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Kristen R

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About Kristen R

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  1. From what I've read DH is mostly itchy (though I may be wrong about this)--shingles, (Varicella Zoster Virus) however, is extremely painful and I believe may be mistaken for DH by some celiacs. Shingles only becomes itchy when scabs begin to heal. Shingles is also characterized by extreme sensitivity to touch, and is often accompanied by a strong burning sensation. If not treated it can lead to Prosperthetic Neuralgia, which is an extremely painful condition that is chronic until the underlying cause (usually celiac disease or another food allergy, HIV or cancer) is treated. Shingles usually appears as a band (the name is a derivative of 'shingle', or latin for 'belt') on the arm or torso, and initially appears on only one side of the body before spreading to other areas. The first day it is not raised, but after a day or two it becomes raised before pus-filled blisters develop. The blisters remain for at least a week (sometimes a month or longer!) before they break and the skin starts to scab. I have several scars on my body from the outbreaks that I've had, which have gotten progressively worse. I am finally realizing that I have celiac disease. My sister does, and after I developed shingles for the second time recently I knew something was very wrong with me. I am fairly young, and shingles is rare in people my age (early 30s). I googled celiac and shingles and came up with plenty of hits. Shingles can be treated with Cyclovax, which comes in topical and oral forms. However, if the outbreaks are caused by gluten allergy, then the shingles will not go away, as it is occurs due to the immune system being compromised. As we poison our bodies with gluten, they eventually break down, and development of shingles is the final point of the 'breaking down' stage. If shingles is recognized within the first day or two (the second time I knew exactly what it was) and is treated with cyclovax immediately, the outbreak is likely to be much shorter (but the rash will still take at least two weeks to go through its cycle). I have yet to have an endoscopy to confirm that I am celiac, and cannot go gluten-free until I have it done. I plan to cut way down on my gluten intake, though, lest I develop another outbreak of shingles. I cannot bear the thought!
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