Last week, I rolled up my sleeves, stuck out my arm, and got a flu shot. My work encourages the flu shot (and makes it very convenient to get), but my rheumatologist also suggested that I get one.
At my last appointment my rheumatologist and I talked about potentially putting me back on sulfasalazine or Humira. These drugs cause immunosupression. In other words, they disable the immune system which would healthy people recover quicker from the common cold.
Related: Rheumatology Appointment: 09/28/2017
However, in people with autoimmune disorders – like rheumatoid arthritis – the immune system is overactive and starts fighting itself. In order to keep the immune system from doing so, often immunosupression therapy is prescribed.
It’s not possible to stop the body from attacking itself without turning down the entire immune system, so my immune system (if I go back on drugs) would not be able to heal itself from the common cold or a scrape as easily as it should be.
Therefore, getting the flu shot each year is incredible important for me. Catching a cold could mean that I am out of commission twice as long as I normally would be. Not cool!
Have you gotten your flu shot yet?