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:
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • 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:
hair loss on lower legs
suspected adrenal insufficiency
unexplained missed periods
minor joint pain/swelling/stiffness
constant thirst
previous transplant surgery
hot flashes during period
often/always feeling unusually cold
history of CFS diagnosis
resolved atypical recent headaches
dizziness when standing up
tonsils/adenoids out after age 20
... 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) 91% Confirm
HIV/AIDS 27% Unlikely
Weakened Immune System 3% Ruled out
Adrenal Fatigue 3% 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.

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