Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Post Shingles Fatigue And Joint Pain Symptoms

What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

Shingles (Herpes Zoster): Pathophysiology, Risk Factors, Phases of Infection, Symptoms, Treatment

Two to four days before the shingles rash occurs there may be tingling or local pain in the area. Pain is usually the first sign of shingles. For some, the pain can be intense. In some cases, and depending on the location of the pain, shingles can be mistaken for problems with the heart, lungs, or kidneys. Furthermore, patients may also experience headaches, fever, dizziness, sensitivity to light, and flu-like symptoms without a fever. And, there are cases where some patients experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash.

As time progresses, tingling, itching, joint pain, swollen glands, and a burning pain often develops. The rash typically appears one to five days after the symptoms begin, starting with small, red spots that form blisters filled with fluid, and then scab over. If the blisters burst from scratching, the skin may scar after the rash subsides.

The shingles skin rash usually heals within two to four weeks however, some people develop ongoing nerve pain that can last for months or years, a condition called postherpetic neuralgia.

The rash caused by shingles is more painful than itchy, with the pain and rash being the most obvious signs of shingles. The skin rash tends to be isolated to one side of the body, or in a particular location on the body. Shingles most commonly develops in the areas of the chest, stomach, spine, face, and mouth, but can appear other places on the body, even in multiple locations.

What Can You Do To Avoid Spreading Shingles

The varicella virus is spreadable from the time symptoms appear until the blistery rash has scabbed over. You can go to work, run errands, and spend time with other people while you have shingles, but make sure to keep your rash covered and avoid having other people exposed to it. Dont touch the rash and wash your hands frequently.

And steer clear of at-risk people, especially pregnant women, young children , and people with weak immune systems.

How Is Postherpetic Neuralgia Treated

If shingles is caught within the first three days of its outbreak, your healthcare provider may prescribe the antiviral medication acyclovir , valacyclovir or famciclovir . These medications help the rash/blisters heal faster, keep new sores from forming, decrease pain and itching and reduce length of pain after sores have healed.

If your shingles outbreak is not caught early, your healthcare providers has many options to manage your postherpetic neuralgia symptoms.

If your pain is mild, your healthcare provider may recommend:

  • Acetaminophen or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen .
  • Creams and patches include lidocaine and capsaicin .

If your pain is more severe, your healthcare may prescribe:

  • Antiseizure drugs gabapentin and pregabalin .
  • Antidepressants, such as escitalopram , quetiapine or amitriptyline.
  • Botulinum toxin injections in the area where you are having pain.

Theres no clear-cut superior treatment for PHN. Your provider may need to try more than one medication or prescribe the use of several medications at the same time. You and your provider will discuss options and what makes sense to try for you. Contact your provider if your pain is not lessening after taking your medicine. Take all your medications exactly as prescribed.

You May Like: Does Health Insurance Cover Shingles Vaccine

Who Is At Risk Of Getting Postherpetic Neuralgia

Factors that increase the risk of developing postherpetic neuralgia include:

  • Older age: The chance of developing postherpetic neuralgia increases with age. If youre older and develop shingles, youre more likely to develop PHN and have longer lasting and more severe pain than a younger person with shingles. About 10 to 13% of people over age 50 who have had shingles will get PHN. People under age 40 rarely get PHN.
  • Weakened immune system: Your immune system weakens as you get older, which allows the inactive varicella-zoster virus to become active again and cause shingles in some people. Medical conditions that can weaken your immune system include cancer, chronic infectious diseases , being an organ transplant recipient or taking medications that weaken your immune system .
  • Severity of your shingles: If you have a severe rash, you have a greater chance of PHN.
  • Painful, itchy or tingly feeling before shingles rash: If you had these symptoms in an area of skin a few days before your shingles rash broke out, you are at higher risk of PHN.
  • Waiting to see your healthcare provider after shingles rash: If you wait longer than three days after your rash appeared missing the window to receive antiviral drugs you have an increased chance of PHN.

Week Two: Possible Infection

Target Lesions Rash

It is important to wash your hands, keep the shingles rash and blisters clean and try not to scratch. Scratching blisters can cause infection, says Dr. Bridges. Cellulitis and impetigo are two secondary skin infections associated with shingles. Folks with a compromised immune system are far more likely to also develop these types of infections. If your shingles rash swells, become pus-filled or weeps, these are signs that you have, in fact, gotten a bacterial infection. A topical antibiotic may be prescribed to apply to lesions to treat an infection, says Dr. Bridges, noting that a topical can also help prevent infection.

Don’t Miss: What Does Cvs Charge For Shingles Vaccine

Lasting Pain After Shingles

Pain that continues for a long time after a shingles rash has disappeared is called post-herpetic neuralgia. This is the most common complication of shingles. Its still not clear how it can be prevented or what the best treatment is.

Shingles typically causes a rash accompanied by pain in the affected area. The pain normally goes away when the rash goes away. This usually happens after two to four weeks. Pain that continues for longer is referred to as post-herpetic neuralgia. The word “post-herpetic” means “post-herpes” because the pain arises after infection by the herpes zoster virus. In very rare cases pain can come back after a shingles infection, even if it had already gone away and the rash has disappeared.

