Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How To Stay Healthy With Herpes

Preventing The Spread Of Herpes

Herpes – Painful and unpleasant | DW English

Even when you do not have sores, you can pass the virus to someone during sexual or other close contact. To protect others:

  • Let any sexual partner know that you have herpes before having sex. Allow them to decide what to do.
  • Use latex or polyurethane condoms, and avoid sex during symptomatic outbreaks.
  • Do not kiss or have oral sex when you have a sore on the lips or inside the mouth.
  • Do not share your towels, toothbrush, or lipstick. Make sure dishes and utensils you use are washed well with detergent before others use them.
  • Wash your hands well with soap and water after touching a sore.
  • Consider using daily antiviral medicine to limit viral shedding and reduce the risk of passing the virus to your partner.
  • You may also want to consider getting your partner tested even if they have never had an outbreak. If you both have the herpes virus, there is no risk for transmission.

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How Is Herpes Simplex Treated

Some people have few to no herpes outbreaks and choose not to have treatment. But many people prefer to use medications that shorten outbreaks and reduce symptoms.

During an outbreak, you may use an antiviral ointment or cream to help lessen your symptoms and help them go away faster, but it only works if you start it soon after you start an outbreak. Many people with HSV-2 take daily oral medications to keep outbreaks at bay.

Your provider may prescribe a topical medication or oral medication such as:

Do Condoms Help Prevent The Spread Of Genital Herpes

Yes. To prevent transmission of herpes, we recommend that condoms be used 100% of the time. Many patients will shed the virus and be contagious when they dont have symptoms. Studies have shown that asymptomatic shedding occurs between 1% and 3% of the time in patients with HSV II genital infections. Many new herpes infections occur from partners who are shedding the virus asymptomatically, so condoms are highly recommended.

Condoms may not be an attractive option for monogamous couples or for couples who desire to become pregnant. Couples may opt to have serological tests to determine if either partner has an asymptomatic infection. In close monogamous relationships, the risks of transmission can be weighed against other relationship issues, such as intimacy and pregnancy.

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How Dangerous Is Herpes To Health

According to doctors, herpes wont kill you nor would it pose any major health risk. However, herpes is incurable. This means, once you contract the virus, you will carry it for the rest of your life.

Herpes can affect your sexual life. It may dishearten you because you and your partner may not be able to enjoy sex like before. You must be careful every time you get intimate with your infected partner.

But that doesnt mean it is the end to a fulfilling sexual life.

In case you or your partner develop symptoms, you must immediately contact your nearby STD clinic and consult a doctor. They will test you and give you appropriate treatment. Both you and your partner must undergo a test.

Herpes is incurable, but the outbreak can be managed through appropriate medications. Once both of you are treated, you can resume your sexual life after consulting with the doctor.

What Are The Symptoms Of Genital Herpes

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Most women with genital herpes do not know they have it. But, if you get symptoms with the first outbreak of genital herpes, they can be severe. Genital herpes also can be severe and long-lasting in people whose immune systems do not work properly, such as women with HIV.

The first signs of genital herpes usually show up two to 12 days after having sexual contact with someone who has herpes. Symptoms can last from two to four weeks. There are other early symptoms of genital herpes:

  • Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
  • Flu-like symptoms, including fever

If you have any symptoms of genital herpes, see a doctor or nurse.

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If You Have Genital Herpes Already Can It Be Spread To Other Parts Of The Body Such As The Arms Or Legs

No. Genital herpes cannot be transmitted to another part of your body such as your arm, leg or hand after the first infection occurs. If you have genital HSV II, you will not get HSV II at another site in your body. The immune system produces antibodies that protect other parts of your body from infection. However, there are cases where a person has multiple site infections from the same virus. This is usually acquired at the time of the first infection. For example, if someone has never had herpes but then has oral and genital sex with an infected partner, they can acquire the infection at both sites.

What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes Simplex

Many people with the infection never experience any herpes symptoms. If you do notice symptoms, youll experience them differently depending on whether youre having your first herpes outbreak or a repeat outbreak. Recurring symptoms are usually milder than the first outbreak. Symptoms dont last as long with later outbreaks. Some people may only have one or two outbreaks during their lifetime. Others may have as many as four or five outbreaks a year.

