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Mary Shomon

Do Thyroid Patients Need — or Should they Get — Flu Shots?

By January 11, 2013

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It's a controversial question, and the jury is out, but as flu hits hard across the United States in increasing numbers, find out what some key physicians have to say about the question of whether people with thyroid and autoimmune conditions should get flu vaccines.

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January 22, 2013 at 12:22 pm
(1) willa says:

I have gotten a flu shot the past couple of years and so has my husband, I have Hashi and he has Graves, we didn’t notice anything negative after getting the vaccine.

January 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm
(2) amanda says:

I too have gotten the shot for a number of years. I am hypo and had cancer and all i know is that when i do get the flu its not very severe or for as long. i have never experienced any negative effects whatsoever.

January 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm
(3) Alyce says:

I have gotten the flu shot for about the last 15 years with no ill effects. I have hypothyroidism which seems to be controlled with levoxyl and Compounded T3.

January 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm
(4) Elizabeth says:

I’ve only had the flu shot once, a few years ago, and came down with a horrible fatigue, bone crushing body aches and exhaustion. No fever or respiratory symptoms at all, no nausea. I could barely get up and walk and had to sleep for three days. I’ve never had the flu otherwise so after that experience I decided never to get the vaccine again. I have Hashi’s and take compounded natural thyroid with acidophilus. My doctor incidentally is against patients with autoimmune conditions taking flu vaccines and I only got it that year everyone was so concerned with the avian flu that was going around.

January 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm
(5) Eleanor Lancaster says:

I have received the flu shots twice and been extremely ill with the flu.
I have not had the flu shots for the last 3 years and have not contacted the flu. I am hyperthyroid with a multi nodular goitre and only take 10 mgms neomercazole daily. I have been on this dose for 8 years since diagnosed.


January 22, 2013 at 5:44 pm
(6) A McGee says:

My functional medicine doctor is against flu shots due to mercury content. I’m hypothyroid (Hashimoto’s) and take 60 mg. Armour Thyroid daily with good results. The last flu shot I had was about 5 years ago. At the first sign of being the slightest bit ill, I take several doses of Oscillococcinum (homeopathic remedy). Works every time!

January 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm
(7) Victoria says:

I am hypo and it is well controlled by a combo of natural thyroid plus synthetic T4. I am in my 40s and pretty healthy other than my hypo. If I get the flu I spend a week in bed and then recover so I see no need for a flu shot. I also take Vitamin D and try to keep those levels high. I get sick less often with it.

January 22, 2013 at 7:27 pm
(8) Johann Mitchell says:

The people who make and sell the vaccine are 100% for you getting the shots. Of course, they get paid every time someone gets a shot.

Most of the doctors I’ve talked to have heard everything the people who make the shots say, and think they’re telling the truth and say you should get the shot.

Latest statistics suggest that because of the way that flu mutates and changes, flu shots are less than 2% effective in stopping you from getting flu. Because it’s made from what they THINK will be going around a few months from when it’s made. But you may catch a different strain.

Vaccines depend on delivering a small dose of “weakened” or “killed” organisms to help activate the body’s defenses. That works well with bacteria. Viriuses, on the other hand, are like tribbles. We don’t know what makes them alive as opposed to dead. A virus that is inert and appears “dead” can stay in that condition (even in outer space and/or seriously sub-zero temps) and suddenly come to life even thousands of years later. This explains why about 4 or 5 of my flight of 30 women got flu immediately after being innoculated when I was in basic training. Two of them were so sick that they required hospitalization.

The Air Force’s viewpoint on this was to either keep everyone from getting it or give it to them so they wouldn’t get sick at a later, critical time. Which makes sense if you’re sending people into combat.

On the other hand, every time you get a vaccine, you’re getting a small, but measurable amount of mercury. Mercury (if you get enough of it), will make you crazy (an example is the whole idea of the mad hatter, since hatters used mercury to make felt for hats and absorbed it), and in high enough concentrations, kill you.

The unavoidable FACT is that if you get enough vaccinations (and it will take a LOT), you WILL go crazy and, with enough, die.

You need to decide if it’s worth it to you.

January 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm
(9) Iris says:

I stopped getting the flu vaccine five years ago, when I started investigating natural medicine after going off gluten. I’ve come to believe that the vaccine is a poor and potentially dangerous substitute for keeping your immune system strong. I eat a modified paleo diet (the “Perfect Health Diet”) and keep my Vitamin D level high. I also take elderberry every day. It’s an ancient, broad-spectrum, well-studied antiviral that works better than the vaccine or Tamiflu, and making your own elderberry syrup is a cinch and saves $$$ over commercial brands.

January 23, 2013 at 12:05 am
(10) Sherri says:

I don’t believe that people who aren’t high risk (i.e. those with significantly reduced immune systems) should get flu vaccines. Vaccines are synthetic and if you read books like “The Truth About Beauty” and “Balance Your Hormones Balance Your Life” you will clearly understand the long-term damage synthetic drugs do to our systems.

