The latest flu season facts and autoimmune arthritis – A “must” readIf you have not had your flu shot yet, read this “hot off the press” news from the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting presented yesterday in San Diego, California:Temporary Methotrexate Discontinuation for 2 Weeks Improves Immunogenicity of Seasonal Influenza Vaccination in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial.People with rheumatoid arthritis who stop taking methotrexate treatment for just two weeks after they have a seasonal flu shot can improve the vaccine’s efficacy without increasing rheumatoid arthritis disease activity.
Arthritis can affect people all year round; however, the winter and wet weather months can make it harder to manage arthritis symptoms. Climate change can increase pain to joints.
According to Robert Jamison, Professor at the Harvard Medical School and chief psychologist at the Pain Management Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Chestnut Hill, the increased pain is caused by a change in barometric pressure. Jamison explains the impact of barometric pressure on the body by comparing it to a balloon: “When a balloon is inflated, it has the maximum inside and outside pressure. High barometric pressure that pushes against the body from the outside keeps tissues from expanding. As the barometric pressure fails, tissues in the body may expand. As the tissues expand, they put more pressure on nerves that control pain signals.”
There are several ways to survive the cold. Firstly, take care of your own health by getting a flu vaccine. Health Canada states the following:
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine, also known as a flu shot. Flu vaccine is safe and effective. You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Most people do not have reactions to the flu vaccine. Severe reactions are rare.
Getting a flu vaccine is a simple action that can save lives by:
- protecting you if you are exposed to the virus
- preventing you from getting very sick
- helping protect other people because you are less likely to spread the virus to others