Shingles on a 33 year old

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I hope someone is able to help me out. I'm a 33 year old who workouts out five days of the week, runs 2 every four days, and the last two runs three miles and then walks another three miles for the hell of it. smile Though, I suffer from Chronic Health Anxiety and Depression with OCD which I'm already medicated on. Then, I also have IBS which is being helped by probiotics and greek yogurt. I've done blood work for the last four years straight and everything looked great besides low vitamin D last year when I began treatment of my mental disorder. 

Since last April I've gone through the whirlwind of events from having anxiety attacks late in the night and waking up with chest pains. Not being able to sleep through most of the night. Been stung by a bee which freaked me out since my dad is allergic to bees, thought something would happen to me. Then, I've had problems with members of my family. Did work search and all the places I went to, I was rejected. I have student loan that I need to pay and had to sell half of my film collection to get some money. Finally, having studied WWII history and seeing stark parallels to what's happening currently in the U.S. finally took a toll in my body. 

On June 6-13 I began to feel muscle aches on the right side of my neck. 

On June 14-15 Aches went away and began to notice a small spot on my right shoulder blade with a swollen lymph node. My mom thought that it was a spider bite and treated it with ointments. 

On June 16 It began to quickly spread and began having burning stabbing sensations on my right shoulder blade. (Having a friend who suffered from this due to stress, I realized what it was)

June 17 I went to the ER and the Physician confirmed my suspicion and diagnosed me with Shingles. He asked if I had chronic condition and mentioned Anxiety and Depression. Then asked if I was under stress and told him what's been happening personally. Then, said that's it. He prescribid Acyclovir and to see my Dr just to make sure everything is ok or be referred to a dermatologist.     

Over that week, it keep spreading around my right clavicle and chest, and around my neck. Had issues swallowing. However, taking Acyclovir lessened the symptoms. Plus my ma put some baking soda on my spots that truly lessened the itching and burning.  Though I noticed with the Acyclovir it made me easily to bruise which freaked me the hell out, thinking I have some horrible cancer. 

Up to today June 29, I finished my antivirals. I was seen by my Dr. associate partner since she was out of town. He was impressed that I had only one day of stabbing and burning sensation, which meant I might not have long term problems, and with the bruising he said, I shouldn't worry about it since other symptoms would crop up. It's the medication. though he did advice me that its going to take several weeks for all the symptoms to go away. Right now, most of the spots have crusted and are disappearing, and the swallowing issues have lessened. Though, I'm still feel weak and with headaches, body pains, and low fever every other day.

Since I suffer from Health Anxiety, even though the ER physician told me its stress I have this irrational fear that its something malignant. I hope some you are able to help and calm my wracked nerves.   

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  • Posted

    Sorry Manny, but yup, you've got good old fashioned shingles. Be very grateful that you're so much better already. No matter how healthy one is or how young or old, if you've had chicken pox, you still have the virus, dormant, in your body. Therefore it can activate into shingles. Yes stress is normally one of the largest factors in getting it. But even tho the rash may be better, you're still ill. Take it easy, stay hydrated and rest as much as you can. The rash is just one outward symptom, like the flu or pneumonia or any other virus, it's all internal.

    It's nothing malignant, just shingles, so take care of yourself and outside of a few scars that may linger, you should be fine.

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  • Posted

    Dear Manny,

    I am sorry you have Shingles, but the worse of it seems to be over. The good news is I can tell you why you were at risk for shingles.

    1. You are stressed out to the max.

    2. You have IBS.

    These two are major risk factors for shingles.

    My suggestions are as follows:

    1. Maintain your level of Vitamin D between 40 -60. Vitamin D is important for immune health.

    2. Google High Lysine Low Arginine Diet Herpes and follow that diet. The amino acid Arginine triggers Herpes and Lysine prevents Herpes.

    Chocolate, Nuts, and Legumes are high in Arginine and trigger Herpes, BTW!

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. 

      Never though that the IBS might trigger shingles. However, my dr told me that my IBS came from my anxiety. She's given me a list of foods not to eat so I won't have crazy bowel changes. Though, my chronic health anxiety always gets the better off me, and I get rather constipated and poor bum has taken the brunt of it with on and off anal fissures that bleed out with rather large stools. My doc did lab work to see if something was wrong, since I feared that I had bowel cancer. Though, my blood work came out perfectly. Though, I pushed her to send me to a colon specialist who told me, young man, you're going die of old age. Not this. Most of my family members have passed away from this disease, and that's why I became a dr. Though, not you. Go home. 

      Though, now with my shingles my movements are back to normal. I see what my psychologist told me once, when you stop focusing on one thing to just what's happening in the moment, your mind and body will calm down

      My Dr and psychologist have done their best to calm my mind down, though sometimes its challenging especially these last few months. I thought I was handling everything well, though looking back boy, seems I truly need some help. 

