Herpes is a fairly common health problem in the United States. While there are many different treatments available for herpes, there is not much documented evidence to support any particular type of treatment.
One concerned reader recently posed this question to our expert panel and here’s what they have to say:
Question: What cures herpes?
Herpes unfortunately has no current cure, but there are ways to minimize the frequency and severity of the outbreaks. Keeping stress under control is beneficial. Stress lowers the immune system and can allow for an opportunity flare up. Keeping your diet clean and as unprocessed as possible has many benefits. Vitamin C and zinc have also been shown to help keep the herpes virus away, along with giving the immune system a significant boost. Buddha’s Herbs Vitamin C is a way to fill in the nutrient gaps and adding in healthy Omega 3 fatty acids may help as well. A deficiency of omega-3 has been linked to an array of diseases.
Tanya Reid, Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
Tanya Reid is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Idaho Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Smoking Cessation Facilitator with the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society.
What Really Happens in a Herpes Infection.
While its good to know what you can do to prevent or cure herpes, its better to know what exactly causes herpes in the first place and what it does to your body.
Genital herpes virus is passed from one person to another through sexual contact. This happens even if the person with the virus doesn’t have symptoms or signs of infection.
Once the virus enters through the skin, it travels along nerve paths. It may become dormant (inactive) in the nerves and remain there indefinitely.
From time to time, the virus may become active. When that happens, the virus travels back along the nerve path to the surface of the skin, where additional virus is shed.
At this point the virus may cause an outbreak of symptoms. Or it may remain undetected.
In either case, the active virus is easily passed from one partner to another through sexual contact. Even wearing a condom may not protect the uninfected partner. The virus can be present on skin that remains uncovered.
The number of recurrences or outbreaks a person can have may vary.
Recognizing the Signs of Herpes
It is important to understand that although someone may not have visible sores or symptoms, they may still be infected by the virus and may transmit the virus to others. Some of the symptoms associated with this virus include:
- blistering sores (in the mouth or on the genitals)
- pain during urination (genital herpes)
Additionally, you may experience many symptoms that are similar to the flu. These symptoms can include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, tiredness, and lack of appetite. HSV can also spread to the eyes, causing a condition called herpes keratitis. This can cause symptoms such as eye pain, discharge, and a gritty feeling in the eye.