flu shots and ibd

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 12/18/2009 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
i just read something interesting in another post:
j_web said...

Interestingly enough though, there are 2 different presentations on the effects of influenza shots on IBD patients. Since diagnosis in 2007, I have had 3 flu shots and each one has resulted in a flare within a few days.


has anyone else experienced this?? 

i never have until last week.  i get a regular flu shot every year and never have the least bit of a problem.  last friday, i got the H1N1 vaccine.  i had been having some abdominal pain that week, but felt like it was subsiding.  the night after the shot, i had chills and aches, thought it was just a lil reaction to the shot.. but the aches just kept getting worse.  the muscles in my back hurt so much i was writhing in pain and my fever got up to 101.  after the weekend, the back pain subsided and now my abdominal pain is worse than i have experienced before and in new areas of my abdomen, and still having some fevers.  granted, i did have to take advil for my back for a few days (alllergic to tylenol), but ive taken advil before with no problem.

unfortunately my doc is out of town til mon, so i have just been suffering.  i went to urgent care, but they said i wasnt having an acute exacerbation so no pain meds, they gave me a script for bentyl.. i took it for a day, but i knew it wouldnt help. the pain is not from spasms, its from inflammation and strictures.  i hate urgent care.

crohn's terminal ileum - 11 years
pentasa, entocort 3mg, b12, align, canasa
allergies: remicade, imuran, 6-mp, cipro

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/18/2009 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I had the H1N1 flu shot 2 weeks ago today. I only got a sore arm from it, nothing more. I am wondering if you had a flare brewing. These vaccines are dead virus', so I am not sure that it could cause a flare, but I guess it could be possible for some. Are you allergic to eggs?
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 12/18/2009 11:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I had my H1N1 last Saturday. I didn't so much as get a sore arm. As Nanners said, it is dead virus, so it may be that you already had something brewing.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 12/18/2009 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
yeah. i know it cant cause the flu cause its dead, and i probably did have something brewing. but you do mount an immune response to the shot- maybe activating the immune system more, increasing inflammation and exacerbating symptoms? just a thought.
crohn's terminal ileum - 11 years
pentasa, entocort 3mg, b12, align, canasa
allergies: remicade, imuran, 6-mp, cipro

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 12/18/2009 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I've never had a problem with any flu shots, just a sore arm. I agree that I'd be wondering if a flare was just coming anyway.

Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Celexa.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 12/18/2009 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Even with the dead virus, the flu shot, like any shot, can cause all sort of symptoms, including fever. THe following link describes some of the side effects:
THe following article discusses the high rate of allergic reactions to a "bad batch" of H1N1:
Also, the shot has components like an "adjuvant" which triggers inflammasomes at the intracellular level.
Since Crohn's is based mainly in the gut, and so is the immune system, then anything triggering an inflammatory response can certainly be problematic for a Crohn's patients. However, patients who are on immune suppresants like most traditional meds seem to have little choice but to get the shots, since they are already immuno-compromised.   
Daughter (22) Dx'd Crohn's 3/06. Misdiagnosed for two years, including by top pediatric Crohn's specialist as stress. No symptoms for the past two years. Recent colonoscopy shows stricture gone but still two spots of inflammation in TI. Used LDN to taper off Entocort. Was on Entocort since April 06. Never had D. 4.5 mg LDN, SCD multivit, homemade yogurt, 5000IU vit D3, 500 mg calcium, 27 mg iron, monthly B12 shots, daily oral B12 1000. SCD diet modified to include potatoes and rice. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 12/18/2009 5:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I think that the point of the presentations was about the immuno-response to the influenza virus (dead or alive). It seems to stir up enough response for a flare in many people.
CD since July 2007 - prenatal vitamins + extra vit. D, vit. C and iron, fish/flax oil, probiotics

Following excellent Omega-3 diet as per James Scala's 'The New Eating Right for the Bad Gut' - got me out of a flare.

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