Shingles.....anyone?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Solaris_Starr, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. Solaris_Starr

    Solaris_Starr New Member

    Good Morining everyone,

    I was just wondering how many of you have had a case of shingles..............Had shingles over the summer. Doctor told me that I may have symptoms for up to a year!

    The hives (lumps, sores...whatever you want to call them) have been gone for quite some time now, but I stil don't feel well. I think that the case of shingles has pushed me into a flare. All of my CFIDS/FMS symptoms are back in full force and I am just so exhausted! There are even a few new ones as well!

    I will be moving into my new home in a few short weeks.........I have no idea how I will mangage to do this. I'm so stressed out, and there is so much work to be done on the new house. Every fall/winter I seem to crash and burn! Like clock work............but this was my first experience with shingles.

    Can we get them more than once? I'm curious to know how many of us with CFIDS/FMS have been cursed with them?

    Thanks
    Sandy

  2. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    I had shingles more than 20 years ago. I have noticed that some on this board have had more than one bout. I was lucky.

    It took me several months to get over the fatigue. (This was long before my various diagnoses).

    I think now I would have a hard time differentiating between CFS fatigue and shingles fatigue.

    Good luck with your move and get as much help as you can.

    Regards,

    Eileen
  3. Solaris_Starr

    Solaris_Starr New Member

    Anyone else?
  4. lurkernomore

    lurkernomore New Member

    Solaris, I do not want to discourage you but I have had so many cases of shingles (trigeminal nerve-facial) that I have literally lost count by now. But I have been told the type I have makes it more common for them to come back.

    For so long, I felt helpless and just expected to suffer the fully blown course with shingles. Then my GP put my RX for Valtrex on as always available and at the first sign of an outbreak, I start popping the Valtrex. I have not had to suffer a fully blown outbreak now in quite while.

    I don't know where your shingles are and really, that is not relevant. But I did want to mention that shingles, being the virus that it is, can cause you to feel weak, sick, just as you do with any other virus and fatigued for a good while.

    But I have no doubt that anytime another illness as nasty as shingles comes along, it is setting our bodies up for a fibro flare as well. I hope and pray you feel better very, very soon!

    I forgot to mention that I am going through the beginning stages of being treated for Sjogren's and have no idea how long that has been a problem for me. So I tend to think (and hope, for every other shingle sufferer out there) that the reason I have had shingles so many times could be due to the autoimmune nature of Sjogren's. I really hope that is the case, for everyone else who has ever had to deal with shingles.
  5. lurkernomore

    lurkernomore New Member

    Gracious, isn't having the shingles on your face just (wait for the pun) a pain? I had them get into my left eye once too and had doctors telling me that was very dangerous.

    Since then I have learned that if I simply must scratch, I do so in a downward motion, away from the eye. Luckily, I have not had them get into the eye again. Valtrex is my bestest friend now.
  6. victoria

    victoria New Member

    tagamet and/or acupuncture will help! I'm reposting what I've posted a few times in the past...

    I had shingles and besides taking valtrex I also did acupuncture... within 2 hours after first treatment, I was able to go to the bookstore, felt wonderful - no longer feverish, amazingly, as the day before I'd had a fever, blisters had greatly multiplied over prior week, was getting the pain even tho I'd already started the valtrex, etc... had been miserable for a week.

    I ALSO have a friend who is afraid of needles and for whom the valtrex did NOT help; a few years ago his shingles was in the groin, and the post-herpetic pain (PHN) persisted for 6 months; dire pain!! --esp since it was in THAT area!

    I did some research for him, found TAGAMET/cimetidine, unbelievably, can help this condition -- and it WORKED quite well and fast for him!

    you can read more about using it for shingles and boosting your immune system at:

    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2001/mar2001_report_tagamet_1.html

    but here are some excerpts from their article:
    ------------------
    Herpes zoster (shingles)

    The most common neurologic condition known is herpes zoster, usually referred to as shingles. The CDC says that up to one million people in the United States contract herpes zoster each year. David Cooper, M.D., a contributing editor to JAMA, stated in 1998 that shingles afflicts more than one million people every year.

    Herpes zoster is a reactivation of the virus that causes chicken pox. Once a person has recovered from chicken pox, the virus (varicella) remains dormant, hiding among the connective nerve tissue in the body.

    No one seems to know why it occurs, although stress and/or a compromised immune system is thought to exacerbate the condition, but it usually activates in people over the age of 50. Traveling through the ganglia, it causes a tingling, stinging or burning sensation.

    A couple days later, once the virus has completed its journey to the skin, an irritating and painful rash and accompanying blisters may erupt. The resulting condition can be so painful, the patient may be unable to tolerate clothing or anything that touches the affected area....

    In cases of herpes zoster (shingles)... cimetidine has been successfully used to lessen the debilitating pain and intensity of the skin rash and eruptions.

