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Hints to Successfully Live with & Manage Herpes

As mentioned before in another forum, I've been HSV positive since the age of 19. Yes, I was informed that my partner was infected, and no I am not ashamed or embarrassed to being HSV positive. Having accepted my condition early on and being open about it, I came to the realization on just how common the virus is. I've met many people along the years who are infected themselves or know somebody who is. Point being is, if you catch yourself getting infected with the Herpes Simplex Virus, don't panic. The faster that you come to terms with it and educate yourself about the virus, the more your mind and body will thank you. Now, how do you keep the virus at bay and go about your day you ask? Well read along!

HELPFUL HINTS TO SUCCESSFULLY LIVE WITH & MANAGE HERPES

Physical Health and a Strong Immune System

A strong immune system is key to keeping Herpes in check and reducing the number and severity of outbreaks. Managing stress, getting good rest, exercising, and eating a healthy diet are all factors that contribute to overall health and wellness. HSV1 and HSV 2 can be triggered by the same immune factors, so these tips apply whether you have genital or oral herpes.

Many HerpeSite members and friends find it especially beneficial to maintain healthy sleep and rest patterns, to eat a diet rich in fresh, whole, live fruits and vegetables, and to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco products. Others report beneficial effects from yoga, aerobic exercise, and other forms of physical enhancement. These can benefit both your physical and emotional well-being.

Many people notice that Herpes outbreaks coincide with or follow a bout of illness such as a cold or flu. (Hence the origin of the term “Cold Sore.”) We all want to avoid being sick, but most of us get a cold or two a year. There are many resources available on how to avoid colds and flu, but the basics bear repeating: Consciously build and support your immune system, take good care of yourself, consume plenty of anti-oxidants, and wash your hands frequently. We love the powder electrolyte/anti-oxidant supplement Emergen-C (*) (www.emergenc.com) and have used it for over 20 years with great results.

Take great care of your body and health by eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of water- rich and green foods, good sources of protein (such as organic meats and wild-caught fish), and anti-oxidant fruits and vegetables. A good quality supplement routine that includes red, purple, and yellow anti-oxidants, vitamins C and E, and a balanced blend of Omega essential fatty acid oils can be extremely beneficial.

Eating as healthy as possible not only supports your heath and immune system, but just knowing that you’re doing great things for yourself makes you feel good, and the “feel good” hormones get released! Avoid foods containing hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils, as the trans-fats in them are toxic to the body and create an unhealthy physical environment. Stay away from processed, fried, and high-fat, high-sodium foods as much as possible. Eat green, clean foods but also let yourself have a few indulgences if that’s what makes you happiest.

Emotional Health and Maintaining a Positive Outlook

Because it’s considered a sexually transmitted disease and has a huge social stigma associated with it, a diagnosis of Herpes, especially Genital Herpes, can be a shocking, life-changing event. People often go through the 5 Stages of Grief, and often get stuck in the Anger & Depression stages. The physical symptoms are often far less difficult to deal with than the emotional roller-coaster of hurt, anger, fear, shame, sadness, and hopelessness that can last for weeks, months, or even years.

A first outbreak is usually the most difficult physically as well as emotionally. Once a person has dealt with the physical aspect, it’s important to focus on the positive as much as possible. At first, that’s easier said than done! Some people cut themselves off from others and avoid new relationships. This is understandable at first, but is ultimately detrimental to the healing process. It’s important to get support from others, whether through sharing with family, friends, a significant other, a therapist, or a Herpes-specific group.

Participation in a support group, either “live” or online, can help by increasing social contact, providing access to information and encouragement from others who’ve “been there.” Talking about it may seem difficult at first, but it really does help… and it’s a surprise to discover how many others will say, “hey, I’ve got it too, and it’s OK!”

A course of personal development can help to reframe a person’s experience, give them additional emotional resources and strength, and renew a sense of purpose in life. Books, audio programs, and live workshops can all be valuable. Some authors to consider are: Wayne Dyer, Mark Victor Hansen, Deepak Chopra, and Anthony Robbins. Links to books by these and more can be found on the Reading Page of HerpeSite.

Relaxation techniques, deep breathing, yoga, exercise programs, meditation, and/or self-hypnosis have helped many to successfully control pain, strengthen the immune system, and gain a sense of well-being that may lead to fewer, less severe outbreaks.

Do something nice for yourself every day! Light candles, take a bubble bath, workout, go for a walk in the fresh air, put on fast music and dance, watch funny movies or TV shows, get a manicure, put on your favorite happy songs and sing along, eat your favorite guilty snack… yes, even chocolate!!!

Environmental Elements That Can Affect Herpes Outbreak Reactivation

One of the most effective ways to care for HSV is to pay attention to “environmental” considerations to the body and particularly to areas of infection.

