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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Can shingles cause an autoimmune system to emerge?

 fish - Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:30 am

My mother came down with shingles on her face a few days ago. In three dyas she was able to see her doctor. and he diagnosed her with shingles/ thrush/ and an ear infection. My mother as never been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Can shingles cause one to develop?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:20 pm

User avatar Hello,
Autoimmune disorders can develop at any time but it would not be caused by the shingles. A person gets shingles when the virus that formerly caused them to have chickenpox and then lays dormant, becomes active - sometimes due to immune system deficiency, stress, etc. but if there is an autoimmune disorder that caused the person to be susceptible to the reactivation of the virus, that disorder most likely came first.

Since a person is more apt to get infections when the immune system is depressed, it is often the case that they develop more than one illness as a result. Shingles can also be present in the throat, ears, eyes and other areas of the body - typically only on one side so this could all be related to the same virus along with a disturbance of the natural body balance of bacteria, both good and bad.

Your mother's doctor will probably recommend pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medications and antiviral agents to help her get through this painful ordeal

Best of luck to your mother and you.

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