Your Cold Symptoms Might Not Be A Cold At All

Health | Did You Know

Your Cold Symptoms Might Not Be A Cold At All

As the colder weather approaches, so does cold and flu season. We all know the common symptoms of a cold: runny nose, headaches, coughing, sore throat, etc. For the most part, all you can do is drink a bunch of orange juice and try to get some rest.

But there are times when your cold symptoms are more than just a common cold. Usually, colds last no more than 10 days. See your doctor and trust your gut if you think you could be suffering from any of these possible illnesses.


A persistent cough is not unusual with a cold, but it could also be a sign of the following:

  • Allergies: you may be having a reaction to something in the air
  • Asthma: your asthma may be acting up due to weather conditions
  • Bronchitis: an infection may have found its way to your lungs, and will need antibiotics to treat it
  • Edema: your lungs could be retaining fluid, causing your cough
  • Lung Cancer: a more serious possibility, contact your doctor
  • Lymphoma: a type of cancer, most common in children.
  • Roundworms: a parasitic worm that can be found in both humans and dogs
  • Sleep Apnea: a disorder in which you take shallow breaths, or stop breathing all together, while sleeping
  • Tuberculosis: TB has a 50% death rate, and can affect your lungs as well as other organs. It's extremely contagious.


A fever should always be monitored closely, especially in children. Keep an eye out for extreme temperatures. A fever could also be a sign of:

  • Appendicitis: if left untreated, an inflamed appendix can burst and cause serious health problems
  • Bronchitis
  • Cellulitis: a potentially fatal skin infection that can spread quickly.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: it's a complicated disorder that can't really be explained by an underlying medical condition
  • Crohn's Disease: a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can affect the digestive tract
  • Food Poisoning: it could be from anything as simple as expired food to under-cooked meat
  • Gout: one of the most painful forms of arthritis, caused by a build up of uric acid.
  • Hepatitis: a disease caused by infection, leading to the inflammation of your liver tissue
  • Influenza: more commonly known as the flu
  • Kidney Stones: a solid piece of calcium build up which ends up in the urinary tract, causing an extreme pain to the patient
  • Sinus Headache: when inflammation in your sinuses causes deep, throbbing pain in the top or back of your head.
  • Ulcerative Colitis: an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract
  • Urinary Tract Infection: an infection caused by microbes


Headaches are even more common than a cold, but one that persists for too long could be a sign of something more serious, such as:

  • Anemia: when your body is experiencing low iron.
  • Endocarditis: an infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers and heart valves
  • Fibromyalgia: widespread pain, along with fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues.
  • Food Poisoning
  • Glaucoma: a condition which causes damage to your optic nerve, and eventually causes blindness
  • Hypertension: also known as high blood pressure
  • Hypothyroidism: an underactive thyroid gland, which causes an unbalance in hormones in your body
  • Influenza
  • Lyme Disease: a disease caused mainly by ticks, which can cause facial paralysis and neurological disorders
  • Meningitis: inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
  • Mononucleosis: a contagious disease that causes inflammation of the spleen, also known as the "kissing disease"
  • Mumps: a contagious, viral disease that can lead to sterility in men
  • Stroke: occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced
  • Tension Headache

But these are just some of the symptoms of a common cold. There are others as well.


Losing your voice or having a strain in your voice is generally a sign of a more sever cold, but it could also mean the following:

  • Angioedema: an area of swelling of the lower layer of skin and tissue just under the skin or mucous membranes
  • Food Allergy
  • Acid Reflux: a long-term condition where stomach contents come back up into the esophagus.
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Laryngitis: an inflammation of the voice cords in the voice box
  • Measles: a viral infection of the respiratory system.

Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion is one of the more basic cold symptoms. There aren't many other causes of nasal congestion, but it could also mean:

  • Allergies
  • Influenza
  • Sinus Headache


Pharyngitis, or a sore throat, is possibly the most annoying part of a cold, but it could be a warning for the following diseases:

  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Acid Reflux
  • Influenza
  • Laryngitis
  • Mononucleosis
  • Sleep Apnea

Have your cold symptoms ever been something more?

Meagan has an intense love for Netflix, napping, and carbs.