Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Staying Hydrated ...

So, there's already a theory about possible reasons why there is a smaller group of younger people, with no underlying medical conditions, who are being hit harder, and that (untested and unproven) theory is smoking (cigarettes or weed) and vaping, which is plausible - however - it doesn't explain all cases of younger people with no underlying medical conditions?

 Many of the smaller, younger group who were hit hard never smoked or vaped anything in their lives.

Thus, the reasons for them isn't yet understood and may be multifactorial - but something happened that made me wonder about how much hydration levels at time of contraction come into play? 

Now, I'm 51, so this theory wouldn't apply to me, I'm in the risk zone, I guess, but this occurrence would at least make sense at least partially explain that smaller group of  younger, healthier demographics getting it to a severe degree.

So here's what happened - first, I need to note that I'm not a huge water fan, never have been - water just doesn't have enough taste for me.  

However, over the past two years, as I've gotten older, I can actually feel when I'm not hydrated enough, so I've tended to drink more - but probably still not where I need to be.

Now, having said that - I didn't say anything to anyone until it passed, because I didn't want anyone to freak out - but I had been running a medium-grade fever (about 100F at its highest) for the past 3 days with very mild chills, despite my daily extra cleansing ritual for the past month. 

I knew it was most likely not COVID-19, because the fever wasn't high enough, so I didn't seek medical care or tell anyone (I work at home anyway and haven't gone out since) - I just waited to see if the fever went up. 

I'm happy to report that I was right - it clearly wasn't THE virus, it was just some small viral ... something else (thank God) lol.

As usual, knowing fluids are a key to getting better with any virus, I downed massive amounts of water - but something unusual happened, that usually doesn't occur with viruses with me.

Oddly enough, my small fever dropped almost instantly after a full glass of water - I felt better within minutes.  If I waited more than an hour between glasses of water, the symptoms returned, and upon downing a glass of water again, the fever dropped instantly again and I felt immediately better.  

I'm not sure if that's ever happened to anyone else with a garden-variety virus?  

That's never happened to me before - fluids typically made little difference in symptoms and it was a matter of letting the virus run its course - but then, as I said, I am getting older and dehydration occurs faster, so that is the most likely explanation as to why I now notice a marked difference. 

This started me thinking - water is never a cure, or even actual treatment for any virus -  but viruses do hate water. 

(Well, it's actually not really that viruses "hate" water, so much as viruses dehydrate the body, so it's truer to say that viruses love water, but in small amounts - larger amounts tend to help the body flush viruses out.)
*Again, I cannot overstate the fact that water does NOT prevent viruses or cure them - that is a myth - however, hydration does help your immune system to fight viruses.

However, I do wonder how much effect your hydration level -  not just during the illness, but at time of contraction of the virus - has on the degree of severity of viral illness?

We already knew that the elderly were at risk and those with underlying health conditions were hit harder - but what explains the smaller percentage of younger people with no underlying medical conditions that are hit hard?

Is it possible at least one of the reasons why a few younger people with no underlying  health conditions were hit harder is they were at least partially dehydrated/not getting enough water - especially at time of contraction? 

Like I said, in no way am I saying hydration is a cure or even true "treatment" of COVID-19 (or of any virus) - but I would love to see what effect hydration level has on both contracting the virus and severity of the virus.

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