life self-care Wellness

How To Survive Shingles (And Not Go Totally Crazy!)

March 5, 2018

Remember that time I got the shingles? I know I won’t be forgetting that experience anytime soon…For anyone who has had or currently has shingles, you know this is a pain you won’t soon forget. They call it adult chicken pox, but I can assure you it’s far worse than chicken pox ever was. That or my memory is playing tricks on me!

But it’s not all bad around here. My Dad always jokes that whenever shit hits the fan around here, it makes for a great blog post and well, he’s definitely right about that. THM is my personal version of making lemonade! Or in this case, make shingles recovery out of shingles!

I’m going to skip over the whole medical diagnosis part since your doctor should probably be the one doing that but instead describe my personal experience with the shingles and what I did to nip it in the bud. The first thing I did when I got diagnosed, was immediately take to the internet to see if anyone had helpful tips for healing shingles. I read a lot of horror stories, some not-so-horror stories but also some really productive tips. I’m hoping this post can be that for some of you. Or if you have a friend or family member suffering, feel free to pass onto them. We got this!

So, first things first…

Trigeminal Nerve Shingles and healing shingles naturally


I actually told the full story in this Instagram post so I won’t go into too much detail. Basically, a couple days before the infamous shingles rash appeared, my lymph nodes on the left side of my neck and ear blew up. I then developed a lot of pain in my ear the next day so I went to the doctor to see if I had an ear infection. That morning I noticed two huge zits on my forehead which I thought was strange (because I never breakout on my forehead) but they didn’t occur to me as anything but zits. You know those huge underground zits you get? They looked and felt like those.

My doctor looked in my ear, felt my lymph nodes and informed me I did not have an ear infection but likely some kind of virus that my body was trying to fight. Neither of us thought anything of the zits and I went home feeling pretty crappy but relieved it wasn’t an ear infection.

Over the next few hours is when the rash really started to develop. A few more bumps on my forehead, one on my eyebrow and those big “zits” started to become really painful. The pain I felt in my ear started moving into my head and my swollen lymph nodes made it difficult to turn my neck. I later found out that the pain in my ear was likely caused by the fact that my shingles developed in my trigeminal nerve which is right next to your middle ear.

I knew pretty much as soon as the pain migrated to my forehead that I had the shingles. People have been shocked to discover that you can a) get shingles under the age of 60 and b) get shingles on your face. I knew both were possible because my Mom had them on her face when I was really young. Thankfully that situation clued me into what was happening with my own body but for any of you out there who don’t know this, you can get shingles at any age and they can happen at any nerve root in your body, including your face!

Shingles recovery and tips and tricks for how to heal your body when diagnosed with shingles


Because I pretty quickly tuned into what was happening, I was able to get started with my shingles recovery fairly quickly. If you manage to catch it within 72 hours of the rash appearing, the antivirals are most effective. I’m lucky I caught it within that window and am certain the quick duration of my symptoms was because of this. Of course, not everyone will know right away, but if you have a gut feeling or any of the symptoms I described above, go to your doctor!

Besides my antiviral 3x a day I was also prescribed pain meds, which I honestly didn’t end up taking. Heavy pain meds make me feel sick and groggy so except for the first two days when the pain was pretty excruciating, I used advil and tylenol to help manage the pain. For as hippie dippie as I may be, when stuff like this happens I think the path of least resistance is often the best. I wasn’t doing myself any favors by trying to overcomplicate.

Of course, I also turned to diet and lifestyle choices to also help manage the symptoms. I’m fairly confident that in addition to the antivirals, these choices helped to decrease the span of my shingles experience. So let’s get into that…

Healing shingles through supplements, diet and lifestyle changes - these are the best tips for healing your shingles and aiding in shingles recovery

HOW TO SURVIVE SHINGLES (and not go totally crazy!)

I think the most important piece of this post is this section. Of course, catching it early and taking the antivirals help a ton but shingles is so much more than just popping some pills and hoping for the best. I’m not here to throw conventional medicine under the rug. I don’t think I’d have had such a quick turnaround if it hadn’t been for the full course of antivirals I took, but there are a lot of natural treatments you can incorporate to also help speed up the process and the pain and itchiness that typically ensues.


In addition to OTC pain meds, I used CBD and THC to help manage the pain. I’ve been playing around with different types of CBD and found the Calm pen from Dosist to be most effective. For THC I used topical salve on the rash itself and it was literally a godsend to help manage the pain.


There’s a reason your body craves broth when you’re sick. Bone broth is super anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting. It contains vitamins and minerals that help support gut health and reduce pain and inflammation.

I’ve had two cups of bone broth every single day for the last two weeks. Currently obsessed with Kettle and Fire and especially their mushroom and chicken broth! Use code THEHEALTHYMAVEN to save 20% off your first order.


When they say “it all starts in your gut”, they’re not kidding! After my bout with SIBO I had to eliminate and then slowly add in fermented foods and probiotics. I can’t even tell you how much I missed kombucha…It’s been almost 6 months since then and I am now happily back to taking my daily probiotic and guzzling my Healthade kombucha. 5:00 PM became my “kombucha happy hour” and I think that’s going to stick around for a while!


Pretty much everyone under the sun will recommend a different supplement to you when they hear you have shingles. Truthfully, there are many MANY out there that could benefit you, shingles or not. I decided to stick with what I had from my Care/of packs and add in one that was consensus amongst everyone, L-Lysine.

Zinc – supports immune function and has an antiviral effect

L-lysine – an amino acid that helps reduce the spread of the shingles virus

Rhodiola – an adaptogenic herb that’s shown stress relieving properties

Astragalus – another herb that helps support immune function and has an antiviral effect


I wasn’t sure which category to put this under, so instead it gets a category of it’s own. Lemon Balm is an herb that is known to help reduce pain from shingles, both internally and topically. I pretty much got all my hydration from drinking 6-8 cups of Lemon Balm Tea a day and once the initial couple of days of pain went down, I used a topical lemon balm to help reduce inflammation, reduce pain and help promote healing. Someone on Instagram told me to order this Lemon Balm Salve from Amazon and it was literally the best advice I got from everyone. Within a week the rash had gone done and had begun healing.


I am a true believer in the healing power of food. Now I don’t think eating perfectly “clean” replaces other lifestyle habits or conventional medicine, but it is a great tertiary care to support your body. And truthfully, when you’re sick (at least when I’m sick), I’m not craving the same foods I normally do. I think when you really tap in and listen you’ll realize that the foods you crave like bone broth and vegetables are actually your body’s way of supporting you.

In my case I literally wanted all the warm, green veggies in broth. Particularly kale and bok choy. Interestingly my acupuncturist told me that bok choy is a common healing and cooling food in Traditional Chinese Medicine and that because shingles is excessive heat in your body, bok choy was a great cooling choice. Our bodies are crazy!

In addition to plenty of veggies, I also found myself gravitating towards antioxidant fruits like berries and lots of bananas. I didn’t intentionally do it, but I pretty much ate zero refined sugar for a week. As I started to feel better I was like “give me the brownies!!!” but while I was still heavy in the pain-zone I didn’t want any of it.

I also consumed more turmeric that I ever thought I could and especially loved it in my morning Matcha and Turmeric Latte. My body was NOT craving coffee so my morning matcha really did the trick.


I’ll be honest, when I’m sick I often turn to essential oils for primary support, but for shingles they definitely played second fiddle. I rubbed fortify on my chest and neck lymph nodes to support my immune system and diffused grounding and soothing blends like unwind, spa spirit and tranquility to help stay calm and promote self-care and relaxation.

*Note: After about two weeks I began seeing an acupuncturist to help with some peripheral nerve pain that remained even after the rash had healed. I highly recommend if you’re still dealing with pain but are out of the itchiness and scabbing phase.

Kombucha and how probiotics help in shingles recovery


I know that this is a lot of information so give yourself time to take it all in. Perhaps, more importantly take this one piece of advice: RELAX. Shingles is usually brought on by stress in your life. While I didn’t think I had a lot of stress (I’ve become a lot better at managing it!), when I listed everything on my plate it’s easy to see how my body was overburdened.

The biggest lesson learned through this process is how important it is to really, truly support your body. People often mentioned how lucky I was to be able to have a job that works from home, but when you’re sick it’s easy to just reach for your phone in bed or work on a project while recovering on the couch. The boundaries are less clear. Though I did the bare minimum I needed to do, I mostly took a lot of time to rest, nap, journal, watch TV and essentially do nothing.

I would have loved to have gone on walks or been outside but the pain of the wind on my face made it impossible. I was upset over this but C reminded me that compassion is a big part of the recovery process. So even though I felt stir crazy, I also knew that going outside actually created more stress in my life. Acknowledging those stressors and putting in plans of action to eliminate or diffuse them is the key to getting over shingles.

* * * * *

I’m still not 100% pain-free but that’s to be expected after 2.5 weeks out. I’m continuing most of what I listed above and easing myself back into work. I’m also doing acupuncture to help manage the pain and have also found it super helpful in reducing my stress levels.

Overall I can tell I’m drastically improved from where I was and also have learned one of life’s most important lessons: STRESS IS REAL and it can manifest physically, so don’t ignore it!

Have you ever had or currently have shingles? Any tips to add? Drop them below!


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  • Reply
    Emma @ Health Grinder
    March 5, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Great tips! Having a dad who’s gotten shingles twice (not sure why, he does stress a lot though), I can tell you that is isn’t a picnic. From what I’ve seen, the earlier the better. If you can start medication early, like when you only have one or two blisters that cuts down the time a whole lot. I think the medication the docs gave dad was valtrex or something like that.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 13, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      Yup – I did a course of Valtrex too. Super helpful! Very grateful for western medicine and also the power of alternative medicine to support it!

      • Reply
        September 15, 2019 at 7:48 am

        Thanks so much for this post! I thought I was going crazy ! My doctors could not understand why I was in so much pain, I could not move my neck and my ear had swollen with terrible pain. I was originally diagnosed with a cyst ? I went back to see a different doctor a few days later as I was not convinced and it took two more doctors for one of them to finally say shingles. Unfortunately for me this was like 10 days later so the antivirals I have been given are not likely to work as well. I am hoping in a few more weeks it will clear , it’s in my head and top of neck so the pains I am getting through my head are horrendous. Like everyone else I never thought at 26 I would end up with shingles!
        Again, thanks for the post and hope everyone here is feeling better soon! X

        • Reply
          September 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm

          Shingles. The most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. I’ve had 3 children, natural child birth with no medication. The shingles pain far outweighs the pain of child birth!! I have a severe case that manifested from my right sternum, around my side and traveling to my spine. I’m 7 weeks in. I still experience pain topical pain above front rib cage and deep in the muscle in my back. I will be following your advice. Especially the “relax” advice. That’s something I have trouble doing is relaxing. I’m so use to doing what I want to do. Now it’s impossible with causing myself terrible pain. I have neurontin for pain. I can usually brush off illness and pain and work through it. The shingles won. It whipped me down. I’m so ready to be well again. I wonder if I will ever be me again.

