Sore throats are irritating and annoying to say the least. Approximately 15 million people in the United States see a doctor for sore throat every year. Sore throats usually signify that your body is getting sick. Often occurring in the late fall and early winter they lead people scrambling to their doctor to get help for the irritated lining in the back of their throat.
Causes Of A Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
There are basically two general categories of sore throat causes:
Infectious and Non-Infectious
Infectious is the most common type and can consist of Viral, Bacterial or Fungal.
- Viral – Is most common cause of a sore throat, over 90% of the cases.
- Bacterial and Fungal – Are the least common cause of a sore throat, less than 20% of the cases.
Non-Infectious causes of sore throat can include physiological, chemical or environmental factors.
- Allergy/Toxins/Irritants – Classified in the “other” category. Patients usually know that their chemical sensitive or have allergies. Smoking fits into this category as well.
- GERD or acid reflux
- Snoring, shouting or vocal irritation
The problem is that most infectious causes of sore throat are treated in the medical setting. As a matter of fact pharyngitis accounts for 1-2% of all emergency room out patient visits in the United States. Unfortunately bacterial Strep infections only account for 5-10% of adult infections and 15-30% of child infections, yet antibiotics are usually prescribed for 80-90% of the cases. The question is what is the best approach to treat the sore throat?
Top 10 Sore Throat Remedies
The best thing you can do for a sore throat is to treat the whole body as if it’s getting sick because that’s what’s actually happening.
- Hydrate – Drink plenty of filtered water, about half of your body weight in ounces. Most people never drink enough water especially in the winter time.
- Zinc – Cold Ease or any lozenge containing zinc is usually a good start at the onset of a sore throat. In some cases it can even halt the progression in it’s tracks.
- Inflavonoid Tablets – containing ginger, turmeric, vitamin C and bioflavonoids. They work very well for throat irritation and pain control.
- Anti-viral herbal support is a must – Preparations such as colloidal silver, Andrographis, Astragalus, L-Lysine, Black Elderberry and Echinacea work very well to tame a virus induced sore throat. Sometimes you can find products that contain many of these ingredients into one convenient capsule.
- Defense – A multi-faceted supplement for overall immune support and balance. This product works nicely in the background similar to an anti-virus program on your computer, as the body tries to get back on it’s feet.
- Protein – Metagenics Ultrameal Whey Protein works well to support the building blocks of the immune system and for general cellular repair. This is another nice background product for cellular support and rebuild.
- Drainage – Enough can’t be said about lymphatic drainage. There are several products available to enhance drainage but even simple body movements as well as hot showers work nicely to get the toxic build up out of the body.
- Detox-Tea – Another one of my staples for sore throat. It is pleasant tasting but add Manuka honey and lemon and now you have a power packed weapon to soothe and heal your throat in real-time.
- Salt and water gargle. Add about 1/4 tsp. of sea salt to about 6 ounces of warm filtered water. This will discourage any unwanted growth on the back of your throat.
- If you feel that it’s a bacterial issue where you have lots of mucous formation, post nasal drip or if you feel that you may be getting a sinus infection with pain over the frontal and/or maxillary sinuses with fever this is the time for a throat culture and bacterial challenge support. Olive leaf extract + Monolaurin + Colloidial Silver + Grapefruit seed extract are heavy hitter natural A-biotics that are sure to pack a punch to your infection. Please see your natural medicine doctor for dosage as these can have die-off effects and need proper drainage remedies.
Finally there are other things you can do for prevention such as hand washing, listening to your body for rest signals and not push yourself during the holiday season as you can get run down and lose your immune reserve.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net