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Possible symptoms of Herpes Zoster infection

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I have type 2 diabetes.I take insulin to control my blood sugar.I have an almost continual burning and pain sensation in my back (upper right side). I am currently taking Apo-Gabapentin 100mg as prescribed by my doctor to help this problem. However, even increasing the dosage as advised by my doctor is not helping at all. I would like to know if you have any advise for to help or eliminate my problem. Your help would be greatly appreciated. I am a male, 61 years of age. Have had diabetes for seventeen years. Thank you for your reply in advance.

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replied June 28th, 2010
Herpes and Genital Warts Answer A13587

It is hard to tell what caused the symptom you reported (burning and pain sensation in the back-upper right side) without a physical examination, but certain assumptions can be given.

The pain might actually be muscle pain. If certain movements of the arm or certain postures increase the pain, then it is most likely that we are talking about muscle pain.

If the area shows any small red spots, maybe you experienced early forms of Herpes Zoster. Herpes zoster is an infection caused by the Varicella Zoster virus. The most characteristic signs are small painful vesicles close to each other. Sometimes it might take several days before the red spots turn into vesicles.

The diabetes might have caused problems with the nerves, but it is less likely because other areas are usually affected first (eyes, kidneys, lower extremities).

In cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) the pain is usually detected under the right ribcage, but might also be felt in the right shoulder blade. However, it is uncommon to feel pain in the shoulder blade without pain below the right ribcage.

You might want to visit your family doctor for a physical examination and laboratory tests. Depending on the results you might be referred to an appropriate specialist (dermatologist-for Herpes zoster, specialist for internal diseases-for cholecystitis or endocrinologist-for diabetes mellitus) for additional examination and therapy.

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