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Shingles and triathletes.
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Two people in my office have been diagnosed with shingles. They say it's not contagious but doesn't that seem odd.

I remember reading that Thomas Hellregle (SP?) got them because he was training too hard. Anyone ever experience that?
Last edited by: NYSLIM: Dec 29, 06 11:44
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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Yep...not a fun experience. Mine was more from rehabbing a surgically repaired shoulder too hard/much. Keep in mind, this virus is always present in your body (base of the spine, I believe), it just needs a way to get out.



Dan
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póg mo thóin
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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Shingles is like adult chicken pox, right? if you had chicken pox as a kid, you probably won't catch shingles from the people in your office. if you didn't, look out.

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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I had it and know another on the forum who did as well. One way you can get it is when your immune system is weakened, overtraining can certainly contribute to that. It's essentially based in the nerves and it usually will eventually manifest itself in rash form. It is contagious when you have the rash, but you'd basically have to rub against it with your skin. I thought I had a pulled pectoral/back thing going for a few months before the rash came.

____________________________________________________
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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TC- I believe shingles is usually a reactivation of the virus among people who had chicken pox as children.

Jodi
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [Jodi] [ In reply to ]
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oh, okay. I knew there was some connection...

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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I think there is also a connection of shingles and stress.

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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [slowbern] [ In reply to ]
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Yep, stress is what can bring it on. Chicken pox, shingles, genetial herpes and cold sores are all from the same virus. Taking an anitviral such as Valtrex or Famvir it the way to treat it, and an L-lysine supplement can help keep it at bay.
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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I got shingles in 2002, training for my first marathon...right about 4 weeks out from the race I decided to do a 10 hr adventure race...in hindsight-bad idea...I got shingles, but only after I thought I had something crazy tumor thing going on in my lower back...it's actually a form of herpes if I remember right...my wife was freaked out by that! It cleared up and I proceeded to go out too fast in my first marahton and crash with 8 miles to go...I blame it all on the SHINGLES!!!

"Fortitudine vincimus"
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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Reply to: Two people in my office have been diagnosed with shingles. They say it's not contagious but doesn't that seem odd.
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Peter
Shinglesis and Chickenpox are caused by the vericella-zoster virus. Like Jodi posted Chickenpox is initial infection and Shingles is the reemergence of the virus years later. It can be transmitted to "susceptible" people until the blisters scab over.


Train safe & smart
Bob

Last edited by: Longboarder: Dec 29, 06 13:20
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [Longboarder] [ In reply to ]
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I had shingles when I was 22, it was pretty unpleasent. I got it right after backpacking in europe for 3 months which accounted for the lowered immune system and increased stress. The sores follow major (?) nerve paths along your body but mine were just over one particular vertebrae. It wasent really painful at all, just made me really tired and depressed. Well the depression was due to the shingles looking gross and me being a very vain person.
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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This old guy got in the pool today and had that all over his legs or something like that. I almost got out. ick!

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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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My husband had shingles when my daughter was just a few months old...fortunately, the risk is not in transmitting shingles, but in transmitting the chicken pox...so folks with shingles are only putting people at risk who have NOT had chicken pox AND you are way more likely to transmit chicken pox when you have the chicken pox, as opposed to when you have shingles.

Shingles can be very painful and can re-occur, as well. My husband was very, very lucky in the end to not have permanent damage, since his followed his optic nerve and some people end up with damage to their eyesite as a result.

The good news was that my daughter was young enough to still have my chicken pox immunity...it lasts for 6 months in babes.

NYSLIM--sounds like you work in a very stressful office and/or there are lots of folks with suppressed immune systems!
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [pedergraham] [ In reply to ]
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Reply to: My husband was very, very lucky in the end to not have permanent damage, since his followed his optic nerve and some people end up with damage to their eyesite as a result.
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Thats scary. My wifes twin brother went deaf in one ear from Chickenpox.


Train safe & smart
Bob

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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [QRgirl] [ In reply to ]
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QRgirl see Longboarder's answer. Chickenpox and shingles are caused by a herpes virus but it is Varicella. Genital herpes and cold sores are also caused by a herpes virus but it is the herpes simplex virus. All four can be treated with an antiviral. The same antivirals can also suppress recurrences of HSV. Please don't think that someone with CP can transmit genital herpes to someone, or viceversa.

P
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [Jodi] [ In reply to ]
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You are correct...it is the chicken pox virus that goes dormant in the nerve ganglia next to your spine for years or decades....it gets reactivated and is EXTREMELY PAINFUL...It is NOT contagious!!!! I suppose stress could reactivate it but nothing you can do to prevent you from coming down with it in the future if you had chicken pox....

Michael in Kansas
"Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit"
"Its not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up" Lombardi
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [rockchalk] [ In reply to ]
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Pedergraham is correct. If someone with shingles sheds the zoster virus onto a person who has never had chickenpox, nor the chicken pox vaccine, the second person could get chickenpox but will not get shingles. If someone with CP comes in contact with someone that person would not get shingles.....

Incidentally there is a newly developed vaccine for people over 60 with a history of chickenpox. It decreases their risk, in clinical trials, of getting shingles by 50%.

P
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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I got shingles three years ago (when I was 23) after increasing my training load too quickly. Did a cycling training camp near San Jose immediately after Christmas and was doing 5 - 7 hour rides, mostly in the rain and cold for about a week. My immune system couldn't handle it and I got shingles. It was mainly an itchy rash around my stomach and back, accompanied by some intense muscle pain and soreness. I didn't know what was going on and had to go into the doctor to find out what was up. I think it lasted for about 3 weeks. Not a pleasant experience.

