What Is Herpes ?
There are at least seven types of herpes viruses. Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) cause cold sores and genital herpes.
A large number of experts suspect that HSV-1 may be involved in Bell's palsy and some other neurological disorders. Herpes zoster is responsible for chickenpox an shingles.
Cytomegalovirus, another member of the herpes family, can cause some cardiovascular diseases and eye disorders, and is particularly dangerous to developing fetuses, newborns, and people with depressed immune systems.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis. Human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) and 7 (HHV-7) are suspected of being capable of triggering autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, and roseola, a common illness of early childhood.
Human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) is very closely related to the Epstein-Barr virus, and may lead to cancer of the bone, chronic fatigues syndrome, Karposi's sarcoma, and infection of the lymphatic system.
Genital herpes is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. One out of every five persons over the age of twelve have it, though more than half never develop serious symptoms. This viral infection can range in severity from from a silent infection to a serious inflammation of the liver with fever. It is especially dangerous to infants. A baby whose mother is infected can pick up the virus in the birth canal, creating a risk of brain damage, blindness, and death.
Symptoms Of Genital Herpes
- Outbreaks of red, sensitive skin
- Itching, burning and painful fluid-filled blisters that are highly infectious until they are completely healed, which can take up to three weeks.
- Mild tingling and burning in the vaginal area may be the first sign of genital herpes in women. Within a few hours blisters develop around the rectum, clitoris and cervix and in the vagina.
- Watery discharge from the urethra and pain when urinating - In men, blisters break out on the penis, groin, and scrotum, often with a urethral discharge and painful urination.
- the penis and foreskin may sometimes be swollen
- A man may also have tender swollen lymph nodes in the groin
The first attack of genital herpes usually comes within twenty days after exposure to the virus. It may be so mild that it isn't noticed, or it may cause itching and burning at the site of viral entry as well as painful sores that can last a week or more, plus fever, headache, and other flu like symptoms.
After a few days, pus erupts from the blisters and painful ulcers form. These sores crust over and dry while healing. Usually, they leave no scars.
It is also fairly common to have virtually no symptoms of the infection.
Having the virus means that you have to adjust your lifestyle to protect yourself and others.
Because the incidence of genital herpes is increasing so profoundly - some 20 per cent of the U.S. population is now said to be infected - it is extremely important to be aware of the disease and to protect yourself against it.
If you already have the infection, it is equally important to protect yourself as much as you can from repeated outbreaks and to avoid passing the infection on to others. I
If you are aware of any health problem which may compromise your general health, it is important to seek treatment. A Health and Wellness Counselor may help you, to bring you back in balance and to good health through healthy eating and living, especially a proper diet suited for your condition and the use of natural remedies, herbs and supplements.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !