The best way to prevent shingles is to get a vaccine. A shingles vaccine called Shingrix is recommended to everyone over the age of 50. It’s administered in two doses several months apart. Though shingles recurrence is rare, people who have had shingles are still advised to get the vaccine.
The cause of shingles in the elderly is a virus called varicella-zoster. Chickenpox and shingles are both caused by this virus. After you have chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years after recovering from chickenpox, it can reactivate and cause shingles.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Getting Shingles? Vaccination is the only way to reduce your risk of shingles and PHN. The CDC recommends adults age 60 years or older receive a single dose of shingles vaccine.
Call your doctor as soon as you suspect shingles so you can begin treatment as early as possible. Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), or famciclovir (Famvir) can make symptoms less severe and shorten the length of the illness if taken early.
Shingles is triggered by a weakened or compromised immune system. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a virus infection that causes painful rashes on the body, usually on one side of your torso. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox.
Foods that have been found to exacerbate the shingles virus should be avoided where possible. The worst culprits contain the amino acid arginine that actually stimulate the herpes virus to replicate, such as, nuts, seeds, soy products, oats, coconut, flour (white and whole-wheat), and alas, chocolate.
If you’ve had shingles once, you probably won’t get it again. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, it’s just unlikely. Also called herpes zoster, shingles can come back a second or, rarely, a third time. But you can take steps to help prevent it, or ease it the next time around.
If you’re among the growing number of Americans affected by shingles, you may decide to take L-lysine supplements, a long-standing natural remedy. Lysine is a naturally occurring building block for protein. This makes it a necessary part of a balanced diet.
Caffeine – Caffeine can be over-stimulating for the nervous system and can also be dehydrating, so it is best avoided in all its forms (i.e. coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks).
Most people who develop shingles have only one episode during their lifetime. However, you can have shingles more than once. If you have shingles, direct contact with the fluid from your rash blisters can spread VZV to people who have never had chickenpox or never received the chickenpox vaccine.
The best way to prevent shingles is to get a shingles vaccine. The newest vaccine, called Shingrix, is 85% to 90% effective at preventing shingles in people who have already had chickenpox. If you have never had chickenpox, you will need to get the chickenpox vaccine instead.
Since stress affects the immune system, many researchers believe that stress could be a trigger for shingles. Researchers in multiple studies have linked chronic, daily stress, and highly stressful life events as risk factors for shingles.
Shingles is most common in people older than 50. The risk increases with age. Having certain diseases. Diseases that weaken your immune system, such as HIV/AIDS and cancer, can increase your risk of shingles.
You have immunity if you’ve had chickenpox before or have had the chickenpox vaccine. If you have immunity it means you can’t get chickenpox, but you can still get shingles later in life. Tests may be done on people who don’t have or are unsure about immunity and are at higher risk of complications from VZV.