What Causes Shingles To Activate
What causes shingles to activate?
After someone has had chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in their body for most of their life. The virus activates shingles when youre feeling run-down or stressed out.
Some people get shingles when their immune system is weakened by an illness or treatment for cancer. Lets take a look at these factors:
- A weakened immune system . When were sick, or when we take certain medications, our bodies are more vulnerable to pathogens like shinglesand this makes it crucial that we take extra care of ourselves.
- Stress. Stress is another factor that can activate shingles. The stress hormone cortisol can increase the severity of your symptoms and make them last longer than they normally would. If you have shingles, its important to avoid stress as much as possible because it could make your symptoms worse or even cause a relapse.
- Sunlight . Youve probably heard that sunlight can help you get rid of shingles faster. But its not as simple as that. UV light can also be a trigger for the virus that causes shingles, and it can reactivate your outbreak.
So if youre going through treatment, try to avoid sun exposure as much as possible. Stay out of tanning beds or other artificial sources of UV lightand wear sunscreen when youre outside in the sun.
- If you have shingles, it is also important to avoid trauma to your skin. Trauma to your skin, such as a cut or burn, can activate the virus in your body and cause pain.
How You Can Treat Shingles By Changing Your Diet
When I found out my best friend had shingles, I knew we could nip it in the bud lickity-split. Shingles suck yes, its true, but they are always diet/stress/lifestyle-related. Therefore, unlike other more elusive autoimmunities, healing shingles has a clear path.
Barrett and I have been friends for almost twenty years she was there through my psoriasis diagnosis and subsequent healing . Curing my supposedly incurable autoimmune disease led to culinary school and an integrated nutritional program. Ive now been a holistic chef and nutritional counselor for just shy of a decade. As nuanced as it always is, guiding people through their healing process is the most rewarding work of my life.
Luckily, this is simple to fix. But its not easy. It takes a 100% commitment of you choosing to put you first so you can better serve others . If your body is speaking to you, listen. Even though we havent been on planes in a thousand years, remember: we must put our oxygen mask on first.
WHAT TO EATlean protein whole eggs all vegetables tons of bitter greens fresh fruits, in moderation nuts and seeds fresh herbs healthy fats mustard, vinegar, dried spices ginger, turmeric, Ceylon cinnamon, collagen, EFA supplement, oil of oregano, magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, B12 coconut milk alternative nut milks caffeine-free teasplain sparkling water regular old good for you water
Heres to your health and willpower. You can do it!
Recipe: Tzatziki Garlic Dip
Ingredients: 1.5 cups plain Greek yoghurt 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 Persian cucumbers, diced juice and zest from one Meyer lemon 1 tablespoon each fresh dill and mint, chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil
Method: Blend ingredients in a glass bowl. Chill. Serve as a dipping sauce for fresh vegetables, drizzle on burgers, pitas or kebobs.
Catharine Kaufman can be reached at
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Can Shingles Be Prevented Or Avoided
The best way to prevent shingles is through vaccination. Vaccinate your children for chickenpox. This vaccine reduces their risk for getting chickenpox. You cant get shingles unless youve had chickenpox first.
When you are older, get the shingles vaccine. It is recommended for adults 50 years of age and older. It can prevent shingles. People who have had shingles should get the vaccine to help stop the disease from reoccurring. Common side effects of the vaccine are headache, plus redness, swelling, itching, and soreness at the injection site.
The shingles vaccine is not recommended for anyone who:
- Has had an allergic reaction to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin
- Has an allergy to any component of the shingles vaccine
- Has a weakened immune system due to conditions such as leukemia, HIV, or AIDS
- Is receiving treatment for cancer
- Is being treated with drugs that suppress their immune system, including high-dose steroids
- Is pregnant or might become pregnant within 4 weeks of getting the vaccine
How To Stay Safe Out There
While you’re getting up to date on your shingles vaccine, get fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19. Follow the fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you liveif you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with , practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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Keep In Mind That Until Your Inner Ecosystem Heals Most Nuts Are Too Acid
A small amount of nuts and seeds can be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet for many, but they are not meant to be eaten in large quantities like were doing today. And, if you feel the signs of the flu or a viral outbreak coming on, well, this is the time to avoid them completely. Increase your intake of lysine, along with vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc.
