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Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Azathioprine and cold prevention


05-08-2014, 08:45 AM   #1
leylap
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: united kingdom, wirral
Azathioprine and cold prevention

Hello all.
My name is Pete and I've just joined the forum looking for some advice.
I have had ulcerative colitis(proctitis) for about 12 years now. I have had various treatments for my many flare ups over the years, including steroids oral and enema backed up with mesalazine(asacol or mezavant). I had a good period of remission for over 2 years, but this ended when I started a stressful new job in 2010. The result of stress and daft working hours gave me my worst ever flare up when I was rushing to the loo more than 24 times a day. My previous meds had no effect on this flare up, and my consultant eventually put me on azathioprine and 4 x 1200mg mezavant tabs per day. This quickly brought the flare back under control, in conjunction with me resigning from my job and taking early retirement. I have now been taking azathioprine and 2 x 1200mg mezavant for just over 2 years and the coltis is now completely under control thankfully.
I have my blood checked every 3 months and things seem fine but the one downside is that I am constantly picking up cold infections, with each one separated by only a couple of days. I am now on my 6 th cold since Xmas and its only may. I have talked to varips medical people and browsed the web, and have been told to avoid immune system boosters such as echinacea which seem to help. Has anyone out there experienced this problem and has found a solution to picking up infections so easily?
Any advice would be gratefully accepted!
Pete
05-08-2014, 10:34 AM   #2
theOcean
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Glad to hear going on Azathioprine was able to get your health back under control!

Is your white blood cell count too low on it, though? I would worry you're too immunosuppressed from what you've said here. And your internet searching sounds about right -- there's a lot of conflicting information out there on whether or not we benefit from immune boosters, and even within the forum we haven't seemed to form a consensus on it. If you're able to, I would recommend talking to your GI about how you're getting sick all the time and see what they recommend.

In terms of infection prevention, I'm pretty obsessive about keeping clean. I wash my hands constantly, refuse to touch things out in public (gloves or excess clothing help me when I have to) and possibly carrying a hand sanitizer with you might help. I also avoid people I can tell are sick.

I personally found that I got sick less since being put on immunosuppressants. Before I was put on them, I was constantly getting sick, too. Now that I'm on them, I haven't gotten sick once.
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05-08-2014, 11:30 AM   #3
valleysangel92
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Hello there

Do you know how your white blood cell count is doing at the moment? What about your vitamin C? Not having enough of either of these could be contributing to your lack of immunity.

There was a patch where I had colds pretty much constantly for 3-4 months and I wasn't even on immunosuppressive medication at the time, so it's not always a direct result of the medication.

Unfortunately, you will be exposed to germs when you go out, there isn't much that you can do about that, but you can make sure that you wash your hands properly before you eat and try to encourage contagious family members to keep their distance.

I don't know about immune boosters, but taking simple vitamin C supplements or maybe drinking orange juice (if you can tolerate it) might help boost things. Also, if you can tolerate lemon juice, I find that a little bit of that mixed with a spoonful of honey made into a drink with hot water helps me to shift colds and sore throats quicker.
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coeliac disease/Osteopenia /Crohns/Arthritis/
laperoscopic hemicolectomy 25/06/ 2013

Meds- Vedolizumab, sulfasalazine, Lansoprazole, Vitamin D, prochlorperazine, Oramorph, MST, B12 shots My journey with crohns: http://glutenfreecookiemonster.wordpress.com/

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05-09-2014, 06:48 AM   #4
leylap
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: united kingdom, wirral
Thanks for the replies.....
In answer to your questions, my white cell count is OK, and my hygiene is very good, but I don't take any vitimin supplements such as vitamin c. Avoiding sick people isn't an option for me either as I help to look after my 2 young grandchildren. I think that my constant cold infections recently are coming from now being exposed to the tiny community. I don't hide away in an office any more! That's really why I am asking if anyone has any good cold prevention cures or remedies.
I have a further complication in that my colitis has also damaged the aortic valve in my heart which will require replacing fairly soon. I don't need any medication for this due to being reasonably fit all my life, but its a further pyscological blow that took me several years to come to terms with. Other than that I try to keep fit and healthy in an effort to make the best of things, and this seems to be an approach that works for me.
Thanks for the advice,
Pete.
05-09-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
theOcean
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My father and grandmother both dealt with aortic stenosis. My father's is very mild and is mostly due to age and is fine, but my grandmother got hers replaced recently and it was actually really easy! And she's 82. So it's not too worrisome these days, really. I know it's a bit scary, but you'll be fine.
05-09-2014, 05:21 PM   #6
hawkeye
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Thanks for the replies.....
Avoiding sick people isn't an option for me either as I help to look after my 2 young grandchildren. I think that my constant cold infections recently are coming from now being exposed to the tiny community.
This could be a lot of it. My little guy is in daycare and I ocasionally have more than one cold per year. Before kids it was just one a year.
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