People who do have herpes symptoms may experience:

  • Cold sores around their lips, mouth or tongue. They may look crusty or like fluid-filled blisters.
  • Tingling, itching or burning.
  • Pain while urinating.

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What Do Genital Herpes Symptoms Look Like

Other symptoms can include:

  • tingling or burning around the genitals
  • feeling unwell, with aches, pains and flu-like symptoms
  • unusual vaginal discharge in women.

Many people with genital herpes wont get any symptoms, or may get symptoms for the first time months or even years after they were infected.

For most people, the blisters go away within one to two weeks. Although the outbreaks clear-up by themselves, the virus stays in the body. This means that people usually get blisters again which is called having a recurrent outbreak. Outbreaks usually become shorter and less severe over time.

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How Do I Get Tested For Herpes

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If you have symptoms, your doctor can take a swab from the area and send it for testing. A positive swab result confirms that you have herpes.

A negative test may mean that you dont have the infection, or it may mean that the virus was not present on the skin when the swab was collected.

Although there is a blood test available, this will only tell you whether you have ever been exposed to a herpes virus. This could be oral or genital herpes and you may never have had or may never get any signs of the infection. It is not recommended to screen people who dont have any symptoms of herpes. If you want more information, please discuss this with a doctor.

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What Is The Difference Between Genital Herpes And Genital Warts

Both genital herpes and genital warts are STIs, are spread through skin-to-skin contact, and are caused by a virus. But the viruses that cause genital herpes and genital warts are different:

  • Herpes simplex virus is the virus that causes genital herpes.
  • Human papillomavirus is the virus that causes genital warts.

There is no cure for either genital herpes or genital warts. But, different medicines can help manage the symptoms of herpes and treat the complications of HPV infections that can cause genital warts.

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.

Lysine supplement.

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Treatment The First Time You Have Genital Herpes

You may be prescribed:

  • antiviral medicine to stop the symptoms getting worse you need to start taking this within 5 days of the symptoms appearing
  • cream for the pain

If you have had symptoms for more than 5 days before you go to a sexual health clinic, you can still get tested to find out the cause.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor

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You may want to ask your healthcare provider:

  • What is the best treatment for me?
  • What are the side effects of antiviral medications?
  • How can I reduce the risk of future outbreaks?
  • Whats the best way to prevent getting another STI?
  • How can I protect my partner from getting genital herpes?
  • Should I look out for signs of complications?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Millions of people are living with the herpes virus that causes genital herpes. Its a common STI. You shouldnt be embarrassed or put off seeking medical care if you develop symptoms. Treatments can ease symptoms, reduce outbreaks and protect sexual partners from infection. Having the virus shouldnt affect your relationships or sexual health. However, you do need to tell your sexual partners that you have the virus. Your healthcare provider can discuss ways to prevent spreading this STI.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/23/2020.

References

Recommended Reading: How To Cure Herpes On Lips Fast

How Will My Healthcare Provider Know If I Have Genital Herpes

Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at any sores that are present. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. If sores are not present, a blood test may be used to look for HSV antibodies.

Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider about herpes testing and other STDs.

Please note: A herpes blood test can help determine if you have herpes infection. It cannot tell you who gave you the infection or when you got the infection.

Foods To Avoid With Herpes

Since you know the best foods for herpes outbreaks, you should also know the foods that may trigger outbreaks. Avoid them for better results controlling herpes. As you probably now know, its best to minimize or avoid the intake of foods that are high in arginine.

Arginine encourages the reproduction of the herpes virus inside the body, resulting in more frequent outbreaks.

However, you may not need to totally eliminate arginine. The trick may be to simply keep your lysine count higher throughout the day. As long as you have that balance, the lysine will naturally compete with the arginine to lower it in the body.

Acidic foods are also thought to weaken your immune system, making you susceptible to conditions and infections like herpes.

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What Are The Different Types Of Herpes

There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV I and HSV II. HSV I commonly causes oral herpes, or cold sores. This virus can show up as an upper respiratory tract infection during early childhood. HSV II is the cause of most cases of genital herpes. However, it is possible for HSV I to cause genital herpes and HSV II to cause oral herpes.

Clinicians cannot tell the difference between the two types by physical examination alone, but there are differences between the two viruses. For example, genital herpes caused by HSV II is much more likely to recur. This diagnosis can be helpful in establishing a health care plan.

