ms and constant infections?

Hi everyone. …this may be a stupid question but does having ms mean you are more susceptible to infections? I was signed off work last week and am ill with another bug now. Feeling fed up!!! Emma

Yes. You have my sympathy… tonsillitis to a chest infection in 10 days. Still smiling though :slight_smile:

Does that mean its part of normal sick leave or could be classed as ms related? Interesting!!! :slight_smile:

I’m not sure if it is part of ms or not tbh because I am never ill, in fact I sometimes wonder if never being ill is to do with the ms. I’m also not sure how ms related sick leave works, I know it’s mentioned on here a lot but I can never find anything out about it and despite my employer knowing about my ms and being very understanding I’ve never been told about ms related sick leave. I would hope your employer would be sympathetic anyway. Cheryl:-)

I’m never ill either, always prided myself on my excellent immune system, seems ironic somehow… My employer told me that if I’m off due to ms then it’s classed as disability leave and not treated the same way as sick leave due to bugs etc.

MS shouldn’t be related to a general increase in infections. Although it’s an auto-immune disease, it’s not been linked to a low or weakened immune system, so shouldn’t affect overall risk.

People who have urinary retention may be more prone to UTIs (not hard to work out why that is), and those with severely impaired mobility or swallowing difficulties may be more prone to lung infections (food accidentally going down ‘the wrong way’ may cause infection).

Also, some treatments for MS, particularly steroids, but I think a couple of the more powerful DMDs may render people more susceptible to infection.

But aside from these very specific risks, you shouldn’t catch any more than the average person, so it isn’t “MS-related” on the sick form, every time you do. Despite the common belief to the contrary, MS isn’t a special type of sick leave anyway, that mysteriously doesn’t count towards the total. You CAN be dismissed for having too much time off for MS, just as for anything else, so it doesn’t make you bullet-proof if you always write “MS” on the form. Put whatever you genuinely believe.

I do get an upset tummy more than I used to, but I’ve never thought of these episodes as “bugs”. I think MS could cause nausea in a variety of ways - dizziness and vertigo is one. Also your digestive system is muscular, so you might get spasms there, as in any other muscle, which could make you sick. Finally, I get the feeling that every so often, my body just rebels against the medication I’m on (which isn’t really a lot, by MS-standards). It seems to have devised a way of forcing me to take a break now and then, by just throwing it up again (sorry if too much info). :frowning: Normally I’m alright again after a few days.


I thought it didn’t mean that or at least that’s what my GP told me and he was very good…he has since retired! And I must admit I am not a sickly person… Touching wood as I type! I get bits of bugs but often from my four year old however I see to get touches of them such as ikky tummy but no sick. I get a few colds but have done ever since I got pregnant with Charlie for some reason. I work with vulnerable and sick people, and I can be in and out of hospitals doing assessments but so far have not been too bad. I agree with Tina on the nausea … As I get that more than I used to and I also think that could be rebif too. Xxx

I have had lots of infections since diagnosis and was told by my MS Nurse that this was because of the MS. If ever I ring my nurse because I feel as if I am having a relapse the first thing she always says is it sounds as if you have another infection on the way. And she is always right.

I rang her a fortnight ago because I began having a new symptom, crawling feeling across my face and she said to keep an eye out for infections. I am now on antibiotics because I have an infection in my glands. She was right.

I always tell friends and family to keep away if they have colds etc as I can guarantee 24 hours after they leave I will show signs of their infection.

Hope you feel better soon.

Shazzie xx