          • Ashley
            April 21, 2020 at 5:20 pm

            Hi, Pamela, my shingles experience is a lot like yours. I’m now 4 weeks in. Just was wondering about how long yours lasted? I don’t know how much more I can take!

            Thanks in advance for the help!

      • Reply
        June 30, 2020 at 12:34 pm

        Tell your dad to get the shingles vaccine. If cost is an issue there is an online form you can take to your doctor. Shingles can come back again. Everyone get your vacinnatij. It is called Shingrix.

    • Reply
      Kim Burr
      November 24, 2018 at 5:43 am

      I was just diagnoised with shingles today. And honestly I didnt have much pain just flu like symptoms in the begining. But Ive been on the pills for 5 days now and my skin is itchy af and burns. I havent wanted to do to much for awhile now. Im only 32 going to be 33 on Sunday. I really dont know what to expect. Im just starting to feel the headaches body aches bone aches and random as out of controll burning and itching. Ive had intense stomache issues Ive been trying to explain to doctors for years now. So I guess this is what it was all along. I need to sleep but I cant its frusturating. Im still just trying to adjust to having shingles now and it really scares me cause you can die from it. So I need to start taking better care of myself. And find a way to cope when I seen that your a younger adult with shingles I didnt feel so alone. So thank you for that support today I needed it.

      • Reply
        November 26, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        I have shingles- i know i do since beginning nov – and sick for 2 weeks b4 that- dr doesnt believe me yet (i feel like they are humoring me! ) cause theres only 3 spots on each end of the nerve- my back/ my right thigh. right thigh is numb – pain was deep in thigh…. they gave me prednesone pack 3 days after i went in and (didnt acknowledge the small rash) – isnt that a steroid? wonder if thats gonna make this last longer- was told to late to try antivirals now- when i went back last week…. ugh feel so under the weather still

      • Reply
        November 29, 2018 at 12:41 am

        Wow! I was also recently diagnosed with Shingles and has it been an experience that I will never forget. I have had my shares of urgent care visits, Dr on calls, and pain! I am also in my thirties and was terrified to think this was even a possibility. I have had my few breakdowns and just trying to keep it together. I have a pretty intense case of the shingles on my face and it created a swollen cheek with redness, blisters and even reached all the way to my eye. I have researched everything I could about healing and hoping to find something successful for myself. I’m terrified to leave my house but it’s difficult when I have class, a very active child and eventually back to work. Anyway I’m hoping for a smooth recovery and would love any advice… I’m trying to keep my spirits up. So sorry for anyone who has to go through this… not fun what so ever : ( I hope everyone hangs in there, and take good care of yourselves!

    • Reply
      Desiree S
      July 13, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks for posting & sharing!!
      I‘m currently heading into week 2 with the Shingles Virus. It took me by surprise because I don’t really ever get sick & really thought a bug bit my face. But the strange pain on my face brought me to the doctor. I was put on anti-virals within the 72 hours—which I guess is key in reducing the symptoms, duration & pain. I am on 7 days of Valtrex (3 xs a day) & it helped somewhat, but I do suggest also boosting your immune system to support the healing process. I noticed that I have very low energy because my body is working harder right to help me heal. I also contacted my holistic doctor & nutritionist friends who said to rest, rest, rest AND to also increase my Vitamin C intake, eat raw garlic, take a Chaga Mushrooms Supplement, add St. John’s Wort, 10,000 ius of Vitamin D, NAC, Zinc, Selenium & Neem tablets. I was also told to take Oregano oil great & to make sure I take a good probiotic for my gut. I also use a CBD salve for my face, mixed w/ an anti-viral essential oil & I ingest CBD oil for the pain. Entering week 2, my pain is down big time, like to a 1 or 2 & I just feel run down at the moment. I know it’s a lot of stuff to take, but it all seems to be working for me. Fingers crossed no blisters & I am hoping the pain goes away completely soon. 🙏🏽

  • Reply
    Phoebe Lapine
    March 7, 2018 at 10:23 am

    oh girl. I can’t believe this expressed itself right after I talked to you. that ear! guess it wasn’t allergies…loved this post and all you shared. I had shingles in college on my BUTT, which I suppose is preferable to your face, but it wasn’t fun. #alltheshingleladies.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 13, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      Dude I literally woke up the next day with shingles! SO CRAZY!!!! Life is weird…Shingles on da butt sounds pretty awful too. Though weirdly it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this pain. #ALLTHESHINGLELADIES

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off
    March 7, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    You’re such a trooper! Thank you for sharing these. I think these tips are so helpful no matter what temporary illness someone is dealing with; it’s all about resting and treating your body the way it really wants and needs to be treated. And I so love and appreciate your positivity through this whole thing; it can’t have been easy to joke around and laugh about having shingles, but you somehow did it. Hope you reach 100% shingle-free status ASAP!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 13, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      It’s so true! No matter what the struggle is, self-compassion and care is the ultimate healing! Thanks so much for the support babes <3

  • Reply
    Kris Kelbrants
    March 9, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    This article so well done, had no idea but for some reason was intrigued to read this. LOVE your content!!!!

  • Reply
    Janice Snow
    March 11, 2018 at 4:33 am

    Hey, I love the way you write the article and amazing collection of photography and here I have tried some food photography

  • Reply
    March 16, 2018 at 7:54 am

    I just recently learned about the amazing benefits of turmeric. So I looked on the internet not long ago to see how much a few pounds of turmeric would be and let me tell you… That is one expensive spice. But it’s certainly worth spending the money on because of the amazing health benefits. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 23, 2018 at 3:14 am

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I was just diagnosed with shingles today so I needed to read this.
    I have trigeminal neuralgia (currently in remission). I cringed when I read where your shingles originated. Trigminal pain is as bad as it gets. I hope you never have to deal with it again.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    I’m two weeks post-diagnosis, and feeling zonked still. I’m only 35 and got on the anti-virals early, plus took Lauricidin, sat under a homemade infra-red lamp, and put on Aztec Healing Clay poultices, plus downed plenty of L-Lysine, The CBD and THC was also involved. I’m a health-supportive private chef, and only took one day off work, plus travelled and cooked a few 12-14 hour days for a Culinary Yoga Retreat over Memorial Day weekend. I’m also in school for Nutritional Consulting, and had to ask for a few extensions. The brain fog is intense!

    Although my rash (the size of a dime on my left hand) never opened up and the itching/burning there wasn’t too terrible, the fatigue and overall body aches have been the most challenging. I’m at the point where I WANT to want to go do fun stuff, but all I can really do is the bare minimum. I moved just 3 weeks ago, and I have no doubt that stress did me in.

    I also have Celiac, MTHFR, and Fibromyalgia, which seem to just make everything a little more challenging.

    From all the insane internet-ing I’ve been doing, it seems like more younger people get shingles than is assumed and/or discussed. So happy to see a piece from someone I can really identify with, instead of just feeling like I’m some sort of anomaly.

    • Reply
      January 10, 2020 at 10:29 pm

      Hi Melissa, do you feel the infra red lamp helped shingles rash & pain at all? I laid under mine for 10 mins but I can’t find any info to support if it would help the rash, the itch, the pain etc?

  • Reply
    June 6, 2018 at 4:46 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. This is really killing me few months back and sometime I can still feel the pain hunting. Do you have new pumps after your recovery? Seem like mine have new pump appears.

  • Reply
    Joe Agnew
    June 20, 2018 at 6:50 am

    A cup of coffee will greatly relieve Shingles pain. Try it, even if you’re up in the middle of the night.

    • Reply
      August 26, 2020 at 8:22 pm

      Interesting. I just read that drinking coffee was a no-no. Guess it varies from person to person.

  • Reply
    Erin B.
    June 22, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    I love this post because it’s pretty much exactly what i am going through! I thought I had ear infection, but I didn’t. They treated me for allergies, which I’ve never hadn’t. I went with it. But the pain I need my head kept getting worse, and my eye turned pink. I thought it must be sinus infection, but I didn’t have any cold symptoms. Went in again and they thought I had an atypical sinus infection and they put me on antibiotics and eyedrops. That night I noticed a tingling sensation on my eyebrow. It kept spreading across my eyebrow and I noticed a large red bump where the tingling had started. Then two blisters appeared on the side of my nose. I knew I needed to go back in. What do you know?! I had shingles … and at age 40! I was too young, they said, but I had it. They put me on antiviral meds 5 times per day, prednisone for 5 days since it was around my eye, and ibuprofen for the pain. I also had to go see an ophthalmologist to make sure my eye wasn’t affected. A friend also gave me silver gel to apply to the rash and blisters to help them heal faster (24ppm). I will say it totally relieved the burning pain I had with it and I have no scarring whatsoever. So I would recommend that, too. I’m 13 days into this journey and I’m starting to feel much better. I still feel fatigue and muscle pain, so I’m continuing to take it easy. I, too, believe stress brought this on, so Ireally agree with and emphasize your final point: stress can manifest itself in not good ways in your body. Do your best to keep it at bay!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Hi. I also get them and mine go on my cornea as well as the spots you stated. I used everything you did but I also ate raw garlic daily, rubbed raw garlic on the shingles and rubbed lemongrass oil mixed with coconut oil & manuka honey on them. I put colloidal silver under my tongue and I put two drops in each eye for two days. My shingles went away in 3 days without an antiviral. I get them often due to stress. As soon as I feel any tingle I rub lemongrass oil on the area. My doctor said to take 2400 mg of monolaurin daily for six months. It kills the virus by breaking down the fatty layer around the virus then it kills the virus. Monolauren is From coconuts. ? feel better

    • Reply
      December 2, 2018 at 2:18 am

      These sound like great tips! I had shingles without a rash in October (3rd time after catching chickenpox as an adult 13 years ago. Still not feeling well and very unmotivated). I believe it was systemic as my entire internal organs felt like they were being kicked and punched and stabbed, that was one occasion when I definitely felt close to death. I don’t want a repeat performance so will hunt around for some Monolaurin.

      • Reply
        Judith L Fothergill
        August 23, 2020 at 7:39 am

        Mary, just read your post on Shingles. Your the only one with it in the gut like mine. dr luckily caught mine when 4 pimples appeared at my waist night before app. Virals working as well as pain meds but not night and morning How long did yours last?

    • Reply
      Lisa Smith
      January 26, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      It is soooo nice to see other younger women having gone through this. I thought this only happened to older people. I am currently suffering through shingles in and around my eye. Started out with just pain in my eye and the ER doc and ophthalmologist couldn’t figure out what was wrong because there were no other symptoms for a week! The eye doc scraped my eye thinking I had a “foreign body” in it. Turned out to be nothing. Probably one of the most painful things I’ve experienced. Then the rash developed a couple days ago on my forehead, eye, and lip and I actually diagnosed myself at that point. My eye is swollen and I feel like the hunchback of Notre Dame, hideously ugly. Just got the Valtrex yesterday and bought lysine as well. Been using neuropathy essential oils and homeopathic mixture topically and colloidal silver ointment. I’ve never had a cold sore in my life, but this seriously sucks. Just drinking a lot of herbal tea and coconut water and popping the ibuprofen. Nerve pain is the worst. Does anyone know how long these blisters last??? Or the eye inflammation??? I honestly don’t want to go back to work looking like this. ???

