Q: Why does taking anti-inflamatory drugs decrease the effectiveness of immunizations?
A: The simpler NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen) do not interfere with immunization. Glucocorticoid like prednisone are also immunosuppressive, and they do interfere; your doctor can advise about which immunizations are safe, and which should be postponed if you’re taking steroids or other powerful immunosuppressive drugs like rituximab.
Q: How do you get Rheumatic Fever?
A: It is the consequence of a similarity of a structure on Streptococcus with one on the valves of the heart. Antibody made against the Strep “cross-react” with the heart, and the immune system then accidentally damages the heart (the brain and other tissues are sometimes affected too). It is more likely the longer antibiotics are delayed for treating the Streptococcal infection; it has become rare in richer countries but is still a serious problem in the developing world.
Q: Should we be eating farm eggs?
A: Only if you like them. If not, pizza is very good. If you are referring to “free-range” eggs, I know of no studies that say they are better for you than factory eggs, but some people prefer them because their production is more humane, and they say they taste better.