By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 26, 2024

News Picture: Feed a Cold and a Fever, Experts Say

The old saying “feed a cold, starve a fever” is baloney, doctors say.

People fighting off a seasonal respiratory virus need adequate nutrition, regardless of their symptoms, according to advice from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Fever is just one of the many defense mechanisms the human body uses to stave off any infection, said Dr. Pedro Piedra, a professor of molecular virology, microbiology and pediatrics at Baylor.

All the body’s immune responses require energy gained by eating a well-balanced diet, Piedra said. That’s why sick-friendly foods like chicken noodle soup are commonly recommended.

Feeling awful from an infection might put a dent in a person’s appetite, but Piedra said folks should resist that malaise and pick up a spoon or fork.

Cold weather tends to increase people’s risk of catching the flu, the common cold and COVID-19, Piedra said.

That’s because people tend to huddle together indoors when it’s cold outside.

“Colder temperatures also allow for viruses to survive on surfaces longer, and the humidity we experience here in Houston also contributes to these viruses being able to survive outside of a host,” Piedra added in a Baylor news release.

“There is also a saying that if your hair is wet and you are in a cold environment, you will get sick. That is partly true,” Piedra added. “You won’t contract a virus, but you may weaken your immune system, which might invite sickness.”

In addition to eating enough, sick folks also need to make sure they’re staying hydrated, Piedra said.

Warm tea is a great remedy, not only helping hydration but also soothing sore throats.

Sore throats also can be remedied by a warm saltwater gargle, which can ease irritation and also remove excessive mucus from the back of the throat.

Piedra also recommended that people who’ve just gotten sick get tested for flu or COVID and, if positive, ask their doctor about drugs that can shorten their illness.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.medicinenet.com/feed_a_cold_and_a_fever_experts_say/news.htm?ecd=mnl_day_012624

Article submitted to MSRN by Pat France, MSRN Volunteer