Cold/The Flu as you get older, does it keep getting worse?

CoryCory New Scotland
Does being sick tend to get worse and worse the older you get?


The other week during a LWJ&A or something, @A_Ron_Hubbard mentioned not vomiting while sick for a long time, like 20 years, much to the disbelief of Mr. @Jim Jones.  But I'm with A.Ron, I think I "decided" not to throw up one time while I was sick at about 6 or 7, and did not vomit while sick (hangovers not withstanding) again until last December, which was nearly 30 years.  Maybe there's a time or two in there I forgot, but it was definitely a long time.  And I don't remember those hangover vomits to be nearly as "violent" or draining as the ones from the flu (yes I'm sick again already).

I also used to get sick about once very 4-5 years, then 2 years, and now it's my second time in 4 months.


So, am I just getting old?

Or are the viruses getting stronger?  Will I become a Zombie by The Fall?

Thank goodness I recently found out I'm not really allergic to penicillin, after being diagnosed as such at just a few months old.  I'm sure that will save me from Zombism.
Kela15TaraC73
That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
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Comments

  • Vasilnate1Vasilnate1 Salem, MA
    Sounds like your immunity is diminishing, possibly vitamin deficiencys. It's not necessarily your age, but your general health overall. Are you around lots of children? Those things are crawling with germs! Take daily vitamins, eat better, and don't get hungover as much, your immune system will improve.
    "because everything would be what it isn't"
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    edited April 19
    I'm getting less colds at my age in the upper 40's. I just had a cold like 3 weeks ago and I still have a bit of a cough.
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Bugs are definitely getting worse and most people's diet isn't giving them enough vitamins and minerals to support strong immunity. There are many reasons for this and it's not just people eating shit food. Even those eating a good amount of fruit and veg could have lower resistance if the soil those veg grow in is not nutrient dense, etc. That said, a good diet is definitely a step up to avoiding horrible viruses, or being able to fight them off more quickly.

    My doctor told me to take zinc* at the first sign of sniffles or fever. When I start to feel buggy I take two high strength zinc tablets (not recommended on an empty stomach or you'll feel nauseous for hours), then another two in the evening and the same the next day if I'm still feeling bleh. 99% of the time it gets rid of the virus before it even happens, but you have to catch it right at the beginning or it's too late.

    Alternatively, there's Astraforte**! it tastes like feet but it bloody works. My daughter had glandular fever in her last year of high school and after she recovered her immunity was much lower than before. She would get colds and bugs every few weeks. I put her on Astraforte and she never got sick after that.

    *Even though I'm talking about supplements and herbal things, I would never recommend taking things without a doctor's okay, as herbs are very potent and supplements largely unregulated.

    **Not sure if it's called something else in other countries, but the principal ingredient is astragalus. http://thompsonsnutrition.com.au/products/immunity-seasonal-wellbeing/astraforte-oral-liquid/
    Vasilnate1jazzminawaKela15
  • @Dee Thanks for sharing! I get sick a lot more now the last few years and I might try this. We don't seem to have that brand available here but I found some astragalus supplements on Amazon.

    I think it's in part from not growing up with seasons (Hawai`i) and going to cold weather, because all winter I have some sort of ailment, and then in the spring or fall anytime there's a drastic change in temperature. I try to take daily supplements but that only slightly helps.
    Dee
  • CoryCory New Scotland

    Sounds like your immunity is diminishing, possibly vitamin deficiencys. It's not necessarily your age, but your general health overall. Are you around lots of children? Those things are crawling with germs! Take daily vitamins, eat better, and don't get hungover as much, your immune system will improve.

    I actually have been around children more than ever since November, and this first time with the real bad flu was mid-December.  I would also add that I had my first ever flu shot in early November (not because I wanted it, nor is my doctor a proponent of it, but it was required for something I wanted to do).

    I actually eat much better than I used to, for the last 8-10 years.  I used to not eat any (well potatoes and very rarely corn) vegetables, fruits (the occasional apple) or meat.  I always drank a lot of milk though.

