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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

Multiple Sclerosis Board Index

Vitamins for MS
Feb 20, 2014
Hello all , First off my name's Katherine and my mother has Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. and I'm here on her behalf. She's in a wheelchair and in a nursing home. She's of sound mind but here lately she seems to be getting a cold and fever every month or so. I know those with MS has very week immune systems and have a hard time fighting off simple colds . My question is what are some good vitamins to help her keep from getting sick as much? thanks
Re: Vitamins for MS
Feb 20, 2014
:wave: Welcome. Thanks for helping your mother.

MSers have an overactive immune system (usually). I have progressive MS too. When I "feel" a cold coming, I will take 1000 mg of vitamin C 3 times a day until 2-3 days after the cold has departed. Since my MS has worsened, other than my MS problems, I have never had a full blown cold and the vitamin C appears to nip it in the bud for me.

Since your mother is in a nursing home and there are many people mixing as well as people from outside and I assume she is older, all these variables can be the culprit for why she is getting colds and fevers. Now, I will tell you that for me sometimes a fever is actually when my thermostat goes haywire and drives up my body temp. This is where layered clothing helps as well as layered bedding. I can go from freezing to burning in a short time in the dead of winter. In the summer time the heat outside can cause my body temperature to go into overdrive and it can be difficult to re-establish "normal". I will take a cool shower at those times as well as sit under a ceiling fan while my pedestal fan also blows.

Barring any bacterial causes, I think her problems are likely viral and due to the confined spaces and various people. Do you notice if others there are also getting many colds? Have you picked up any abnormal number of colds. If the nursing home is having issues, there could be problems such as a "sick building" wherein the buildings ventilation system and outside air exchange is not sufficient to provide a healthy atmosphere.

You might try some vitamin C first. I use the chewable tablets because I have had swallowing issues. Also, I would certainly speak to her doctor regarding these issues. :angel:
Re: Vitamins for MS
Feb 21, 2014
Kat, I have MS and I work in Nursing homes and hospitals all day every day. I have gone through periods where my immunity is off- and I get sick one infection after another. Whether its sinus or colds, respiratory and chest- something was going on with me for almost 2 months just 3 months ago. I actually avoided the doctor knowing this is pretty normal for me; but after 10 weeks of feeling horrible, had blood work done.
It wasnt viral. It was bacterial and 2 rounds of antibiotics later, I am 100% again. Of course I probably should have stayed home and taken better care of myself but thats just not my way. I pushed through it.

Vitamins. Please do not start giving your mother any vitamin C until you have cleared it with her doctor. First of all, doses of vitamin C are likely for a woman to bring on a urinary tract infection, which is NOT what your mom needs- also, there are plenty of other meds which interract negatively with vitamin C and need to be avoided. Im not sure if she is on anything else, but sometimes even heart and pulmonary meds can react badly to vitamin C and certain antibiotics also shouldnt be taken with C. Just please check it with her doctor before you start anything like that.

MS patients do not have low immune systems, we have compromised immune systems, and that means they can fluctuate from being hyper active to under active. Also, if she was ever on any MS drugs, those which are immunosupressent, can stay in your system up to a, there is alot more here to consider than just "mom has MS". Please talk to her neurologist. Not just the house doctor at the facility. ok?

In the meantime, its your right to talk to the DON (director of nursing) at the facility and express your concerns. The patient in her room may very well have been getting over a bacterial infection or viral infection, they arent going to tell you that- but you can insist that your mom be kept in a room with someone who is NOT sick, and quarantined during the time that sickness is rampant in the facility. This happens in nursing homes..entire wings and entire populations break out in the same strain of virus, infection and cold. This is something they keep quiet- but you have the right to ask and insist that your mom be separated from it if it happens.
Good luck!

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