how does it help the body’s immune system to drink fluids when you’re sick?


how does it help the body’s immune system to drink fluids when you’re sick?

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Being dehydrated places stress on your body. Normally not huge issue if you’re perfectly healthy and not active. Not good by any means, but not the worst thing.

Though if you’re sick your body is already stressed, stressing it more by being dehydrated makes recovery harder.

If it were a game, dehydration and sickness would be a debuff. Having both stacked on each other makes it worse.

Typically when you are sick you want your white blood cells to fight off whatever it is… being hydrated promotes blood flow… think of it as adding more lanes of highways (or making sure there is no traffic jams) for your fighters to get to battle quickly and effectively.

You’d be surprised, but this advice isn’t actually backed up by the medical literature, and your average doctor won’t even be able to tell you exactly why they say it. They say it because drinking fluids certainly doesn’t harm anything, and they heard it from the doctors before them. So it persists, but it’s mostly a myth.

It probably started because there are some illnesses (e.g. dysentery) that can cause you become so dehydrated that you actually die. Even milder forms of illness which cause diarrhea, for example, can cause you to become rapidly dehydrated more than your natural thirst mechanism really has time to notice. Fluids are very useful in that case.

But if you are not actively dehydrated, there’s very little evidence that drinking more water will actually make your immune system itself function any better. For something like the common cold, if you don’t already feel thirsty, drinking fluids does not seem to have any measurable effect on the severity or duration of the cold.

Water is a solvent, essentially the only one as far as biology is concerned, it provides the medium for which virtually all chemical processes in the body take place.

Being well-hydrated thins mucus, making it easier to expectorate. Thick, sticky mucus can help turn an upper respiratory infection into its various complications (sinusitis, bronchitis, otitis media). The more you drink, the easier your mucus flows, the less chance you have stasis and bacterial growth.