How to Build Your Immune System to Fight HPV
HPV is a virus that affects the skin and mucous membranes. There are more than 100 different types of HPV, some of which can cause cancer. The good news is that most HPV infections go away within two years. But still, it’s essential to build your immune system to fight HPV to protect yourself from the severe health risks associated with this virus. This blog post will discuss nine tips for preventing and treating HPV infections!
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What Is HPV?
The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a DNA virus coming from the papillomavirus family.
It’s the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI) globally.
More than 42 million people in the US alone have HPV. And around 13 million Americans get infected every year.
This infection can be transferred between individuals, even if the person has no symptoms. It may spread through direct sexual contact, including:
- Anal sex
- Vaginal sex
- Oral sex
Can You Still Be Sexually Active with HPV?
If you’re HPV positive, you won’t hit your sex life hard. But you have to abstain for a few weeks, especially during genital warts treatment.
Genital warts are flat or raised bumps, which are a symptom of HPV. Anyone can quickly transfer them through skin-to-skin contact, so your sexual partner may want to get themselves checked.
Remember that using protection and having only one sexual partner can reduce your chances of getting another STI.
Is HPV Curable?
Currently, there is no cure for HPV. Since it’s a viral infection, medications for bacterial infections can’t treat it. But the good news is that its symptoms are treatable.
However, if you get HPV, it’s crucial that you still consult with a doctor to determine if the infection goes away. Because if it persists, it may result in serious health problems. Some HPV strains may lead to cervical, anal, or penile cancer.
Fortunately, most individuals can clear it by boosting their immune system – this is why increasing your body’s defense can help you get rid of HPV.
9 Ways to Build Your Immune System to Fight HPV
1. Handle Stress
When you’re stressed, your body’s hormone levels shoot up. When this happens, your immune system weakens and doesn’t function properly.
You become more vulnerable to infections, and you can’t beat off HPV effectively.
Stress is inevitable, but you can make some lifestyle changes to help manage it and its effects on your body.
You can perform activities that can make you feel calmer, such as:
- socializing with friends
- deep breathing
- working out
2. Take Mushroom Extracts
Some mushroom extracts, used in traditional Eastern medicine for hundreds of years, contain anti-viral properties and can enhance your immune system.
According to research, active hexose correlated compound or AHCC can potentially treat HPV. AHCC refers to chemicals found in fungi, like shiitake mushrooms.
Other medicinal mushrooms that can boost your immune system are:
- red reishi
- turkey tail
3. Stop smoking
Smoking can weaken your immune responsiveness, negatively impacting your body’s ability to put down illnesses.
With this, smokers, former smokers, and even second-hand smokers are at greater risk of getting an HPV infection.
So, if you’re a smoker and have HPV simultaneously, you must do your best to resist and eventually quit smoking. Moreover, try to stay away from second-hand smoke as much as possible.
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4. Take Folic Acid
Folic acid, also known as folate or vitamin B9, is linked with the health of your cervix. For this reason, if you have low folate levels, you also have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer.
To increase your folic acid levels, you may either take folate supplements or consume foods that are rich in folate, such as:
5. Consume Green Tea Extract
Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the topical treatment or the application of green tea extract ointment in treating genital warts.
However, please consult your doctor before using any green tea extract, as it may interact with your other existing medications.
6. Limit Alcohol Consumption
So, limit your alcohol intake for a boosted immune function to ward off HPandas its potential complications.
7. Take Vitamin C
Vitamin C can support a healthy immune defense. But, your body doesn’t make this micronutrient naturally – this is why it’s best to add high vitamin C foods to your diet. These include:
- white potatoes
- bell peppers
- citrus fruits, like lemon, kiwi, orange, and grapefruit
- cruciferous veggies, like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower
You may also get more vitamin C through supplements.
8. Take Diindolylmethane (DIM)
DIM is a compound that can stimulate your immune functions. It can also reduce the effects of chemicals that can cause cancer.
Your body makes DIM from digesting cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli. But you may also take it in supplement form, so you can get a sufficient amount and reap its benefits.
9. Take Vitamin A apart from vitamin C.
Vitamin A maintains your vision and promotes reproduction; it also assists in your immune system function.
So, increase your vitamin A by eating foods rich in this vitamin. Some top sources include:
- dairy products
- fortified cereals
There’s no natural or medical treatment yet for HPV. But thankfully, you can treat HPV symptoms, and a robust immune system can help clear the infection.
It would be best to make lifestyle changes to boost your immune system.
You may also want to consult your physician about getting an HPV vaccine to prevent new infections and high-risk HPV strains.
Lastly, know that this infection is common and that you are not alone.
Do you have any other tips on building your immune system to fight HPV? Please share with us in the comment section below!