Last Updated on May 10, 2023
Overview: Build Your Immune System to Fight HPV
How to Build Your Immune System to Fight HPV? Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses that are harmless and usually go away on their own. It affects different parts of the body causing warts on hands, feet, and genitals in some circumstances. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted viruses. There are around 100 types of HPV and about 30 strains of HPV that affect the genitals. The details of the different types of HPV will be discussed later in the blog.
The human papillomavirus is usually harmless as discussed above, but, immunity goes down with even minor viral infections, therefore, it is important how to build your immune system to fight HPV human papillomavirus. At times, a few strains are considered high risk as they can cause cervical cancer.
Mode of Transmission
Human papillomavirus is commonly spread through physical contact. Moreover, a person can transmit the virus to the other person even before they start to develop symptoms. The virus enters the body through minor scrapes, cuts, or tears in the skin. Some of the factors that increase the risk of getting infected with the human papillomavirus include:
- Age: Kids are more prone to getting infected and developing warts. However, adults are at a higher risk of developing genital warts.
- Physical contact: Coming in direct contact with warts can get you infected with HPV.
- Damaged skin: Deep cuts and scrapes allow the virus to seep into the skin and infect it.
- Weak immune system: People with weak immune systems are more prone to recurrent infections. It is therefore important how to build your immune system to fight HPV and other viruses.
Also read: Is Cervical Cancer Genetic?
Types of Human Papillomavirus
As previously discussed, human papillomavirus has different types, both high-risk and low-risk strains.
HPV strains 16 and 28 are considered high-risk strains, as they are responsible for around 70% of cervical cancers. Other high-risk strains include 31, 33, 45, 52, 58, and a few more.
HPV strains 6 and 11 are low-risk strains that cause 90% of genital warts that rarely progress to cervical cancer. These warts are cauliflower shaped and look like small bumps on the skin. The symptoms of low-risk HPV strains include warts, depending on the type of HPV an individual is affected with. Some of the common warts include:
- Genital warts: are flat spots or raised bumps on the vulva, anus, cervix, or vagina
- Common warts: are hard, grainy bumps on fingers and hands
- Plantar warts: are painful bumps present on the foot
- Flat warts: these are raised spots with a flat top, and are common on the face and legs
How to Build Your Immune System to Fight HPV
As discussed previously, the human papillomavirus is usually harmless and goes away on its own. While there is little you can do to help your body get rid of the virus, being healthy and maintaining a strong immune system may be beneficial. Whilst there is no assurance that one will not get a chronic HPV infection, there is no downside to having a strong immune response.
Also read: Cervical Cancer and HPV Screenings
Moreover, people with stronger immune systems have the greatest odds of overcoming HPV or any other infection. This is why it is imperative to maintain a healthy immune system to fight off infections. This section discusses viable strategies to strengthen the immune system to fight HPV:
- Quit smoking: Smoking is thought of as the culprit for decreased activity of the immune system. Therefore it is advised to quit smoking to help the immune system rejuvenate and play its role in fighting off infections.
- Decrease stress: Increased levels of stress hormones can disrupt the normal functioning of the immune system. Making changes to your routine is the best you could do to help normalize the levels of stress hormones.
- Focus on your dietary habits: There is still a conflict among experts on the role of diet in helping the body get rid of HPV. It is thought that certain B-complex vitamins help in boosting the immune system. These include B1, B12, and folate. Some good dietary sources are milk and cheese, vegetables, chicken, and eggs.
People suffering from similar conditions often find solace in talking to each other and pouring their hearts out. It also makes them feel less lonely, as HPV is a very common infection.
Diagnosis of HPV
By examining your warts, your doctor may be able to diagnose HPV infection. If no genital warts are evident, one or more of the following tests will be required:
- Test with vinegar (acetic acid): When an HPV-infected vaginal region is treated with vinegar, it turns white. This may aid in the detection of difficult-to-see flat lesions.
- Pap smear: The doctor takes a sample of cells from your cervix or vagina to be analyzed in the lab. Pap testing can detect cancer-causing abnormalities.
- DNA analysis: This test is performed on cervix cells, and it can detect the DNA of the high-risk forms of HPV that have been related to genital malignancies. In addition to the pap test, it is advised for women over the age of 30.
A Word From Revive
Revive Research Institute has conducted multiple clinical trials involving routine specimen collection from females referred for a colposcopy based on routine cervical cancer screening.
It was a single-visit research that took just 45 to 60 minutes to complete. The goal was to explore an investigational screening test for women who may be at high risk for HPV.
HPV is a common yet harmless infection. If you are diagnosed with HPV, you should know that the majority of cases resolve on their own within two years. To help you navigate through and stay healthy, you can build your immune system to fight HPV by stopping smoking, reducing stress, and changing your diet.