How To Boost Your Immune System To Fight Herpes

Genital Herpes - The Deadly Love Bug

If you're like many of my patients who are old enough to remember when "The Love Bug" (what the media termed the herpes virus), reached near epidemic levels back in the 70's, you may wonder if a cure has been found in the last 40 years or if it's still a problem as a sexually transmitted disease.

Well, no, a cure hasn't been found, and yes, it is still a problem as sexually transmitted diseases go. In fact, some 80 million people in the United States alone have HSV (herpes simplex virus)-2, the "below the waist" type of herpes, a statistic that includes both adults and teenagers between the ages of 14-19!

What you also may not know is that, despite lack of a cure for herpes, there are some natural ways that you can prevail over a herpes infection, perhaps resulting in long-term remission. First, for those of you who are not familiar with what herpes is, how it is transmitted, treated, etc, let me give you the same basic facts that I share with my patients.

What Is An HSV-2 Herpes Infection?

Plain and simple, herpes is a viral infection transmitted by sexual contact with a herpes-infected person. Herpes is transmitted most frequently to another person when the infected person is actively shedding the virus from herpes sore on either their genital region or their mouth.

However, the virus may also be shed at other times when there is no sore present in what's called asymptomatic transmission. However, this doesn't occur in all cases. It depends a lot on how strong your immune system is whether you will contract a herpes infection from another person. In addition, an infected person can spread the herpes virus to another part of their own body, like their eyes or mouth, by touching sores when they are present, forgetting to wash their hands, and then touching a part of their body.

Many people do not know that they have a herpes infection because they may not have typical symptoms. They may not have associated a genital sore with a herpes infection as they can be mistaken for pimples or heat rash. It's possible, then, to spread herpes to another person unknowingly. A person should be tested for HSV-2 when a sore is present. A viral smear is taken from the sore area and sent for analogy at a lab that can determine if the HSV-2 virus is present.

What Are The Symptoms of HSV-2 Herpes Infection?

Many of my patients are surprised to find out they have a herpes HSV-2 infection as their symptoms were so mild they didn't notice them or associate symptoms they may have had with a herpes infection. Some patients thought initial herpes symptoms were the flu or a cold. Others have had a strong reaction when first infected and their symptoms were easily diagnosed as a herpes infection. It all depends on your particular immune system and how strong it is at the time of infection as to whether you will get a full-blown outbreak or just vague symptoms. In general, however, here are the usual symptoms of a herpes infection:

•Reddened, sensitive, "tingling" skin appears in the genital region from 2 to 20 days after the virus is transmitted. This skin may also itch or burn. This is the "prodrome", or warning symptoms, that a herpes outbreak is imminent. The virus settles into nerves around the area of infection and causes the area to get a sometimes intense tingling.

How To Boost Your Immune System To Fight Herpes

•A single, or cluster, of small blisters may then appear. Depending on their location, these can be painful and make it hard to sit comfortably.
•Flu-like symptoms may also accompany the outbreak and can include fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.
•The urethra may be involved in the infection and can cause painful and burning urination.
•Many people have between 5-7 outbreaks of herpes a year, which then decrease in frequency as time goes by. However, some people don't have any outbreaks for years. Outbreaks commonly occur around stressful periods of your life.

Prevention of Herpes Infection

Since many people don't know they may have a herpes infection, the easiest way to protect against herpes infections is to take precautions with a new sexual partner:

•Latex condoms: Always use a latex condom with a new sexual partner. Latex has been proven to block the herpes virus where other forms of condoms have not. However, even the latex condoms may not be 100% foolproof protection.
•Foam contraceptives: These contain nonoxynol-9 that has been proven to kill the herpes virus and other STDs in lab tests. A combination of this type of foam inserted into the vagina before sex along with using a latex condom gives you twice the protection. 

How To Boost Your Immune System To Fight Herpes

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•Abstinence: If you have herpes, refrain from sexual activity when you are broken out with the blisters, as this is the active shedding virus phase of the infection and the time most likely to infect another person.
•Monogamy: Limit your sexual partners to 1 person who also has sex only with you.

Treatments for Herpes

When I tell my patients that there is nothing, at the moment, that I can give them that will cure herpes they often get angry or depressed. Researchers are currently working on vaccines for herpes HSV-2 but even those won't do anything for people who are already infected.

