HPV from a Holistic Perspective
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6.2 million new cases of sexually transmitted HPV infections are reported every year.
The Human Papilloma virus (HPV) infects the skin and mucous membranes of humans. There are around 200 types of HPV out of which 40 types are typically transmitted through sexual contact. It is also spread by skin contact. Most HPV infections do not show any manifestations, even though they are present in the body. Such dormant infections can get activated at any point when there is a drop in immunity. Even in the dormant state HPV may be transmitted to another individual and hence HPV infections should never be left untreated. Furthermore leaving HPV unchecked puts one at an extremely high risk of cervical or penile cancer!
Some types of low-risk HPV strains, such as HPV 6 and 11 cause external genital warts, while other high risk HPV strains including HPV 16 and 18 cause the sub-clinical lesions that may lead to pre-cancerous dysplasia.
Causes of HPV
- HPV is transferred by skin-to-skin contact.
- A group of at least 30 types of HPVs are transmitted through sexual contact and affect the anogenital region.
- The lesions are initially restricted to the area exposed to the infection, i.e. genital warts are seen in vaginal intercourse, anal warts when anal sex is practiced, and warts in the mouth or throat in people who have oral sex with infected partners.
- Direct contact of the skin or mucosa with the warts can also transmit the virus. For example, if a man touches his genital warts and then touches another person, the latter may develop warts on the exposed part.
- Most cases of HPV infections do not give rise to signs or symptoms. It is thus often transmitted unknowingly.
- In rare cases, it can also be transmitted vertically or transplacentally, from mother to child.
Signs and Symptoms of an HPV Infection
Signs and symptoms of HPV vary depending on the type of the virus one is infected with.
Most HPV infections do not show any manifestations, even though they are present in the body. Such dormant infections can get activated at any point, when there is a drop in immunity. Even in the dormant state it may be transmitted to another individual.
Signs and symptoms commonly seen are:
- They are also called as Condylomata acuminata or venereal warts and are HPV symptoms caused by HPV types 6 and 11.
- These warts may be pedunculated (with stalks) and cauliflower-like in appearance, or sessile (without stalks). The warts are usually soft, fleshy, and moist. They may ooze, bleed, get pustular and itch, at times.
- In women, genital warts can be seen on the labia majora, minora, cervix, vagina, and anus.
- In men, genital warts mostly appear on the scrotum or penis, especially around the corona glandis like a garland of warts encircling the head of the penis.
Pre Cancerous Lesions:
- These are potentially dangerous HPV symptoms caused by infection with 'high risk' sexually transmitted HPVs, including types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, and 68.
- These are pre-cancerous affections, which can progress to invasive cancer, and are most commonly seen in the genital areas.
- These types of HPV cause cellular changes or dysplasia in the cervix or vagina.
- Such lesions can be easily detected on a PAP smear.
Cancer of the Cervix, etc:
- Persistent infection with high-risk types of HPV increases the chances of developing Cervical Cancer. Types 16 and 18 are responsible for 70% of cervical cancer.
- All cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV infections.
- The high risk types of HPV can also cause cancer of the anus, mouth and upper respiratory tract.
Lesions of the Upper Respiratory Tract:
- Some strains of HPV can affect the mouth and upper respiratory tract.
- They could give rise to HPV symptoms like warts on the tongue, tonsils, buccal cavity, larynx and nose.
- These warts interfere with breathing and may require surgery.
- These appear on the sole of the foot.
- They typically have a cauliflower like appearance.
- They may ooze blood through capillaries when the surface is cut open.
- They spread on contact with the virus, through cuts and abrasions on the skin.
Diagnosis of an HPV Infection
- Diagnosis is based on history given by the patient and visual examination of the affected part.
- Application of acetic acid to almost invisible warts causes them to fade and appear prominent for better diagnosis and to spot the exact location and extent of the lesions.
- Pap smear tests in women become mandatory to look out for dysplasia in the cervix, which could undergo precancerous changes. A Pap test can detect pre-cancerous and cancerous cells in the cervix. Regular Pap testing and careful medical follow-up, with treatment if necessary, can help ensure that pre-cancerous changes in the cervix caused by HPV infection do not develop into life-threatening cervical cancer.
- If the Pap test yields inconclusive results, a HPV DNA test is done to identify the type of HPV. If the HPV DNA test indicates a high risk type of infection, it is more likely to present a cancer risk.
- In suspicious looking lesions, a biopsy followed by histopathological examination can be done to ascertain the diagnosis.
Complications of an HPV Infection
- One of the most dreaded complications of HPV is cancer. In women, the possibility of cervical cancer as a result of the virus is more as compared to vulvar or anal cancers. It therefore very important that once HPV or cervical dysplasia is detected, women get their Pap smear tests done at regular intervals to tackle dysplastic and precancerous changes at the earliest.
