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Saunas a trigger for HSV-2 Outbreaks?

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I'm wondering if anyone has noticed if a sauna can be a trigger for HSV-2 genital herpes outbreaks? I've always read that sun exposure can cause herpes outbreaks, but I don't know if I have ever noticed a correlation myself. However, I recently read that exposure to extreme temperatures via steam rooms, saunas, and extremely hot baths/showers can trigger outbreaks.

I've had HSV-2 for 11 years. I used to only have outbreaks once or twice a year. I've noticed in the last couple years that I have been having outbreaks much more frequently (around every two months). I've been wondering what is going on. My stress levels haven't really changed much. I had been a little bit less physically active due to some injuries which I've been rehabbing. I quit drinking coffee a couple of years ago and I quit drinking alcohol and doing drugs about 7 years ago. Stopping drinking/drugs had no effect on my outbreaks, I was still only getting a couple each year.

I did install a sauna in my house a couple of years ago. Now I'm wondering if this has been responsible for the increase in outbreaks? I started taking Valtrex daily suppressively about 1 week ago as I just got into a new relationship and I'm tired of these frequent outbreaks. I'm wondering if the sauna is the cause for this 3-6 times increase in outbreaks? It's very confusing because one article I read suggested this:

"The research on sauna use for both the herpes virus and Lyme disease is also promising. Increased circulation can lead to increased white blood cell production. Many painful autoimmune symptoms stem from an overload of toxins, sweating them out of your system can help relieve that form of inflammation."

However, most other websites suggest it can increase outbreaks. A lot of these articles were talking about HSV-1 oral herpes, but one mentioned it applies to HSV-2 as well. 

Has anyone noticed a correlation between extreme heat exposure and genital herpes outbreaks? I'm wondering if I should stop using my sauna. They have other health benefits which I'd rather not lose out on, but I do want to reduce my outbreaks. It's hard to know if this is related. I feel like the sauna is also a good stress reducer and helps me relax, which should be beneficial.

Unrelated, has as anyone noticed a difference is HSV-2 outbreaks by taking L-Lysine? Some articles say it is only effective for HSV-1. I may try adding it to my treatment of suppresive Valtrex.

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Hey there,

Thanks for reaching out and sharing your concerns about the potential connection between sauna use and HSV-2 outbreaks. I totally understand you wanting to identify the possible triggers and find ways to reduce the frequency of your outbreaks.

The relationship between extreme heat exposure, such as saunas, and herpes outbreaks can vary from person to person. While some sources suggest that heat can potentially trigger outbreaks, others highlight the positive effects of increased circulation and toxin elimination through sweating. It's indeed a bit confusing when different articles provide contradictory information. It is generally understood that anything that overly taxes your immune system can potentially trigger an outbreak.

In your case, considering the increase in outbreak frequency since you installed the sauna, it's understandable to question if there could be a connection. While there isn't definitive scientific evidence on this specific correlation, paying attention to your personal experiences and patterns can provide some valuable insights. If you suspect that sauna use might be a trigger for you, it could be worth experimenting with reducing or temporarily discontinuing sauna sessions to see if it makes a difference in your outbreak frequency.

Regarding L-Lysine, it's commonly mentioned as a potential supplement for managing herpes outbreaks. While it's often associated with HSV-1, some individuals with HSV-2 have also reported positive results. Adding L-Lysine to your suppressive treatment with Valtrex might be worth a try to see if it brings any additional relief or reduction in outbreaks for you. There is a lack of convincing evidence out there for using lysine to treat active HSV lesions. They found that daily doses of L-lysine less than 1 g were ineffective for preventing or treating HSV lesions, unless combined with low-arginine diets. However, doses exceeding 3 g per day seemed to improve patients' subjective experience of HSV. Here's the study on PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6419779/

Remember, everyone's experiences with triggers and treatments can vary, so what works for one person may not work the same way for another. It's always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider about any changes you want to make to your treatment plan or to discuss potential triggers you've noticed.

Ultimately, finding a balance that works for you in terms of sauna use, stress management, and any supplementary treatments can help you in your goal to reduce outbreaks and maintain your overall well-being.

Wishing you all the best in your journey towards managing HSV-2 and finding the strategies that work best for you. Please do keep us updated on your progress and if you discover any helpful insights along the way.

Take care and stay positive!

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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Thank you, I'll try taking a break from the sauna and seeing how it goes. I also started taking a Lysine supplement. I'm going to make some changes to my diet and try and lower my arginine intake as well. I'll update this with my findings.

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