Shingles may boost risk of cardiovascular event

Out of all the ways you could dream about recapturing your youth, though, experiencing the misery of chicken pox isn’t one of them. But that’s exactly what could happen if you get shingles.

The same virus that covered you in itchy red dots as a child can make you yelp in pain now that you’re all grown up.

Because when the chicken pox virus gets “reactivated” in your body as an adult, it shows up as an agonizing rash with blisters that can saddle you with excruciating nerve pain (“post-herpetic neuralgia”).

And while your chicken pox may have taken a couple weeks to clear up when you were a child, shingles can leave you in agony for months.

According to a new study out of Korea, developing a case of shingles can also make it more likely you’ll suffer a cardiovascular event, like a heart attack or stroke.

The study of nearly 50,000 people found that those who’d had shingles had a 35 per cent higher chance of having a stroke and a 59 per cent greater chance of having a heart attack, compared to a control group who’d never had shingles.

That averages out to an overall 41 per cent greater risk of experiencing a life-threatening blow to your brain or your ticker – and the risk was highest in the year right after the infection.

Even though you’re more likely to develop shingles over the age of 70, the study found that the risk of stroke after shingles was highest for those under 40!

So, no matter your age, you want to be on your guard – but don’t panic.

And there’s really no reason to roll up your sleeve for the shingles vaccine ( Zostovax) just yet.

First off, you’ve got to consider that any illness that lowers your immune system – even the common cold! – can boost your heart attack risk .

Of course, Big Pharma wants your fears about shingles to be overblown so you’ll ignore the fact that Zostavax isn’t actually all that effective. It can even put you at risk for developing a case of shingles and severe nerve pain!

And that’s on top of some other hefty side effects, like eye injury and elevated blood pressure.

So, instead of filling Big Pharma’s pockets, beef up your immune system naturally by getting plenty of rest, keeping sugar to a minimum, and adding probiotics to your diet.

You can also give your nervous system a natural boost against shingles with a daily dose of vitamin B 12.

And if you do come down with the virus, studies have shown that shots of vitamin B12 and also intravenous vitamin C (IVC) can significantly reduce shingles symptoms and even clear up outbreaks.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing

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