CFS and Shingles vaccine

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by razzledazzle7, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. razzledazzle7

    razzledazzle7 New Member

    Hello -- I am new to the group and am wondering if anyone has had a major flare-up after getting the shingles vaccine. I have has CFS since the early 90's, but improved a great deal during the last few years. My primary doctor said she recommended I get the vaccine since other members of my family have had shingles. I honestly wasn't too concerned, got the vaccine and didn't think anymore about it, until a week later when all the CFS symptoms returned. I don't know what to do. I am glad I found this message board! With CFS, we need support and it it great to share information.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/09/2012]
  2. I'm so sorry to hear that your CFS has flared back up! For those of us dealing with this life-altering disease, we can truly empathize and understand how devistating it is. But I'm so glad you found this board! It has been such a blessing to me since I discovered it just a few months ago. You will find a wealth of information here and support.... and compassion, which we all need.

    I'm sorry to say that I've learned that ANY vaccine can trigger a relapse and activate CFS or make it worse. I used to get the flu vaccine every year till I learned that it was making my condition worse. I'm sure Rich, who is a very helpful resource on this board with a very scientific mind could probably explain why vaccines cause us so much problems better than I can. But I know that the mercury they use in vaccines as a preservative is part of the problem... and I think that our compromised immune system is also part of the problem.

    But again, I am SO sorry to hear that you've relapsed due to the vaccine! I know how upsetting that must be. It would help all of us if more doctors understood this disease and would know what we need to avoid so this kind of thing doesn't happen. Did you do anything specific before to help your body go into remission from the CFS?

    Hopefully Rich will read your post and give you some helpful info and tips. Try to give your body the rest it needs and implement any supplements or remedies that helped you in the past when your CFS was active before. I will be praying you start feeling better.

    Again, WELCOME! Sending prayers and best wishes your way!

    Blessings and Soft Hugs,
    Shel :)
  3. razzledazzle7

    razzledazzle7 New Member

    Thanks so much for your kind response to my post. I plan to see my primary care doctor tomorrow if I feel up to going. I don't know how much she knows about CFS, but at this point, I will welcome any help or suggestions. Hope you have had a good day! It has been a lovely day here -- even if I couldn't get out to enjoy it. Praying for better days for all of us. . .
  4. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    If you look up WEBMD or the CDC the advice is to be cautious with the vaccine in persons with compromised immune systems. Typically this means people with AIDS. However people with ME have "compromised" immune systems too.

    Who should not be vaccinated with zostavax:
    "People who are allergic to the antibiotic neomycin, or any component of the vaccine (including gelatin) should not receive this vaccine.
    Zostavax is a live vaccine and should not be given to individuals who have a weakened immune system caused by treatments that they are taking such as radiation or corticosteroids, or due to conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer of the lymph, bone, or blood.
    Individuals with active, untreated tuberculosis.
    Pregnant women should not receive this vaccine. In addition, people who are in close contact with pregnant women who have not had chickenpox should talk to their healthcare provider before receiving zoster vaccine."

    Even though you have improved, at times your immune system will have an excess of pro-inflammatory cytokines and at other times an excess TNFalpha. These a due to the presence of re-activated viruses such as HHV6, HHV7, Parvovirus B19 and possibly CMV. Your improvement is possibly because you have brought these viruses under better immune control and you immune system has quietened down because your "active" viral load is much lower. Their effects seem to be cyclical but I would also imagine that their re-activation might interact with the shingles vaccine, because with the vaccine in you your immune system becomes elevated - basically you are reacting to the attenuated (near dead) virus in the vaccine. The reaction of your immune system would bring about a return of the symptoms of ME, hopefully for only a short period of time as you should be in a better position to have your immune system to quieten down again. This hypersensitivity to vaccines is quite common in people with MCS ( a variation of ME).[This Message was Edited on 09/11/2012]
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I never get vaccines any more. I would only get one if my life depended on it. Our immune systems can overreact to them, even when a live virus isn't used. I've had medical people mock me because I won't get a flu shot. They have told me that if I'm not allergic to eggs, it is impossible for the shots to make me sick. Well, it isn't the shots, per se, it's how my immune system reacts to them. My doc told me not to get the shingles shot. He said they aren't all that effective in everyone and if the serum isn't handled carefully, the shot won't work. He did tell me to get the pneumonia injection but I don't think I will. I've had pneumonia and I survived it.

    Strangely, if I come in contact with someone with shingles, I will have an immune reaction, even if their shingles are almost healed. Now that the peptide injections are making my immune system more "normal" all bets are off as to how I'll react to things. Right now, whatever chronic virus I've had for years is trying to rear its ugly head. I've taken Acyclovir but decided to bring out the big guns--transfer factors. I took one night before last and it's causing swollen lymph nodes so I think it's working.

    I hope you are feeling better. This will likely just have to run it's course.

    Love, Mikie
  6. words

    words New Member

    Hello. New here, too, & have questioned this. In Nov. '11, a pre-employment req. at a hospital was to get Varicella Zoster so they could read my IgG. That was, if I rem. right, a prick in my arm I had to return a week later & show them, which was positive, as I had chicken pox as a kid.

    Couple weeks after, I crashed. However, I also had a severe resp. infection (broke a rib coughing so much) that Sept., plus several other risk factors for CFS, incl. a finally discovered high EBV titer. During the process of getting a rel. exemption to stave off further "tests" & shots via this hospital, I got so ill in 3 weeks I had to quit, & haven't worked since.

    Side note: 30 years back, in college, I got a flu shot that made me so ill I vowed to never get another vaccine/shot/anything & haven't. Of course, our systems are all different... but I do wonder, since I'm now 50 & was rarely ever sick in those 5 decades, having, as an ER doc put it, a "hyper immune system."

    Best of luck to you; hang in there.
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Welcome aboard. I'm glad you found us. I'm just sorry for the reason you're here. This is a great place for info and support. Dr. Cheney had an article in our library which described our immune systems with one side of it being underactive and the other side being overactive. That is why so many of us seldom get colds but suffer from chronic infections of Herpes-Family Viruses, mycoplasmas and Lyme. Sometimes, these infections go chronic and stealth and our immune systems stop even recognizing them. This means the pathogens basically take over our bodies and keep us sick.

    One of the best things I've found is the targeted Transfer Factors sold here. They pack a powerful punch and will cause a strong immune response because they are like tiny oral vaccines except that they do not contain any pathogens, live or dead. You can read about them at the Store by clicking on Shop Products in the strip above.

    Best of luck to you.

    Love, Mikie
  8. words

    words New Member

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for posting. I'd like to read the specific article by Cheney, but can't locate it after several searches. Can you post a link?

    Your info. on the immune sys. variability in CFS is the first time anyone's said this to me.... At the hospital ER, the doc said I couldn't poss. have CFS since I was so rarely sick.

    The herpes virus makes total sense in my case, & I wonder about the Lyme. Was tested for Lyme, but it was likely an assay not sensitive enough.

    Thanks again & hope you're having a good week.