What Dianne is Reading: Have You Had Your Shingles Vaccine? I’m Glad I Did!

WDIR Publisher

In this feature of the Genki Woman blog, I would like to share with you helpful articles, interesting research, and useful health information that I came across in the past week.

Initially, the pain in my back and leg was preventing me from sleeping at night; I thought that my gym shoes were worn out and I bought a pair of new shoes.  I happened to have a follow-up appointment with my GYN and when I described the pain and some other symptoms, he said, “I think you have shingles.”   That was a Friday afternoon and I made an appointment to see my primary care doctor for Monday, but my GYN advised  me to get into urgent care over the weekend if the symptoms got worse.  By that time, I could barely walk, and knowing that some people have long-term pain (post-herpetic neuralgia or PHN) after having shingles, I thought, “I cannot live the rest of my life with this pain.”  What provided me some comfort was that I had had a shingles vaccine and that my course should be shorter and less severe than if I hadn’t been vaccinated.

You may know that shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the virus stays in your body and may not cause problems for many years. As you get older, the virus may reappear as shingles. Although it is most common in people over age 50, anyone who has had chickenpox may get shingles.

Several months ago in June 2015, there was a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseasesthat concluded that the shingles vaccine has an added protective benefit of reducing the risk of PHN for a vaccinated individual who does get shingles.

I hope that my experience and the study will prompt anyone over 50 to be sure and get vaccinated.  I know that at least one of my colleagues at work promptly went out and got the vaccine, despite years of “nagging” by his wife.

Keiro’s Genki Living Programs, a part of the Kawana Center for Healthy Living, supports individuals to obtain, process, and understand health information so that they can manage their health for optimal wellness.

About the Author: 

Dianne Kujubu Belli is the Chief Administrative Officer of Keiro. Dianne stays genki by doing cardio and light weight training four days a week at the gym and dances Argentine tango.

The material presented on this site is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily represent the opinions of Keiro, or its contributors. Readers should consult appropriate health, legal, or financial professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.  Full disclaimer

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