Viewer Comments: Shingles - Symptoms and Signs

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Shingles - Symptoms and Signs

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 10

I am a 50 year old woman who has had many bouts with kidney stones (always on my left side) for the last two decades. So when I started having back pain on my left side in the area of my kidney and it didn't go away after several days, I went to see my urologist. He did a CT scan to check for a stone and that came back negative. Two days later I woke up with a painful rash in the same spot and went to my doctor to find out I had shingles. I never realized that you could have pain under the skin, like almost muscular, and it could be shingles.

Comment from: Castlefield, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I am a 57 year old female. My twin sister developed shingles 10 years ago and my mother had it at age 76. It started as a red looking pimple on my left lower stomach. Then I had a similar red pimple on my back. I showed it to a physician who told me it was nothing. It was not until I showed the physician the spread of the rash and flaking of the skin that he finally realized I had shingles. The pain is deep and very painful, sensitive to touch. It is difficult to sleep on your back or stomach as the rash covers both areas. Painkillers do not kill the pain.

Comment from: KMR, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I had the shingles vaccine about two years ago at age 56. Six months later, I developed a bad case of shingles without the rash. I then developed a post herpetic neuralgia that would act up when I was under a lot of stress or my immune system was overtaxed. Then just recently, I fell badly while hiking and then a week later misjudged the last step of our stairs and took a hard fall. Two days later, the pain started up and now I am dealing with my second bout of shingles, again (thus far) without a rash. The burning pain is unmistakably shingles and is in the same place, wrapping around the right side of my lower torso.

Comment from: Shingles Lady, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I've had recurring shingles outbreaks for about 15 years, ranging from 2 to 12 times a year. I'm 54. The first time, the doctor said it was a yeast infection; the second time it was misdiagnosed as ringworm; the third time of the exact same symptoms, the lesion was cultured and found to be herpes zoster, i.e. shingles. Most recently, the acute care physician called it 'easy to read shingles' because it was clearly on a nerve distribution on my inner thigh near the knee. In the past it's almost always been in the same location, my upper right buttock; but occasionally it appeared lower down or on the inner thighs, always within the region of my panties. This year, I've had five outbreaks, on my arms, legs and buttocks. I used to have an outbreak every time I got my period. Other triggers include lack of sleep, decreased ability to deal with stress, highly emotional states, excessive caffeine, or energy drinks. The symptoms that precede the actual outbreak by 2 to 3 days include a weird headache, feeling unbalanced, back/flank pain that isn't relieved with NSAIDs, sharp shooting pain in the groin and down the leg, legs buckling, stabbing prickly pain in the region of the outbreak, and anxiety. During the outbreak the itching and pain are unbearable. Fatigue follows. Recently, I have been taking cimetidine (Tagamet) and lysine and have had very good results quickly, shortening and reducing the severity of the symptoms. My primary care doctor doesn't think people can have recurring shingles. He's sending me to an infectious disease specialist. I'll keep you posted.

Comment from: Fern, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I've had reoccurring shingles since I was 16. I am 42 now. I have them several times a year on the right side of my back through to the ribs and into right breast. They don't always break out into blisters. Now it is mostly constant nerve pain. It causes exhaustion, headaches and migraines, and depression. I've moved many times and have only had a few doctors understand what I have since it is so rare and I do not have any auto-immune disorders. Because I also have degenerative disc disease, when my back hurts, it sets off a shingles attack. Now my right arm is going numb, and shooting pain into my hands; from the nerve damage, I am sure. It's just getting worse the older I get, and I would love to find a doctor who would understand and help. I'm on acyclovir, Neurontin, and pain medicine every day.

Comment from: Jolo47, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I am dealing with a case of shingles still, after being diagnosed about 2 weeks ago. It started with my right thigh being ever so painful and tender, which took me to the doctor. He said it was a pulled groin muscle and to ice it and take Tylenol. Over that weekend I notice a dime-size lesion near my quads and more on my public bone. I went back to the doctor and he said it was shingles and put me on steroid and Valtrex. Now 12 days after starting medicines lesions are drying up, but I am still in pain that can be pretty severe at times. It runs all over my lower back and abdomen, plus burning pain along with it. I have almost finished my medicines; hopefully my episode will not return.

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Shingles - Effective Treatments

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Shingles - Diagnosis

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