has not found any benefit from taking vitamin C during a cold.
What they have found to be beneficial is taking a large amount of Vitamin D. It has been proven in studies that if you take a large amount of Vitamin D (2000-7000 iu) per day right for a few days when you begin to sick, you recover faster. Overall, you are sick for less days and the cold symptoms are milder. 2000 -7000 iu per day of Vitamin D seems like a lot, but it's really not. It depends on how up to date your doctor's schooling is. Due to new research, physicians are starting to put people on 2000-5000 iu per day every day. If someone has a Vitamin D deficiency, they can safely take up to 15000 iu per day. If you're starting to get sick and you don't normally take Vitamin D, leave the Vitamin C in the cabinet and take Vitamin D. Vitamin D is what really works. Above all, use common sense, take care of your body, and have a hopefully sickness free season.