Influenza vaccination is safe and effective for fibromyalgia patients. The flu shot is widely recommended by many health authorities as a means of preventing influenza, as it sometimes can contribute to life-threatening consequences. It has been questioned whether the flu shot could cause or exacerbate fibromyalgia. The study evaluated the effectiveness of the flu shot in 19 fibromyalgia patients along with 38 healthy individuals.
The researchers concluded that the flu shot is not only safe but effective, too, in fibromyalgia patients, similarly to its effectiveness in other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
The authors concluded, “Despite debate in the literature regarding the role of vaccinations in many connective tissue disorders, vaccinating FMS [fibromyalgia syndrome] patients against influenza is both safe and effective.”
Fibromyalgia and the flu: What you should know
Contracting the flu is kind of like a game of the Russian roulette – not everyone will get it, but why would you want to chance it? For that reason, it is best to get the flu shot as a means of reducing your risk of influenza.
In fibromyalgia, a person experiences a greater sensitivity to pain all over the body. If a fibromyalgia patient develops the flu, this pain gets amplified even more, causing greater discomfort.
In a healthy individual, flu recovery is much quicker than in a fibromyalgia patient, so it’s of greater importance that fibromyalgia patients receive the flu shot.
As the above study shows, receiving the flu shot is safe for fibromyalgia patients, and there is no evidence that the flu shot would contribute to fibromyalgia flares.
One thing to consider is, the needle itself may cause more pain in fibromyalgia patients – compared to healthy individuals – as they already have a greater sensitivity to pain.
Tips to avoid the flu with fibromyalgia
Avoiding the flu with fibromyalgia involves the same healthy practices as avoiding the flu without the condition. Here are some tips to better help you avoid the flu.
- Get the flu shot.
- Wash your hands properly and frequently.
- Cover your cough or sneezes.
- Ensure you are getting plenty of rest and proper sleep as poor sleep contributes to a weaker immune system.
- Eat well and ensure you’re getting all the required nutrients your body needs to fend off illness.
- Stay away from others who are visibly sick.
By following these tips, you can have greater success at lowering your risk of contracting the flu.