Today’s podcast is going to be about HPV and why it is that women are having such a hard time clearing this virus and getting it to negative. This just so happens to be something that I’ve been paying attention to and helping women with for over 23 years.
I’ve accumulated a lot of experience in this topic through research and observing my patients and I really feel this information needs to be out there in the world because so many women around the world are struggling to protect themselves from the HPV virus.
So, today I want to focus on why this virus is turning up positive for so many women, and what women can do to help protect themselves and prevent this virus from causing abnormal cells and cancer.
The HPV Virus
The HPV virus is a sexually transmitted virus that has over 150 different strains and some of those (at least 13 that we know of) are associated with cancer of the cervix, vagina, as well as anal and oral cancer. The HPV virus can also cause penile, anal, or oral cancer in men, so men are becoming more aware and interested in protecting themselves.
Today I’m going to focus on women because women are more often being tested for HPV. In fact, that’s part of the reason why more women are finding out that they are positive for HPV – simply because doctors are testing for it more now than ever before. In the past, we only tested for it when there were abnormal cells on the cervix. Now most doctors, around the world, are testing for HPV when women go in for a pap smear, whether abnormal cells are present or not.
It is very important to get pap smears regularly – I want to be clear about that. Thanks to pap smears, and biopsies, we’re able to identify when cells on the cervix are being affected by the HPV virus, even before it gets to the point of cancer. That’s good news because that means, if we can catch it early, we can be proactive and prevent it from progressing and causing more damage.
According to standard gynecological guidelines, if HPV is positive, but there are not abnormal cells, or mildly abnormal cells, your doctor is likely to say: “let’s wait and recheck to see if the cells become more abnormal.” That is because a study from over 10 years ago showed that 90% of women are able to clear the virus within 2 years without abnormal cells or cancer developing.
If abnormal cells develop, or if they become more abnormal (closer to cancer cells), then the doctor will likely say “let’s do a biopsy (colposcopy)” to double check the severity. If the cells are indeed more advanced (CIN2 or 3 is common nomenclature), the doctor will recommend removing the abnormal cells using a LEEP (or what is referred to as LLETZ in some countries) or conization procedure (a surgical procedure to remove part of the cervix).
Treatment Options for the HPV Virus
Unfortunately, in today’s conventional medicine, there isn’t a way to kill the virus. Even when the abnormal cells are removed, the HPV virus can continually cause more abnormal cells. Oftentimes women find themselves in a repetitive process of diagnostic and treatment procedures, in some cases for years or decades of their lives.
Now, I can tell you, based on research and my 23 years of clinical experience helping patients with HPV, there are effective ways to prevent the virus from causing abnormal cells using natural substances (nutrients, herbs, mushrooms) to strengthen and reset the immune system and our body’s ability to fend off the virus.
Dietary changes (such as to decrease sugar intake and increase antioxidants), as well as certain nutrients and supplements at clinical doses, and herbs and mushrooms, have been shown to help prevent HPV from causing abnormal cells and from advancing to cancer. In this episode I’m not going into detail about those approaches, although you can find references and resources below if you’d like to learn more.
Much of the research on natural products and approaches is aimed at using specific substances that are either directly antiviral and/or are known to improve immune function, decrease oxidative stress and inflammation, and provide nutrients important for healthy cellular function. This makes sense and studies have shown this approach to be effective.
The human body, after all, has the ability to clear the HPV virus on its own as shown in the study that 90% of women will clear this virus within two years of it testing positive.
Because I work with women who have persistent HPV – they have had it longer than two years – many of whom have already been trying natural approaches, such as diet changes and mushroom extracts (AHCC), in addition to avoiding commonly known factors that increase risk, such as smoking and birth control pills, I had to start asking… what else needs to be addressed?
Why is it that 10% of women are not clearing the virus? (Keep in mind that percentage may be higher now.) If we can learn from the 10% who are not clearing the virus, then we can help them to get into that 90% percent that are clearing the virus. This is question I’ve had in mind while developing my strategy and protocol to help women over the past couple of decades. I have been able to identify the most common reasons why women are not clearing it and how to help them successfully.
