What are Shingles and is stress the real cause? Here’s all you need to know

Shingles is a common viral infection that is caused by the same virus that is responsible for chickenpox. Researchers believe that shingles could also be related to stress and perhaps, a weakened immune system over the years. Let us find out the link between shingles and stress and how you can overcome it.
woman in stress What are Shingles and is stress the real cause? Here’s all you need to know
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Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is the viral infection that causes a rash with blisters on your torso, face or neck and it appears to be an insect bite initially, but it is most certainly not. People often confuse it for a spider or an insect bite initially and only realize later that is could be something severe like a common viral infection.

Shingles can happen to anyone at any given time, usually, it affects older people who have a weaker immune system. Hence, stress is often linked to shingles as stress leads to a lower immune system and several chronic diseases. However, you’re at risk for developing shingles if you have had chickenpox at a young age because the varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox, is also responsible for shingles. The virus stays intact within your body and sometimes it can reactivate at a later stage in life.

The reason for this is unclear, but according to researchers in a study by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, stress could be one of the factors for shingles to reactivate in your body. 

The link between shingles and stress

Emotional stress is considered to be a trigger for causing shingles to reactivate as stress leads to a weaker immune system. People undergoing high levels of trauma, a sudden loss or chronic work life that leads to situations of dealing with stress and anxiety will weaken the immune system, giving shingles and opportunity to get stimulate the virus inside your body. Having a poor diet, loss of nutrients in your body, mood disorders, high levels of stress, anxiety and low feeling all affect your mental health and immune system. 

People undergoing stress will have bigger problems to deal with as the virus can aggravate more and the pain will be more. The itching, redness and burning will last longer for people with lower immunity.

A weak immune system prevents a patient from speedy recovery and it keeps them at discomfort for a longer period of time. Some researchers have also found that stress can give prolonged pain leading to postherpetic neuralgia, a complication in which shingles pain persists even after the rash has cleared.

How to avoid stress and remain healthy?

As we all know that stress is the root cause of every disease and to prevent from developing any chronic diseases, it is always better to avoid stress and keep a calm mind in every situation.

1. Try meditation. 

2. Do Yoga at home.

3. Turn off your phone before sleeping and inculcate reading as a habit.

4. Spend time in nature.

5. Get some sunlight every day.

6. Try stretching exercises.

7. Do one activity every day that makes you happy - it could be cooking, reading, spending time with family or watching your favourite TV show to unwind.

8. Listen to music.

Also Read:  Boost your immune system with THESE 5 healthy juice recipes shared by Nutritionist Arooshi Aggarwal