According to a new study just published in Canadian Medical Association Journal, patients who endure COPD have a higher risk for shingles in comparison to the general populace and the risk increases more in those patients taking oral steroids for COPD.
Shingles (herpes zoster) is when the chicken pox virus reactivates with a rash and painful lesions.
For those people with a compromised immune system are more at risk for developing shingles. The risk for shingles in people with COPD has not been studied in the past.
Currently, there is ongoing proof that COPD is an autoimmune disease. Various immune affecting disease like rheumatoid arthritis have been linked to a higher risk for shingles. Dr. Hui-Wen Lin, of Taiper Medical University in Taiwan and one of the studies authors states based on that fact it is reasonable to assume that immune response found in COPD could put those patients at greater risk for developing shingles.
The study had used information from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database, consisting of 8486 patients with COPD and 33,994 patients for comparison. Bringing the total sample of patients to 42, 430 patients. Among the patients 1,080 had an occurrence of shingles during the follow-up period. Identified was 321 cases of shingles in COPD patients and 759 in comparison patients.
Dr. Lin stated that their study had shown patients with COPD are at a higher risk for developing shingles in comparison to the general populace. The risk of shingles linked with COPD is higher yet in patients who receive therapy with inhaled or oral corticosteroids than in comparison to patients without.
The studies author’s had determined that the increased disease severity adds to the greater risk of shingles linked to COPD.
Most of the time shingles only affects a small part of one side of the body. The signs and symptoms of shingles could include:
Pain, burning, numbness and tingling
A red rash appears after a few days from pain
Blisters which are fluid filled that burst open and crust over
Other symptoms have included:
Fever and chills
Pain most of the time is the very first symptom and it can become severe. Some people can also have shingles without having a rash.
Most of the time the rash will appear in a band of blisters that will wrap around one side of the chest from the spine to breast bone. Sometimes the rash can appear around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.
Anyone who had chickenpox.
Shingles is most common in people over the age of 50, risk increases with age. Some health experts estimate that half the people who live to age eighty will have had shingles one time at least in their lives.
People with weakened immune system have a higher risk for shingles. A weak immune system can be caused by:
Cancer or cancer treatments like chemotherapy
Extended use of steroids like prednisone.
Shingles episodes most of the times heal on their own within a few weeks. Receiving treatment right away can ease pain, quicken recovery and decrease risk for complications.
Antiviral medications such as Zovirax which need to be started within three days of shingles rash for best results.
Pain medications like oxycodone.
Over-the-counter pain relief medications such as Advil.
Calamine lotion or anti-itch creams.
Oral antihistamines like Benadryl.
Shingles is when the chickenpox virus settles into a person’s nerve root and causes no problem until stress activates it.
Many people have found that regular chiropractic adjustments aides in balancing stress on the nervous system and recently has been shown to improve immune health. The reduction of stress on the nervous system aides in preventing shingles outbreak and aides in the bodies ability to recover quicker.
Specific points used during acupuncture treatments can also decrease stress on the system to help avoid future outbreaks. Some of the points used are GB31 and GB40.
Chinese herbal formulas
There are a few herbal formulas used with acupuncture to aide with shingles treatment. One formula is Long Dan Xie Gan Wan.
Medical News Today