Learning about Shingles Disease - Basic Information

Wish to learn about shingles? For the purpose of this article, "shingles disease" and "shingles" will be used interchangeably.

Shingles is caused by the same virus (varicella-zoster) that gave you the chicken pox when you were a child. This virus does not go away once a person contracts it, but instead, lays dormant within the cell tissue (most likely surrounding the spinal column).

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A note about Learning about Shingles Disease - Basic Information

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

Most people never hear from the varicella virus again. In some people, however, factors such as extreme or repeated bouts with stress or immune system suppression (due to any number of diseases, dietary deficiencies) cause the virus to reappear.

Shingles disease can, and often does, come upon a person without warning. It appears accompanied by fever; soreness in the area where it is about to appear; and, before long, painful red sores with blisters that open, cause spreading, dry up and crust over continually for the duration of the outbreak.

Although shingles disease can occur on your body at various points, it is most often seen wrapped from the center of the chest to the center of the back (on one side only) in a band of tingling, burning blisters. Other common locations are around one eye (can lead to eye damage) or on one side of the face or neck. While it is not life-threatening, the misery it causes leaves people virtually immobilized.

The varcella virus is in the same family as the herpe viruses (cold sores and genital herpes), though not the same strain. It does not cause any type of sexually transmitted disease. It is, however, contagious, especially to those who have never had chicken pox. This occurs through direct contact with the open sores of the rash. The good thing is (possibly) once a person is infected, he will come down with a case of chicken pox and not shingles disease.

While early treatment may help to shorten an outbreak or lessen the chance of complications as the result of one, there are no remedies that prevent shingles. A vaccination can be given to help reduce the risk of the condition, but many argue against giving it when the issue of who is at risk is raised. At best, sufferers are at the mercy of pain medication and/or natural remedies for pain and other shingle symptoms, such as excessive itching, fatigue and other flu like indications of its presence.

Those at risk of shingles disease are anyone who has a weaken immune system (due to diseases or their treatments, the use of steroids such as prednisone, those HIV/AIDS positive), the elderly (generally those over 50), pregnant women, newborns, and those who have had chicken pox earlier in their lives.

Avoid humid or hot areas - they can be irritants. If blisters seem to be becoming infected, dab them with hydrogen peroxide. Other relief can be provided by making a solution of apple cider vinegar and water. This can be dabbed onto the affected areas with cotton balls.

Blisters can also be sponged with a mixture of aloe vera gel, honey and leek juice, vitamin E by itself, or cooled goldenseal or peppermint teas. Of course, there are the two faithful stand-bys - a paste of baking soda and water or calamine lotion.

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