Flu Shot Side Effects : What’s Normal And What’s Cause For Concern
All vaccines have the potential to cause side effects, and that includes your yearly flu shot. But most are totally normal.
The coronavirus is still a very real concern this fall, but so is the influenza virus, aka the flu. The good news is we have very safe and effective tools for fighting and preventing both potentially deadly viruses, thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines and the flu vaccine.
According to the CDC, flu shots are safe and one of the best ways to keep from getting and spreading the flu to others. And people who get vaccinated and get sick anyway often experience less severe symptoms. If you’re thinking of getting vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu, the CDC says it is safe to get both vaccines together .
The simple fact is, flu vaccines can save lives. There are plenty of myths out there about the flu vaccine, such as the idea that it can give you the flu. While that’s not true, you can experience some side effects from the flu shot. The side effects are usually mild and nothing to worry about, but it’s important to know about them so you’re not worried when you get your vaccine.
Below, Dr. Carmen Teague, specialty medical director at Atrium Health‘s Mecklenburg Medical Group shares what you need to know about common flu shot side effects that are normal, and which side effects may be a sign of something more serious.
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Can Other Illnesses Raise Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can result from many different conditions and diseases. These can include diabetes, kidney disease, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis and even pregnancy.
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston reported in the May 15, 2009 issue of PLoS Pathogens, that mice who had been infected with cytomegalovirus were likely to experience high blood pressure. CMV is actually a grouping of viruses that infects humans and other animals, including mice. It attacks cells in various organs of the body. CMV infection is wide spread in the human population, affecting some 60 to 99 percent of adults worldwide.
The infection increases the activity of renin, an enzyme that is associated with high blood pressure. It also increases angiotensin 11, a protein associated with high blood pressure.
- High blood pressure can result from many different conditions and diseases.
- The infection increases the activity of renin, an enzyme that is associated with high blood pressure.
Flu Vaccines For People With Diabetes
- Injectable influenza vaccines are recommended for use in people with diabetes and certain other health conditions. Flu shots have a long, established safety record in people with diabetes.
- The live attenuated influenza vaccine , also known as the nasal spray vaccine, is recommended as an option for use in people 2 through 49 years old who are not pregnant. But people with some chronic medical conditions should generally not received LAIV. Your doctor or other health care professional can answer any questions you might have about flu vaccine.
Get pneumococcal vaccines.
- Having flu increases your risk of getting pneumococcal disease. Pneumonia is an example of a serious complication that can cause death.
- People who have diabetes also should be up to date with pneumococcal vaccination to help protect against pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal vaccination should be part of a diabetes management plan. Talk to your health care provider to find out which pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for you.
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Diabetes And Flu Medication
Some over-the-counter flu medication is suitable for people with diabetes.
Some over-the-counter flu medication will be more suitable for people with diabetes than others.
For instance, some flu medications contain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofe, which are not usually recommended for people with diabetes because they may slightly increase the risk of heart problems and stroke
A number of flu medications may contain a relatively high level of sugar which could present a certain amount of increased difficulty with managing blood sugar levels. Lower sugar versions should usually be available and your pharmacist should be able to help you to pick an appropriate medication.
Remember, flu medication only treats the symptoms whilst the body recovers.
What Causes High Blood Pressure To Rise Higher
Many things can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure. It can be as simple as a visit to your doctor’s office. This type of blood pressure rise is called “white-coat hypertension. “
Another contributory factor to a temporary rise in blood pressure is weather. Blood pressure is naturally higher in winter and lower in summer.
Cold weather causes blood vessels to narrow, constricting blood flow and increasing blood pressure. And illness, particularly illness that is accompanied by fever and infection, can also contribute to a sudden rise in blood pressure.
- Many things can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure.
- Cold weather causes blood vessels to narrow, constricting blood flow and increasing blood pressure.
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Flu & People With Diabetes
People with diabetes , even when well-managed, are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, which can result in hospitalization and sometimes even death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. In recent seasons, about 30% of adults hospitalized with flu reported to CDC had diabetes. Flu also can make chronic health problems like diabetes worse because these conditions can make the immune system less able to fight off infections. Furthermore, acute illnesses like flu can make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Flu may raise your blood sugar levels, but sometimes people dont feel like eating when they are sick and a reduced appetite can cause blood sugar levels to fall. It is important for people with diabetes to follow the sick day guidelines if they become ill.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes . More than 100 million Americans are living with diabetes or prediabetes .
