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Not Better, Just Worse: 5 Things You’re Doing Wrong When Sick

Updated on December 20, 2018
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Fredda Branyon has dedicated her life to the advancement of complementary medicine.

You went straight home after work, took your medication, and went to bed early — but do you somehow feel worse than you did yesterday? According to medical research, some routines make the common flu worse instead of providing relief.

Here are five mistakes people make when getting sick:

Drinking plenty of liquids, but not water

Even if you chug gallons of juices throughout the day, it can’t provide the level of hydration water provides. When your mucous membranes are moist, they become more efficient in trapping and eliminating any viral infection in your nasal cavities.

Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins in your body. If you’re craving something with flavor, chicken noodle soup is a traditional and effective remedy for fluid restoration. This heartwarming meal also helps soothe common colds with its anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, and healthy amount of protein.

Popping pills without a proper prescription

Just because over-the-counter medication exists does not mean you should stop seeing your doctor. A physician’s professional advice, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations are essential to recover from any type of sickness. A viral infection requires specific treatments and does not need antibiotics, but a bacterial infection does. The difference between the two is something only a medical professional can determine.

Avoid popping an antibiotic the moment you feel under the weather. This behavior can do more harm than good to your health.

Sleeping early, but ignoring how tired you feel throughout the day

If you can barely get out of bed, don’t be afraid to call in a sick day. Most people soldier on with work or other commitments even though they desperately need rest. Unfortunately, sleeping early won’t always compensate for a long and exhausting day.

Bedrest is essential when you are battling a low-grade or high-grade fever, which can accompany colds and the flu. A well-rested mind and body will assist your immune system in fighting the infection that's causing you to feel ill.

Using addicting substances for relief

Smoking is a bad habit that can aggravate your condition. Although the nicotine in tobacco may offer some sense of relief, it can also trigger cold symptoms and make your cough worse.

When you smoke, you are further irritating your throat and damaging your lungs. Try your best to avoid cigarettes, including people who use tobacco. Secondhand smoke is just as irritating as smoking on your own. Other substances to stay away from include alcohol and unhealthy foods.

Saying you’re fine when you’re not

Stop being in denial about your condition. If your nose is clogged, your throat is sore, and you have a throbbing headache — you are most likely unfit to work or go to school. Refusing to admit the truth only prolongs your sickness. Also, you increase the chances of your colleagues and schoolmates getting the same infection as you.

Learn to understand the early signs your body is sending you and avoid these mistakes to boost your immunity and make your recovery faster. If any symptoms persist, contact your healthcare provider immediately and schedule a consultation.


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