Lorna Vanderhaeghe, BSc
A diagnosis of shingles is not something to take lightly. Your medical doctor will tell you that this stubborn virus can cause illness for up to three months and can cause blindness if it affects the eyes.
A diagnosis of shingles is not something to take lightly. Your medical doctor will tell you that this stubborn virus can cause illness for up to three months and can cause blindness if it affects the eyes. Shingles are caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus–the same virus that causes chicken pox. When we get chicken pox as a child, all of the virus may not be destroyed. It may lie dormant in the nerves of the skin for decades, only to emerge as shingles when we get older. It is generally seen in people who are immune-compromised, under too much stress or those who have been exposed to chicken pox again. This infection of the central nervous system begins with fatigue and fever. The affected skin may be very sensitive to touch. Blisters on the skin begin to form around the fourth or fifth day of infection and run along a nerve path–generally in patches that look like a branch of a tree. It most often occurs on the trunk area and chest but can also be found on the face. It is an extremely painful condition. Often the elderly will experience chronic pain for months to years. Don’t Suffer Needlessly A dear friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles, prescribed a narcotic for pain relief and the antiviral drug aclovir and sent home to endure the virus for six weeks. Further research into alternative treatments led to my friend’s complete recovery in less than one week. The blisters and pain disappeared in three days. Remember that shingles is a serious illness and requires a certified health practitioner’s care, along with the following recommendations. If the eyes are involved an opthamologist should be consulted immediately. It is shameful that people have to suffer needlessly because they do not have access to some of the fabulous research in alternative treatments. The treatment regimen followed by my friend included an excellent diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and homemade soup. She eliminated sugar because it stops our natural killer cells from fighting the virus. Four nutrients are key to fighting this virus–sterols and sterolins, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and vitamin C. Plenty of solid research has evaluated these nutrients for their effectiveness at fighting shingles. Potent Antiviral Agent Plant sterols and sterolins are found in all fruits and vegetables and available in supplement form under the name Moducare. They are very effective at enhancing our natural killer cells–the cells of the immune system that fight viruses and cancer. They also increase two good immune factors called gamma interferon and interleukin-2, both potent antiviral agents. In research performed in South Africa, plant sterols and sterolins have been shown to stimulate the killing ability of our cytotoxic T-cells to destroy virus-infected cells. Herpes viruses can be eliminated by the immune system if the cytotoxic T-cells are doing their job. Plant sterols and sterolins should be taken on an empty stomach. Don’t drink milk with these supplements, as it inhibits their absorption. Vitamin B 12 Dr Melvyn Werbach describes a shingles research study using vitamin B12 in his book Nutritional Influences on Illness. In the study, 21 patients showed dramatic response, as judged by relief of pain and the speed of disappearance of the blisters. Relief was reported as early as the second or third day of treatment. In a paper published in the journal Geriatrics, a physician recommended using 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12 injected daily for six days and weekly for six weeks. Vitamin B12 is difficult to absorb from oral nutritional supplements. Ask your qualified health care practitioner to perform the injections. Vitamin E In another experimental study published in the Archives of Dermatology, 13 patients with chronic pain caused by shingles received 1,200-1,600 IU of vitamin E daily before meals. Nine of the 13 experienced complete or almost complete control of pain. Two were moderately improved and two were slightly improved. Two of the patients who gained complete pain remission had been suffering with post pain syndrome from shingles for 13 and 19 years respectively. This is amazing. If you have been putting up with post pain from this virus, adopt the protocol immediately and ask your doctor why he does not know of this landmark study. Vitamin C Vitamin C is so effective at eliminating the virus, that on initial diagnosis of this viral disease patients should immediately start taking it. Most of the published research behind vitamin C and shingles involves intravenous treatment and dates back as early as 1950. In one early study, 327 patients were all cured following three days of intravenous (IV) vitamin C. Another study by Klenner showed that of eight patients receiving IV vitamin C, seven reported complete cessation of pain within two hours of the first treatment. They also showed drying of the blisters within one day and complete clearing within three days of treatment. Intravenous vitamin C is more effective than oral vitamin C in treating an acute or new outbreak of shingles. However, if you don’t have a doctor willing to perform the treatment, take the oral vitamin C dosage recommended below. Vitamin C is a potent virus fighter and only eight per cent of Canadians actually get adequate vitamin C in their daily diet. The following three-day program is recommended for anyone who has just been diagnosed with shingles or if you have post pain from shingles. For three days take:
Vitamin B12 by injection will rapidly decrease the pain and itching of the blisters. After two days of injections my friend’s blisters were dry and had stopped itching and she did not need to take any pain medication. The tea tree oil ointment was very soothing to the skin. (Shingles is so painful that the pressure of a person’s clothing or the sheets on the bed may cause extreme discomfort.) By day three a general feeling of well-being returned, lymph gland swelling decreased, the blisters were now only a red rash with no crusting and-most importantly-the pain had not returned. If you do not have a naturopath or a medical doctor that can give you the injections of vitamin B12, take 500 mcg of vitamin B12 every hour for the first day and 2,000 mcg per day for the next two days. Many research studies have shown complete remission of the virus in a matter of days following the regimen mentioned above. Tell everyone you know about this treatment. Shingles is very painful and can last many months to years. Halting or reducing someone’s suffering is at our fingertips.