Resistance to colds

Exactly how we catch colds is a mystery. Possibly 200 different viruses are involved, but it is often very difficult to persuade a victim to ‘catch cold’ experimentally even though the virus is introduced in quite large quantities into his nose or naso-pharynx.

Folklore warns us about getting ‘chilled to the bone’, and there is no doubt at all that in reducing the body’s temperature we also reduce its resistance to infection. This is probably mediated by the stress hormones that I have mentioned previously (see page 143). It seems highly likely that stressful situations reduce the body’s resistance to all sorts of diseases including those caused by viruses and bacteria. And so learning to cope with stress can mean that the victim of ‘cold after cold’ can obtain unexpected relief.


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