I don't have shingles, but I do get symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (self-diagnosed) which is also caused by the herpes zoster virus. My problems with the herpes zoster virus are longstanding and made worse by the fact that I am gluten intolerant (and therefore have immune system issues), and I tend to fret a lot. Here is what I find to be helpful. I reduce my consumption of arginine, take l-lysine, take large doses of vitamin C, take quercetin+bromelain, and use iodine antiseptic on the blistery spots. The herpes zoster virus is a nasty bug. It even suppresses the immune system by infecting CD4 t cells and macrophages (as does the HIV virus). One more thing, if you have serious stress of any kind going on in your life, reducing your level of stress will help you heal from shingles. Pray and trust God.
Until well, reduce the consumption of arginine, and supplement with L-lysine. Arginine is required by the shingles virus to multiply. Taking l-lysine will interfere with the availability and/or usability of arginine by viruses. Temporarily eliminate consumption of nuts, seeds, chocolate. If you are taking CoQ10, make sure there is no added arginine. My aunt was taking a CoQ10 supplement meant for heart health. She believes this supplement aggravated her shingles condition (One CoQ10 supplement I looked at contained 5000mg of arginine per serving). When she switched to a supplement of CoQ10 alone she was ok.
Use iodine (Betadine, Providone iodine 10%, Iosol, Lugol's) topically on skin lesions. Do not use any organic (carbon compound of iodine) form of iodine. A small percentage of the population (1-2%) is sensitive to iodine. If you experience an allergy type of reaction, or hyperthyroid type of symptoms (rapid pulse, jittery, excess salivation, difficulty sleeping) discontinue the iodine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/913866
Here are some helpful things to do for overall health:
For overall health, optimize the level of insulin in the blood, thus optimizing the body's insulin sensitivity. Over time, excess carbohydrates, particularly sugar will depress the immune system. One of the main ways excess carbohydrate consumption depresses the immune system is by interfering with the metabolism of vitamin C. On the other hand, adequate amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids will improve the body's insulin sensitivity: http://www.biblelife.org/rosedale.htm http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18348080
The last thing I want to mention is that I am experimenting with fucoidan, generally found in abundance in certain seaweeds. Rather than taking a fucoidan extract, which can be rather expensive, I am consuming about 1/2 teaspoon powdered bladderwrack seaweed two times a day. If one is sensitive to iodine, one should try using the extract rather than seaweed. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=139995
I am richly blessed in my marriage. I have two grown children. I am semi-retired. I have been a computer programmer, systems analyst, househusband and homeschool teacher. I love to walk, talk and eat, and write short articles about devoting our lives to Jesus.