Is shingles a form of herpes?
The answer is yes, shingles is also called herpes zoster. This disease is from the same virus which causes chickenpox. While the spread of chickenpox is greatest among the young children, shingles can only be spread to those who have never been exposed to the childhood disease.
Once a person has had chickenpox this virus remains in the body and can flare up any time as shingles; it is a very painful disease. Often a person is unaware that they have shingles until the itching, tingling, and burning around the torso area begins. Early symptoms can be headaches, sensitivity to light, or a general feeling of lack of energy and many times the symptoms can mimic the flu making diagnosing difficult.
It takes a few days then a blistery rash appears, this disease is usually confined to only one side of the body or the face, the rash usually shows itself as a strip or belt like pattern. Until the rash appears, shingles can be difficult to diagnose.
Who is Affected
Though shingles can happen to anyone it usually affects the population over 60 years of age. Shingles typically is triggered in individuals with a weakened immune system. Because of the redness which appears with the disease some countries call shingles "St Anthony's fire", this disease effects the nervous system whether the rash is present or not.
With shingles, they are not spread from one person to another unless the other person has never had chickenpox. Surprisingly shingles can erupt from unmanaged stress, sever illnesses, or excessive or prolonged use of corticosteroids.
We find that many people are infected with the virus as children; while chickenpox diminishes the intensity of the virus, the virus remains dormant in the ganglia next to the spinal cord.
A clinical study including random participants above the age of 35 years, were separated into two groups. Group one was given a placebo, while the other group was given the use of beta-glucan, the beta-glucan group reported an increase in immunity to the illness, which caused the herpes zoster by 61%. The placebo group had only a 7% increase.
The treatment at the present time has only been to shorten the length of time and to diminish the risk if side effects. As for herpes zoster, there is no quick cure or treatment until now. Dr. Rawlings a homeopathic doctor in Florida has extended her practice to include natural medicines for the last 10 years.