Shingles on the Face: Symptoms, Treatments, and More

Shingles on the face 

By: Cindy Mitchell
How Common Is Shingles?
Approximately 1 in 3 people in the United States develops shingles in their lifetime. About 1 million cases of shingles occur every year in the United States.

Shingles, or zoster, is a common infection that occurs due to a herpes virus.

Shingles is a rash that usually appears on one side of the chest and back. It can also develop on one side of the face and around the eye.

The condition can be very painful and can sometimes have long-term side effects. No cure for shingles is available, but early treatment can lower your risk of serious complications.  The last few weeks I have had several different people in the store that have found their self with shingles.  Each one of them have told me in their words the odd things they had went through in having this painful infection.

What are the symptoms of shingles?

Shingles causes a red rash that forms a band on one side of your body or face. The rash can appear anywhere on your body or in several places. The second most common rash site is the face. It can spread from the ear to the nose and forehead. It can also spread around one eye, which can cause redness and swelling of the eye and surrounding area. The shingles rash occasionally develops in the mouth.

Many people feel a tingling or burning sensation days before the first red bumps appear.

The rash starts out as blisters filled with fluid, or lesions. Some people have a few clusters of blisters scattered about, and others have so many that it looks like a burn. The blisters eventually break, ooze, and crust over. After a few days, the scabs start to fall off.

Other symptoms of shingles are:

  • itchiness
  • sensitivity to touch
  • pain
  • fatigue
  • a headache
  • a fever

CAUSES

What causes shingles?

The varicella-zoster virus causes shingles. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox, or varicella. You can only get shingles if you’ve had chickenpox.

After you recover from chickenpox, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. It can remain dormant forever, but if it reactivates, you get shingles. It’s not clear exactly what reactivates the virus, but it’s more likely to happen if you have a compromised immune system. You can get it at any age, but your risk increases after age 60. It’s also not clear why some people get shingles primarily on the face.

COMPLICATIONS

What are the possible complications of shingles?

Shingles on your face can cause various complications depending on where the rash appears on your face.

Eyes

Shingles around the eye is a serious condition. The virus can affect all parts of your outer and inner eye, including the cornea and nerve cells that react to light. The symptoms include:

  • redness
  • puffiness
  • swelling
  • infection
  • vision problems

Shingles in or around the eye can lead to permanent blindness.

Ears

Shingles near or in the ear can cause infections. This can lead to:

  • hearing problems
  • balance issues
  • facial muscle weakness

Sometimes, these symptoms remain long after the rash clears up, even becoming permanent.

Mouth

If the shingles rash develops in your mouth, it can be very painful and make it difficult to eat until it clears up. It can also change your sense of taste.

Other complications

One of the most common complications of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia. This condition causes pain where you had the rash, even after it has healed. It can last weeks, months, or years.

If you get a bacterial infection on your rash, you could have permanent scarring.

Shingles causes a small increase in the risk of stroke for a few weeks to a few months. That risk is higher if you have shingles on the face.

Shingles can affect the brain, spinal cord, and blood vessels, but it’s rare. Pneumonia and brain inflammation are possible.

Complications send about 1 to 4 percent of people with shingles to the hospital. About 30 percent of them have a suppressed immune system. Shingles leads to about 96 deaths each year in the United States.

DIAGNOSIS

How is shingles diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of shingles, especially if they involve your face, see your doctor or ophthalmologist right away.

Doctors can usually diagnose a shingles rash by performing a physical exam. Your doctor can also take a scraping of your skin rash and send it to a lab for examination under a microscope.

It’s particularly important to seek treatment if you have a compromised immune system. Early treatment can help cut down on your chances for serious complications.

TREATMENTS

How is shingles on the face treated?

Shingles will have to run its course, but quite a few treatment options are available. These include:

  • antiviral drugs
  • anti-inflammatory corticosteroids, especially when the face or eyes are involved
  • over-the-counter or prescription strength pain relievers
  • a cool compress to soothe the rash
Antiviral drugs can help shorten the severity and duration of the illness. They’re more effective if you start taking them right away. They also lower the risk of long-term pain.  At first sight of shingles L-Lysine and Vitamin C may help you to get through the virus faster.

You should also keep your skin cool and clean to help lower the chances of infection.

OUTLOOK

What is the outlook?

If you have a particularly severe case of shingles, it could take months to go away. It can also become a long-term problem for some people. If you have postherpetic neuralgia, you may need to see your doctor more often.

Complications that involve the eye or ear may require ongoing care, especially if you have lingering vision or hearing problems.