January 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm
(11) Lynn says:

I have Hashimotos and lupus, take 25 mg Levo and 60 mg Armour daily with good results. Magnesium, Vit D, and other supps and gluten free for the past 3 years after becoming reactive. (Epipen) Following workplace exposure to chemicals during a roofing project, also have chemical sensitivities. I’m the poster child for how fast life can change–healthy until about 45 when I started to get sick/tired all the time. I am 52. Took 2-3 years to get Hashi’s diagnosed and the rest–intestinal and other autoimmune probs–followed. I am a high school teacher–equiv of working in a Petri dish–so usually get the flu shot. However, I’m reactive to chicken/can’t eat it–though I can eat eggs. For past 2 years my osteopath gave 1/2 vac dose and I’d return for the other 1/2 a week later. No reaction & didn’t get flu. This year another doc subbing for mine refused the shot due to number of things I am reactive to and severity. He said if I were to get the shot, it would be best to get it at a hospital. Had I not seen what healthy, athletic teens were going through with the flu, might have skipped it, but I have elderly parents and a 4-year-old grandson. Couldn’t take the risk passing flu to them. I see my students and the teachers who get shots either don’t get sick or aren’t sick as long. I got the shot at 4PM; went home, thought I’d sit down before fixing dinner and fell asleep by 5. Slept to 6AM the next day (hubby got me partially awake twice but I don’t remember it). Went to school next day but definitely not at full strength and gut hurt. Once home I guzzled Pepto, went back to bed. Next day was a little better and day after that, better yet. Never missed work, was just tired with a delicate gut for 3 days…better situation than folks I know who were out a week or ended up at the ER/hospitalized. This week one of the teachers lost her brother-in-law to flu. Was a very healthy guy prior to getting ill last Fri.; dead on Tues.

January 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm
(12) Escribe says:

My top doc allergist in Toronto told me to never get the flu shot. He said the immune system of peiople with autoimmune diseases is already in full bore forward, and it’s a mistake for us to get the flu shot because it stimulates the system to start making antibodies.

Antibodies to what? Well you never know, but could be to rheumatoid arthritis or lupus or celiac disease, some of the biggies. So, I never get the shot and I never get the flu but I keep my vitamin D3 level topped up all year round.

January 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm
(13) Lynn says:

If it were just me I was concerned about, I probably would prefer to not get the shot because of the autoimmune flares it seems to provoke some years (this was one). But I’m not willing to set myself up to be the carrier who takes it to my elderly parents or 4-year-old grandson. Most vaccines no longer have mercury and there a variations of some vaccines that don’t have preservatives either. This year’s bug just seemed particularly vicious so the risks looked to be less than with the flu. I believe that, in the future, I’ll revert back to the 1/2 doses a week apart. No flu and had no flares with that method.

January 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm
(14) Sher says:

I have auto immune thyroid disease along with CFIDS.
I got a shot for the second year and I came down with the flu about four weeks exactly after getting it, with the worst case ever. I have read that people with autoimmune disorders may not create the antibodies needed to combat the flu – after getting the vaccine.
Next year I may just get Tamiflu. My elderly parents also received the vaccine and still came down with the flu.

January 27, 2013 at 8:42 am
(15) JudiL says:

I was getting the vaccine but did not get it last year and this year. I have Lyme and Hashimoto’s Disease. My elderly father got the flu this year and coughed all over me in the ER. I got it and I was sicker than I’ve been in years. After a week of using every kind of alternative therapy available in the health food store, I finally went to a walkin clinic and got tested – positive for flu. They gave me an Rx for Tamiflu and that helped me get better faster. I’ve not had any ill effects from the vaccine in the past, and I can’t help but think that being this sick is worse than getting the vaccine, at least for me.

It is so hard to know what to DO.

January 29, 2013 at 7:56 am
(16) Martha Calvert-Tuttle says:

Does anyone know about the Medifast diet and complications with thyroid medicine? It does have soy? Should I not use the Medifast diet?

January 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm
(17) Escribe says:

@ M\artha

Please scroll back up and join the conversation on the forum where you will learn a LOT more about thyroid disease such as whether you should eat diet foods made from soy. It’s a very active and friendly forum and you will enjoy meeting a lot of people with the same issues as you. Oh and as to your question – soy protein is not good for people with thyroid disease because it blocks the uptake of your medication,

February 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm
(18) Barb says:

No shot can prevent the illness/disease 100%. Those with immune disorders are risking a severe reaction to their immunity. Please do research on exactly what a virus when injected into your bloodstream containing virus, dna, aluminum, mercury, and a host of unknows could very well do to you. At any time you could experience a violent reaction. It’s just a roll of the dice.

What you can do for yourself is eat a diet full of vitamins and minerals. No processed. Get tested for food allergies since wheat/gluten sensitivities tend to run in those with Hashimotos. Eat greens. Talk to your doc about Vit D3 (no one can get enough today unless you are a nudist in the South), Vit B complex, B12, Vit C, selenium, magnesium and all the others that our foods NO longer contain. If you must have soy, be sure it is NOT genetically modified and it is FERMENTED.

Don’t even go near CORN, corn oil, corn starch. Corn is for CATTLE to make them FAT and it is now 90% Genetically Engineered to make it’s own pesticide continuously. *Never tested on humans. We are the test subjects of G.M.O.

Wash – your hands. Cover your face if you must in elevators, etc. Limit exposure to sick individuals and get enough healing SLEEP. Be good to yourself.

Ask the doctors if they even KNOW what is IN the vaccines and why they are marketed so highly. Does YOUR doctor get any perks for ordering certain medications? Does he/she do guest speaking for a drug they no nothing about?

Be careful out there.

February 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm
(19) J Franklin says:

it`s not the flu jab thats the problem it`s what they add to it thats the problem. they add something that some people are allerigic too.
if you get alllergys it make you ill just like being hypothyroid.
hypothyroid is an autoimmune disease.

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