Is shingles more common in fibro people than other populations?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by hot-tubgirl, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. hot-tubgirl

    hot-tubgirl New Member

    I have been reading about shingles - old threads as well as on the internet - and i am wondering if having fibro makes one more vulnerable to outbreaks. I have them frequently and yet articles on the net say it is rare to have more than one outbreak. Also, every article i've read says you always get them on one side of the body. The place i get them is - i'm embarassed to say - is in a line which starts at the top of the crease of my buttocks and goes upward about 4 to 5 inches. So it's dead center in my body. I can't find anywhere any info on having shingles in that particular location. anyone know?
  2. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    i got it right on my right buttock. ouch it hurt to sit, sleeep, lie down or walk.

    usually is on the mid torso area.

  3. maedaze

    maedaze New Member

    Does shingles start out itchy with a lump before it 'breaks' out on the skin? I have had this problem, exactly the same spot as you hot-tubgirl on and off for 12 yrs now. Drs have not been able to tell me what it is. It is SO itchy but then if you scratch it 'burns'. (well only one dr i have showed it to... its not really in a place to go flashing at the pharmacy to ask about.!!)

    It started when i started getting really sick. and i still get it coming and going to this day. Wow I hadn't thought of shingles, as all i knew about them is that they can spread all over the body and my patch just stays in the one area.!!!
  4. abcanada

    abcanada New Member

    I get a spot on my face a little larger than a quarter. First outbreak was 10 years ago, and have had about 5 outbreaks since. I'm 32. I just had one, but hadn't for quite awhile before that. Seemed to be more of a problem when I worried more. I use Zovirax right away and it clears up much faster. I got a pres. for something new for the next outbreak.
  5. Dixie_Amazon

    Dixie_Amazon Member

    A friend of mine who also has FM get them when ever her stress levels get high.
  6. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    I have Shingles now, the tail end. For me the nerve pain was the worst, the blister outbreak was fairly small but it was the identifying factor to the Dr.

    The nerve pain WAS SO BAD(mine was from my spine around my ribs to right under my breast). I thought it was just a bad backache/rib pain due to my FM, so I went to my pain Dr and got several meds and then the blisters started and I went to my PCP, who diagnosed it. It has been almost 4 weeks now and the blisters are almost gone but the nerve pain is still flaring up. I am in soooo much pain its ridiculous.

    Its funny that when I did a google search for Shingles, several of the sites also had Fibromylagia mentioned as well, so I was wondering the same thing as you...
    Is Shingles more common in FM patients and why? Is it due to low immunity, other underlying herpes viruses (besides the herpes zoster, which causes Shingles)??? Not sure but certainly something to think about.
    I was considering posting the question "Who here has had Shingles?" and see the response but I haven't quite recovered enough to keep up with the board right now.

  7. foxglove9922

    foxglove9922 New Member

    My daughter and I both suffer from CFS. She's had shingles 4 times and I have had them 17 times!

    It just blows the doctor away when we come in for treatment as typically most people only get them once in their lifetime.

    I have read different accounts on the internet that they can reoccur in people with compromised immune systems. Ours seem to occur with stress.

    Best wishes.

  8. hot-tubgirl

    hot-tubgirl New Member

    I think mine are stress related too. Often I get cold sores on my lips (another variation of the same virus type) that are almost predictable when my stress level is way up. Actually i've never had the ones on my butt officially diagnosed, but it starts with the area getting tingly and itchy. then comes the blisters and the pain. I feel most grateful after reading other accounts that i don't have the lingering pain that many do. I don't know what else it could be other than shingles. I even looked up genital herpes (praying it wasn't that), but the blisters never appear on that area - just above the "crack". lord it's gross to talk about. hope i am not offending anyone. the one time i went to the doctor about it, he just scratched his head and said he didn't know. by the time i got the appointment it was starting to dry up so he didn't culture it. Funny, i rarely get "really sick" i just feel like i'm "getting sick", run a normal temp instead of MY normal temp of 96 and develop sores. exciting........ cher
  9. DorothyVivian

    DorothyVivian New Member

    from what I've learned during the years since I received the diagnosis of CEBV (Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus)over 20 years ago. Epstein-Barr virus is a 'member' of the Herpes viruses and is a major causative agent in infectious mononucleosis and I believe is one of the primary causes of the severely crushing nature of the fatigue CFIDS' sufferers experience.

    "Shingles" is caused by Herpes Zoster (also a causative factor of "Chicken Pox")and although Herpes Simplex is usually confined to the face, around the nose and mouth, it can also be involved with blisters anywhere--as I can verify since I had an oval blister the size of a quarter on my left hip (I know this for certain since the doctor did a biopsy of it and was surprised herself).

