why does your body ache when you’re sick?

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What causes body aches when you have a cold or the flu?

In: Biology

When we get common bacterial infections our immune system sends white blood cells to fight off the infection. For whatever reason this process causes inflammation which results in achy muscles and joints

The molecules your body releases to fight off infection (interleukins, tumor necrosis factor, interferons, etc) both injure what is causing the infection as well as healthy tissue. Our initial immune response is really broad, so it kind of targets everything around the area that is infected and the subsequent friendly fire and the byproducts of the cells that are killed are what makes you feel achey and sore.

So the molecules your body releases to fight off infection and what cells release when they die is what makes you feel bad.