Question: relapse after infection

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Question: relapse after infection

Postby AllyB » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:23 pm

Hi guys

I have noticed a number of members mentioning a relapse following an infection - such as tummy bug, 'flu etc.
My question is, in general, how long does it normally take between the illness and the relapse? Does the relapse occur weeks after the illness has resolved, or within a few days? Can it happen just after the illness starts, while you are still sick?
I haven't paid a lot of attention previously to this - I noticed that when I had a bad winter with a couple of doses of 'flu and a few colds and tonsillitis, I had more relapses...But (stupidly!) did not tie them together - it makes sense that if the immune system is activated by a viral or bacterial bug, then it would be more active in the CNS too...!

Just curious - I have been well (no illnesses or relapses, and just an exacerbation) for a year now, but lately I have been thinking I might have a mild case of ON (am seeing Opthalmologist tomorrow), and now I feel a bit 'flu-y', sore throat, headache, stuffy head etc, and am also feeling more ms'y - L'Hermittes is much worse, clumsyness is bad, tripping & falling more, ms hug is back - nerves just feel 'sparky' and 'twangy' - don't know how else to describe it.
My other relapses were definite - woke up one morning with a whole batch of new problems, so I don't know if I am heading for a relapse or just feeling a bit of an exacerbation....Aaaaghhh!
So confused and sick of having this ms thing on my mind so much lately.

Thanks for listening
Al
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Postby CureOrBust » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:00 am

a flu/cold is my only known trigger for a relapse. i.e. every relapse I know of was preceded by a cold/flu.

What normally happens to me is that I get a cold/flu, it lasts for about a week (to two weeks), before the week is up I think the relapse starts. I am normally wishing the flu away so I can start steroids (i.e. oral prednisone).
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Postby MrsGeorge » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:48 am

I have had ON followed by a relapse last November - the relapse was immediately preceded by a bad cold - the relapse had started before the cold was over (within a week of cold symtpmos starting) but as I have had no dx yet I just had to live it.
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Postby gwa » Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:09 am

The only time I have a relapse now is when I have another disease such as a cold, flu or pneumonia. Any of these puts me in a bad relapse and makes walking very difficult.

Fortunately I have not been sick for over 4 years. I spend a lot of time at home and away from crowds, especially during flu season.

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Postby AllyB » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:32 pm

Thanks guys for sharing your experiences - you have answered my question very well!

Regards
Al
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Postby CureOrBust » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:26 am

gwa wrote:Fortunately I have not been sick for over 4 years. I spend a lot of time at home and away from crowds, especially during flu season.
I added Tamiflu (Antiviral) to my arsenal of medication. It once worked the magic when needed. I also use Amantadine (Antiviral) as a prophylatic.
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Postby AllyB » Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:22 pm

Hi Cure

We can get Tamiflu here - do you know if it is ok to take it when on an Interferon? I asked my GP and she hadn't a clue, and my Neuro is away at a conference for a week....

Thanks for the tip - appreciate your input!
Al
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Postby Rudi » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

CureOrBust wrote:
gwa wrote:Fortunately I have not been sick for over 4 years. I spend a lot of time at home and away from crowds, especially during flu season.
I added Tamiflu (Antiviral) to my arsenal of medication. It once worked the magic when needed. I also use Amantadine (Antiviral) as a prophylatic.


Thats really sensible CureOrBust. It's all about being prepared.

My method is a little less sophisticated:

The last few times I've been about to go down with a cold I took vitamin c in very large does for a couple of days; 500mg per half hour. I've tried this three times now. On one occasion the cold failed to develop and on the other two I've shifted the cold in a couple of days.

I think the vitamin c stops the virus from replicating so quickly and ramps your immune system up ready to deal with the new enemy.

According to Wikipedia - "The Vitamin C Foundation recommends an initial usage of up to 8 grams of vitamin C every 20–30 minutes[18] in order to show an effect on the symptoms of a cold infection that is in progress."

However I think those doses are a bit dangerous for a person with ms as they are likely to overstimulate the immune system and cause some damage.
1st traceable symptoms July 2006 - realized I had MS November 2006
CAP since 27/04/2007. Various supplements and dietary modifications.
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flu/cold

Postby Artifishual » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:27 pm

actually after my first of four treatments of rituxan i had to miss the secound infusion because i had the flu. i never have a cold, or at least nothing major, but it has never signaled a flare up? wonder why? i have only had two flare ups since all this began. one major and one minor. both were treated with sudomedral.oh, yes tamiflu for the flu.
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Postby CureOrBust » Sun Mar 30, 2008 3:12 am

AllyB wrote:do you know if it is ok to take it when on an Interferon?
I have no idea. I only found out about antivirals long after I stopped rebif :x I now look at it that:
1. My only known trigger for a relapse is a cold / flu
2. The antivirals (+ Mino for bacteria) stop much more than 30% of infections
3. Therefore, they are much more effective at stopping a relapse than interferons (for me)
and they are oral, and I dont take the anti-virals every day.

Rudi wrote:The last few times I've been about to go down with a cold I took vitamin c in very large does for a couple of days
I also take Vit C as a prophylactic when I feel I have been "exposed" to a cold/flu or may about to be. But NOWHERE near those doses. I normally go from 2000-6000 (Slow release) over the whole day. I think in the past I have noticed that the slow release versions "work" better; hardly scientific.
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Postby TwistedHelix » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:08 am

I haven't been able to find any mention of interactions between interferons and Tamiflu, although of course you must get professional advice on this. Indeed some Interferons have been combined with Tamiflu to try and find an agent against avian flu, but I think this was mostly the interferon alphas.

Amantadine was prescribed to me because of its energy boosting effect, (although this is apparent in only a minority of MS patients who receive it), but it's antiviral properties are a welcome bonus. Another weapon in your armoury not to forget is a good, healthy dose of vitamin D – although considering where you live, Ally, I imagine sunshine isn't too hard to come by!
Dom
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Postby AllyB » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:18 pm

Hi there

Before I started the Avonex, I used to use large doses of vit C and zinc when a cold was coming on, but I must confess that I couldn't swear that it made that much difference. I haven't been sick at all in the 13 months I have taken Avonex - until now (pretty good going considering I went through a period of getting 'flu or a cold every month or so).

I will ask my oncologist about the interferon/tamiflu combination - she seems to know just about everything!
And yes, Dom, I have a surfeit of sunshine - sick of it, to tell the truth, but I still take 2000iu vit D daily!

Thanks guys!
Al
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