However, the good news is that a herpes virus infection is easily controlled in most people and the majority forgets that they even have the virus. The key is maintaining a healthy immune system. There are some antiviral drugs out, like Isoniplex, and Acyclovir, that help stimulate the immune response, but not without side effects. Unless you have a particularly weak immune system, I feel that boosting your immune system by natural methods and supplements are more beneficial.

•Diet: Make sure yours contains optimal nutrition consisting of a balanced protein, low glycemic index carbs, and high vitamin levels. Also, foods high in a protein called lysine have shown to be very beneficial in treating herpes as it has been shown in lab tests to suppress herpes virus reproduction. High-lysine containing foods include fish, chicken, lamb, beans, fruits and vegetables. Go easy on arginine-containing foods like chocolate, whole wheat, oats, as arginine boosts viral reproduction.

•Exercise: Regular moderate exercise helps boost your immune system. Marathon-type exercise won't boost your immune system more; in fact it will strain it. So, remember these words, regular, moderate.

•Sleep: Making sure you get 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day.

•Stop Worrying About It: Worrying about what's done does no good and, in fact, compromises your immune system because it creates another form of chronic stress.

•Alternative Supplements: As mentioned above, lysine has been proven to be beneficial to herpes. Studies have shown that 500 mg of lysine a day has maintained remission in infected persons. Taking a dose of lysine at the onset of a herpes outbreak has shown to cause a rapid clearing of the lesions. Red Marine Algae (RMA), made from edible seaweed, has also shown promise for boosting immunity and fighting viral reproduction in herpes patients. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) has been shown in German clinical studies to show promise against future outbreaks of herpes when applied to initial outbreaks. Green, Black, White teas have shown clinical promise as antiviral. Green and Black tea have been effective at stopping herpes-1 (oral herpes) outbreaks. Geen and White tea have been shown to be effective against! suppressing herpes HSV-2 infection. Green Tea Extract contains high amounts of EGCG, which has been proven to be an immune system booster.

Learning you have herpes can be upsetting. It can make you feel bad about yourself and it can strain or ruin relationships. However, like many of my patients, you may have contracted an HSV-2 infection many years ago unknowingly from a partner who didn't know they had it. You can't change the past, but you can change the present and the future. Following the guidelines above can help you prevent, or manage, a herpes infection. Keeping your immune system in good shape using the natural suggestions listed here will go a long way in helping you suppress further herpes outbreaks. Maintaining a positive mindset and not focusing on having herpes can also help your immune system stay strong and you to feel good.

Herpes Natural Treatments Are Crucial For Your Health

Herpes refers to a family of viruses. Almost everyone carries one or more of the most common herpes viruses that occur in people (pets have different types than you do). The most well-known types are:

HSV-1 (cold sores)
HSV-2 (genital herpes)
HZV (chickenpox and shingles)
Six additional types round out the human herpes family. Among these are viruses that scientists believe to be responsible for many diseases, including:

Infectious mononucleosis
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Disorders of the immune system
Hepatitis
A type of skin cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma

This is a pretty nasty family of viruses. Herpes viruses are under constant scrutiny by research scientists because new discoveries point to an ever widening role for herpes in more and more diseases. Nearly 50,000 scientific journal articles have been published on herpes since 1975, more than 15,000 since the year 2000 alone.

The old notions of herpes as just a sexually transmitted disease that 'a friend of mine, not me' has, or as ordinary childhood chickenpox or an occasional cold sore, are obsolete. These old beliefs lull people into a false sense of security by completely missing how deadly this family of viruses can be to almost everyone in the country.

Herpes Dangers Are Much Greater Than Your Doctor Knows

If your doctor knew the trouble that herpes viruses can cause, you would be hearing about a worldwide herpes pandemic. Three-quarters of the population already has a type of herpes virus that has been linked with lupus, lymphomas, and a number of cancers. This type causes mutations that turn on cancer genes. Cancer is a bigger problem than ever, regardless of the propaganda claims from the cancer research industry.

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading killers in all developed nations. Recent research has found that type of herpes virus may play a key role in the development of coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis. This type infects about 60% of adults and is even more common among homosexual men. It can be sexually transmitted.

