Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Supplements
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Herpes zoster is the medical name for shingles. Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a member of the herpes family and the same virus that causes chicken pox. The characteristic symptom is a rash of painful blisters. Shingles can appear anywhere on the body.
Shingles is caused by reactivation in the adult years of the chicken pox virus that occurred during childhood. The virus can be reactivated when the body's immunity to the virus breaks down. This may happen due to normal aging, or the body's immune system may become weakened due to stress from illness, physical or emotional stress, fatigue, poor nutrition, certain medications, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other factors.
Shingles is an infection of the nerve endings in the skin, the painful condition known as shingles is caused by the herpes zoster virus. This is the same virus responsible for chicken pox. After a child recovers from chicken pox, the virus stays in the body, lying dormant in the spinal cord. It is activated, usually many years later, when the immune system is weakened by stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, infections, AIDS or such cancers as leukemia. The first sign that the reactivated virus has spread to nerve endings is a burning or tingling pain, most often in the trunk area around the ribs and waist. Itchy blisters form and crust over, eventually falling off. Blisters can be so painful that anything coming into contact with the skin, even clothing, feels intolerable. Headaches, fever and fatigue also beset shingles sufferers; pain may linger after blisters are gone. Shingles is typically treated with antiviral drugs, but anti-inflammatory and antiviral herbs, vitamins and natural immune boosters can also aid healing and reduce pain.
Treatment of the symptoms of shingles through compresses and pain relievers is usually recommended by health care providers. Lubricating eyedrops or antibiotic eye drops may also be prescribed.
What you can do as soon as you feel any tingling pain that might herald shingles, or as soon as blisters appear, see your health care provider, as antiviral drugs must be taken early on. Keep the blistered areas clean, use herbal compresses for both relief and cleansing, and gently pat dry. Try, as hard as it may be, to refrain from scratching the blisters. Wear light, well-ventilated cotton clothing with as little underneath as possible. Make sure your diet is healthy. Avoid sugar and refined flours. Herbal salves and teas can ease pain and hasten healing. Herbal amino acid and vitamin supplements (especially vitamin E) also support immunity and help to prevent lingering pain.
The use of antiviral medications may be recommended by your health care provider if your condition is diagnosed with 72 hours after its appearance. The medication most commonly prescribed is acyclovir. Famcyclovir and Valacyclovir may also be prescribed. Occasionally, corticosteroids (Prednisone) may be prescribed to reduce inflammation. Pain relievers are sometimes also used to reduce pain.
- Bio-Immunozyme Forte is a broad-spectrum product containing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, as well as neonatal bovine gland and organ components known to support immune function.
- Bio-C-Plus 1000 is 1000 milligrams of mixed ascorbates (vitamin C) per tablet. This is a product that you would consider if you want a mixed ascorbate tablet that contains a higher level of vitamin C that is buffered.
- L-Lysine HCI (Amino Acid) by Bitoics - supplies L-lysine, an essential amino acid, having documented immuno-supportive properties. 500 mg per capsule. Use with Parkinson's, herpes (cold sores), shingles, tissue repair, impaired calcium metabolism, lead and other heavy metal body burdens. 1-2 capsules, 3 times a day with meals.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Optimal EFAs - supplies a unique blend of the highest quality fish, flaxseed and borage oils, providing a balanced blend of omega-3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids in optimal ratios.
See Essentail Fatty Acid Supplements
- UltraVir-X contains vitamin C, vitamin A, and natural mixed carotenoids, copper and zinc in a proprietary mixture of Maitake mushroom, wheat grass, rutin and several herbs with known antiviral properties. The suggested dose is two capsules, twice per day on an empty stomach. UltraVir-X is extremely effective with chronic, subacute viral infections. The inclusion of UltraVir-X into treatment programs for Hepatitis A, B and C has made a significant difference in our resolution rates. Each capsule supplies: Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 75 mg, Vitamin A (emulsified palmitate) 1500 I.U., Natural mixed carotenoids 1000 I.U., Copper (gluconate) 0.3 mg, Zinc (gluconate) 2 mg, UltraVir-X base 440 mg (UltraVir-X Base a proprietary blend of the following constituents: Maitake mushroom, wheatgrass, rutin, Astragalus membranaceous, Bupleurum falcatum, Forsythia suspensa, propolis, Stillingia sylvatice, Phyllanthus amarus, Harnamells virginiana and hesperidin.) Warning: Not recommended for pregnant or lactating women. Dosage Recommendations: Take 2 capsules, 3 times daily after meals.
- Zinc: Zinc Supreme by Designs for Health is made with chelated minerals by Albion Advanced Nutrition, the leader in mineral technology. The zinc is zinc bis-glycinate chelate and the molybdenum is bis-glycinate chelate. They are ideal chelates with a 2:1 molar ratio of two amino acids of glycine chemically bonded in liquid to one mineral ion of zinc or molybdenum for optimal absorption. The minerals and B vitamins in Zinc Supreme are very well tolerated and very well absorbed.
- Vitamin A: 25,000-50,000 IU daily. If you are pregnant, do not exceed 10,000 IU daily. Bio-Ae-Mulsion or Bio-Ae-Mulsion Forte