What is a Retrovirus (HSV-1&2, VZ)
A retrovirus is a type of RNA virus that ‘edits’ its information on to our own cells DNA. As our cells then continue to replicate as normal, the virus is now hidden inside and included as a part of our DNA in the transcription and translation process. Imagine someone has written a very long book and just before it goes to print- someone adds in an extra word that makes perfect sense (but unnecessary) in one of the sentences. Now the book will be reprinted forever without anyone noticing that there has been an extra word added. This is why it is difficult to detect until the host has already been infected and until now there is no cure for retroviruses so the infection will persist indefinitely.
What can I do to minimise outbreaks?
Reducing or being aware of your allostatic load will provide the greatest improvement at preventing future outbreaks of retroviruses such as HSV 1&2 and Herpes Zoster also known as Shingles. Imagine your body’s immune tolerance as a bucket. When your allostatic load increases (wear and tear of daily lifestyle choices), at a greater rate than your body can heal or replenish its defences- the bucket slowly gets fuller. After sufficient accumulated allostatic load that is enough to “fill the bucket”, the immune system is overburdened which provides the retrovirus with a perfect opportunity to attack its host.
How to reduce allostatic load
- Reduce psychological Stress
- reduce physical stress (dryness, sunburn, OVER-TRAINING)
- Get sufficient sleep (7-9hrs)
- reduce intake of arginine-rich foods
- increase lysine-rich foods
Foods to avoid
- Chocolate/ cacao
- Wheat products
- Processed sugary foods
- Any foods that stress or damage the gut lining
- Take appropriate sun protection (sunscreen, hats, clothes, shade)
- Reduce stress- optimize time, say no, ask for help, don’t worry about what you can’t control
- Stinging nettle root
- Vitamin C
Aromatherapy / teas / balms
- Teatree oil
- Lemon balm oil
- Cistus tea
- Olive leaf tea