Staying Hydrated and Nourished Are Essential for Home COVID-19 Care

posted on Monday, November 23, 2020 in COVID-19

Loss of taste, smell and appetite are common symptoms for people diagnosed with COVID-19; however, eating and drinking remain essential to aid in recovery and, especially, to prevent symptoms from spiraling and potentially resulting in the need for hospital care.

“One of the biggest reasons for hospital admission for COVID-19 patients stems from dehydration and lack of resting and fueling their bodies,” commented Colette Rossiter, Clay County Public Health coordinator. “Once someone reaches the point of dehydration, it begins impacting other vital signs and can lead to more significant health concerns. Though you may not feel like eating and drinking, doing so is a necessary part of your home care.”

People should drink 10-12 eight-ounce glasses of fluid each day and strive to drink something each hour, sipping 2-4 ounces every 15 minutes.  Patients experiencing stomach upset, should drink even more by continuously sipping smaller amounts of salt-containing fluids such as sports drinks or broth.

“Food is medicine when you’re ill. Even though you may not be thirsty or hungry, your body needs nutrition and fluids to help fight the virus and support your body’s immune functions,” emphasized Dee Vaage, Spencer Hospital infection preventionist. “Calories are important to protect against the breakdown of muscles needed for energy. Try to eat 10-14 ounces of protein each day from sources such as peanut butter, eggs, meat, fish, and dairy. Drink fruit juices, milk and other nutritious, calorie-containing beverages. ”

Vaage added: “Symptoms for COVID-19 vary pretty dramatically from person to person. Yet, for those who experience symptoms, it’s not unusual to still be feeling pretty crummy on day six or longer.  The best way to help yourself is to take care of yourself. Eat, drink and rest. If you have a headache or fever, take a fever or pain reliever. Not only are you helping yourself by doing so, you’re helping us at the hospital by staying well enough to not need hospital care.”

If you have difficulty breathing, please seek immediate medical attention.