Is a flu jab a trigger?

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Two winters ago I got a flu about 10-12 days after getting my shot, in early December. That lasted a couple of months and it was August before i regained my ME progress.

I skipped the jab last winter and got sick, later, early February.

This winter i got the jab, but was very careful for a couple of weeks treating it like a moderate ME flare. That appeared to work.

This question goes a bit to fundamental aspects of ME - how much is inflammation such as from an immune response part of the condition and does a flare reduce immunity?

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    My CFS/ME doctor told me NOT to get a flu shot because my immune system has been compromised by CFS/ME.

    For you, it sounds as if you are damaging your ability to cope with your symptoms by adding stress to your immune system.

    Who told you to get a flu shot and did they know you have CFS/ME?

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    • Posted

      I'm in the US, diagnosis is difficult, especially in the lower tiers of health insurance, which I am on due my disability

      I've noticed the drop in immunity when flaring. Getting sick is a major problem, lasting months and costing maybe a year of improvement. I'll be 57 this year and getting older doesn't help.

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    • Posted

      I'm 65 and it doesn't get easier with age. After suffering with this illness for 7 yrs., my advice is to live in the present and find simple ways and regular routines that don't drain you. Take some stimulents for mental clarity and don't overdo activities that add stress or takes unusual effort physically or mentally. Taking mental and physical breaks to rest during any activity is crucial. I'm able to get things done and without triggering an episode if I discipline myself by not allowing expectations to rule my actions.

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    • Posted

      Exactly. Plus good nutrition and s l o w l y increasing exercise as with a step counter. Being able to walk away from stressful situations is critical. Some stress is good.

      I find the condition changes over time. I am healthier now than when I started, but also older.

      Part of the exercise benefit is burning off inflammatory stress hormones. Anti-inflammatories can interfere with muscle recovery and immune response. We need more research on this as well as clinical experience.

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  • Posted

    Exercise of almost any kind triggers a flare up for me. What you propose has been the same advice given by doctors who don't know what else to propose so they say "light exertion in increasing amounts will help keep you fit and help keep you mobile". That is poor advice not tied to any scientific evidence that it is effective or beneficial. There may be some testimonial evidence by well meaning people. However, how many actual sufferers of CFS/ME notice feeling BETTER after exercise? The best advice I heard and have used is that for every 1/2 hour of physical activity (ANY physical activity) I need to take a 10-15 recovery rest. Also, don't fight against the oncoming exhaustion of a flare up (even a minor one) by realizing that you need to do what makes you feel better. Nobody else feels your pain or problems for you. They will never really get why you can't just do things that seem so simple for the unaffected.

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  • Posted

    Graduated exercise works for me, but I am still vulnerable to flares.

    Although I have had a few days where i do nothing my minimum is around 20 minutes.

    I have worked my way back from this many times. Post exertional malaise is common to all the more recent diagnostic criteria. I can gauge my exercise by how much of this i feel.

    If I push too hard fibromyalgia and chemical sensitivity will kick in.

    A little bit is okay, and enough to need to rest for a day seems fine now. I'd hypothesize that one benefit of exercise is burning off stress hormones and reducing their inflammatory effects.

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