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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Fluids

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Fluids and sickness
Question: I am always told when I have a cold or similar affliction to "drink plenty of fluid." Is it true that fluids help flush" the sickness out of you, or is there some other explanation? What is the chemical process that fluids take part in to help cure me?

Answer: This advice is time honored and while it may not be especially important, it certainly won't harm you. Increasing the fluid intake is helpful to avoid volume depletion, which is always a complicating factor in system disease. It also helps treat urinary infections, constipation, etc. Whether it increases lymphatic flow and subsequently decreases the disease course has really never been effectively tested.
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