Most people have shingles only once, but it can recur. This is more likely to happen if you have a weakened immune system.

If you haven’t had any major complications, your symptoms should clear up within a matter of weeks with few, if any, lasting effects.

PREVENTION

How can you prevent spreading the virus?

You can’t give shingles to someone else, but the varicella-zoster virus is very contagious. If you have shingles and you expose someone else who has not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, you can give them the virus. They’ll get chickenpox, not shingles, but this puts them at risk for shingles later on.

You’re contagious when your blisters are oozing,  or after they break and before they crust over. Do the following to avoid spreading the virus to others:

  • Keep your rash covered, especially when the blisters are active.
  • Try not to touch, rub, or scratch your rash.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.

Avoid contact with people who’ve never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, especially:

  • pregnant women
  • infants
  • people with HIV
  • people who take immunosuppressive drugs or chemotherapy
  • organ transplant recipients

 

Nettle Tea Benefits and Warnings

Nettle Tea

By: Cindy MitchellNettle Tea Benefits and Warnings

Have you ever been stung by a nettle? It’s hard to forget that burning sensation, the pain and burning from hives and blisters. Stinging nettles are found all over the world, and bloom every year. It’s almost impossible to get away from the invasive plant.

What Is Nettle Tea

In one of those strange-but-true twists of nature, it turns out that the plant that can cause you so much harm could be the very solution to treating your problems. The stinging nettle, Latin name, Urtica dioica, has been used medicinally since at least 3 B.C. In medieval times, it was used to treat pain in joints, as well as act as a diuretic. Today, nettle root is used to treat urinary problems associated with an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia), urinary tract infections and hay fever. Nettle leaf, meanwhile, is most commonly used to treat pain, osteoarthritis, allergies and hay fever. The leaves and stems can be eaten in a salad, cooked into soup or made into a tea, but the nettle root is more likely to be extracted with alcohol to make a tincture, dried and taken in capsules, or dried and made into a tea. The plant has few known side effects, but as with any medicinal preparation, you may want to consult a health care practitioner before adding nettles to your diet or treatment plan.

Nettle Tea Benefits

Nettle tea affects the kidneys directly. “Nettle is a diuretic. [It] increases urine output and removal of uric acid (under physician supervision). Thus it can be useful for edema, inflammatory arthritis or gout,” says naturopath Dr. Robert Kachko, ND, LAc. Studies show that by combining nettle with saw palmetto, patients can find relief from urinary problems. In addition to affecting the kidneys, “nettle has many constituents and is considered one of our most nutritive herbs, we call it a ‘trophorestorative’ for this reason,” says Dr. Kachko. “Its main constituents are flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol), carotenoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin K1, triterpenes, sterols and minerals.” Ten grams of nettle contains 290 milligrams of calcium and 86 milligrams of magnesium. In comparison, 10 grams of raw spinach contains 10 milligrams of calcium and 8 milligrams of magnesium. If you’re no Popeye, try nettle tea for some of your daily nutrition needs.

Nettle Tea for Allergies

Hay fever affects millions of people, and nettle tea is effective in controlling the itching and sneezing typically associated with it. A study at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine concluded that 58% of the participants who were given freeze-dried nettles for treatment of hay fever experienced a reduction in symptoms. Since over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines can have side effects like drowsiness, seizures and dry mouth, nettle tea is a good alternative for people with sensitivities.

Nettle Tea for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

The diuretic nature of nettle tea improves kidney function, and as a result can improve the symptoms associated with BPH. It “improves frequency, urgency, urinary flow, and can also lower the sex hormone binding globulin which impacts testosterone levels,” says Dr. Kachko. So not only can it potentially improve your kidneys if you have BPH, it might also put your sex life back on track. According to the book “Campbell-Walsh Urology,” extracts from the roots of stinging nettle contain phytotherapeutic products made up of plant oils, fatty acid chains, phytosterols and phytoestrogens. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects, alter growth factors, regulate lipid peroxidation, inhibit 5alpha-reductase and protect the bladder as well as the muscles that control its function.

Nettle tea, has a ton of great benefits and I do carry Nettle tea in the store, has a light taste.   Although I did not have the tea listed on my website, if this is something you would want to order direct from me just call me toll free 1-800-234-7494.   Very affordable as well.

Resource: LiveStrong.com

 

Omega Fatty Acids

Understanding Omega Fatty Acids

Super Omega 3 Gems Fish Oil 250 count by Carlson LabsOcean Blue - Professional Grade Omega-3 2100

By: Cindy MitchellRxOmega 3 Women's Blend by Natural Factors

Nutritionists call omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids “essential” fats for good reason. The human body needs them for many functions, from building healthy cells to maintaining brain and nerve function. Our bodies can’t produce them. The only source is food.