      • Reply
        Davida @ The Healthy Maven
        January 26, 2019 at 5:45 pm

        Hi Love! I’m so sorry you’re going through this! Blisters were pretty obvious for a week but then subsided. The pain takes a bit longer. Biggest piece of advice: RELAX. As much as possible. allow your body to totally disconnect from the world and sleep a ton. Once I started to get my energy back I went to acupuncture and that helped a ton with pain. Thinking of you <3

        • Reply
          Lisa Smith
          January 27, 2019 at 8:31 am

          Thanks so much for replying! I have noticed anytime my anxiety level goes up, I feel it in my face. Tingling and pain. Relaxing is good advice and I’m working on it ?. I’ve slept more these past few days than I have in a loooong time. I think the pain really takes a lot out of you. Hopefully I can get back on my feet and back to work soon. I might try the acupuncture. I never have before. The needles are a little scary to me. Do they put them in the painful areas? That seems like it would cause more pain to me.

      • Reply
        January 4, 2020 at 10:56 pm

        At any age it is horrible to have to deal with shingles….mine showed up Nov 1…went to urgent care a week later…after reading about the symptoms. Valcyclovir for a week, Just like you described, the tingle in the eyebrow, blisters,all hairs on the right side of my head, top down. Blisters lasted about a week, cold cloths and ice packs, the flexible kind. I would just sit with it on my head. Cut my hair short to make it easier to handle. that helped… Hurt to bend over to feed the cat or pick up anything. Wind, sneezing..any movement hurt so bad. Ate I buprofen like candy, and I dont like to do that, but had to. Prescription pain meds make me ill. Seeing me in the mirror in the morning was a fright..really. I felt sorry for anyone who would see me. Mid Dec., had to get another round of Valcy…better. I am getting the Lemon Balm tea and cream…L Lysine, too. If I need a nap, I take it.

        • Reply
          May 25, 2020 at 4:13 pm

          Hi.Janis, how are you doing now!? I, too, have had shingles on the top right side of my head/scalp. Mine started April 9th, 2020. I didnt have a clue what was wrong with me and it was 2 weeks before I figured out it might be shingles by googling symptoms. I went to a dermatologist and they agreed it was most likely shingles based on my symptoms, even though any rash or bumps i may have had were gone by then. I still have headaches, head pain, fatigue daily and cant take ibuprofen so my drug of chouce has been tylenol. They never gave me any antiviral meds. Tgey said they wouldnt be effective because usually you need to start taking them within 2-3 days of the onset. Im trying to watch what I eat and am taking what supplements I can to tryto get better. Not many people Ive heard of have had shingleson their head. I hope you are completely well by now!

  • Reply
    August 27, 2018 at 7:22 am

    I was diagnosed with Singkes today and also need to hear this. I have a lot on pain in my lower back, headaches and terrible balance and hearing. I also had a small rash on my head and glands all down the one side flared up and ear blew up too. I haven’t been prescribed any meds as I unfortunately caught it later than normal. I’m really worried about it spreading into other organs? Especially brain (with the rash that on my head)

  • Reply
    September 2, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Thank you for this information. I have Shingles at the moment, finished anti viral meds a day ago. I will purchase the L-Lysine, Kombucha/Probiotics, Bone Broth sand Lemon Balm. My pain is so bad some days and I am on Codine then, otherwise Panadol. I am hoping your recommendations will help. None of this was recommended by the Dr, their attitude was to ride it out

    • Reply
      February 6, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      That’s not good. I would change doctor’s. According to what I’ve read, if antivirals are not used within that window of time at the beginning the virus attacks the nerve and can cause permanent damage. I don’t think shingles is something you should willingly ride out or treat with home remedies alone. That’s what all the lab rats have died for, let’s not make their deaths in vain.
      I got Shingles a little over a week ago. I have actually gone to 6 different doctors over the past 8 months due to a mysterious fever, painful joints, red face, fatigue, and a short score of other symptoms. Only one said he thought I have some sort of autoimmune disorder. The rest just said nothing is wrong with me and sent me home (after having me take hundreds of dollars, and like five pages worth of blood tests). About a month ago I stopped going to the gym after two months of going because my knees were hurting. I had developed a heart arrhythmia, too. Then the Shingles started in my lymph nodes about two weeks ago, and developed into a rash about 10 days ago.
      Admittedly, I have some papers that I’m writing, but my life isn’t that stressful. However, last year was probably the most stressful of my 42 years, and about a month after the source of stress ended, I got sick and haven’t been the same as I used to be. I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong, but I know something is wrong with me (other than shingles)…

      • Reply
        July 5, 2019 at 11:45 pm

        Hey! As for the other symptoms, I’m curious if you have ever been tested for rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. I have the latter and it sounds very similar to what you are describing. I’ve also been able to get off all meds for my psoriasis and joint pain by juicing and drinking a head of celery every morning on an empty stomach. No joke. Anyway. I hope you get some clarity.

      • Reply
        November 4, 2019 at 3:47 pm

        I am into my second week from work I have a physical job and the fact I don’t have enough energy to brush my teeth makes the idea of returning to work unbearable. I was diagnosed a week ago, my blisters have burst and are drying up, my rash is on my left side running along my top rib, the pain starts there and carries round yo my back. I AM SO EXHAUSTED BUT CANT SLEEP. The pain is manageable but I experience painful episodes mostly in my back. I am keen to get back to work and renter the world of living but at the moment I feel so low, no energy and completely fed up. Sorry to moan on but I feel like you may understand. If you read this thankyou for listening.

      • Reply
        September 21, 2020 at 2:36 pm

        I am on day 8 of my shingles case (34 yrs old) and did not take the conventional medicine route. I am still alive and after 6 days of pain (on my butt and back of thigh) things are feeling better today. I started on these tinctures: lemon balm, st johns wort, cleavers, and reishi mushroom. Also, I am taking Lysine, Vitamin C, and cordyceps. I omitted chocolate/nuts as well and am drinking teas with yellow dock and other detoxifying roots. I am using poke root oil and castor oil on my swollen lymph nodes. I feel by taking the medicine, your body does not learn how to fight off the virus on it’s own. I think it comes out in people with weak immune systems, so that the body can relearn how to fight. This has always been my theory, as I was highly medicated as a child/teenager and have an autoimmune condition as an adult. I think there will be plenty of viruses to fight in the future, hopefully paving the way to a strengthen immune system in the end.

    • Reply
      February 6, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      Oh, sorry, I just noticed you said you did take the antivirals… Well, from what I’ve bread, there isn’t much that can be done from the limited Western-Medicine Pharma-is-all-we-trust-and-need standpoint. But like you, I think this page and the comments hold a wealth of information for getting past that time after the meds are gone. Thanks to everyone for your comments, because I will be using those alternative medicines, too!

      • Reply
        November 10, 2019 at 1:20 pm

        I’m not sure anyone is on here but I developed shingles about 10 days ago I managed to get on anti virals the rash is on my collar bone shoulder and neck I work with little children in a nursery and music groups with babies and kids it’s the nerve pain all around my neck ( exactly same place where I feel the stress ) I’m not suffering terribly taking Brufen at night and sometimes in the day I don’t feel all my blisters have crusted over but maybe the blisters are fading due to more anti virals prescribed I’m eating well but really stressing about all my cancelled classes I feel like I possibly could go back this week but my husband lives abroad and I’ve two teenagers at home and self employed and a very physically demanding job and I just don’t know when it’s right to go back I feel worn out and this pressing ache / pain in my neck is heavy and tiring ? What do you suggest ? Thank you!!

        • Reply
          June 9, 2020 at 7:15 pm

          Hi Vicki, I realize this is months after your Shingles experience. I also have the blister rash starting on back of neck and worked it’s way across collar bone, left shoulder, upper arm and chest. Initially thought it was either a strong histamine reaction to food or bug bites. I was wrong! I waited 10 days to see a dr …. once the rash/ blisters were burning. Not my smartest move, but, usually these things are hard to diagnose and I didn’t want to waste my time or money. Having tried aloe vera gel , antiseptic cream and cortisone cream to no effect I admitted defeat. Just as well. I’m not sure if it was timing or a response to the antiviral meds but the pain became excruciating that evening. I’ve now finished my one week course of meds, the pain is more intermittent and the rash seems to be drying up. But, after a brief reprieve this morning… energy high, feeling good, I find myself feeling lethargic, lymph/ glands behind ears aggravated and sore. If you are still connected to this site, can you tell me how long your symptoms impacted your health. I’ve read this can drag on for weeks. Just curious since we share a commonality with the location of the rash. I hold my stress in my shoulders and have neck alignment issues.
          Thanks in advance! ?

        • Reply
          June 17, 2020 at 5:04 am

          So intense OMG ?
          I’m 2 weeks in left shoulder arm and hand.
          Had the ear pain and swelling a couple of weeks before. Thought I had a pimple in my ear so just road it out. Saw 3 strange dots on my hand one morning and thought I’d been bitten by something or branded by an alien in my sleep ? Then that night BOOM ? Whole arm shoulder and hand rash and blistered. I felt like the bark on the trunk of a tree. Intuitively I said out loud “SHINGLES “ Drs next day anti viral meds , pain meds and a hell of a ride.
          The pain was excruciating and exhausting. Continuous boken sleep the last two weeks.
          One night the burn was so intense I rubbed cold oats and coconut cream (porridge) that was in the fridge left over from breakfast. The best and most effective result. My blisters and rash calmed down within that week. Ive also had epsom salt and bicarbonate baths. Made a paste of bicarbonate soda for arm. Skin sorted. Dealing with the nerve pain still. It’s been very emotional, but I’ve just had to let it all come up and out and a lot of healing self talk. Crazy intense dreams as well. I feel like I’ve had some kind of awakening!! Not over yet but the worst of it is.
          Send love and healing to you all!
          I hear you and grateful for the sharing ?

  • Reply
    September 10, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    what kind of advice, please is : ‘ride it out’ ?