Avoid extreme environments that could cause irritation. Protect yourself from sunburn. UVA/UVB, PABA-free sun screen (*) can be effective in protecting infected areas and body in general from sunburn which can aggravate and initiate HSV recurrences. It’s important to protect your skin, as well as your lips and mouth, (*) sunburn causes an inflammatory reaction in the body, and the immune system gets diverted to deal with it rather than sustain and protect the body as a whole.

When a having a particularly painful outbreak, some people find bathing several times a day in cool water to provide temporary relief. Soap can be irritating, so use a very mild non-detergent soap such as California Baby Super Sensitive Body Wash (*)

Many women with Genital Herpes who experience extreme pain while urinating find pouring body-temperature water over the area, or urinating while immersing the area in lukewarm water, alleviates the pain. Also, drinking plenty of liquids helps to dilute the urine.

Experts recommend keeping actively infected areas clean, dry, and exposed as much as possible to air, but not direct sunlight.

Avoid irritating the area by wearing loose-fitting cotton undergarments when possible. Rough fabrics, sharp edges (such as certain laces), hard seams, and ill-fitting garments can cause irritation and possibly initiate an outbreak. For men, this recommendation often includes trading briefs for boxers, unless boxers are irritating to you.

Some people recommend that women avoid the use of tampons due to the possibility of scratching of the area from the hard applicator. Some women feel that using a natural, unbleached cotton feminine hygiene product is better, less irritating, and healthier than a bleached and synthetic product, and we agree. Try Seventh Generation, available at many health food stores, and online at www.seventhgeneration.com or find Seventh Generation Products at DrugStore.com. (*)

The good news is that with time and taking good care of yourself, most people find that outbreaks tend to reduce in both number and severity. So that’s something to look forward to! More tips on how to improve your physical and emotional well-being to support a healthy and strong immune system can be found on the Health & Wellness page of HerpeSite.

http://www.herpesite.org/success-tips-to-live-with-manage-herpes/
 

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Eat well and take care of yourself generally for sure. As far as herbs and plants go to assist in building immunity, as soon as you feel the tingle reishi, or other shelf mushrooms (or whatever immune booster works for you) in tea or tincture is really good as a general health support. To combat the virus itself-a poultice, tea, or tincture of lemon balm is extremely effective, earlier the better and as far as I know 3 cups a day, high dosage doesn't do harm.

Good luck!
 
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Odin

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Awesome job keeping community informed about health issues.
:)

Everyone struggles with something and yes no one needs to be ashamed.

Keep proud and powerful in your life.

Now... if only I can get a grip on my life.

I'm about as immature as they get...
Don't like going to doctors...

An obsessively cracking wise infinitely melancholy macho booze-hound...

::cigar::From space! ::alien::

Oh & I got a bag of those Emergen-C vitamin deals somewhere to put in my pack I got at the holidays. They don't taste so bad. Used em on the DTs a couple days ago.
 
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Adnil

I deleted myself
Can you get herpes from sharing a joint? Or pipe?
I'm not 100% certain about this because I have genital herpes, though from my understanding- the chance is very slim. HSV is said to only be contagious if the infected person is having an outbreak, or shedding/about to get an outbreak. Even then, the virus dies within minutes outside the human body (lasts a little longer in liquids), and the clean individual will have to directly touch the sore or sore fluids while the bump is in complete showing or consume the fluids of the sore through cut while having a poor immune system.
HSV-1 is typically oral and slightly different than HSV-2 that is typically genitals so as I said, I'm not 100% sure about this because I don't have HSV-1 or Oral HSV-2.
 

TMG51

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I'm not 100% certain about this because I have genital herpes, though from my understanding- the chance is very slim. HSV is said to only be contagious if the infected person is having an outbreak, or shedding/about to get an outbreak. Even then, the virus dies within minutes outside the human body (lasts a little longer in liquids), and the clean individual will have to directly touch the sore or sore fluids while the bump is in complete showing or consume the fluids of the sore through cut while having a poor immune system.
HSV-1 is typically oral and slightly different than HSV-2 that is typically genitals so as I said, I'm not 100% sure about this because I don't have HSV-1 or Oral HSV-2.
The distinction is basically that oral herpes (HSV-1) attaches itself near the top of the spinal column while genital herpes (HSV-2) attaches itself near the bottom. Although in some cases it may be possible for one virus to misbehave and attach itself elsewhere, it's rare to the point of absurdity to think you might get a lick off a pipe and catch someone's genital herpes. Unless of course someone was just rubbing that pipe all over his festering genital sores. In which case, it's a party.

It's worth mentioning that something like 90% of adults end up with the HSV-1 virus.
 
