Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I shall try my best to assist you while you are corresponding with me.
Is she passing wind and stools?
passing stools but no wind
Okay, when did she last pass stool?
Alright, and since then she has not passed any wind?
And she has abdominal distention?
Pain in the abdomen?
only where her shingles are below her ribs
What medication is she on?
she cant remember the name of the tablets But the cream is capsicum pain,she is not at home at the moment
Okay, if she is on an anti viral like Valacyclovir then the constipation can be explained as a side effect.
She doesnt seem to have constipation
If some one is passing stools and not wind, then it is not worrisome, it is worrisome if someone has progressive cessation of passing stools and then passing wind altogether, this is known as absolute constipation and that is a sign of intestinal obstruction.
Could the abdominal distention be due to her having shingles?
I would ask that you observe her for any signs of absolute constipation like total cessation of passing stools on her regular time, visceral abdominal pain which is rather insidious in onset unlike the sharp pain due to shingles, nausea/vomiting and tense distended abdomen.
The abdominal distention can be due to many reasons at her age, we need to rule out the dangerous causes of abdominal distention so that nothing is missed.
She says that she is not suffering from constipation, she has had that before
There have been cases reported of abdominal distention with shingles and underlying pseudo obstruction of the intestines which usually warrants intervention. But that distention is generalized (involving the whole abdomen) and with tell tale symptoms of intestinal obstruction, like distention, nausea/vomiting, constipation and pain.
In shingles, the side involved can show distention due to inflammation and swelling of the underlying musculature as well.
The best course of action at this point in time will be to observe her for any danger signs, that I have mentioned and if any develop, a visit to her physician or the ER will be warranted to rule out acute abdomen.
When i have looked at the swelling it appears that there is a separate layer of skintissue//muscle almost floating not a bloated type of swelling, difficult to describe
I understand. How many days since she has had the swelling?
Okay. I do not think you have anything to worry about at this point in time, any of the acute abdomen conditions are not so shy in their presentation and usually manifest rather severely in 24 to 48 hours, this has been there for a week and there are no danger signs either, so watchful waiting will be my advice. However, there are somethings that I would like to add, if you mother is not on an anti viral, then you should discuss with her doctor to start one and if she is not on Gabapentin or Pregabalin (nerve membrane stabilizer) then she should be on one, these Nerve membrane stabilizers markedly reduce the pain caused by shingles. They work better than the cream she is using.
It was a pleasure.
If you do not have any more queries, please do leave a positive rating for the service, a bonus will be appreciated.