What is Shingles?People in the 80+ age group are in the highest risk for Shingles. Risk is signigicant at 60+ and increases every year as we age. Risk doubles by the time we are 70, and increases again in the 80's.
Very rare to occur in children and teens, but can happen in any age group.
Up to 30% of the population can expect an attack at some time in their life, but the risk can be substantially reduced to near zero by using these guidelines.
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster (Chickenpox) virus, which is similar, but not quite the same as the herpes virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes, although the treatments listed here such as Lysine are effective against these also.
Usually happens to people who have had Chickenpox as a child.
The virus can lay dormant in the body for decades, usually sitting in the spinal cord or other nerves, appearing as Shingles often in the 60 to 90 age group after being triggered by a compromised immune system.
Typical triggers are stress, illness, a poor diet, lack of vitamin D3, antibiotic treatments.
The first sign is nerve pain such as burning or tingling sensations along affected nerves. Two to three days later, the virus reaches the skin, and red bumps or blisters develop above the affected nerves. More cases happen in Summer, so heat appears to be a contributing factor.
SymptomsNerve tingling or sensitivity is usually the first symptom, followed by painful red blisters along the nerve lines. Often an attack can be felt coming on by neuralgia around the scalp and/or along nerve lines.
Pain can be burning or stabbing, increasing as the condition progresses.
Blister patches can occur anywhere, but most often on the neck or upper trunk, usually only on one side of the torso, or face, arm, or leg. Often flu-like symptoms, chills, or headache accompany the condition.
The pain ranges from very annoying in mild cases, to unbearable in severe cases.
Pain is often reduced when atmospheric pressure is high, and worse when atmospheric pressure is low.
Is Shingles Contagious?Yes, it can be transmitted by contact to others, even babies and newborns. It is much more likely to be transmitted to others who have never had Chickenpox or never had a vaccination. Regular washing of hands, sheets, pillow cases, towels, and disposal of dressings is essential.
While the risk is not as high as some other diseases, the results can be serious in some cases, so care is always required.
PrognosisSome people recover well without any treatment in 3 weeks, others suffer for many months. In very severe cases, damage to eyes or brain may develop, causing blindness or hearing loss, but this is very rare. Bell's Palsy is another possible complication, where one side of the face can become paralised.
Usually the younger a patient, the faster the recovery and the milder the symptoms.
Recurrence is rare, but I would suggest permanent use of Lysine as a preventive measure as this can be a very painful condition.
PHN or postherpetic neuralgiaThis is the severe nerve pain associated with Shingles, coming on after the blisters have formed and when the disease is well established. It is much more severe than the original nerve pain when it starts. Pain may be burning, throbbing, or stabbing and can continue long after the blisters have healed.
Shingles DietThe ratio between Lysine and Arginine is important. We need to increase Lysine and decrease Arginine to treat Shingles.
Arginine is another Amino acid.
Foods containing Lysine include meat, fish, yogurt, milk, eggs, cheese, apples, pears, avocados, apricots, pineapples, green beans, asparagus.
Avoid foods containing Arginine such as tomatoes, wheat germ, brussels sprouts, cashews, peanuts, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, pumpkin seeds, chocolate, sugar, anchovies, tuna, pine nuts and oats.
Just a handful of peanuts for example, contain enough Arginine to cause aggravation of Shingles.
Of course, many of these Ariginine-containing foods are very good for our nutrition, and Arginine has some very beneficial properties, so this diet is only for those with Shingles.
When the Shingles symptoms are gone, we can safely return to a normal diet, as many of the foods listed containing argenine are very good for overall health.
However, I suggest that Lysine supplements be continued for several months, or longer if attacks reoccur.
|Foods with Lysine
|Foods with Arginine
SupplementsTwo supplements are vital for prevention and recovery, and work well for both Shingles and Chicken pox.
Number one: L-Lysine, an essential amino acid.
L-Lysine (called simply Lysine hereafter) is essential because it must come from the diet or supplements, as the body cannot manufacture it from other components.
Take 1/4 teaspoon dissolved in a glass of water every day as a preventive measure. LeanMachine's product gives over 2 years supply.
