I have a quick question, when the immune system is suppressed does this make it easier for you to get sick from others? Do we need to do anything special? I know with Bronchiectasis I really dont need to do anything just make sure Im not to much around sick people. But now I run in and out of hospitals constantly. For myself and family members. Any suggestions? Does suppression make it easier to get sick?

20 Replies

  • Hi as I understand it yes, u need to be extra careful, as hospital states good hand hygiene is a good start soap and water is best but carry a small bottle of hand gel to use when out, and stay away from people u know are sick. Hope this helps. X Sonia x

  • Yes. Suppressed or low immune system makes you vulnerable for catching anything going and not much to fight the bugs once you get them.

    I'd take extra Vit c with zinc the second you feel 'off'.

    Invest in antibacterial hand gel (with moisturiser)!

    Also good is Boots Cold an Flu Defence, a little anti bacterial nasal spray. I use it before, during and after going anywhere near somewhere like a hospital. I used it today by Tescos pharmacy when a lady was coughing a spluttering beside me (I also made a swift sideways leap) . P

  • don't you just LOVE it when people cough and splutter and don't use a hankie (what is that they would probably ask!) or a tissue to cover their mouths......hmmph :x

  • Yeah, abso-bloomin-lootly. I had a big hug with an 8 year old earlier today. Five minutes later his mum, my niece, said Arthur stop sniffing with that cold, get a tissue.... bit late for me though. Grrrr

  • Oh no that's not good..let's hope it don't find a home with you.

  • Yes, very much so, it's important to find the balance between keeping yourself safe and hiding yourself away. I was told to steer clear of people with chicken pox and to inform your friends then they can let you know of they have any bugs etc. also good to get a flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccine if you are eligible.

    I get infections all the time as I have no immune system to speak of now, I have to have blood tests monthly to pick up on early signs and I have an emergency pack of antibiotics in case I start when I'm away from home or at weekend. Speak to ypur consultant or GP about it.

    Hope you keep well x

  • Hi Mrs Shimmy

    I too have been told to report any contact with chicken pox-measles etc because of vulnerability caused through use of steroids and azathioprine. Because I am 70 I have just had a letter offering an anti-shingles vaccine. Think I probably need to check this is suitable for me.


  • Yes,you must be extra careful.Good advice above,try & miss crowded places,when possible,or if you have to be there,try wearing a mask! xxx

  • Wendell, I go to church every Sunday and a coffee morning during the week. I can't see myself wearing a mask. A mask gets wet with your own breathing out and soon become inefficient. Best to have a throw away hanky and renew it as soon as you feel it's becoming wet

  • Shirley did the consultant you see for your bronchiectasis send you to an immunologist?


  • I'm in us. I am seeing a gi specialist..Wed is my biopsy..then follow up for bronchiectasis is being treated along with my Mac disease, my blood work came out positive ana..and pcb

  • Or at least a Heamatologist, which tests the full blood count.

  • This was found out through a GI specialist..pulmonary never did blood work for anything but liver..not sure why.

  • You guys have so great advice..lungs acting up today...such a broken body..

  • Good luck for Wednesday hun. It is surpising, or perhaps not how many of us are under multiple consultants. Sorry you are having a rough day. Hopefully you will feel a little better tomorrow. love cx

  • Shirley, when you say suppressed, I think of my illness where my white blood cells count is severely diminished (technical term neutropoenia, or lack of neutrophils, which is a type of white blood cells). This is a medical condition with which I'm affected. The doctor (haematologist or blood doctor) has prescribed a cell growth stimulating factor which I take on a regular basis. I have it monitored closely.

    Are you sure you mean it in this way? To answer your question, yes I am vulnerable to any passing bug. It's almost impossible to fend them off. But You have to ask yourself if this really your condition. Your doctor would have a full blood count and would notice the defficiency.

  • helingmic

    Some of us have lung problems caused by our own overactive immune systems (white blood cells). Part of our treatment is aimed at damping down our immune systems by drugs such as azathioprine in order to reduce the chance of inflammation and lung scaring. Of course this means we are much more vulnerable to catching infections from those around us.


  • Maggie, this is interesting. while I lack white blood cells, you have some in excess. An imbalance leads to vulnerability. I only cope with it because I receive some stimulating factor that increase the ammount of white blood cells. but the opposite, of course, is just as problematic. How do you cope with this then? You say with drugs that dampen the superproduction. would you not be at least protected by this amount of white blood cells.

    My problem is that I don't thik I can make any antigens, so an infection for me is always a new threat.

  • Like Mrs Shimmy I take steroids all the time and have an emergency supply of anti-biotics that I take as soon as I get an infection. I do take as many precautions as possible to avoid infections. I have ended up twice in hospital with pneumonia for two weeks - needed three different anti-biotics to control it then and never got my lung capacity back to where it was before the infection.


  • I'm sorry to hear this. Last autumn, I was in hospital with pneumonia and TB. last march, I had pneumonia and Pseudomonas! But,, I grit my teeth and go to the gym. This helps me maintain my fitness. but it doesn't protect me against illness.

    I shall be doubly cautious this year. I have taken Vit C plus zinc which is supposed to enhance the immune system.But with my problem I don't know if that will work! Keep hoping, keep living!

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