No pain?

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I have had what I believe (and the doc has confirmed, without testing) reaccuring shingles. Usually on my lower spine and occasionally only one or two blisters on my face.

I am extremely fatigued and very low mood before and during attacks. However, I have not experienced pain (only if I scratch) Is this unusual?

Many thanks in advance for any advice.

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  • Posted


    Not unusual at all.

    I too have recurring shingles and only ever had pain one time when there was a delay in getting me on antivirals. I usually get just an itchy rash, which is often quite sensitive to things like hot and cold.

    The fatigue and low mood is also typical, although I only really had that with the initial onset.

    You might want to pursue with your doctor why you are getting *recurring* shingles. It can be an indication of a compromised immune system.

    Best wishes,


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    • Posted

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your reply. Sounds like good advice re compromised immune system.

      I have to say that I have a lot of stress in my life ... and although I should know better ... eat way too much sugar in the form of chocolate.

      I really have to get myself healthy.

      Thanks again.

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    • Posted

      High stress and chocolate are lethal combinations for bringing on shingles. I was. A healthy, high energy person before I became extremely stressed in my job and started eating a lot of chocolate. Then, within a couple of months, I got shingles then nerve pain. Avoid stress and cut out chocolate completely and all sugar to help curb more shingles outbreaks.
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  • Posted

    Stress isn't good for shingles, as you probably know. But chocolate is high in arginine, which is also bad for shingles. 

    Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

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    • Posted

      For some reason, moderation didn't like a link I posted for a shingles diet. The link was to Diet Health Club and I'm pasting the info here:

      Shingles diet:

      Although shingles is treated through medication, a shingles diet also plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of shingles. A proper diet can help ensure that your immune system is working well. When your immunity is strong, the chances of the Herpes Zoster virus manifesting itself are less. Moreover, this virus affects the nerve endings. Thus, if you are already affected with shingles, it is important to follow a diet for shingles that helps to boost your nervous system. 

      Foods to eat:

      Let us take a look at some of the foods that should form a part of a diet for shingles:

      Fruits and vegetables provide your body with all the essential micronutrients. Thus, it is important to ensure that you include adequate quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. This will help you build and maintain immunity.

      Vitamin B-6 is an important nutrient for those suffering from shingle as it benefits the nerves. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin B-6 include potatoes, bananas, brewer’s yeast and nuts. 

      Other foods to eat for a shingles diet include whole grain foods such as brown rice.

      Garlic is a natural source of antioxidants and is a natural antibiotic as well. Try to incorporate garlic into your shingles diet to help heal the blisters faster.

      Lysine is an amino acid that can inhibit the multiplication of Herpes Zoster virus. Some of the good sources of lysine include fish, red meat, dairy products, and beans.

      There are some studies that indicate that consuming seaweed is also an effective way of arresting the spread of the Herpes Zoster virus and thereby preventing shingles.

      Drink lots of water as this will help your body flush out the impurities from your system.

      Foods to avoid:

      There are also a number of foods to avoid if you are suffering from shingles. Let us take a look at some of them:

      Avoid foods that contain arginine. This is an amino acid that can help the Herpes Zoster virus to replicate. Some foods that contain arginine include chocolate, gelatin, and nuts.

      Avoid consuming refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, and dishes made with processed flour.

      Avoid consuming foods that are high in saturated fats.

      Alcohol and caffeine have a detrimental effect on your body’s ability to fight against diseases and these should be avoided if you are suffering from shingles.

      Avoid consuming fast food and junk food as they will not provide your body with proper nutrition. In fact they will only serve to inhibit your immune system as the body has to expend more energy to digest such food.

      Shingles diet chart:

      Here is a sample shingles diet chart that should be followed if you have an outbreak of this disease. Keep in mind that diet is supplementary to medication and should ideally be prescribed by a doctor or nutritionist.

      Breakfast: Try to include eggs in your breakfast as eggs are a rich source of vitamins B1 and B12. Two slices of whole wheat bread and a glass of fresh fruit juice or a bowl of fresh fruit should also be included.

      Lunch: Opt for a high quality protein such as fish. In addition, fresh fruit and vegetables should also be included in good quantities. If you can incorporate seaweed into your diet, it will also be beneficial in a diet for shingles.

      Dinner: Dinner should also be rich in fruit and vegetables. Try to include citrus fruit, carrots, and green leafy vegetables. 

      Snacks: Nuts are a good option for snacks in between meals. A glass of milk should also be a part of any diet plan for shingles. 

