I can't seem to catch a cold with SLE?

All the info I read seems to say we are at higher risk of infection, but since my lupus symptoms kicked off about 5 years ago, I've never had a cold. Even when everyone around me is sneezing & coughing. And even while on prednisolone & azathioprine.

Before that I used to catch everything that was going, & seemed to be constantly going from one cold or infection to another.

Has anyone else noticed this?

17 Replies

  • Hi

    I never had colds or flu before Lupus up till I was 48 I never had anything. I don't get colds but I get a lot of chest infections which I never use to. Keep well x :)

  • I didn't catch a cold for about 4 years but this year I got a corker lasted about 3 weeks still got the odd sniffle even now! so annoying! Hope you don't catch one this year stay well x

  • Hi Roobarb,

    I'm much the same, I rarely ever catch a 'normal' cold and rarely have since my health problems began around six years ago. My last cold was last December, which led to yet another bout of shingles.

    Now shingles is a different story - I usually get it 2-3 times a winter! :-S

  • Snap, i think i have had one cold in the last 8 years !!. unfortunately it knocked me for six, however i do seem to get a lot of water infections, my chilblains went really infected and i get a lot of white lumps on my tonsils.

  • Same here. I used to get every cold going but haven't had one in 4 years - though the last one I had was a real humdinger! Tiredmum - that's interesting as I also get regular bouts of white lumps on my tonsils and feel generally a bit below par at the same time. Likewise chilblain issues. x

  • I tend to get tonsillitis when everyone else gets a cold, I must get it about 6 times during the winter months. I always get a cold at the start of autumn which lasts about 3 weeks. and will also get stomach flu at least twice over the winter. however this year I have had a flu jab so hoping it will stay away. Haha just know now that I have said all that I will get the most horrific cold ever!!!

  • I noticed that, too, Especially at a time when everyone in my family was down, I didn't even sneeze. But I've one this year (the first in decades, I kid you not), about a month ago, it wasn't incredibly bad it left trace, cough and runny nose.

    What is the reason for that?

  • I don't get colds either. Or (sssssshhhh) flu - which is why I don't get the flu jab. (And just as Jemmyjemmem says, of course, I'll now get the mother of all flu bouts.)

    Could it be because our immune systems are whacky and, in some ways, OVERactive?

    Or do we actually 'express' colds and flu differently? i.e. we don't display the normal sneezy/coughy symptoms, we just feel 'under the weather' instead?

    My chest physician wouldn't believe there was an allergic component to my constant summer coughing (which last year was diagnosed in A&E as pneumonia) because I wasn't sneezing and spluttering. But my allergy test came back sky high. And my theory is that, because of Sjogren's and therefore lack of mucus anywhere, there's no way for my body to expel mucus, so it just does dry coughing instead.

  • Thanks for all your responses. It's really interesting & helpful to hear how everyone else is effected by their lupus. Your theory about an overactive immune systems seems to make sense, Coppernob. But I suppose if we do catch something, it's going to knock us for six. So it pays to take precautions & get the fu jab!!!

  • I hadn't had a cold (Pneumonia) in 5 years - then BAM!! Got a bad one 5 weeks ago and still have no voice!!! It has knocked the stuffing out of me...

    But water infections are my speciality - you have to be good at something :)


  • You lucky people!!! I get everything thats going round & can't get rid!! Flu/chest infection for the last 6 weeks (although coughing blood was short lived)

  • im the same as nan if someone sneezes by me i get it.

    ive recently got rid of a cold/virus/coughing blood, its taken me 5 weeks to get rid of it, doctor was as sympathetic as a brick.

  • I find it depends on how my SLE is at the time. When it's good my immune system is fantastic but when it starts to flare/in full flare/getting over a flare it knocks me 4 6 :0( Managed 14 solid years without getting ill (apart from gastro maybe twice) but now catch everything & anything. Enjoy it while it lasts, which will hopefully b 4 quite a while. Just keep doing what u're doing as it obviously works 4 u ;0)

  • Before I started prednisolone i used to get ill at least once during the winter. Then after a year of steroids i didnt get ill (flu etc) for nearly 15 years.

    Also i was the only person in my family NOT to suffer from hayfever. now that i am off sterioids i have noticed that i sneeze a whole lot more in the summer.

    i think that it was the predisolone that kept me ill free, as i it was doing the job that my own cells cant do and doing that job really well. Only after i had come off pred did i start getting flu etc again.

  • I've always wondered why I don't go down with colds when everyone around me is coughing and sneezing. Before I had my tonsils removed I'd get tonsilitis instead. Now if I do go down with anything, it's a chest infection. Wonder if there's anything in this?

  • I was saying this in anather post that if your immune system is overactive it kilss everything..i suppose there are also the drugs doing their stuff

  • I was constantly sick with pneumonias, bronchitis, pleurisy, sinusitis, etc and now I can't even catch a sniffle.

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