Fighting viruses

Im new to lupus and thank you all for your help and knowledge!
I was wondering how well you do when you get sick? I’ve always had a hard time fighting sickness and get things longer and worse than my family. I now have a terrible cold that I can’t shake and it’s making my pain flare. It’s so hard! I have a husband and four busy kids that are wonderful and helpful but sickness really sets me back. Is that normal?

Wash your hands like crazy. Like every half hour and always before you eat and after using a shopping cart. Take a multi and extra vutamin C and D3. When you have a cold or virus, get those zinc losenges and drink chicken soup. Avoid sugar, sodas and junk food always. Get your 7 or 8 hours of sleep nightly. Use a low dose Melatonin tablet if necessary.

I have the same issue. A simple cold turns into a long drawn out sickness. A lot of times it turns into some type of infection, and I have to go on antibiotics. Our immune systems are very low. Unfortunately, there is not much to do about it but to try and avoid germs and get as much rest at possible. It can cause flares too. I always have lysol and emergency-c on hand. Good luck!

I’m prone to the same thing. No cold lasts a few days or a week…more like weeks to months. I try to stay away from anyone exhibiting symptoms…as said above, wash hands and kep them away from your nose,
eyes and mouth.

Hi Crystal,

Getting sick is certainly more challenging with Lupus - whatever you get stays longer and is more likely to develop into something worse because of our compromised immune systems.

Here's what I've done to stay healthy:

  • At the first sign of a cold (tickle in throat, sneezing, being around kids with colds) I start drinking "Throat Coat" tea. You can find it in the natural food section of most grocerys. Along with that I start sucking on Hall's Vitamin C throat drops. These two things seem to help me stop the infection before it takes hold.
  • Avoid sick people! That's not always possible, so if you end up being close to someone with a cold, stay as far away as you can, don't touch anything the person touched and wash your hands. Washing your hands frequently is one of the best defenses. If you know you're going to be around people who are potentially sick, don't be embarrassed to get some isolation masks at the pharmacy and wear one.
  • If you get sick, watch yourself carefully. If that cold feels like its going into your chest and you're getting a fever - don't hesitate to go to the doctor. I waited too long last year and ended up with pneumonia that would have been milder if I had been started on antibiotics earlier.
  • Rest, rest rest! Sleep helps. When I don't feel good I just sleep and sleep. Listen to your body and rest when it tells you to. I used to be one who rarely got sick and just powered through anything I got. No more!
  • Get your vaccines! Im not sure I understand why they work with us but they do. This year 2/4 people in my house got the flu and they had not had flu shots. I did and my granddaughter did - and we did not get it! Vaccines work! I also get the pneumonia vaccine.

Melatonin was mentioned above - check with your doctor before taking that because it is an immune system booster and all of our meds are suppressing the immune system. I've read that melatonin is not recommended for Lupus patients.

Good luck!


Yes, this is lupus…I am in a flare and feel horrible, I’m sure it is a cold, but my body is fighting it. I just wish the cold would come on…lol

I haven’t had any major colds or anything yet, since my diagnosis. But since I teach I started taking vitamin C as soon as I was diagnosed to ward off the nice snot germs. So far so good!! I would try it if I were you, it was recommended that I take it!

I had been sick since new Years and the head cold turned into the chest. I was taking a decongestant and expectorant for a week then last week I couldn’t get up out of the chair. My lupus flare hit my knees. They were swollen and the dr put me on prednisone for 5 days. Today is the last dose along with antibiotic. Tomorrow I’m scheduled for my benlysta infusion. Let’s see how I do this time. Hope I don’t have bad side affects from being sick.

Seems as if I get sick and it takes longer to get over. Or it morphs into something else. I try to avoid becoming ill as much as possible, but when it happens, I grin and bear it. Helps to get plenty of fluids, sleep, and a little prednisone burst helps too :wink:

HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome to the family and Hope that you ENJOY all / everything thing (information) here with us Living with LUPUS !!! To get to the answer of you question , Is this is normal for us that suffer with LUPUS ! And it is hard at times to take yourself out of the real world of LIVING NORMAL , but you have to know that your condition has MANY FLAWS . Don't expect that there is going to bright day's all the time BECAUSE there is not ( but it is happy one's ). The Pain can become very nerve wrecking , and you can have moments of depression that will last for days at a time , this is not meant to scare you but to help you . Having LUPUS for 4year's Feb. , if it had not been for the day i was at my doctor office to get my results and this lady of mercy said try this site (Living with . Crystal, i don't know where i would be at this MOMENT . Since that day this site has BEEN MY FAMILY of COMFORT . And passing this knowledge to you , We are here for you at anytime(24-7-365) and if you want to personally talk add me as a friend and i will eccept ... Beverly L.

