Your Immune System & Shingles


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Your Immune System & Shingles

Shingles are generally the result of contracting the chickenpox virus as a child and it’s type 3 HHV-3 Varicella-Zoster or Human Herpes Virus-3, the chickenpox virus is one of the herpes group of viruses, there are in fact over 25 viruses that are of the herpes type. The chickenpox virus reoccurs generally in adults 50 plus in the form of the Varicella-Zoster Virus. An interesting characteristic of many of the viruses we may contract through life; our bodies develop resistance and our immune system continues to suppress these viruses and they become dormant and lodge themselves in the spine and adjacent to nerve endings. It is not absolutely clear what causes these viruses to become active again, resulting in flare ups; but it is generally accepted that a weakened or compromised immune system increases our vulnerability and contributes to our bodies risk factors becoming elevated making us more vulnerable to flare ups and the associated secondary infections that may result.

Things that compromise our immune system include; courses of antibiotics, long term use of steroids, recreational drug use, stress, poor diet, food poisoning, trauma and associated infection. It is interesting to note that antibiotics do not deal to viruses; it is up to our body’s immune system to restore our health. Antibiotics are effective against the associated secondary infections that result from virus attack; so our best defence therefore against health compromising viruses are a robust immune system. This is why Silberhorn products have immune support characteristics.

It is interesting to note that the survival rate from the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is now 30% it was 50%. It is also interesting to note throughout Africa the HIV rate is around 33% in some populations. A body’s ability to resist the ravages of a virus attack is dependent largely upon a robust immune system.

I have written a number of times about my personal experience of the effect of the flu virus on the population of the island of St Helena (in the mid-Atlantic) in 1978; due to the limited contact St Helena has with the outside world, no airport, a supply ship once or twice a year and visiting yachts, they don’t get the immunity boost that communities with international airports get. Viruses mutate and circle the globe with the seasons in aircraft carried by the hosts, the passengers. The occasional flu we contract can be a bit of a nuisance, but it is in fact an immunity boosting update that helps us resist future viral onslaughts; a bit like our computer software updates; if you miss some it doesn't work as well.