Causes Of Shingles
The causes of shingles are often confusing. It's the adult version of chicken pox, a childhood disease that many kids go through. It's medically called herpes zoster and is a viral disease that affects the nervous system. It's very painful and is accompanied by a rash that covers one side of your body. In order to get shingles, you must have experienced chicken pox at some time in your life. Once you get shingles, you most likely won't experience it again. If you have shingles or know someone who has it, keep reading. You'll find out about the causes of shingles with this guide.
Getting Shingles. Shingles begin when the dormant chicken pox virus awakens in your body. Like most viruses, chicken pox hides inside of you until you are exposed to someone with the disease or experience a trigger. This virus will make you feel very ill. You may experience flu-like symptoms or a terrible headache that worsens over time. Other symptoms include itchiness, soreness and small watery blisters. The blisters usually appear within a few days of the rash.
Weakened Immune System. People with weakened immune systems are at risk. If you are over 50, your chances increase. As you age, your body undergoes many changes. Your immune system isn't as strong as it was when you were a young adult. Most older adults take vitamins, eat nutritious foods and get daily exercise. These things help prevent shingles and other health problems.
Pregnancy. Pregnant women can pass it along to their babies if they get chicken pox during pregnancy. The baby's immune system hasn't developed enough to fight a virus as strong as chicken pox. Since they share the same immune system as their mothers before birth, they are more likely to get shingles within the first couple of years. This is caused by exposure to the virus that causes chicken pox.
Stress. Stress weakens your body and opens the door for many illnesses, including shingles. When you're stressed, your body reacts by either shutting down or getting very tired. Opportunistic illnesses take advantage of your weakened state. You may seem fine, but over a few days, the first signs of the shingles start to occur. Getting plenty of rest and avoiding stressful situations can help keep you healthy.
Cancer. If you have some type of cancer or are getting treatment for cancer, you may be at risk for shingles. Cancer cells affect your body by attacking your immune system. The chicken pox virus hides in cells. Once your cells become compromised, the virus can reactivate.
The best way for a healthy adult to avoid getting shingles is to keep strong, eat right and stay hydrated. Unless you fall into the above categories, your chances of getting the disease are very slim.