Shingles

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2014 11:54 AM GMT
    Ugh, has anyone had this? Suffering from it right now. The doc gave me some drugs to help yesterday, and the rash seems to be clearing up. I just feel so exhausted today, though. It feels like an effort to do the simplest of tasks.

    I've been seriously stressed just recently, so attributing the shingles to that. Bit worried though, as I hear it can be a sign of HIV? icon_neutral.gif
  • Elian

    Posts: 60

    Jul 23, 2014 2:17 PM GMT
    That sucks. I don't suffer from it myself but i know someone who does. The thing is that many factor can lead to them appearing or getting worse.

    Anyway, they are more dangerous when you have HIV but they are not a indication that you have it.

    http://www.thebody.com/content/art6101.html

    Yeah, so don't worry too much, it sucks but well you will have to endure it...

    I will sound like your dad (thankfully, just in case I visit Birmingham icon_razz.gif) but if you have reasons to suspect it may be something else, go and get checked!
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    Jul 23, 2014 2:19 PM GMT
    I had shingles when I moved from Ontario to Prince Edward Island (leaving my family behind) It was likely cause by the stress. I did not know what it was at first. I thought it was an allergic reaction to a new deodorant. It got worse and started blistering before I finally went to the hospital to see what it was. They took a look and said "it's shingles, but we cannot do anything to treat it" after it progresses as long as it had. I just had to suffer through it by taking baths.

    It left my chest badly scarred but after seven years the scars have completely faded. (yay!)

    I know it can recur and I dread ever having to suffer through it again.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2014 2:32 PM GMT
    I hear there's a Shingle's vaccine you can get at Walgreens, although that won't help the OP.
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    Jul 23, 2014 3:11 PM GMT
    I thought shingles was caused by previously having had chicken pox? I.e., if you haven't had chicken pox then you won't get shingles.

    ... yes, as per Elian's link; "Shingles can only occur after someone has had chickenpox.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Jul 23, 2014 3:31 PM GMT
    I gather it is very, very painful. But there is a new vaccine that you only have to get once and you will never get shingles. I got it, got the injection at my pharmacy, and had no negative reaction and my insurance company picked up 100% of the cost. Simple. The only hitch is the vaccine only holds for three days so many pharmacies will only special order it so you have to ask them for it. And then show up immediately.

    GET VACCINATED!
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    Jul 23, 2014 4:13 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal saidI thought shingles was caused by previously having had chicken pox? I.e., if you haven't had chicken pox then you won't get shingles.

    ... yes, as per Elian's link; "Shingles can only occur after someone has had chickenpox.


    What if you don't remember if you had Chicken Pox or not?
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    Jul 23, 2014 4:25 PM GMT
    Jms31 saidBit worried though, as I hear it can be a sign of HIV? icon_neutral.gif


    i would get tested for piece of mind there.
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    Jul 23, 2014 4:46 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal saidI thought shingles was caused by previously having had chicken pox? I.e., if you haven't had chicken pox then you won't get shingles.

    ... yes, as per Elian's link; "Shingles can only occur after someone has had chickenpox.

    Correct. And I had chicken pox as a child, when there was no vaccine against it. Except to GET chicken pox, which some people thought a blessing as a child, since contracting it later as an adult could have more serious consequences.

    And I DID get shingles, when I was 44. While under a lot of stress, which some believe is a trigger. The chicken pox virus never leaves your body but remains dormant. I believe I read that the site is in the spinal cord, and when the virus becomes active it travels out along the nerve paths from the spine.

    I experienced it as individual red rash streaks across my back, horribly sore and itchy, looking almost like I had been flogged, or scratched by fingernails. I could barely bear to wear a shirt, much less lean against a chair back. It made my last few months in the Army rather miserable.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2014 5:44 PM GMT
    Shingles can only be activated if you've had chicken pox before. If you've been vaccinated for chicken pox, you shouldn't get shingles.

