Cold, flu, infection, whats that then?

a thought has rollin around my head for a few weeks now and at the risk of totally jinxing myself i find myself wondering,

when was the last time i had a any of the above? and the answer is honesty i cant remember, at least 3 but maybe up to and beyond 5 years.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Can this be linked with MS and the immune system? like supposing you have an over active immune system would that be consistent with a reduced risk of common bugs/viruses

Hi Raymond, nice to see you on here.

Well you’re in good company… there’s a big group of us on here who never ever seem to get a virus.

I asked the question a year or so ago. Had lots of reponses and it was a pretty mixed bag. Some MSers seem to get everything going… others never or hardly ever get a virus.

It is to do with the immune system. I asked an MS nurse about it couple of years ago, and she said it’s because MS has made my immune system hyperactive. The immune system sees the MS damage as a foreign body and goes into battle mode… and of course because it can’t kill off the foreign body it stays in battle mode. So if a virus comes along it just gets killed off instantly. Very simplistic explanation but I think that’s basically what happens.

Why this seems to happen with some MSers and not all, I don’t know. I have googled it to see if there’s been any research on it, but not come up with anything. I would think it would be a good subject for research because there is obviously something different going on with those who do get viruses and those who don’t.

So your own conculsion is spot on.

I also personally think it’s why I feel like I’ve got flu 24/7… not the sneezing and snuffles but the other symptoms inc fever in the evenings sometimes. I think that some of the symptoms of flu must actually be the result of the immune system fighting the virus and not actually the virus itself. Make sense?

Hope you’re doing ok hon. Is the job still going ok?

Pat x

Hi Raymond

It seems to me that we are either having colds and viruses all of the time or like you and me, rarely get them. I used to think it was because I worked on my own but I’m often waiting in doctor’s surgeries and hospitals these days and spent a whole day and a car ride with a chap who had a stinker of a cold the other week and as usual; didn’t catch it.

I am on Betaferon which lowers the immune system and so you’d think I would be more prone to them.

Saying that, when I do have a throat infection/ bad cough, it can turn into a chest infection and can last for months and months.

Wendy x

Hi, I wonder exactly the same thing. I had tonsillitis earlier on this year but when I got antibiotics for it I recovered really quickly and only had one day off work. I can’t remember the time before that that I was off sick but it was years ago! I don’t know if its ms related or not because my mum who doesn’t have ms comes and takes my children to school every day while I go to work and she has never missed a day through illness and my eldest is eleven now. So maybe we have both just been lucky! Cheryl:-)

Hello Raymond,

Like you, I never seem to get anything. I do mix a lot with other people and I am sneezed and coughed on like the best of us, but I think that the last cold I had was about two years ago (?). I always assumed that this was because the MS immune system was so strong. Last year, all of our nearest & dearest developed flu, but it was me who had to go out to buy the bread & Lemsips as no one had told my immune system that there was a bug in the house; and this is on top of me taking immune suppressants! It really is an anomaly isn’t it?


Well I was tapping myself on the back as I have not had a cold for over 3 years and then BANG ive got the mother of all colds, I feel like shite, I have a really bad cough, does not help that I keep wetting myself when I have a coughing fit (sorry TMI) my husband has had his for over two weeks he cannot shake it off, he was frightened of me catching it, I told him not to worry as the LDN I take increases my immune system, I should not have tempted fate.

Al x

hows u doin?

tried google myself but nothin seems to come up. truth be told it was a letter from my doctor that got me thinking.

they were wantin me to get a flu jab, dont think al bother, dnt want to add anythin unessacary into the mix

Workin back up in glasgow now, full time, been goin good up to these last few weeks, startin to get dizziness and its harder for me to coordinate my hands, how i want them, that coupled with the fact that i smashed my thumb with a hammer is not doin good for me.

Al just keep goin though,and i wont stop till someone tells me, livin day by day, tryin to quit smoking,

goin on copaxone i think, try that out see where it takes me, never a dull moment

Hi Raymond, I’m doing ok thanks.

Regarding flu jab… I didn’t have the flu jab a few years ago (was worried it would make MS symptoms worse) and I did get flu… and it was bloody awful. Was in bed for about 3 weeks and took months to get over it. So… many people on here do have the flu jab without any bad effects and it is a lot better than getting flu. We don’t get viruses with out hyper immune systems but if something does get in… ooooh… MS doesn’t like competing with flu!

Glad you’re managing to work… though sorry to hear you’re struggling… but hey Raymond you’ve got such a great attitude.

Did smashing your thumb with a hammer take your mind off your MS symptoms? I might try it myself.

Take care hon…

Pat x

Haha yeah for a wee while it did, dont reccomend it though :stuck_out_tongue:

It is a nice theory Ray but sadly the over active immune system doesn’t seem to hold true for the autoimmune disease type of over activity of the immune system. Other wise every time we had our blood tested we would show elevated levels of lymphocytes for example. Probably a better way of thinking about the over activity of an MS affected immune system is to think of it as a misdirected immune systemrather than as a generalised over activity. Rather than doing its job of attacking foreign invaders it mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissue (the myelin in the case of MS). So sadly it isn’t galloping around killing off random germs and viruses more efficiently at all

And indeed if you are disabled and your mobility is compromised you can actually be far more prone to developing pneumonia as a sequel to influenza as I found out to my cost last winter. In fact pneumonia is the leading cause of death in MSers, up to 75% of people with MS end up dieing of respiratory complications rahter than anythinge else and respiratory complications is a catch all phrase which in the majoprity of cases means pneumonia.

I accidentally missed getting my flu jab but I will be first in line next autumn and will be getting the pneumonia jab too.

All that said though, I don’t actually catch very many bugs at all and I do seem to fight them off very easily nowadays (apart from said pneumonia which nearly fought ME off) but I wonder if that is becasue I actually take better care of myself than I used to? I certainly am more conscious if eating well and I can’t help but get more rest (!) and because of the MS I don’t mix and mingle in as many crowds as I used to so maybe my exposure is less.

Interesting topic though…