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Newly diagnosed with herpes. Questions on living healthy with herpes.


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I'm 27, just divorced and of course while "trying to prove to myself that I'm worth something" I contracted herpes. Now I just wonder who will ever want a divorcee with an std and a major anxiety disorder? But I'm trying to avoid the negative thoughts and find a way to use this for good in my life. I was just diagnosed last week and while I have moments of anger and hopelessness I've decided that since I can't change this I will learn to live strong and with joy just as before. It seems at this point information is my best tool... So I am reaching out to all of you.., help! My doc put me on famciclovir my first ob is totally cleared up... I feel like a human being again. But now I'm terrified of recurrent ob's. Any way to help prevent them? I've done a lot of reading and some of the information is confusing.

 

I've read that keeping your immune system strong is key... Any suggestions? I'm taking multi vitamins, echinacea, zinc and Lysine daily. Any other supplements I need to add?

 

I've read that certain foods are triggers...coffee, nuts, bread. Are there foods I SHOULD absolutely stay away from to prevent recurrent outbreaks? Are there particular foods that are helpful? And is it coffee that's the trigger or caffeine in general? All bread that's a trigger or just stuff that's overly processed? All nuts or peanuts specifically?

 

Anyone who can help with this question is an angel: I've read that stress is the primary trigger and my doc said to keep my stress level low... I just laughed. I have a pretty severe anxiety disorder which I've learned to keep in check enough that I'm functional... But my brain is always on overdrive; I'm constantly anxious and stressed, I've just learned how to live with it. But I'm afraid that the constant stress will trigger constant outbreaks. Any feedback on how to manage this when you have severe anxiety?

 

I've read that exercise can be a trigger... That just about made me cry. One of the best ways to manage my anxiety is exercise. I can't imagine not working out. I need... My brain needs the endorphins and the energy release. Any suggestions? Do I need to stop working out to prevent recurrent ob's? If I do primarily weight training and not cardio, is that "less bad"?

 

I've read that for women, the menstrual cycle can be a trigger. Any way to minimize this possibility? If you're immune system is technical compromised while in your period, will the vitamins and supplements help?

 

I have a billion more questions but I'll leave it at that for now. Any feedback on how to best stay healthy and manage this would be greatly appreciated!

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@Hermia87

 

First - Hello and Welcome!

 

Second - the Search bar and FAQ;s section are full of great info that can answer a lot of your questions, so it s a great place to start

 

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/1758/frequently-asked-questions-on-herpes-and-popular-conversations

 

You sound like you have done a lot of homework already and that is great. You are correct - information is power. And you've come to the right place for that :)

 

I just wonder who will ever want a divorcee with an std and a major anxiety disorder? ....my brain is always on overdrive; I'm constantly anxious and stressed, I've just learned how to live with it.

 

Those of us who have lived with Herpes for awhile come to realize that there are a lot of great lessons to learn from it. In your case, it can be a place to practice keeping the anxiety at bay. I know that may sound nuts right now but as you learn more here, you will see what I mean. For now, I would say, get on here as much as you can and gain inspiration from the people who are ahead of you in their journey. We have had a ton of Successful Disclosure stories on here lately and many of them are folks who just a few short months ago thought their live was over. I'll post some links at the bottom for you. As you progress, you will find that helping and supporting others on here who are recently diagnosed will help you to gain control even faster. It's a beautiful thing to see people go from hopeless to helping others in a few short weeks or months :)

 

Regarding exercise, periods, food and supplements. Everyone is different, and things can even change for you depending on all the other factors - I for one went through a spell when I was peri-menopausal where chocolate and nuts would set me off. Now I eat both by the ton and barely have any OB's. So the bottom line is to 1) learn your triggers as well as what seems to work for you to keep it at bay through trial and error and 2) be prepared for an OB so you can attack it at the first signs ... keep the anti-virals in, plus perhaps Epsom Salts (sit in a warm tub of water and dump a few handfuls of it near the area where your OB's are), and go commando as much as possible. Hitting it internally and externally as soon as you feel it coming on can make a HUGE difference to the severity and length of an OB !