    • Reply
      August 11, 2020 at 5:42 am

      I have shingles and my doctor didn’t even see me, he asked me to send some photos and then I got the “ride it out’ advice…nothing about protecting myself even more due to having a compromised immune system now. Nothing about L-Lysine, nothing about anything except a link to a website. I’m looking online for ways to make it heal more quickly. Someone wrote that it’s worth than childbirth, my thoughts are she must have had very easy childbirth. It hurts but it’s nothing like childbirth. I think the ride it out theory is so that we build up our own immunity…I just hope that nothing bad will come from not having any medical assistance. This article is awesome too, thank you.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2018 at 10:02 am

    We were in the middle of a very stressful move two weeks ago and I started developing swollen lymph nodes and ear pain, the next day brought large swollen but flat areas on my scalp. I went to urgent care and was given antibiotics for an ear infection even though the doctor said he didn’t see any signs of infection in my ear. The following morning I woke up with my eye swollen almost completely shut – I was supposed to drive the moving truck the next day! Another (different) urgent care visit and I was diagnosed with shingles. My eye ended up getting a lump just below my eyebrow which overnight scabbed over and still hasn’t fully healed. I just finished all my meds but I’m still feeling not quite myself – tired, weakness, dizzy spells and some nausea. I never had any pain, never had a rash, I felt all my lumps drain through inside the side of my face not rupture externally. Hopefully I will be feeling back to myself soon.

    • Reply
      November 9, 2019 at 12:25 am

      I have Shingles now and am dealing with the pain and itchiness . I’m on Antivirals and into Week 1 of my Battle, I’m on pain meds and am taking it easy one day at a time. I enjoy reading others stories and not feeling so alone on my Shingles journey

  • Reply
    September 23, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    My grandson had shingles’s really bad and then I had shingles’s and someone told me to use young living ravensara in two days my grandson shingles’s were clearing up it really works

    • Reply
      March 4, 2019 at 1:38 pm

      No body is listening to what I said about young living ravensara oil I’m telling you that it really works on shingles’s in two days my grandson shingles was drying use full strength

      • Reply
        March 15, 2019 at 7:41 pm

        I just looked it (Living Ravensara) up, thanks for the tip…..Was just diagnosed yesterday after suffering from acute pain during the past two weeks; until yesterday I was convinced the pain & swelling were the result of a ‘Core Class’. I even thought the hideous blister I have on my back was due to an allergic reaction from Tiger Balm – which I used to combat my ‘gym injury’. Was prescribed anti-virals and I started taking L-Lysine today.

        Planning to try some of these great tips also.

      • Reply
        June 25, 2020 at 12:15 pm

        This is my second bout with shingles in less than 5 years and I started using ravensara last night. It has made a world of difference so far! Putting it on my vita flex point for spine and liver. Also anywhere pain is central. So thankful for plant juices!

        • Reply
          August 12, 2020 at 7:00 pm

          Hello, Megan
          I’m curious, after your first episode shingles, did you get the shingles vaccine?

  • Reply
    Victoria Thostrup
    September 26, 2018 at 7:49 am

     I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia around 7 years ago although I’m certain I have had it much longer than that. I have suffered from sleeplessness, joint stiffness, severe pains, depression and fatigue. My neurologist prescribed duloxetin 40mg daily (Given as 20mg twice daily), although it did relieve some of the pain, I still suffered from joint stiffness and extreme fatigue. Finally, i started on Fibromyalgia herbal formula i ordered from Natural Herbal Gardens, this herbal formula did the magic! almost immediately i started usage, i started noticing a general reduction of symptoms including the very severe pains and fatigue. 9 weeks into usage, the disease has totally succumbed to this herbal treatment. The whole pains and terrible fatigue has seized and i am now able to function fully well again. (Visit www .naturalherbalgardens . com ) I’m able to get out of bed in the morning and have more energy to go about my daily activities.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2018 at 11:37 am

    All brilliant advice. Thank you. I’m in the middle of a horrible shingles episode and have been researching extensively how to speed up recovery. On top pf all your great tips: bone broth, L Lysine and foods high in Lysine (beef, salmon, leafy greens, Kefir, yogurt, cherries, cherry yogurt 🙂 I am taking 1000mg Vitamin C every hour – it sounds excessive but it has really helped with the excruciating pain in my ear. Wow! It’s so debilitating. It’s a week since I was diagnosed and the pain hasn’t let up yet. My daily routine is bed rest, bed rest and more bed rest. Oh I also read that foods high in argenine: caffeine, chocolate, grains, alcohol 🙂 are out. I haven’t cut out a morning coffee but instead of having it first thing Im taking it mid-morning after kefir and green tea. Hope that adds to the conversation. Big hugs to all shingle sufferers. xxx

  • Reply
    Eva Pierce
    October 31, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I am 3 1/2 weeks out from the onset of shingles on my head, and around my right eye. I did Valtrex really quickly, and gabapentin helped a lot with the pain. I also had a lidocaine cream for my face, which helped a lot. Pain has disappeared, though I still get pretty tired by the end of the day.
    HOWEVER…I am about to lose my religion from the tingling sensation that is lingering!!! It feels like something crawling on my head and across my eyebrow. It interrupts my sleep, and can get so maddening during the day that I sometimes have to knock myself out with Benadryl!
    I am back at work now, so this has become even more troublesome. Does anyone have any suggestions to help with this???

    • Reply
      Lily Lee
      April 15, 2019 at 6:27 am

      I’m going through this right now!! About 3.5 weeks out from my shingles on my forehead and around (but not in) my left eye. Was on antivirals fairly quickly and the awful rash and pain has gone but the lingering itchiness is kind of driving me nuts!! Did it go away for you and how long did it take?

  • Reply
    Janet Flaig
    November 9, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Mine Started a week ago with a headache and a dime sized rash on my shoulder. 2 days later I suffered a blow to the head and have stitches and concussion. Needless to say I am covered in blisters on large portion of my body and I can now feel the tingling in my face. I am glad to hear of some of these remedies. I am on the ant-viral meds.

    • Reply
      Christena Mejia
      December 12, 2018 at 12:54 am

      That sounds dreadful, Janet!! I’m hoping you are doing better. I have a bad case of shingles right now so I empathize, that sounds like the worst

  • Reply
    November 14, 2018 at 2:30 am

    I had what I believe to have been rashless shingles. I had chickenpox 13 years ago, and had tiny outbreaks of shingles since then, but the most recent bout was following an extended period of stress. I did a couple of particularly difficult exams, came home and could not get out of bed for 3 days. When I was finally able to get up I felt like I had been kicked and punched everywhere and was having stabbing pains in all my organs – heart, liver, intestines etc. Similar to what I had when I had chickenpox, but no rash.
    This went on for 2 weeks, and then I caught the cold that everyone else had. Except I got what I thought was flu. Again, I could not move from my bed and was ill for a week. I also had the odd ache in my ears, head, just behind my eyes. The last day, I had raging fever, painful hot/ cold feeling skin and the organ pains were severe enough that I thought about calling an ambulance but decided against it, as I reckoned that in hospital (here in the UK, which is notorious) I would pick up more infections than I went in with. So I thought I would just like there, and if I died, then I did.
    Woke up the next morning feeling much better, but the post viral fatigue has been hard. Uncharacteristically for me, I have been really unmotivated, thankfully I am not working at the moment and could take time to recover. It’s only really just now that I am gradually getting my mojo and enthusiasm back. All in all, the whole process from illness to recovery has taken about 6 weeks.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2018 at 7:07 am

    35 years old and on week 4. Pain is intense & fatigue still. I got the medicine in quick but not much help. Started as neck pain and rash traveled around front of chest. I have a 3 year old& a one year old, am a hairdresser and photographer, so not really much downtime. Trying to rest when possible but it’s definitely tough. Hoping for relief soon! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Cora huges
    November 22, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Fibromyalgia attacked my mother body more than 3 years ago after her knee surgery. She has been in a wheelchair for about six months, and she used a cane for another six months. She  did not even know how to walk anymore. We fought the fibromyalgia with a lot of pain pills and tears not until we had to give a try on natural formulas, we purchased a herbal treatment from  which help her a lot and bring her back to normal again, the herbal formula reverse the symptoms grammatically and she’s totally free from the Fibromyalgia that cost her pains for ages .

  • Reply
    Kim Burr
    November 24, 2018 at 5:56 am

    I was just diagnoised with shingles today. And honestly I didnt have much pain just flu like symptoms in the begining. But Ive been on the pills for 5 days now and my skin is itchy af and burns. I havent wanted to do to much for awhile now. Im only 32 going to be 33 on Sunday. I really dont know what to expect. Im just starting to feel the headaches body aches bone aches and random as out of controll burning and itching. Ive had intense stomache issues Ive been trying to explain to doctors for years now. So I guess this is what it was all along. I need to sleep but I cant its frusturating. Im still just trying to adjust to having shingles now and it really scares me cause you can die from it. So I need to start taking better care of myself. And find a way to cope when I seen that your a younger adult with shingles I didnt feel so alone. So thank you for that support today I needed it.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Berkey
    December 1, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    I feel so great that I was able to read this post. It’s so comprehensive and I gain a lot of things especially about taking care of one’s health.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Great Ayurvedic tip: apply turmeric topically to the lesions and they dry up within a couple of days.

    • Reply
      Lisa Smith
      January 26, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      I’m going to try this. Thank you!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2018 at 7:26 am

    I started to have pulsations in my right ear so loud I could hear my heart beat in my ear. This was nothing new it started over the last year or so until it became so loud and disturbing I went to my doctor who said I had pulsative tinitus. a few days later a rash appeard on my upper back, felt like it was a raised rash, then sharp pain shooting up my left ear. rash spread to upper chest, shoulder and left arm. the pain was unbearable. I took the antiviral for seven days, no relief of pain. I am now on the 21st day of this, my left side feels weak and heavy, fatigue can’t do much without getting tired. I am trying to ride this out. There are no shingles vaccines and one has to put themselves on a waiting list, they might have them in a month or two. Not sure if I should get one now.

    • Reply
      February 1, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      Going through a bout of shingles now. Approaching the end of week 2. Wondering if there can be a connection to ear ringing/tinnitus. I’ve had the same thing for about the last year. The ringing has come and gone, sometimes it isn’t so bad, and sometimes it’s super annoying. Dr seemed to have no idea why. Felt sick as a dog the night before I woke up with the side of my face n eye swollen. I did have a red mark on my forehead for a couple days that I thought was a pimple. If only. Got on antivirals immediately which helped tremendously, and the rash isn’t that horrid. What sucks is the nerve pain from the top of my head down to my ear. Hope that goes once the rash does. Fatigue is no joke either. Thought about the vaccine myself after this, but understand it’s a bit pricey, and has a 51% effective rate. I figure I have similar odds getting this again on my own.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I think I’m the youngest to get shingles that I know of, cuz I’m suffering from it now and I’m only 18. I think the stress of completing my A levels was the cause of the shingles. I have a line of blisters and rashes from the middle of my back on my left side all the way around to the front across my rib cage. And I have today it hasn’t been fun. I can never get comfortable whether I’m sitting or lying down. So safe to say I haven’t been sleeping much. My doctor is making me take 10 antiviral tabs a day, 2 every 4 hours roughly. I recently got off my pain meds since after 3 days the pain seemed to subside. Glad I got meds early, but even then I think I’m gonna go insane before it clears up entirely. Thanks for all the helpful tips they really help me find some relief.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    I think I’m the youngest to get shingles that I know of, cuz I’m suffering from it now and I’m only 18. I think the stress of completing my A levels was the cause of the shingles. I have a line of blisters and rashes from the middle of my back on my left side all the way around to the front across my rib cage. And I have to say it hasn’t been fun. I can never get comfortable whether I’m sitting or lying down. So safe to say I haven’t been sleeping much. My doctor is making me take 10 antiviral tabs a day, 2 every 4 hours roughly. I recently got off my pain meds since after 3 days the pain seemed to subside. Glad I got meds early, but even then I think I’m gonna go insane from the lack of sleep before it clears up entirely. Thanks for all the helpful tips they really help me find some relief at least

  • Reply
    December 9, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Ride it out means to endure something and wait until its over and its usually in reference to something you have no control over. With a viral infection many times you can manage the symptoms but ultimately you have to wait for your body to fight it off.