To treat Shingles, increase the dose to 1 teaspoon a day until symptoms disappear, then go back to 1/4 teaspoon forever to help prevent a recurrence.
To treat the blisters topically, use Lysine Ointment to apply direct to the affected areas.
Number Two: Vitamin C
Vitamin C is also very important to build the immune system and reduce the nerve pain considerably.
LeanMachine's Vitamin C is pure pharmaceutical grade Ascorbic Acid, 1 kg tub for over a year’s supply.
Preventive dose is 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) daily.
This can be increased to around 1.5 teaspoons for Shingles treatment, but any more can upset the digestive system.
See also the IV treatment below.
Other important supplements are:
- Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 helps rebuild the immune system.
- Zinc will also help the immune system
- Active Vitamin B12 helps prevent replication of the virus
Herbal SupplementsHerbal supplements can help many conditions, but unfortunately, there are few herbal supplements that have any significant effect on Shingles.
Astragalus can help build the immune system
Standard Medical Treatment
The Shingles vaccine - Zostavax - Sould I get the jab?When we start getting old, we are told to get vaccinations for the Flu every year, the Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine, the Tetanus vaccine every 10 years, and now the Shingles vaccine.
Should we get them all? LeanMachine says no, but this is an individual choice for everyone.
Doctors can give a Shingles vaccine - Zostavax - for prevention, and works for 5 out of 10 people, although 3 of every 1000 will get Shingles directly from the vaccination.
In Australia, this is free for the elderly, but will do nothing for an existing condition.
In the USA, the FDA recommends those over 50 get the jab, but the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) says only those over 60.
They all say that we need the jab, whether we have ever had Shingles or not, but this contradicts their own advice that a repeat occurence is rare.
Zostavax is a live vaccine given in the upper arm as a single injection, and is said to last around five years.
Zostavax, made my Merck, is the same as the Chickenpox vaccine that is given to children, only fourteen times as strong.
Around a third of one percent of people will develop Shingles as a direct result of the vaccination. Manufacturers claim that the vaccine may reduce the severity and duration of Shingles, but this is what they always say about the flu vaccine.
We now know that a glass of water with lemon juice in the morning will also reduce the risk and the severity of the flu, equal to the vaccination in effectiveness. Add some Vitamin D3 and a few other supplements in my upcoming Immunity article, and say bye-bye to the flu.
The worst thing about the Chickenpox vaccination many of us had as children, is that it can cause Shingles, and the Shingles we get from the Chickenpox vaccination is actually far worse than Shingles from a previous Chickenpox infection.
Some side-efects of the vaccination
- Redness, pain, swelling, itching at the injected site
- A rash similar to Chickenpox
- 0.3% will get Shingles from the vaccination
- 50% will get Shingles anyway at some stage
- You are allergic to gelatin
- You are allergic to the antibiotic Neomycin
- You have a weakened immune system
- You have HIV/Aids or any other immuno-supressive disease
- You are on steroids, Adalimumab (Humira), Infliximab (Remicade), Etanercept (Enbrel)
- You are on any other immune system suppressing drugs
- You are receiving radiation or chemotherapy
- You have a cancer such as Leukemia which affects the bone marrow
- You have a cancer such as Lymphoma which affects the lymphatic system
- You are pregnant or at risk of becoming pregnant
The Shingles Prevention StudyThis trial of 39,000 people showed that around HALF the time, the vaccine did NOT protect people against Shingles, a 50% success rate. LeanMachine calls this a 50% failure rate.
This trial was also carried out by Merck, a drug company with a vested interest in the outcome. When such trials are conducted, results can be misleading. For example, many people drop out of a study, often due to unpleasant or even intolerable side-effects, but all drop-outs are excluded from the results because they did not complete the study. Some people even died, and this may have been from cancer, heart attacks or old age, but who is to know if the vaccine accelerated or delayed their death? No one will ever know as their results are never included because again, they could not complete the study. Many of the results are also distorted because of vaguely-worded questionnaires about side-effects which can be interpreted in different ways. Many drug companies have been taken to court and sued because of deliberate "doctoring" of study results.