These polyunsaturated fats are important for another reason. There’s growing evidence that they help lower the risk of heart disease. Some studies suggest these fats may also protect against type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and age-related brain decline.

Omega-6 mostly comes as linoleic acid from plant oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil, as well as from nuts and seeds.  Omega-3s come primarily from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, as well as from walnuts and flaxseed in lesser amounts.

Scientists are still debating the optimal amount of fat in a healthy diet, as well as the best proportion of omega-6s and omega-3s. For now, there are several simple changes most of us could make to take advantage of their substantial health benefits.

Do you know why we need to consume Omega-3 fatty acids? Did you know your body cannot make Omega-3 fats on its own? Well, the only way to feed your body these essential fats are to eat foods rich in Omega-3’s or take a fish oil supplement.

Vitamin Lady At Middle Earth store carries a few different Omega-3 supplements, they can be found at http://shop.vitaminlady.com/viewcart.sc

Summary of Food Sources

Like all creatures, fish have an omega-3 content that is highly dependent on their diet. If they eat algae, sea plants, and other foods that are rich in omega-3s, they are able to store more omega-3s in their tissue. If they live in a habitat where omega-3s are not widely available, they store much less. The close relationship between their diet and their omega-3 content applies to all specific omega-3s found in fish, including ALA, EPA, and DHA. It also applies to all types of fish including wild-caught and farmed. Some farmed fish are fed processed omega-3 concentrates to boost their omega-3 content. Other farmed fish are fed few omega-3s and have lower-than average omega-3 content.

Land animals are no different from fish in terms of their omega-3 content. Their diet is the key controlling factor—the same as it is for ocean creatures. Cows and chickens consuming diets that are rich in omega-3s tend to produce milk and eggs that are higher in omega-3 fats. Levels of omega-3s in eggs can reach levels of 350 milligrams per egg, depending on the hen’s diet. In cow’s milk, omega-3 levels have been shown to reach 155 milligrams per 8-ounce cup in some grass-fed heifers. About half of these omega-3s are typically present in the form of ALA, with the other half being divided between EPA, DHA, and other omega-3s. As a general rule, the milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs obtained from land animals that have been grass-fed and have had natural access to pasture plants containing omega-3s are going to be your best bet for omega-3s from land animals.

Other omega-3 fortified foods are becoming available on the market, including margarine spreads, juices, and snack foods. These foods are generally made by adding the fatty acids during the manufacturing process. As with all nutrients, we believe that your omega-3s are best obtained from whole, natural foods. Unless food is whole and natural, there is no way to guarantee that its nutrients will be found in optimal ratios and balanced proportions, or even incorporated into the food matrix in an optimal way.

We would like to add a special note about one food that does not appear on our ranking list as a good, very good, or excellent source of omega-3s. That food is tuna. In our nutrient analysis, we used baked yellow fin tuna. A 4-ounce serving of this form of tuna provided 140 milligrams of omega-3s and 147 calories. When we put these numbers into our rating system formula, tuna provided too few omega-3s in comparison with its calorie content to rank as a good source of omega-3s. However, we do not believe that this outcome would automatically be true for all tuna. We’ve seen studies on canned light tuna that showed about 345 milligrams of omega-3s in 4 ounces, and in the case of canned albacore tuna, we’ve seen studies showing about 975 milligrams of omega-3s in 4 ounces. Their higher levels of omega-3s would change the status of tuna in our rating system. However, our approach to healthy eating is always focused on fresh, natural, and minimally processed foods rather than canned or other versions.

 

Health Benefits and Microhistory of Common Essential Oils

Patchouli: Latin Name: Pogostemon Cablin 

By: Cindy Mitchell

Despite its exotic, musky scent, patchouli is actually a member of the mint family! The word “patchouli” itself is a derivative of the Hindustan words for “leaf” and “green”. Western discovery of the plant is attributed to the early 1800’s as silks from India were transported to Britain with the leaves of the plant tucked into the folded cashmere to protect them from pests.

Today, Patchouli oil is used mostly in aromatherapy

  • Often used as a perfume base, it can also be found in various massage oil blends and bath oils due to its aphrodisiac nature.
  • Patchouli oil is also used for treating dandruff: Simply mix 20 grams of any natural herbal shampoo with one gram of patchouli oil and shake well!
  • It works well as an insect repellant to keep away; mosquitoes, ants, moths, flies, and gnats.
  • In the Orient, it was commonly used for snake bites and various insect stings.
  • Patchouli oil has properties that make it work well as; an antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, deodorant, fungicide, and insecticide.