    Another clue to the involvement of herpes viruses is that the drugs Neurontin and Lyrica are helpful in reducing the pain of "post-herpetic" infections' pain.

    The Herpes 'family' of viruses is huge. One book stated the Herpes viruses included over a thousand identifiable varieties. And, this book was about 20 years old, if I recall correctly. More recent research has identified more strains.

    Another intractable problem presented by herpes viruses is that they are retroviruses; this is, these viruses live WITHIN the cells of nerves, thus they are not in the bloodstream only and so they out of the reach of the immune system to a large degree. Also, these viruses use the nerve cells' resources to replicate. The viruses emerge to the surface of the body when the host is under ongoing moderate, to severe, stress and/or injury when becoming sick from other sources of disease or accidents. (They get ready to 'jump ship' in case the host dies to continue their 'species' survival.) Herpes viruses are estimated to be very ancient, so it appears their ability to survive works very well.

    When the acute herpes eruptions go away, this doesn't mean it is cured. So, I've learned that the best way to prevent more th more severe symptoms of eruptions, pain and massive fatigue--is to pace myself in activities: to stop when I start getting tired' to eat healthy; and to avoid detrimental behaviors like alcohol and smoking. I also get a lot of sleep and rest whenever I'm tired.

    It may be that there is a 'glitch' in the immune system of those of us who are so greately vulnerable to herpes viruses.

    All of the above is what I've learned in bits and pieces and is by no means complete. This is a vast subject and I am no scientist. I am only a very interested layperson and I'm extremely open to the thinking and knowlege of others.

    For years, I was an 'overachiever'--now I find contentment and joy doing fairly well what I enjoy. I'm grateful to have been able to find this way of life. It is actually better than so much pushing and rushing.

    Thanks, "Hottub-girl" for introducing an excellent subject for us to explore!

    With love, Dorothy
    [This Message was Edited on 10/24/2006]
  10. hot-tubgirl

    hot-tubgirl New Member

    thank you Dorothy. You really have read up on the subject. I agree about pacing yourself. i'm not very good at it. My job is very emotionally draining. I work with greiving adults and children who have loved ones who have been killed, murdered or committed suicide. There used to be 3 people doing what i do, but after layoffs and attrition, only me. (same amount of work, of course) I can't stand for my life to be just working and sleeping, so i always push beyond where i probably should. like now it's almost 1 a.m. and i have to get up at 7. i don't want my life dictated by a stupid invisible illness/disease - whatever you want to call it. i imagine others struggle with this too. cher
  11. hot-tubgirl

    hot-tubgirl New Member

    these messages get buried so quickly. i would still like to know if shingles is more common in fibro people. anybody know?
  12. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    FYI - there is now a vaccine for shingles. I ordered it from my doctor and both my husband and I are going to have the vaccination.

    Shingles is very painful and afterwards you can be left with severe nerve pain.

    Most people who get shingles are over age 60. I believe I read you can take the vaccine even if you have already had shingles - not sure but you can ask your doctor.

    The vaccination cost about $125. and I am not sure insurance covers it.
  13. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    I don't know if shingles is more common in people with fibro, but I'll bet it is.

    I think they say that it's rare to have more than one outbreak because most people who get shingles are elderly - at least, it was that way in the past. There's not much chance for it to recur if you get it when you're 70 or 80.

    Mine started as one blister like blob on my stomach above my waist on the left. It didn't hurt until it broke a couple of days later - late friday afternoon, so I couldn't see the doctor until Monday. They gave my acyclovir which i finished yesterday, and i think it helped.

    Still, I'm having pain, but not like last week. The rash is still there, but it's clearing up.

    I was under a lot of stress before this happened - a 6-week bout with bronchitis, stressful work situation, and other issues.

    I wasn't surprised to see this topic appear so often when I searched for it on this board. I'm sad that so many people with fibro also have shingles, but I can't say it was a surprise.

  14. hot-tubgirl

    hot-tubgirl New Member

    well i don't consider myself elderly at 56. i first started getting them when i was in my early 40's. i've been reading about the vaccine. might consider it if my HMO covers it. probably not.... they don't cover much.
  15. kimkane

    kimkane New Member

    Yep, I've had them. It started with a kink under my right shoulder blade. Then I went to shave under my right arm and it was numb. But yet at the same time they itched like crazy. Then the sores came. My Dr put me on Valtrex.

    She told me it is the chicken pox virus, its always in your body once you've had them. You can spread them. After the sores crust over the 3rd time your not contagious anymore.

    If you knew what I go thru every day its a wonder I don't have them still. Mine is from stress, BIG TIME.

    Good luck, Kim

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