Ulcerative Colitis flare from flu shot?

Posted by dval @dval, Oct 9, 2020

I’ve had UC for 3 years and finally reached remission for 13 months on Entyvio infusions. All other treatments had failed (oral and rectal mesalamine, oral and rectal budesonide. Oral prednisone was an effective bridge while transitioning to Entyvio. Remission started shortly after the loading doses. Also started a plant based diet at that time. I was doing great- even annual colonoscopy showed significant mucosal lining healing! Life was good and I was optimistic and hopeful for the first time in a long time (far cry from “fulminant” diagnosis in June 2019. Last Friday I had my annual flu shot and within 24 hours, I’m in a bloody flare after 13 months of remission!!! Nothing else has changed! GI doc has ordered blood and stool labs and I am devastated to be back in this all too familiar hell. I’ve read that there have been cases of people with UC flaring after getting a flu shot. I had never heard that and right now I just need some advice, support, hope…. Anyone ever had this experience??? Thanks!

If you don't tolerate flu shots there is an alternative- Tamiflu medication at first sign of suspected flu. Please check with your doctor if this would be a good plan.

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@kaforester3

I never would have thought to put the two together. It does make sense though, because I have Crohn’s Ilium and after the shot this year it caused me to go out of remission. I’m now dealing with severe diarrhea and going 6-8 times a day.

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Hi, just checking to see how you're doing. This is Day 19 of my "flu shot flare" and things just started to improve because of the recently prescribed prednisone. The steroid suppositories (7 days) did not stop the bleeding, nor did the oral budesonide, so GI doc brought in the big guns, but only for a short period of time, with tapering to begin within 7 days. Also wanted to let you know that he said the flare could absolutely have been brought on by the flu shot BUT only because there must have been some inflammation or immune activity going on at the time I got the shot. Evidently the immune system can only handle so many immune responses at a time. He also ordered a blood test that will check the trough level of the Entyvio I've been on for 15 months and see if there are antibodies. So, we'll see… IBD is a difficult and complex condition and challenging to treat and control. I hope you're feeling better and back in remission or on the way back to remission!!

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Hello I am so glad to see I am not the only one who has had this happen I was diagnosed with UC back in 2007 I get the flue shot that year for the first time then was diagnosed with UC cause that year I suffered from rectal bleeding. Then I went into remission for 5 years then got the flue shot again in 2012 and again another flare up then went I then I went into remission for 7 years clear and free then another flare up after getting flue shot cause my job became very pushy about us receiving it. I am wondering if I really have UC or is this just a reaction to the flue vaccine I have tried to talk to my doctor but they say it’s just a coincidence

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@sf000713

Hello I am so glad to see I am not the only one who has had this happen I was diagnosed with UC back in 2007 I get the flue shot that year for the first time then was diagnosed with UC cause that year I suffered from rectal bleeding. Then I went into remission for 5 years then got the flue shot again in 2012 and again another flare up then went I then I went into remission for 7 years clear and free then another flare up after getting flue shot cause my job became very pushy about us receiving it. I am wondering if I really have UC or is this just a reaction to the flue vaccine I have tried to talk to my doctor but they say it’s just a coincidence

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My understanding is that it wasn’t the flu shot itself, but rather the immune response that caused the flare. At this point, I am terrified to get the covid vaccine…. Questions: How were you diagnosed with UC? Colonoscopy? And what kept you in remission for years???? I have been in this wicked flare since October!! I have been in the hospital, have taken prednisone for months, am currently on Stelara and hydrocortisone enemas and absolutely miserable and still bleeding. This is a horrible, debilitating illness that has just taken so much from my life!!!! I honestly don’t know how much longer I can do this….

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