I have seen many posts here about MS, the Flu & getting a flu shot. I officially have the flu...started feeling crummy 2 days ago & woke up this morning completely congested & a sore, swollen throat that makes it hard to swallow. fun...
I don't typically get the flu - and so don't get a flu shot. I couldn't avoid the flu this year, it seems everyone we know and work with has had it..
What happens with the flu & MS? Is it the fever that brings on an increase in symptoms?
Hi. It isn't the flu per se, it's any infection, bacterial or viral. The body reacts to this by sending its immune system into high gear. That's good, to fight the infection. That's bad, for an MSer, because whatever stimulates our immune systems for the good, also stimulates it into attacking the central nervous system. Or at least it 'can.'
It's always a good idea to get a flu shot. We need to avoid anything avoidable. Of course we shoud take other precautions as well, frequent hand-washing and use of hand sanitizer when we can't wash.
I believe it's the fever that brings on a pseudo-relapse. I was debilitated last time I had the flu, because all my symptoms came back, including severe fatigue. However, a week and a half after I recovered, I had a real relapse - so it's double trouble!
Any sort of raising of body temperature can cause Uhthoff's reaction. The theory is that nerves don't conduct as well when they're hot.
It's true that raising the body's temp can be a bad thing. For some, that brings on a pseudo flare, which recedes fairly quickly. For a small percentage, the symptoms can even be permanent. But I believe the worst danger from flu, etc., is the true exacerbation that can result from stimulation of the immune system.
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