In the past ten years recent studies and research with alternative treatments for shingles has shown it is possible to recover in less than one week and to reduce outbreaks of lesions and pain in three days.
Shingles is a serious health condition and it is important to follow your doctor's recommendations. Traditionally, most doctors prescribe painkillers for the temporary symptomatic relief of the pain and an antiviral drug to suppress the virus. This form of treatment with drugs reduces the severity and frequency of outbreaks but does not eliminate it from the body. This course of treatment can take six weeks or more and does very little for the patient. The pain associated with shingles can continue long after the initial outbreak.
Some doctors prescribe steroids or itch-relieving creams that contain steroids. Recent studies question the effectiveness of steroids in relieving shingles and suggest avoiding any treatment with steroids. Monitoring by your doctor is recommended, if steroids have been prescribed. It is best to find alternative treatments with your doctor and to seek out natural remedies.
The virus herpes zoster causes shingles and is the same virus that causes chicken pox. Shingles is an infection of the central nervous system and may affect the elderly, those with a compromised immune system, anyone under severe stress or those who have been exposed to the chickenpox virus again. Symptoms may include burning, itching, or pain in one part of the body. A few days later, blisters and a rash appear. The infection may run along a nerve path and look like a branch of a tree. Shingles usually appear on the trunk area and the chest but can also be found on the face. Shingles can cause blindness if it affects the eyes. If an outbreak occurs on the face the patient should get immediate medical care.
Natural Remedies For Shingles
A good starting point for treating shingles is a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. A good diet and reducing daily stress will help boost your immune system
A simple remedy for lesions is to apply a cool or cold wet washcloth or towel to the affected area. A wet towel can be put into the freezer for a while after wetting it to make it colder.
Eliminate sugar from your diet and add these important nutrients to your daily diet - vitamin E, vitamin B12 and vitamin C.
* Vitamin C is suggested with an initial diagnosis of shingles. You may start with 1,000 mg. (+)
* Vitamin E taken daily before meals may reduce the pain of shingles (Study published in the Archives of Dermatology) (+)
* Vitamin B12 injections may reduce the pain of shingles (Study published in the Journal Geriatrics) (+)
(+) It is recommended that you consult with your doctor before starting any vitamin program.
* E capsules can be squeezed directly onto lesions.
* Avoid heat as well as tight clothes and itchy fabrics like wool.
* Calamine lotion may relieve the pain and help dry the lesions.
Shingles is a serious illness and before starting any treatment program you should consult with your doctor. Shingles is the same virus as chicken pox. You cannot catch shingles from someone else unless you've never had chicken pox. If you have shingles you should use caution being around pregnant women who have not had chicken pox - you could infect both the woman and her unborn baby.
By Wayne McDonald
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