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Shingles: The Herpes Virus Strikes Again


A diagnosis of shingles is not something to take lightly. Your doctor will tell you that this stubborn virus can cause illness for several weeks to months and can cause blindness, if it affects the eyes. Shingles are caused by the herpes varicella Zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. When we get chickenpox as a child all of the virus may not be destroyed by our immune system and 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 the chickenpox virus again.

This infection of the central nervous system begins with fatigue, fever and 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. Patients diagnosed with shingles are prescribed a narcotic for pain relief and the antiviral drug aclovir and sent home to endure the virus for six weeks. Good solid research into alternative treatments for shingles shows that complete recovery in less than one week can be obtained with the blisters and pain disappearing in three days.

Remember that shingles is a serious illness and requires a physician's care along with the following recommendations. If the eyes are involved, this is an emergency situation and an ophthalmologist should be consulted immediately. It is shameful that people have to suffer needlessly because they do not have access to come of the important research in alternative treatments. Any treatment regimen for shingles or other herpes viruses should include and excellent diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and homemade soup. No sugar should be consumed because it stops one's natural killer cells from fighting the virus. Four nutrients from the following recommendations are key to fighting the herpes virus. Plenty of solid research has evaluated their effectiveness at fighting shingles; they include vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin C and plant sterols and sterolins.

Vitamin B12
Dr. Melvyne Werbach, in his book Nutritional Influences on Illness, reports that in a research study 21 patients suffering with herpes zoster showed a dramatic improvement in symptoms. By the second or third day of treatment, using 1 mg injection of B12 per day, their pain was relieved and blisters rapidly disappeared. In a paper published in the journal Geriatrics researchers recommended using 1mg of vitamin B12 injected daily for six days and weekly for six weeks to treat the pain associated with herpes zoster. Pain reduction occurred in two days, even in post-pain syndrome that had continued for months to years. Vitamin B12 taken in sublingual form has been found to shorten the duration of herpes outbreaks and reduce pain.

Vitamin E
In another experimental study published in the Archives of Dermatology, 13 patients with chronic pain caused by shingles received 1200-1600 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 to 19 years respectively. This is amazing. If you have been putting up with post-pain from the herpes zoster virus, adopt the protocol immediately and suggest to your doctor that he/she become familiar with this landmark study.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is so effective at halting herpes viruses that on initial diagnosis of shingles or outbreak of cold sores patients should immediately start taking it. Most of the published research behind vitamin C and herpes involves intravenous treatment and dates back as early as 1950. In one early study 321 patients suffering with herpes zoster were all cured following three days of intravenous vitamin C, seven reported complete cessation of pain within two hours of the first treatment. Intravenous vitamin C is much more effective than oral vitamin C to treat an acute or new outbreak of shingles but if you don't have a doctor willing to perform the treatment, take vitamin C in gram doses until relief is obtained. Vitamin C is a potent virus fighter and only 18 percent of North Americans actually get adequate vitamin C in their daily diet. We are deficient in this important vitamin.

The Immune Arsenal Should Destroy Herpes
All natural treatments to date have looked at ways of dealing with the virus once it becomes active or finding ways to keep the virus dormant. Effective treatment should focus on repairing immune dysfunction to destroy herpes. If our immune system is doing its job, the herpes virus would not be able to get inside our cells and wreak havoc. Under normal conditions a healthy immune system would destroy the virus before it had a chance to cause symptoms. Our front line defense warriors should eliminate the virus, halting it from getting inside our cells. If herpes is victorious and has made it inside our cells, then the cattish T cells, our most voracious immune system fighters, are supposed to detroy those virus-infected cells. Also, our immune system makes immune factors that halt the virus from replicating so that more virus cannot be produced. If the immune system's army is in perfect working order, we should not get the herpes in the first place and if we do succumb, our immune system should destroy herpes so we do not have to suffer the virus again. Exciting research using sterols and sterolins has found that these simple plant nutrients are effective at enhancing our cattish T cells and immune factors to destroy the virus forever.

Sterols and sterolins are the missing key. Research performed over the last several decades has found that sterols and sterolins increase natural killer cells, the first warriors to attack herpes. As well, sterols and sterolins increase cattish T cell activity, gamma interferon and interleukin-2, important for destroying the virus if it manages to get inside our cells. Cattish T cell enhancement is especially important when fighting herpes because we want these cells to seek out and destroy the cells that contain herpes so we are no longer affected by this annoying virus. Sterols and sterolins are able to improve immune function and kill the virus. It only takes sterols and sterolins a matter of a few weeks to several months to totally destroy the virus and normalize immune function.

[by: Lorna Vanderhaeghe, Total Health for Longevity, Vol. 22, Number 3]

Product Highlight:
Immu-911 ($31.20), 60 Capsules. Applies a complete strategy for the immune system by offering an array of balanced, specific, targeted nutrients.
Super E Complex ($25), 250 Softgels. May reduce the pain of shingles. Provides the body with necessary vitamin E, an important antioxidant.
Vitamin C 500 with Bioflavanoids ($18), 250 Capsules. This vitamin is a potent virus fighter which can halt the herpes virus and aid in curing shingles. Most modern diets are deficient in this vitamin.

Product Kit Highlight: A to Z Kit ($94.20), 30-60 day supply. Provides 100+ nutrients to assure the presence of all raw materials needed for the body to heal.

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