People with herpes simplex can overcome it by taking precautions, medications, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Read on to know more about coping with this disease…
Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 are also referred to HSV-1 and HSV-2, respectively. They enter the body and infect the nervous system, and are difficult to dislodge. It is the most common cause of cold sores and genital sores. It can cause diseases such as herpes simplex encephalitis, hepatitis, meningitis, hydrocephalus, and herpes keratitis. One of its signs is the appearance of cold sores around the mouth or on the face. In the past, the virus was feared and the infected were shunned. They were forced to lead an isolated life, devoid of physical contact with other people. Nowadays, due to advances made in medicine and treatment, people can manage to live a normal life even after being infected.
Coping with Herpes
A high number of people contract it through direct physical contact or sexual relations with high-risk partners. The virus spreads through direct contact. Genital herpes usually spreads during sexual intercourse. Body parts such as the sexual organs, urinary tract, cervix, or the anal canal are prone to its infection. A child can be infected from the mother at birth.
The virus can also spread from an infected organ to the rest of the body through the patient’s own fingers. People with an impaired immune system have a very high chance of suffering from it. Stress, pregnancy, and poor health can increase the magnitude of the infection.
Sores due to the infection can cause a lot of pain when the blisters rupture. It can lead to difficulty in urination, itching around the genitals, and flu-like symptoms. 2-4 weeks of active infection, wherein the patient goes through the various stages of herpes, the virus becomes dormant, giving the patient relief. In some cases, the stages may never recur, and the second episode is less severe. The antibodies developed by the body’s immune system after the first infection take care of the new bout.
Diet for Herpes Simplex
Proper diet and intake of proper supplements is very important for patients. Foods with high arginine content, such as chocolates, seeds, peanuts, almonds and other nuts, etc., should be avoided. Arginine is a stimulant that helps in the replication of herpes. Patients should eat lysine-rich food. Lysine, an essential amino acid, has properties that neutralize arginine, and helps the immune system in controlling the proliferation of the virus. Foods with high lysine content are vegetables (most of them), legumes, fish, turkey, and chicken.
There are various remedies that can help in keeping the virus under control. Some people use home remedies to improve their immune system in order to deal with it. Thymus extract, an immune system booster, is effective in reducing the severity in individuals with depressed immune system. Zinc is known to decrease the frequency and severity of outbreaks. Regular intake of vitamin C strengthens the immune system and quickens healing of the sores.
Some people use topical solutions, as they provide relief from the sores. Application of zinc sulfate solution can relieve and prevent another outbreak. A concentrated extract of Melissa officinalis is effective in healing herpes in a time span of five days. Glycyrrhetinic acid can reduce the healing time and pain from genital herpes.
There are many people who are leading an excellent life, both mentally and physically, despite contracting this infection. Though the virus may be incurable, it can be effectively controlled by taking precautions and medications.