I'm 74 About three months ago I had a shingles attack. It left me with intense pain all over my skin. The doctor has prescribed Pregabalin, but it has given me severe dizziness. Will anything else help?
Shingles is characterized by intense pain in one area, blistering of the skin and a general feeling of being unwell. It is caused by a virus – the same that causes chickenpox – that has lain in a nerve for a long time.
The virus is reactivated when the immune system is compromised. It is concentrated in one nerve, so it causes pain in the specific area that controls the nerve. This pain, called neuralgia, can strike before the signs of shingles.
A reader has contacted Dr. Ellie to ask about possible treatments for shingles
Some patients say it feels like constant burning or repeated electric shocks. A quarter of people over 60 who get shingles, like you, will experience something called post-herpetic neuralgia. This means that the pain persists after the rash has disappeared, sometimes for up to a year.
More from Dr. Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday …
It is thought to be related to nerve damage or inflammation caused by the shingles virus.
Standard painkillers such as acetaminophen do not help. Pregabalin is specifically designed to treat nerve pain, but noticeable side effects such as headache and dizziness do not make it suitable for everyone. Instead, amitriptyline, duloxetine, and gabapentin are effective options.
But also look beyond tablets.
Cold packaging – no deep heat – can be useful, such as loose, cotton clothing. Protect the sore spots with a plastic wound dressing to prevent you from touching it.
A chili-based cream called Capsaicin can help relieve irritation, just like lidocaine (an anesthetic) plasters.
Although you have had shingles, it is worth buying the vaccine to prevent further attacks. Talk to your doctor about getting the injection on the NHS – this is available for some groups.
Can you help my son? He is 33 years old with severe depression – he has lost his job, cannot get out of bed and talks about wanting to end everything. Our doctor says that there is currently six months to wait for therapy. What else can be done?
This is a situation that is known to many NHS patients pending treatment for a psychological problem. It seems hopeless given the long delays that many face, but there are a few options.
Acting fast is vital – suicide is the leading cause of death in men this age.
Although some people with depression can wait six months for therapy, others who cannot work or even get out of bed should not wait.
Many people in this position do not even go to the doctor's surgery. In these cases it is perfectly suitable to ask a doctor for a home visit.
If there is resistance to a home visit, try a telephone consultation.
A GP will perform a risk assessment and decide whether the patient is likely to harm himself. They can also treat the symptoms with antidepressants, if deemed necessary.
DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR DR ELLIE?
Email DrEllie@mailonsunday.co.uk or write to Health, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT.
Dr. Ellie can only respond in a general context and cannot respond to individual cases or give personal answers.
Always consult your own doctor if you are concerned about health.
The doctor can also refer to NHS teams for mental health problems that exist in every area and come to your home.
They want to prevent hospitalization and can offer medication and therapy within a few days.
Your local service is listed on the NHS website, also known as a & # 39; home treatment team & # 39; called.
The Samaritans can also help by talking difficult feelings – call 116 123 for free.
If your son is unable to talk, he can write down his thoughts and e-mail them to email@example.com.
I have had had enough of parents who made up stupid names for the private parts of their children. Nearly half of mothers & dads & # 39; s with young children do not correctly refer to sexual organs, but instead choose pet names such as & # 39; foo foo & # 39 ;, according to a new poll by YouGov and the women's charity The Eve Appeal.
It just sounds like it is a major health issue. If my patients can accurately communicate their symptoms – and exactly where they are in the body – a correct, rapid diagnosis is much more likely.
And the conclusion that body parts are something to be ashamed of can make young women too embarrassed to visit their doctor about a problem. In some cases, using the correct word can be life-saving.
Tragedy of the & # 39; junk food addict & # 39; who became blind
Many were shocked when they read the report last week that a teenager had become blind because of his restrictive diet of chips and chips – but it is not the fault of junk food.
The 19-year-old from Bristol, in fact, suffered from a specific type of illness, known as avoidant restrictive eating disorder, a serious mental illness that makes children extremely anxious about certain food textures.
Years of restriction leads to nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin B12, which in extreme cases can affect vision and hearing. But it takes years before this happens.
The real tragedy is that a decade passed before the right treatment was given. It is a strong reminder that the prevention of poor mental health also has unprecedented benefits for physical health.
Many were shocked when they read the report last week that a teenager had become blind because of his restrictive diet of chips and chips – but the junk food is not the culprit – photo of the model
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) health