Getting sick is definitely a bummer. But besides feeling icky and being stuck in bed, viral infections may cause us to actually be depressed. While scientists have been clued into this connection for a while, there was little data on how everyday viral infections, like the flu, might mess with our moods.
Note that sickness behavior might be adaptive, helping sick animals clear their infections faster. Lethargy and depression is a very effective way to redirect an animal’s energy away away from everyday expenditure and towards its immune system, where it’s most needed.
Might seem obvious, but the best way to fight off many illnesses is to take a day off and stay in bed. Feeling bad could be just Mother Nature’s way of prodding us to do that.
It’s definitely a bad idea if you take more than the recommended dosage of paracetamol (with or without alcohol). As far as I know, the research on whether it and alcohol together cause liver damage is really muddy, mostly because there’s not enough data looking at timing of alcohol intake with taking paracetamol and their relation to toxicity; and paracetamol’s effects with acute and chronic alcohol consumption (research looks a lot at alcoholics) may be different.
If you overdose on the paracetamol and overdo it regularly on the alcohol, I believe that is another discussion.
…Many reports have observed that heavier patients appear more likely to come down with infections during a hospital stay, acquire weaker protection from vaccinations and, as with River, suffer more complications from the flu.
Weight alone may not be the entire explanation. A tantalizing line of evidence suggests that unhealthful foods — fatty, salty, sugary, processed foods — may disrupt the body’s defenses in a way that promotes inflammation, infection, autoimmune diseases and even illnesses like cancer.
If, on the way to your desk, you pass that one person in the office who absolutely won’t go home, even though their face is exploding with mucus, don’t count on a day off. Just looking at sick people can kick your immune system into gear.