Lemongrass 

Latin Name: Cymbopogon Citratus or Andropogon Citratus

On the other end of the spectrum is Lemongrass. Lemongrass smells quite like lemons, but carries a milder, sweeter note. The plant is known to have been distilled as early as the 17th century in the Philippines, and it is one of the most popular oils in India.

  • Lemongrass leaves are combined with other herbs to treat fevers, irregular menstruation, diarrhea, and stomachaches.
  •  Lemongrass oil mixes well with: bergamot, rosemary, lavender, juniper, hyssop, pine, rosewood, basil, cedarwood, coriander, geranium, jasmine, neroli, niaouli, palmarosa, tea tree, and yarrow.
  • It is good for several skin issues, circulation, digestion, and nervous system disorders such as – headaches, nervous exhaustion, and stress-related conditions.
  • A bath can be made with lemongrass, coriander, and clove oils to help soften stiff limbs after excessive exercise!

Lemongrass, Coriander, and Clove Bath:

  • 2 tbsp. almond oil
  • 2 drops coriander oil

Carefully measure the almond oil into a small dish and add the essential oils. Then, be sure to add your mixture to the bath as the water is running! 

Never apply a pure essential oil directly to your skin without diluting. Essential oils are extremely potent in their undiluted form and need to be added to carrier oil, such as almond, apricot kernel or olive oil. Do not ingest essential oils. If you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition, check with your doctor before using essential oils, as some can interact with medications. Pregnant women and young children should not use essential oils unless under the guidance of a medical professional.

Researcher: Savannah Lovell

References:

Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine by Steven Foster, Rebecca L. Johnson [https://books.google.com/books?id=5ex229rf-bEC&lpg=PA282&dq=patchouli%20oil%201960%27s&pg=PA282#v=onepage&q&f=false]

[1] [ http://www.kamleshayurveda.com/top/patchouli.htm

[1] [https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemongrass-essential-oil.html]

[1] [http://www.herbalpedia.com/blog/?p=73

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Being Well

Healthy Eating TipsHeart-shaped measuring tape and fruits.

By: Cindy Mitchell

Many weight and malnutrition problems are caused by failure of a healthy eating diet. One of the best ways to avoid not only sickness and diseases but to enjoy a better quality of life is through a healthy diet.  There are supplements that you can add to your diet that help a lot.  MCT oil is one great product that can be added to your food.

Here are healthy eating tips to help with your daily life.

  1. Do Not Skip Meals.
    Eat three meals daily, each containing protein, fat, & carbohydrates. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  2. Start your Meals with Plenty of Protein.
    Fish, chicken, beef, tofu, turkey, eggs, among other foods. Twenty grams or more of protein will reduce your interest in empty carbohydrates and make you more alert.
  3. Eat Unlimited Amounts of Vegetables.
    (green, red, yellow or orange).
  4. Avoid Empty Calories, Sugary Snacks.
    Choose nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts), seeds or a small piece of cheese.
  5. Include healthy fats with each meal
    Flax, olive, or expeller-pressed canola oil, nuts and seeds. Slices of avocado.
  6. Avoid Processed food.
    If it comes in a box or a can the food is likely unhealthy for you.

More on healthy food and drink consumption

Consuming Diet Drinks can lead to weight gain and water retention..
Consumption of diet sodas or other beverages containing ASPARTAME can cause water retention and/or increased craving for carbohydrates. Nutrasweet (aspartame) is 180 times sweeter than sugar. It is well known in clinical nutrition circles that sugar is highly addictive. Imagine a food additive 180 times more addictive than sugar!

When sweet taste stimulates the tongue, the brain reacts to sweet taste – known as “cephalic phase response”. Insulin levels rise in the blood to prepare for acceptance of new energy.. sugar.. from outside.

However, If the sweet taste is not followed by real nutrient availability, appetite is enhanced, especially for carbohydrate foods.

Additionally, sweet taste without calories still causes a rise in blood insulin levels – for up to 90 minutes following consumption of the beverage or food. The extraordinary research on insulin resistance and diabetes by Gerald Reaven M.D., PhD at Stanford identified the water retaining nature of insulin. He noted that when insulin levels in the blood remain high, the kidneys treat the insulin as it would sodium and causes the body to retain water.

Additionally, Aspartame breaks down into methanol (a neurotoxin) and diketopeiperizine (which can cause brain tumors).

Take away tip: Stick with water