Herpes viruses are known to cause cold sores, genital herpes, herpes zoster (shingles), post-herpetic neuralgia and in many instances, canker sores (apthous ulcers). One type, known quite simply as herpes simplex virus type one (HSV-1), commonly affects the mouth and throat. Herpes simplex virus type two (HSV-2) usually affects the genital areas. The herpes virus that causes shingles is the same herpes virus that causes chicken pox in younger individuals. Once a person is infected through skin contact the herpes virus travels up the nerve until it reaches the nerve ganglion in the spinal cord. It remains there in a dormant state, but on occasion the virus starts replicating again and travels down the nerve to the skin where it produces skin eruptions on the areas of the skin innervated by the affected nerve. The number of outbreaks can vary widely from one individual to the next, but the virus is thought to be a permanent fixture that resides within the nerve ganglion for a lifetime, even though it may remain dormant for long periods. In the case of canker sores, not all canker sore problems are due to herpes infections. However, some of the nutrition and lifestyle information that appears in this article are useful for all canker sore sufferers, regardless of the cause.
There are a number of anti-viral drugs that physicians prescribe to prevent and/or manage herpes outbreaks in affected persons. However, these drugs often do not suppress herpes outbreaks to a satisfactory degree, and thus, many afflicted individuals look to lifestyle, nutrition and supplementation practices to further reduce the number and severity of herpes outbreaks. The following considerations involve known trigger factors and natural remedies that have been used by various individuals to help manage herpes conditions.
About 80 percent of American adults have oral herpes (cold sores) and an estimated 25 percent of American adults have genital herpes. Since the late 1970s, the number of Americans with genital herpes infection has increased 30%. Many patients report that pharmaceutical drugs to control herpes outbreaks are not completely effective and, thus, afflicted patients often seek additional advice from alternative health practitioners, to help further reduce herpes outbreaks and/or reduce the severity and duration of outbreaks. This article contains the best studied evidence-based natural interventions shown to be useful in this regard, as well as interventions with the strongest anecdotal support, which should serve as a guideline from which to counsel patients about this common health challenge.
References on Herpes Statistics
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