Some people can have one episode of herpes, while others have lifelong problems. We know that stress plays a role, but there are other factors involved in the frequency of a flare-up.
Obvious triggers include stress, exhaustion, illness, and alcohol. Many people report that certain foods can be a trigger and I’ll tell you why shortly. The herpes virus is one of the most ingenious infectious bugs known to man. It is responsible for fever blisters, genital lesions, shingles, and chicken pox. Other virulent strains of herpes infections include mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster virus, Epstein Barr, and HHV-6.
No one knows how to eradicate herpes once you’re infected, but you are definitely tainted for life as the virus lays dormant in the body. It can also mutate and reactivate at any time. Certain foods contain a natural amino acid called arginine. While arginine provides certain benefits to the body, it also feeds a herpes virus and may lead to reactivation or outbreak.
Arginine is found in all kinds of nuts, whole wheat, sesame seeds/flour, pumpkin seeds, cottonseed flour, carob, coconut, orange juice, grapes, and popcorn. Arginine is found in combination with another amino acid, lysine in many foods. To be healthy, you want to have a little of both of these amino acids on board.
On the bright side, lysine is helpful to the herpes sufferer by reducing the occurrence, severity, and healing time of outbreaks. It is found in yogurt, milk, cheese, apples, mango, and papaya. In summary, if you could alter your diet toward the lysine side for a while. Ask your doctor about taking lysine supplements (1 – 3 grams per day) and about altering your diet. You can also consider taking supplements with antiviral activity.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.