Professor Nicole Lee of Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute says it’s best to cut out or drastically reduce alcohol during recovery, as it puts a strain on the system.
“If you’re trying to allow your body to recover from a physical illness, having alcohol on board will make things a little more difficult,” she says. “It’s a toxin to the system and creates dehydration.”
“It’s a toxin to the system and creates dehydration.”
Professor Nicole Lee, Curtin University
She says a common misconception is that alcohol helps you sleep – it does the opposite. “At first it makes you sleepy because it’s a depressant, but due to dehydration and a range of other factors it will disturb your sleep later on and you’ll often wake up several times during the night. .”
Collignon agrees that people should cut down on their alcohol intake while recovering, and adds that you should eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and low in sugar and fat.
Lee says it’s especially important to stay hydrated when recovering from the flu or COVID and recommends drinking carbonated or tap water.
Vitamins: are they worth it?
Although the chemist’s cheap vitamins won’t do any harm, Collignon says they’re unlikely to offer any additional benefits if you follow an otherwise reasonably balanced diet. Instead, he recommends going out in the sun.
“You don’t want to get sunburned, but the sun is a good way to get enough vitamin D,” he says. “You are more likely to have problems if your vitamin D levels are low.”
Collignon recommends getting outdoors rather than taking vitamin D supplements.
Outside: When can I shop and see my friends?
As soon as possible after your period of isolation provided you have no symptoms. Daily activities such as shopping are good because you walk around and use your arms and legs.
High-intensity activities should be approached with caution to avoid overdoing it, however, says Collignon. Even if you feel a bit flat after the lockdown, he advises you to do at least some walking outside. “Listen to your body, but not if it makes you want to do nothing. »
And socializing as much as possible and getting back to doing things you love is important for your mental health. “If you don’t do anything, you run the risk of getting depressed, and it worsens any underlying illness or medical condition you may have,” says Collignon. “Resume your daily activities as you will feel better mentally and it will improve your overall health. Your medical psyche affects your physical ability to do things.
Not 100% yet: should I be worried?
If you have symptoms after three months, that suggests long COVID. But Collignon says we often don’t feel like we’re back to normal for at least a month after an illness like the flu or COVID, and there can be ups and downs.
“People can feel good for a few days and then feel a little down,” he says. “But gradually you have fewer lows and more highs. It’s not a straight line for improvement, but the trend should be for improvement.
Better to compare your state of mind from one week to another and only worry if you have not improved after a month. If you still feel upset after two months, that’s when you should start looking for help, as it may take some time to see a professional.
Collignon’s last piece of advice: “do what your mother told you”, that is to say reduce your alcohol consumption and think about your diet.
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