- Penile cancer in men, although a rare feature, has been known to be caused by HPV. Treatment for HPV in men should therefore not be neglected.
Prevention of an HPV Infection
- HPV can only be prevented by avoiding direct skin or mucosal contact with the warts, and by avoiding any unprotected sexual activity with an infected partner.
- The use of condoms definitely helps to control the transmission provided that the warts are only over the penis and are fully covered by the condom during sexual activity.
- If the warts are elsewhere, like on the scrotum, thighs, or pubic region, the infection can get transmitted, and hence any sexual activity should be avoided till the warts are fully treated.
- Since the virus is in the body fluids too, French kissing with a lot of salivary exchange between partners is also risky, as the virus can get transmitted.
- If a woman has warts on her breast near the areola or nipples, she should avoid breast-feeding, as she could infect her child.
It’s important to understand that just because you’ve tested positive for HPV doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get cervical cancer (or genital warts). It only means you have a virus that needs to be cleared from your system.
For your body to clear the virus, you may need additional immune support. This can often be managed through dietary changes, stress management, and immune-boosting supplements.
A strong immune system starts with a healthy diet. When choosing to empower your body in clearing the infection, food and environmental lifestyle changes are vital to the recovery process.
Include the following:
- Eat Cruciferous vegetables like kale, mustard greens, horseradish, watercress, turnips, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
- Vegetables like carrots, squash, tomatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and lettuce are beneficial to HPV diagnosed patients because of their high beta- carotene content. This red-orange pigment is converted to Vitamin A in the body, which bolsters the immune system to fight HPV.
- Folic acid rich foods are legumes, fortified cereal, asparagus, eggs, oranges, and strawberries.
- Vitamin C- the ultimate immune booster; yellow and red bell peppers, kale, kiwi, broccoli, berries, oranges, peas, and papaya
- Antioxidants like green tea, berries, peaches, and spinach.
- Vitamins and Antiviral Herbs- Astragalus, Goldenseal Root, Coriolus Versicolor (Mushroom), and Olive Leaf.
Avoid the following:
- If your diet consists mainly of highly-processed foods like donuts, fast-food meals, and diet soda, your immune system is bound to suffer. This is because junk foods are nutritionally-void. They may fill your stomach, but will not give your immune system the nutrients it needs to function properly and protect you from disease.
- To maintain a strong, healthy immune system, you must eat a wholesome diet. This means slowly weaning off processed food and investing in nutrient-dense foods such as organic vegetables, fruit, beans, seeds, nuts, meat, poultry, fish, and healthy fats such as coconut oil and olive oil.
- Reduce or keep away from alcohol consumption
- Limit or avoid the consumption of coffee
Home Remedies for HPV:
Dandelion is useful in the treatment of warts. The milk from the cut end of dandelion should be applied on warts two to three times daily.
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Biogetica is a collective of Drs and Holistic Healthcare practitioners dedicated to holistic healing, with evidence based natural remedies & advanced bio energetic therapies.
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Heal the entire being
Biogetica has a unique and comprehensive Holographic model of healing which synthesizes all prevalent medicine systems to simultaneously ease physical, energetic, mental and emotional layers of your being. Our full spectrum approach works across the entire physical, energetic and informational spectrum of life. Totality is our Modality and we are always open to any tradition or treatment that will benefit you.
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Holistic healing is necessary for lasting relief. Biogetica, therefore, uses Resonance Homeopathy to harmonize the entire being; flower essences to attune the mind; Ayurvedic, Amazonian, Tibetan and Chinese herbs to balance the energetic and the physiological manifestation of the five elements; and nutraceuticals to coordinate cellular nutrition. Our approach works across the spectrum of life to balance matter and energy whilst using archetypes of the undying spirit to remind the entropic physical body of its optimal functions. Each human is a child of immortality pre-programmed to perform a billion functions with a mind boggling precision that most science cannot comprehend. Each of our kits potentially provides specific nutrition needed for a particular function, the herbs in these kits balance the terrain of the body to make it conducive to that function and the vibrational therapies potentially help bring balance.
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Look for natural solutions
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Nature has blessed the Earth with natural medicines and healing mechanisms. It would be wise not to ignore them. The intelligence of nature is much greater than that of man. Unfortunately, man still focuses on chemical medicines, as they can be patented and sold for huge profits. Allopathic attempts to treat chronic ailments by interfering directly with the chemical processes using man-made substances, has essentially been a failure. We claim to be cracking the gene code, but we still can't cure a cold with man-made substances!!! Homeopathic and Naturopathic methods are never studied and verified by governing bodies, as there is no one who will spend millions obtaining an approval on herbs, knowing that they cannot be patented and sold exclusively by them.
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Appeal to the balancing forces inherent in all nature
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From medication to meditation
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