Shingles for the second time in 10 Months

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Last year I went on holiday and while there deceloped a minor case of shingles on my right hand side around the bottom of my rib cage. 8 months on I developed a rash which was very much like chicken pox and a phone call to 111 also confirmed this they said it was nothing to worry about as again it was only mild. Now 2 months after the first sign of chicken pox I have another case of shingles again only mild. 

I’m 22 with only a shoulder problem (which I’ve been going back and forth to the doctors with for 20 months) and don’t find this normal. Could there be some underlying condition? Should I be worried? 

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  • Posted

    Dear Busy Bee,

    I am sorry you are going through this.

    Fortunately, at age 22 years, your episodes so far have been relatively mild. I do not feel that a 22 year old should have recurrent Shingles.

    Were you placed on Antivirals each time? If so, which one, dosage, and for how long?

    Are you under a lot of stress?

    Are you exposed to sunlight? Where do you live?

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States. I have had recurrent Herpes Zoster-Shingles every three to five weeks in my right ear for the past twenty-one years and twice in my right eye. I am now 66 years old.

    Here is what helps decrease the frequency.

    Google High Lysine Low Arginine Diet and Herpes. Food high in Lysine helps fight the Herpes virus. Foods high in Arginine trigger a Herpes attack. I used to eat nuts and legumes as part of a heart healthy diet until I found out it was contributing to my Herpes Zoster-Shingles episodes. Chocolate is high in Arginine, BTW.

    As you are young, your Vitamin D level is probably fine, but it needs to be above 40. Vitamin D is essential for immunity. Mine was low at 14, but I live in Delaware, gloomy winters!

    Does your family have a history of autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, IBD, psoriasis, ?

    I would not worry about having cancer or HIV. I would make changes to your diet, decrease your stress level, get plenty of sleep and rest, and complete the Antivirals each episode (Valcyclovir or Famciclovir have better efficacy than Acyclovir, BTW.)

    Please let me know if this helps.

    I do have three autoimmune diseases, BTW, which factors greatly into the frequency LOL! The diet and Vitamin D3 supplements help me, markedly.

    Best Regards,

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted


      Thank you for your reply. The first time I wasn’t placed on medication because at the point I went to see a doctor the majority had scabbed over (I was on holiday in Spain when this case occurred) this time I haven’t been to see a doctor yet as it only started yesterday (I had no pain before this time round) and the walk in centres in the UK are always busy! The plan is to call the doctor first thing tomorrow to get an appointment. I live in the UK at the moment we have had nice weather (for the UK anyway) for the last three weeks so plenty of sunlight recently. I don’t feel stressed at all. 

      I’ll definitely take a look at what you’ve recommended and see if anything helps to prevent another case.

      Thank you again!

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    • Posted

      Dear BusyBee,

      I would definitely start on an antiviral to see if that helps quiet down the frequency of your getting shingles. As you live in the UK, I would definitely get your Vitamin D level checked. (I lived in Germany, so I am familiar with the weather.) Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means if taken in excess, it can become toxic rather quickly. Doctors can be rather conservative and state, if the level is 30, you are fine. It needs to be at least 40, but 50 is better for your immunity.

      Best Wishes

      Enjoy the sunshine!

      Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    Did either one of you get the new vaccine?
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  • Posted

    Hi BusyBee. I see that others have already responded to your question. There are some very kind people here on this forum. I'm truly sorry you are going thru this at such a young age. It's brutal at any age. As for your question of should you be worried, I would say that it's never a bad idea to have your doctor check you out but you probably don't need to worry about any underlying condition causing you the shingles. You do need to treat shingles with great importance though and do not delay in getting a prescription for antivirals as soon as possible. Shingles is bad enough in itself but delaying treatment increases your chances of nerve damage thereafter. Again, I'm truly sorry this is happening to you. Be sure to rest all you can and hope you feel better very soon. Take care friend

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