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General Questions and Answers For learning, sharing your experience, and exchanging information about Multiple Sclerosis. Please discuss medications in the Medications forum, and natural supplements in Tara's forum.

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Old 12-06-2011, 08:50 AM
kittysmith kittysmith is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Nashville, Tn
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flu shot

I'm in the middle of a flare and I was wondering if I should go ahead and get my flu shot. I certainly don't want to feel any worse, but I don't need the flu either. Any opinions?
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:33 AM

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You didn't say whether it was a pseudo or a real flair, but my unscientific answer is that I would wait. Flu shots can make you feel bad. Why pile that on top of what you're already feeling?
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:05 PM
kittysmith kittysmith is offline
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Location: Nashville, Tn
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Not sure what type of flare. This is only the second documented one. Just got a call from the MS clinic. Nurse suggested waiting as well. Hopefully, I won't catch anything in the meantime. What's the difference between a pseudo flare and a flare?
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:31 PM
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Keepin_on Keepin_on is offline
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Location: Washington
Posts: 182
Hey kittysmith,

That question is asked all the time...much of the time it is asked by the MSer themselves, "Am I having a flare or a psuedo flare?".

Some of us may have a psuedo flare that is caused by the flu (or infection), or too much exercise, or not enough sleep....the list goes on. It can feel just like a real flare but, from what I understand, unlike a real flare, a pseudo flare clears up faster once the problem causing the flare is taken care of (cooling down from a work out, getting more rest...). Also, unlike a real flare, no CNS damage is happening (I may need the MS pros to correct me if I am wrong on that ).

Most common cause a pseudo flare for a lot of us is a increase in our core body temp. It's like clockwork for crappy symptoms. Good news, they go away when the body temp goes back to normal. For many women, a bladder infection could also do this (very common).

Stress seems to do it to me all the time. It is like a never ending spiral. I am stressed. Then MS comes knocking and making me feel like I am about to relapse. So I get more stressed. Once I get my stress under control and get lots of sleep, I feel better. Only to feel it again Monday morning

Bottom line, they feel the same. It's hard to decipher between the two until you are used to your body and MS. Virginia Mason has a good guide to deciphering between the two here:

Basically, it is a matter of timing and how long you are feeling your symptoms and if they are getting worse. First question the neuro will probably ask is "are you sick with an infection or flu?".

Hope that helps!
dxd RRMS 7/2011 - Rebif 8/2011 - Tecfidera 7/2013
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:05 PM
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KyleW KyleW is offline
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Location: New York City
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I think the flu shot answer depends on your doc and what DMD you may be taking. I just started Tysabri and my doc said no flu shot.
At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals. Dave Barry
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:25 PM
Redwings Redwings is offline

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: California, USA
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Hi kittysmith:
The NMSS says: "People who are experiencing a serious relapse that affects their ability to carry out activities of daily living should defer vaccination until 4-6 weeks after the onset of the relapse." ([url][/url]) The recommendation doesn't address what to do if the flare isn't that serious. The usual advice is to check with your doctor, which you (sort of) did when you talked with the nurse from the MS clinic.
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