  • Reply
    Amy White
    December 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    I’m on week 6. Day 40. I started 3x/day anti-virals within the 72 hours but it didn’t seem to do anything. I was 60-70% a week after it started, covered from spine to sternum. Shingles rash took a full 2 weeks to peak and dry up. I had the basic flu symptoms for that…loss of energy, low grade fever, loss of appetite, sore. When they dried up and started fading, I realized I was numb everywhere the rash had been. About a week ago (4-5 weeks in), a 2nd small rash began on my sternum (same side). It’s the lingering effects that I’m still miserable over and looking for relief from. Ibuprofen and Benadryl can only go so far. Phantom pains, the creepy-crawlies, itches, and searing heat in spots. Make it stop! I’ll be trying some of these things.

    • Reply
      June 11, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Hi there. My shingles rash first emerged on May 1 and I am still struggling a lot. I noticed you saying you were 6-weeks into the struggle. Do you have any update? I’m losing hope that I’ll ever feel normal again.

  • Reply
    Christena Mejia
    December 12, 2018 at 12:41 am

    I stumbled upon your site looking for answers and trying to figure out what on earth is wrong with me being 33 and getting shingles. My mom and dad both have had it and I remember them describing it as being awful, and now I definitely get it. Mine is right behind my right ear, which started yesterday and I have had nothing but sharp, searing pain 24/7. I caved and have been taking my pain medicine and it does not stop the pain at all. Been drinking kava tea to help me relax and hopefully get some much needed sleep, but it’s so hard when it feels like someone is holding a torch to your head. I think the most difficult thing amidst having a very demanding job, two kids in elementary school with extracurricular activities 3-4 nights a week, squeezing in gym time and “me time” as well as keeping up with laundry and bills and all the other fun stuff, is that I’m terrified to hug or kiss my babies right now. They’re 5 and 8 and they’re still my babies. I’ve Lysol’d everything and literally praying they don’t get CP. Anyway, your tips and tricks are amazing. I will be going to the store tomorrow to stock up on your recommendations. Hardest thing is finding cbd oil in Alabama 🙁

  • Reply
    December 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Hi–I have shingles now, also in same area of my face. Can you tell me what kind of TLC cream you use? I am in Texas and don’t know if I can get it, but the pain, esp at night–is bad.

  • Reply
    December 26, 2018 at 8:13 am

    I have been dealing with shingles chronically for the last 2 years. My first out break was when I was a kid.
    I can recall getting chicken pox or should I say pock.. literally one when I was about 6 or so. I wonder if my lack of an out beak cause what I consider an in break or the virus complied in my nerves that rears it s ugly head often now. My outbreaks are in for of blisters ranging in my nose, mouth, neck and inside my ear. I can tell now when my system is “on the fritz” and I get this nervous like shake inside my body. My wyes get goopy, and sensitive to light , I’m tired and body aches. It pretty debilitating but the show must always go on.
    A heatpad helps the jabbing neuralgia pain I get in my head and ibuprofen is a must.
    Lots of water and rest along with multi vitamin and of course taking the antiviral meds all help. I just received a prescription for the shingles vaccine Shingrix so hoping this will end my battle with this horrible condition. I am defeated and finally found. Doctor that understands how horrible having chronic shingles is.
    Did any other of your sufferers have a light case of chicken pox ?

  • Reply
    January 23, 2019 at 8:55 am

    What a beautifully written, thoughtful and supportive piece you’ve given us. Thank you for this post!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2019 at 1:36 am

    I must share this with others suffering the pain of shingles. I have it now, I tried pain killers like lortab, norco, tylenol, advil, lyrica, etc. nothing worked. 3 days of excruciating pain. After taking a 1000mg vitamin C I thought the pain was not as bad so I started one every 2 hours, it helped a lot. It would get worse overnight from not staying on the regimen. I am almost at 3 weeks into this and am nearly pain free now.
    It worked better than any of the pain meds. I hope this helps you too.

  • Reply
    Judie Ann
    February 13, 2019 at 5:46 am

    My Sympathy to Anyone dealing with this Nasty Virus. I just turned 50…in decent health I thought. Had taken myself off Sugar and taking Amazing Green Drinks Daily.
    In November 2018, right before Thanksgiving I got an itchy rash on my right shoulder. I had no idea it was Shingles….
    However, I had just closed my Embroidery business after 5 Very Stressful Years. Went from Great credit to Extreme Debt. Lots of Negative Emotions. I took Valcyclovir for 7 days. It helped a little. As soon as I stopped taking it-I was in terrible pain, itching and So Fatigued. I read Everything I could about Healing myself. Lysine was first to combat the arginine. It was the holidays I was eating Nuts, Chocolate, Black eyed peas, ect.
    All the Wrong foods.
    I started taking Lysine 3500 mgs, B12 1000 mcgs, Olive Leaf Extract, D3with K2 (mv7)
    Drops, Camu Camu and vitamin C 2000 mg,
    Noni capsules, Magnesium chelates 2000 mgs, Vitamin E and drank Amazing Green Drink Daily. The Lysine helped calm the itching. The Olive Leaf Extract is a natural antiviral. Strong! I cleaned the pox on my shoulder With ACV then blow dried the area and applied Calamine Lotion religiously every day. I used Beckmann 1802 Honey &
    Colladial Oatmeal Soap to bath and their body cream as my skin got extremely dry.
    And I slept for days. So Exhausted.
    Body Aches, Chills, Flu like symptoms.
    It’s now mid February and I’m just now starting to feel a little better. Still dealing with Fatigue. But the pain is starting to subside. Hydration is Important! REST is
    Very Important! A virtual nightmare of sorts.
    I felt I was dying at times.
    Not Pleasant. The meds the Doc gives you Only suppresses the virus. Best to go with natural herbs and supplements. Although thankfully I had muscle spasm meds and it got me through the pain. And Xanax.
    I’ll continue to take all my vitamins and supplements. Especially the Lysine and Amazing Green drink.
    I feel for anyone going through this ordeal.
    Mine seemed to go on for a Long Time.
    Try the natural remedies and mix with pharmaceuticals. But the natural stuff works Best and Time. Rest as Much as You Can!!!
    God Bless & Good Luck ?
    Thank You for Your Blog-So Helpfull.

    • Reply
      July 26, 2019 at 11:41 pm

      Try “Quantumin Plus Miracle Drops. You can also use SuperLife STC30 supplement, but I believe Quantumin Plus will be OK. Drink it as recommended, and rub the drops on the problem area. Thanks

    • Reply
      July 26, 2019 at 11:55 pm

      Try “Quantumin Plus Miracle Drops. You can also use SuperLife STC30 supplement, but I believe Quantumin Plus will be OK, because it got rid of my friend’s shingles. Drink it as recommended, and rub the drops on the problem area. Thanks

  • Reply
    Pat Shelly
    February 13, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    I have a question about the high argininine to lysine ratio in bone broth. Do you think the lysine supplement is enough to counteract this? Also, do you limit nuts and seeds and dark chocolate?

  • Reply
    February 14, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    I am now in week 2 of shingles on my scalp and face. It started with left-sided headaches until the worst day I ended up going to my GP for meds to make it stop. He gave me pain meds and a shot of Toradol in the rump roast. That helped tremendously and the headache let up. That night I woke up over and over again rubbing my face…it didn’t itch but it felt odd so I rubbed the areas and went back to sleep. The next day I noticed a goose-egg on my head. I thought I surely was to be the next contestant on Dr. Pimple Popper as it was going to be a doozie! The day after, a 2nd goose-egg and the lymph node behind my ear was swollen. It went to hell from there…small cluster of “pimples” on my left forehead and one in the middle. I went to the mirror and saw one at my hairline I didn’t even feel. I knew something was wrong at that point. All the lymph nodes on my skull were popping up and sore to the touch. I went to the doc knowing it was shingles and he agreed although I didn’t put the headaches and facial sensations together as a prodrome until yesterday. He insisted it would not go into/on my eye because it was the V1 portion of my trigenimal nerve and that ends above your eye…WRONG! He started me on valacyclovir right away and, I assume, it has done a great deal as they have dried up already and I’m only a week in. Now the creepy crawlies are starting and the scalp pain that feels like my ponytail was in too long. I’m mostly concerned with the fatigue! If I sit in one place too long without doing much, I want to nod off. I eat like a campground raccoon which probably doesn’t help AT ALL so I will try some of the suggested supplements to see if I can rouse myself until this virus goes dormant, again.

    Thanks for all the great info and knowing everything I am dealing with is real!

    • Reply
      July 26, 2019 at 11:52 pm

      Try “Quantumin Plus Miracle Drops. You can also use SuperLife STC30 supplement, but I believe Quantumin Plus will be OK, because it got rid of my friend’s shingles. Drink it as recommended, and rub the drops on the problem area. Thanks

  • Reply
    Lauren Sanders
    February 21, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I have found if you catch the blisters early a topical mixture of oregano oil and coconut (any carrier oil because oregano is very astringent and harsh) will help speed up healing. I also supplement this with oregano oil pills.

  • Reply
    Charlet Licwinko
    February 24, 2019 at 9:51 am

    I am 53
    Diagnosed march of last year.
    All I can say is my pain around my waist
    Up into my lungs in the back is no joke…
    Been living he for a year !
    Pain isn’t going away

  • Reply
    Charlet Licwinko
    February 24, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I am suffering everyday!

  • Reply
    March 1, 2019 at 8:59 am

    I have had 7 Outbreaks of Shingles. I avoid Tomatoes Wheat Germ Brussels sprouts Cashews Grapes Pumpkin Seeds Pecans Blackberries Blueberries Peanuts Chocolate Sugars. I recently was on medicine that gave me Hives, and that brought on the Shingles. Luckily I have had it several times now, and I got it early. Please everyone be careful if a doctor prescribes medicine. Last Year I was prescribed Ceftin for a Sinus Infection, and I had an awful Hives Breakout that lead to a very bad case of Shingles. This Year my Podiatrist Prescribed Lamisil. I normally don’t use prescriptions, unless I Absolutely need it. When I get Shingles it’s so Bad Natural Remedies don’t work. Thankfully The after Hours Clinic I go to has diagnosed me several times, so They give me stronger medicine. I hope I was able to help someone with this information.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Thank you, for writing this!

