Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Autoimmune Gal: Flu Shot and Flare?

Image found here. 

Autoimmune Gal has written another excellent post. In this one, entitled Is the Flare Finished? and dated 1/14/14, The Gal discusses her onset of a flare in relation to receiving the flu shot:
Alright, I am slowly emerging from my flare.  Thankfully!  I've been out of touch here for too long. It has been a rough few weeks and as those of you know with autoimmune disease, flares and their duration are unpredictable. 
The first interesting thing about this flare is that it appears to have been initially triggered by the flu shot.  Yes, the flu shot.  Now, I know this might sound controversial, but bare with me, this is not my analysis but that of two of my physicians who specifically treat patients with autoimmune disease. (Bolding mine)
I got the flu shot and 48 hours later my autoimmune symptoms started acting up and then kept getting worse.  Within the next couple weeks, I knew I was in really trouble. I went from being in a position where I could largely manage my Sjögren's to being in excruciating neurological pain...... Continue reading here
 Have you had the flu shot? Have you experienced an increase in autoimmune activity following it's administration?

You can read more about immunizations and autoimmune/rheumatic disease here and here.


Unknown said...

I've never had a problem with the flu shot, and my doctors have always recommended the shot for me. Of course, AI disease is different for everyone.

Julie said...

I have been receiving flu shots for years and years and have had autoimmune disease for years and years. Nope, never triggered a flare. But it has protected me from my son coming home from college with H1N1 ,,,

My rheum is adamant about both getting flu shots and also pneumonia vaccines. Of course, no live vaccines allowed when on certain meds.... He even advised getting the shingles vaccine prior to my start ,with using biologics, but at that time, the vaccine was not widely available.

Blogger Mama said...

As I responded on Autoimmune Gal's blog...

I have experienced similar issues after having my allergy shots. Usually the day of and the day after the shots. I guess it makes sense. Our immune systems are already out of whack on a normal basis. Throw some foreign matter into our bodies and our immune systems probably decide to throw a kegger, destroying everything in the vicinity! lol

AutoimmuneGal said...

Thanks so much for your post and encouragement. Great cartoon--gave me a very good laugh just now. Wish there was a way to test, which vaccines had flare potential in which patients. That would certainly be wonderful.

annie said...

Just catching up in all your postings as we had some glitches with our computer. This post resonates with me because I was always one to get flu shots, but I have not had one since I have been sick for the last 10-15 years. I am very wary of what concotion is in the flu vaccine and I am very afraid of the reaction I will have.

At one point I was having reactions to everything, as though my immune system was totally out of wack and would react by having hives and have trouble breathing, so I definitely pass up on the vaccines.My rheumatologist even suggested that in my case, I not get the flu vaccine. As beneficial as it is, it is an individual decision, depending on your body's acceptance of the vaccine.

Heda said...

Me too catching up on posts but in my case because of absence due to embarrassment. Flu shots saved my life. Love them. Swear by them. Haven't had pneumonia since starting flu shots. Bronchitis maybe once a year if unlucky as opposed to every 3 months. Brilliant. Should be bottled. Only very very quiet and polite complaint is I'm allergic to eggs so the carrier fluid (egg whites) makes my arm swell like it's about to give birth to a hens egg. Hey. Small price to pay for clear lungs for most of the ear.

Leonardo said...

I must admit I have never had an issue with the flu shot. I think you should get some advice from your physician in relation to the problem but if you are getting symptoms immediately after the administration of the shot then there might be a correlation. I am no doctor but go and have it checked out.

Leonardo @ U.S. Healthworks Medical Group

Sylvain said...

My wife has Sjogren's syndrome, and had a very bad reaction to the 2015 flu shot. Within 24h hours of the shot she fell very ill with muscular pains and weakness. And over the course of the next few months, she developped vasculitis, her hands are now partially paralyzed and she lost 40% kidney function. We are being told by some doctors that the incident was not related to the shot, but we disagree. We are very interested to know if other people have had similar experiences, because the only argument for it not being caused by the vaccine, is that it happens rarely. We think it may happen more often than reported, because like AutoimmuneGal, people are wary doctors will think they are crazy. If you think your autoimmune disease has been triggered by the vaccine, you're not alone.

Anonymous said...

I have graves/sjogrens and other elevated stuff, however I was doing great for about two years, even labs read normal. In August, 2016 I got the flu shot and within two weeks I developed rashes caused by a medication I was on for months. After I discontinued the med, I began having hard core fatigue, achy joints, feet/leg pain, chest pain, high blood pressure, and headaches. I did a full autoimmune panel, and all levels were elevated (ana, Ds dna, celiac, sjogrens). I'm absolutely positive this was caused by the adjuvant in the flu vaccine. My initial disease cause is debatable, but I'm starting to realize when I get a flu shot as I do occasionally, my autoimmune symptoms get bad. If you have a haywire immune system then introduce an adjuvant, it seems your turbo boosting the abnormal immune behavior. I'm just venting a bit, but it just seems common sense a Dr would understand this and warn against any adjuvant containing vaccine. Btw, I reported this to the government web site, not that it makes a damn bit of difference. Anyway, I'm hoping to see a new rheumatologist in about six weeks. I'm hoping for IVIG or something to stabilize things, but it seems you don't get good treatment unless your in extreme failing health.

Unknown said...

I have CFS - I've had it for over 30 years. I began getting flu shots from 2003, and continued until I arrived in the States in 2015. I've never had a problem, bar the short-lived low grade fever and feeling grim for 24 hours.

I had the flu shot in 2015, and it triggered the worst CFS flare I have ever had - I was beginning a doctoral program (my fourth degree), and it crippled me for two and a half years, with the worst CFS symptoms I have ever had: brain fog, exhaustion, pain, fevers, sleeplessness, nausea, the whole glorious cfs package. I am only now beginning to recover.

I'm pretty convinced it was the 2015 flu shot.