There are many causes of catching a cold every few months, and some are easily fixed, while others require aggressive medical intervention
“It is not uncommon for people with exposure to young children (parents, teachers) to get ill frequently,” says Arielle Levitan, MD, board certified in internal medicine and co-founder of Vous Vitamin LLC and co-author of “The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health.”
Dr. Levitan continues, “Others can be sick more often than expected because of underlying immune deficiencies such as low immunoglobulins or low white blood counts (can be due to bone marrow disease, HIV, toxic medications).”
If catching a cold every few months is something new to you, rather than something since childhood, this is an even greater incentive to get some blood work done to see if there is an underlying serious medical condition.
Examples of Bone Marrow Disease
Leukemia. Bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells.
Aplastic anemia. Bone marrow does not produce red blood cells.
Lymphoma. This cancer can spread into the bone marrow and impair production of blood cells.
And if you’re sexually active or have been in the past, do not rule out the possibility of an HIV infection for being the cause of getting a cold every few months.
Again, rather than sit at home guessing and wondering, you should see a doctor. It is not normal to get a cold every two months.
“Mild cases of cystic fibrosis have been diagnosed after recurrent respiratory infections in adults,” says Dr. Levitan.
“Also, certain vitamin deficiencies are prone to lead to frequent colds — typically vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin C (consider a personalized multivitamin to get adequate amounts).
“People who have chronic allergies or sinus problems such as polyps can also be prone to frequent cold symptoms.”
Dr. Levitan is board certified in internal medicine and has a special interest in women’s health and preventive medicine.