Shingles | A Viral Infection To Look Out For

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Viruses have done their fair share of damage in today’s times. While some deadly viruses such as corona have managed to take the world by a storm; there are other viruses that do not cause as bad of the damage. Shingles (Varicella Zoster Virus) is one of them. well, truth be told, varicella did cause its fair share of damage. This is especially true since there was a large number of annual world-wide cases and casualties by varicella before 1995; when the vaccine was approved for human use.

Everything you need to know about shingles:

Varicella belongs to herpes virus family and the virus is capable of causing a multitude of diseases depending on the stage of its lifecycle. 

shingle stages of its lifecycle

Some of the facts about shingles are:

  • More commonly occurs in adults as opposed to chicken pox which is a disease of children and young adults.
  • Occurs when due to unknown reasons the varicella virus breaks open from its dormant state and reach the skin surface.
  • Shingles is diagnosed by the physical examination by a doctor
  • FDA recommends shingles vaccination esp. for people above 45-50 yrs. of age. 
  • Usually, the shingles immunity is for lifetime.
  • What does Shingles look like? 

Shingles is identified by its characteristic rash. The rash is preceded by severe pain and burning sensation. 

shingles rash characteristics

Identification of shingles rash is by their characteristic streak like appearance on one side of the body with severe pain and burning shooting up and down the infected area.



Is shingles contagious:

Yes! Shingles in extremely contagious up until their ‘dried crust stage’. However, patients who have had chicken pox once in their lifetime are immune to shingles or herpes zoster virus entirely. In addition, those vaccinated against herpes zoster are also immune.

Nevertheless, the virus can easily spread if:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Pregnant non vaccinated woman
  • Exposure to any other strong infection esp. viral infections like encephalitis, HIV etc.
  • What foods help get rid of Shingles:

Any sort of skin condition with severe itching or burning will damage the daily life routine. Likewise shingles also damage the daily routine since the urge to scrape the skin off from infected area will not allow the patient to focus on anything else. Shingles is a viral disease and like any viral disease once contacted; it will complete its like cycle. Although antivirals and soothing creams etc. will lessen the suffering and spread of the disease. However, they will not work without proper diet and metabolic help to the body.

It is therefore essential to consume diet that will not only fight against the disease but also provide strength to the immune system.



Crank up on natural antihistamines: Quercetin

Since the outcome of shingles infection is severe allergic response by the body in the form of rash and itching; it is therefore imminent to eat foods that lower the histamine response against the allergens. Histamines are basically responsible for the aggravated reaction of the body in the presence of any allergen. 

Quercetin has proven its potential as a strong anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic agent. It is also easily available in nature. the compound if consumed daily can help during the course of viral attack.

Foods containing this amazing constituent are:

  • Apples
  • Citrus foods
  • Berries of all kinds
  • Parsley
  • Dillweed
  • Peppers such as serrano and other red and green peppers
shingle_berry_blast

Shingle Berry Punch

Quercetin has proven its potential as a strong anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic agent. It is also easily available in nature. the compound if consumed daily can help during the course of viral attack. These quercetin packed fruits will punch shingles right in the face.
Total Time 21 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Juicing
Servings 2
Calories 152 kcal

Equipment

  • Masticating Juicer

Ingredients
  

  • cup Blueberries
  • 1 cup Pineapples
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple

Instructions
 

  • Wash all produces thoroughly.
  • Peel and cut all produces according to the juicers specifications. Some juicing can not juice whole fruits.
  • Feed the blueberries first, through the juicer.
  • Then feed the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir and enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories: 152kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 273mgFiber: 6gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 157IUVitamin C: 54mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Keyword apple, blueberries, Pineapple
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Love your Lysine:

Lysine is an essential amino acid, which means our body can not make it on its own and therefore needs to consume it from the diet. It is an extremely beneficial amino acid against all sort of viral infections particularly herpes virus. Although there is room for more research on the beneficial effects of lysine against varicella. However, it does provide the necessary support required during any viral attack. 

Food source for lysine is:

Fall in love with the Folic acid:

There is massive wear and tear in the body during any sort of infection, esp. during a viral infection. The regeneration of cells and regrowth of skin tissues require folate (Vit B9). The folate pathway is a critical step during DNA regeneration and ATP formation. In addition, some research has concluded regarding benefits of folate in preventing viral regeneration and growth. 

Nature has been kind in providing natural resources for folate in different foods such as:

  • Benas such as kidney beans,
  • Chickpeas
  • Spinach 
  • Broccoli

Nuts for Nuts:

You read it right. You need to go nuts for nuts. Because otherwise there is no hope for improving your immunity if the body is lacking in omegas. Although omegas are found in plenty of other fruits and vegetables. However, nuts hold their special place in providing the necessary constituents to the body.

When the body is fighting off the virus; there is a good chance that the weakened immune system may get attacked by any bacteria resulting in the so-called Secondary Infection.

Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia etc. are a bank of so many beneficial constituents such as:

Benefits of Nuts in immunityProvide vit E which is a strong antioxidant and also prevent scar formation Provide energy and metabolic strength to combat viral attack Source for omega 3 and 6 which is main immunity booster



Herbal teas:

Although consuming herbal tea for the excruciating pain of shingles does seem out of ordinary (read weird). But the fact is that all herbal teas are packed with mounds of beneficial ingredients. And well they taste extremely good too. so of course, it’s a win-win. However, choosing the right kind of tea is important to fight off the shingles causing virus.

Some of the useful teas and their benefits are as follows:

TeaBenefits
Green teaPacked with epigallocatechin gallate which has proven to substantially help combat herpes virus of all kinds
Lemon balm teaHelps relax the stressed nerves resulting in lesser itching
Lavender teaHelp relieve post herpetic pain which is a characteristic pain of shingles

Take away:

Any skin affliction is traumatic since it is physically visible as well as painful. Shingle is no different in this regard. Although the chances for getting shingles are extremely low in this day and age owing to readily available vaccines. But once triggered the disease will affect in all forms and meanings. Sticking to a healthy routine will improve the chances of recovery by many folds. 

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