How to Treat Shingles

If you had childhood chicken pox, your parents probably told you that you would never get it again. That’s good to any kid who has just endured those little blisters, the itching, and the fever. Too bad your parents were wrong!

The same virus that causes chicken pox-the varicella-zoster virus-can continue to live an undercover existence in your nerve cells, and it may emerge later. The second time around you don’t get the childhood version of itchy, blothcy chicken pox. instead, you get the adult version, shingles which is characterized by searing pain and lesions that can leave a good-size scar.

It’s hard to tell why the virus re-emerges in some people and not others and impossible to tell when it’s going to crop up
again. Certainly elderly people get it more often than young people, and some individuals are more likely to develop shingles when they’re under severe stress or when there immune systems have been weakened. Adults may get shingles after an Illness. For cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, compromised Immune systems may be a factor in bringing on shingles.

What characterizes all of these situations is a weakened immune system in which your body’s disease-fighting soldiers, the antibodies, are in short supply. The virus looked for the right opportunity when your antibody production is down. Stress is one of the biggest causes of reduced antibody production. When people become stressed, they don’t eat right, they don’t sleep well. And their Immune system just don’t function as well.

Typically, during a shingles outbreak, you have tingling and pain around your torso, neck, or face. Lesions, or small blisters, may break out on the skin near the site of the infected nerve. The pain lasts from two to four weeks, but in some cases, it can last for months. If it does, you’ve moved from shingles to a condition known as post herpectic neuralgia.

Fighting the virus: Once it get’s loose, there’s no cure for the vermicelli-zoster virus, but there may be ways to slow it down or limit damage during the outbreak. Medical doctors frequently prescribe an antiviral drug such as Zovirax or Famvir to shorten the course of the infection. In order to hasten healing, treatment should be started within two to three days of the first appearence of the small blisters. In addition, you may be able to boost your immunity and help fight the virus with some herbs. Like Echinacea.

Echinacea speeds white bloods cells to the infection site, you can add astragalus to help with he healing process.
This herb provides what is known as deep immune support, working within the bone marrow where immune cells are manufactured. Astragalus provides immune support on a long-term basis. That’s important because people who get shingles may have a weakened immune system that needs to be built up again.

Licorice: This some what tastey anitviral has strong properties. If you take powdered licorice root in capsules, however, the dose should be 2000 milligrams three times a day.

Take licorice with caution, and don’t take it at all if you are pregnant or nursing or if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disorders, or kidney problems. Who would have known that licorice was good for something. To beat the pain you can think about taking Vitamin B12 injectionls or tablets. Vitamin B12 seems to maintain the fatty membranes that sheathe and insulate the nerves. There’s no evidence that it reduces the length of the Illness. Some people have difficulty absorbing B12, but it definitely speeds up the healing, and it may lessen the chance of a person getting the post herpetic neuralgic pain.

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