Confused. Can anyone clarify please?


Hi All

Hope you are doing ok, for you.

I would like to know what you have been told by yr doctors and neuros re: the above question.

I was told it was a case of an UNDER ACTIVE IMMUNE system.

I was ill at the end of last year. Flu. Bad cold straight after that ended up with bronchitis. Really ill. Took me months to get better. And here I am again. Been in bed the last week. Bad cold. Cough. It has turned into another chest infection. Feel so poorly. In pain. Barking like a dog. And of course my MS symptoms are made worse.

I normally have the flu jab but for some reason I missed it last year.

So. It would seem to me it is CAUSED by an under ACTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEM.

I would be really interested in yr thoughts.

Sorry for thevtypos.

Thanks in anticipation.

Anne x

I don’t think it’s quite as simplistic as that Anne.

The basic theory that we have some kind of inflammatory action to which our immune cells overreact and attack our healthy tissue in mistake for the perceived cell invader, is essentially what my basic understanding is. But this doesn’t account for anything like all the answers.

In my above basic theory, it would seem that an over active immune system is to blame.

But again, it’s way more complex than that. I think.

It could be that your immune system didn’t have what it needed to fight against the flu virus / other virus that you encountered, because of a slightly weakened system or lack of the right antibodies. This then gave the virus a way in. Then your immune system went bananas, attacking the virus, but also in my simplistic view, I’d expect your MS to have got worse as a result of the virus.

Regardless, I’m truly sorry that you have been so ill.


I don’t think it’s as simple as over active or under active. I find it easier to think in terms of the immune system going wrong, attacking healthy parts of our body by mistake. I once read a theory that autoimmune disorders are part of our bodies’ attempts to evolve a way to deal with cancer cells. Unfortunately, it takes millions of years to get it right, and we are plagued with things like MS, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in the mean time. Who can say if this is the case?

MS sometimes does flare up after a virus like a bad cold or flu, but it doesn’t always happen. It’s not uncommon to take a long time to recover from infection. In some cases it’s the effect of whatever DMT a person is on, because parts of the immune system are suppressed by the drug. In other cases, it’s just the wonky immune system taking its time doing its job.

I don’t know if you had problems with chest infections in the past. It could be that you are, or have become, susceptible to them for some reason, or it could be that the previous one didn’t completely clear your system. Whatever is happening, take things easy and give yourself plenty of time to recover.

inflammation has shown up on my MRI.

my feet are the worst part of my body and always feel like they are burning.

i always think of inflammation being hot.

Hi Anne! Within your whole “immune system” are a number of different immune cells that perform different functions. With MS, a subset of the immune cells have become confused and have mistaken the myelin as an invader. These immune cells therefore will attack the myelin leading to to scarring along the nerves and disturbed nerve impulse firing. The immune cells responsible are acting in an “over active” manner. Not in that they are attacking actual foreign invaders over enthusiastically, but rather they are just creating a job for themselves that doesn’t need to be done (ie attacking myelin). With any immune response, there is inflammation caused as a byproduct. If your neuro is referring to “decreased” immunity, one explanation could be that he/she is referring to a particular medication you are on. Many MS drugs work in a way that actually decreases the ability of a particular immune cell of doing its job properly. In that way, the immune cell attacking the myelin is now “under active”, in the hopes that it will not have enough activity to attack our body’s own cells. If you are not on any MS medications that interfere with the immune response, another explanation is that the immune system does not function correctly, thus we would be termed “immuno compromised”. Your observation about your MS symptoms feeling worse when you are sick with some sort of infection are completely accurate. When you are sick, it’s not uncommon to experience pseudo-exacerbations. One reason is that as infection settles in, body temperature rises. If any new symptoms appear or you are concerned, follow your gut instinct and call your neurologist’s office! Hope this answers some questions! Autumn


1 Like

Well All. Thank-you so much for your replies. You all make I teresting points. I had croup badly as a child. Last time when I was 15. I think this has left me with a weakness for chest infection. I havent got any better. I can’t see the Dr. as they are on holiday without a locum in place. So I will just have to hunker down and wait to feel better. Thanks again. Anne

1 Like

Yes, compromised is the key word x