Recommendations About Diet For Herpes Sufferers
In this section you will be able to read recommendations including which foods to eat and which to avoid in your diet and why.
The list of recommendations is listed first, followed by an explanation of each recommendation.
If you are infected with the herpes simplex virus, you should commit to the following recommendations:
- Eat a diet high in lysine and low in arginine.
- Say no to coffee, tea and chocolate.
- Do not eat moldy food.
- Avoid alcohol or reduce your alcohol intake to a minimum.
- Reduce sugar consumption.
- Eat a diet without processed foods.
- Avoid dehydration.
Acidic Foods And Drinks
Some people recommend that you avoid all foods that cause acidity to prevent herpes. This includes:
- artificial sweeteners .
Some say that high acid levels weaken the immune system, making you susceptible to viral infections.
In addition, immune-strengthening herbs can help. Olive leaf, garlic, Echinacea, licorice and Propolis are valuable in boosting your immune system. Astragalus is usually prescribed in Chinese Medicine for those who have oral herpes, and a 2004 study showed its effectiveness . Just check out our list of herbal and natural herpes remedies here.
What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2
Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing theyâll always have the virus and can give it to others. But you arent alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the U.S. and worldwide. If you have herpes, you should:
- Learn all you can about it. Information will help you to manage your disease and feel better about yourself.
- Talk about your illness with your doctor.
If you have herpes, you can still:
- Have sex if you use a condom or dental dam , and you tell your partner about your illness. Some couples, who have sexual relations only with each other, may choose not to use condoms even though one partner has herpes. Because each situation is different, you should ask your doctor if this is the right choice for you in your relationship.
- Have children. People with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your healthcare provider.
If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .
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Herpes And Moldy Food
Molds and other fungi produce substances called mycotoxins that can weaken the immune system and have other detrimental effects on human health.
Weakening of the immune system is a trigger for herpes outbreaks in people infected with the virus.
For this reason, one way to avoid the harmful effects of mycotoxins in nutrition is to avoid the ingestion of moldy food.
To avoid the ingestion of mycotoxins that could come from the consumption of meat and milk, more than 100 countries have joined the initiative to regulate the limits of mycotoxin content in animal feed.
The FDA has implemented several inspection programs for industries producing animal feed since 1985. Among the products that are subject to inspection are corn, tree nuts, cottonseed and peanuts.
Bread is very prone to mold if you place it in a plastic bag because this type of bag, besides preserving it, contributes to the growth of molds.
Remember that the diet for herpes sufferers has special requirements that, besides helping you avoid outbreaks, will help you to be healthy.
Recognize The Early Symptoms
You might not be able to stop an outbreak, but you might be able to reduce the severity and length of it. Many people have warning signs of an outbreak, including itching, tingling, genital pain, or shooting pain in the legs, hips, or buttocks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . These signs can occur hours or days before the outbreak, so knowing them gives you the chance to treat the outbreak before it happens.
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Are Cold Sores An Std
If you see a strange bump on your lip you might wonder, is it an HSV-1 cold sore or HSV-2 lesion? Know this: cold sores are herpes, but having herpes doesn’t mean you have an STD.
HSV-1 is transmissible through oral sex, but it affects people of all ages regardless of sexual activity. Infants and children often develop cold sores through close contact with an adult who has the Herpes Simplex Virus, so HSV-1 isn’t technically an STD. The vast majority of people with HSV-1 contract the virus before they become sexually active.
Pregnant women can pass the virus onto their unborn children, though the risk of transmission is highest for women who contract the virus during pregnancy. Women who have had the virus for long periods of time are less likely to pass it on.
Expect The First Outbreak To Be The Worst
Remember that although herpes lasts a lifetime, the first outbreak typically causes the most pain, while later outbreaks tend to be much milder.
You will always have herpes, and the sores will come and go, but you can decide not to treat the current outbreak. If its not that unpleasant or uncomfortable, some patients will do that, says Gade.
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How Does Herpes Simplex Spread
Herpes spreads through close contact with a person who has the infection. The virus can be found in skin and saliva. If you have herpes simplex, you are most likely to pass the virus to another person when you have sores. But you can infect someone else even if you have no symptoms. Healthcare providers call this asymptomatic viral shedding.
People may get HSV-1 through
- Touching a persons skin near the mouth.
- Sharing food utensils, lip balm or razors.
- If you receive oral sex from someone who has a cold sore, it may spread a herpes infection to your genitals.
People may get HSV-2 through
- Oral sex with someone whos infected.
- Skin-to-skin contact without ejaculation.
- Touching open sores, including while breastfeeding.
- Childbirth by a mother or gestational parent who has an active infection.
You cant get genital herpes from objects like toilet seats. But you could pass genital herpes through shared sex toys.
