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Shingles. Yikes! Who needs Valtrex?

Shingles is the terrifying disease of the older folks due to pain.  It is the talk of any group of elderly folks at the local Hardees.  They do have a shingles shot but since I have had two patients hospitalized due to complications of the vaccine and several more with shingles after the vaccine, I have shied away from that and just stuck with acute treatment with Valtrex and/or steroids.  Anything to prevent that painful syndrome called Postherpetic neuralgia right?  I have had patients suffer for years from pain in spite of that treatment though.  Wasn't there anything better? Just FYI, not everyone gets pain with the shingles.  Sometimes it just itches.

Shingles Cartoon

While under a lot of stress a year ago, I was at work and felt a weird pressure at the crown of my head like I had my pony tail too tight but I didn't have a pony tail.  Next thing I know I have a burning, icy cold, searing pain moving down the right side of the top of my head.  I had shingles!!  The painful kind!  I was only 41 for pete's sake.  It was noon at work and no access to medicines.  I called my handy dandy naturopath Dr Swanz who recommended a vitamin regimen.  

I decided much to the dismay of my friends and colleagues to go natural.  So I picked up my remedies at 5 and got them going.  I felt it diminish but my doctor friends really were worried because that particular location puts you at risk for infection of the cornea.  Due to the pressure, I agreed to Valtrex and picked up a late night prescription and took one dose that night and one the next morning at which time my symptoms were 90% gone.  I went to the ophthalmologist who said my cornea was OK.  I discontinued the Valtrex and finished up my vitamins with complete resolution of symptoms that day.  

I was a little disappointed I caved because I really wanted to experiment on myself and do it totally natural.  I had my opportunity when we went on a family vacation during spring break on a cruise.  I got a sunburn in the part of my hair which reactivated my shingles on my scalp.  Lucky me had all the remedies.  Within three hours of that stinging, icy cold, burning pain, my symptoms completely resolved.  I took them another three days to be sure it was gone but yay!!  Thanks Dr. Swanz.  

Since then, I have been offering this to patients in addition to the Valtrex ( I always offer both traditional and western medicine options).  Many have opted to do the natural treatment only and they had very quick resolution like me, even in the older patients.  Thrilled to have another option since I haven't always had luck with Valtrex.  Sometimes, nothing helped in the past.  This year, no failures yet!

I may have tweaked it a little from what Dr. Swanz recommended but this is my regimen I used.

  • Vitamin C 1000 mg 4-5 times per day

  • Vitamin D 20,000-100,000 IU daily for about a week -for adults I use the 100,000 IU

  • Vitamin A 15000 IU 1-2 times per day for 2-3 days

  • L Lysine 1-2 capsules 4-5 times per day.  

As with anything, I do not replace your doctor.  Just know there is a risk that if you have shingles on the tip of your nose, forehead, or top of head, that you can have infection in the cornea of your eye and you need to see an eye doctor.


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