Shingles: Symptoms and effects of virus
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Shingles describes a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Triggered by the same virus that causes chickenpox, shingles can occur later in life. According to research, one in three adults will go on to develop this painful condition. As medicine works best when taken within the first three days of the infection, being able to identify the symptoms could help.
Although it’s probably been years since you battled chickenpox, the same virus called varicella-zoster also causes shingles.
Once you’ve had the disease characteristic for childhood, the virus stays inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain.
With years passing, the virus can reactivate and reappear as shingles.
Apart from the tell-tale rash, your tummy might also ring the alarm bells.
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The warning sign that can appear in your stomach is nausea.
Southeast Dermatology Specialists share: “This is typically one of the most common shingles symptoms that gets mistaken for something else.
“Most people can attribute nausea to something they ate or drank.
“Unfortunately, this symptom progresses to the point of being flu-like, though vomiting is a relatively uncommon result of this nausea.”
Instead of vomiting, patients may experience sharp stomach pains, diarrhoea and queasiness.
However, nausea is linked to a variety of other conditions, including flu.
The health portal shares one “key differentiator” that could help tell shingles apart from the virus.
It explains that nausea that precedes shingles isn’t accompanied by a fever unlike when you have flu.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), another sign linked to shingles and tummy is an upset stomach.
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Although tummy signs could be pointing to shingles, there are also other symptoms that could help identify the condition.
The warning signs of the infection include:
- Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
- Sensitivity to touch
- A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
- Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
According to the Mayo Clinic, shingles rash will usually impact only a small part of one side of your body.
Generally, the painful sign usually crops up a single-stripe around either the left or the right side of your body.
However, the rash can also pop up on one side of your face, possibly affecting your eye and triggering vision loss.
The NHS urges to get advice from 111 “as soon as possible” if you think you have shingles.
It’s crucial to act promptly when you identify the symptoms as you might need medicine to help aid your recovery.
The health service explains that medicine will work best when taken within the first three days of your symptoms.
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