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Herpes Symptoms

If you're like many of us 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 50 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.

Herpes Symptoms

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.
•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.
•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. Green 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 symptoms

Pregnancy Symptoms & How to Tell If You're Pregnant - It's Risky Being Frisky Without a Condom

Do you think you`re pregnant after a one night stand? Are you paying the price through an act of stupidity brought on by lust? Are you worried sick what your partner, if he is still around, or what your parents will say. Have you been a naughty girl and regret not having been good? Well it happens to the best of us at times to be a stupid so you`re not alone. First we have to be definitely sure that you are pregnant. Positive results will mean you have to tell your parents or partner so you have the support you need when making any decisions. These can include your position in life, and is it enough to support and bring up a baby. Other considerations are abortion and adoption. These options do not come with pleasantries, but absolute necessary issues. Speak to your parents as soon as possible so you can talk about your pregnancy. They may not be happy, but what mom and dad ever are at a time like this, and why would you expect them to be any other way.

There is no true determined age for first time sexual intercourse, but if you`re under the age of what the law states, as to what it sees the reasonable age for sexual intercourse, it can seriously change matters. The legal age does make you ready for sex, and we have proof of this after you falling pregnant. Readiness would have had you prepared for the outcome of unprotected sex. Age of consent for having sexual intercourse in most states of US ranges between 16 and 18. In the UK it's 16. If you`re reading this and not pregnant, but fear it maybe on the cards if you don`t act responsible, then below are irresponsible statements you need to ignore if uttered by your partner:

But I thought you loved me

All your friends are doing it so why not you

I will love you more

You'll have to do it sometime, so no time like the present

I'll only put it in for a second, ("we have heard that before")

Your first sexual experience can have you anxious about losing your virginity but more so when it's lost, and you find your pregnant. If you are not sure that you are pregnant then first we need to clarify this.

You miss a period (menstruation)

Feeling tired and don't have much energy

Vomiting (morning sickness)

Food cravings

Weeing often

Tender or swollen breasts

These signs do not necessarily mean you are pregnant. There may be other reasons why you are experiencing them so have you doctor examine you. If you're GP has brought back positive results that you are pregnant then your head maybe in a spin, sit down and relax and think of what you need to do, or better still ask the doctor. If you haven`t seen a doctor yet and still not sure if you have conceived, then there are other ways to tell if you are pregnant.

A home pregnancy test can be purchased from a chemist. Results are instant. A positive result is more likely to be correct than a negative one. It may well be in you and your unborn baby`s best welfare to call into a family planning centre/clinic, Yes it may seem like it is too late to speak to these people "now" but nonetheless not too late to easy matters and know what lies ahead. Medical advisors are able to talk to you about the best way to look after yourself during the pregnancy. Any uncertainties regarding your pregnancy will be assured by these people telling you of your options. Your local phone directory or yellow pages should list the doctors and family planning centre/clinic in your area. If your concerns are not in relation to pregnancy and to a sexually transmitted disease then the earlier it is treated the better. Untreated sex diseases can have serious consequences.

British statistics on STIs are based on analysis at genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics.
UK research showed 10.8% of males and 12.6 % of females aged 16-44 were treated for sexually transmitted infections.

Over twelve months ago a report stated, 397,990 new sexually transmitted infection diagnoses at GUM clinics in Great Britain showed an increase of 63% in 1998.
There was a 6% rise between 2006 and 2007. A little number maybe, but a number nonetheless with huge affect.

The Genital Chlamydia infection scarily rose the highest in numbers. Between 1998 and 2007 genital Chlamydia increased by 150%, genital herpes by 51%and syphilis by 1,828%.

Gonorrhea

The male can differ from the female if they have this disease (no symptoms.) Nevertheless in them that do have symptoms they normally appear 2 to 5 days after infection. Discomfort includes a burning sensation when peeing, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis. Gonorrhea can cause painful or swollen testicles. For women the symptoms can be easily confused with a bladder or vaginal infection. Typical signs include pain and burning feel when weeing, increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection. Symptoms of rectal infection in both genders may include discharge, anal itching, soreness, bleeding, or painful bowel movements.

Genital warts

If you are infected then you can expect to see pinkish/white small lumps or clustered cauliflower-shaped lumps around the genitals. Remember not to panic till your condition has been determined by a GP as you may well be worrying over little or nothing. Warts are known to form on or around the penis, the scrotum, the thighs or the anus. Female genital warts usually grow around the vulva or inside the vagina and on the cervix. If a woman has warts on her cervix, this can cause slight bleeding or, less commonly show, an unusual colored vaginal discharge. Although not a regular known condition for pain, it however brings itch.

Genital herpes

Symptoms usually appear 2 to 7 days after exposure and last 2 to 4 weeks. Both sexes can have one or more symptoms, including:

Itchiness or tingling around the genitals including the anus.

Small fluid-filled blisters and when burst leaves painful sores.

Pain when urine stream oozes over open sores.

Headaches.

Lower backache.

Swollen glands or fever.

You have to be careful if you find you carry both baby and infection. STDs can cause cervical and other cancers, chronic hepatitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and other complications. Genital infections can be passed from a pregnant woman to the baby before, during, or after the baby`s birth. Some like syphilis cross the placenta and infect the baby while it is in the uterus (womb). Other STDs (like gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and genital herpes) can be transmitted from the mother to the baby during delivery as the baby passes through the birth canal. These are frightening issues, however not as scary as bringing up a baby alone.

 

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