may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Once doctors realized what was happening, the woman admitted to drinking several liters of water that day in an attempt to help treat her UTI. All that liquid helps loosen up the mucus in your nose and head. Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Medically “On top of that, your metabolism may be sped up and your body’s at an increased level of activity,” she says. But what, exactly, should you put in your cup? “I think it’s an interesting report for sure, but I think that it falls on the more extreme end of the spectrum,” Shah tells When you get a virus or infection, your first instinct may be to drink lots of water or hot tea; after all, we’ve all heard the advice to stay hydrated when you’re sick. But this isn’t the first time the condition has been blamed on that old advice to drink fluids while sick: The authors of the case report also mention another case in which a woman died from hyponatremia after drinking an excessive amount of water during an episode of stomach flu. Here's why a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis can be so frightening. Focus on maintaining your normal fluid intake and replacing what’s been lost, but don’t go overboard and drink multiple gallons of anything.”, To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter. When you're sick, it's easy to get dehydrated. The Truth About Drinking Fluids When You're Sick. | “You want to give your body what it needs to heal and combat your illness. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Here's What a Nutritionist Thinks. January 16, 2020, Medically © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. ), “People should practice moderation and use their judgment,” she says. “It makes you feel better, but there is no clear indication that it directly protects you against complications.” However, she adds, the concept of “flushing out an illness” isn’t accurate. Reviewed Is Your Doctor Gaslighting You? “Using that language gives people the wrong idea of what hydration is doing for them.”. All rights reserved. on For most people, she says, aiming for eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is a “good standard” whether you’re sick or not, and increasing that amount slightly while you’re not feeling well or fighting an infection probably isn’t a bad idea. Carol DerSarkissian Even when you’re well, drinking too many fluids can overwhelm your kidneys and liver, making it harder for them to get rid of toxins. It’s common to lose more fluids than normal when you’re sick, says Shah—from vomiting, diarrhea, or (if you have a fever) sweating, for example. For these types of conditions, the physicians say that maybe guzzling water shouldn’t be recommended. A sore throat can make it less than fun to swallow. on Stay in your living room and still spike your heart rate. “You may require additional hydration to keep your fluid levels balanced.”. “Are there potential risks of this apparently harmless advice?” they asked. American Psychological Association: “Stress Weakens the Immune System.”, Carnegie Mellon University: “Stress on Disease.”, University of Rochester Medical Center: “Cold vs. Allergy: How Do I Know the Difference?”, Brown University: “Health Promotion: Colds.”, NIH: “Three Studies Find Echinacea Ineffective Against the Common Cold.”, UpToDate: “The Common Cold in Adults: Treatment and Prevention.”, UpToDate: “Clinical Use of Echinacea.”, American College of Sports Medicine: “Exercise and the Common Cold.”, From: How to handle a physician who doubts or dismisses your symptoms. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. How Long Does Coronavirus Live On Surfaces? Your body needs extra hydration when you’re trying to get well. ©2005-2019 WebMD LLC. Doctors recommend drinking fluids because when you have an infection, “you can sweat more, breath faster and have episodes of vomiting,” Lee … Plus, you lose fluid as your body makes mucus and it drains away. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. Lee and Noronha do note that it’s extremely uncommon to develop water intoxication in a non-exercise setting, especially when a person has normal kidney function. They may also not feel up to eating or drinking as much as they normally do. How to Make a Hydration Plan and Stick to It Cohen, S. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009. When you get a virus or infection, your first instinct may be to drink lots of water or hot tea; after all, we’ve all heard the advice to stay hydrated when you’re sick. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Not getting enough fluids can affect the body’s ability to fight infection, she says, and people who are ill may not notice subtle signs of dehydration including dry lips, dry skin, headaches, fatigue, and decreased urination. Stay away from booze, coffee, and caffeine when you're looking for things to sip, though.Â, Reviewed A fever draws moisture out of your body. “We always caution anyone healthy and people who are sick to keep up fluid intake and keep mucus membranes moist,” William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, explained to the Associated Press. Mayo Clinic: “Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't, what can't hurt. When you get a virus or infection, your first instinct may be to drink lots of water or hot tea; after all, we’ve all heard the advice to stay hydrated when you’re sick. Drinking more water may also alleviate some of your symptoms and prevent a trip to the ER. When you're sick, it's easy to get dehydrated. And, she says, there are plenty of legitimate reasons doctors recommend staying hydrated. In their case report, Lee and Noronha point out that some illnesses can drive up levels of antidiuretic hormones, which reduce the body’s excretion of water—and could, theoretically, lead to dangerously diluted sodium in the blood. Some drinks are great for easing symptoms, and others may make them worse. Doctors explain how to tell if you have a head cold or something more serious that requires medical attention, such as the flu, strep throat, meningitis, or mono. But what, exactly, should you put in your cup? When you're sick, you hear it over and over: "Get plenty of fluids.” And it’s true. RELATED: Is Celery Juice Actually Healthy? What happens if you get the flu when you're pregnant? University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: “Cold Facts.”, Mayo Clinic: “Dehydration: Risk Factors.”, “Colds and the Flu/Treatment.”, University of Rochester: “Common Cold -- Self Care.”. All rights reserved. If you’ve heard of hyponatremia before, it was likely in the context of endurance athletes, like marathoners and Ironman triathletes, who are working out and sweating—and drinking water—for several hours on end. This article originally appeared on And Anar Shah, M.D., an emergency medicine doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, agrees that it’s something most healthy people will never have to worry about. All products and services featured are selected by our editors. See additional information.


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