Shingles or herpes zoster is due to the same virus which causes chicken pox, or varicella. It is
believed that the virus does not disappear after an attack of chicken pox but remains in the body, lying dormant in the nerve cells of the posterior horn of the spinal cord or in the posterior ganglia, collections of nerve tissue at the side of the spinal cord.
Shingles therefore develops only in those who have previously had chicken pox. When somebody has shingles, then susceptible people like his or her grand-children sometimes may develop chicken pox if they are in contact. The reverse does not appear to happen, but herpes zoster may be more common when chicken pox is prevalent in the community.
Shingles may occur at any age, even in children. However, the younger the person the less likely are complications. The frail and the elderly may suffer greatly from this condition and then it is more likely to be followed by persistent inflammation of the nerves and severe pain or neuralgia.
If the pancreas is removed so that no insulin at all is produced, the resultant diabetes can be controlled by about 40 units of insulin daily. By contrast, many true diabetics require up to 100 units daily, so diabetes is more than lack of insulin; there is some degree of insulin resistance.
Broadly, we can classify diabetics into those who are insulin dependent and those who are non-insulin dependent.
It is thought that this may be an auto-immune disorder where the body becomes allergic to its own tissues and manufactures antibodies which act on those tissues, causing inflammation.
The non-insulin dependent type usually develops slowly. It is often spoken of as maturity onset diabetes as it is more common in the elderly, although it may develop in some young people. It is particularly associated with obesity.