Very good question and one for which there is an answer.
No, people with MS are not known for getting more severe, common infections. Nor are they known for getting more infections that others. Our immune system is not compromised in that way. We do not have a weakened immune system at all. We do have one that is "out of whack", though. Only part of it is acting up and it is not the part that keeps ups protected from infections.
But, there is something interesting in this. Throughout the last few decades, researchers have noticed repeatedly that people with MS seem to get fewer colds. Now, this doesn't make complete sense, especially given what we are learning about Vitamin D, but it has been noted anyway.
Another related thing has been noted in passing, but has not been rigorously proven. There have been suspicions that people with MS have less cancer than those without MS.
I have had only one cold since I had my first symptom of MS in 2004.
Anyone else notice any difference?
Togo - it would seem that you are just having a bad cold. I would say it is not related to MS. However, within a day or two of becoming ill, you might have an MS relapse. any systemic infection or anything that stimulates the immune system can trigger a true relapse.
I am with you...I do not remember the last time I had a cold. I rarely get sick from common viruses going around. It seems if I remember correctly, that I haven't even had a mild case of the flu since the 1980's.
I am one of those that feel that people with MS don't get sick as often as the general population. Why, I don't know.
You're busy on the board tonight, Mamma Bear.
humm.... very interesting...
As a limbo-lander I can't help but put my two cents in on this one.. I was kind of scratching my head here. Working as a nurse we always encounter our fare share of viruses and people with colds. I was never one to get my flu shot but never would tell anyone. Because, as a nurse I should be a strong advocate for the flu shot.
I have not gotten the flu in probably 5 or 6 yrs from what I remember, but I have gotten some cold symptoms that never really turn into a full blown I can't breathe and this is the worst cold ever. I get maybe twice per winter a sore throat and the feeling like I'm going to get a cold but that's all ever... This is very interesting.
I too find this interesting.
Since my MS like symptoms I have often commented to my hubby that I dont get colds and thought it strange.
I dont remember the last time I had a cold, at least 5 years or so. My hubby had a very bad virus/flu , could have been swine flu and so did my daughter but not me even though I was sleeping next to him and kissing him up to the day he got sick??
He is usually never sick but has had a few colds in the last few years but not me.
I had to comment on this too - I haven't had a cold in at least 3 years, my husband and kids pick up colds , tummy bugs etc but I never seem to catch anything, I sometimes get a sore throat and think I'm coming down with something but it's usually gone the next day
Perhaps we get a ''kick ***'' imune system - interesting isn't it?
mmmm..I too have never had a cough or cold in years despite having three small kids who bring everything through the door, I also work on the ambulance so I see lots of nasty viruses but my immune system seems strong,and I never have the flu shot....
Thanks everyone for their comments! Its good to know that it will not be like this with every cold or flu.
I haven't gotten sick in years either thats why I don't remember being like this when I have been sick but I guess I need to remember that it is my ears and thats probley why I am soo dizzy and off balance. I just put it with the MS because that was how I was in the beginning.
Thanks again and hope everyone's having a good week :)
I'VE WONDERED ABOUT ALL OF THIS FOR A LONG TIME... MY HUSBAND & I WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT THE OTHER DAY HOW HE DOESN'T THINK HE'S EVER SEEN ME WITH ANY TYPE OF COLD, "BUG", OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT... JUST ALL MY OTHER PROBS (THINK I COULD HANDLE A COLD EVER NOW & THEN INSTEAD) BUT ANYWAYS... HE WASN'T TALKING ABOUT JUST A FEW YEARS. WE WILL HAVE OUR 13 ANNIVERSARY LATER THIS YEAR AND WE WERE TOGETHER YEARS BEFORE THAT.
WHEN HIM OR OUR SON IS SICK THEY'LL PASS STUFF BACK & FORTH BUT I GET TO BE LUCKY & NOT GET IT (YAY ME!)! I AGREE W/ VAL, WE DO SEEM TO HAVE A KICK A** IMMUNE SYSTEM, NOW IF IT JUST DIDN'T KICK OUR A** IN OTHER WAYS... LOL! WISH I KNEW MORE ABOUT ALL THIS...
LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE
I have a very bad cold. i too have not remembered having a cold in a very long time. this one however has taken a lot out of me. i have taken a lot of over the counter meds. I wonder if that was not such a good idea. I seem to be relapings today.
old thread but interesting observations about MS and Colds.
I have cancer not MS, but have been in remission for a while :). Unfortunately one of the "symptoms" of Multiple Myeloma is "frequent infections". Since October I have had:
1 ear infection requiring antibiotics
1 sinus infection requiring antibiotics
1 bout of Bronchitis
1 "stomach bug" that included a miserable night of fevers and projectile vomitting
2 Herpes Simplex infections when I missed taking my antiviral for a day or two (most people with MM are on some type of preventitive antivirals or antibiotics long term). in my case don't mean a cold sore, but rather I get a bunch of sores on the roof of my mouth
This post has really helped me. I am in Miami and I am battling my 2nd cold after 2 WEEKS! I am not a person who gets chronic colds ( maybe 1 per winter & never had a flu or flu shot) so I assumed That it had to be related to MS. I wondered if it was a sign that my immune system has weakened but thanks to your post I learned that 1) my immune system is not weaker but "out of whack" lol so that got rid of that fear and 2) I need vitamin D so I have to get over my embarrassment of being on a walker and go sit by the pool/beach
I have been diagnosed since 1992. I have had several colds. Part of diagnoses processes was sinusitis and I never had any sinus issues prior.(note: allergy testing showed I only had a minute reaction to dust mites) I ended up having sinus surgery. Part of the issue is that when we get sick, infections we produce the white blood cells. In MS, T-cells and monocyctes (specialized types of white blood cells) attack the myelin sheaths. This is why we need to be cautious of getting sick. When I do get a cold or the flu it does normally take me longer to bounce back. I have been diagnosed now for 22 years and the older I get especially since i passed the age of 50, bounce back isn't as easy. But as we all know everyone's journey is different this has been my experience with common colds and illnesses over the years. :-)
I too have battled more colds, sinus, ear infections this year. strangely enough my MRI (just done recently) shows more M.S. lesions in the cervical area.( now from c2 thru c7) I felt it was because of that that I am getting more illnesses all winter. I have even been resting more, keeping dry, trying to stay out of crowds. I was always told with m.s. if someone around u is sick and u catch it, they may have had a cold but for u it can be like the flu ( not for all m.s.ers ) but I believe its true. until this got worse I didn't get this sick or this fatigued 24/7. and yes I have recently seen the neuro, family dr and ENT.
I take vit d 4000 units daily. and still getting sick very frequently this winter