However, the study, if we can believe it, showed that the vaccination helped reduce severity of Postherpetic neuralgia, which otherwise in 10% to 15% of patients, continues for some time after the rash disappears, sometimes months, even years. The benefit of vaccination for Postherpetic neuralgia is apparently a 66% or two-thirds success rate in helping to relieve painful symptoms and shortening recovery time. Still not an outstanding success rate (a one-third failure rate), helping tho thirds of about 1 in 8 people who are affected (8%), but for those who have a fear or intolerance of pain, they may consider the jab to be worth the risk.
The LeanMachine StudyThis is a one-person study (me) from from early 2010 to 2016, six years.
Sure, one person is not a significant study as far as the scientific community is concerned.
But for LeanMachine, the improvement in health, the weight loss, the lower blood pressure and triglycerides, the almost elimination of allergies, the extra strength, fitness, energy, and lack of all disease proves to me that no vaccinations are required for anything.
LeanMachine has not had a cold, flu or any other sickness ever since the diet, supplements and lifestyle were all improved at age 63.
Now as I edit this article at over 70, I have still not had even a headache or an upset stomach, so I do not believe I will ever get Shingles, Flu, Tetanus, Pneumonia or anything else.
Check back here in another 30 years to see how I am going!
Alternatives to the VaccinationAs a preventive measure, Lysine may be at least just as effective, and probably much more effective, without any side-effects. After all, Lysine is a natural food and an essential Amino acid which we all need for good health.
Lysine, when combined with Proline, another Amino acid, has been shown to destroy Pancreatic cancer cells, and may well offer some protection against other cancers.
Intravenous Vitamin CThe doctor can organise a much higher dose of Vitamin C using IV (Intra-Venous) drip. This overcomes the limitation of the amount of Vitamin C that can be taken orally.
The doctor can also prescribe an anti-viral medication such as Acyclovir or Valacyclovir, often (but not always) effective to reduce the time to recover from Shingles, generally more effective in the early stages (first 3 days).
The doctor can also inject a nerve-block anasthetic into the affected nerve to reduce pain, but this wears off after 10 days or so, and does not always work.
What the doctor should NOT do
- Prescribe painkillers, especially opiates. Painkillers have shown little or no effect for Shingles
- Prescribe paracetamol, which destroys glutatione, the "master antioxidant" of the body and also impacts liver function
- Prescribe anti-depressants, Patients may feel depressed because of pain, but anti-depressant drugs can clobber the immune system, aggravating Shingles
- Prescribe anti-seizure medication. Can also clobber the immune system, aggravating Shingles
- Prescribe statin medication, again clobbering the immune system - see below
- Prescribe antibiotics, which knock out good gut bacteria, our first line of defence for the immune system
Other things to relieve symptoms
- Take a bath in cool water
- Use a towel soaked in cool water as a compress to affected areas, but do NOT use ice packs
- A bath in cool to lukewarm water treated with starch or colloidal oatmeal may help relieve symptoms
- A cloth soaked with apple cider vinegar applied to the affected areas can help reduce pain and itching
- A tyeaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar daily can help rebuild the gut bacteria and immune system
- Calamine lotion on affected areas may help relieve symptoms
- Capsaicin cream (or Red Cayenne Pepper) may help reduce pain when applied to affected areas (keep away from eyes!) but best applied before the blisters open
- Mix a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and apply to affected areas and surrounds to help stop spreading. Works best if caught in early stages
- Peppermint oil applied to the blisters may help
- A paste made from Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) and water may help heal blisters
- Drinking Celery Juice daily may help
- Spinal manipulation, Reiki, Meditation, and acupuncture may help in some cases
- Try spraying Colloidal Silver on affected areas. Science says there is no evidence it works, but anecdotal evidence claims it does work
- To prevent spread or recurrence of infection, wash towels and sheets in the hottest water possible, or at least leave to dry in direct sunlight
- Wash hands immediately in hot water after touching any affected areas, even more important if there are open blisters
DisclaimerLeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been studying nutrition and health since 2011 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia - Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia - Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia - Chemistry - Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA - Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA - Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA - Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA - Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA - Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England - Inside Cancer
WebMD Education - The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands - Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
LeanMachine has now read thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.
Updated 7th August 2017, Copyright © 1999-2018 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285