I learned that shingles is caused by the same virus responsible for Chicken Pox. After you get Chicken Pox the virus goes dormant, usually residing in lymph nodes or something like that. If the virus causes an outbreak again, it reoccurs as shingles. This usually happens in older people when their immune systems are not as strong as they used to be. But as I found out, young people can get it too...usually when their immune systems take a hit from stress or too much training (as in my case).

--Marcus George
UCLA Triathlon
http://www.triathlon.ucla.edu
http://wcctc.pengra.com
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [QRgirl] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Yep, stress is what can bring it on. Chicken pox, shingles, genetial herpes and cold sores are all from the same virus. Taking an anitviral such as Valtrex or Famvir it the way to treat it, and an L-lysine supplement can help keep it at bay.
Uhhh! NO!

Chicken Pox and Shingles are caused by varicella-zoster virus, which is a herpes virus, but different from the viri (viruses) that cause genital herpes and cold sores. Genital herpes is usually caused by Herpes Simplex virus II, but can be from HSV I. Cold sores and primary oral herpes (think canker sores all over your mouth with swollen gums) are usually caused bby HSV I, but may be caused by HSV II. (It all depends on where the mouths have been.)

Shingles IS a reactivation of the Chicken Pox virus (VZV) thought to be due to stress or waning immunity. There is now a vaccine against shingles, which basically reactivates the anitibody response the VZV.

All herpes viruses can be reactivated as happens with Mononucleosis--another herpes virus.

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Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I know nothing.
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [marcusgeorge] [ In reply to ]
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I am reviving this thread as I now have shingles in my eye and on my head. We started treating it as seasonal allergies but it has been 12 days and the shingles are started to fully manifest. SUPER painful.

So there are some risk that come along with shingles:

  • Increased stroke risk with shingles in the optical nerve (which I have)
  • Vision loss (possibly permanent)
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue/weakness

These have impacted my training for Ironman Lake Placid a bit, but I have no decreased my workload. I am wondering what others have experienced when training and dealing with shingles. What types of workouts can you do that won't play into the dizziness and specifically stroke risk aspects of the illness. I specifically ask because this can last for 5 weeks or so and I cannot take that much time off.


Thanks.


marcusgeorge wrote:
I got shingles three years ago (when I was 23) after increasing my training load too quickly. Did a cycling training camp near San Jose immediately after Christmas and was doing 5 - 7 hour rides, mostly in the rain and cold for about a week. My immune system couldn't handle it and I got shingles. It was mainly an itchy rash around my stomach and back, accompanied by some intense muscle pain and soreness. I didn't know what was going on and had to go into the doctor to find out what was up. I think it lasted for about 3 weeks. Not a pleasant experience.


I learned that shingles is caused by the same virus responsible for Chicken Pox. After you get Chicken Pox the virus goes dormant, usually residing in lymph nodes or something like that. If the virus causes an outbreak again, it reoccurs as shingles. This usually happens in older people when their immune systems are not as strong as they used to be. But as I found out, young people can get it too...usually when their immune systems take a hit from stress or too much training (as in my case).

--Marcus George
UCLA Triathlon
http://www.triathlon.ucla.edu
http://wcctc.pengra.com


___________________________________________
Ironman Lake Placid - 2019
North East Regional Long Course Championship - 2019
Bucks County Marathon - 2019
American Zofingen Ultra Distance Duathlon - 2020
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [LifeTri] [ In reply to ]
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I specifically ask because this can last for 5 weeks or so and I cannot take that much time off. //

The problem with your logic is that you will likely prolong the episode by training full on through it. You got it for a reason, compromised immune system, likely your training a big part of that. Then you say you have not adjusted that and want advice on how to train through it. What if I told you if you take a week completely off, you would be good to go the other 4 weeks? OR 2 off and then have 3 left?


All I can tell you is that you can take time off, maybe you will have a good race, maybe not. But this race is not the end for you, but a stroke might be, is it worth the risk? And for what exactly? You should always think what is best for my health first, and if it fits in with your racing schedule, fine. If not, punt and plan for the next one, there is always a next one...


And to everyone just eyeing this old zombie thread, there is a vaccine for shingles, and a brand new one that is much more effective than the old one. Something like on in 3 will get it in their life, so I would suggest the vaccine for everyone who might get this painful affliction.


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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [LifeTri] [ In reply to ]
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Yep, I had a really light form after IMAZ last year. I've had it on my scalp..
started with swelling of the lymph nodes behind the ear and a few days later the lesions on my head. It took about a week for the worst symptoms to go away.. had headaches constantly and general feeling like shit. The lesions themselves were not too painful.
Took many weeks to get back to training and feeling normal.

What's your CdA?
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [monty] [ In reply to ]
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This is spot on. I had shingles in grad school while playing a collegiate sport. Stress and immune system down. I took a full 2 weeks off with light activity and it got better. Your body needs rest
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [Dr. Tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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Children can get Shingles as well. I got them when I was 9 or 10...talk about annoying. Always after Chickenpox.

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Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: Shingles and triathletes. [NYSLIM] [ In reply to ]
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Wow - this is pretty scary. I have a had a really bad rash on my back for a couple weeks. Went to the doctor and she said it was not lyme disease or shingles. She told me it was contact dermatitis. Anyways she gave me a corticosteroid creme and it has been clearing up. No idea where this came from. Now I'm thinking it's my tri training. I've upped my weekly hours recently for an upcoming race. Thoughts?

"The first virtue in a soldier is endurance of fatigue; courage is only the second virtue."
- Napoleon Bonaparte
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