“If you love something, set it free. Just don’t be surprised if it comes back with herpes…” ~Chuck Palahniuk
This part of the article stands on its own but you may want to read Part 1 here.
Weakened Immune System
Like 80% of you, I have some form of herpes. Gross, I know. But before you get too grossed out or start judging, you should know that Chicken Pox is a form of herpes. And once you have it, you carry that virus for life. So, if you had ever Chicken Pox, congratulations you have herpes. You sick fuck!
Herpes gladiatorum is an infection of the Herpes Simplex Virus 1. Know as “Mat Herpes,” it is common among athletes of contact sports, like wrestling, hence the term. I did wrestle in high school but I didn’t get any symptoms until 2002 (over a decade later) while on a deployment. It’s possible I contracted the virus then but who knows. There’s no point in trying to figure it out now.
For several years, I dealt with outbreaks on my elbow without ever knowing exactly what it was until I eventually had an outbreak and medical coverage at the same time. This was around 2007. Concerned about my sex life, I immediately asked the doc about how it’s transmitted. She assured me I did not have genital herpes and made a point to tell me that unless I was doing weird things with my elbow, it wouldn’t be transferred during sex.
At the time, I was told that outbreaks would occur during times of stress. That made sense. When I looked back at my last few outbreaks I could see that I was under stress. What I wasn’t made aware of was that an outbreak could also occur with a weakened immune system.
Between the years of 2011 and 2014, I didn’t have one outbreak until I took a trip to Mexico in July of 2014. And trust me, there were a lot of stressful at times in those years. This was the first time I went off paleo. From day one, I ate corn, wheat, and dairy and was in bed with a fever and body aches within a week. I thought I had food poisoning but I was missing a certain important symptom, the shits. Then the blisters showed up on my arm. I was blown away. It had been nearly four years since my last outbreak. I had completely forgotten that I had the virus. I realized I had compromised my immune system with the foods I was eating.
Two years later I was reminded again that I still had the virus. This time, the consumption of corn alone was enough to weaken my immune system. I got sick before I even started eating wheat or dairy.
Results may vary
This is just an account of what happened to me. I am not trying to convince you to eat how I eat. I am done trying to help people improve their health by teaching them about nutrition. I will say this, though. I have learned that one of the biggest reasons why you should restrict your diet to mostly healthy — nutrient dense food is so that on occasion, you can eat whatever the eff you want or whatever the circumstance allows.
With a nice and healthy, healed gut you can tolerate a lot of “bad” foods.
This will come in handy in the event you don’t really have a choice or want to enjoy a local delicacy. I have two good examples of this. One is a friend who is going to in France in a few weeks, she better eat a croissant in France! The other is the military member who is going to deploy and will have to eat Meals Ready to Eat (MREs). With both these situations, the healthier you are going in, the easier you are going be able to handle the situation.
Yeah I got sick, but things could have been a lot worse and they have in the past. I have gotten traveler’s diarrhea or food poisoning every time I have traveled to Latin America, except for the last two times. Both of these times I had been eating primitively for years. I was healthy. My gut was in great shape. Now, to get it back in great shape.