    On March 25th, I had the terrible pain on the left side of my face. I went to an urgent care center and was diagnosed with an ear infection and strep throat. I had no symptoms of the strep and I was told that the ear infection developed because of it. On March 27th I noticed a rash on my jawline. I assumed that I had some sort of reaction to the antibiotics I was prescribed. March 28th I woke up to a mountain of lumps and bumps on my jawline, neck, behind my ear, and in my hair. I freaked and went to the ER. I was told that I had shingles. I cried and thought THIS WEEK SUCKS! I was told that stress, and my body fighting the other illnesses, activated my shingles. Although my face hurts, the worst pain is the “shocks” I get throughout the left side of my scalp. Along with my smorgasbord of medications, I’ve been taking probiotics, and I made a sweet concoction of essential oils.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    My heart goes out to all of you. I was diagnosed last Tuesday with shingles on my left arm. of course I’ve got the fire ants sensation or I like to describe it as a poison ivy on top of a sunburn all the way up my left arm around my shoulder blade. The sores themselves on the other hand I only got two and a couple of tiny spots. I caught mine within 4 days and started Valtrex and B12. A week and a half later I barely have random needle poke Sensations or numbness. After reading a lot of these I thank my lucky stars that must be one of the lucky ones that got such a mild case. But I honestly think acting fast getting on the antiviral medicine and overdosing on B12 is what helped the most for me.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Hi everyone,
    I feel for all of you!
    I’m 54 and I’ve had shingles for 4 1/2 weeks now and I’m still feeling really ordinary!
    I first went to my GP with a sore eye and a couple of ‘spots’ on my scalp. It didn’t take her long to diagnose shingles.
    2 x 10 days courses of anti viral meds and steroid drops and Zoster ointment for my eye. My eye burns and consistently feels like there is something in it.
    My Opthamologist saw slight scarring and 2 small lesions on my eye…he says the scarring won’t ever go away but thankfully it’s not affecting my eyesight.
    First week was horrid to say the least…pain, burning, severe itching, nausea, couldn’t eat..slept a lot and just felt miserable. I found a hot wheat bag helped with all the shooting pains in my head.
    Thank goodness that shooting pain eventually went away but I still feel like my forehead and scalp are severely sunburnt, the areas of rash around my eye and nose are still numb and the itchiness drives me crazy!
    As each day passes I think I’m feeling a little bit better,
    It is a really slow recovery progress and I still get really tired. I can see light at the end of the tunnel but boy its been a struggle.
    My very best to everyone out there who is struggling too…I feel your pain!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Was diagnosed with facial shingles in September ’18. Am still dealing with crawling ants under my skin on my forehead and scalp. And the interior stabs, like voodoo needles trying to get out of my head. Always unexpected and horrific pain. Yet the same area itches and is completely numb. My eye is red and sore-can’t afford the eye appointment.
    Every Dr I have seen says it could be a year before it goes away-I personally don’t think it will ever be gone.
    I have no idea what I did to deserve this-and I don’t understand why it is getting more and more common at all ages. And there is no research being done to stop or even help.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2019 at 11:06 am

    My husband stopped taking rhodiola and ashwaganda because he said it didn’t make him feel any different. Two weeks later he has shingles. The rhodiola and ashwaganda helped with his stress and depression and being adaptogens take care of the body as a whole. He is on acyclovir and he’s back on my ayurvedic medicine.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    It is interesting about the monolauren. My first thought was if it destroys that fatty layer around bacteria and viruses, would it also destroy the mylenation around you neural cells?

  • Reply
    April 24, 2019 at 11:02 am

    3 weeks ago I had the flu — what I THOUGHT was the flu. Last week I visited my sister who lives 3 hours from me. The night I got there I was in the ER with what I THOUGHT was a kidney infection. The lower back pain is horrible. I also have fibromyalgia and my shoulder muscles tend to get balled up and I go in for trigger point injections and it goes away. The ER dr gave me a TPI for this and it just took the pain down from an 11 to a 5. I’ve been icing my back, taking Tylenol every 6 hours and bam! A week to the day of the mysterious back pain I get a painful bumpy rash on my upper abdomen. The back pain has turned into a burning, searing pain. I emailed my doctor and he prescribed the antiviral that I started taking the day after the rash appeared. I hope it helps keep the rash small. It’s about the size of a powder compact. The part that hurts worst is the dang back pain; I wish there was something that would make it disappear! Gonna send my daughter to Sprouts for some broth and lemon balm tea!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 2:27 am

    I was diagnosed with shingles 5 weeks ago. It started with me feeling pain in my shoulders on a Thursday and Friday. I initially dismissed it as a flare up from a previous accident. That Friday evening I also began to feel fatigued and just not well. Woke up Saturday with the pain in my shoulder isolated to my left side. As the day went on I massaged my shoulder and realized a had a rash on my back left shoulder area. Thought it odd, but dismissed that. Later toward the evening noticed blotches on the front chest/ shoulder area. Pain really starting to get severe. Woke up Sunday morning with ridiculous pain and rashes in both areas. I went to urgent care after a painful bout of putting clothes on and was diagnosed with shingles. What in the world…everyone’s first comment is, that’s an old people’s sickness! Well apparently not as I’m 41.
    The pain comes and goes and feels like I’m being stabbed. The worst to me is the itching, burning and feeling like my skin is being stretched.
    I was out on the antibiotics right away, given gabapentin and other pain meds. Every week a pharmacist suggests a different medicine for the pain/itching. The lidocaine patch was terrible and I didn’t last long with that. The other med with pepper just burned and made no sense to me. Calamine lotion has been my bff but only a temporary relief.
    I feel like I’m going to rub my skin off with all this itching trying not to really scratch.
    My skin feels rough and I haven’t had a good nights sleep in 5 weeks! I only missed two days of work though I could have taken off this entire time trying to find relief.
    5 weeks and praying this is it!!!
    I’m sorry that I’m not alone in this but glad that I’m not!

    • Reply
      Rick Flores
      May 31, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      I’m on day 22 of shingles. I have it on my back, left arm, and on my palm and fingers. The pain is unreal, the itching is TORTURE. Other than the anti-viral I was given gabapentin for the nerve pain.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 7:33 am

    I’m 28 and in Vietnam for a month with my partner. I thought I was having a weird reaction to a mosquito bite (I normally react horribly to them) but I started to notice the red splotch spreading and then blistering. We were out in the middle of nowhere for the first 3 days of it and by the time we made it to Hanoi to a pharmacy it had spread from one little spot about 3 inches down from my armpit to a band across my back, side and right breast of angry red splotches and blisters which tingled. After the pharmacist gave me a topical cream I burst into tears on the street cause it just felt so disgusting and my gut told me something else was up. We taxied across town to an english speaking doctors office and made an emergency appointment – she had a brief look at it and said it was Shingles and ran a test. I’m on my 5th Acyclovir STADA pill and am taking codine for the pain which has been relentless for the last 5 hours. I have 3 days left of my holiday and then a 12 hour set of flights home to then attend my partners grandfathers funeral. I’m going to hit up the pharmacy tomorrow for some sleeping pills and more pain relief but I can’t wait to find some of the other items you have all mentioned. I’m in so much pain but it’s a small weight lifted to hear about things that have given you all relief.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 7:20 am

    thank you all for all these stories and experiences, i hope you are all better now or getting better. i recently also got diagnosed with shingles and im only 22. the pain is unbearable but im ACV medication course.

  • Reply
    Ginger Kleypas
    May 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    I believe I have internal shingles. Should I be restricted to bedrest?

  • Reply
    sasha gracia
    May 6, 2019 at 1:45 am

    Suffering from HERPES VIRUS is a terrible experience because i was told it has no cure,the good news am happily sharing now is the great power behind herbal medication i got diagnosed of herpes virus in the year 2014 and in 2016 i started having outbreaks and it became more terrible for me to bare,One blissful morning i came across a blog comment posted by a man call Thompson on how he was cured of herpes simplex virus type 2 with the herbal medication of (Dr LOSA)who is a specialist in curing all kinds of std virus and chronic disease with herbs,i immediately copied out his contact via whatsapp number +2348121742613 and i explain all my problems to him, he was very honest with me and also kept his promise to get me cured with his herbs if i follow the prescriptions he gives along with the medication which i did exactly as he prescribed, to God be the glory My herpes simplex virus i have been suffering from got cured in just 2 weeks after completing the dose of his herbal cure. once again thank you so much sir for restoring my health back and most especially my skin.
    He cure listed diseases

  • Reply
    Brooklyn Johnson
    June 13, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    I like how you mentioned that it’s very important when you have shingles to relax because it is usually brought on by stress in your life. My husband has shingles right now, and I have no idea what to do for him because I’ve never had them before. I will definitely keep all of your great tips and information in mind when trying to take care of my husband and his shingles.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    I am very happy to read this article- dr told me today whatbi thought was just a burn from my blow dryer and some extremely swollen glands on my neck was also shingles. Hoping for the best, I just got back from store and picked up some komucha and probiotic water and some alkaline water and bone broth, and now that I am reading your article I am def getting that lemon balm tomorrow. Started vaulters and an anti viral cream hoping it stays put and does not move to my face ear or eyes. I’ve been super stressed, under brought this upon myself I’m 38 and this is def a lesson in better self care and mindfulness is a must.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    I am just wondering if anyone has any help for the stiff neck and jaw pain? (I’m sure there’s a specific term for this troubled area of pain) I am coming out of shingles today is my last day on prescribed medication —day 7. I feel like I’m almost back to normal but I would really like to shake off the feeling of being sore on my neck. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Reply
    July 27, 2019 at 12:11 am
    *#* Capsaicin cream is sold over-the-counter as Zostrix or Capzasin-P. *#* Another way to deplete substance P and potentially *gain relief from the itching is to expose the affected skin to hot water for 30-60 seconds.* This works very well for contact dermatitis from plants like poison ivy, and may be effective here as well. *#* A third topical therapy is *turmeric  paste.* To make this Ayurvedic remedy: use:
    1/2 cup of turmeric powder, with
    1 cup of water
    add 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of ground black pepper, (optional), then 
    boil this mixture into a paste for at least 8 minutes (you may have to add more water). Let cool before using. Then, apply to affected area.

    Be aware that turmeric can stain clothes and plastic container, so be careful when applying to affected area.

    In addition, a vaccine to prevent shingles has been recently approved by the FDA for use in people age 60 and older. The new vaccine, Zostavax, isn’t perfect – it works about 50 percent of the time. However, people who developed shingles despite receiving the vaccine seemed to have less severe cases than did those who got the placebo. Zostavax did prevent postherpetic neuralgia in 67 percent of the people studied. The vaccine seemed to be most effective in people 60-69 years old but also provided some protection for older groups. Side effects were mostly redness, soreness, swelling or itching at the injection site and headache. The vaccine is somewhat expensive – typically between $150 to $200.