 

You will be fine... I've had this 35+ years and been happily married and amicably divorced after 20 years, and had 3 BF's since.... I've learned how to manage it and it has got better with age to where I hardly ever break out...and I didn't have any of this to help me out back when I got it ;)

 

(((HUGS)))

 

 

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2495/a-coming-out-story- DanieM

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2544/disclosure silentstandoff

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/1644/having-the-herpes-talk-with-a-new-partner Daisy

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2689/first-time-disclosing-herpes-and-very-very-nervous paleogardenerkika

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2789/about-to-have-the-herpes-talk Empowered 74

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2833/this-was-a-first kitcattat

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2892/first-disclosing-talk-with-a-new-guy-so-relieved Figuringthisout

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/2879/rekindling-an-old-flame Valkyrie

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3021/successful-herpes-disclosure Starsinhereyes

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3036/i-had-the-herpes-talk-and-he-said- thisisgoingtobeok (our most recent and possibly biggest success story :)

 

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Thank you for the encouraging words, great links and pointing me in the right direction. Just hearing from someone else who has gone through this and has made it through the initial confusion to a place of peace and confidence gives me lots of hope :)

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Nutritional Science student at your service!

 

Multivitamins are fine, you may even go for Prenatal vitamins if you aren't on birth control. Anymore, we are reccomending that those who are of childbearing age be on prenatals. Find one that has everything you need, so you can stick to taking one or two vitamins as opposed to several.

 

Echinacea doesn't do anything sadly enough, so do save your money.

Sleep and stress are the biggies. Lack of sleep leads to stress which leads to a lowered immune system which leads to outbreaks.

 

Caffeine depends on how you react to it. A cup or two or three of coffee per day won't do a whole lot if you do so normally. However, if you aren't tolerant of caffeine, it can cause anxiety and you get the cascade effect. Mess with it- trial and error!

 

Bread- I can't see a reason why this would affect it, unless you have a gluten intolerance which could put stress on your system. Just make sure you choose whole wheat varieties with limited added sugar.

 

Whole grains- choose whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, etc over white bread and white rice.

 

Veggies- get plenty of fruits and veggies. Mentally divide your plate into half fruits and veggies, one quarter protein and one quarter grains.

 

Essentially just eating healthy, exercising, getting plenty of sleep is the goal.

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@misskellyrenee

 

Great nutritional advice.... one thing you may want to study in detail (as I'd love it if you could help on here with nutrition ... it would free me up to deal with all the other stuff ;) ) is the Lysine/Arginine balance and the foods that are high in both.

 

There are Medical professionals who don't believe in the Lysine supplementation ... I for one feel it's harmless enough to try it ....but even better would be to look at your personal diet to see if you are heavy in one area or another in your diet first. AND, I believe that there are sooo many things that determine how well you ingest, convert, and utilize any of the vitamins/amino acids/minerals/ etc that we need to maintain balance (age, sex, genetics, previous illnesses, current illnesses, dietary imbalances that throw off other areas, etc) that IMO all guidelines for our diets have to be taken as a base starting point. I personally believe that there is more to your heritage/genetics than had been taken into account ... just look at the Inuit who cannot tolerate alcohol ...because it was never in their diet until relatively recently. I think that this will become more important with nutritional counseling in the not-too-distant future ;)

 

 

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@hermia87

I haven't tried anything experimental really. I have wondered what would be the outcome of increasing protein during during healing from an OB. That's generally what you would do for someone healing from decubitous ulcers and bed sores, but i don't know if it would work in the same way. Generally, most people don't have an issue getting enough protein.

I've heard of some people fighting it by fasting. The thought behind this is that if your body isn't busy digesting, it can be busy healing. However, how can your body have the strength to fight it if it is hungry?

I'd say, just eat right and take care of yourself. Those are the things you can control.

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@misskellyrenee

It seems logical to increase protein during an outbreak if that's common practice for aiding healing of other skin ulcers and sores. I'll do some research. Also, this might sound like a stupid question... But do you have some suggestions on how to incorporate more veggies into my diet? I never really know what to do with veggies... All I can ever think to buy are broccoli,carrots and asparagus but that gets old fast and I don't know how to prep them. Is there a good cookbook or anything you know of?

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Actually, smoothies are a GREAT way to get vegetables into your diet...

