What Is the Relationship between Arginine and Herpes?

H. Lo
H. Lo
A blister caused by herpes type 1.
A blister caused by herpes type 1.

The relationship between arginine and herpes is that taking arginine can potentially worsen a person’s herpes condition. As interactions between medications and medical conditions often exist, the relationship between arginine and herpes is not unusual. In fact, there is evidence that suggests why these two do not go well together. That is, the interaction between arginine and herpes exists because arginine enables the herpes virus to multiply, thereby worsening the condition.

Arginine is an amino acid naturally found in the body, as well as in foods that contain protein, and in addition, it is also used as medication. Herpes itself is a viral infection that has no cure, although the body will naturally develop antibodies to deal with the virus. While arginine and herpes might not go well together, arginine does treat a variety of other medical conditions, and there are medications that can help relieve symptoms of herpes. For example, arginine can help treat congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. As for herpes, antiviral creams and ointments, as well as oral medications or intravenous injections, can help relieve symptoms, in addition to shortening the length of an outbreak.

Herpes outbreaks can occur from time to time. Symptoms of herpes that a person might experience during an outbreak include burning, itching or tingling sensations, as well as flu-like symptoms, sores and urination problems. Usually, an affected person will experience one severe outbreak after which the frequency and severity of the outbreaks tend to decrease. This is not always the case but it happens because of the antibodies that the body makes to defend the virus. For some individuals, though, the virus can re-activate, thus causing the outbreaks to reappear.

There are various circumstances under which the herpes virus might re-activate. Re-activation is possible because the virus is never eliminated from the body but, instead, remains dormant until it is triggered by something. Triggers that might re-activate the virus include illnesses, stress and surgery. Once triggered, the affected person might again experience outbreaks and will have to wait for the virus to once more become dormant. During this time, it is best to avoid worsening the condition by taking preventive measures.

Avoiding arginine is one such preventive measure, but it is not possible to completely rid the body of the amino acid. In addition, arginine is essential to health. Since arginine and herpes interact, when a person who is taking arginine as medication contracts herpes or has a re-activated infection, he or she should speak to a doctor to discuss any available treatment options.

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    • A blister caused by herpes type 1.
      A blister caused by herpes type 1.