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Adnil

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The distinction is basically that oral herpes (HSV-1) attaches itself near the top of the spinal column while genital herpes (HSV-2) attaches itself near the bottom. Although in some cases it may be possible for one virus to misbehave and attach itself elsewhere, it's rare to the point of absurdity to think you might get a lick off a pipe and catch someone's genital herpes. Unless of course someone was just rubbing that pipe all over his festering genital sores. In which case, it's a party.

It's worth mentioning that something like 90% of adults end up with the HSV-1 virus.
The virus does attach itself to the spine (nervous system), upper or lower, but that's not exactly how to set them apart. You can get HSV-1 on your genitals if you receive head from a partner with HSV-1 that is having an outbreak. Just as you can get HSV-2 around/in yer mouth if you blow a partner who is currently having an outbreak. Although overly rare, it is possible to have both HSV-1 and 2. And I think his question was more concerned about herpes in general than genital herpes. But yes, great fact on the 90% - most people who have herpes don't even know it and as you get older, it's more common for your peers to have the virus!
 
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Adnil

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*just want to add, if you are sexually active (including oral and anal), please take safe precautions and get tested for any STI/STD's before and after finding a new partner. A lot of folks don't have symptoms or misdiagnose the symptoms as a common cough or such. So let's be responsible with our and other people's bodies.
 
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Yay, this conversation rocks. I think when passing a joint and you have an outbreak, just inform whomever that you have it, and let them decide if they want to take the risk.
 
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Adnil

I deleted myself
HaHa- Herpes, bringing the community together since 370 BCE !
Yes, please inform the person (s) who you are sharing a pipe or joint with about your status if you think that you are about to have a B.O. or have an active one. As a member has it in their default name, you can't cure herpes. If it makes you feel uncomfortable saying it out loud 1.) It'll feel more uncomfortable if you pass the virus 2.) Most people [at least from my experience] don't care and will respect that you were cautious about it.
If anything, let your friend smoke half of the bowl or joint first, then smoke yourself out after if you are HSV positive and vise versa.
 

Matt Derrick

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this is a great thread, thank you for posting it, I'll probably add it to our 'best of' page shortly!

i love the show adam ruins everything, and their segment on herpes really blew me away, and i think everyone should see it:

 
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Adnil

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Thank you, Matt ! I was surprised at how little STD\STI's were spoken of here on STP when it's common out in our community. Glad to see that folks were open to the topic :)
 

Desperado Deluxe

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One of the best things I've ever taken is a zinc sulfate dietary supplement. Or any foods rich in zinc. Be careful because consuming too much can have negative results. Also antibitic ointment with zinc for a direct application.

Be especially wary around allergy season or when travelling to a new place that has significantly different plant life. Allergies tend to weaken the immune system and cause outbreaks. An antihistamine can help with this.

I don't get outbreaks very often any more it seems your immune system builds up a tolerance to the virus and makes the outbreaks few and far inbetween.

I mainly get outbreaks around allergy season. And for the most part I don't exceed getting them more than four times a year. And I break a lot of rules. I smoke often and drink coffee pretty much every damn day. but like it says I stay away from high sodium, sugar, greasy shit and I eat my veggies.

I could probably go on and on about the uses of herbs and clays and other benefical things in your diet. but right now but I'm lazy heh. I had half a mind to write an article on how to manage herpes while travelling but its just another one of the things I never got around to. For the most part its dietary and stress oriented.

Its quite a complex subject in and of its self everywhere I've looked on the internet has different statistics and so called "facts." It seems the "pros" aren't even entirely sure on a lot of this subject themselves.
 

Vulture

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I've had it my whole life. I used to be self conscious and have my dad buy me Abreva. Then I tried a liquid, which works better. In the last 2 years, I'vedecided it isnt worth the money. It will go away, give it time. Who do you have to impress/ lie to? I haven't anyone.
 
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Adnil

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@Fox Spirit that sounds like a fantastic idea to pull through if you ever catch yourself interested in writing that article about managing herpes while on the move again. You can include the best spots to get medication, fast food menus that have meals higher in lysine than arginine, those home remedy clays that you speak of, and such :) But yes, HaHa it is mainly stress leveling, immune boosting, and healthy eating! The scientists do seem to flop a little when it comes to the facts, but what remains in stone is what we know about the virus through our own experience, which we can share with others to help explain Herpes when they're feeling a tad puzzled from the articles. (My devil food that I'm most sensitive to are chocolate and oatmeal).
Great add on about the allergies.


@Vulture In the first few months that I had it, I bought into a mouth spray scam that was to "prevent future breakouts" HaHa spent $40.00 on a inch size fruit flavored Windex !
Most defiantly there is no one to lie to, but impressing others comes in mysterious ways :)
 
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