Is anyone else afraid to get the Flu and H1N1 vaccines?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 10/27/2009 1:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I have Crohn's Disease. My Father has Guillain Barre Syndrome. Both are auto-immune diseases. Mine came from my mother's side, I am assuming, since her father had Crohn's, and her mother had colitis and stomach cancer. I called my MD about this question. I talked to a pharmacist, and I looked it up on the internet. Nothing will give me a straight answer. Short term Guillain Barre was linked to the first Flu vaccines in the 1970's, but they claim they are made differently now, so the new one shouldn't cause it, but they do not know enough to say for sure. My father was told to stay away from the flu shots permanently, just to be safe. His was not from the Flu shot, but they do not want him to take a chance. I am really worried about my son, because I do not know if there is a genetic link to auto-immune diseases in our family. I don't want to give him the shot, and have him end up with an auto-immune disease. If he is destined to have an auto-immune disease, I would rather it hold off and be something like a sneeze that starts it, not something I did trying to protect him. My sister and her family get the shots, but so far, she hasn't shown any signs of an auto-immune disease. I also have Fibromyalgia.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 10/27/2009 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
We have had many conversations about this subject. Please read the link below:

Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Rider Fan
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 10/27/2009 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I would recommend that if you can't find a doctor to give you a straight answer that you seek out second and third opinions from medical professionals. I doubt anyone on this board has the medical training to deal with such a complex question. Sorry, I think its for the best though. Good luck!
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Tried SCD, didn't work, now avoiding gluten and dairy.

Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 829
   Posted 10/27/2009 3:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I would just skip the shot
25 year old female
Diagnosed with :
Endometriosis march 2007
Anxiety disorder august 2007
CD/UC they dont know witch October 2008
Autoimmune Hepatitis in July 2009
And now they think I have Lupus :S

Medication - Asacol, Pariet, Cipralex and Cerazette.
Past medication Remicade
My wonderful dogs :) ~ ~

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 10/27/2009 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   

Rule 13

Post Edited By Moderator (MMMNAVY) : 10/28/2009 9:28:45 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 10/27/2009 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Too funny. Zing! :-D

My husband already got the seasonal flu shot and will be getting the h1n1 shot when available. I got the seasonal shot and the flumist for the h1n1 (so that I can avoid being a vector of infection for my husband). Your concerns about Gillian Barre are not unfounded - I have a friend whose father ended up in the hospital with Gillian Barre after a flu shot (but I don't know if it was with recent formulations of the flu shot or one in the 70s - I'm guessing it was the 70s). I think the best thing to do is to consult doctors and try to find a specialist (I have no idea what field their specialization would have to be in). This is what the CDC has to say about Gillian Barre, and the possibility of acquiring it from a flu vaccine:

Use your best judgement, and trust your doctors. That's the best advice I can give. I don't think anything is without risk, so make the best informed decision you can. Also, keep in mind that if you think you don't want to risk Gillian Barre, you can get TamiFlu to make the flu less severe.

Since my husband has not had his h1n1 shot yet, his doctor gave him a script for tamiflu, and so now we have tamiflu on hand, just in case. Given that you have a family history of bad reactions to the flu shot, perhaps the doctor would be willing to give you a script for tamiflu (for both you and your son). That may give you peace of mind, and should you get the flu, hopefully get you back on your feet quickly.

Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff, hospitalized 45 days
Canasa, Lialda, Remicade, VSL#3, Florastor
In Remission since June 2008
Stopped vancomycin for c-diff Jan 1 2009
C-diff free, until Sep 2, 2009
Fighting c-diff, I guess for life

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 10/27/2009 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
After hearing so much bad stuff about it from radio/tv/video person, I do not want it.

Rule 9

Post Edited By Moderator (MMMNAVY) : 10/28/2009 9:40:48 AM (GMT-6)

Rider Fan
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 10/27/2009 10:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Remember people, talk to your medical doctors.

Post Edited By Moderator (MMMNAVY) : 10/28/2009 9:38:16 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 10/28/2009 12:27 AM (GMT -6)   
The problems with the vaccine are no worse than your daily routine. Thimerisol (contains mercury) is present at trace levels (5 - 30 ppm) and you can get that much from eating a can of tuna. It is also less toxic than methyl mercury - the common environmental form of mercury. The adjuvant (not quite sure that it is still the same - the adjuvant I knew about contained aluminum) is more hazardous and pregnant women should opt for unajuvanted vaccine. Still, you get plenty of exposure to aluminum in everything from toothpaste to baked goods, so it is not quite the end of the world. Squalene has been vilified, but you actually produce your own squalene in your sebaceous glands all the time. If it is a problem, someone should let the maker know so we can have a recall. Seriously, if you are taking immune suppressor drugs, you need some protection.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 382
   Posted 10/28/2009 12:46 AM (GMT -6)   

Rule 20

Post Edited By Moderator (MMMNAVY) : 10/28/2009 9:27:16 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 10/28/2009 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Amen, JP! Research is so tainted now by the pharmaceutical companies you don't know what to really believe.

That being said, I've had Crohn's for 34 years. I've been on an immunosuppressant for the last 6 years. I've had two pneumonia shots. And I've had the regular flu shot for years, I can't even remember how long. Only once have I gotten the flu since getting the flu shots - and while I was dragged out for a week, my husband who DIDN'T get the flu shot was dragged out for 3 weeks!! And his cough, congestion, joint aches, etc. were worse than mine and lasted longer as well. Other than the exhaustion my cough, congestion, etc. only lasted 3 days. He now gets a flu shot every year too.
However, w/your family history of auto-immune problems I can understand your quandry and how you would feel if your son developed an auto-immune disease after your having had him given the flu and/or H1N1 vaccine.
I'm still undecided about the H1N1 shot myself. I really have some misgivings about vaccines that are a "rush job" to develop.

Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Post Edited (CrohnieToo) : 10/28/2009 8:17:09 AM (GMT-6)

Mike W
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 10/28/2009 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
No flaming.

Post Edited By Moderator (MMMNAVY) : 10/28/2009 9:26:11 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 10/28/2009 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Sweetie, I think you answered your own question here:
"I don't want to give him the shot, and have him end up with an auto-immune disease. If he is destined to have an auto-immune disease, I would rather it hold off and be something like a sneeze that starts it, not something I did trying to protect him."

While there is an small risk from the flu, he is much more at risk riding in a car.
Being a parent is highly difficult and life is alot of managing risk.  I cannot imagine how difficult this must for you.

Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 10/28/2009 10:00:43 AM (GMT-6)

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