Herpes is transmitting at an astonishing speed attracting all of us to have some interest in it. Whether you are herpes patient or not it is really necessary to know the world’s most common sexually transmitted disease. Here is a collection of everything you must know about the herpes simplex virus starting from the initial herpes symptoms to the final treatment of herpes. Check out all the facts about herpes and some very popular myths that were misleading you all the time.
You Will Feel These Signs And Symptoms If You Are Having Herpes
The symptoms of herpes when appear for the first time are called primary outbreak. At this particular time person has no prior antibody to herpes simplex virus. This means that they have never had either herpes simplex 1 or herpes simplex 2. Symptoms in these people are sometimes more severe. However, the majority of people experiencing a true primary outbreak have symptoms that they do not recognize as herpes or have no symptoms at all. The primary outbreak may attack the entire body by causing headache, aching joints, tiredness, fever, pain in the legs, and flu-like symptoms. Or it may be confined to a single place like mouth or throat. Lesions or sores may also appear in the throat or mouth if they have both given oral sex to and had intercourse with the person who infected them. Can you memorize when did you have those irritating cold sores last time? Cold sores are a group of small fluid filled blisters that usually appear around your lips and nose. Practically they can come out of the skin anywhere on the body of the infected person, but the most frequent place will be somewhere around your lips only. Cold sores are not a temporary infection that goes away on its own but it is something more serious than this. You think the infection clears out on its own and once the cold sores disappear, there is no virus living there. But the truth is that cold sores can be a symbol of ever lasting infection- herpes. Any kind of cold sores are not to be taken for granted and they only point in one direction- that is herpes. Symptoms of herpes vary greatly from person to person but with herpes simplex 1 or oral herpes you will have some problems with your gums, lips, mouth or throat if at all you have outbreaks. After these problems will come the most difficult part of the herpes outbreak. The blisters or cold sores will turn into red spots that break open and leak. Or you may have small blisters filled with clear yellowish fluid that does not leak but will be painful to bear. If you have developed several smaller blisters, they may grow together into a large blister impossible to get rid of. As days will pass by, they will start disappearing, but before that they create the real nuisance and pain. In worst cases one may develop swelling in the neck lymph nodes. The problem can also extend down the chin and neck. Your gums can become mildly swollen, red-colored, and may bleed. Menstruation or hormonal changes may enhance the intensity of the virus. Before the painful blisters appear in genital herpes, they will create trouble in the form of fever, nausea, pain while urinating, and aches in muscles Nausea is the feeling of sickness with an inclination of vomiting which often follows the intake of this medicine. It makes the patients feel very uncomfortable to even eat or sleep sometimes. This is accompanied by tingling, burning or itching sensation in the area where blisters will appear. Acceptance is important as running in other direction does not change the reality. It is a common belief that sore near lips and mouth are caused by the virus we call Herpes simplex virus 1. But now it has been seen the same can also be caused on being infected by the other type of the same virus. This one is called HSV Type-2 and in 90% of the cases it is responsible for genital herpes.
Several Treatment Options For Herpes
The diagnosis of herpes is easier when the infection is still present, which is why we ask to visit the doctor as soon as you see the cold sores and do not ignore them. There are three general methods for detecting the disease. One is testing the swab sample of fluid from the infected area. But if results are negative it does not necessarily indicate the absence of herpes. Confirmation is more likely if the patient has subsequent recurrences. This test involves taking a tissue sample or scraping of the sores for examination in the laboratory. The sample will then be investigated for the presence of herpes simplex virus. If it is present, by bad luck you have herpes but if does not show the presence of any viral infection, you will still not land in safe zone. Some other tests will be done to confirm that it is not herpes. Another common way of testing for herpes is polymerase chain reaction test. Polymerase chain reaction is used to copy your DNA from a sample of your blood, tissue from a sore or from your spinal fluid. The DNA can then be tested to establish the presence of HSV. With this test you can be quite sure and determine exactly which type of herpes infection you have- herpes type 1 or herpes type2. Last one is the blood test which detects herpes infection that might have occurred in past by looking for HSV antibodies present in blood. Blood tests can also be used to find out if a person is infected or not. However, blood tests may miss very recent infections, if you are late in reporting to the doctor, then blood test is the most reliable way to know the exact condition.