      I love my chocolate, nuts and beans. Darn! Oh well. Cut them out.  

      Thanks for taking your time and reading this.  

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    • Posted

      Manny,

      Anxiety is not causing your IBS, but it certainly could make it worse.

      Chocolate, nuts, and beans are big triggers of Herpes Zoster-Shingles! I figured that might be a problem of yours! I love nuts, and used to eat them all the time. I would get severe 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.. After I stopped eating nuts and legumes, the frequency decreased markedly.

      Also, my Vitamin D level was very low, so I take Vitamin D3 2000 IU every day.

      Is there a big family history of colon cancer in your family? If not, don't equate one episode of shingles with a malignancy. I understand depression and anxiety disorder, and am glad you have reached out and empowered yourself. Knowledge is power.

      Best Regards, Manny

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      I just ate a vanilla drumstick. 😂 seems it's the last time.

      With Colon Cancer, no one in my family has had it. That's why the specialist told me nothing is going to happen to me.

      I need to get a better control of my mind, so something like this doesn't happen again.

      Thanks for the advice, Merry. Truly appreciate it.

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    • Posted

      Nah, there's probably no real chocolate, just a flavored coating and the nuts are microscopic. Eat to your heart's content. Oh yeah, the fat and sugar content, drat!

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry. I’ve sent another message to you on a new discussion , hoping you can help me with pregabalin weaning.  If you don’t get it then I can resend my question., thanks 
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    • Posted

      Hi Sheila,

      Sorry, I was ill with Herpes Zoster-Shingles, again. I just replied to your question.

      My deepest apologies, but I couldn't think well enough to answer.

      Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    I too have IBS, but it’s well under control for me, it  has everything to do with food sensitivities. Over time, I’ve figured out many different foods that will set it off. there’s something called FODMAPS. it’s the acronym  for specific types of sugar alcohols that are not processed well by some people. Almost everything on that list does cause me problems. Look it up and see if you have those same issues. Not everybody can find the same solution that I did though. For many years doctors attributed this to stress, it’s not. I do know  when my stomach is funky from stress, like before dental appointment. That’s very different from what happens when I eat the wrong foods, such as pineapple, raw onions, or drink apple juice. Good luck with solving the riddle and your IBS, other people just work through trial and error, and can Usually figure out what the triggers are. Please excuse the errors I’m on my iPad, and it’s easier to use speech to text. And it’s really late and I want to go to bed. I hope we helped reassure you.
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    • Posted

      Btw, I wrote this before I saw your other reply and your doctors suggestions. Don’t take either her list or mine as gospel. There are quirks in all of us. 
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  • Posted

    Hi .i have health anxiety too and my symptoms also started with stabbing aching tingles then numbness in my right thigh i had been walking everyday with jogging my husband was fighting terminal cancer my stress through the roof .i supposedly got shingles with no rash .this 20 months ago ive become wirse with all extremities tingly .burney and i get isolated cold sensations that suddenly hapoen .i too convinced .tumour .ms .etc .dr sending me to neurologist on 9th july for nerve conduction test .my panic attack level has gone up but im still managing to keep it at bay.my Husband and grandson passed last year so stress has given me one hell of a ride.please stay calm i think you like me and its just been a overload of life and its experiences so try to remember you are stronger than you believe you are
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  • Posted

    I just went back to be seen by my primary. She was impressed by my healing and said I should start up my hiking/running or doing short 1 or 2 mile runs. I tested myself with a long walk and I felt truly exhausted. How will this exhaustion/fatigue will last until I'm truly able to go at it again with my runs.

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    • Posted

      It could be a few weeks Manny. Remember you were ill, not just with a rash or with "shingles". A virus is and was in your body, so after having influenza and ill for 7-14 days, do you feel normal on the 14th day? Not usually. So, take it easy. Also, if you were a bit more sedentary during the week or two, that may make a small difference. The first "walk" I tried after my October shingles was in February and I could barely walk a quarter of a block. That's more extreme than what you're dealing with, but you need patience.

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    • Posted

      Early this morning I began with ear pain and freaked out that it was shingles acting up on my ear that I went to the ER. I was checked out and told them regarding my recent shingles episode since it was in the same area were it came out. They said my ear was fine. no blisters or anything. They said it it kept out go to my primary and get referred to ent specialist. Though, not worry about it.

      I have my suspicion that it's my anxiety getting the better of me. :-(

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    • Posted

      Or I've finally entered the PHN stage since the pain goes down to the exact area were the outbreak occurred. Perhaps that's why the people at the ER didn't see anything. I'm just going to take it easy. 

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