Herpes viruses are opportunistic. They bloom when they sense that the immune system is preoccupied fighting off another infection, such as a cold or flu. When herpes viruses sense that stress, aging, cancer or physical injury, etc., has weakened the body, they accelerate their attack. This is why symptomatic herpes outbreaks often occur right after an illness like a severe flu, a physical injury such as surgery, or periods of emotional stress.

No Symptoms? The Shocking Hidden Story

A much larger number of people have herpes viruses than actually show symptoms, whether they be genital herpes, cold sores, shingles, or chickenpox. Symptom-free carriers of HSV-2 are more prevalent than those who develop genital rashes. Almost everyone has HSV-1, although fewer than 20% will ever have cold sores. All adults who had chickenpox as children will harbor HZV for life, even though this virus will only reappear as shingles in a minority of them.

Two newly discovered herpes viruses rarely cause typical herpes symptoms. However, they are found in about 90% of the population. These are considered to be "universal" herpes viruses. One is now linked with the development of multiple sclerosis. New types of herpes also play a role in heart disease, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

No Such Thing as a Herpes Cure: Even 'Latent' Infections Ruin Your Health

As you can see, herpes infections aren't just nuisance diseases as once thought. Regardless of whether they cause outbreaks or remain latent, these viruses are dangerous to everyone who has them. The old logic held that, since people were not visibly sick most of the time with herpes virus diseases, these viruses must be 'sleeping' during most of our lives and therefore were not dangerous to our health. Herpes viruses are not actually 'sleeping' at all. Rather, they are very active in the parts of the body that they inhabit, inflicting constant, cumulative damage to critical organs in our bodies as they replicate at a low level throughout our lives. This damage begins early in life, at a low enough level to not produce any noticeable symptoms in generally healthy individuals.

This new way of viewing herpes viruses is a tremendously important revelation that will affect everyone, since herpes viruses are universal factors in human health. The medical data are very clear. Virtually 100% of the human population, regardless of location, carries at least one herpes virus. Research also shows that the majority of the human population is harboring at least five herpes virus infections.

And herpes viruses never go away completely. This means that no treatment can be considered a true herpes cure.

Ongoing herpes research underscores the challenge of understanding how this family of viruses affects our immune system. Several dozen complications are already known to be associated with herpes infections of different types, and more are being discovered each year. Many such complications, such as painful post-herpetic neuralgia, do not respond to antiviral treatments and can drag on for months or years after the initial infection has subsided.

Drugs Are Not the Answer

Synthetic drugs do, indeed, stop viruses from reproducing. They do not, however, help your body defend itself. On the contrary, drugs slow your immune system down right when you need it the most. Why doctors continue to prescribe them has to do with big business, not with your health.

You must learn about the actions of both new and old antiviral drugs if you want to even think about choosing this route for your health. Drug companies have come up with a lot of tricks. Your only defense against them is to keep up with what they are doing.

Best Natural Herpes Treatments

The main advantages of natural treatments are that they are non-toxic, have multiple ways to help you fight a viral infection, and often help boost your immune system just when you need it the most. They also offer short-term solutions as well as long-term health. The track record of herbs is especially impressive against the trickiest types of herpes, the ones that cause genital herpes, cold sores, and shingles.

Worldwide research on natural herpes treatments is substantial. The health benefits of certain herbs, such as creosote bush and lemon balm are well-established. The importance of boosting the right vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements is a must-know for you. Research on the benefits of Tai Chi may even surprise you. On the other hand, studies on lysine supplementation show that this amino acid doesn't really measure up to what people have thought.

Key to Your Success Against Herpes - How To Boost Your Immune System To Fight Herpes

I believe that the key to good health in the face herpes is to know about how the latest research can be of benefit to you. The activities of herbs against viruses are being investigated in laboratories around the world every day. Hundreds of research articles have been published on this topic over the past few years.

It may be difficult and overwhelming for you to find the latest research on your own and to interpret its value for you. Your best bet is to find a scientist who has expertise in this area and with whom you can communicate regularly. You can also surf the Internet to find all of the sites and blogs that offer reviews of the scientific literature for the public and that provide regular updates on the latest studies.

Living a normal life with herpes, whether it leads to outbreaks or lurks dangerously in its so-called 'latent' form, demands that you stay well-informed. It is your best hope for making the best choices for your own health.

 

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