Cold And Flu Medications Can Increase Blood Pressure
If youre ringing in the holidays with a cold or the flu, you should know that over-the-counter drugs taken to control the symptoms can also raise blood pressure and strain the kidneys.
The culprits? Pseudoephedrine and other cold medicine ingredients that may increase blood pressure.
The flu can have serious health risks for people with high blood pressure, and patients with cardiovascular disease are more likely to die from influenza than patients with any other chronic condition, according to the American Heart Association. While controlling the symptoms is important, so is knowing the potential side effects.
Cold and flu medications can increase blood pressure, especially in people already struggling to control it, said Willie E. Lawrence, Jr. M.D., chief of cardiology at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri and a spokesman for the American Heart Association.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, strikes one in three U.S. adults and is often called a silent killer because there are usually no symptoms.
Patients should be aware of the list of things that we know can cause an elevation in blood pressure, Lawrence said. That includes talking to a doctor to decide whether certain products should be avoided, used with caution or used briefly. It also means that those with high blood pressure should tell their doctors about every over-the-counter medication or supplement they take for more than a few days, Lawrence said.
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Testing When Youre Sick
While monitoring your blood glucose levels is always advised, its especially important when you are sick because your blood sugar can change quickly.
When you are sick, you should:
- Check your blood sugar every four hours to make sure its within the normal range and not dipping or spiking into dangerous levels.
- Take your temperature at least every morning and evening to check for signs of fever, which could mean an infection. Get immediate medical care if your temperature is over 101 degrees for 24 hours.
- Losing weight without trying while sick can be a sign of high blood sugar. Weigh yourself or have someone else weigh you once a day.
- People with type 1 diabetes need to check their ketones while they are sick to monitor their risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. If you have ketones in your urine or blood, it is considered a medical emergency.
A Flu Vaccine Is The Best Protection Against Flu
Flu vaccination is especially important for people with diabetes because they are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Because flu vaccines are updated each season to keep up with changing viruses and immunity provided by flu vaccination decreases over time, annual vaccination is recommended for the best protection against flu. Flu vaccines protect against the four flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. More information on why flu vaccines may be updated annually is available: Vaccine Virus Selection, as well as this seasons exact vaccine composition. Flu vaccines for the upcoming season have been updated to better match the viruses that are expected to circulate. Immunity from flu vaccination sets in after about two weeks after getting vaccinated.
- Flu vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of getting sick with flu as well as reduce the risk of having a serious flu outcome like a stay in the hospital or even being admitted to the intensive care unit .
CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year, ideally by the end of October.
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Others Who Are At Risk
Beyond the concerns for people with cardiovascular issues, DePalma said the 2017 guidelines also outlined that even otherwise healthy people could be at risk for heart attacks and strokes from these medications.
She said that about 5 percent of people on these drugs experienced higher blood pressure even if they had no past history.
People who dont have known problems should use caution if they have other risk factors, she explained. This could include people who are diabetic, people who are smokers, people who have a family history or are older in age.
Nissen added that colds are self-limited. He said sometimes it might be better to just ride out a cold rather than doing any additional, unnecessary harm to yourself by taking drugs that could impact your heart health.
DePalma stressed that cold prevention is the best way to go.
To prevent getting sick in the first place, she recommended that everyone practice good measures to avoid transmitting viruses.
Get your flu vaccination, limit contact with people who are sick, wash your hands, avoid touching your nose eyes or mouth, she said. Theres a lot to say about the effectiveness of starting with prevention in the first place.
What The Community Have To Say About Flu
- Fergus : I am sore and itchy at the injection site, but it beats the hell out of getting flu. My employer now offers it to all staff, and if I didnt get it on the NHS I would have it through my employer. I guess they feel if they stop a few cases of flu then they save on sick pay and reduced efficiency. The mild discomfort in my arm is worth it to reduce my risk of flu.
- Fergus : I had mine yesterday and no problem at all. Previous years I have had a sore arm for a day or so this year I cant even tell where it was done. For those of us at more risk it is always worth getting it.
- Fergus : The normal flu vaccine is always combined with varying strains. The swine flu vaccine is absolutely no different to a normal flu vaccine. The only reason it was delivered separately last year was because it was an emergency situation.
- Fergus : There are many of us who have done our own research into the Flu jab and its constituent parts. I for one will be having it this year and the next etc. I have never had a problem with it and know plenty of people who also have never had a problem. As far as I am concerned it protects me from what could be a nasty bout of Flu sounds good to me.
