Shingles is a painful skin problem associated with the chickenpox virus. If you had chickenpox at some time in your life, you could possibly develop shingles later, at any stage of your life. The likelihood of this happening increases as you age.
Sometimes you don't even have to suffer through a bout of chickenpox to later develop shingles. If you have been administered the chickenpox vaccine, no matter how many years or decades ago, you currently have the virus in your body which can awaken and cause shingles to develop.
What Exactly is Shingles?
To be specific, shingles is a skin condition caused by the varicellar zoster virus. That is the same virus which causes chickenpox, sometimes called herpes zoster or simply the zoster virus. If you contract chickenpox, the varicellar zoster virus never leaves your body.
Usually, this is not an issue. You have different viruses in your body right now which could pose health problems, but they normally lie dormant for your entire life. Many viruses lie inert until something triggers a population explosion, which our body cannot immediately control.
In the case of shingles, often a compromised immune system means your body cannot properly control the chickenpox virus. It gains strength and wakes up from its dormant slumber, resulting in a localized and sometimes extremely painful skin rash that is often accompanied with blisters.
This rash can be identified as a wide strip or belt visually. Shingles is not contagious, and occurs in approximately 20% of people who have encountered chickenpox.
Alternative Treatments for Shingles
It should be noted that there is currently no cure for shingles. There are options to conventional medicine for effectively treating shingles.
The 'B' complement of vitamins is commonly found in deficient levels in modern humans. Dietary and environmental causes lead to insufficient levels of vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, and this results in a number of health problems. Taking high levels of vitamin B12 has proven an effective way of overcoming a shingles attack and returning the body to normal more rapidly.
You can either take a natural B12 supplement daily, or simply start eating more foods rich in B12, such as fish and shellfish, poultry and meat, eggs, milk and cheese.
Olive Leaf Extract
In some natural circles, this is the preferred method for treating shingles. Modern medicine will tell you that shingles cannot be cured. Many natural healers point to cases where olive leaf extract rapidly led to the removal of any and all shingles symptoms.
Whether this healing oil caused a removal of the chickenpox virus from the body or not, it is very effective for treating the blistering, rash and extreme pain which accompanies shingles.
Limit Your Exposure to Arginine
Arginine is a natural component which, like vitamin B12, has a connection to shingles, although it is not a positive one. If you enjoy eating cashews and pumpkin seeds, grapes and blackberries, peanuts and tomatoes, you will have to avoid your favorite foods. These foods are extremely high in arginine, which aggravates and strengthens the shingles virus, and can boost both the severity and regularity of symptoms.