Genital Warts are one symptom of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are caused by specific strains of the HPV family. These strains cause soft, fleshy, and often irritating growths around the genital areas.
If you have developed genital warts, you are probably wondering, “how do I get rid of them?” and “what does this mean for my health?”
In this blog, we break down all things genital warts, as well as provide information about a new medicinal mushroom compound called AHCC®. AHCC® has been found to support the immune system and eradicate viral infections like HPV.
What are Genital Warts?
Genital warts usually appear on the vulva, vagina, scrotum, or penis a few weeks to two to three months after exposure to an HPV infection.
The warts tend to be soft, fleshy, skin-colored, or appear as white bumps. They may grow in singles or multiples, sometimes appearing as a cauliflower-like growth. While genital warts can be itchy, annoying, and persistent, they are harmless.
How Did I Contract Genital Warts?
The HPV family includes over 100 different viruses that commonly infect humans. The virus is so common because it is easily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.
Genital warts can be transmitted through sexual interaction with the vagina, anus, oral sex, or hand contact. Transmission can even occur through individuals without visible warts or symptoms.
Given the ease of transmission, it is estimated that 80 percent of people will be exposed to an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime. The risk of developing complications depends on the viral strain of HPV that you have contracted.
Are you ready to respond to HPV?
What are the complications of contracting genital warts?
Fortunately, the strains of HPV that cause genital warts do not cause cancer. The strains of HPV associated with warts are considered low-risk. HPV tends to arise two to three months after infection and can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few years.
High-risk strains that are often asymptomatic can eventually progress into cancer.
It is important to note that contracting one strain of HPV does not make you immune to contracting other strains of HPV. Even if you have low-risk HPV, you can still be exposed to high-risk strains and should follow your physicians’ recommendations and receive regular testing. You can also pass the infection on to another person even once the warts have gone away.
Can genital warts be treated?
If you have recently noticed an outbreak of genital warts – what can you do to get rid of them?
HPV and genital warts can be treated.
Viruses and other pathogens that affect humans are suppressed by the immune system. Immune molecules such as natural killer cells, cytokines, and macrophages play a role in identifying and eliminating these foreign invaders. One way to naturally enhance the function and production of the immune system is through medicinal mushrooms.
AHCC® and genital warts
Active hexose correlated compound, or AHCC®, is a medicinal mushroom extract with immune-modulating and antioxidant activities. AHCC® has been researched for its use in supporting immune function in cancer treatment, viral infections, and enhancing immune function.
Studies have found AHCC® to increase the natural killer cell and cytokine production, allowing for greater activation of the immune system. AHCC® also enhances T-cell and macrophage production, helping eradicate and eliminate invaders.
AHCC® has been clinically researched as immune support for people suffering from persistent high-risk HPV infections. Dr. Judith A. Smith, of the University of Texas, has led two clinical trials of the use of AHCC® in people with HPV. The studies have evaluated a dose of 1 and 3 grams of AHCC® daily in high-risk HPV-infected individuals. The results of both studies have found AHCC® to have statistical significance in eradicating HPV infections compared to placebo.
No research studies have specifically evaluated AHCC® on genital warts. However, the underlying immune system support is important for clearing viral infections because it is the first to respond to and identify threats to the body for elimination.
What else can I do?
There are certain lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of infection:
- Quit Smoking and reduce alcohol: Smoking cigarettes impacts nearly every tissue in the body. No safe limit is recommended for use.
- Reduce alcohol intake: Drinking alcohol can suppress the immune system. If you choose to drink, aim for less than 2-3 glasses per week.
- Long-term use of oral contraceptives: Oral contraceptives have been linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer.
- Amp up your diet: Eating a nutrient-dense diet full of fruits and vegetables. Individuals who consumed more vegetables are less likely to have HPV.
- Green tea extract: Green tea extract has also been shown to inhibit the development of HPV warts and cervical lesions.