Side Effects And Follow
Side effects with these herpes drugs are considered mild, and health experts believe these drugs are safe in the long term. Acyclovir is the oldest of the three, and its safety has been documented in people taking suppressive therapy for several years.
People taking suppressive therapy should see their doctor at least once a year to decide if they should continue. You may find taking the pills every day to be inconvenient, the drugs may not work for you, or you may naturally have fewer outbreaks as time goes on. Your doctor can help you make treatment choices to suit your needs.
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Pay Attention To What You Eat
ASHA reports that some people believe foods containing the amino acid arginine, such as legumes and whole grains, can contribute to outbreaks. A few older studies, conducted in 1981 and 1987, showed a possible connection, but ASHA states there is no clinical evidence to support these studies. However, because triggers may vary based on the individual, keep track of the foods you eat to determine if there is a connection.
When Stress Triggers A Herpes Outbreak These Complementary Therapies May Calm It Down
A healthy lifestyle and the right supplements may offer relief from genital herpes.
A healthy lifestyle and the right supplements may offer relief from genital herpes.
Anna Ivanova/Alamy Alamy
A viral infection causes genital herpes, and there is no cure for it. But if you have genital herpes, you can use complementary approaches to reduce how often you have outbreaks. Some alternative therapies can also provide relief from discomfort and pain during outbreaks that do occur.
This kind of viral outbreak , and other viruses, like a cold, is usually related to stress and your immunity, says Lucy Gade, MD, MPH, the medical director at the Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine at Northwell Health, in Oyster Bay, New York. As a result, an alternative medicine approach to herpes treatment involves making smart lifestyle choices to foster your general wellness. In doing so, you bolster your immune systems ability to fight the two viruses that cause herpes, herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 .
A healthy diet, appropriate sleep, finding ways to decrease stressors in your life These alone will make your herpes outbreaks less frequent, says Dr. Gade. Such healthy habits will also improve your overall well-being, lengthen your life, and boost your happiness.
But first, make sure you have an accurate diagnosis for whats causing your symptoms.
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Sex And Physical Irritation
Friction from intercourse can irritate tissue and trigger a herpes outbreak.
Obviously, that doesnt mean to avoid having sex forever or that youll break out if you do.
But it does mean if youre having early warning signs that an outbreak is coming on, like sensitivity or tingling, then wait for them to pass.
They may be prodrome symptoms that signal contagiousness and an impending outbreak. And making them worse might encourage the outbreak to happen.
So since sex can sometimes trigger outbreaks, just be careful to minimize irritation. Try using a water-based lubricant. However, lubricants that contain the spermicide nonoxynol-9 can irritate soft tissue of the vaginal walls.
Other physical irritations can cause herpes outbreaks:
Facts And Statistics About Herpes
- According to the World Health Organization, an estimated two-thirds of the global population under 50 years old are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 .
- Estimates for HSV-1 prevalence in the U.S. among people aged 049 years are 178 million women and 142 million men .
- In total, about 75 percent or more of the American adult population has the HSV-1 virus that usually causes oral herpes , and about 20 percent to 30 percent have HSV-2 that usually causes genital herpes.
- Men and women are affected by HSV-1 about equally. Roughly 6 million women in the U.S. become infected with HSV-1 each year, along with 5 million men.
- Slightly more women than men are affected by genital herpes, whether from HSV-1 or HSV-2. Middle-aged women are most likely to acquire genital herpes.
- Transmission of HSV most often occurs without symptoms, so its estimated that 85 percent of people with genital herpes dont know it. Many dont have any symptoms at all after the initial infection, and only about 15 percent ever receive a HSV-2 infection diagnosis in their lifetimes.
- Most primary oral/facial HSV infections are caused by HSV-1 however, facial infection by HSV-2 is increasingly becoming common.
- Less children are becoming infected with HSV-1 than in the past in high-income countries, mostly due to better hygiene and living conditions.
- After someone comes into contact with an active herpes outbreak on another person, the incubation period takes about one week.
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Can Kidney Infection Cause Lymph Nodes To Swell
The swelling may make the node the size of a kidney bean or larger. Your swollen lymph nodes may harden and become fixed, depending on the immune response. Swollen lymph nodes throughout your body may indicate a general infection. A blocked lymph node too far under your skin to feel could be the cause of a swollen limb.
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Diet High In Lysine And Low In Arginine
In previous sessions I told you about the relationship between herpes and lysine and also between herpes and arginine.
You already know that lysine intake helps to prevent herpes outbreaks and arginine intake contributes to their appearance and increases their intensity and duration.
For this reason, your diet should be rich in lysine and poor in arginine.
You will achieve this purpose if you consume foods high in lysine and low in arginine such as milk and its derivatives.
A classic combination is to eat brown rice with cooked dried beans. While brown rice is rich in arginine, dried beans contain an excess of lysine that overcomes the lack of this amino acid in brown rice.