    I got shingles earlier this year (at the age of 24, fuck me) because of a car accident. Getting rear ended caused stress on my body and thus, the chicken pox virus that was suppressed in me for years reactivated and mutated into shingles. The sooner you identify it and see the doctor, the faster it will heal and stop hurting. I got a shot from my doctor and he gave me some pills to take for a week. My shingles didn't get severe and went away in roughly 1-2 weeks.
    Give it a few days if you just started taking the meds. Your energy will come back but the initial stages will be tough icon_sad.gif

    I was worried about the HIV thing for a little bit too but my Doc said not to worry about it and it's very unlikely to be HIV. Our brains like to assume the worst. Stop stressing and just chillax! Happy healing icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 23, 2014 9:12 PM GMT
    You are unable to get the vaccination once you have had an outbreak. The virus that causes it is in your system if you had the chickenpox, which is in the same family as cold sores or basically herpes (without the sexual stigma, but still the same virus just manifested elsewhere). It was dormant until stress or and lack of sleep caused an outbreak. The place where you have an outbreak will always be the same my aunt gets it on her face which can be dangerous as the rash forms along the nerve line it infected. Too close to eye you can go blind. I get it from my right arm pit traveling down my back over my left hip around the groin and inside calf never reaching my knee. For my aunt and myself like clockwork twice a year we get outbreaks that is due to having an autoimmune genetic disease. Anyone I know with Khrones this is true. I am guessing that our overactive immune system goes on vacation for servicing and shingles raises it's ugly head. The blisters are very annoying and you need to keep them dry. Baby powder is a lot of help there. It must run it's course but I have discovered using cold sore topical on blistered area gets them to heal faster. Don't break the blisters as that is what is contagious. If your scabbing your not. I feel your pain buddy - rest no stress and keep dry
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    Jul 23, 2014 10:13 PM GMT
    shyextrovert saidYou are unable to get the vaccination once you have had an outbreak.

    Can you cite your source for that? I'm not seeing anything in the literature that contraindicates the vaccine if a person has had a previous case of shingles.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Jul 23, 2014 10:21 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    shyextrovert saidYou are unable to get the vaccination once you have had an outbreak.

    Can you cite your source for that? I'm not seeing anything in the literature that contraindicates the vaccine if a person has had a previous case of shingles.


    lol why would you get vaccinated against something you already have?
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    Jul 23, 2014 10:48 PM GMT
    tj85016 said
    Art_Deco said
    shyextrovert saidYou are unable to get the vaccination once you have had an outbreak.

    Can you cite your source for that? I'm not seeing anything in the literature that contraindicates the vaccine if a person has had a previous case of shingles.

    lol why would you get vaccinated against something you already have?

    Against continued outbreaks. I also contracted pneumonia in my late 30s, and so I was advised by doctors to have the pneumonia vaccine shot, which I've done.

    Now go back to trolling gay subjects. You're much better at that than medical topics.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2014 11:03 PM GMT
    One question to the younger generation: did you ask your parents why they didn't vaccinate you as a child?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2014 12:26 AM GMT
    Had it last year due to an overly strict diet I started and stress. Didn't last too long though. I believe the vaccine is usually only provided to the elderly. If you were diagnosed with shingles then it's not likely HIV. The rash is usually on one side of your body.
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    Jul 24, 2014 12:29 AM GMT
    bachian saidOne question to the younger generation: did you ask your parents why they didn't vaccinate you as a child?

    Unfortunately many mothers think that vaccinations are dangerous. There are many people here on RJ who avoid getting the flu vaccine because they feel the same way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2014 1:22 AM GMT
    I skimmed thread quickly. Yeah, the vaccine is mostly for older people. It is caused by stress and previously having had chicken pox.

    The drugs they have for it help and they have patches for your skin. I got it when I was so stressed out with all the deaths I experienced, the betrayals and right when I moved to start fresh. Moving is very stressful even without other stresses in life.

