By Doreen DeStefano, ARNP

What is shingles?
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. It remains dormant in your body until times of weakened immunity and is then reactivated. Every year more than a million Americans will contract shingles. Having chicken pox does not give you immunity. One in 3 of us will experience it in our lifetime and it is painful!

The most common complication is post-herpetic neuralgia, which is lingering nerve pain that can be long term and severe. In extremely rare cases, shingles can lead to pneumonia, blindness (if around the eye) hearing issues, brain inflammation, or death.

How do I know its shingles?
Shingles usually begins with a small area of pain on one side of the torso, although it may affect the face. After a few days a red rash may appear, but not always. There can be itching, burning, tingling, and sensitivity to touch. You may develop fluid filled blisters. But again, not always. You may also have generalized symptoms like fever, fatigue, and sensitivity to light. It usually lasts between three to five weeks. Most people will only get it once, but it is possible to get shingles multiple times.

Who is at risk?
Sadly, the older you get, the more likely you are to get shingles. They occur in about 10% of people who previously had chicken pox. About half of all cases occur in people over age fifty. If you have recently been ill, have cancer, or are under a lot of stress, your risk of getting shingles increases.

How do I prevent it?
Knowledge of prevention and natural treatments is imperative, because a weakened immune system can make you more likely to get shingles, and make the symptoms worse. If you do get it, a few simple treatments can cut your symptom severity and length by a large degree. Some natural substances can also help to prevent or treat post herpetic neuralgia.

Prevention is key. Keep your immune system in shape and your nervous system optimal by following these 6 simple rules:
1. Get enough sleep
2. Stay hydrated
3. Don’t eat sugar
4. Take your supplements
5. Eat at least 6 servings of fruit and veggies a day
6. Get an intravenous immune boost one a month

Shingles Supplements
#1 Vitamin C (1,000mg 3-4x daily)
Helps with immune system function and boosts white blood cells.
#2 Echinacea (500 mg 3x daily)
Helps the body fight infections and viruses.
#3 Oregano oil (500mg 2x daily)
Powerful antiviral effect.
#4 Vitamin B12 (1000-5000 mcg daily)
Promotes faster recovery and reduced pain.
#5 Zinc (50 mg daily)
Supports immune function and has an antiviral effect. It works best when taken at the first sign of illness.

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy
Very old and very recent studies alike show that intravenous vitamin C, B- vitamins and other immune system supporting nutrients can significantly reduce the duration of the herpes outbreak, as well as all co-occurring symptoms. At Root Causes, we also add hyperbaric oxygen chamber (HBOT) treatments to reduce inflammation and improve patient outcomes. Patients have reported immediate reduction in symptoms and complete resolution in as little as 3 combination treatments of HBOT and intravenous vitamins. We can also address the postherpetic neuralgia if you have unfortunately ended up with that.

Intravenous Vitamin C, b-vitamins, alphalipoic acid, and glutathione help tremendously in preventing post herpetic neuralgia pain.

Intravenous Vitamin C
Intravenous vitamin C can increase your circulating vitamin C levels by 70 to 100 times the amount that oral vitamin C can. In times of compromised health, this is a great option. Low doses of intravenous vitamin C can help to keep your immune system robust.

Intravenous Glutathione
Glutathione is the master detoxifier and antioxidant in the body. Every single cell uses glutathione. Remember that the big players in your immune system are white blood cells. Glutathione supports every cell in your body and is exceedingly beneficial to your immune system.

Intravenous Alphalipoic Acid
Alphalipoic acid has been shown by numerous studies to help in the repair of the nervous system in various types of neuropathies. Since shingles attacks the nervous system, alphalipoic acid is a big player! Oral dosing is not as effective. It is an antioxidant that is naturally produced in the body and also found in food. As we age, we produce less, and therefore we derive less of the beneficial effects.

Conclusion
The best way to treat the shingles is by preventing by maintaining a healthy immune system. See us at Root Causes today to develop a program just for you.

If you do get the shingles, the fastest way to symptom relief is vitamin IV therapy. You can get that at Root Causes. But why wait until you’re in pain? Call us today so that we can help you stay healthy and active year round!

Root Causes
Holistic Health and Medicine
12734 Kenwood Lane. Ft Myers, FL 33907
239-425-2900 | www.rtcausesmd.com