The main symptom of post-herpetic neuralgia is pain in the nerves . The skin is often overly sensitive and itchy as well. This can make it difficult or painful to wash yourself, turn over in bed, or hug someone. The pain and itching can be very severe and might keep you from sleeping.

Is There A Treatment For Shingles

While there is no cure for shingles, there are treatments out there that can be done at home or prescribed by your doctor to speed up recovery and ease symptoms.

“If your skin is very itchy in places, you can try using cool or wet compresses to ease the itch,” suggests Dr Wild. “You can also take paracetamol if you have any pain or a fever.”

Dr Wild also suggests wearing smooth, cotton fabrics as they are less likely to irritate your skin. To keep your rash clean and dry as well, so you reduce the risk of infection.

Read Also: Does Medicare Part D Cover Shingles Vaccine

What Is Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis causes you to have extremely painful, swollen joints and can make you feel very tired. It can affect your joints after youve had an infection somewhere else in your body, such as a tummy bug, diarrhoea , or a throat infection.

The most common joints to be affected are the knees and ankles.

Its sometimes called Reiter syndrome and can affect people of any age, including children.

Reactive arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis. Unlike other types of inflammatory arthritis, for many people reactive arthritis lasts a relatively short amount of time – usually around three months to a year.

However, some people find it lasts longer and can have random flare-ups years after they first get it.

The pain, swelling and extreme tiredness of reactive arthritis come after the initial infection. The infection itself may have been so mild you barely noticed it.

It is not yet known exactly why infections trigger reactive arthritis. One theory is that once your immune system has dealt with the infection, fragments of bacteria travel through your bloodstream and collect in the lining of your joints. Your immune system then reacts by causing joint inflammation.

Most people diagnosed with reactive arthritis find they have good days and bad days. It usually clears up within six months without leaving any lasting problems. However, a small number of people do go on to develop another type of arthritis that needs long-term treatment.

How I Avoided Shingles Horror

Shingles nerve pain relief | What is postherpetic neuralgia?

Let me tell you how Julissa Clays program achieves what it does and youll see for yourself.

Youre possibly aware that shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

Remember chickenpox? The varicella-zoster virus has been with you since you got rid of that illness which was possible decades ago.

Our immune systems beat and then suppress the virus so that it no longer harms us. However, the virus still lies dormant in our nerve cells. Our immune system keeps it in check so that it does us no further harm.

However, if the immune system falters the varicella-zoster virus reactivates. And shingles are the result.

Most people had chickenpox when they were young. They, therefore, carry the varicella-zoster virus. Many never go on to get shingles. Their immune system wins out and varicella-zoster remains dormant for life, never getting the chance to resurface.

Many others do get the illness. Millions every year, in fact. Im one of those people. You are too. Basically, our immune system fought a losing battle and the virus has run rampant throughout the nervous system.

If youre suffering right now I dont need to describe the consequences of this.

But, as you now realize, its not only the suffering we go through in the first 4 6 weeks that causes problems. The mix of a weakened immune system and a system-wide attack on nerves is very dangerous.

Shingles lead to complications with intensely painful PHN its most common complication.

You May Like: Where Does Shingles Pain Occur

What The Shingles Solution Did For Me

The program did four things for me. These are essential for anybody suffering shingles right now. They were crucial to my quick and full recovery:

  • The program cleared up my shingles scabs in record time. They dried quickly and cleared with virtually no scarring.
  • It reduced the itching to almost nothing and ensured I had almost no pain at all. Shingles for me was almost a background feeling it didnt affect my day to day life at all.
  • The program stopped me suffering postherpetic neuralgia a fate I absolutely dreaded. I was probably most glad about this. When my shingles went there were no PHN complications afterward.
  • It has ensured that my first attack of shingles was my last attack of shingles. Even though I was able to minimize my shingles experience I certainly didnt want it a second time.
  • I had shingles for less than half the time most other people have it. And I suffered zero after-effects.

    If you have to have shingles this is the way you want to have it!

    And do be clear about this: there is nothing unusual about the outcome I enjoyed. I wasnt some rare, lucky person.

    Put plainly, thousands of people with shingles take this natural, evidence-based approach to their illness and get well quickly with minimal pain and no after-effects.

    Others trust drugs and pharmaceuticals only and take their chances. That as my brother found out can end very badly.

    Why A Natural Approach Rather Than Pharmaceutical Drugs

    Our bodies operate powerfully, natural health systems specifically designed to keep you well. Healthy is your bodys natural state. It becomes ill because of what we do to it. Make small, beneficial changes and you go back to your bodys preferred healthy state.

    Remember: we get shingles from a weakened immune system. And that system didnt weaken on its own. We did things that caused it. By reversing what we did. our immune system comes back online, strong, powerful, and able to fight off all kinds of affliction. Including shingles.

    Note something important here: it wasnt pharmas drugs or meds that caused the illness. So why would those things remedy it? If we behaved our way into shingles then we can behave our way out of it.

