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Thread: body's response to flu?

  1. #1

    Default body's response to flu?

    Hi all. This is probably a stupid question but here goes. I went to my neuro in kinda rough shape. I was shaking horribly, my blood pressure was elevated, my heart was racing and skipping beats. Doc took one look at me and ordered a flu test. It was positive. I told him this is what happens every time I get sick. I always know in advance that it is going to get rough for a while. He explained that what I was doing was my MS's reaction to the flu/fever, etc. He said a couple of his patients react that way, but not all. Now I am off to see a cardiologist.

    My concern is what does this mean for the future of my MS? Doc skirted around that question a couple of time which is not normal as he is pretty straightforward. Does anyone here have experience with this?

    Thanks in advance.
    Lumaie

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daydreamer View Post
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    Hi all. This is probably a stupid question but here goes. I went to my neuro in kinda rough shape. I was shaking horribly, my blood pressure was elevated, my heart was racing and skipping beats. Doc took one look at me and ordered a flu test. It was positive. I told him this is what happens every time I get sick. I always know in advance that it is going to get rough for a while. He explained that what I was doing was my MS's reaction to the flu/fever, etc. He said a couple of his patients react that way, but not all. Now I am off to see a cardiologist.

    My concern is what does this mean for the future of my MS? Doc skirted around that question a couple of time which is not normal as he is pretty straightforward. Does anyone here have experience with this?

    Thanks in advance.
    Lumaie
    Hi Lumaie/daydreamer,

    I have similar reactions to illness/infection, especially UTIs. I have an impression it's "just one of those MS things" and doesn't mean anything in particular except that it's your body's way of reacting.

    Fever raises your body temperature of course, and there's a notion that anything that raises the body temperature can bring on MS symptoms in those who have heat sensitivity.

    What they don't know about this disorder would fill enormous volumes.

    Hope you get over this soon! Isn't there a prescription to relieve the flu symptoms? Tamiflu?
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    (((((((Daydreamer))))))).... Sheesh, another perk of MS.
    Feel better soon.
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







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    Distinguished Community Member SuzE-Q's Avatar
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    Hi Lumaie,

    Are you talking about the worsening of MS symptoms with the flu, or other non MS things that are coming up?

    We know that the flu stimulates our immune system which could have an effect on our MS...if we have some autonomic dysfunction associated with our MS, it could also worsen that too.

    I think it's usually temporary though, until the infection passes. I know if I think I'm having an MS attack, one of the first questions my neuro asks is whether I've had an infection recently, in order to rule out the so-called pseudo-exacerbations. Like agate said, it could also be related to an elevation in body temperature.

    Hope you feel better soon!

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  9. #5

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    [QUOTE=SuzE-Q;37744]Hi Lumaie,

    Are you talking about the worsening of MS symptoms with the flu, or other non MS things that are coming up?



    I do not know. I first had the racing heart, high blood pressure and shaking when I had a bout of pneumonia about ten years ago. The doctor told me then that he thought the heart bit was a part of the MS. I did the steroids and eventually got back on track.
    Now I know a few days in advance that I am going to be sick and have a fever because all that crap starts up again. The worst of it subsides when the fever actually starts. Then I get to deal with whatever the MS does in response to the actual illness. I have done this long enough that I just think of it as an early warning system and run to the grocery, drugstore and such while I still can. The neuro actually saw it himself and is carting me off to a cardiologist. Of course, I keep asking why.

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    Distinguished Community Member SuzE-Q's Avatar
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    Gary may have some insight, he has bp issues related to his MS. Let us know what the cardiologist says, this disease never ceases to surprise me in what it can effect. Are you taking any meds that may contribute to this?

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  13. #7
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    Did someone say Gary and opinion in the same sentence?

    Why yes I do. Anything that puts a stress on my system can trigger something. Sometimes very minor like a new numb spot on my leg most times it is only temporary, but sometimes a major stress can cause the wheels to come flying off the wagon. My blood pressure can shoot up and I mean numbers like 238/150 well into the stroke zone. I have been hospitalized for this before and my doc has, in consultation with the hospitalist, told them "load him up with steroids and monitor for infection." They never listen as 99 times out of 100 it will begin to go down the second day with out any meds to lower it. But as I routinely see a P.A. and not a MD they tend not to listen.

    I have had my kidneys quit and my body told itself to raise my potassium to lethal levels. That one was more scary as I woke up a week later and not only spent over a week unconscious they had told my wife to call the family, people in my condition don't recover from this. And here I am 6 years later.

    But as everyone knows MS is unpredictable, you never know what will pop up. I have learned not to "wait for the other shoe to drop" when it starts winding up for a big go around I get to the doc. My family knows when I am not acting right and they drag me in. It has happened, more than once that I rapidly reach a point that I am completely unaware that I am REALLY sick.

    So yes I believe that it does affect MS.

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  15. #8

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    Just me babbling again. So...I saw the cardiologist. He has done a couple of tests and now has me wearing an event monitor for thirty days. The tests were clear but he wants to see if he can get a picture of what my heart is actually doing. Why? Because he has a couple of other MS patients who do the same thing and he is trying to figure out for himself why. He says he treats the others fairly successfully with medication at this point. He just is not sure what the future will hold for any of us. Sigh.

    To make it all even better, they have concluded that I fall into the so called small percentage of MS patients who have MS related hearing loss. CHIT. It is categorized as "profound and not treatable." Well joy, joy. I am going to be completely deaf and cognitively diminished enough that I cannot learn sign language! Well at least the ENT and audiologist were excited to see that dx. I mean, really, why wouldn't they be? They have never seen it before. Glad I could help them.

    At least the swallowing test had good result. I have a hesitant swallow but I am not aspirating food to grow bacteria in the lungs and kill me! Yah, for good news. I am not ready to have my food kill me!

    So, there is my whine for the night!
    God bless you all,
    Lumaie

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  17. #9
    Distinguished Community Member SuzE-Q's Avatar
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    I'm really sorry about your news, Lumaie, especially the permanent hearing loss. There must be apps or an easy program to teach sign language, right? At least give it a shot. Maybe there's an app that could hear speech and type it out for you to read, then you could type out your response.I'm sure there's something like that available. Phone the society that helps the deaf and hard of hearing, I'm sure they will have some good ideas to help you manage, they are very well organized.

    Did he explain what exactly he thinks is happening with your heart? Was there a name he called your heart issues? Is it like tachycardia, or some other irregular heartbeat, or something else?

    You'd think with all these new neuro plasticity techniques being developed, some exercises could be developed that could improve these issues.

    How often do these things happen? What meds can be given?
    Last edited by SuzE-Q; 02-06-2015 at 12:30 AM.

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    Distinguished Community Member Jeanie Z's Avatar
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    :) Lumaie I have a lesion on my central auditory nerve and it affects hearing in both ears. Sign language is a waste of time as none of my family or friends know sign language.

    My best friend in grade school was deaf and went to the deaf school in St.Augustine. I learned to sign then and still can but like I said no one signs except other deaf people. I can hear with the volume set high on the TV and on speaker phone on the phone. The hearing aids I bought do nothing but make the few things I can hear ultra loud. They do not help with the sounds I do not hear.

    My house is a mile from the main runway at Palm Beach International Airport and jet sound I hear good. In fact they wake me up when all the 6 AM flights start going. I sleep with ear plugs so I don't hear them. Jeanie :)
    Last edited by Jeanie Z; 02-06-2015 at 10:11 AM. Reason: typo

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