      Shingles health tips:

      In addition to taking the right medication and consuming a proper diet for shingles, it is also important to avoid stress. Excess of stress can also suppress the immune system and allow the dormant Herpes Zoster virus to initiate an attack of shingles. It is also a good idea to identify situations that trigger stress attacks and avoid or minimize them. Counseling can also help you deal with stress. Regular exercise and sleep also help to alleviate stress.

      Hope this is useful,


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  • Posted

    Hi Alinight,

    The symptoms of fatigue and low mood can be pretty typical of Herpes Zoster Shingles. Some individuals are fortunate not to experience pain with Herpes Zoster Shingles. Some also note that the Herpes Zoster Shingles are triggered by their periods. I was wondering if you had noticed any relationship between the two, if you indeed still have your period.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States and have had Herpes Zoster Shingles in my right ear every three to five weeks for the past twentyone years and twice in my right eye.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      Thank you for your reply.

      I'm well into the menopause, but seem to still have very low mood around the same time of month as when I had periods.

      I also have some slightly underactive thyroid issues.

      Sometimes it's hard to know what's what!

      It must be awful for you to have suffered for so many years.

      A. x

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    • Posted

      Dear Alinight,

      Thank you for your kind thoughts. I have learned to deal with Herpes Zoster Shingles, and the shining light is to be able to help others on this forum. I have an extremely supportive family and sense of humor that doesn't quit. Sometimes, my four older sisters just roll their eyes, as does my twenty-seven year old son. I almost feel sorry for them when I start cracking jokes....almost.


      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      I am writing to you again as I'm feeling extremely low.

      I'm beginning to put the pieces together.

      For years I've suffered with extreme fatigue, depression and odd symptoms including aches and pains, and odd rashes ... only very recently becoming aware of shingles.

      After posting on this forum a couple of weeks ago, I am now experiencing what I think is another attack.

      Before I said I had not experienced pain ... This time it started with feeling 'odd' then becoming more and more exhausted accompanied by low mood, then pain all down my left flank right down my leg. The skin is very tender to the touch as well.

      No rash has been present this time. It then occurred to me about two months ago I had nerve pain all down the left side of my leg ... but no rash. It's only now that I'm joining the dots. (No pun intended)

      I was told years ago after blood tests that my thyroid was under active and was put on tyroxin but I got much worse so was taken off it. I did a considerable amount of research and managed to improve my heath a little by means of complimentary medicine and taking kelp supplements. The iodine in the kelp has to be taken with selenium so I eat 2 brazil nuts every day.

      I discovered that if not taken with selenium the introduction of to much iodine can cause adrenal exhaustion ... but now my health is getting worse.

      Now I find that I'm going from having a rash ... exhaustion and no pain to having pain with no rash ... almost all the time.

      I have a brief period of time ... maybe a week ... when I feel more 'normal' then the foggy head low mood etc starts again.

      (I am also due to see a rheumatologist when my appointment comes through.)

      It all seems to be connected ...

      One of the hardest things is feeling like people around me in particular my partner, don't understand and felt like I'm somehow feeling sorry for myself or being 'lazy' ... when it's hard some times just to make the effort to clean my teeth. I'm just so fed up with being exhausted.

      I feel like my life for the last 8 years or so, has been a fog of fatigue and depression. I want my life back.

      Sorry to vent like this but just need to get it out.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to all these people on a forum ...

      that I did not know existed. .. until very recently.

      Many thanks


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    • Posted

      Dear Alinight,

      While it is extremely difficult to know exactly what is going on with you, hypothyroidism can definitely cause fatigue, exhaustion, and depression. An excellent endocrinologist should be treating the hypothyroidism. If the hypothyroidism is not treated properly, the entire body including the heart, brain, liver, kidney, muscles, etc do not function and shut down in extreme cases.

      Herpes Zoster Shingles also can cause fatigue and exhaustion. Certainly you can have Shingles without the rash or "Zoster Sine Herpete." I can't remember the location of your original rash and if the pain keeps reoccurring in the same place. Also, perhaps you could share your age.

      Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease and needs to be treated with appropriate medication and monitored with blood tests. It certainly makes you more susceptible to shingles.

      I am sorry your partner isn't being a true partner in life and lacks compassion. Depression and exhaustion are part of the symptoms of hypothyroidism poorly controlled, and therefore, I again ask you to seek the treatment of an excellent endocrinologist whom you trust. Shop around. Ask around. Ask a Nurse at an endocrinology clinic whom she would go to. You need to be able to talk to the doctor and discuss your treatment plan together...

      I hope I have helped you.

      I have diagnosed individuals with hypothyroidism who were depressed and exhausted and felt better once they were on the correct medication and dosage.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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