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Frequent severe flu,back ache,normal blood work

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 362 Questions
My 19-year-old son suffers from flu-like symtoms the past few years, which come on every couple of months, and in the winter even more frequently. He has been to an emergency room twice, and nothing wrong was found with his blood work. Because of his age and being a college student, we could only get Medi-Cal for him, and the co-pay is extremely high because he lives with me. It is difficult to find the right care for him just to come to a any kind of an idea of what is going on with him.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 12 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

You have mentioned that your son has flu like symptoms which comes every couple of months since past few years and such symptoms are more in winters. Nothings wrong in his blood work too.

Well, frequent flu like symptoms can occur even in healthy children. However, there can few underlying causes which needs to be ruled out.

1. Tonsillitis + Adenoiditis - If there is involvement of tonsils, then frequent infections can occur. A good clinical examination can rule this out.
2. Immune deficiency. Some people are deficient in immunoglobulins. Such patients can develop frequent infections. However, its quite rare and would usually manifest early in childhood.

It's likely that he might be having an allergic underlying condition which make him prone for recurrent flu.

Discuss about these possibilities with his primary physician.

If there has been no serious illness or blood abnormalities, there is nothing to worry.
Be reassured.

Hope this answers this query. Please get back if you need any further information.


Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Frequent severe flu,back ache,normal blood work 2 hours later
Thank you, Dr. XXXXXXX for your response. My follow-up notation is that my son also has severe back pain with his flu symptoms, on both sides of his back around where the kidneys are. Again, he has had no abnormal blood tests. Is there something I should be concerned about with this type of back pain, or is it common with these flu-like symptoms? Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 4 hours later

Back pain, especially muscular pain is quite common with flu-like illnesses.

Patient can have headache, myalgias, eye ache, back pain, leg pain and fatigue when they have such illnesses.
Since you mentioned that he has it at the place where Kidneys are located, you can get a urine routine examination. Rarely, there can be involvement of kidneys in recurrent throat infections.

If normal, there is nothing to worry

Hope this answers your query.

Take Care
Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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