What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes

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The first herpes episode is usually the most severe, but it may occur days to years after the virus first enters your body. It can cause blisters, broken skin, itching, burning when passing urine or a discharge. It is often painful and you may have fever and a flu-like illness as well. It may be difficult to know for certain if you have herpes. If you have any symptoms like these its a good idea to see a doctor.

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Transmission Of The Virus

The highest risk of transmission is during the blister phase, although some virus may be present just before or after an outbreak. Get as informed as you can about the condition and become aware of symptoms such as tingling that indicate you’re about to have an attack. Abstain from sexual activity during an outbreak and consider using condoms and dental dams at other times for added protection.

Professor Colm O’Mahony, a consultant in sexual health at Chester Sexual Health, and a patron of the HVA, conducted a study that found that 70% of women with genital herpes had HSV-1.

“This indicates they are likely to have contracted the virus through receiving oral sex from a partner with a cold sore,” he explains. So it is also important to be aware of facial herpes outbreaks in the context of sexual health.

For most people who have been diagnosed, the risk of passing the virus on to someone else when they don’t have any visible symptoms is incredibly low, says O’Mahony.

“The issue with asymptomatic shedding has been blown out of all proportion. Some people will shed tiny amounts of virus in between outbreaks, but it’s very unlikely there’s enough present to cause an infection in somebody else.”

If I Have Herpes How Can I Protect Myself And Others

Herpes outbreaks are more common when you are unwell or stressed, like getting a cold sore when you have a cold. Keeping healthy, getting enough sleep and reducing the stresses in your life can make herpes attacks shorter, less severe and less frequent.

To reduce the risk of spreading the herpes virus to other people or to other places on your body, dont touch the herpes sores and, if you do, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after.

Before you are sexually active, talk to your partner and decide together which protection suits you best. Ideally you should avoid sexual contact from the time you first experience any symptoms until the sore has completely healed .

Remember, it is possible to pass on the infection even if there are no obvious blisters, sores or other symptoms.

Condoms are an effective barrier to prevent infection if they cover the infected area. Suppressive therapy may also reduce the risk of passing on herpes to a regular partner.

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How You Got Herpes

Close physical contact spreads herpes. You cant catch it through the air, like the cold virus. Most people pass oral herpes by sharing personal objects, such as toothbrushes, forks or razors, or by kissingeven a nonsexual greeting between friends or family.

Genital herpes transmits through sexual activity. A key fact: you can become infected even if your partner shows no symptoms.

Safe sex using barrier methods like condoms is the best prevention for anything that is passed through mucous membranes, Dr. Brayer says. But its really important to note that you cant tell where you got genital herpes, because it lies dormant. Its not like other venereal diseases where you can say, Oh, I didnt have it and now I have it, so I got it from you. You could have been exposed a long time agoso you cant really point fingers.

Genital Herpes Symptoms & Treatment

Foods to Avoid and Vitamins for Herpes

FAST FACTS

  • Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that causes infected sores or blisters.

  • Its caused by the herpes simplex virus which can be passed on through close genital contact.

  • You can reduce your chances of getting genital herpes by using condoms or dental dams during sex.

  • If you think you have symptoms of genital herpes you should see a healthcare worker, they can take a swab from a blister and test to confirm if its caused by the herpes simplex virus.

  • Treatment can help with herpes outbreaks, but the virus cannot be cured and will remain in the body. This means that blisters normally come back once in a while.

Also Check: How To Reduce Genital Herpes Outbreaks

List Of Foods High In Lysine And Low In Arginine

Food specialists elaborated a table applying the described procedure which contains an ordered list of foods in which the lysine-arginine ratio is greater than 1, i.e., they are foods that contain more lysine than arginine.

The Ultimate Herpes Protocol

The Ultimate Herpes Protocol.

The information provided in the table is very useful for the conformation of a diet for herpes sufferers.

Ordered list of some foods according to lysine-arginine ratio
Food
Source: The Ultimate Herpes Protocol book.

Why You Should Go To A Sexual Health Clinic

You can see a GP, but theyâll probably refer you to a sexual health clinic if they think you might have genital herpes.

Sexual health clinics treat problems with the genitals and urine system.

Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment.

Theyâll often get test results quicker than GP practices and you do not have to pay a prescription fee for treatment.

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