Weird "flu"

I haven’t been on this site in a long time. It looks different, and I’m trying to get used to it!

I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome in September, 2014. My worst symptoms were severe fatigue, joint pain, and strange problems with my short term memory. I’m a guy, and I was about 36 when I really started having bad symptoms. I think the fact that I’m male and my younger age might have been one reason why a lot of doctors refused to accept the possibility that I had an autoimmune disease. I didn’t fit the statistic.

Anyway, I recently had a really weird illness that I can only describe as some kind of “flu.” The day after Thanksgiving, I suddenly got really sick. I was fine when I woke up, but in the early afternoon I suddenly started feeling nauseous and dizzy. I had been drinking water, and I know I wasn’t dehydrated. I tried to eat, thinking that might help, but after lunch I didn’t feel any better. Then I started having really bad chills. I decided to go to an urgent care center that night. It turned out I had a fever. The doctor thought I had some kind of throat infection when she looked at my mouth. She prescribed an antibiotic (Amoxicillin). After a few days, I started to get better.

But the weird thing is I still have NO clue what it was, and the doctor didn’t have a clear diagnosis either. I didn’t have any symptoms of a normal cold - no sore throat, no sneezing or coughing, no stuffed nose, nothing. That’s actually what kind of concerned me, the fact that I didn’t seem to have a normal cold and yet I had a fever and I was nauseous.

It wasn’t food poisoning, because my parents are always very careful about how they store and cook food, and no one else in my family got sick.

I really think it was related to the Sjogren’s somehow. I’ve had some weird sicknesses lately. I’ve had bronchitis twice, and other respiratory infections that weren’t clearly diagnosed. I never used to get weird sicknesses like this before I had Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Does anyone have any idea what this might have been?

  • Chris

Hi Chris! I’ve certainly had enough times where I’ve had a flare and it involves a fever and a flu-like feeling for a day, or a few days. The “throat infection” may have been inflammation related to the Sjogren’s. Do you take any meds for the Sjogren’s?

I’m taking Plaquenil 200mg twice a day. Well, a generic form of it - hydroxychloroquine. Don’t ask me to pronounce that! It did help with the fatigue, but I still have bad days sometimes, and I’m nothing like how I was before the Sjogren’s.

I’m also taking Amlodipine because I have Raynaud’s Syndrome. My feet get freezing cold. I don’t know whether the amlodipine is actually helping at all with that.

And on top of everything, I have hypothyroidism and have to take 137 micrograms of Levothyroxine. Although I’ve been told that thyroid problems are common with Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Thanks for that! I didn’t know that hypothyroidisim had something to do with it! I take the same med (hydroxychloroquine) but 300mg once a day. I also have hypothyroidism and take 125 mg. I went months feeling like I always had a sinus infection but didn’t sneeze or have anything to blow out of my nose, it was just all blocked. But I had all the other symptons of sinus infection Then shortly after taking the med I started to feel saliva in my mouth and be able to blow my nose properly. I am struggling now with the acidity and diarrea. Sometimes it seems that whatever I eat makes me feel so ill in my stomach, and I shiver and go into a cold sweat just like food poisoning, but it passes. I have found that chewing gum helps with the dry mouth.

Yup. Been there. Lots of times the glands in my throat are very tender to the touch but no swelling, no sore throat, etc. Its usually my indicator that a flair is hitting. That nasty “flu” feeling is one I struggle with to. My rheumatologist and I mostly refer to it as part of my revolving symptoms. It hits for awhile then goes away and something else pops up. Hang in there. There is a lot we can do to hold it off or make it less severe once we know what works for us.

I swear I am experiencing this now. I’m on here for this reason. It’s been five days of weird symptoms. Fever, chills, body aches, a pain on the side of my face by my ear (parotid I’m assuming), and stomach weirdness. I bought everything for influenza as I expected the ball to drop and it never has. I’m still having muscle and joint pain but my fever has broken finally.
Can we get fever with a flare? I am so confused by this disease.

Fever can definitely be a part of an autoimmune flare…

Well, the sjogrens can affect all major systems like your respiratory system.
You can get breathing tests done etc.
Your lungs may and I clearly say may be affected. When you said 2 bouts of bronchitis, I thought about your lungs.
I would have some tests done…breathing test(s) or a chest x-ray…
just so you feel better about the illness that went undiagnosed recently.
But flu-like symptoms IS a huge part of my ss, and something I have to deal with. It is not the flu, but it feels like it is and is so frustrating!!! Yes, it good to have a reason why, but it doesn’t help how bad ya feel! I hope you get the answers you seek!