    This is exactly what The Shingles Solution showed me. And it worked.

    Read Also: Shingles In Palm Of Hand

    If You Had Chickenpox As A Child You Likely Remember Those Itchy Bumps And Tiny Blisters That Turned Into Scabs You Werent Supposed To Pick That Very Same Virus That Gave You Childhood Chickenpox Also Causes Shingles

    If you had chickenpox as a child, you likely remember those itchy bumps and tiny blisters that turned into scabs you werent supposed to pick . That very same virus that gave you childhood chickenpox also causes shingles an even less pleasant viral infection that leads to a much more painful rash. And having inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may raise your risk for developing shingles.

    Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about shingles, and what you can do to minimize your odds of getting it.

    Is Fatigue A Symptom Of Shingles

    17 Best images about Common Pain Syndromes We Treat on Pinterest ...

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Shingle is a disease of a nerve and the encompassing skin surface which is mostly supplied by the nerve itself, brought on by the varicella-zoster infection.

    This is the same infection that causes chickenpox and any individual who has recouped from chickenpox, whether young or old can easily get shingles.

    There are an expected 1 million instances of shingles every year in the US alone, with 1 in 3 individuals developing shingles amid their lifetime.

    Shingles are portrayed by an excruciating, rankling skin rash that ordinarily keeps going for 2 to 4 weeks.

    Indeed, even after the rash has dispersed, some individuals keep on experiencing nerve pains for quite a long time, or even years in some instances.

    This condition is known as postherpetic neuralgia or PHN and is the most well-known inconvenience of shingles. The danger of shingles and PHN usually increases as a person gets older.

    Recommended Reading: What To Expect After Shingles Vaccine

    Does Shingles Make You Tired

    Yes, many people say they feel extremely tired during and after infection. But it’s not actually shingles itself that makes people tired, Dr Wild explains, it’s the cause of the infection itself.

    “Shingles is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus, but normally only in one nerve root. Usually, the virus lies dormant and doesn’t cause any problems but if your immune system, which normally protects your body against infection, is weakened then the virus can become active again and cause shingles,” she says.

    This weakening of the immune system happens due to a whole number of reasons, Marian Nicholson, director of Shingles Support Society says. “We often find that a person was unwell or overtired, or had an operation or even a bereavement, and this stress or exhaustion occurred before shingles appeared.”

    The tiredness and general feelings of weakness shouldn’t last too long though. “They’ll most likely be gone within four weeks. At most, six weeks. If you are still experiencing symptoms after this time, visit your doctor,” Dr Wild adds.

    To help combat this tiredness, she recommends building relaxation techniques into your daily routine. “It can really help you to relax before bed and improve your sleep.”

    Pay particular attention to your bedtime routine around this time and make sure you have lots of wind-down time planned. Whether that’s having a bath, listening to relaxing music, practicing sleep-guided meditations or doing some gentle bedtime yoga.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Postherpetic Neuralgia

    Common postherpetic neuralgia symptoms include:

    • Burning, sharp, jagging or aching pain in the area where the shingles rash appeared.
    • Itchiness or numbness at or near the area of the former rash.
    • Pain that is constant or comes and goes. Pain typically lasts, on average, for three months after the rash has healed, but can last for more than a year or longer.
    • Pain at affected skin area can be brought on even with a light touch .
    • Pain gets worse at night or in heat or cold temperatures.

    Don’t Miss: How Long Does The Virus Shingles Last

    Is It Possible To Avoid Shingles

    Most people get shingles only once, but it is possible to get it two or more times.

    Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles later in life. There is a shingles vaccine that may help prevent shingles, or make it less painful. The vaccine is recommended for adults ages 60 and older, even if theyve previous had shingles.

    For children and adults who never had chickenpox, there is a vaccine that can help avoid getting the virus that causes both chickenpox and shingles.

    For anyone who has never had chickenpox and has not received the chickenpox vaccine, it is best to avoid contact with people who have shingles or chickenpox. Fluid from shingles blisters is contagious and can cause chickenpox, but not shingles.

    How Common Is Postherpetic Neuralgia

    UH COVID Recovery Clinic – Rheumatology

    Varicella-zoster virus causes both chickenpox and shingles. About 99% of Americans over age 40 have had chickenpox. About one in three people in the U.S. develop shingles in their lifetime. Some 10 to 18% of people who get shingles will develop postherpetic neuralgia. Postherpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles.

    Also Check: Can You Show Me What Shingles Look Like

    Is The Condition Curable

    There is no cure for shingles, but attacks can be rendered less severe and their duration shortened with the use of prescription antiviral drugs.

    Several antiviral medicinesacyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovirare available to treat shingles and shorten the length and severity of the illness. These medicines are most effective if you start taking them as soon as possible after the rash appears. If you think you have shingles, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss treatment.

    Pain medicine, either over-the-counter or a prescription from your doctor, may help relieve the pain caused by shingles. Wet compresses, calamine lotion, and colloidal oatmeal baths can also help relieve itching.

    Popular Articles
    Related news