Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a viral infection that can develop into a crop of health problems.
If left undiscovered, it can lead to incredibly serious conditions such as genital warts and, in some cases, cervical cancer.
Although there is a vaccine available for some of the more high-risk strains of HPV, it is worrying to learn that, much like most viruses, there is no “cure,” only the hope that our bodies’ immune systems are able to fight off the virus and keep us healthy.
However, there are things that we can do to fight off this potentially dangerous virus, and some of these measures are not out of your grasp.
In this article, we aim to demonstrate to you that with a change in lifestyle, most of us can significantly reduce the dangers of HPV; it is possible to provide our immune system with a fighting chance of fending the infection off, not to mention leaving us feeling healthier and happier in our everyday lives.
Read on to see how changing your lifestyle can protect you from HPV.
What Is HPV?
HPV is one of the most commonly transmitted sexual infections in the world.
In the USA alone, approximately 79 million people are thought to be infected with HPV.
Despite the potential seriousness of the virus, the majority of strains will not develop into the very serious conditions which can be caused by other high-risk strains, like a range of different cancers. In fact, for most carriers of the virus, no symptoms will manifest themselves at all, and the human body will do its job and quickly eradicate the virus from our system.
However, if allowed to persist, HPV can cause cells to mutate and become abnormal, in particular those of the cervix. Most HPV strains affect the squamous cells of the cervix – the surface level cervical skin cells – and if the virus remains present, can become more abnormal and potentially lead to cervical cancer.
However, this development usually takes a number of years, so there’s no need to panic just yet if you find yourself with an abnormal pap test.
How Do I Know If I Have HPV?
The only way to know for sure if you have HPV is to receive a pap smear test or HPV test from your medical professional.
The pap smear test has been a staple for women for decades – it involves a medical professional taking a swab of the inner wall of the cervix in order to examine the squamous cells for any abnormalities.
While this is not direct proof of HPV, abnormal cells are an extremely strong indicator of the virus, and one of the dangerous developments which your immune system needs to combat.
A newer diagnosis tool, the HPV test, directly detects the presence of HPV rather than looking for abnormal cells, and is thought to be a more accurate initial screening.
Lifestyle and HPV
While screening methods like the HPV test and the Pap Smear Test are essential in remaining clued up on the virus, these external measures are not going to enable you to get rid of the virus. That comes down to your immune system, and your body’s resilience when it comes to fighting off infection.
What Lifestyle Factors Contribute to Fighting HPV?
There are a great many lifestyle factors that contribute to the strength of the immune system and, in turn, your ability to combat viruses such as HPV.
It is very important that, if you find yourself with a positive pap or HPV test result, that you do everything you can to aid your immune system to keep yourself healthy.
Some of the most effective things you can do to fight HPV are as follows:
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables: incorporating fruit and veg into your diet is one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your immune system. This is because they contain most of the essential vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to be resilient to infection.
- Curb excessive drinking: it will come as no surprise that regular drinking can lead to the impairment of your body’s immune system. If you manage to halt your drinking, your body will feel less run down and more robust in general.
- Stop smoking: again, we all know that smoking cigarettes is bad for us, but did you know that it can directly affect the immune system? By stopping smoking, not only will you improve your overall health, but also be better able to respond to HPV.
- Drink green tea! Green tea extract for HPV is a fantastic way to counteract the virus – it is found to be filled to the brim with polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that are excellent at combatting cell damage.
- Take targeted supplements: people suffering with HPV and those who find that the virus persists month on month may well be deficient in certain key nutrients. Papillex have developed a supplement which takes all of these vitamins able to counteract these deficiencies and puts them into one handy tablet.