(NaturalPath) A study published in PLOS Biology looked into why everyone acts the way they do when they are sick. Symptoms of sickness behavior (SB) include anorexia, hypersomnia, depression, and reduced social interactions. When you are sick there are physiological signs like fever and anemia, but there are also psychological ones like fatigue, depression, irritability, discomfort, pain, nausea, and loss of interest in food, drink, social interactions, and sex.
Interestingly, researchers find that variations of these symptoms are seen in a variety of species from arthropods to vertebrates and it doesn’t matter what kind of infection, whether a virus, bacteria or parasites.
One hypothesis is that we reduce our social interactions when we are sick out of an altruistic sense of not wanting to infect other people. Researchers think this extends to animals as well.
For more information, read the full study.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.