More susceptible to colds?

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luglug
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted Today 7:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't understand if CD is a general weakness in the immune system or just wrong decisions made by the immune system in attacking the intestine, or a combination?? Anyways, my question is, will I be more likely to get the common cold, flu, etc?

Thanks,
lug

paintedsongs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 207
   Posted Today 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Our immune systems do not function properly. do you take any meds? taking meds that comprimise the immune system and therfore, regulate the functioning of it definately leaves you more likely to get a cold. I take Imiuran and prednisone now I just got over my first cold of the season. Last year I got a cold 1 x a month that lasted about a week. Last yr I found Ziacam and believe in it. Its an over th ecounter cold/flu product. I am trying to keep a healthy diet, and exercise, and I take Vit C. to try and keep my body in good condition also.. take care..
28 Year old Female. Dx with Crohns 2005. Currently take Imuran 50 mg. had 3 remicade infusions which put me in remission.
Dx with Pyoderma Gangrenos (PG) Nov '07, currently on Prednisone 40mg for PG, slowly tapering from 60mg ...  most importantly the taper is in effect !


luglug
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted Today 7:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I am on Asacol 400mg, 12 a day.
Dx with Crohns Nov 07'
Taking 12x 400mg Asacol a day


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted Today 7:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Just having Crohns doesn't make you more prone to colds or the flu, but if you are on meds like Imuran, 6mp, Remicade or Humira, these are immune suppressants and they can make you more susceptible to colds and flu.  I only take Asacol myself and get a flu shot every year and I usually don't get the flu or colds that often.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.


luglug
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted Today 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Ok, thanks.
Dx with Crohns Nov 07'
Taking 12x 400mg Asacol a day


MikeB
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted Today 7:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Crohn's disease is NOT a weakness in the immune system. It is an overactive immune response in the GI tract. Your own immune system basically attacks your body, causing chronic inflammation and all the symptoms and complications that go with it. As noted, unless you are placed on immunosuppressant medications (to tone down the immune system) you should not be overly susceptible to infectious agents like the cold virus.

EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted Today 9:27 AM (GMT -7)   
MikeB, our GI (Crohn's specialty) doctor told us HE no longer believes Crohn's to be an auto-immune disease. Please read the article dakotagirl posted under the thread "Antibiotics offer hope..." This article also states something like "Crohn's used to be considered an auto-immune disease..." Even ccfa.org now says, "Crohn's disease is a chronic (ongoing) disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract." Their information only 6 months ago when my son was diagnosed said it was "auto-immune." I know there are a few docs out there who still consider it auto-immune, but they're beginning to be in the minority. The tide is changing ever so slowly...

Sooooo, it's my understanding CD is now thought to be an infectious disease--they just aren't sure exactly what the infectious agent is. Some folks may even have more than one infectious agent present. Understanding what the infectious agent is is critical to knowing what antibiotic to use or that further antibiotics may need to be developed to deal with it.

luglug, it's my understanding that doctors believe there is an immune DEFICIT issue compounding the problem. For whatever reason, in Crohn's sufferers the immune system isn't able to attack the infectious agent and kick it out. This is often compared to H.pylori (bacteria that causes stomach ulcers). Not everyone gets stomach ulcers, but I had a roommate back in college (early '80s) who had them. We ate and drank the same food--lived in the same house, but SHE got sick w/stomach ulcers and I did not. The doc who discovered H.pylori back in the early '90s won the Nobel Prize, I believe. He identified the nasty critter and what antibiotic killed it and, voila! no more stomach ulcers! Could this happen with CD? I hope so. I just worry, as the article mentioned above stated, that there is no $$$ in it for drug companies, so research may be extremely slow.

I don't know, though, if we should extrapolate and say that simply because the immune system doesn't handle bad bacteria in the intestines, that a person would be more susceptible to colds and flu (unless you're on immuno-suppressants, as Nanners pointed out). Again, doctors and scientists have barely scratched the surface with respect to understanding the immune system, so who knows?

Recent research on immunity does focus on proper intestinal flora, so taking probiotics may be helpful for your CD and help stave off colds and flu this season!
EMom

Grateful for everyone's help here!

Mother to 15 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Currently taking Asacol, omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium and a good multivitamin.

Started The Maker's Diet in early September.


JudyK89
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted Today 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
CCFA may no longer call it an autoimmune disease, but 3 paragraphs down it explains the "abnormal response by the body's immune system."  I believe the latest thinking is that it is a combination of an infectious agent (that may be different depending on the patient) and a genetic predispositions for an out of control immune response that causes inflammation which causes damage, etc. 
 
Drugs that target out immune response are working very well for a large section of CD patients but not everyone. 
 
So, I believe they still don't know, and it may be likely that cause and treatment will be different for different subsets of Cder's. 
 
Anyway, as far as being more likely to get a cold?  Probably doesn't make any difference, but as other posters have mentioned, the medications to suppress your immune response may make you more susceptible.  Personally, I rarely get colds, my immune system is pretty strong otherwise, although I shouldn't have said that because now I'll get a cold. 


Judy
Crohn's Disease   
 
 
 

Post Edited (JudyK89) : 12/5/2007 11:01:44 AM (GMT-7)


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted Today 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
HaHa Judy, thats my thought too. I say I rarely ever get colds and my first thought was "dummy, now you will get one just cuz you said you rarely do". HAHA!
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.


MikeB
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted Today 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm going to go with the widely held belief by most doctors (and I think they are still in the vast majority) who feel that Crohn's is as originally described, an excessive autoimmune response to what are probably several factors, including geentic predisposition and bacteria. There is always a theory out there that proposes a "magic bullet" cause (MAP being one) but I'm sorry, until there is real and conclusive evidence of same, I don't buy it. It's just too easy with something as complex and interconnected as the human immune system.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted Today 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I'm pretty sure the jury is still out on whether it's over-active or underactive regarding the immune system...I thought I just recently read that the long time theory of it being over-active was changed to under-active which is leading researchers down that path now.
 
see this link...
 
 
There is also this link...
 


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Post Edited (pb4) : 12/5/2007 1:08:09 PM (GMT-7)


Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted Today 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Not too long ago, doctors also said that ulcers were NOT caused by bacteria. Well, as research and common updated knowledge now says they were wrong. I think crohn's is caused by a bacterial infection and one day, they'll find the bacteria and cure us--or at least give us treatment that will really put us in remission.   Until then, remember to take your PRObiotics. They help fight and crowd out the bad bacteria.

As for our scarred, shorter, and damaged intestintes, there is no medical cure, unfortunately.

Roni

njmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted Today 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Traditionally, most doctors thought Crohn's was due to over-active immune systems.

However, in recent years doctors at the cutting edge of Crohn's research have found evidence that people with Crohn's actually have under-active immune systems.

Traditional knowledge about the immune system is like the dark ages compared to knowledge gathered in recent years. The link below is only one of the investigations providing evidence that Crohn's patients have under-active immune systems:

www.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTX031960.html
Daughter (20) Dx'd Crohn's 3/06. Misdiagnosed for two years, including by top pediatric Crohn's specialist as stress and needing more fiber but landed in hospital in 3/06 with cramps, vomiting, stricture. Now in remission with Entocort 3 mg (one pill), SCD multivitamin, yogurt, vit D3 1800IU, 900+ mg calcium, 50 mg B complex vit, 25 mg iron. No longer on SCD diet.   
 

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