Shingles and Stress
Stress is the way the body is responding to any demand as a result of good or bad experiences. When a person feels stressed, his body will respond by making certain chemicals to be released into the blood. These chemicals make the person to have more energy and strength, which is a good thing when with the stress caused by physical danger. However, it can also be a bad thing if the stress is due to something emotional, and no outlet exists for the extra strength and energy.
The painful skin blisters erupting on a side of the face or body are what characterize shingles. In most cases, the blisters are seen on the chest, back, face or abdomen; but you may also find them on the neck, lower back or limbs. The blisters can be itchy, tender and extremely painful, and when they heal, scabs are formed after one to two weeks, while the pain will still be there.
Can Stress Cause Shingles?
Yes. Stress can cause shingles. Stress is a condition which has a serious impact on the immune system and the body. Stress, like the one experienced when working on a high profile project at the office or watching a sporting event, has a positive short-term impact on the body’s immune system, and is regarded as being good stress. However, long term stressors, such as employment arrangements or unhappy marriage, gradually make the body to wear out, weakening the natural defenses of the body. Experts say that it is still necessary for additional research to be carried out to fully understand how the body is affected by stress, while psychological experts believe that a chronic stress really produces a weakened immune system.
Stress can also alter the perception of pain of a person. A person under stress is likely to have a serious feeling of the physical symptoms of a disease. The burning, aching and itching are usually associated with shingles, and become more intolerable when the individual has stress. Emotional stress can trigger shingles in people who have gone through a sudden shock; for instance, those living with chronic diseases, those facing stress in life or after experiencing the death of a loved one. Stress under any of these conditions makes the immune system to be weak, providing an opportunity for shingles to develop.
Most people are affected by stress in one way or another. Sudden, short-term acute stress makes there to be rapid changes in the body. Many of the body systems like the heart and blood vessels, the lungs, the immune system, the sensory organs, the digestive system, and brain, are always prepared to respond to the perceived danger. Experiencing stress for an unduly long period can make shingles and the discomfort related to it to be seriously felt. The immune system can quickly be made weaker, making rapid recovery to be prevented, and according to studies, a person under stress is more likely to go through prolonged pain through post-herpetic neuralgia, the third stage of shingles, where the pain of shingles persists longer even after the rash disappears.