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Does symptomatic relief slow recovery?

  1. Jan 11, 2007 #1


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    I've been wondering, do medicines that relieve the symptoms of a disease slow your recovery from it? It's been my understanding that many symptoms arise as a side effect of your body's attampts to remove a pathogen, for example altering temperature to inhibit bacterial growth, or inducing vomiting/the sh**ts to get rid of bacteria in the digestive tract. Would that mean that taking medication to get rid of these symptoms is actually detrimental in the long run, or have I misunderstood something?
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  3. Jan 11, 2007 #2


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    Too much of something good can be bad. If your temperature raised too high, it's bad for you so you should relieve the symptom. If you are vomiting all the time, you won't be happy either. You should first let your body take care of itself, if it starts to bother you too much you can relieve the symptoms.

    Another thing to take note of, is that pain is also a warning sign of your body to slow down. If you start taking pain killers you can definately slow recovery due to over-exertion.
  4. Jan 11, 2007 #3
    It depends on the cause of disease and on the symptoms...
  5. Jan 13, 2007 #4


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    That makes sense, thanks. :smile:
  6. Jan 20, 2007 #5
    I know that for many bacterial infections that cause diarrhea such as E. coli, treatment of this symptom is not recommended because it impedes the bodies ability to expel the bacteria. In the case of Clostridium difficile infection it can even increase the liklihood of dangerous complications.

    I'm curious myself about more common things like colds and low to mid-range fevers.
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