One issue with G6PD Deficiency is that common drugs for colds, cough and fever are unsafe to take. I read just today about Tylenol’s affect on the liver. Apparently, it doesn’t take very long for this to happen and we just can’t afford to damage our liver. It is under enough stress due to having to deal with hemolysis.
Aspirin has been on the avoid list since I can remember and paracetamol has multiple possible problems. See paracetamol on the drugs to avoid page.
And to make matters worse, most child liquid meds have alcohol, artificial food color, artificial flavor and other chemicals in them, which are also on the avoid list.
Okay, then if we can’t take over the counter drugs, how do we deal with colds, coughs, runny noses and fevers? I wish I had a dime for every time I was asked this question. Lets look at them one at a time.
Colds/Flu – a cold is caused by a virus and cannot be “cured” with drugs. It has to run it’s course. What affects the length and severity of a cold the most is our health and immune system. If we don’t avoid triggers, follow the diet suggestions and eat right, the cold will be worse and last longer; we will recover from hemolysis slower. Some virus’ can cause hemolysis, which complicates matters and makes it even more vital that we get and stay healthy. The only thing we can treat are the symptoms.
Clogged or runny noses – this one is actually pretty easy to treat. Salt water. Or saline solution as it is called at the pharmacy. A few drops of saline solution nose drops will not only help unclog the nasal passages, but will help fight germs and nasal infections as well. There are no side effects and it can be given as often as needed. For older children and adults you can use a salt water nasal rinse. There are recipes online and you may be able to find a prepared solution at your pharmacy.
Cough – this is also surprisingly easy to treat. For children under one year old, juice some pineapple and add a small amount of lemon juice to it. You can also add some powdered ginger if you like. This works as well or better than commercial cough medicine, has no side affects and helps kill germs to boot.
For children over one year old and adults, add some local raw honey to it for even better results. And for the stout of heart, you can add some cayenne pepper. If you don’t have pineapple juice, you can substitute apple cider vinegar. You will need to add honey to offset the vinegar taste, so this is not for children under one year old.
Fever – lets talk about a fever for a minute. A fever actually helps the body fight infection, so it is not a bad thing unless it gets too high and stays there. For fevers under 102 degrees F, leave them alone. If it gets higher than that or stays for several days, see a doctor and find out what is causing the fever. If there are other symptoms that are alarming, also, see a doctor. If you need to reduce a fever, a tepid bath or sponge bath will help reduce it and has no side effects. For more information, see Fever Myths.
Natural remedies are usually much safer and many times are actually better than prepared medicines, so don’t panic when your child gets sick with colds, cough and fever.
There are G6PDD safe recipes in the member’s section for these and other natural remedies. Plus some awesome soup recipes to keep your spirits up.
All the best,