    Published studies indicate that viruses like herpes simplex and herpes zoster can be put into quick remission, or the breakouts prevented altogether, when T-lymphocyte suppressor cell function is inhibited.

    The best way of accomplishing this is to take 200 mg of cimetidine (Tagamet) three times a day and then 400 mg a bedtime. Tagamet is available in pharmacies over-the-counter.

    Suggested use is to initiate Tagamet as soon as symptoms of a herpes-related virus infection appear. Continue to take it for one to two weeks after all symptoms of the outbreak have abated.

    One precautionary note, even though Tagamet (cimetidine) is sold over-the-counter, refer to the package insert to make sure it does not interact with prescription drugs you may already be taking.

    Please note that if your doctor prescribes generic cimetidine, it may cost less to obtain it as a prescription drug (especially if you have prescription drug insurance) rather than buying the Tagamet name brand that is available without a prescription.
    -----------------
    (if you go to lef.org website, there are also references to the studies)

    Not everyone may be able to tolerate tagamet for various reasons, but it is worth looking into, as is acupuncture.

    hope this helps...
    Victoria


  7. Exfa

    Exfa New Member

    I had shingles about 2 yrs ago. I thought it was poison ivy because it was on my arm. I kept putting medicines on it for poison ivy until I FINALLY went to a dr and she told me it was shingles and I had let go way toooo long and that it was now in my system but good. My FM got 100 times after that bout and to this day I am not sure whether FM caused me to get shingles or if the shingles caused the FM to flare up. Whatever, I haven't been well since the shingles.
  8. Staceymarie

    Staceymarie New Member

    I got on this web site tonight specifically to ask if anyone else has had shingles.....The reason being, I went to the doctor today because I had these itchy bumps plus my throat and head hurt really bad. The doc told me I had shingles.

    But all he prescribed was a steroid cream. I see on here and have read on other web sites tonight that an antiviral should be prescribed.

    I had never heard of shingles until today. I really just thought that my fibro was flaring back up because I have been extremely tired and kind of achy. Should I call the doc back and ask for an antiviral??? I'm very ignorant about treatment for this.

  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    the shingles is the same as the chicken pox virus, herpes zoster; once you've had chicken pox as a kid, it is in your system ever after.

    When mine first erupted, I thought it was some kind of extremely itchy insect bite... until it multiplied a bit and spread around my neck; at that point I started to feel feverish and could tell my lymph node was sore. It took a week to get to that point. When I went to a walk-in clinic, the PA thought it was poison ivy, but the MD on duty corrected her.

    Staceymarie - an antiviral would be a good idea, I can't imagine why your MD didn't prescribe any if that is what his diagnosis is... and again, you can try tagamet if you can tolerate it, available OTC and easily gotten at any drugstore, see my post above.

    good luck to you all, it is no fun.

    all the best,
    Victoria


    [This Message was Edited on 11/29/2006]
  10. Solaris_Starr

    Solaris_Starr New Member

    I so very thankful to all of you for responding. I don't feel so alone. I'm wondering if more of us with CFIDS/FMS get shingles at one time or another during our DD. If so then it would seem to me to be one of the tag along symptoms or secondary conditions that so many of us have.

    My first experience with shingles started this summer. Located on my back, right side just below my shoulder blade. It was very painful and itchy at times. The pain shooting across my back and into my chest area. At times it was a shooting, stabbing, burning pain. Other times extreem dull ache right through to my chest and arm.

    I could not lie on my back or ware cloths that would rub on the area where the bumps were. It was even hard to take deep breaths or bend over, I had to press on my chest bones in order to do it.

    Doctor said I was to late to treat, I had let it go on to long. I just thought it was just my fibro doing it's weirdness again. I have so many pains that it's hard to tell what is what.

    Though as I've said, the marks are faded now, but I still have occasional pain in that area and is spreading to other areas. I was just wondering if we could get it more than once and can it appear in different places?

    Thanks everyone
    Hugs to you all
    Sandy

    [This Message was Edited on 12/01/2006]
  11. Solaris_Starr

    Solaris_Starr New Member

    bump one last time :)
  12. victoria

    victoria New Member

    one can get it more than once, altho once is the norm...

    those who have so-called 'autoimmune diseases' like CF/FM are more prone to repeat performances, from what I've read, and don't think it has to show up in the same place at all.

    Hope that helps Sandy...
    Victoria


    [This Message was Edited on 12/01/2006]
  13. day2day

    day2day Member

    I have re-occuring bouts of shingles for over the past 5 years, my erruptions are on my left back side. I usually can tell I am going to have another bout with differnent symptoms, sometimes it is from the left leg pain from foot to backside I feel, just my clothes touching my skin is sooooo painful. The other way I can tell I am errupting again is sometimes I can feel the site where it is going to errupt.

    The nerve pain in leg is always the same type pain, but has gotten more intense over the years. The area I errupt is not always in the same spot, but in the same area within a 6 inch width.

    Hope this helps