If youre ready to start gaining control over a viral infection, we urge you to begin with our complete 4 to 10-day Antiviral Protocol.
The Body Ecology Living Cookbook also has many delicious recipes for everyone, including people following vegetarian and raw food diets. It contains flavorful recipes with key foods mentioned in this article, like the Omega-3 Nutrient Boost Smoothie and the Avocado and Grapefruit Salad.
Am I At Risk For Shingles
Everyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for developing shingles. Researchers do not fully understand what makes the virus become active and cause shingles. But some things make it more likely:
- Older age. The risk of developing shingles increases as you age. About half of all shingles cases are in adults age 60 or older. The chance of getting shingles becomes much greater by age 70.
- Trouble fighting infections. Your immune system is the part of your body that responds to infections. Age can affect your immune system. So can HIV, cancer, cancer treatments, too much sun, and organ transplant drugs. Even stress or a cold can weaken your immune system for a short time. These all can put you at risk for shingles.
Most people only have shingles one time. However, it is possible to have it more than once.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles
Usually, shingles develops only on one side of the body or face and in a small area rather than all over. The most common place for shingles is a band that goes around one side of your waistline.
Most people have some of the following shingles symptoms:
- Burning, tingling, or numbness of the skin
- Feeling sickchills, fever, upset stomach, or headache
- Fluid-filled blisters
- Skin that is sensitive to touch
- Mild itching to strong pain
Depending on where shingles develops, it could also cause symptoms like hiccups or even loss of vision.
For some people, the symptoms of shingles are mild. They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze.
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How Is Shingles Treated
There is no cure for shingles, but antiviral medicine may relieve the symptoms and help prevent complications. See your doctor for a prescription of antiviral medicines as soon as possible after symptoms develop. Treatment should be started within 3 days of the shingles rash appearing.
If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about whether antivirals are right for you.
Over-the counter medicines, such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, can be used for pain relief. If over-the-counter medicines are not controlling your pain, your doctor may prescribe other medicines.
There are several things you can do to help manage the condition. They include the following.
Also Check: How To Prevent Shingles Outbreak
Signs You Have Shingles Right Now
You’ve probably seen those TV ads for the shingles vaccine, and they’ve blended into all the other information you see about preventative medicine on a daily basis. But there are good reasons why those ads are so omnipresent: Shingles is a potentially serious disease that’s best prevented if possible, and it’s important to seek early treatment for shingles symptoms to prevent long-term complications like loss of sight. These are the early signs of shingles that it’s crucial to be aware of. Read on to find out moreand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Avoid These Foods If You Have Shingles
You can reduce shingles pain, skin rash, itching, and blisters by limiting or avoiding consumption of the following foods.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article on five grape seed extract benefits.
Read Also: Can You Have Shingles And No Rash
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is another diuretic, and it will dehydrate you as well.
While dehydration isnt as significant an issue for people with shingles as in those with other conditions like heart failure or asthma , it still isnt good for your body to be going through so much fluid loss.
Caffeine can also raise your blood pressure and heart rate, increase anxiety levels, and lead to more pain in shingles patients.
When To Seek Medical Advice
Shingles is not usually serious, but you should see your GP as soon as possible if you recognise the symptoms. Early treatment may help reduce the severity of your symptoms and the risk of developing complications.
You should also see your GP if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system and you think you have been exposed to someone with chickenpox or shingles and havent had chickenpox before.
Recommended Reading: Cvs Shingles Vaccine Appointment
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Skin Care And Itch Relief For Shingles
To relieve itching and discomfort, try:
- A cool, wet compresses on the affected skin
- Soothing baths and lotions, such as colloidal oatmeal bath, starch baths, or calamine lotion
- Zostrix, a cream that contains capsaicin
- Antihistamines to reduce itching
Keep your skin clean. Throw away bandages you use to cover your skin sores. Throw away or wash in hot water clothing that has contact with your skin sores. Wash your sheets and towels in hot water.
While your skin sores are still open and oozing, avoid all contact with anyone who has never had chickenpox, especially pregnant women.
How Does It Occur
If you have had chickenpox, you are at risk for later developing shingles. After you recover from chickenpox, the chickenpox virus stays in your body. It moves to the roots of your nerve cells and becomes inactive . Later, if the virus becomes active again, shingles is the name given to the symptoms it causes.
