A commonly and highly infectious disease, herpes is caused by strains of the herpes simplex virus and is noted by painful and itchy blisters. Type 1 herpes, or oral herpes, causes cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth. In some cases, this type of herpes infects the eyes and can result in blindness or, even more seriously, can spread to rain and result in life-threatening herpes encephalitis. Type 2, or genital herpes, is sexually transmitted and causes sores in the genital and anal areas. Engaging in oral sex with an infected person can cause mouth and throat blisters that are difficult to differentiate from type 1 herpes.
Most people have herpes simplex virus type 1. 16.2% Americans have herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-2 affects those who have had many sexual partners. 20.9% of American women have type 2 herpes, almost twice as many as men at 11.5%.
Regardless of the type or location, herpes blisters usually rupture into open weeping sores that crust over and eventually heal within a few days or weeks. Some people also experience a mild fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. Even after healing, the virus remains dormant in the body. Some people never have another attack while others have repeated but milder eruptions sporadically throughout their lives.
Recurrences may be triggered by hormonal changes, physical or emotional stress, fever, exposure to the sun, or other environmental factors.
A little bit on diet when herpes attacks you
Certain foods and drugs precipitate recurrences in susceptible individuals. Keep notes of those items and avoid them while bolstering your immune system throughout the diet. Here few tips for you to follow if you have herpes problem:
Eat a nutritious diet. To help prevent recurrences, strengthen your immune system to resist disease by eating well-balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and protein.
Eat foods rich in lysine. Foods high in the amino acid lysine, found in meat, fish, milk, and dairy products, may help to reduce the frequency of herpes attacks. The supplement version can also help. Some natural medicine advocates recommended taking 500 to 1000 mg L-ysine daily on an empty stomach. It can be found in natural food stores, but before that discuss with your physician.
Eat yogurt. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Lactobacillus acidophilus, a healthy bacteria found in certain yogurt containing live or “active” cultures and also sold in capsule form, may help prevent recurrences of cold sores. You may need to take supplements to get a therapeutic dose.
Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine. In large amounts, alcohol and caffeinated drinks can suppress the immune system.
Foods that help healing herpes: lean meat, fish, yogurt, milk, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Alcohol and caffeinated drinks should be avoid during herpes outbreak.
Foods is not everything
If you have frequent attacks, analyze your lifestyle and try to figure out what specific triggers may have precipitated them. Here are some suggestions:
Don’t smoke. Smoking weakens the immune system.
Avoid the sun. Sun exposure can trigger outbreaks of cold sores. Always wear sunscreen.
Preempt an outbreak. If you have a warning symptom before an outbreak of oral herpes, prompt use of aspirin and ice packs sometimes prevents the recurrences. Once the lesions appear, compresses of cold water or milk may ease the discomfort.
Ease inflammation. For genital outbreaks, warm baths or saltwater compresses can help soothe the area. Keep the infected area clean and dry. Wash your hands and after contact with the sores to avoid spreading infection to other parts of your body.
Look into medications. In more severe herpes cases, doctors prescribe acyclovir, and antiviral medication that can be taken orally or used as a cream. Acyclovir can shorten the duration of an attack and help prevent a recurrence.
Protect others. Avoid kissing anyone, sharing dishes or utensils, or having sex during outbreaks. A pregnant woman who has had herpes should inform her obstetrician immediately. An active infection may be transmitted to the baby during delivery and cause blindness, retardation, even death. A cesarean delivery can prevent transmission.
Herpes virus is infectious but if you strengthen your immune system and know what foods to eat to prevent reoccurring cold sores, you can avoid this disease. Maintaining safe contact with the infected people stops herpes spreading from person to person. Not all cases require doctors visit, but in more severe cases, for example if this virus spreads to genital area, you should get prescribed medication to heal from this infection. Generally, keeping your immune strong and living a more healthier lifestyle will help you avoid this infection during lifetime.