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Q&A on shingles

19th July 2010

Writing in the Telegraph, three experts offer advice to a patient with recurrent shingles.

stayinghealthyQ

The patient was in their fourth year of recurrent shingles, which started on the left side of their face and spread across the cheek to the nose and right eye.

Despite eating a healthy diet, conventional treatments had not seemed to work.

Alternatives were offered by a nutritional therapist, doctor of Chinese medicine and a naturopath.

The nutritional therapist, Melanie Brown, points out that shingles caused by the herpes virus takes advantage of a stressed immune system. She suggests olive-leaf extract because it is antiviral and a supplement called Immiflex contains immune-boosting beta-glucans.

Foods to avoid are those containing arginine (nuts, chocolate and lentils) as they trigger the virus. Dairy products are a better option.

Doctor of Chinese Medicine John Tsagaris stressed the importance of controlling the spread of the virus across the face because of the threat it poses to eyesight.

He said the Chinese herb astragalus can strengthen the immune system, while bitter melon kills the herpes viruses and liquorice root works well to treat shingles. Citrus fruits, sugar, alcohol and yeast should be avoided during the infection, while eating pineapple will help clear the digestive system of bacteria.

Naturopath Susan Curtis suggested lemon balm for shortening the duration of cold sores and shingles outbreaks, taken internally as well as used topically.

However, the advice was always to consult a medical practitioner is symptoms of shingles persisted.

 

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