Taking days off work to recover from an illness a few days a year is average, but you aren’t just feeling under the weather if you get sick more frequently. Several factors could affect your immune system, causing you to fall ill. For example, your diet, sleep, stress, and genetics could make you sick.
So it is yet another day you called in sick at work and must stay home to recover? Are you racking your brain on what happened? Or was it a few weeks ago that you had the same symptoms or were ill? If you wonder why I get sick so often, the article discusses common causes.
Why do I keep getting sick?
The seasonal cold or flu is what everyone experiences now and then, but if you notice falling ill often and can’t get out of bed, you need to be concerned about why do I keep getting sick. Here are some reasons that might explain why you are getting sick.
1. Your immune system is not working correctly.
You may get sick frequently when the immune system is not functioning optimally. Unfortunately, this puts you at risk for more infections as your body cannot remove germs.
Furthermore, it can take longer to recover if you develop an infection. You may also be more prone to acquire another illness simultaneously, worsening your condition. Having an immune system disorder means that you get sick more often.
Abnormalities since birth, a disease that weakens the immune system, such as HIV, and an overactive immune system, which may trigger allergic reactions or an autoimmune condition, all come under immune disorders. If you are getting sick more often and have to keep asking yourself why do I keep getting sick every month is one of the signs that you need to get yourself checked by a healthcare professional.
Besides having an immune system disorder, being exhausted or having burnout can also be the answer to ‘Why am I always sick?’ particularly because your body is constantly stressed.
Your immune system can’t function at its best if you are a victim of chronic stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet. Treating any disease affecting the immune system or making lifestyle changes is essential to ensure a healthy life.
2. An unhealthy diet is affecting your immune system.
Eating a well-balanced diet and consuming enough nutrients helps support all cells in your body, including immune cells ensuring they function correctly. In contrast, a diet that lacks essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy immune system can weaken your immune response. Excess sugars can also hurt your immune system. It’s best to follow proper dietary guidelines to support your body rather than focusing on particular food supplements or a specific food group.
3. You are sleep-deprived.
Going day after day without sufficient sleep each night or having a schedule that does not allow you to get enough sleep is most likely that you are not feeling well. This is primarily because your immune system releases cytokines, protein messengers that fight inflammation and disease while resting. Your body requires these proteins when you’re sick but can’t produce enough of the protective proteins if you’re sleep-Going day after day without sufficient sleep each night or having a schedule that does not allow you to get enough sleep is most likely that you are not feeling well. This is primarily because your immune system releases cytokines, protein messengers that fight inflammation and disease while resting. Your body requires these proteins when you’re sick but can’t produce enough protective proteins if you’re sleep-deprived. Your body’s natural ability to fight infections and viruses is compromised. Furthermore, long-term sleep deprivation increases your risk of health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Most adults require between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each day, and children need more.
4. You have a poor lifestyle
Exercise fuels the body and mind. It helps you boost your immune system. Although, some research concludes that strenuous workouts can make you more vulnerable to falling ill. So, pushing yourself beyond your limits in the gym may not be a good idea.
On the other hand, being overweight affects your immune function negatively, making you more prone to developing infections. Therefore, exercising in moderation to maintain an ideal weight is necessary.
Smoking and drinking alcohol weaken the immune system and increase your chances of falling ill. Studies have revealed severe health hazards of vaping and e-cigarettes. The toxins released can cause heart disease, lung disease, and lung cancer. If you drink excess alcohol regularly, you may get colds or other illnesses compared to people who don’t drink. Alcohol abuse suppresses your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections.
5. You’re dehydrated
Your health is closely related to how perfectly your immune system is working. Our bloodstream is composed mainly of water, and our immune system relies on nutrients in our bloodstream. If you’re not drinking enough fluids, transporting nutrients to the different organ systems might be affected. Not consuming enough water can also lead to other symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and dry skin.
6. You have dirty hands
Your hands touch every random object that you come into contact with daily. Whether that involves using public transport or shaking hands with your colleagues at work, you are exposed to germs throughout the day. You can spread illnesses when you don’t wash your hands and then touch your face, lips, or food and which is primarily the answer to why I keep catching colds.
