Upcoming Event:

Hack your health

View details

Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Treating a Viral Infection

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 12/15/2023

Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Treating a Viral Infection

Last year, during a particularly severe flu season, I found myself in the midst of it. You know, one of those years when it seems like everyone you know is sniffling and sneezing? And then bam! It hit me, too.

So naturally, I did what most folks do - rushed to get some antibiotics from my doctor. However, little did I realize that this was just one of many common mistakes we make while treating viral infections.

'Antibiotics for a virus? Seriously?' I can almost hear your surprised gasps. Hang on to your hats - there's more amazement coming!

Kind of home remedy out there. We're so focused on instant fixes that we sometimes forget to let our bodies do what they were built for - fight off these invaders naturally. We rethink our strategies and approach viral infections with more wisdom and patience.

The Role of Fever in Viral Infections

Many people dread the onset of a fever. Fever is not only an uncomfortable symptom; it's a defense mechanism your body uses to combat viral infections. That heat isn't just an uncomfortable side effect; it actively fights off invaders.

The Biological Function of Fever

Your body turns up the heat to make life challenging for viruses, slowing their spread and reproduction. Think about how we use refrigeration to keep food from spoiling - the same concept. When our internal temperature rises, viruses can't thrive as quickly.

However, many tend to suppress fevers prematurely with medication. While this provides temporary relief from discomfort, it might inadvertently give viruses more room to multiply by cooling down their hostile environment too soon.

Fever is a crucial part of our immune response that shouldn’t be dismissed lightly. It's like having a built-in virus bouncer at the club that is your body.

Misuse of Antibiotics in Treating Viral Infections

Many people wrongly assume that antibiotics are the best solution for all infections, including viral ones. But this common practice is far from ideal.

According to CDC data, roughly 50% of antibiotic prescriptions aren't needed, suggesting a widespread misuse. This excessive use can lead to something called antibiotic resistance - an escalating global health issue.

Understanding Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic overuse and incorrect use allow bacteria to adapt and become resistant. These 'superbugs' then multiply and spread, making future infections harder to treat.

This cycle creates a significant public health challenge because we depend on antibiotics to treat many severe conditions effectively. So, let's ensure we only take these medications when necessary, especially during flu season.

Over-sanitization and its Impact on Immune System Development

Cleanliness is essential, but an obsession with sanitizing every surface we touch can be counterproductive. Our systems necessitate exposure to an assortment of microorganisms to produce a sturdy immune system.

Studies show that over-sanitation and excessive cleanliness can inhibit the development of the immune system, leading to more allergies and susceptibility to infections. But how does this happen?

The Importance of Beneficial Bacteria

We're often told bacteria are harmful, but not all bacteria cause disease. Some play crucial roles in bodily functions like digestion or even fighting harmful pathogens.

Excessive cleanliness disrupts this delicate balance by killing beneficial bacteria along with harmful ones. This bacterial imbalance can increase susceptibility to viral infections due to their vital role in developing immunity.

Detoxification During Illness and Its Effect on Immune System Function

The practice of detoxifying when sick is common, but it can have unintended consequences. Our bodies are already working hard to fight off the illness. Diving into a deep cleanse during this time may weaken our immune system further.

The process could also potentially activate dormant viruses in our bodies. So, what should we be aware of? Understanding how detox diets work is essential, especially during an active viral infection.

Gaining knowledge of these aspects can assist you in choosing a sensible course of action regarding your health practices when feeling ill.

The Shotgun Approach to Immune Support

Many of us mistakenly rely on the 'shotgun approach' when treating viral infections, though this may not be as helpful as we assume. This involves using multiple remedies at once to boost our immune system. But this tactic might not be as beneficial as we think.

Taking many supplements and medications simultaneously can lead to tissue irritation or even unnecessary strain on your body. It's akin to revving up your car engine while still parked - sure, you're making noise, but are you going anywhere?

Rather than consuming multiple pills and supplements, strive to bolster your immunity through a healthy diet, ample hydration, adequate rest periods, and stress management. Get enough rest and keep stress levels low. And remember: sometimes less is more when it comes to fighting off illness.

Suppressing Symptoms Can Prolong Viral Infections

When sick, we often reach for symptom-suppressing medications like cough suppressants and mucus reducers. But did you know that this could prolong your illness?

Your body's symptoms during a viral infection aren't just annoyances - they're part of the immune response. Suppressing our body's symptoms during a viral infection may relieve us temporarily. However, it can impede the process of fighting off the virus.

This is especially true for fever-reducing drugs. A study found that using these medicines prolonged flu in adults by half a day.

The Impact of Stress on Immune Response to Viral Infections

It's widely known that stress can cause considerable damage to our physical health. Did you know that stress can reduce the efficacy of our immune system in fighting off viral infections?

Studies have shown that stressful events before falling ill can significantly impact the body's defense mechanisms. This is because chronic stress disrupts the balance and function of immune cells, leaving us more susceptible to viruses.

When stressed, our bodies produce cortisol - a hormone that suppresses the immune response. In other words, living in constant "fight or flight" mode doesn't just make you feel frazzled—it could also leave you sniffly.

So next time life gets hectic, remember: keeping calm isn't just good for your mental health—it might also help keep those pesky viruses at bay.


We've all experienced the desperation of a viral infection, seeking swift remedies for relief. In the thick of a viral infection, reaching for quick fixes and instant relief. But now you know better!

You know that fever is your body’s natural defense against viruses and shouldn't be suppressed prematurely. And antibiotics? Not for viruses!

We've explored how over-sanitization can impact immune system development, not to mention detoxification during illness, which may weaken your immune response. Popping multiple remedies at once might only put unnecessary strain on our bodies.

You also learned that suppressing symptoms could prolong viral infections while stress can hamper our immune system's ability to fight off these intruders effectively. In short, Be mindful of these common mistakes in treating viral infections next time you fall ill.

Listen to your body - It knows best how to heal itself naturally!

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan