Unfortunately, too many people have to deal with the pain and discomfort of shingles. The good news is that there are effective treatments.
Antiviral medications (valaciclovir, famciclovir) are the mainstay of conventional treatments for shingles.
These medications are very good for reducing the severity and duration of shingles if they are started early in the course of the illness (within 72 hours),6 but they don’t prevent postherpetic neuralgia.
On the other hand, injectable vitamin B12 and B1 are very effective for treating both shingles and postherpetic neuralgia.
For mild to moderate cases, injecting 1 mg of natural vitamin B12 (hydroxy- or methylcobalamin) daily for a minimum of 30 to 60 days has proven to be helpful for the condition.
More serious cases may require the addition of thiamine.
In these cases, I have a compounding pharmacist mix a combination of 1 mg of natural B12 along with 100 mg of thiamine.
The patient should inject about 1 cc (cubic centimeters) with a 5/8 inch needle daily for 30 to 60 days. If there is no response after 60 days of injections, the patient should stop.
However, it is rare for a patient not to respond well to this regimen. Unfortunately, oral doses of these vitamins do not work nearly as well as injectable forms.
L-lysine is a naturally occurring amino acid that has been found to stop the herpes virus, which causes both chickenpox and shingles, from replicating. I have found that 1,000 mg of L-lysine taken daily during an acute outbreak of shingles helps shorten the course of the illness.
For anyone suffering with a recurrent herpes infection — whether it be cold sores, genital herpes, or shingles — 500 mg per day of L-lysine helps to reduce the recurrence rate.
Another naturally occurring amino acid, L-arginine, can actually stimulate the herpes virus to grow. It is found in chocolate, peas, nuts, and seeds. L-arginine-rich foods should be limited in times of acute herpes outbreaks.
Vitamin C is also very helpful for herpes/shingles episodes. I suggest 5,000 to 10,000 mg of vitamin C taken orally.
Intravenous vitamin C is particularly helpful for acute episodes.
Hydrogen peroxide IVs are also very helpful for any viral infection, herpes included. White blood cells utilize hydrogen peroxide to fight infections.
For severe cases of postherpetic neuralgia, acupuncture can be a very worthwhile therapy. I have been performing acupuncture for more than 15 years, and have seen it alleviate very serious cases of neuralgia.
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