    Having had an unpleasant case of shingles, Dr. Weil is inclined to recommend the vaccine for those at risk.

  • Reply
    Dona Mitra
    October 18, 2019 at 8:12 am

    Hi, I stumbled upon your post while browsing for diet and care during Shingles. I am currently suffering from it and taking medication since the past 6 days and it doesn’t feel good. The pain, the burning sensation and loss of appetite has made it very uncomfortable. I loved your tips on food and probiotics. I generally like eating fruits and yogurt but I guess the medicines are playing with my appetite. I will definitely try the kombucha and lemon balm tea for relief. Might buy some organic broth as well.
    My only tip to bear with the burning sensation was to apply calamine lotion on the affected area(stomach and waist is where the outbreak is).
    Thank you very much for your post and insights ????

  • Reply
    Sheila Myers
    November 21, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I am dealing with Shingles as well, and I am now in Week 2 and I am looking for relief. My shingle is on my left breast and goes in a line around my back to my spine and I did catch it in time and the doctor was able to prescribe the anti-viral medicine. There is a lot of irritation with my shirts that I cannot stand anything touching it. What I just discovered is Lidocaine patches, and what a relief that is for at least the irritation of the rash. It does not seem to help the inner pain, but helps with the itching some. Just wanted to add this to the list of things to try. My doctor tells me that since I am over the age of 50, that as soon as this clears up that I should get the Shingles vaccine. Not age 60 anymore, but 50.. I will be adding lemon balm and some of the other products that was mentioned here, so very thankful for the article and all of the responses.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you for all the suggestions.I have atypical facial pain in my chin and in the only remaining tooth on the lower right side of my face(all the others were pulled because they thought the tooth was the problem)I have been dealing with this for over 4 years.It is a cousin to trigeminal neuralgia-or a cousin to something seeing they don’t know what it is.trying topical stuff now along with all the medical drugs that numb me down.Took so much turmeric at the start of it all that I messed up my thyroid-but maybe topical will be a good way to do it.if anyone has any suggestions I am willing to try.Acupuncture has left me bruised so badly-that taking an exacto knife to my chin to find the problem could not hurt worse(plus free stay in a bin for the winter!)Good luck people

  • Reply
    Michael C Rock
    December 13, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Just want to post a perspective from a 77 year old man. I had Shingles beginning in June of this year and now after nearly 7 months the pain is manageable. I developed post herpetic neuralgia following Shingles. I understand this is not unusual for someone my age. I can tell you that I would not wish this on my worst enemy. It is indeed terrible. After 7 months of unrelenting pain during my waking hours and sometimes when trying to sleep, which was difficult for the first 90 days or so. I slept sitting up sometimes just to be able to sleep at all. I have taken CBD, Advil, Tylenol, Tramadol, Diclofenac, Lydocaine, and also acupuncture. It depends on what I am or am going to do that predicates what mixture I take. My Dr. says I have a few months to go before the nerve ends heal enough to stop the pain. I eventually learned how to deal with the pain and discomfort. Just waiting to the day when it goes away. Oh, bth he says that in some cases the pain never goes away completely. Wonderful to hear !!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    It is New Year’s Eve and for the first time in a decade, I will not be attending my beloved NYE yoga class.

    I am not sure that I have shingles because there is no rash as of yet. I felt nauseous yesterday and had a tight stomach ache which changed into severe pain down my left side body that I have never experienced before. I took advil because I couldn’t take the pain anymore.

    Anyway, thanks for this very helpful article. I know what to do naturally as well as using western medicine if a rash appears in the next day or so.
    Unlike many of you, I am typical of the demographic of shingles patients-61 years old. I guess I should have gotten the vaccine.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Did you take kombucha while having shingles? I have the virus, but i’m not sure if i can start taking it while i have it
    Please enlighten me

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      February 27, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      yes I did! Great source of healthy probiotics.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2020 at 11:45 pm

    Wonderful article. This is my first time experiencing shingles… And it does suck so much. At first I thought it was a dental problem and went to the dentist to get a filling done… But behold, I started getting blisters on my chin and ended up going to an urgent care. It is my first day on my valtrex med and oh boy… My tongue is covered in white sores, blisters on my chin leaking like some zombie creature… And the throbbing pain and teeth/ear pain from time to time. The absolute worst experience!!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    I was diagnosed 7 days ago with shingles. Left side face and head. For several weeks prior to rash, I was experiencing unusual left temple migraine…which would not relent. Then last week left lip developed tiny blisters and itching. (I’ve never had a cold sore in my life). Then left eyeball pain got worse…like it had been bruised or strained. Next…the red bumps appeared all around left face with concentration at trigeminal nerve slightly above the left ear…then all hell broke lose.
    I called my Doc who diagnosed me via telemed, due to the fact that our whole country’s in quarantine from Covid 19. Emergency visit to eye Doc, as my left eye was becoming more involved and painful/red.
    Valtrex x3/daily…plus 20mgs prednisone daily. Ibuprofen to attempt to manage pain…although not very well. Applying calamine to blisters like mad…somewhat helpful. The rash is fading after one week, but other sensations of pain…crawling skin…itching…electrical shock zaps…continue to evolve. I feel like I’m losing sh#+ at nearly every moment…sleep eludes me from the constant twinges of the aforementioned sensations. I’m feeling very much on my own with this bc of the state of our world being ravaged with Covid 19…the stress levels of every one are being stretched to near capacity. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to keep calm for anyone….truly feel out of control…and stress is the enemy of shingles.
    Anyone else in the throes of shingles right now, I especially feel for you.

    • Reply
      April 9, 2020 at 3:12 pm

      Hello! I was diagnosed with Shingles on Saturday. All last week I had what I thought was a horrible sinus headache. Nothing would touch the pain. Tuesday I got what I thought was a pimple above my left eyebrow, but it never came out – it turned into more of a flat rough patch. Saturday morning I woke up to huge swollen lymph nodes and just feeling awful, so I reluctantly headed to urgent care. The doctor said ” I think this is shingles.” Well, the stress of our current times doesn’t make that so surprising. I have developed a few more faint spots on the left of my forehead, but none are especially painful. The worse part is the burning/itching in my eye.

      I just wanted to say that I completely understand how you feel, dealing with this in one of the most uncertain times. I hope you start to feel better soon!

    • Reply
      June 3, 2020 at 6:58 pm

      I had a similar experience as you, Angie. In the week before I was diagnosed with shingles in my eye, I had an itchy eyebrow and it felt like grit was in my eye. The pain and light sensitivity started before I broke out with two small lesions on my forehead. I managed with Dilaudid (left over from a surgery), THC (cream and capsules), gabapentin, along with the Valtrex and Zirgan ointment. At my 7 day follow-up today, the pain is mostly gone but they diagnosed scleritis as a complication (inflammation of the white part of the eye). One thing I’ve found helpful and recommend to everyone is using yoga nidra to manage your stress. There are several free ones online, including for pain management. Moving ahead, I’m going to become much better about managing my stress.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Your post totally hit me. I was diagnosed with shingles last week. I have it on one side of my face and in my eye. I live alone and far away from my family who are all located on another continent. With the shutdown for Covid19, my host country’s borders are closed and my family cannot come to help me. I find the pain horrific, the fatigue draining and the isolation devastating. On top of it the stress of missing work. How long afterwards did you return to work (I suppose working from home in these days of Covid19)? I feel like perhaps there is something wrong with me that I cannot manage to work yet.

  • Reply
    Brandi Hodges
    April 27, 2020 at 2:26 am

    I’m not sure I have Shingles but I did hear the Dr and the pharmacist mention shingles when I went to the ER aftee having warm almost hot areas of my body that were red & rash looking, like hives on my back, sides, stomach, backsides of my knees, chest, and often small hive like bumps would pop up in all of those spots and I would get a blister or hive under my left eye mostly but a few times under the right side. This had been driving me insane with these sometimes small patches to covering my whole side on both sides with these hot itchy areas. Any heat, whether it be heat from warming my home to a hot shower made it 10x worse. Im 38 years old and this is the 3rd time in my life I’ve dealt with this b.s. First time was about 6 mos after the birth of my first child when I was 18. Drs said it was poison ivy, oak, or sumac but I’m not alleefic to those. My eyes would swell shut sometimes. Huge blisters would form on the pads of my feet making it very hard and painful to walk. Next dr said it was hives and until last week I still thought it was hives, I didnt know much of shingles and drs never once said it was anything other than hives except the 2nd time 10 years later soon after I had my daughter and one dr said maybe Lupus. Sent me to an allergy lab and I was injected with soo many things like bread, grass, all meats, pet dander and even flour and mayo. To which I appeared to be allergic to EVERY SINGLE sample they stuck in my back. I was in how can I be allergic to 75 things I’d been fine with for almost 30 years? Both times at 18 and 28 eventually it just went away on its own, though I made many a trip to the ER for a Benadryl shot as I couldn’t sleep. Now here I am, 38 almost 39 and its been slowly geting worse for about 6 months. Somedays it would push me to pray for death..then some days (4-5 if I was lucky) it went dormant I guess? It’s been getting worse and worse this time though. So bad I rushed to the ER because the hive-like bump under my eye was just that one evening and I felt as if I had a piece of gravel or like my eye had been cut. My husband looked and saw nothing and we flushed it with warm water, eye drops, etc. Next morning there was pus in that eye and my eyeball was bloodshot like I’d never seen and swollen. Thought it had to be pinkeye and told the ER staff that. But the skin on the outer edge between the eye and my hairline was really dry, almost scabby or scaly which I had never experienced before. ER sent me to the eye surgeon across the street and the Dr came in after hours to check me out. It was so infected he could only write me antibiotic drops and reachedule me to come back in 2 days. Couldn’t get walmart to send over the pre-authorization so I used pinkeye drops the 2 days until I saw the dr again. He was pissed because he spoke with the pharmacy at Wal-Mart and told the person how badly I needed this medication yet they failed to do ANYTHING. Those 2 days without proper meds made me much sicker and in more pain. My 2nd appt he found a different pharmacy that this med was covered by my insurance. Still 4 hours of problems and pharmacies not having it and insurance issues put me through more hell. Tuesday is my 3rd appt and I’m hoping he can diagnose me once and for all. The Dr stressed how dangerous it was for me not using the antibiotic eyedrop he prescribed and I was terrified, bawling, and slept for 2 days. This was the worst experience I have gone through so far. Thought I would share my story as I learned and felt much relief reading all of yours. Thank you, brandi

  • Reply
    April 27, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    I can relate to your post. I was diagnosed with Shingles on April 6. Two days prior I felt a tingling sensation on my forehead, I immediately thought…Shingles..only because my brother had it on his face years ago. The next day the rash appeared, and I knew for sure then. I called my doctor the next day, because of the shut down, I couldn’t see her in person, diagnosed me over the phone. Got me started on anti-viral meds immediately. She told me the pain will be debilitating..I had not idea how bad it could get. I immediately stopped watching the news, because I was trying to keep my stress level down. My doctor told me to go to emergency is it goes into my eye. Well..the last place I want to be right now is in emergency. After a week I started to feel better. Called my optometrist & asked if she could look at my eye. She wouldn’t see me in person either, but said it sounds like it’s healing fine, but to call her if my vision goes blurry. The reason I’m on here today, I was feeling much’s been 3 weeks..but the extreme fatigue came back a few days ago. I was wondering if this is normal. But it seems to be, from what I’ve read. Shingles is horrible at any time, but those of us going through it right now, during a pandemic have an added stress. I also live alone, with no family nearby. Like you said, stress is the enemy if you have Shingles, and also..who wants to hear right now that they have a weakened immune system. Hang in there and know you’re not alone.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Elizabeth, hang in there! I have to admit that it is extremely comforting to know that there are others going through this right now too. I just started back to work on Monday and I am so exhausted with the headaches and all. Maintaining stress these days is so difficult!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2020 at 12:56 am

    I’ve never had chickenpox or any pox, but now i suffer shingles. It’s on the upper of my left back, straight to my left chest. I’m 4 days in. They start blistering.
    On the first day, my back hurt. I thought it was due to too much sleep. Second day, my chest also hurt. So i lifted my shirt and i was shocked. I didn’t even know what that is. I did some research on the internet then i suspected shingles. Later on, my doctor diagnosed me with shingles.
    I’m 17 years 11 months old.