    Now I eat vegetables most days, meat once or twice a day (usually chicken/increasingly hamburgers though).  I take a vitamin every other day, but will definitely switch back to daily.  I drink a glass of OJ every morning I'm at home, but need to get back to eating apples like I used to (5-6 a week).

    I also exercise 4-5 days a week (with weights) and walk every day I'm not working.

    I rarely drink these last 8+ years, most of those hangovers were between the ages of about 15-26/27.  I also quite smoking... I'm not sure how long ago.  Off an on for a few years, but haven't had one in what must be over a year, maybe two.
    That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    Thanks @Dee I will try to remember to ask my doctor (he's a 70 some year old Scotsman) about them when I'm feeling better (knock on wood I've been feeling better ever since I started this thread, which was nearly two hours ago, just after I threw up).
    Dee
    That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
  • Vasilnate1Vasilnate1 Salem, MA
    You may also have micro allergys to certain foods, which can mimic flu and cold symptoms, or lower your immunity so your more susceptible. Dairy can be likely culprit, milk is really only suppose to be consumed by infants, and most adults have some level of intolerance to it. Men as they age also need more zinc(thanks dee) and magnesium. I recommend rainbow light men's one https://www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Light-Mens-Multivitamin-Count/dp/B0007YCC7S
    It's probably the best men's vitamin available(if your looking for an all in one)
    Dee
    "because everything would be what it isn't"
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    Thanks @Vasilnate1, I will check to see if I can get them here, I'm not that far from you from the looks, except in another country.
    That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    I've vomited quite a few times as an adult, but it was almost all hormonal-related; I have a condition called PMDD where I get super sick with my periods as well as having high levels of anxiety and depression, and anxiety can add to the nausea equation. Also occasionally you feel like doing things like drinking a bunch of shit ass wine and smoking a cigarette even though you aren't a smoker and haven't smoked since the olden times when you would occasionally bum one at the bar... which isn't good for your nausea level... lol

    Definitely check in with your doctor if you are having significant health changes- There are a lot of people out there who have gotten very sick and it started with "I just wasn't feeling well" for a while.

    One thing to add in addition to what others are saying- I was used to getting a bad flu every winter even during the years I would get a flu shot. I chalked it up to being a normal winter process and maybe because I work on a college campus with 35K+ students. I would just down a bunch of Sudafed or Tylenol Cold or whatever and wait for it to pass. Then in the past few years I have been seeing my doctor more for the PMDD, so I asked her about flu meds just on an offhand question, and she told me that those medicines are all worthless and might even make your cold/flu last longer, and the only OTC cold meds she would recommend is Mucinex because it actually drains your congestion rather than drying it out and making it last longer.

    Last, I will say on the original question of "do you just get sicker when you get older?" I think people do believe that, and they put up with a lot of symptoms that could be treatable. It may or may not be age-related but I don't think it hurts to ask a doctor. 
    Be a human, not a machine.

    Angie Kritenbrink
    akritenbrink on most social media

  • CoryCory New Scotland

    Last, I will say on the original question of "do you just get sicker when you get older?" I think people do believe that, and they put up with a lot of symptoms that could be treatable. It may or may not be age-related but I don't think it hurts to ask a doctor. 
    My mother gave a similar answer to @kingbee67, So I'm certainly starting to doubt it.  Perhaps I'm just going through a stretch of bad luck, or it's a cycle of a few years that will end.

    I'm also one of those types that doesn't take any kind of medication unless I absolutely have to.
    That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
  • ChiefPizzaChiefPizza Akron, OH
    I actually find myself getting sick less often as I'm getting older. Granted, it's likely because I'm in that sweet spot where I'm out of college but don't have any kids, so I'm very rarely around sick people (college is like a virus farm, there's no escaping sickness - and kids seem to be sick 100% of the time haha). This winter that we just got out of was the first one where I didn't get sick whatsoever, and the previous winter I only got it once.
  • I blame the kids, they are evil and carry germs that are meant to cull the elders....
    Vasilnate1Cory
  • Kela15Kela15 Malta, Europe
    Yes. For sure. I have a cold right now and it's been 4 days.
    You're like my brother.
    You don't have a brother!
  • This is our first winter with a kid, and I must have been sick 6 times or so. That's with a flu shot that I normally don't get. Generally speaking though I would think as you get older you'll probably get sick less often. Part of the reason I've been sick so much is my child puts everything in her mouth, and I mean everything. She also doesn't know to cover her mouth when she sneezes or coughs, and she loves to stick her hand in your face. There isn't much you can do to avoid it when you need to stay home with her for the day. 