- Fergus : I had the flu last xmas and it was awful but Id rather go without the jab and let the elderly and those less able to fight it have it instead of me Im young enough and healthy enough to cope
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Six Things That Raise Your Blood Pressure
by Maggie Francis, American Heart Association
Keeping your pressure under control can mean adding things to your life, like exercise, that help lower it. But, you may not realize that it also means avoiding things that raise your pressure. A healthy blood pressure level means you’re less likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
If you or someone you care about is among the nearly 80 million U.S. adults with high blood pressure, you need to be aware of these six things that can raise blood pressure, and thwart your efforts to keep it in a healthy range.
The American Heart Association recommends people aim to eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. That level is associated with lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Because the average American’s sodium intake is so excessive, even cutting back to 2,400 mg per day can improve blood pressure and heart health.
People with high blood pressure should be aware that the use of may raise blood pressure. Many over-the-counter cold and flu preparations contain decongestants. Always read the labels on all OTC medications. Look for warnings for those with high blood pressure and who take blood pressure medications.
Hot Tubs & Saunas
People with high blood pressure should not move back and forth between cold water and hot tubs or saunas. This could cause an increase in blood pressure.
The Effects Of Decongestants On High Blood Pressure
Know the risks
According to the CDC guidelines, nearly half of the U.S. adult population has high blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, you should know that decongestants may raise your blood pressure and may interfere with the medications you take.
What is the impact of decongestant medicines on blood pressure?
Many over-the-counter cold medicines contain a decongestant that can affect your blood pressure. This can be concerning for people who already have a high blood pressure level.
Why should high blood pressure sufferers consider cold medicines without decongestants?
If you have high blood pressure, its important you choose a cold medicine thats decongestant-free like Coricidin® HBP. It effectively treats cold and flu symptoms without raising your blood pressure.
Can decongestants affect the efficacy of my blood pressure medication?
Yes. Taking decongestants during a cold may interfere with the effectiveness of your blood pressure medications. Its important to speak to your doctor or pharmacist about your medications.
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Can The Flu Cause Your Heart Rate To Go Up
Answer itfluyourcanyourheart rateheartcan raise yourheart
Similarly, can dehydration make your heart race?
candehydrationcanheart palpitationsDehydration can cause
How would dehydration affect heart rate?
Dehydrationheartdehydratedheart beatsheart ratedehydration
What are the early signs of dehydration?
The following are further signs and symptoms of dehydration.
- Dry mouth.
Effects Of Viral Influenza On The Cardiovascular System
The reason influenza stresses the heart and vascular system so much has to do with the body’s inflammatory response to the infection.
Inflammation occurs when your body’s “first responders” white blood cells and what they produce in order to protect you convene in an area and get to work fighting an infection, bacteria or virus. When you’re sick, you can typically feel the effects of these “combat zones” in the swelling, tenderness, pain, weakness and sometimes redness and increased temperature of your joints, muscles and lymph nodes.
The increased activity can also cause a traffic jam of sorts, leading to blood clots, elevated blood pressure and even swelling or scarring within the heart. The added stressors make plaque within your arteries more vulnerable to rupture, causing a blockage that cuts off oxygen to the heart or brain and results in heart attacks or strokes, respectively.
Additionally, non-cardiac complications from the viral illness, including pneumonia and respiratory failure, can make heart failure symptoms or heart arrhythmia much worse.
In short, the added stress on the cardiovascular system could be overwhelming to an already weakened heart muscle.
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When Shouldn’t You Have A Flu Vaccination
- If you’ve got a temperature of 38C or higher, or youre very unwell. If you’ve just got a cold, with no temperature, you’re still ok to have a vaccination.
- If you’ve had a Covid-19 vaccine in the last 2 weeks.
- If you’re having certain cancer treatments .
It’s also important to talk to your health professional before getting the vaccine if you:
- have had Guillain-Barre syndrome
- have had an allergic reaction to a vaccination before.
Does Your Blood Pressure Elevate When You Are Sick
**High blood pressure, or hypertension, is diagnosed when the pressure of blood through your arteries is higher than normal 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
** Your doctor checks two types of pressure simultaneouslysystolic and diastolic. A reading of 120 over 80 is normal 140 over 90 is considered high. Multiple readings must be taken to determine true hypertension 1. If you have hypertension, illness, as well as certain medications that you might take for illness, can cause your high blood pressure to rise even higher 1.
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