 

This is a great site to start with: http://www.rawfamily.com/recipes

 

Also, I make Kale chips all the time - they cost a small fortune in the stores (about $17/lb) and you can make them at a MUCH lower cost. you just get some kale (I prefer the curly kind) clean it well and let it dry... then tear small pieces (about 1 1/2 in) off (you don't want to use the stems), put in a large bowl and drizzle olive oil (I also use coconut oil) on it - only a few teaspoons... and use your hands to spread it until all the leaves are coated. If you have a favorite seasoning you can add that during this time. Spread on a baking sheet or aluminum foil (try not to have any overlapping) and bake at about 325 for 10 min... check it to see how it's doing (be careful of the steam as you open the door)... move it around and put back in for another 5 min or so - take s a few times to figure out your personal oven and times... but I can eat TONS of kale that way :)

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Keep in mind that they increase protein for people with decubitous ulcers because it spares their body from using their protein (muscle) to heal, so their body uses the protein they are getting in food to heal. Also, sometimes those people are suffering from malnutrition as a result of them, making the increased protein need necessary.

I am not too sure on good cookbooks but I would skim through Pinterest, as they always have great ideas for veggies.

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@Dancer2010 and @misskellyrenee

 

Thank you thank you thank you! Your feedback and suggestions and links are so helpful. I'm an actress and my schedule is crazy and I've found that during a show I end up not eating or eating junk food. The schedule (work from 8-5, rehearsal from 7-10/11 and shows on weekends) makes being healthy a real challenge but I've committed to myself that with my upcoming shows I will be very intentional about time management and nutrition to ensure that I'm getting go enough sleep and also getting the nutrition I need so I don't trash my immune system with the strain of work, rehearsals and shows.

 

Thank you again! I love to hear what has worked for other people... Starting from scratch is overwhelming so your feedback is so valuable!

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Hi Hermia,

Everybody else did a great job answering your questions about diet (which was super helpful to me to), but I thought I'd address your other concerns.

 

Given that exercise is a fantastic way to treat anxiety naturally, I wouldn't stop doing what you're doing. Just make sure to shower and keep clean. Exercise keeps your body healthy and your immune system strong, so I'm sure it does more good than harm. If you have future outbreaks and notice that hard cardio seems to set off an OB, you can manage that.

 

I also come from a history of mental illness (depression, anxiety, an eating disorder), so I completely understand your concern. Obviously, you may not ever be able to rid the anxiety completely from your life, but it can be managed (and it sounds like you're doing a good job). Another therapy you might want to try for anxiety (if you haven't already) is mindfulness therapy. The basic aim of this is to teach you to keep your mind in the moment and not on future/other events you can't control. I think you can even find ways to take classes in it online which are likely cheap or free.

 

I'm not sure how long you were married for, but I'm 27 also (still single :\), and I find that the men in my dating pool now are a lot different than when I was younger. I'm not sure how a younger man would react to the HSV news, but I think being older and more mature makes it much more likely that someone will not think your disclosure will be a big deal. It hasn't been for me. At my age, I'm not necessarily looking to sleep around anymore, and I think building intimacy before sex really reduces the likelihood that someone would run away from the news. Granted, I did have a one night stand with someone I disclosed to, and that was okay to. I think you can have it any way you want. We're both still young and have a lot to offer :)

 

Finally, I wanted to talk a little bit more about my outbreaks since we both have HSV1. I addressed this in my post a little bit, but wanted to give you more specifics here. My first outbreak felt like the end of the world, with the second wave being awful. I had sores all over my labia and into my thighs (maybe 20-40 sores, but I couldn't count.). This time, I have four sores and it doesn't seem to be spreading. There were five months between my initial and this OB, and honestly I kind of forgot I had it for a little while. I've heard in the first year that outbreaks will be most frequent, and if I only have to deal with this every 6 months or so, that seems pretty manageable. I'm looking forward to the days when they may happen once a year or fewer, but we'll see how this goes.

 

Anyways, that was probably way too long the TL;DR version is: it's all good, you still got it girl; and it it's probably only up from here!

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@ClementineK

Thank you so much for speaking to the issue of dealing with this trigger happy virus while simultaneously dealing with anxiet; I will definitely look into the midgut ness therapy stuff as it sounds like exactly what I need.

 

I'm glad to hear that your second outbreak was not nearly as bad as the first. That makes me less panicky about the potential of another outbreak.

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