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Family, Internal Medicine, General Medical Questions/internal shingles - Varacell Zoster w/o skin blisters


Matt wrote at 2008-07-08 07:04:53
Shingles can attack internal organs of the body.Most often in immune compromised people.I've found little information on US web sites about this ability of shingles to stay internal and not be on the skin.Most US doctors still only think of shingles presenting on the skin.New Zealand even recognizes shingles can attack the digestive system internally.More awareness of internal shingles is needed as information says that internal shingles can be fatal if not recognized and treated.

fellow sufferer wrote at 2008-07-17 12:51:55
I was diagnosed by my very reputable doctor in IL with having shingles without the external rash. Because it took so long to figure it out, I have nore permanent damage - the nerves were damaged from the herpes zoster virus and I keep having attacks, because I do have a compromised immune system and a high stress job.  I was given lanocaine topical patches that do take the edge off the wrap around pain from spine to chest just under my breast.  I also am on Lyrica and Cymbalta.  Lyrica coats the nerves with protein to interrupt the pain signals to the brain.  Cymbalta works on the stress.  This is quite real and is recognized as post-shingles intercostal neuralgia, so search for this on the web.  You can find it on the Mayo Clinic site.

Sharon wrote at 2008-08-22 13:29:48
I have been dealing with cronic pain and shingles for over 10 years now.  I have yet to find a doctor who believes that the shingles and the constant pain (even when the shingles are not visable) are related.  I had a microdiscectomy in Aug of 2007 so now all the cronic pain I have from the waist down is attributed to that.  My shingles rash shows up on the average 1 to 2 times per year and has always been in the same location. (Right side, upper butt cheek) Until today.  I developed PHN pain in Jan 2008 and have siatica pain 24/7 since then.  My doctor is still not totally sure if that is to be credited to shingles, or to the lack of remaining disc at the L5/S1 level that was removed during surgery. (Right sided disc problem)  About 2 months ago I began having sever pain on my left side.  The last 3 days I've been experiencing that burning sensation on my left ankle and thigh.  This morning I have a rash on my thigh on the left side and was awakened by the pain.  All of my joints are swallen and sore, including my hands and feet.  I've had a constant headache for the past 4-5 days.  I have not been able to work since Feb 2006 due to complications from my disc problem....or maybe from 'internal shingles'.  I don't know which it is, but I sure wish I could find out.  Adding this left side problem to the right side siatica and fibromylgia, and blatter and bowel incontinence and on and on, I just feel like something is cusing all of this.  I've often wondered if it was the singles.  The first outbreak I had was the worst as far as the rash was concerned, but that's when all these problems started too. I take Cymbalta.  Lyrica didn't do anything for me.  Anti-virals do help with the outbreaks. The rash is not as sever, but the pain is the same.

beachesnbars wrote at 2009-08-26 19:38:15
Sharon--I know this older lady who has had pain in her back now for two yrs-so we will call it chronic. Her Dr. could never diagnosis it-she went to others without luck as well. She finally made an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic 4 1/2 hours away---they did some tests and Bingo--they said she had Shingles "internally". This was just last week, so I might suggest going there if you are close enough. Just b/c someone has never heard of something doesn't mean it does not exist. Good Luck to you-

Leilani wrote at 2010-03-05 23:16:20
There definitely is Internal Shingles.  I am being treated for this most painful occurrence.

You need a neurologist.  I am taking anti-viral medication plus pain medication designed for the torso area only.  If any doctor tried to tell you that there is no such thing as internal shingles, get a new doctor quick and tell the old doctor he needs to go back to medical school.

Linda wrote at 2010-04-28 19:47:30
I have had internal shingles.  I have been recovering for 5 months and still have a lot of difficulty.  My doctor had never heard of it either.  It is very rare, but it does happen.  My rash was on my tongue, inside my mouth, ran down my throat and inside my ear.  I still cough until I gad and vomit.  I have lost 50 pounds because I cannot keep from coughing when I eat.  The doctors have tried everything to help, but nothing has worked.  Try other doctors until you find one that understands your problem.  I never had an external rash.  

newzealandlass wrote at 2013-12-30 07:21:47
In response to Linda who wrote at 2010-04-28 19:47:30.

I too had shingles in my mouth, throat and like you were/are, I'm still coughing and gagging a year later due to my throat getting itchy/irritated.  When I got shingles (this time last year) I became so ill that I spent a week in hospital - turned out I was having an advert reation to acyclavor (sp) It  became very complicated.

Is the itchy throat a thing of the past for you now? Did you find anything to prevent the itchy throat and coughing?  I've tried a few things like an aneasthetic spray before eating & drinking or talking for any lenght of time, to no avail and find taking a little sip of Robitussin cough mixture once it starts tickling, does help a 'little'.  I would so love to find a cure for this throat problem.  The Specialists tells me it is due to damaged nerves and they should heal in time.  I'm so over it.  The coughing hurts my ribs and is so embarrassing when socializing.

I hope that what I write will get to you even though you posted in 2010.  

Tonya wrote at 2016-04-05 04:16:23
I have also had internal shingles. Mouth, throat and down. My doctor prescribed me magic mouthwash. It worked great!

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