Patient Comments: Shingles - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your shingles?

A Doctor's View on Shingles Symptoms and Signs

Read the Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Shingles symptoms and signs include a painful blistering red rash along one nerve path on one side of your body. The pain is often described as burning, itching, or tingling. Shingles may also begin with flu-like symptoms such as fever and fatigue.. Read the entire Doctor's View

Comment from: Joanne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I felt so unwell for quite a few weeks, like flu, extreme fatigue, and muscle weakness, that I'd had lots of blood tests at the doctor's. These all came back normal. Then the pain started, a ghastly stabbing and throbbing pain in my back and chest and breathing was painful, and I thought I was having a heart attack. It was the worst pain I'd ever felt. The next day I felt as though my skin and muscles were on fire, I couldn't stand my clothes next to my skin. Five days later I noticed what I thought were bites under my arm and on my back so went to the doctor, and he thought they were bites but that it might be shingles. I went back the next day as the shingles diagnosis seemed to make the most sense as it tied in with the unwellness I'd been feeling for several weeks previously. I'm now on acyclovir 5 times a day. The pain keeps me awake and there are more 'bites' appearing and my whole body feels itchy.

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Comment from: Angee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 03

I have had shingles for 6 years now. At first one doctor thought the itch was a problem with my spine then another doctor said it was fibromyalgia. I now know it is shingles as I have pain at night and wake up with sore neck and shoulders, rib pain and wrist and ankle pain. For pain I get some relief from natural MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) sulphur, DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), and capsaicin cream. My symptoms are chill/fever and cold; flannel seems to soothe pain. I do not get rash. I also take amitriptyline in small dose, daily 10 mg, which blocks the pain receptors and makes me sleep at night. It is an antidepressant and is very mild at 10 mg per day. I get fluid in my ears and heat fever. I wake up feeling terrible. Good luck, shingles needs to be diagnosed and medicated as soon as possible otherwise it will return fiercer then before and stay with you longer. I still have it.

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Comment from: Fras, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I am a 56 year old male. I had some headaches, then some sensitivity to light as I needed sunglasses sometimes outside, for about a month. I had stabbing pain in the right side below my rib cage and in the rib cage in the nighttime. I woke up like there was a knot in my rib cage. Getting in and out of chair triggered excruciating pain and walking up and down stairs the pain got so bad. I went to the doctor and was treated for torn oblique muscles. Then about a week later two spots appeared with 3 little dots in them itchy and burning. I went back to the doctor, who diagnosed shingles and put me on the medicines. I am healing nicely after only two days, so far so good.

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Comment from: ani, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I started hurting in my lower shoulder blade and the pain ran through my chest wall, I felt I might have a pocket of gas or water in my lungs. The pain kept me awake through the night. The next day, I had a small eruption of blister in the middle of my back, but the worst part of shingles is the sensitivity of my skin from back around under the arm pit and toward the front of chest. It hurts to breathe and does not ease up. It feels like I have a really bad case of fluid in my lungs. I went to the doctors and was given valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram to be taken 3 times a day. Skin is very sensitive but internal chest pain is the worse part. I think I could stand the blisters and the skin sensitively but the pain from back through chest wall is the worst.

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Shingles - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your shingles?
Shingles - Vaccine Question: Please describe your experience with the shingles vaccine.
Shingles - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with shingles.
Shingles - Complications Question: Did you have complications that arose from shingles? Please describe your experience.

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