The herpes simplex I virus is best known for the annoying cold sores and blisters it causes on and around the lips and mouth. While these symptoms can be painful, they usually are not debilitating. When the virus makes its way to the inside of the mouth, however, the painful consequences can begin to affect your overall health and well being.
Herpes on the tongue can make eating and drinking very painful especially during a severe outbreak which causes multiple blisters on the tongue and mouth interior.
The Symptoms of Herpes on the Tongue
Herpes on the tongue is categorized by blisters, cold sores and other types of skin lesions on the tongue (and on the inside of the mouth), that fill with a yellowish liquid which leaks or burst open at the end of the outbreak.
Still, the well known blister or cold sore type sores on the tongue are not the only symptoms of this very contagious disease. Herpes on the tongue often begin with a tingling or burning sensation in the mouth. The tongue may also sting for no apparent reasons when touched or irritated.
Oftentimes, herpes victims also report feeling like they are coming down with the flu before any tongue lesions appear. These types of flu like symptoms may include a headache (mild to severe); a fever; chills; and a general feeling of unwell.
Once the lesions and blisters appear on the tongue, the virus usually lasts about 10 days or so. During this time, eating and drinking may be painful, especially if the outbreak is a severe one and the entire tongue is covered. Those with a compromised immune system or who suffer with dietary issues should be especially careful about getting the right amount of fluids throughout the outbreak to avoid dehydration.
Treating Herpes on Tongue Symptoms
Anti-viral drugs are often prescribed by physicians when an oral herpes outbreak occurs. Medications such as Acyclovir can be taken to help dramatically reduce the severity of the outbreak; the number of lesions to appear in the mouth and on the tongue, as well as the length of the outbreak.
Still, some people would prefer more natural remedies for finding relief from their symptoms. Some of the most common homeopathic remedies for oral herpes on the tongue include:
- smearing a thick mixture of baking soda and mixture over the tongue lesions
- rinsing several times a day with milk of magnesia
- applying tea tree oil to the blisters and sores
- use Vivus to help stop bleeding gums, coated tongue, heavy salivation and bad breath during an oral herpes attack
- drinking ice cold water (or rinsing several times an hour with ice cold water) to help deaden nerve responses and offer pain and inflammation relief
Avoiding Herpes on Tongue Outbreaks
Just like other herpes virus strains, herpes simplex I which affects the mouth and tongue tends to recur several times a year for most patients. This can be hard for some people to deal with. Luckily, there are ways to boost your immune system and keep your oral herpes under control. Here are a few tips to try to ward off regular herpes outbreaks:
Taking a regular supplement of B-Complex vitamins (50 mg twice every day) has shown to reduce the instances of herpes outbreaks in most patients.
Add a probiotic to your regular health care regime to build your immune system and keep the herpes virus under control. Most homeopathic experts recommend taking a product containing at least 4 billion active organisms twice per day (a half an hour after meals), for the best results.
A Well-Balanced Diet
Eating foods rich in amino acids, L-Lysine can help inhibit herpes virus replication. Some foods high in these important nutrients include: legumes, turkey chicken, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Eating foods containing high levels of essential fatty acids (like salmon, nuts, flaxseeds and seeds) also help in repairing damaged tissues caused form herpes blisters.
This antiviral herb is a great asset to building the immune system and keeping the virus from invading the body.
Adding a thymus extract to your daily supplement can help boost the thymus gland and keep your immune system strong.
Herpes is especially vulnerable to stress. When under chronic stress, most victims report an increase in their symptoms, so it makes sense to live a more well-balanced lifestyle in order to reduce stress and keep your outbreaks under better control.
Living with Oral Herpes
Herpes on the tongue can be very painful, as well as embarrassing. The good news is with the right diet and prevention, you can work towards lessoning the amount of episodes experienced, and shorten the duration of those outbreaks that are experienced.
For more information on living with herpes contact the Herpes Resource Centerat the American Social health Association at www.ashasdt.org.