Question: What is the best way to overcome a illness?

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  1. That’s a pretty broad question, so my answer will have to be pretty general. My advice to you is: if it’s a simple illness like a cold (and you’ve identified it as such by speaking to your parents or to a medical person like a doctor or a nurse), follow the general common sense advice to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids; this advice is usually a good starting point. For anything else, or if you’re ever curious or concerned at all about something regarding your health, you need to talk to a doctor and listen to what they say. Your best chance of overcoming an illness is generally to follow the advice of a medical professional, because they’re trained to help you and they have the best current and practical knowledge that might come, in part, from the science that we in this zone do!

    On a more subtle note, it’s important to remember that just because we’re scientists, doesn’t mean that we’re qualified to give you medical advice. Even though I study viruses for a living (right now, at least!), doesn’t mean that I can tell you the best way to deal with a viral infection, and it would be completely irresponsible of me to claim that I could.


  2. šŸ™‚ well that probably depends on the illness…..

    For some diseases, you own immune system (your B and T cells) will attack and kill bacteria and viruses, so all you have to do is eat well and rest. Usually for those diseases, the symptoms are not caused by the bacteria or viruses, but by your own body in an attempt to get rid of the invaders! So most cells and organisms are perfectly happy at 37 degrees Celcius. By increasing your body temperature and having a fever, you body tries to stop the bacteria and viruses from multiplying. If the temperature is too hot, the mechanisms that work to multiply thing don’t work anymore. And having lots of snot is just your body trying to ‘flush out’ the bugs…..

    With a disease like cancer, you’ll really need medical help. Your own body won’t be able to fight it off. Also, because cancer is a growth of cells from your own body, the immune system will not attack it! So radiation therapy or nasty chemicals can help to stop cancer cells from growing or even kill them. Again, all you can do is rest your body and eat as healthy as you can!

    Other diseases such as obesity and diabetes are better prevented than cured, but for both diseases, if you lose weight, you’ll often improve!

    And then there are some diseases that can happen at any age and there’s nothing you can about stopping them or slowing them down unfortunately. Dementia in the eldery just happens, we can’t stop it. Muscular dystrophy where you get muscle weakness can’t be stopped either…..

    But that’s where medical research comes in, trying to figure out exactly how a disease happens and what we could do to A) detect it earlier, B) slow it down, C) improve it or D) cure it!


  3. It really depends on the illness!

    For most of your day-to-day coughs and colds, rest and fluids are the best recipe. This will give your body the time and energy to really fight whatever you have, rather than having to compete with all the energy you are using in your PE class. When we’re sick, we also use up lots more fluids, both by sweating, and by the body trying to flush out the bugs, which is why staying hydrated is so important. If you’re sick, you should try to stay at home, rather than going to school or work, because you’re putting everyone else at risk of catch whatever you have. Cold-and-flue tablets might make you feel better, but they are just covering up symptoms, rather than actually helping you get better.

    Sometimes, you have something come on you very quickly, or your cough and cold doesn’t go away. Any time you aren’t sure, it’s time for a trip to your doctor! Always make sure you tell your doctor everything about how you are feeling while you’ve been sick or in the time leading up to being sick, no matter how small or silly it sounds. It might sound silly to you, but it can be an important clue for your doctor! They can give you the right advice, order tests to make certain (like what Kym does at work!) and give you medications to help you get better.

    Lots of illness can be prevented from eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. And be careful who you get advice from! As Steven said, just because we are scientists doesn’t mean we know everything about how to get better from a disease.At the end of the day, listen to your body, and listen to your doctor.


  4. Dear Sarahb; You asked ‘the best way’. I can see that you know there are many ways to overcome ‘a illness.’ You didn’t ask the best way for a specific illness but in general, I guess. Right?

    I think there are 3 ways to deal with an illness. See the list below and you decide which is the best way. It really depends on the kind of illness.

    1. Disregard the illness, pretend as if you are not sick and wait until you feel better.

    2. Drink a lot of fluids, take rest, have enough sleep; sometimes your body need just some rest.
    An illness may be the only way to slow you down and your body is giving you sign to do so.

    3. Write down when the illness started and what are the symptoms in detail; -fever? sore throat? appetite? any rashes? yellow color of eyes?, etc. If the illness doesn’t get better soon, see the doctor and follow his/her directions closely.

    4. When you get sick, it is easy to get your heart down and go into depression. It is time to cheer up your spirit and to have pleasant heart, smile on your face in spite of your bad situation. Some people suggest a ‘Laughter therapy’. It is a good way to start. along with 1, 2, and 3.