What Causes Shingles?

In order to deal properly with shingles we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow shingles to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind shingles consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to shingles.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Weakened Immune System

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
severe allergies to certain foods
regularly feeling unusually cold
occasional unexplained fevers
having had very many sexual partners
very frequent stools
non-vaginal candidiasis
fatigue for over 3 months
Latin / Hispanic ethnicity
moderate afternoon/evening fatigue
history of adolescent acne
extreme sensitivity to touch
... and more than 90 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of shingles:
Cause Probability Status
Lupus (SLE) 97% Confirm
Adrenal Fatigue 12% Unlikely
HIV/AIDS 0% Ruled out
Weakened Immune System 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Immune System Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about shingles:
Shingles (Varicella Zoster). Have you ever been diagnosed with this condition? Symptoms include rash, blisters for 1-14 days, burning/shooting pain and tingling/itching usually on one side of the body or face.
Possible responses:
→ Never had it / don't know
→ Probably/minor episode now resolved
→ Major episode now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of shingles or shingles, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Lupus patients are at an unusually high risk for contracting herpes zoster.


Some people with AIDS develop frequent and severe shingles; shingles is 9 times more likely to develop in those infected with HIV.

Weakened Immune System

Shingles is also more common in people with weakened immune systems from HIV infection, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, transplant operations and stress.

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