How does the herpes virus flare so quickly after stress, fear or trauma?
A Brief History of your Immune System
In the “long ago” times, we hunted, traveled, built shelters, loved, died, feasted or went hungry.
Occasionally we had to fight for our lives with a bear or other hunters.
When life is quiet (even if working hard), we are in our Para-Sympathetic Nervous System. Here we can digest, rest, fight infection, and repair the body.
But if we perceive our life is threatened, we switch to the Sympathetic Nervous System.
In the Sympathetic state, blood pressure rises, muscles tense, cholesterol and glucose rise, and cortisol and adrenaline increase – all to help us Fight or Flee. The immune system slows as it is not essential to survival in the moment.
Fear, Anxiety and Trauma Raise Cortisol and Adrenaline
Once in the Sympathetic Nervous System, our entire body is ready to fight or flee. Sometimes this is a short event, such as a moment of “road rage” that passes quickly.
Sometimes fear and anxiety become chronic – we might be fearful of an outcome or person, whether correctly or not. (I encourage Clients to interrupt their Anxious Mind and use their Rational Mind — is this angry phone call really going to lose your job, marriage or friend?)
In trauma such as a car accident or assault, the Adrenal glands secrete huge amounts of Cortisol and Adrenaline to help us run, fight, swim a river, climb a 40 foot tree or whatever we need to do to survive.
This increase in Cortisol and Adrenaline continues until we fully perceive the threat to be gone.
How Does Stress Trigger Herpes Outbreaks?
While your body is addressing fear, trauma, injury or attack, it withdraws resources from ALL repairs and maintenance.
When under threat (or perceived threat), repair and immune systems STOP
Why bother fighting a virus, herpes sore, bacteria or even digesting your food if you may soon be the predator’s dinner? Or die from blood loss or injury?
Fear, Anxiety and Trauma Stop the Immune System
Stress stops or slows the immune system. It depends on how YOU manage thoughts and feelings about that anxiety or trauma as to how quickly balance is restored.
Herbs, meditation, exercise, counseling and your Rational Mind can help turn your nervous system back to its preferred ParaSympathetic state. This turns your immune system back on.
The Effects of Chronic Anxiety on Herpes Simplex
- Anxiety is fear
- Fear means DANGER is perceived by the brain (even if it’s only your anxiety talking)
- If danger is present we switch to our Flight or Fight nervous system
- The Immune System (as well as digestion, cellular repair, anti-aging, etc.) doesn’t work well in Fight or Flight
- Your body is doing its job to keep you ready to fight until you relax
Our anxiety and fears keep telling the brain we are in danger. We use phrases like ” this is killing me!’, or “I’ll lose my job!’ even when those may be big exaggerations.
Telling the truth about what’s so and what’s needed to be done can be a powerful antidote to anxiety.
How to Help Manage Anxiety and Stress
I write and Podcast frequently on the GABA neurotransmitter and its role in keeping the brain more calm and rational. Use the blue Search box to read and understand more about this – search GABA, Anxiety, or Stress. Or search Sleep. We don’t sleep well when cortisol or adrenaline are elevated.
This is the professional-grade Pharma GABA in my Online Store. It’s chewable so the (low dose) sugars transport this special fermented GABA quickly into the brain and blood stream. Taking it nightly helps restore deeper sleep and energy. Smaller doses of Pharma Gaba can also be taken in the day to manage anxiety and stress. Or if you wake at 3 AM and can’t return to sleep.
Our Passion Flower Glycerite tincture is also highly recommended. Take it day and/or night as needed to take the edge off your anxieties. Glycerin is a sweet (non-caloric) base so you don’t need to put this in water. Convenient at work, in the car, in the middle of the night…. anywhere!
The Top Two Things to Reduce Herpes Outbreaks
- Stop eating Grains (wheat, corn, rice, oats) and other high Arginine foods the HSV Virus feeds on
- Get your emotions under control
Here are three articles and Podcasts on the best low-Arginine diet for Herpes: “The Best and Worst Foods for Herpes”; “Are Bone Broth and Collagen Safe with Herpes?”; and “Is A Low Arginine Diet for Herpes Permanent?”
Use any of the products in my Online Store category Sleep, Stress & Anxiety. Melissa Lemon Balm is particularly helpful as it is known to be effective against the herpes virus and is a calming herb too.
Stop most of your anxiety and fears by daily increasing GABA (and possibly Serotonin) and recognizing (rationally) your fears are NOT life-threatening. Get help for traumas that might BE life-threatening.
Look at the items in the Herpes Control Pack or in the Herpes and Epstein Barr Category of supplements. Each of those is an important part of helping the immune system. I use these personally and with my Clients in my Virtual Consults and San Antonio Diet and Health Center.