Popcorn contains more arginine than lysine, but people infected with the herpes virus can enjoy popcorn if they sprinkle it with nutritional yeast that adds a cheesy flavor.
Arginine is neutralized because one tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains 190 mg more lysine than arginine.
Fish, meats and dairy products are rich in lysine. However, eating too much of these protein-rich foods can raise your bodys acidity and cause a herpes outbreak. Moderation is the key.
If you cant get the foods you like to make up a diet high in lysine and low in arginine, you can use a lysine supplement.
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How To Get Rid Of Herpes Naturally
Not every person with a herpes infection actually experiences breakouts of cold sores throughout his or her lifetime or even after initially becoming infected. How often someone has a herpes cold sore outbreak, how severe the outbreaks are, how contagious someone is after infection and how long the sores take to heal all depend on someones individual immune response.
1. Boost Nutrient Intake
If youre going to keep the herpes virus from frequently causing outbreaks, the first step in how to get rid of herpes is to improve immune function by boosting nutrient intake. Include these healing foods in your diet to keep the virus dormant as much as possible:
2. Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Certain foods can raise inflammation, weaken immune defenses and make skin irritation even worse. Avoid the following foods as much as possible to limit outbreak severity and duration.
3. Consider Supplements
- Antiviral herbs: These include elderberry, calendula, echinacea, garlic, astragalus and licorice root.
- L-lysine : Can help treat and prevent outbreaks.
- Lemon balm extract: Apply as a topical cream for healing.
- Vitamin C : Vitamin C boosts immune function improving herpes.
- Zinc : Zinc benefits include supporting immune function, keeping viruses dormant and rebuilding skin tissue to speed up healing.
- B-complex : B vitamins help your body deal with stress and can prevent outbreaks.
4. Try Essential Oils
5. Ease Cold Sore Pain Naturally
Genital Herpes Is Spread By Skin
The virus can be spread when someone with HSV has an episode or an outbreak characterised by having a sore, blister, ulcer or skin split . It can also be spread between episodes, when there is no sore, blister, ulcer or skin split present called asymptomatic viral shedding.
During viral shedding the virus is on the skin surface and can be spread through genital skin-to-skin contact, or from the mouth or face to genital skin during contact.
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Consider These Supplements With Caution
The amino acid lysine healed sores and prevented their recurrence in laboratory studies at UCLA in Los Angeles. Other potential supplements that may fight off herpes attacks include zinc, in topical form or capsules, or the food additive butylated hydroxytoluene , taken as a supplement. But despite mixed studies on their effectiveness, these two are unproven remedies, say most doctors. If you decide to try either, know that high dosages may be dangerous and should be taken only under a doctors supervision.
Is There Any Resistance To Genital Herpes Medication
Resistance to drugs that treat genital herpes even after 20 years of use is very rare. Herpes medications may not work as well in patients who are very immunosuppressed and have been treated with these drugs for a long time. Each individuals response to treatment may vary. In some cases, patients may need more drugs to suppress their viral outbreaks than others.
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How To Prevent Herpes
But most people have sex at some point in their lives, so knowing how to have safer sex is important. Using protection like condoms and dental dams when you have sex helps to lower your risk of getting an STD.
Herpes can live on areas of your body that arent protected by condoms , so condoms wont always protect you from herpes. But they do lower your chances of getting herpes.
Dont have sex with anyone during a herpes outbreak, because thats when it spreads most easily. But herpes can also spread when there are no sores or symptoms, so its important to use condoms and dental dams, even if everything looks and feels A-OK.
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Supplements For Herpes Outbreaks
If you feel that your diet doesnt contain enough lysine, you can take lysine supplements. Small preliminary studies suggest that daily lysine supplements might minimize and improve healing times of herpes outbreaks. In one study, patients were given 1000mg of lysine three times per day . However, the study used a small sample size and was limited it its scope.
Lysine supplementation is safe and its considered the best cure for herpes outbreak sufferers. Lysine supplements that have minerals, such as bioflavonoids and zinc, as well as vitamins can work miracles to prevent and control herpes outbreaks. Here is a good lysine supplement that includes zinc. Each pill contains 333mg, so you can adjust to the proper dosage. Formulas often include zinc, vitamin B complex and vitamin C supplements in a herpes diet.
Another well-known supplement used in treating herpes is commonly called curcumin, or turmeric extract. Its an anti-inflammatory that makes your body cells less susceptible to viral infections. See it here. A traditional supplement such as cayenne pepper is also sometimes recommended by physicians to fight the herpes virus . You can apply either of these externally to ease pain.
Red marine algae is another great supplement as it helps your immune system fight the herpes virus and prevents its re-occurrence . Read the reviews from people who use it for HSV on the product page here!
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