    The life of a parent for you. 




  • voodooratvoodoorat Atlanta
    edited April 19
    i get sick a lot more since we have kids, although not always more sick.  i've never been one to throw up either, i've probably thrown up due to illness less times in my life than i can count on one hand (many more times due to intoxicants).  i was the sickest from influenza that i've ever been probably about 4 years ago, mostly because i couldn't even sleep for like 3 or 4 days and was sick for a couple of weeks.  it was horrible.  but i had a mild case this year which just had me bed-bound for a couple of days and i was fine after about 3 or 4 days.  i also used to get bronchitis every year when i smoked, but i quit smoking like 14 years ago.  i get the flu shot every year even though i'm pretty sure i had a bout of undiagnosed guillain-barre syndrome maybe 8 or 9 years ago--that was terrifying and i thought it might kill me but it receded as mysteriously and quickly as it came on.
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    voodoorat said:

    i was the sickest from influenza that i've ever been probably about 4 years ago, mostly because i couldn't even sleep for like 3 or 4 days and was sick for a couple of weeks.  it was horrible.  but i had a mild case this year which just had me bed-bound for a couple of days and i was fine after about 3 or 4 days.

    What you call "mild" is pretty bad for me.  Hell I'm about 80% now, expecting to feel even better by morning.


    So basically, kids are evil germ factories, avoid at all costs... but they are so damn cute and squishy!
    That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
  • there's anecdotal evidence, but statistically the older you get, the more susceptible you are to disease and virus because your immune system gets weaker. 
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited April 20
    Our household is a no medicine for cold or flu unless someone has a fever over 100 for more than an hour. Then we only take Tylenol to manage the fever. It's worked very well for us. Knock on wood but both my kids never miss school and both usually recover from the flu within a day or two. They have great immune systems compared to some of their peers that seem to get sick all the time.

    We also are 100% against antibiotics unless it's something very serious. Over prescribing antibiotics is going to end up killing a lot of people needlessly in the future. People don't need to take antibiotics for common colds and flus. If you take them please stop.

    https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0503-unnecessary-prescriptions.html

    I will say the last time I got the flu I did feel like I was going to die. It was brutal. Definitely felt worse than the past. But I've only got the flu maybe one time in the last 2 years.
    No Half Measures....
  • I used to get sick like clock-work when the seasons changed (usually in the Fall, sometimes in the Spring).  Then 6 or 7 years ago I got the H1N1 flu and while it really did a number on me, I haven't been sick since.  I think that flu pushed my immune system to the limit, and made it stronger in the aftermath.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I feel like I've had an especially remarkable run of health the past few years.  I also think that you kind of get a bit more stoic about everything as you get older.  A chest cough that would have sidelined you in your 20's you just kind of bear it more when you have kids and employees counting on you.  At a certain point, I'm sure it flips back, and being sick as you get older saps what vitality you have to the point that a cold you'd have shrugged off could hospitalize you.
    FernNYC17
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    I've gotten much less stoic about my health as I have gotten older haha.
    Be a human, not a machine.

    Angie Kritenbrink
    akritenbrink on most social media

  • CoryCory New Scotland
    I would say I'm the opposite.  In my 20s I rarely ever had a flu or cold that stopped me.  Three times with the flu, once hit me on Xmas day (I laid on the couch for a couple days then was OK), maybe once in Spring 2009 (which probably had a lot to do with staying up all night in the middle of the work week to be an extra in an ultra cheep vampire movie) and once had H1N1 in Fall of 2009, at age 29 (still managed to take Haruna for driving lessons).  Both times I felt terrible but never threw up or had to sit on the toilet more frequently.  And just before Labour Day 2005 I had my first and only encounter with Strep Throat (I didn't know what the fuck was happening then).

