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(Starve A Cold, Feed A Flu) Common Misconceptions About Being Sick


No matter if it’s a fever, runny nose, or nausea, being unwell is a truly unpleasant experience. Still, as a society we’re pretty bad at determining what actually makes us sick and the best way to get better. Thankfully, the guys at Mental Floss have released a video to help dispel the top 10 biggest misconceptions about being sick.

Common illnesses such as the common cold, the flu, and the “stomach flu” are all caused by viruses. which are small infectious agents that when present inside of a host for example you. They will replicate and cause all those uncomfortable symptoms we attribute to being ill. The best way to prevent getting sick from a virus is with a vaccine, but there’s no way to cure a virus once infected.

Despite these two basic facts about viruses, many of us still believe misconceptions about how we can prevent and cure common illnesses. For example, in the video, the host Elliot Morgan explains that despite what your mother says, “sweating out a cold” and following the mantra “starve a cold, feed a flu” will do practically nothing to relieve your symptoms. In fact, according to Morgan, the fever associated with a flu causes our metabolism to increase. This means that during a flu the best thing we can do is continue to eat to compensate for lost calories.

Watch the video to learn more misconceptions, such as spending too much time in the cold, having a weak immune system, and of course, taking vaccines.