Why is Shingles on the Increase?
In the not too distant past, children would catch chickenpox as part of their childhood rite of passage and they would then usually be immune for the rest of their lives.
The only drawback was the possibility of shingles developing later in life but this was less likely if they were in contact with their own grandchildren or other children (when they in turn had chickenpox) because such contact would mean a boost to the grandparents' own antibodies.
Both chickenpox and shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
Now with the introduction of the chickenpox vaccine, there are three distinct areas of concern
- The first is that children can always catch chickenpox as adults (when the vaccine wears off).
- The second is that their parents and grandparents (who would have had chickenpox themselves as children) become much more at risk of developing shingles. This is because there are no longer any children around with chickenpox to boost their antibodies.
- And the third is that those who have never had chickenpox in the first place can actually catch the virus from someone with shingles. The virus can be contagious if someone infected with shingles comes into contact with another person who has never had chickenpox.
The risk of shingles for their elderly population is the reason why health authorities in the UK never took the chickenpox vaccine on board
Nevertheless, US health authorities went full steam ahead introducing not one dose of chickenpox vaccine but two so that if parents don't put their collective foot down about vaccinations for their children, they can end up with 60 shots under the age of 6. And parents still wonder why the rates of asthma, eczema, autism, ADHD and so many other conditions have reached epidemic proportions in recent years.
The vaccine industry always has an answer
And now with the increasing number of the elderly falling victim to shingles, what does the vaccine industry do? Far from going back to the drawing board and looking into the origin of the herpes zoster problem, it decides to develop a shingles vaccine instead. Another great money spinner.
What is shingles?
This often painful viral condition is usually recognized by a rash on one side of the body. As I have said earlier, the virus that causes chickenpox – varicella-zoster – is also responsible for shingles. After being infected as a child so that you develop chickenpox, a small amount of the virus stays dormant in the nervous system.
But it can become re-activated when it travels along that same nervous system to the surface of the skin to appear as shingles. Shingles has become very common and the incidences are increasing. Approximately 1 million people in the US develop shingles annually – usually when they are elderly.
What are the symptoms of shingles?
- Painful, itchy or numb sensations beforehand in the area to be affected.
- The appearance of a rash a few days later.
- Fluid-filled blisters (not unlike chickenpox itself) appearing either on one side of the body or one area, the most common being the trunk of the body - especially close to the waist.
- The pain of shingles can continue after the rash has disappeared and develop into post herpetic neuralgia or PHN. This condition can be extremely painful and may continue for months or even years.
- Once you have had an initial shingles outbreak, it is possible to have further outbreaks.
The pain and severity of a shingles outbreak varies from person to person but in severe cases, this can be agonizing. Other signs of shingles may be a fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, stomach upset or shivering.
How can shingles be avoided
It is thought that a weakened immune system and aging are contributing factors. While no one can avoid getting older, it is possible to boost the immune system.
For a stronger immune system, what should you include?
- Add plenty of fresh herbs, raw fruits and vegetables to your diet together with pure and natural lemon juice every day to keep your body’s acid/alkaline balance at the best level for healthy bacteria to thrive.
- Make sure you eat sufficient quantities of protein – meat, fish, nuts, eggs and whole beans.
- Some of the best foods for immune system boosting are apples, oranges, broccoli, cantaloupe, brown rice, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruit and roots.
- Garlic either raw or in cooked form is another excellent immune booster
Three other important ways to boost your immune system
- Make sure you get out in the fresh air (winter and summer) to exercise, to do deep breathing and just to have some fun. Don’t be so bound up in your work or your chores that you never have time for yourself.
- Make time for your friends, have a good laugh as often as you can and learn to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
- If you are eating, drinking exercising well and managing your stress, then not only will your immune system receive a massive boost but a good night’s sleep will usually follow.
Remember too that if you have taken antibiotics recently, you will need to restore the healthy flora balance in your body by taking a daily probiotic containing acidophilus. Unfortunately, antibiotics can harm the good bacteria in your system while they are fighting an infection in your body.
How can shingles be treated naturally?
Shingles should be treated at the very first sign because early treatment can shorten the length of the illness and reduce both the severity of the symptoms and the risk of complications. While there is no cure for shingles, a natural formula when applied topically starts to provide relief immediately.
Using established homeopathic ingredients, H-Shingles Formula helps treat shingles and post herpetic neuralgia symptoms on contact safely and gently.
Get the Shringrix vaccine if you are 50 or older. (2019).
cdc.gov/shingles/multimedia/shringrix-50-older.html. (Accessed 1 October, 2021).
nhs.uk/conditions/shingles/. (Accessed 1 October, 2021).
nia.nih.gov/health/shingles. (Accessed 1 October, 2021).
Shingles (herpes zoster). (2020).
cdc.gov/shingles/index.html. (Accessed 1 October, 2021).
Shingles: Overview. (2018).
https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/shingles-overview. (Accessed 1 October, 2021).