MANAGEMENT OF HERPES OUTBREAKS
Managing herpes outbreaks is all a matter of experience and awareness. You can deal with all its symptoms and minimize its effect by certain tips and tricks. For instance by modifying your life style can be a great tool to manage you herpes outbreak and minimize its re-occurrences. Living a healthy and disciplined lifestyle always have positive effects. But when you know that you are already suffering from a lifelong disease it becomes even more important to take special note on these practices. Right from your old unhealthy habits to you food temptations, incorporate changes in your life to minimize the frequency of outbreaks and intensity with which it can affect your body. Take vitamin B supplements, sort out any work or relationship issues and modify your habits or lifestyle to avoid stressful situations. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can also reduce stress dramatically. So these are helpful both directly and indirectly in dealing with the virus.
Apart from taking the right treatment of herpes, you must have some important knowledge on how to manage the cold sores and other symptoms of herpes. Be extra careful during outbreak regarding your diet and routinely tasks. Do not consume citrus fruits and juices while the virus is active. Eat the following in moderation during outbreaks: almonds, barley, cashews, cereals (grains), chicken, chocolate, corn, dairy products, meat, nuts and seeds, oats, and peanuts. These contain L-arginine, an amino acid that suppresses L-lysine, the amino acid that slows virus growth. Try to avoid these completely during the infection period and even after that if possible. One of the most important things to do first when suffering from herpes is to wear cotton and loose fitting clothes. It is important to let your body breath. This will allow the air to easily circulate and will keep moisture and sweat away from the herpes infected area. If you suffer from genital herpes, avoid wearing synthetic or silk underwear and only go for cotton underwear or some other type of natural fiber underwear and loose-fitting clothing. Totally stay away from tight fitted cloths as they increases rashes and worsen the condition. If you intend to have sex during an outbreak, make sure you wear latex or vinyl condoms, to protect your partner from getting infected. Frequently wash your hands, especially under the fingernails, throughout the day. Keep your lesions clean and dry. You may want to sprinkle some cornstarch in your cloths touching the sores to help the area stay dry. This may seem like the obvious, but during an outbreak keeping the area of infection clean is of utmost importance.
TREATMENT OF HERPES- NATURAL OR ANTIBIOTIC?
There are various treatment options available for herpes but it is important to understand when the treatment should be given. Initial treatment is given when you are first diagnosed with herpes symptoms like cold sores. The first outbreak is considered to be most severe one and may last for longer duration. The reoccurring symptoms will become milder with time. Re-occurrences shortens the amount of time a person experiences the symptoms. Hence the later on medicines can be given accordingly. Intermittent therapy is followed afterwards when your doctor prescribes some handy medicines just in case you have a sudden outbreak. If you have outbreaks often, you may want to consider taking an antiviral drug every day. Doctors call this suppressive therapy. For someone who has more than six outbreaks a year, suppressive therapy can reduce the number of outbreaks by 70% to 80%. Many people who take the antiviral drugs daily have no outbreaks at all.
Generally prescribed antiviral medications approved by FDA are
- Acyclovir: Oldest antiviral medication for herpes available since 1982.
- Valacyclovir: A newer version that efficiently delivers acyclovir into human body.
- Famciclovir: It stops Herpes Simplex Virus from replicating inside the human body.
Antivirals do not aid the immune system. They replace one of its functions. Antibiotics act by inhibiting certain enzymatic processes of bacteria, and by changing mineral balances. Normal cells, however, are also affected. This may be one reason why antibiotics weaken the immune response. So, why are we so much into the medications? Why don’t we go for a much more beneficial and most suited cure of herpes?
May be all of us were not aware of the harm that we do to our bodies by giving it regular treat with antivirals. Talking about herpes, natural cures are the best replacement of all the harmful and expensive bundle of drugs. Many of us are not aware about the effect of natural home products that we use daily for some or the other purpose in kitchen in relieving Herpes symptoms. You don’t have to rush to the doctor each time of travel to the store in a hurry whenever you have outbreak. You can use the products that are available every time at you home. Besides commonly used honey, there are a few other remedies that have also been found effective in treating herpes infections. These are
- Lysine (an essential amino acid)
- Vitamin C
- Aloe Vera
- Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
- Resveratrol (a very potent antioxidant from grape seed)
- Olive oil
- Lactoferrin (a potent antimicrobial protein found in colostrum)
- Coconut oil
- Tea tree oil
This is all about the virus that is creating the real trouble by infecting a large stake of United States’ population. It transmission rate mandates for all of us to have this much knowledge about the virus, no matter you are infected or not.