What food is good for HERPES




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HERPES

FOODS THAT HEAL

  • Lean meat
  • Fish
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Whole grains
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables

    FOODS TO LIMIT

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated drinks

    WHO’S AFFECTED

  • Most people have herpes simplex virus type 1
  • 16
    2% of Americans have herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2)
  • HSV-2 affects those who have had many sexual partners
    A common and highly contagious 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 the brain 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
    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
    20.9% of American women have type 2 herpes, almost twice as many as men at 11
    5%
    Recurrences may be triggered by hormonal changes, physical or emotional stress, fever, exposure to the sun, or other environmental factors

    Nutrition Connection

    Certain foods and drugs precipitate recurrences in susceptible people
    Keep notes of those items and avoid them while bolstering your immune system through diet
    Follow these tips: Eat a nutritious diet
    To help prevent recurrences, strengthen your immune system to resist disease by eating a 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 recommend taking 500 to 1,000 mg of L-lysine daily on an empty stomach
    It can be found in natural food stores
    Discuss with your doctor before taking
    Eat yogurt
    Anecdotal evidence suggests that Lactobacillus acidophilus, a healthy bacteria found in certain yogurts 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, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can suppress the immune system

    Beyond the Diet

    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
    Balance your lifestyle
    Regular exercise alleviates stress that can cause outbreak and adequate rest ensures a healthy immune system
    Pre-empt an outbreak
    If you have a warning symptom before an outbreak, of oral herpes, prompt use of aspirin and ice packs sometimes prevents the recurrence
    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 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, an 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 can cause blindness, retardation, even death
    A cesarean delivery can prevent transmission