What exactly causes the virus to become active is not known. A weakened immune system seems to allow reactivation of the virus. This may occur with normal aging, immune-suppressing medicines, or another illness, or after major surgery. It can also happen as a complication of cancer or AIDS or treatment of these illnesses. Chronic use of steroid drugs may trigger shingles. The virus may also become active again after the skin is injured or sunburned. Emotional stress seems to be a common trigger as well.
Also Check: Why Is The Shingles Vaccine So Expensive
Can Shingles Be Prevented
There are 2 vaccines available to reduce the likelihood of developing shingles, Zostavax and Shingrix. If you are over 50, you can talk to your doctor about whether you need it. It is recommended for everyone over 60 and is given free of charge in Australia to people aged 70 to 79.
Vaccination will not guarantee that you will not get shingles, but it will reduce your chance of developing the condition. The vaccine used to protect against shingles is not the same as the vaccine used to protect against chickenpox. Read more about the chickenpox vaccine here.
What Is Shingles Cream
There are no drugs to prevent shingles from coming back once youve had it. You can take medication to help ease symptoms and make them go away faster, but theres no cure for shingles.
Shingles cream is a topical treatment that contains an antiviral medicine called acyclovir, which helps reduce itching and inflammation associated with shingles. These creams can also help prevent the rash from spreading to other parts of your body.
And while youre waiting for your body to recover from this virus, there are some things, particularly foods, that you should avoid eating if you have shingles.
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Will Eating Tuna Make Shingles Worse
Shingles is a nasty condition in which the chickenpox virus triggers a painful rash many years later. The varicella zoster virus can lie dormant for years after a young person recovers from chickenpox. Then, a middle-aged or older person may suddenly develop pain and tenderness. The rash that follows can be itchy as well as agonizing. Doctors can prescribe antiviral medications to ease the pain. Of course, people have found these work best when taken early in the course of the disease. Are there things that can make shingles worse? Youd want to avoid those.
Foods That Help Heal Shingles Virus
In the medical world, shingles seems like an open-and-shut case. Youve got a patient with the textbook rash, nerve pain on the side or back, and thats all, folks. The truth is that the shingles virus is responsible for millions of peoples mystery symptoms, from rashes that confound dermatologists to neurological symptoms like twitching, tingling, burning, spasms, chronic migraines, headaches, and much more. Varieties of shingles are responsible for Bells palsy, frozen shoulder, diabetic nerve pain, colitis, vaginal burning, burning in other areas, TMJ, Lyme disease, sciatic pain, and even misdiagnosed MS.
What doctors dont yet know is that there isnt merely one type of shingles virus, but over 30 varieties. This matters because different types of shingles cause different symptoms. It also matters because medical communities dont even recognize the majority of shingles cases as being the result of a virus. For example, any of the more aggressive varieties of shingles can cause Lyme disease symptoms yet doctors currently believe Lyme disease is caused by bacteria.
To understand how shingles works in the body, the different types of shingles viruses, and how to heal, check out the chapter on this virus also in Medical Medium.
Green beans contain anti-inflammatory chlorophyll-based compounds that are beneficial for any symptom or condition caused by shingles.
Learn more about how to heal from the New York Times bestselling book Cleanse To Heal.
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The Most Important Tip For Shingles
I know that this is a lot of information so give yourself time to take it all in. Perhaps, more importantly take this one piece of advice: RELAX. Shingles is usually brought on by stress in your life. While I didnt think I had a lot of stress , when I listed everything on my plate its easy to see how my body was overburdened.
The biggest lesson learned through this process is how important it is to really, truly support your body. People often mentioned how lucky I was to be able to have a job that works from home, but when youre sick its easy to just reach for your phone in bed or work on a project while recovering on the couch. The boundaries are less clear. Though I did the bare minimum I needed to do, I mostly took a lot of time to rest, nap, journal, watch TV and essentially do nothing.
I would have loved to have gone on walks or been outside but the pain of the wind on my face made it impossible. I was upset over this but C reminded me that compassion is a big part of the recovery process. So even though I felt stir crazy, I also knew that going outside actually created more stress in my life. Acknowledging those stressors and putting in plans of action to eliminate or diffuse them is the key to getting over shingles.
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Overall I can tell Im drastically improved from where I was and also have learned one of lifes most important lessons: STRESS IS REAL and it can manifest physically, so dont ignore it!