  • Reply
    May 11, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you for this post, I just ordered a lot of the natural remedies you mentioned. A couple night before I noticed the rash on my upper back, I had an anxiety attack and which is super rare for me. It happened again a week later (I’ve been on Valtrex for 6 days now and was using lidocaine as well) and am curious if anyone has experienced emotional and physical symptoms of this nature, like panic/anxiety attacks. Although the shingles is on my back, I’ve been feeling sensitivity on my chest on the same side which I’m assuming is normal? Is it common for shingles to make neighboring areas of your body uncomfortable with similar pain but the rash only isolated to one area?

    Thank you for all the stories, it’s been super helpful and comforting to read especially as this pain is extremely hard to endure. I hope everyone on here has recovered or is on the road to recovery!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      May 12, 2020 at 12:16 am

      Ellie! I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Shingles sucks and I can so relate to your pain. My anxiety totally flared during this time. I typically don’t require medication for my anxiety but during this time I ended up taking some as my anxiety was at an all time high. As for the referred pain, I am not a doctor so I can’t say for certain but I’d guess it likely is the pain from your back making your way to your chest. Shingles targets a single nerve center but referral pain is quite common. Thinking of you and hoping you have a speedy recovery!

    • Reply
      June 18, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      It’s day 4 into shingles and no other symptoms. On day one my am felt like it was sun burnt and rash appeared a day later. The pain and fatigue everyone on here experiences, does it start at a later stage of infection? Was prescribed anti-viral and using calamine lotion.

  • Reply
    May 17, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    I woke up Thursday with an odd patch above my right eyebrow.
    Thursday night/Friday morning my lymph nodes in front of my Right ear were HUGE and SO SORE. Saturday morning the lymphs on the right side of my throat we’re HUGE and even moving my neck is sore. Saturday morning I noticed the patch above my right eye isn’t “zits” and is definitely odd. I contacted a doctor and determined it’s the beginning of shingles. I started Valtrex Saturday and between yesterday and today (Sunday) I’ve had shooting pain up into my scalp and tingling/burning sensation. I had a terrible headache yesterday. Hard to sleep due to my lymph nodes being so swollen. Praying they don’t spread as I started meds early. Thankful for this blog. I ordered L-lysine and I use CBD daily. I will be using bone broth tomorrow.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2020 at 8:17 am

    I am not sure that I started the antiviral within 72 hours but I am now on it as well as a cream to address the rash. I thought it was shingles by the location of the rash. It is like someone drew a line at mid chest level and put the rash along the line. The six rash spots are more or less along the line although a lot of the skin is sensitive to touch and raising my arms is painful.

    The kicker is I was vaccinated with Shingrix 2 years ago. That apparently saved me from a more severe case.

  • Reply
    Amina Aboo
    June 14, 2020 at 6:08 am

    Hi. I’m 60 years old. I’m 10 days into the shingles. There is still no relieve from the excruciating pain. My rash is from the right shoulder back to the front of my torso. Took valtrex and taking painkillers but no relieve from the pain. It’s causing a lot of anxiety. The blisters are oozing just waiting to be dried. Has anyone had such severe pain. Going crazy

    • Reply
      June 14, 2020 at 6:13 pm

      Hi there, When I had shingles a couple of years they were the most painful thing I had ever experienced and the only thing that gave relief was taking a couple of drops of Vit B 12 and a high dose of powdered Vit C in a little water. I would take it throughout the day.I have since discovered that Vit B 12 at a high dose is recommended as nerve support for shingles and help with pain. Hope that is helpful. ?

  • Reply
    June 14, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Hi all Im 2 weeks into shingles diagnosis. It started with excruciating pain in my back with no sleep for 2 nights, the following morning a pimply rash appeared on my chest. I was straight onto my GP as although Id never had shingles, my daughter had and I recognised the symptoms. I am immune suppressed so was immediately prescribed 10 day course of Aciclovir anti-viral medication and Amitriptyline which is supposed to target the nerve pain. I was also prescribed Codeine. I have to say the pain is like nothing I have experienced before – it wakes me up in the middle of the night and as everyone has said the creeping feelings, stabbing pain and sensitivity to everything – hot, cold, wind, rain or anything touching me. I am now managing taking a combination of Codeine and Ibuprofen 3 x in 24 hours. The worst part apart form the pain is how fatigued and debilitating this illness is. It is made worse by the fact that I am currently shielded due to Covid 19 and can’t live a normal life. I am hoping he pain subsides in time but so far its much the same even though the rash has begun to crust over and fade. Good luck to you all and I seriously would consider this the worst illness ever and I have had a stem cell transplant, and chemo treatment etc.

  • Reply
    Suzanne Scarlett
    June 16, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Hi … I live in the UK and was diagnosed with Shingles by my GP 10 days ago. I had to e-mail him photos of my rash. Initially I thought I had pulled a muscle in my right rib cage as I had lots of pain in this area. I began to feel quite ill, high temperature etc, My husband looked at the site of the pain and noticed a rash, The Dr prescribed a course of Aclovir and I continued to use paracetomol and ibuprofen. I am now 10 days in and have decided that the paracetomol has no effect but the ibuprofen works. I have started to take vitamin B complex and was already taking Vitamins C & D. I have to say the pain is worse than a broken arm and giving birth. It peaks at tea time and I feel dreadful. I am not sleeping very well but not happy about taking prescribed anti-depressants. This is definitely stress related as 6 weeks ago my 79yr old Mum collapsed and was unable to care for herself. and we picked her up from hospital and brought her here. It has been a very stressful time taking care of her but she gets better every day. Thanks for all the tips and I shall try the olive oil extract and the lemon balm. I wish you all well and I sympathise with every single one of you. By the way I am 59 years old and have always been fit and healthy.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Thank you so much for this article! I wish I had found it sooner.. in 38 and went to 4 emergency room visits before being diagnosed properly as having shingles. I too thought it was an ear infection, but was diagnosed with a pulled jaw muscle, ear infection, and finally the shingles. It started exactly as you said, like you were reading my mind! I’m grateful I do a majority of the tips you have listed, I got a couple new ones too. Thank you for giving me hope about this clearing up on my face, I feel like people look at me like I’m a freak.

  • Reply
    July 11, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you to all who have posted over the years this thread has been active. Very validating. Just diagnosed yesterday. Originally thought I had bug bite on chest, and realized there were more bites under armpit and back of arm. Wondered if it was poison oak as it worsened. Made connection to some shoulder pain (under scapula… all same side of body) and skin sensitivity on arm a few days prior. Bingo! Really appreciate the suggestions for natural treatment to supplement antiviral. The journey begins. Guess I’d better buckle up here! The encouragement helps. If you all go through this, so can I. Our bodies are powerful.

  • Reply
    July 24, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Did anyone experience stomach upset or like a wave like feeling in their stomach with Shingles? I’m around Day 12 of my ordeal and the scabs have formed and the sharp stabbing pain has lessened but I have stomach upset and I wonder if it was the 7 days of anti-viral or just part of the process?

  • Reply
    Mansi Sangal
    August 15, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Hi! In my second day of taking the anti-viral medicines and the thing that is making me go crazy is the pin and needles feeling!! Can’t sleep and I wake up tired. Please help!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Just a note that might help someone: My wife had the shingles along her waist. As soon as she was diagnosed (she already had the bumps there, which she said were painful to the touch) we rubbed Silver Hydrosol on it (Sovereign Silver brand) and she took the maximum recommended dose orally.
    Miraculously (I swear! And I have no connection to the business of Sov. Silver) her pain and sores went away and she had no more symptoms, after like 2-3 days.
    I had used the Silver on colds and found it to work well so we just tried it for the Shingles and we were amazed how mild her case of Shingles was after that.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    I am so thankful for you all posting. I first went to the doctor in July. I put it off because of Covid. The first thing I noticed was a lump on my rib cage under my boob. I had a slight rash but I thought it was heat rash. I also had a rash on my chest that looked more like heat rash but that went away. My main complaint by the time I saw the doctor was the severe band like pressure around my chest/ribs. Burning and tingling down both arms and my abdomen. Well this opened a can of worms. Doctor never examined me – ordered blood tests and sent me to gyno for mammogram. Blood tests showed high cholesterol so now I am on statins. Mammogram was good but they also did a vaginal ultrasound finding cysts, fibroids and endometriosis. They want to do a hysterectomy. Still no answer or relief for original complaint. Ordered chest X-ray. It showed degenerative discs in thoracic spine. I am 57 – this is common. Sent me to Spine Clinic. Finally – the PA there examined me and came up with the possibility of shingles. He did prescribe the gabapentin for pain but I opted not to take it when I read about side effects. He sent me back to primary. Just this week – last week of August – my primary saw me and prescribed an antiviral. She still didn’t examine me! Plus it sounds like it is WAY too late for that to help. I am guessing it may have been too late by the time I went the first time. Do I have the post neuropathic damage? I still have the rash. Any words of wisdom appreciated.

  • Reply
    Janice Wright
    September 19, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Thank you so much for mentioning the trigeminal nerve! My shingles are on the right side of my neck, ear, chin, and back of my head with what seemed like a strange headache just in front of my ear. The doctor checked and the infection was not in my ear so that pain was worrying me until, Bingo!! I googled “trigeminal nerve” after reading your post and now it makes sense, which goes a long way towards helping me relax about it!

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