Every year many Canadian suffer from a painful case of the shingles.
Shingles is a re-activation of an old chicken pox virus (the herpes zoster, or HZ) that is hiding in the dorsal root ganglion, a little sack where our nerves leaves our spinal column to go out to our body.
When our immune system is healthy and strong, this dormant virus stays right where it is and causes no trouble. If our immune system is weakened–sometimes by chronic stress, poor diet, or toxic exposures–the virus can leave its hiding place to create the characteristic red, raised lesions that show up, usually on the torso. These lesions can be very painful and difficult to treat.
Most shingles infections are self-limiting and will resolve in two to four weeks, but for the unlucky, symptoms can take months to resolve and some can be left with post-herpetic neuralgia. Either way, it’s a painful condition.
But while it’s usually a condition reserved for older folks, shingles can affect any adult and the incidence seems to be on the rise. What to do?
The conventional for shingles usually involves anti-virals, steroids and pain-killers, all of which have limited success, making it a very challenging thing to treat.
Prevention, is of course, ideal. Stay healthy. Eat well, sleep, get outside every day.
But if you do get shingles, supplements like lysine and B12/folic acid are often used. Avoiding foods high in Arginine, like nuts and chocolate, is also recommended.
But the treatment we have the most success with? High dose IV vitamin C.
This great article by Dr. Levy MD, shows the evidence supporting the use of IV vitamin C for shingles pain.