20 Dangerous Things You Should Never Do If You Think You’re Getting Sick

We don’t always make the best decisions when we’re sick. Our stuffy heads and achy chest pains can be pretty distracting, making us want to try just about anything to feel better — even if we know there’s a chance it will only make us feel worse.

Common colds are common, as if the name itself didn’t make it clear enough. Colds are easy to catch, but they are downright frustrating and sickening. Symptoms may include sneezing, mild fever, dry throat, cough, sore throat, hoarse voice etc. The thing about colds is that you don’t fully feel sick, but the point is that you are. Colds interfere in your work, disturb your diet, and of-course redden that nose of yours. It is important to deal with colds as soon as possible so as to keep them at bay already. And, if however, you do eventually end up catching a cold, there are a couple of things you should and should not be doing.

When you feel under the weather, the only thing you want to do is retreat into bed with junk food, some tissues, and Netflix. However, this isn’t exactly the best course of action—at least, not if you want to stop your sickness in its tracks.

Yes, unfortunately, eating fatty comfort foods and sitting in bed surrounded by your own germs could actually make your illness worse. Here is what not to do when you think you’re getting sick, according to the experts.

Overdo it on the vitamin C

Orange juice

Though vitamin C does support the immune system, there is such a thing as consuming too much. Since your body isn’t capable of storing this nutrient, taking in too much of it can cause adverse side effects. In fact, one 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who increased their vitamin C intake too much were twice as likely to have kidney stones. Definitely stock up on OJ—just don’t overdo it.

Drink alcohol

older man holding a wine glass of red wine

Unfortunately, if you think you’re coming down with something, you’re going to want to limit your alcohol intake. According to Carolyn Dean, MD, co-author of The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health, alcohol “requires the mineral magnesium in order to be metabolized,” so drinking it “makes insulin surge and depletes the immune-boosting mineral.”

Stop monitoring your water intake

close up of young woman drinking a glass of water

Staying hydrated is essential when the body is fighting off an infection. Unfortunately, though, in the quest for hydration, not all fluids are created equal.

“There is no specific fluid best to maintain adequate hydration, other than clean water,” says David Cutler, MD, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California. “Soft drinks, fruit juices, and other sugar-sweetened beverages are never a good idea. In the end, simply maintaining adequate hydration [with water] is the key to recovery.”

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