supporting immune system while on Remicade.

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mjw82704
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 2/24/2009 2:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Okay so I am nervous about my immune system on the Remicade. Anyone have any advice on healthy things I can do to support my immune system a little while the Remicade is knocking it down?
Female Currently Breastfeeding (All my meds are approved by the doc. for breastfeeding but they still make me nervous)
Left-sided colitis diagnosed at age 28 in 2001
3.5mg Low Dose Naltrexone, Prednisone 15mg and tapering,Zoloft,Prenatal vitamins,Juice Plus,Expecta DHA,Emergen C,Probotic Just ordered VSL $$$$$and Udo's Oil when I remember:(


dodge08
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 2/24/2009 7:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I would love to know this as well!! I'm fighting a lung infection while on Remicade-- I know there is the basics stay away from sick people, get enough sleep, but is there anything else?
Male 38, diagnoised in 1998, first major flare in November 2008, have had 2 remicade infusions
have used pentesa, safolack pills, and enema's.
currently decreasing predisone, take folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, HMP powder and a multi vitamin


Fire&Earth
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/24/2009 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   

When I first started taking remicade I also started taking Echinacea to help boost my immue system.  This first year was rough because the remicade completely knocked out my immune system and I caught everything that I went near and I wasn't even working at the time.  After the first year my immune system started to recover and I don't get as sick as often partly because of the Echinacea.

One thing you have to be carefully of though is the Chicken Pox or other Virus you had as a child that you should get again, because now you can.  I have had a few minor Chicken pox scares, but if I think I have been exposed I need to see my doctor asap for a shot. 

Also the flu shot, you can't get it 10 prior or 10 days after, typically I don't get the flu shot in the first place, but you need to be aware of when your vaccinations are done.  I have had to miss infusions due to viruses so be aware of your medical issues at all times.

Good luck and I hope remicade helps you.


Sarah
 
Mommy to Ethan April 2007, my remicade baby.
Diagnosed in January 2007
Remicade since February 2007 every 6 weeks
Likely never to achieve remission and to be on remicade for life
Due October 2009.


Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 2/24/2009 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Your best line of defense is to wash those hands and keep them away from your mouth, eyes, nose, and ears. My other handy item is Zicam. It seems to help; every year I usually get something, but it's less severe if I keep the Zicam up. Also, I drink those little probiotic drinks; Yakult, DanActive, or GoodBelly...not sure if those help, but I believe that probiotics help to keep things in check too. Keep the fluids going through your system; I drink lots of good water...of course use your good judgement. Hope this helps. Oh yes, and the flu shot!

Carol

Remicade - will have my 27th infusion on March 19 Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 2/24/2009 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
this is a strange issue- I thought about taking some sort of immune booster myself, what with the high doses of both Remicade & Imuran. But then, I thought about how UC is an auto-immune disorder, with your immune system going into overdrive (I do believe this- not looking to debate the how's & why's of UC). So wouldn't you think that takng something to amp it up might be counter-productive? Or, the whole point of these meds you're taking is to tamp down your immune system, so if you took an immune booster, could it possibly affect how your meds work? Anyway, I decided to do nothing! I do wash my hands TONS of times a day- I also wipe down phones, computers, doorknobs, etc. with disinfectant wipes. Mainly just this time of the year- I'm not so germ-phobic in the Summer! But I have to say, I don't think I've gotten colds more often, or minor health issues. The only health problem I've had since starting on heavy-duty UC drugs is pneumonia, 2x. But day to day I'm pretty healthy.



diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Culturelle
Fiber supplement
 
 
 


Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 2/24/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Eva Lou; I can't really tell you why, but this is what works for me. I know you've mentioned this in the past, but hey, if it works at keeping me from getting the cold and missing my remi infusion, then I'm all for it. I understand that now we have pink eye going around the office; yuck.  

Carol

Remicade - will have my 27th infusion on March 19 Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 2/24/2009 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   
hey, I'll take pink eye anyday over the flu or a viral infection! We've got both those going round my office, not to mention all the sick patients coming in. It's totally gross. I had a mini panic attack this AM, because I have an infusion tomorrow, & was sure when I woke up today I was getting *something*.... turned out to be the usual morning grogginess & grumpiness, but for a few minutes there I was contemplating rescheduling the infusion.

diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Culturelle
Fiber supplement
 
 
 


Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 2/24/2009 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I hear ya! I get a little over-zealous about being around germy stuff just before my infusion. I suppose it's because I fear not having it and feeling like I did when I was so sick. I kow it's a little crazy, but hey, we are human!

Carol

Remicade - will have my 27th infusion on March 19 Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


WishfulMA
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 2/24/2009 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a great thread! I was going to post the same question in regards to 6MP. I am sitting here feeling like I am about to get strep throat. I am trying to wash my hands all the time...but ultimately I am scared I am going to pick up every disease out there :(

Any advice??
severe ulcerative proctitis - march 05 diagnosed
proctosigmoiditis - january 09 diagnosed
hospitalized - 3/08 for 6 days of IV steriods
hospitalized - 1/09 for 5 days of IV steriods / put on 6MP
past meds: colozol, sulfasalzine, hydrocortisone enemas, canasa, rowasa and prednisone 
current meds: 6MP (75mgs), Asacol 12 pills,  Rowasa Enema, Primal Defense Ultra Probiotic, fish oil, calcium w/ vitamin d 2x a day, prenatal vitamin & extra vitamin c and b12.
 
 


neednewbody
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 2/24/2009 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
this is so strange. I was on remicade for about 2 yrs and I am also on Prograf (immunosuppressant for liver transplant) and I never got sick (sniffles)
I didnt make a conscious effort to avoid germs.. I am a pharmacist so I am around germs all the time. I just make sure I get enough rest.
Liver transplant 2004 -- liver is only healthy part of me
Prograf 1mg bid for transplant
 
humira started dec/09
Remicade - stopped - d/c dec/09 
pentasa 1500mg tid
palafer once daily
lomotil every day as needed -- which is basically every day
immodium every day as needed -- which is basically every other day
metamucl with psyllium - once a day
 


dakotagirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 2/24/2009 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Most of your immune system is in your gut - so when your guts are off, your immune system will be too. I make sure to take my probiotics and vitamins, wash, wash, wash my hands, and stay away from sick people. Sleep is important too - I seem to get the sickest when I'm tired.

So, since the immunosuppresants have been keeping my gut in check (most of the time) I haven't had as many colds, etc.

Hydration and eating well are important too.

Just my take on it.
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia (hip and spine) diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Remission
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 50mg, Aciphex, Effexor XR, Forvia, Fibercon, and Culturelle
Remicade: 1st infusion 06/17/08:  Next infusion: end of March or early April
Last Prednisone dose:  7/15/08
 
Co-Moderator UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:  www.healingwell.com/donate

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