How Do You Get Shingles?
Shingles is a disease that occurs most frequently in the mature years of adulthood. It usually happens to men and women who are 50 or older. It is a virus that attacks the nerve roots and it can be extremely painful with long lasting repercussions. Many people have heard of shingles but they not aware of how one can get shingles.
Chicken Pox Virus
Shingles comes from the same virus strain that causes chicken pox. In fact, people who get shingles must have had chicken pox because they need to have the dormant virus in their bodies. No one knows for sure what actually triggers the virus to reactivate, but when it does, it does so as the shingles virus.
Shingles itself is not contagious; so if you have shingles, you cannot pass it on to other people in your household or community. It is the chicken pox virus that is contagious. Luckily, almost everyone who has had the chicken pox is immune to it and will not get a second bout of it. Adults who are 50 years of age or older are advised to get the shingles vaccine, because the disease is very painful and once you have it, the pain can last for years.
Not only is the exact cause of shingles unknown, but there is also no cure for the disease. There are treatments like antiviral medications, topical antibiotics and more, but there is not a magic pill that will immediately rid the body of the disease.
Get the Vaccine
So, what can you do to be sure that you do not develop shingles? The first step is to get vaccinated, but only if you are healthy and your immune system is not compromised from excessive use of steroids or chemotherapy treatments. If you are in doubt about your immune system, you should ask your physician first.
After that, there really is not much else that can be done to avoid getting shingles. However, there are a few recommended ways to try to avoid the disease. It is a good idea to exercise and stay healthy. By staying healthy, your immune system is better prepared to fight any viruses that might come your way. Eating whole natural foods, taking vitamins, and exercising regular are great ways to prevent illness; but unfortunately, even the most physically fit people do get sick, too.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you realize that you are getting the first stage of symptoms, it is a good idea to let your physician know immediately so he or she can help you fight the disease with necessary medications. Once you have it, you have it and there is not much else that can be done to get rid of the disease. You will need to let the disease run its course and it is a good idea to let it do so, without being too active and overtaxing your immune system.
Again, the best medicine to fight shingles is the vaccine.