010: A Naturopathic Approach To Living With Herpes, with Dr. Brandy McGill

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A Holistic Mind Body and Soul Approach to Herpes


Welcome to episode 10 of Life With Herpes, thank you for being here! On our show today we have the pleasure of speaking with my friend, Dr. Brandy McGill.


Dr. Brandy is a California-licensed naturopathic doctor who believes in treating the patient as a whole and getting to the root cause of their issues, rather than simply addressing the symptoms.


Today we’ll be talking about her recommendations for living with the herpes virus, including her top tips for daily life. Join us on episode 10 of Life With Herpes.


More About Life With Herpes


Dr. Brandy McGill received her naturopathic doctorate and Master’s in Nutrition (summa cum laude) from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Prior to that she earned her Bachelor's degree in Nutrition from the University of Tennessee.


Armed with that knowledge and a compassionate, holistic approach to health, Dr. Brandy helps her patients through holistic therapies. She uses a combination of therapies including clinical nutrition, vitamins & minerals, botanical, homeopathy, mind & body medicine. Today she has a private practice in San Diego specializing in women’s issues, hormone balancing, thyroid issues, herpes and digestion.


I asked Dr. Brandy to be on the show today to talk about how she works with her patients who have herpes. But before we could dig into that, she explained the two herpes viruses. Oral herpes is HSV-1 and genital herpes is HSV-2. At its core, herpes (either 1 or 2) is a recurring viral infection that can be passed through the skin and mucous membrane.


When she sees a patient who has the virus, she tries to get to the root of why they are having outbreaks. She has found it is usually about keeping the immune system healthy so she recommends extra immune support, and changing the person’s diet (such as removing sugar and possibly switching to a vegetarian diet). She also adds supplements that help the immune system and ones that help fight the virus too.


If there are recurring outbreaks it is usually immune system-related. Any kind of stress can cause an outbreak from emotional stress, physical stress, trauma, illness, even pregnancy can cause an outbreak, pregnancy is stressful for the body.


According to Dr. Brandy, the more stressed you are and the weaker your immune system is the more likely it is you will have an outbreak. The opposite is also true: the stronger your immune system the less often you will have an episode. So keeping your immune system strong is key.

Tweetable:  “It boils down to keeping your immune system healthy.” - Dr. Brandy McGill

While some people have told me they are grateful for having the virus because it helps them know when to take extra care of their bodies, there are still the basics of living with it that must be handled.


So I asked Dr. Brandy for her top recommendations for living with the virus. She recommends reducing stress, meditating more, cutting out sugar, alcohol and processed foods. You can also increase your Vitamin C, your green, yellow and orange vegetables. And if you do have an outbreak apply ice cubes to the area for 60 to 90 seconds to decrease the pain and inflammation.


She goes on to say diet is a huge factor in recurring outbreaks and our overall health. Py attention to any food sensitivities you have and avoid those triggers. You also will want to get your gut and digestion as healthy as possible, your gut health is linked to your immune system’s health, too.


Today we discuss what valacyclovir (the anti-viral drug) does for the body, what removing sugar also does for the body, and why peanuts are a bad trigger for outbreaks! Join us for all of that, and more on episode 10 of Life With Herpes.






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