    My understanding is that you usually only get it once if at all and not again after that. My case was fairly mild, having caught it quickly and gone to the doctor for treatment right away. I've had poison ivy that was way worse than shingles.

    But you have to be careful with shingles. No one will catch shingles from you, but you could give chicken pox to someone who has been neither exposed nor vaccinated for that. So be careful not to expose anyone to your shingles until after you heal up. it's not airborne, check me on this but I think it's contact with the oozy stuff inside the rash.
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Jul 24, 2014 2:09 AM GMT
    Cut out ALL artificial sweeteners from your diet, 4ever;
    especially, Aspartame!
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    Jul 24, 2014 3:01 AM GMT
    Did a little online research, and I'm reading that shingles CAN reoccur. A reason for me to still get the vaccine, despite an episode when I was 44. The CDC recommends not getting the vaccine until 60+ (which I am now), although other sources say over 50 is permissible.

    Below is a photo of a shingles outbreak on the back, where I got mine. But other parts of the body can be affected, and some pics I saw look as awful as leprosy, especially on the face, so I guess I got off easy.

    You may notice the rash is loosely organized into bands, curving down from the spine, which I had, only mine were fewer and a little more tightly defined. And I had those pustules, too, very irritating. I now read you shouldn't pop them, but I did, which seemed to reduce some of their pain.

    Shingles-2.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2014 4:07 AM GMT
    I had shingles back in high school. It was from stress due to college apps and SATs and all that jazz. At first, I thought it was an insect bite of some sort but it got worse to the point where it starting becoming blisters filled with fluid. TMI I know. Doctors put me on antibiotics and told me to put Calamine lotion on the rash. Don't scratch it and make sure no one uses a towel that you have used on the rash. You should be fully recovered in a week, two the most. Shingles comes from the chickenpox virus so if you've had chickenpox before, you can get this. When your immune system weakens, whether from stress or other conditions, the virus will resurface in the form of shingles. If you've had shingles once, its highly unlikely for you to ever get a second outbreak in your life. Not saying its impossible, but it'll be rare. Just get plenty of rest with lots of fluids and vitamins and stuff.
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    Jul 24, 2014 6:43 AM GMT
    I'm pretty sure only people over a certain age can get the vaccine in the UK. I know my mum's had it, but it's never been given to me.

    The rash seems to be getting better now, and the pain's gone. It's just super itchy. I've been under so much stress recently, and it probably hasn't helped that I've neglected my usual diet of lean meat and veg, and not had enough sleep. Feeling like I'm on the mend, anyway icon_smile.gif
  • killercliche

    Posts: 948

    Jul 24, 2014 7:51 AM GMT
    It's interesting how many younger people are posting about getting shingles. I got shingles at age 19 and the doctor was shocked, saying it really only commonly appears in folks older than 50 or so.
  • frogman89

    Posts: 418

    Jul 24, 2014 8:50 AM GMT
    It only makes sense to get vaccinated if you didn't have the chicken pox yet. If you have had them, vaccination isn't going to help prevent shingles.

    The virus, once you were infected with it, lies dormant in the neurons in your spinal chord. There they are unreachable for the immune system. So even if you get vaccinated, it won't destroy the virus.

    Whereas it can't prevent an outbreak of shingles, though, it can attenuate the process, so it's not as fierce.



    Shingles in young people is very unusual. But it can be triggered either by stress or immune deficiency. The most common reason for an immune deficiency in young men is HIV. So it does make sense to check if you are positive or not. It's not rare that people get diagnosed only after they had an infection that is highly unusual for an immune-competent person.
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    Jul 24, 2014 1:40 PM GMT
    bachian saidOne question to the younger generation: did you ask your parents why they didn't vaccinate you as a child?



    My parents gave me the ultimate vaccination, when one of my siblings had Chickenpox they threw us all in the bathtub and had us all get infected at once so that crap could be over and done with...... I believe I had chickenpox when I was 1.5..icon_cool.gif