Washing your hands with water and antibacterial soap or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help prevent such illnesses.
Following are some tips on how to stop getting sick all the time:
- Wash your hands very thoroughly before and after food preparation
- Make sure you wash your hands before eating
- Thoroughly wash your hands before and after caring for a person who is sick
- Wash your hands after you have used the bathroom or have changed diapers
- Ensure that your hands are clean after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- If you touch pets or are handling pet waste or garbage, wash your hands afterward.
7. You’re experiencing chronic stress
Wellness is a term used to refer to a balance of the mind, body, and spirit. It has been used in the context of alternative medicine since Halbert L. Dunn, M.D. coined it. It is terrifying that chronic stress and inadequate sleep are among the top reasons people fall sick in this modern era.
Due to stress, there is a surge of the hormone cortisol in our bodies. Cortisol has proven to interfere with the ability of specific white blood cells to multiply and get signals from the body. Additionally, cortisol affects the production of an antibody called secretory IgA, which commonly lines the respiratory tract and digestive system and is our first line of defense against invading pathogens.
Moreover, an individual who is stressed is more likely to pick up habits such as alcohol abuse, smoking, and binge eating. All of these factors can increase your chances of getting sick. Therefore, learning how to manage stress or seek help at the right time is of utmost importance to avoid this vicious cycle.
8. You have kids
Kids, although innocent and adorable as they may be, are germ collectors. If your child is at daycare or school, it is very likely that these young explorers, touching every surface, pick up germs from the surfaces they come in contact with. Spending time with other kids, picking their noses, coughing, sneezing, all this is probably why you keep getting sick over and over. Fortunately, with the development of their immune systems and personal hygiene training, this should improve with time, and you will not have to worry about why your child gets sick every two weeks.
9. You are a victim of untreated allergies
Allergies can weaken your immune system over time. If you suffer from allergies and are not taking the required treatment, you may be prone to other viral or bacterial infections. Moreover, allergies may evolve into a different illness, such as an infection of the sinus, ear, or upper respiratory infection. If you have asthma, the results can be terrible. You can consult a doctor for proper treatment for various allergies, including dust, food, insects, pets, pollen, mold, etc.
10. Anxiety disorders
A physical illness or condition may not be the straightforward answer to your concern regarding why I am sick every other week. Mental health disorders such as anxiety affect many people worldwide, and a constant state of excessive worry or panic can lead to physical symptoms. Anxiety disorders may result in the following symptoms:
Suffering for an extended period due to an anxiety disorder can have physical manifestations. In addition, people with anxiety disorders may have a higher risk of heart disease or early death.
A combination of many different treatments is available to treat anxiety disorders. Medications such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, talking therapies, CBT, and mindfulness meditation can help manage the condition.
11. Incomplete recovery from the previous Illness
Either rigorous or mild, Illness takes a toll on your health by giving you a lethargic or weak feeling for days after illness. Some medications for infections like Amoxicillin or Acyclovir will be continued even after feeling good and most of the medications have side effects like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
If you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned symptoms it’s probably because of those medications.
Another cause can also be the illness which might make you feel weak and tired after days of infections. It’s good to take a supplemental diet and energy-boosting drinks to stay energetic and feel good.
12. Excessive alcohol consumption
Excessive or regular drinks of alcohol will automatically start to decline and affect your immunity. Immunodeficiency will not only disrupts the absorption of food that you will intake but it will also give a chance for opportunistic disease to attack your body.
Taking a good eye on how much you drink and what measures you take to control your overall health to control your health will keep you away from getting sick more often or day after day.
Taking certain medications with alcohol eg Tylenol or metronidazole with alcohol can either diminish or enhance the effects of the drugs you are taking, which will make you get sick back to back.
13. Bad Hygiene habits
Bad hygiene is often the root cause of diseases like hepatitis, Typhoid or diarrhea. Keeping good hygiene including keeping yourself neat, clean and as cautious as one can be to avoid exposure to germs, bacteria and viruses.
As per the study conducted by NIH about students touching their faces throughout the day that might affect their overall health is: 36% (372) involved the mouth, 31% (318) involved the nose, 27% (273) involved the eyes, and 6% (61) were a combination of these regions wo touch their face.
