For most people, the diagnosis of genital herpes (Herpes Simplex Virus 2 or HSV2) is a shock. For others, the diagnosis maybe a confirmation of suspicions they have had about their own health or their partner’s behavior. Seeking to answer the question of how the patient contracted the condition often leads to a search for blame and then self-recrimination. Living with herpes is something that initially may take some psychological adjustment for some patients. It need not mean the end of your sex life or that you will need to remain celibate for the rest of your life.
Firstly HSV2 and HSV1, better known as the cold sore virus, are just two of a related group of seven viruses that are known to infect humans. Others include the Varicella-Zoster virus, commonly known as chicken pox and shingles. Diagnosis of infection with either HSV1 or 2 can be established with a blood test known as the Western Blot test; the upside of this test is that a patient who does not have active lesions may be diagnosed through the presence of antibodies to either strain. Accuracy of this test is only 90-95% depending on the lab involved. Some instances have occurred where patients were diagnosed with either a false positive or a false negative. The most accurate diagnosis is with a physician taking the top off a fresh lesion, obtaining a swab from the base of the lesion and a lab growing a viral culture from it. Extracting a viable swab from the lesion can be quite painful for the patient.
HSV2 traditionally involved infections in genital areas, with the virus lying dormant in the sacral nerve at the base of the spine during periods when the patient is not experiencing lesions. HSV1 traditionally involves infections around the mouth and nose and lies dormant in the trigeminal nerve in the neck during non-active phases of the disease.
Current epidemiology studies across the Western World indicate the incidence of HSV2 to be around one in eight people, or 12% of the population. Only one in five of those with antibodies have been diagnosed.
In real terms, in a room containing forty people, five have HSV2 but only one knows they have it. A further three of the five may have had an isolated symptom once or twice. This would have appeared so insignificant that they mistook it for a pimple, infected hair follicle or a boil. The final one in five is someone who has never had a symptom and may never do so. For this patient, and the other three undiagnosed patients, accusations of infection (generally followed by accusations of infidelity) from a partner are often met with counter accusations and disbelief. A conservative estimate of the world population with HSV1 antibodies and the ability to infect others is around 90%. Of these, roughly 45% are symptomatic. If you have been diagnosed with either infection, it is very possible you contracted it from someone who has no idea they have it themselves.
People have received the messages about safe sex and changed some of their practices, believing that only penetrative sex requires safe sex. Sexual health specialists now report that half the new HSV diagnoses in clinics have been microbiologically confirmed as HSV1 on the genitals, in the general community it is now estimated that 20% of all herpes infections in the genitals are in fact HSV1.
On the plus side for the infected patient, when the HSV virus is not living in its ideal host environment (i.e. HSV1 infection of genitals, oral HSV2 infection) infections have been generally documented to be less severe and happen less frequently.
Another mistake many patients make, is assuming that they are not infectious during a dormant or asymptomatic phase of their disease. Studies have shown that even when a couple who are clinically discordant (i.e. one is positive and the other is negative) use what is recognized as gold standard treatment for reduction of risk to partners, the rate of transmission in a 12-month period is still 10%. This management of infection control involves the use of condoms during all sexual encounters and complete abstinence from sex during the positive partner’s symptomatic phases. Interestingly, sexual health experts report that if one partner has remained negative for 10 years in a clinically discordant partnership, it is very unlikely that they will contract the disease after this time. It is speculated that they have some immunity/protection either natural or acquired that science has not yet managed to identify.
A true primary infection of HSV2 can last for up to ten days, it involves a systemic response, where all the glands in the body are swollen, much as if the patient has influenza, as well as the obvious genital burning, itching, pain with urination or complete inability to urinate.
Many patients think they are presenting with a primary infection, but, severity of symptoms indicates to the physician, this is in fact a recurrence. In these cases the patient’s primary infection would have been asymptomatic, but, for some reason, they have become run down and their immune system is not responding as it did when they were first infected. These and subsequent recurrences of HSV2 are usually around five days in duration, unless there is a serious immune system deficiency. In this case, the treating physician should refer the patient for further testing.
Because HSV transmission requires skin-to-skin contact and viral shedding to occur, typically an infection of HSV2 is specifically confined to the genitals. Affected areas include the vulva and labia in women and penis and scrotum in men, due to penetrative intercourse being quite localized. Where a patient has been infected with HSV1 on the genitals, the area is usually larger and vesicle distribution more extensive due to oral sex skin-to-skin contact covering a more extensive surface area of the genitals.
Both viruses may be treated effectively with anti-viral drugs.
As stated earlier, each virus has its ideal host environment. For the patient infected with HSV1 on the genitals, this means subsequent infections are usually less virulent, and in some cases may only ever recur once or twice in their lifetime. For the patient infected with HSV2 on the genitals, the incidence of recurrence can vary greatly. Recurrences are related to the health of the immune system. Triggers may include stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, sunburn and in some women, their menstrual cycle. During the first year of infection, the number of recurrences may range from one to twelve, with an average being four to five. During subsequent years the immune system responds better, the patient learns what will trigger a recurrence and usually tries to avoid it. Eventually most patients can experience as few as one to two recurrences per year. Also, as the patient learns to better recognize the symptoms of an impending recurrence, they are able to administer anti-viral drugs earlier. This can minimize the length and duration of the attack, and possibly prevent lesions altogether.
