I am bringing up Shingles as a topic. Why? Because certain diseases (one of which is the main focal point of this site - IBD/IBS/Crohns) are likely a trigger that will make it more likely to activate. In addition some of the Immunosuppressant drugs used in some cases to treat IBS/IBS/Crohns can increase ones risk for getting Shingles. A study published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases showed some evidence that rheumatoid arthritis ("RA") patients who were on immune-system-suppressing drugs like Humira and Enbrel had a higher rate of developing shingles than other RA patients.
Likewise, cancer patients going through chemotherapy or radiation also experience weakened immune systems and are at a higher risk for shingles.
So what is Shingles? Shingles (or the herpes zoster virus) is an outbreak of painful redness and blisters. Herpes zoster develops from the chickenpox virus. So if you had chickenpox as a kid, that virus never left you. Some of the virus lies dormant in the nerves along your spinal column. The chances of contracting Shingles increases with age.
If the virus comes out of dormancy, it can trigger excruciating blisters and redness on one side of the body. Typically it presents in a band along the torso, but it can occur anywhere. 20% of shingles cases are in the eye (this is called herpes zoster ophthalmic) and can lead to blindness.
Although I am not normally a fan of vaccines, but in this case if someone is over 50, consider the shingles vaccine. It clearly cuts down both the pain and the actual occurrence of the disease. In a large, five-and-a-half year study of 38,500 men and women across 22 sites in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs system, the vaccine was found safe compared with a placebo.
Martin Luther King Jr. said "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"