Oral health is one of the main concerns while keeping good hygiene. Getting yourself checked monthly or annually will keep you protected from diseases and getting sick often.
Last but not least, if you were able to take all the precautionary measures related to your health including staying hydrated, taking care of your hygiene and all others, and if you are still getting sick again and again, genetics might be the one causing them.
Genetics can play a vital role in spreading diseases from allergies to serious disorders like kidney or liver diseases. It’s good to get to know and keep a record of family history to keep yourself aware of the medical conditions that you can get in your lifetime. Talk to your healthcare provider about any disease or medication history to stay safe.
Why does my child get sick every two weeks?
Kids have the most exposure to germs as they spend their entire day playing on dirty playgrounds and picking up objects from the ground. They are exposed to every means by Kids have the most exposure to germs as they spend their entire day playing on dirty playgrounds and picking up objects from the ground. They are exposed to every means by which germs spread through contact.
So, your child getting a child frequently may not be a real surprise. However, teaching your child good hygiene habits, such as frequent hand washing, can halt the spread of viruses and germs around your household. Wiping common surfaces and objects can help prevent your child from getting sick.
Things to do when sick
By now, you may have narrowed down the causes of what makes you feel sick, and now you must be looking for answers on how to feel better when ill or a guideline on what to do when you feel unwell. The following section covers some crucial facts about what to do when feeling sick.
1. Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet
Hippocrates, a famous Greek physician, said, “Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food.” This statement is of immense importance as it highlights the importance of food being a vital source that fuels the body and mind and prevents disease. Therefore, to avoid falling sick over and over, you should be paying attention to what you are eating and putting inside your body. Avoid processed food, junk food, and sugar, and try to eat whole grains, fruits, meat, and vegetables.
2. Consider taking supplements
Some vitamins and minerals affect your immune system directly. For example, a vitamin C deficiency can weaken immunity.
Some other vitamins and minerals affecting immune function include vitamins A, D, E, iron, folic acid, and zinc.
Although certain nutrients are essential for supporting the immune system, they will help prevent any disease. Dietary sources are best to overcome the deficiencies, but in some cases, supplements may help with immunity.
3. Learn to manage stress.
Constant stress can weaken the immune system and makes the person more likely to get sick. The following measures can help reduce and manage stress:
4. Getting proper sleep
Sleep deprivation or disturbances can negatively affect your body’s immune system. Lack of sleep may disrupt the average production of white blood cells, weakening your body’s first line of defense.
Adults should get at least seven hours of sleep for sufficient body and mind rest. However, how to relax when sick is a difficult question, as getting enough sleep when ill can be impossible.
How to make your child feel better when sick?
- Ensure that the room is well-ventilated.
- Give your child enough water, and don’t force-feed them. Instead, opt for small bits of healthy food.
- Keep your child company and let them get enough rest in a comfortable place.
What’s the best thing to eat when sick?
Although very non-appetizing, Plain and bland foods are usually the best option among food items to consume while sick. Cereals, oatmeal, bread, and crackers are commonly recommended. You may add protein or veggies depending on your condition and appetite.
Some healthy options include:
- Chicken soup
These food items may expedite recovery by providing your body with the energy required, and it is probably the easiest thing to do to feel better when sick.
Why do I always get sick?
Still don’t have an answer to why you may have fallen ill yet again?
Vitamin D deficiency may be a cause. A lack of this sunshine vitamin can lead to fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, hair loss, depression, and body aches. You should boost your intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements have proven to make a person less likely to get a respiratory tract infection. You can increase your vitamin D intake with foods, including fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms.
How to not get sick?
We might not be lucky enough to stumble upon a panacea and figure out how to stop being sick, but measures can be taken to avoid illnesses. The following recommendations may help you how not to get sick:
1. Get vaccinated
Getting vaccinated can help you protect against seasonal flu infections. The influenza virus is the culprit that causes countless people to fall ill. Flu vaccines contain influenza antigens, which cause the immune system to produce antibodies. These antibodies protect against the flu viruses and prevent people from getting sick. There are four types of influenza viruses, but mutations may reduce the effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines. Therefore, these flu vaccines do not guarantee total immunity but aid in reducing the severity of symptoms.