    Otherwise it was just cold's, and I always powered through them, and never missed work.

    Hmm, perhaps I just rarely got the flu, except for 2009 and this past Fall/Spring.

    A cold is nothing compared to the flu, right?
    That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
  • Vasilnate1Vasilnate1 Salem, MA
    edited April 21
    yeah, colds are typically runny nose and congestion with a little fever but usually not over 100.  Flu is usually seasonal and can raise your temp over 100, you get chills, cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, sore throat, fatigue and it lasts longer.  the Flu can kill you if you don't take proper care of yourself, you don't necessarily need meds, but you do need lots of fluids, dehydration makes everything worse-water, chicken broth and cranberry juice(the real stuff, not the cocktail juice)
    "because everything would be what it isn't"
  • flu is worse than a cold--the fever alone makes it worse--but it can be *much* worse.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    edited April 21
    Nobody can power through the flu.  The flu will knock you on your ass for a week, minimum.  The flu regularly kills people, to this day.  Anyone who says they had a touch of the flu over the weekend had a cold or food poisoning.  Last time I had a full blown flu, it was in 2007, and I had recently been divorced and was living alone, and I hallucinated my neighbors shining bright lights in my room and chanting things at me with megaphones as a way to get me to move out, haha.  It was not good times.

    I've gotten a flu shot every year since I was about 18, and I think I've only had the flu twice in that 22 year span.  I feel like it's well worth the $20 for the stick.
    FernNYC17jtmy92
  • CoryCory New Scotland
    My one and only flu shot was free last November, and I got the flu in December and this week.  My family doctor thinks they are a waste of money/resources and was telling me about studies in his homeland (UK) about just as many people getting the flu each year.

    I've been around children more from last November to now more than probably ever (at least since school), so that's probably the main reason I've been sick more this year.

    I also had the 3 injections for the Combination Vaccine for Hepatitis A and B completed about a year ago, but I doubt that had any negative effect.


    What about everyone else, do you get flu shots, and do you trust their ability to prevent you from getting the flu?
    That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Flu shots are life saving for many people. The issue with flu shots and their patchy effectiveness is that new flu strains evolve every year and the flu shot is based on whatever strains were known at the time. Here's a page from the CDC about it.


    They are also cheap and widely available. 


    Be a human, not a machine.

    Angie Kritenbrink
    akritenbrink on most social media

  • per cdc faq, you can still get the flu if you get the vaccine but there's a chance it would be with reduced severity thanks to the vaccine:

    Can I get seasonal flu even though I got a flu vaccine this year?

    Yes. There is still a possibility you could get the flu even if you got vaccinated. The ability of flu vaccine to protect a person depends on various factors, including the age and health status of the person being vaccinated, and also the similarity or “match” between the viruses used to make the vaccine and those circulating in the community. If the viruses in the vaccine and the influenza viruses circulating in the community are closely matched, vaccine effectiveness is higher. If they are not closely matched, vaccine effectiveness can be reduced. However, it’s important to remember that even when the viruses are not closely matched, the vaccine can still protect many people and prevent flu-related complications. Such protection is possible because antibodies made in response to the vaccine can provide some protection (called cross-protection) against different but related influenza viruses. For more information about vaccine effectiveness, visit How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work?

  • DeeDee Adelaide
    We get flu shots free through work, but I haven't had them for the last few years because every time I did get one I'd get sick for days. Something in them doesn't agree with me. I think they're important for children, the elderly, and those with impacted immunity, though.
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Dee said:

    We get flu shots free through work, but I haven't had them for the last few years because every time I did get one I'd get sick for days. Something in them doesn't agree with me. I think they're important for children, the elderly, and those with impacted immunity, though.

    Yeah I don't always go out of my way to get them, although I suppose I should. Sometimes I get sick right afterward and sometimes I still get the flu, which is fairly normal. But reading the CDC page reminded me that it's important and since I don't always get sick afterward I should probably make it a point to get them.
    Dee
    Be a human, not a machine.

    Angie Kritenbrink
    akritenbrink on most social media

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