It is important for the patient to remember that despite avoiding a recurrence, they are still shedding the virus and they are still potentially infectious to their partner.
Maintenance doses of anti-virals may be taken daily to reduce the number of recurrences. Up to 50% of patients on these therapies report an absence of recurrences in a 12-month period. Where this therapy is discontinued, patients almost certainly will experience a recurrence within three weeks. This is generally followed by a reduction in the number of annual recurrences. There are a small number of female patients who have required this maintenance therapy with anti-viral drugs continuously since they first became available, over 15 years ago, in earlier forms. As recurrences reduce in frequency and severity, most patients eventually come to terms with their diagnosis. For some, this is never the case, sexual health physicians report that they need to refer between 10-20% of their patients for further psychological counseling. This is in spite the fact that they are very experienced with the disease counseling required for this diagnosis.
What is important, regardless of how well patients appear to cope with the initial diagnosis, is ensuring access to information. This can be obtained readily and anonymously from www.herpes.com, www.herpeshelp.com or www.genitalherpes.com these sites contain up to date facts and also links to other sites. These provide names and contact details of support groups, local clinics and sexual health specialists. Although HSV2 is a lifelong infection, with the right management and care it is not necessarily symptomatic, nor should it impede the patient from enjoying a loving and long-lasting, secure relationship.
Kombucha Starter Kit
You Can Do It YourselfCommercially-produced kombucha is widely available today and can be found in most supermarkets and health food stores. However, it’s actually easy to make your own fizzy kombucha beverage right at home using only a few necessary ingredients.. All you need is: • A large clean glass jar • Green or black tea • Sugar • Water • Wooden spoon • A coffee filter or cheese cloth • A rubber band • 1 SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) The SCOBY is responsible for the fermentation and production of healthy probiotic bacteria. You can purchase a SCOBY online or ask a friend who already makes their own kombucha. After that, it’s as easy as following a few simple steps until you’ve got your own homemade kombucha tea beverage.
[table id=1 /] By reducing the amount of chemicals entering the body we reduce disease and disorders.
Personal Experiences ....Frau T. S. from P., Germany, writes: "I have had it (the Kombucha tradition) for 6 months now, and my well being is bettering at all times, In short, I believe nice. I additionally handed it directly to buddies who're additionally more than happy with it and feature been cured of rheumatic pains and liver court cases, for instance.(...) I would not love to must surrender consuming the beverage." "Since consuming Kombucha Tea I've spotted a drastic aid within the signs of HAY FEVER AND SINUS that I have been experiencing. I've a big VARICOSE VEIN on my proper calf All over the time I've been consuming the Kombucha Tea, I've spotted that it's been shriveled and it does now not itch or pain because it used to. I actually have a SENSITIVE STOMACH which has been relieved, and I'm additionally in a position to deal with REGULAR BOWEL ACTIVITY."
Mr H. Wilkins... Springwood, Qld.
"For about 17 years I have been affected by serious MIGRAINE HEADACHES, no less than thrice per week at a minimal. I used to be completely resigned to the truth that I'd proceed to be afflicted by this criticism and ache for the remainder of my fife. When visiting some buddies one night time I used to be requested if I would really like to take a look at one of the most " MIRACLE" drink referred to as Kombucha Tea. I used to be hesitant, however I did take a look at it anyway. It tasted fairly refreshing, however unknown to my buddies I had a ache in my higher gastric area which have been there many of the day. To my astonishment, inside part an hour of consuming this Kombucha Tea my ache had completely disappeared. After starting up to drink this tea two times day-to-day for the closing two and a part months I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED ONE MIGRAINE AT ALL. I'm so extremely joyful so to percentage this enjoy and inform other folks how this Kombucha Tea has benefited me and CHANGED MY LIFE."
Fay Haddrill ... French's Wooded area
Kombucha Tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it’s sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it is a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. Kombuca Tea has been taken for its natural probiotic healing properties for thousands of years and due to recent information provided by RainTree Nutrition and The National Health Sciences Institute, there has been tremendous excitement to take this ancient elixir. Kombuca Tea is a powerful herbal supplement that the Shaolin Monks and Eastern Mystics have used for centuries to strengthen the body’s natural defenses including memory problems, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), joint pain and rheumatism, appetite loss, high blood pressure, constipation, arthritis, hair growth, immunity issues and cancer. Kombucha Tea can be brewed in your home with a Kombucha SCOBY. It produces a sweet, slightly sour Elixir that you can drink at anytime. Kombucha (formal name: Medusomyces gisevii, also called tea mushroom and manchurian mushroom) is a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly intended as functional beverages for their supposed health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY). What makes Kombucha Tea so unique is its wide variety of bioactive phytonutrients, which work naturally at the cellular and systemic levels.