2. Disinfecting surfaces
Viruses can survive on many surfaces, such as metal, plastic, fabrics, and glass. How long a virus remains infectious on a specific surface depends on various factors, namely temperature, and humidity. You can lower their risk of infection by using products that contain alcohol to disinfect the surfaces.
3. Keeping the air clean
Common colds are a type of respiratory infection. The viruses that cause flu travel through the air in tiny droplets of mucus. Those with a cold can quickly spread the virus whenever they cough or sneeze. To minimize the risk, staying at home when you are ill, wearing a mask, or covering your face when sneezing or coughing is best.
4. Practicing good hygiene
Washing hands regularly is an effective habit that helps protect against viral infections. Viruses access the respiratory tract through a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth. Therefore, you can infect yourself by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face. Washing the hands regularly with clean water and soap or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer protects against viral infections.
5. Taking zinc supplements
Zinc is a vital micronutrient in meat, fish, and nuts. Zinc deficiency can cause a weakened immune response and inflammatory skin conditions. People with a weakened immune response are more prone to infection. Consuming zinc supplements comes under some things to do when sick.
6. Eating more fiber
Sometimes what to do when you’re sick at home does not have a single straightforward answer, but several things generally impact your overall health and, if they are part of your everyday routine, can have health benefits. One such thing is dietary fiber which has many health benefits. It helps regulate digestion, prevent constipation, and lower the risk of other health conditions. In addition, some studies have concluded that dietary fiber may also boost the immune system.
7. Avoiding cigarette smoke
Smoking is a well-known risk factor for several diseases. It has been associated with cancer, asthma, and respiratory infections. Exposure to secondhand smoke can also put people at risk of developing these conditions. In addition, people who smoke regularly are more likely to experience severe symptoms if they get a cold. Studies have established a close association between cigarette smoke and the body’s inability to fight infections. Therefore, quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke help improve overall health and prevents illness.
8. Exercising Regularly.
Making physical activity a part of your routine can improve your general health and well-being, reducing the risk of the following:
Studies indicate that the right amount of physical activity can boost a person’s immune function and decrease their risk of respiratory infections.
This article has comprehensively covered some things to do when you are sick that are worth a try.
When to Consult a Doctor
Do you still have questions about how to stop being sick in a day? To be honest, no fast-track cure or a harry potter spell makes your sickness vanish, but there are ways to help prevent an illness, reduce the severity of your symptoms, or expedite your recovery. So, if you are sick of being sick and need more support and would like to speak with a doctor, connect with our online doctor at Your Doctors Online and let our magical physicians treat your illness.
FAQs about why I keep getting sick answered by Your Doctor Online
Getting sick frequently can be a sign that your immune system is compromised. You should monitor yourself and speak to a doctor if that is the case.
You may get sick more often than usual if your immune system malfunctions. Your body cannot fight off germs, such as bacteria, putting you at risk of infection.
Vitamin C, D, and zinc are some vitamins that are known to help combat a cold and keep illnesses at bay.
Adults can typically suffer from 2-4 colds a year. However, the severity of the symptoms can vary from individual to individual.
A dirty, dusty, and damp home can harm health. If you are experiencing allergies, skin conditions, and respiratory issues, your house may make you sick.
Most cases of mild fever resolve from a few hours to within a couple of days. Ensuring sufficient rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications can help tackle a fever.
The immune system activity and inflammation are regulated in close association with the circadian rhythm. When your immune system works most efficiently, your symptoms are most severe at night.
Several symptoms, including the flu, fever, headaches, body aches, fatigue, sore throat, cough, sneezing, diarrhoea, and vomiting, may indicate your body is fighting a virus.
Gatorade is used to restore electrolytes and keep a person hydrated. Generally, in the case of stomach flu, it can help replace electrolytes and prevent dehydration.
Sleeping in a cool room is most comfortable. A temperature that is not too hot or cold is best suitable.
Extra rest can help a person recover quickly from an illness. However, mild to moderate activity is permissible while sick.