Ian.....what's your thoughts on this

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sunflowergirl, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    I was at my doctor today. She said I SHOULD get a flu shot but I told her about problems those of us with compromised immune systems have. She said that's the VERY reason we should get them, and said I should get a flu shot that is thimerisol free. Apparently this is the mercury used in it.
  2. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    I know some PMWE who have reacted badly (in the short term, like a week at the most) to the shots and others who did not. The ones who reacted badly all had MCS quite severely. I also know some (including myself and my daughter who react very badly to the flu). If I wasn't holed up in my office and had to mix with people more I would get one. When I travel I wear a mask but if there was a significant epidemic here like you have in the US at the moment I would get the shot.

    Your Dr. is right though, if you have ME/CFS you want to avoid any viral infections that tax your immune system. I know some people on the internet have reported having a mild time with the flu or having never had it since getting ME/CFS. I have no explanation, you would not expect that, ME/CFS will not render you immune, in fact all the evidence points to some immune deficiencies like low natural killer cell function. The flu is a funny thing, if you get infected by attenuated virus (from someone in the later stage of flu) you will have a mild infection whereas someone else, who got the full blown virus will have a severe infection.

    Also there is little evidence that anything you take to prevent you getting the flu will work - aside from the vaccination(attenuated virus).
    [This Message was Edited on 01/10/2013]
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I've been tempted to get the pneumonia and flu vaccinations but I don't do it. I used to get a horrible reaction to flu shots so stopped them years ago. It's my own immune system's inflammation response to the shots which makes me so sick. There is a big outbreak of the flu this year and I'm tempted but still don't think I'll do it. My doc recommends it but insists that I should get the pneumonia shot. My neighbor has pneumonia as we speak. I don't think I'll get that either.

    My peptide shots have altered the balance of my immune system. I never got colds before and I have had two in the last year. Am I more inclined to get the flu or pneumonia? I don't know but I still don't think I'll get the vaccines. I've had pneumonia and lived through it so guess I'll live through it again if I get it. Same with the flu.

    Love, Mikie
  4. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    does NOT cover the flu that's going around california. What's the purpose of a shot since it's not for every strain?

    I've been sick for 3 weeks. About 4 days ago I thought I was starting to get well and then I got a sore throat and drippy nose all over again and the fatigue is AWFUL. And I've coughed for 3 weeks!
  5. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    elderberry (it's a immune support)and it's got astralagus and echanacea in it also and the GSE. I'm also using sinus rinse kit. My head feels so clogged up. It's like a bad head cold for 3 weeks. I've even been using steam with some eucalyptus oil in it.

    I've got some asthma but lungs are clear. I think it just hangs on to us "unhealthy" ones. And surprisingly, I never ever ran a fever.

    I'm sorry about your Ex........A friend of mine just lost a neice by marriage to lung cancer. She was only 40 and never smoked. She battled it for about 18 mos. at City of Hope and at home. Poor girl! And she left two young daughters. Her memorial service is tomorrow.

    And has your friend had chest xrays or MRI? What does her doctor say?
  6. neoplus1

    neoplus1 Member

    It is interesting you bring up individuals not getting sick with things like a cold or flu since the onset of ME/CFS. I have wondered why that is as I am one of those people. I don't get the flu normally and I rarely get colds anyway, but since having CFS, it seems as if I catch NOTHING. I know some immune deficiencies exist in CFS, but there is evidence of elevated cytokines and other things. Perhaps despite lower certain functions, there is some priming and up-regulation that is stuck. It would make sense considering people get this as a post-infectious illness. Perhaps some of the immune system didn't switch all the way back to baseline?

    I don't get the flu, so I don't get the flu shot. BUT I wouldn't avoid it for the sake of CFS if there is real risk that you could get the full blown flu. As far as vaccines being so dangerous which you hear about on tv and the news, I don't buy into that hype. There just isn't any evidence. The fact that there are some rare risks doesn't mean anything. Everything has some risk, including the supplements many of us swear by. If Ambligen were approved there would be just as much risk involved or worse.

    I actually can't believe how bad this flu season is turning out to be. Please everyone be safe and take care of yourselves.

  7. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    You are correct in saying that various cytokines are upregulated. Some of these such as IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma are also upregulated in the lungs and bronchiols during a viral respiratory infection. No one knows if an upregulation of these will render you immune to the flu. Somehow I doubt it. If they are down regulated you may have less symptoms but a long flu. The symptoms are not caused by the virus but by your bodies fight against the virus. The greater the symptoms the bigger the fight.

    Humans and higher primates contain “natural antibodies” which are present in serum before viral infection. Natural antibodies can activate the classical complement pathway leading to lysis of enveloped virus particles long before the adaptive immune response is activated. You will have some of these antibodies to some of the viruses. If you are not getting the flu, but are exposed to virulent virus then it will be the antibodies that are preventing you from getting it. These are not affected or increased by ME/CFS. In fact, in some PWME the function of the system is impaired when the natural killer cells are impaired.

    However consider what the vaccination of attenuated virus actually does to render you "immune" (actually about 60%-70% because viral strains can vary or change quite quickly). It causes new antibodies to the virus to be created. This is the second line defence against infection. (aka the adaptive immune system)

    If you got the flu and you already had upregulated IFN's then you will have even worse symptoms and very low energy which could continue for longer than someone who had normal levels of IFN's.

    So, according to current knowledge the explanation of why you do not get the flu is:
    You have natural antibodies to the strain
    You have been exposed to naturally attenuated virus
    You were exposed to the virus but it did not enter your lungs

    Someone had a theory that if you had a virus infection such as a cold, you would not get the flu, but that has been disproved.

    What else is going on? There is some evidence (from the University of Michigan) that levels of antioxidants affect the response to infection, not the infection itself. Now! maybe PWME have high levels of antioxidants as part of their treatment for ME/CFS.
  8. kbak

    kbak Member

    My daughter is a cardiac nurse in a hospital, and she was just telling me today that 90% of the people coming in to be hospitalized for the flu had the flu shot. So it's really up to you weather you want the shot. The bug causing the nasty flu is not in the shot.

    They want you to get the shot hoping that it might be of some help. So it's up to you.
    take care,