Boost Your Immune SystemThose who love to look for natural health remedies will love the fact that kombucha is actually a natural antibiotic. This is because of the process of fermentation and its by-products. One of which is acetic acid, which creates a kind of sterile environment which inhibits the growth of unhealthy bacteria. The probiotics also fight the bad bacteria so whereas pharmaceutical antibiotics kill off all the bacteria in our systems, kombucha leaves the good and kills the bad. No bad bacteria means no infections which equals a healthy, happy immune system!
Helps With DigestionSpeaking of those probiotics…kombucha is full of healthy bacteria that do plenty of good for our bodily functions. One of kombucha's primary benefits is that its probiotics, yeasts, and enzymes help with digestion by breaking down food for better nutrient absorption. They also promote the growth of healthy gut flora, which help us to digest our food better and maintain a healthy pH level. Your gut also gets a break because it doesn’t have to work as hard to break down fermented foods because the bacteria have already done some of the work.
It’s AlcoholicIf you’re familiar with the brewing processes of beer, wine, or spirits, you’ll know that fermentation involves alcohol. This is because as the yeast breaks down the sugar, they release two things: carbon dioxide and ethanol (aka: bubbles and booze.) The level of alcohol is fairly low because the fermentation time isn’t that long and while commercially made kombucha beverages have found ways to reduce their alcohol content in order to comply with sales regulations, if you brew a batch at home there will definitely be some alcohol present. Something to keep in mind for pregnant or nursing mother
Kombucha Cocktails Anyone?Here’s a fun fact: kombucha can be used to make cocktails! Not as the alcohol component, but rather as the mixer. Its sweet, sour, tangy flavor makes it a perfect compliment to your favorite spirit and can be used to make drinks such as a Kombucha-Rita (kombucha, ice, lime juice and taquila), Kombucha Sour (kombucha, whisky and lemon juice), or a kombucha version of a Shandy (half beer and half kombucha.) Furthermore, when you make your cocktails with kombucha rather than soda, you’re less likely to experience that dreaded hangover! This is because the antioxidants and detoxifying properties help combat the symptoms that lead to that terrible morning after feeling.
Loaded With B and C VitaminsIn addition to being full of many other beneficial nutrients, kombucha is loaded with Vitamins B and C, both of which are essential for optimum health. Vitamin B helps to ease stress levels, curb sugar cravings, lower your risk of heart disease, and help memory functions. It’s clear that B vitamins are pretty powerful, but those C vitamins present in kombucha have their own set of benefits. Among them are increasing the strength of the immune system, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and playing an important part in the improvement of eye health. That’s a lot of benefits in one bubbly beverage!
It Can Help With Stomach IssuesWe mentioned before in the digestion slide that kombucha is more easily digested. We mentioned before in the digestion slide that kombucha is very easily digested. This is because the fermentation helps to pre-digest some of the enzymes, which means your pancreas doesn’t need to work as hard or secrete as much digestive fluid. Kombucha also helps to achieve a healthy PH balance in the gut and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria. For these reasons, the beverage has been known to help those suffering with stomach issues such as Irritable Bowl Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, and Candida overgrowth. It Strengthens Your Stomach Walls Another component of kombucha is a substance called Butyric Acid, which is another by-product of the fermentation process. Butyric Acid is known to have antimicrobial and anti-carcinogenic properties as well as being known to strengthen the walls of your gut, kill parasites and protect against yeast infections. It’s an interesting substance that promotes overall digestive health from the inside out.
It Strengthens Your Stomach WallsAnother component of kombucha is a substance called Butyric Acid, which is another by-product of the fermentation process. Butyric Acid is known to have antimicrobial and anti-carcinogenic properties as well as being known to strengthen the walls of your gut, kill parasites and protect against yeast infections. It’s an interesting substance that promotes overall digestive health from the inside out.
It Helps With Joint HealthYou may have heard of the amino sugar called Glucosamine, you may even give it to your elderly pets (or family members) to help with stiff or sore joints. In fact, glucosamine is one of the most common non-vitamin, non-mineral supplements used by adults in the USA today. Another amazing fact about kombucha is that it contains naturally occurring glucosamine which means this drink can help keep your joints healthy and moving correctly and even prevent arthritis. This is an especially appealing aspect for athletes who need to keep their bodies in top shape for as long as possible. It’s no secret that antioxidants are good for you. They neutralize free radicals in our bodies, which can cause cell damage relating to cardiovascular disease, cancer and other ailments.
The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables but Kombucha is also full of these hard working little compounds which means that kombucha actually has detoxifying properties, which can help cleanse the liver and prevent cancer.
Kombucha is a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly intended as functional beverages for their supposed health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY). Actual contributing microbial populations in SCOBY cultures vary, but the yeast component generally includes Saccharomyces and other species, and the bacterial component almost always includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols to acetic and other acids.
Kombucha originated in what is now Manchuria around 220 BCE, and is said to have been imported to Japan around 400 CE by the physician Kombu. It is commonly It is commonly drunk in the United States.
Kombucha is a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly intended as functional beverages for their supposed health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a "symbiotic 'colony' of bacteria and yeast" (SCOBY). Actual contributing microbial populations in SCOBY cultures vary, but the yeast component generally includes Saccharomyces and other species, and the bacterial component almost always includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols to acetic and other acids.