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Understanding and treating HerpesThe word herpes means serpent-like. Herpes can infiltrate the nervous system and lie in waiting until the nerves are disturbed by some trauma, even the trauma of tight jeans, posture, sexual activity and excitement. In the modern day, herpes is very much a reflection of a depleted immune system. In earlier times before the abuse of antibiotics and drugs (especially marijuana) the herpes virus was not nearly as rampant and more easily managed by the average persons natural immunity. Likewise it may not necessarily be caught from a carrier if your own immune system is healthy.
Herpes Simplex Virus Type I is the cold sore blister type that develops near the mouth or nose, emerging after a stinging type itchy feel. It may be that while our immunity fights off a cold the herpes comes out in areas where there is a high concentration of nervous tissue. It is estimated to be present in more than 50 percent of the American adult population .
HSV type 1 most commonly infects the lips, causing sores known as fever blisters or cold sores, but it also can infect the genital area and produce sores. HSV type 2 is the usual cause of genital herpes, but it also can infect the mouth, it has now become a mutating resisant virus making it difficult to treat. A person who has a genital herpes infection can easily pass or transmit the virus to an uninfected person during sex if their immunity is low.
In America more than 20 percent of the population are infected with genital herpes, and the majority of these cases may be unaware they even have it.
Unfortunately, most people who have genital herpes don't know it because they never have any symptoms, or they do not recognize any symptoms they might have. When there are symptoms, they can be different in each person. Most often, when a person becomes infected with herpes for the first time, the symptoms will appear within 2 to 10 days. These first episodes of symptoms usually last 2 to 3 weeks.
Within a few days, sores appear near where the virus has entered the body, such as on the mouth, penis, or vagina. They also can occur inside the vagina and on the cervix in women, or in the urinary passage of women and men. Small red bumps appear first, develop into blisters, and then become painful open sores. Over several days, the sores become crusty and then heal without leaving a scar.
Other symptoms that may go with the first episode of genital herpes are fever, headache, muscle aches, painful or difficult urination, vaginal discharge, and swollen glands in the groin area.
During a first episode, the immune system develops antibodies and other weapons against the virus. During a recurrence, then, this "immune memory" helps fight off infection more quickly. As a result, there are usually fewer sores, they heal faster, and the outbreak is less painful. The flu like symptoms of the first outbreak are seldom present.
What triggers a reoccurrence?
Herpes infections have different patterns in different people. Any one or combination of the following factors might sometimes, not always, induce an outbreak: surgery, illness, stress, fatigue, skin irritation (such as sunburn), diet, menstruation, or vigorous sexual intercourse.
A recurrence of the herpes infection may occur when latent viruses are triggered by immunosuppressive events such as emotional stress, sunlight, menses, cold or fevers, certain foods, beverages, vitamins and medications.
Pregnant women need to be aware that active genital herpes can put a foetus's life at risk at birth.
Herpes Zoster is the shingles condition which is an extension of the Chicken Pox virus . This type effects the Spine and Central nervous tissues radiating out and around the sides, often from one side only. Herpes Zoster can severely effect the elderly in a chronic situation.
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