P.S. you also stay away from people that have cold's ( yes! That is hard ) Lysol helps me alot - spray your home down b4 people that don't live with you and also when they leave that help you with GERMS ) , this work GRREAT for me these 4year's .... Beverly L.

I have to take more things than most people. I have to take 50 mg zinc probiotics and apple cider vinegar to flush out all the mucous lupus ppl get more mucouse than others

Thank you everyone! I take lots of vitamins but this sickness is still hanging on and making me hurt. Glad to see that its normal. And yes, no cold lasts a week but instead, weeks. Its frustrating. I might see my doctor next week if I'm not better by then.

Someone else mentioned Probiotics and I too think that has helped me, when I remember to take them regularly. Also, staying away from folks with active colds, viruses, etc.

I greatly reduced my cold/viruses and sinus infections (I had about nine sinus infections, several colds and two bouts of bronchitis in 2013) to no colds, one or two sinus infections and no cases of bronchitis in 2014 by doing the things I mentioned and I personally think the main thing was washing my hands a LOT.

Another little tip…I keep Wet wipes in my purse. I wipe down my area of the table when I go out to eat and then use another one and carefully wash my hands. If it’s a nice restaurant, I go to the bathroom and scrub my hands. I use the wipes on shopping carts and then the second I get back in my car, wash my hands carefully with another wipe and throw it out.

I think the washing of hands, plus all these little rid bits of advice mentioned in these posts …really adds up. I know this stuff has been helpful for me. Good luck, I know it is very hard and I strongly suspect just having an AI makes recuperation harder/longer.

To avoid getting sick,
wash hands every time tyou walk into your house, with soap and hot water (using wipes when outside is a good idea, Nomad)
Don’t touch your face, eyes and who mouth epecially in grocery or pharmacy and wash hands asap
Get flu shots
I walked out of the pharmacy once when there was a kid whooping. Don’t get near sick people
To get well
Zinc lozenges really work
Sudafed (loosens mucus)
Hot liquids, including lemonade
Don’t take anything that dries up mucus, it will lead to sinus problems
Vitamin C is okay, but zinc is better,
I don’t get well for weeks either.
These rules a got me though 6 years working next to a preschool + sharing a printer with preschool.

Whatever you do Crystal, don’t go to a hospital for a appointment, that is the sickest place in town…

I know how you feel...last week I got a UTI which came with the wonderful symptoms of feeling like I had to go constantly, extreme back pain, nausea, chills, and a fever so I went to the doctor and got an antibiotic which I had a reaction to. A lot of antibiotics that didn't bother me before seem to have a reaction now. They make my joints, tendons, and muscles really hurt. Sometimes I feel like it's just in my head...why could I take a certain antibiotic before lupus and be okay and now have such a bad reaction...but I do so I have to be careful what I take. I know my normal pains I guess so the pains I get from certain medications are different than my everyday lupus pains.

And on top of a nasty infection, antibiotic reaction, I came down with the flu too....of course this all starts the first week back to school. But, the only thing you can do is rest. And if you do start to feel better make sure you don't over do it, take it slow. When I'm sick I think of my body like a fragile butterfly in it's cocoon and when I get the lupus or the infection under control and calm it down a bit I don't want to take off like a bat out of hell....I just need to slowly ease out of my bed or "cocoon" and slowly ease myself back into daily routines. No big projects, prioritize the most important things you put off when you were sick, but your body's still recovering so I try not to send it into a shock by doing too much again.

I wanted to report that after the Benlysta infusion and taking the antibiotics helped. The issues in my chest went away and I slept for one day straight. I've been healthy from virus/cold and hoping I won't relapse. So far, so good. I hope you all find wellness as good as you can get.

Poker Face said:

I had been sick since new Years and the head cold turned into the chest. I was taking a decongestant and expectorant for a week then last week I couldn't get up out of the chair. My lupus flare hit my knees. They were swollen and the dr put me on prednisone for 5 days. Today is the last dose along with antibiotic. Tomorrow I'm scheduled for my benlysta infusion. Let's see how I do this time. Hope I don't have bad side affects from being sick.

Hi Crystal,

I'm sorry that your illness is hanging on for so long! That's the pits! So much harder when you have a hubby and kids to care for. I am getting the flu right now, I think, after not getting it for many years (good past flu shots.) So I'll keep an eye on it to see if it takes longer than normal to get rid of. It's better to give you up-to-date data than rely on my sketchy memory.

Bu meanwhile I hope you've kicked it by now!

I am going on a week and half now, so the flu will probably finish off, when I finish the antibiotics. It feels more like a sinus infection now, then the flu, my temp is back to it’s normal erratic self. BTW I have one of those infrared Exergen thermometers, (as seen on TV)they are handy to minitor my temperature during the day. I have been getting cold feet, alternating with hot feet, I checked the Basel temperature of the soles of my feet when they were cold, they measured 69 degrees, no wonder they feel cold!
Hope you feel better soon!