Do I need more calories when I am ill?
Asked by anonymous on Jan 27, 2009 in Nutrition



I've heard that your body burns more calories when you're ill, and so should you eat more to compensate?  If so, how much more?


Answer

Minor illnesses without a fever do not increase calorie requirements, but if you do have a fever, your resting calorie expenditure will increase by about 7% for each degree rise in temperature above 98.6 degrees F or by 13% for each degree above 37 degrees C.  For instance, if you burn 1500 calories at rest, and you had a 101 degree F temperature for 24 hours, you would burn about 250 additional calories that day.  Severe trauma, such as burns and multiple fractures, can increase calorie requirements by as much as 100%.

 


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