Reasons Why Your Body is Not Clearing The Virus
The most common reason why women are not clearing the virus, even after making diet changes and taking the right supplements, is their exposure to stress. It has been demonstrated that when women are under more stress (psychological, emotional, and/or physical stress, including infections, like COVID) they are more likely to have HPV be persistently positive. In fact, when our bodies are under constant stress, our immune system is affected and isn’t able to work as it should, and we are more likely to get sick from any kind of virus or bacteria we are exposed to. In research this is referred to as “immune dysfunction.”
In this modern world we are all constantly exposed to stress, from being a student, our careers, families and relationships. Everything that is going on in our lives will likely cause us stress, let alone the additional stress of the pandemic and/or abusive relationships and trauma.
So to me it is not enough to just say: “decrease your stress.” That thought is stressful in itself. Plus finding out HPV is positive is stressful.
To me, we have to think beyond that. We have to figure out not just how to reduce our stress exposures, but how to recover from stress WHILE STILL STRESSED.
That’s why I put my mind to figuring out how to help people recover from our exposures and reset our immune system, nervous system and neurotransmitters, hormones and digestion, so our bodies can get back to performing as best as they can. This is where my Stress Recovery Protocol can really help.
Throughout my years of practice, I have researched, lectured, and written books on how to effectively recover and become resilient to stress, while still living our daily lives. And this is not a one size fits all kind of thing. We need to understand how stress is affecting you specifically and how your body responds to stress. This includes your cortisol and adrenaline levels, adrenal gland function, as well as your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. These are all affected differently in each person.
2. Vaginal Biome
The next reason why your body is not able to clear the virus on its own is a disruption in the microbiome. When we think of the microbiome, we generally think of the gut, however it is important to know that we have bacteria and other microbes living in and with us in all areas of our bodies, including the vaginal area. And they do more than just hang out! They help our immune system protect us from microbes (including viruses like HPV) that can cause trouble. They produce substances, for example, the predominant bacteria in the vagina, Lactobacillus, make lactic acid, which protects us from infections.
We want this healthy balance of microbes that help protect us because if they are disrupted, we become susceptible. Research now shows that when the cervicovaginal microenvironment (CVM) is disrupted, women are more susceptible to HPV and abnormal cells.
So we need to think about what are the things that disrupt our biome? This way we can avoid what we can, and we can also work to restore a healthy vaginal biome.
Back to stress! Stress will disrupt this vaginal biome. Also, different kinds of chemicals and toxins (like pesticides in our food and chemicals in spermicides), as well as medications (like antibiotics) will get disrupt the vaginal biome and subsequently affect our immune system’s ability to fend off HPV. Stress also disrupts the digestion – decreasing the ability to digest food, increasing intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and inflammation, and disrupting the gut bacteria. And studies show that the gut biome affects the vaginal biome.
Now, just because your biome gets disrupted doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. There are ways to bring that biome back to balance and I can show you how.
3. Gut Health
Another thing that I see affects the body’s ability to get rid of this virus is leaky gut. Leaky gut is when the intestinal lining cells are not as healthy as they should be and so our digestive system is not capable of absorbing the necessary nutrients from the foods we eat. Moreover, the foods we are eating end up “leaking” through the intestinal wall (without being digested) and our immune system (70% of the immune system surrounds the intestines) reacts in an effort to protect us, which causes inflammation that can spread to all different parts of our bodies.
We then start developing food sensitivities which delayed inflammatory responses, sometimes even to healthy foods, and our immune system starts trying to protect us from them. The cause of leaky gut is almost always the lack of stress recovery and an imbalanced gut biome, which can be caused by certain foods like gluten, as well as toxins and medications.
4. Nutrient Deficiencies
When our bodies are nutrient depleted, including if we don’t eat enough protein, it is harder for our immune system to get rid of the virus and for our body to make new healthy cells. Nutrient deficiencies are caused by leaky gut, as well as restricted diets (including plant-based diets), medications, such as birth control pills (which are synthetic hormones), and stress without enough recovery.
5. Hormone Imbalances
Hormones imbalances are also a reason why our bodies struggle to fight off the HPV virus. When estrogen is either too high, and not being detoxified well, or too low (post-menopausal, for example), both are associated with increased risk of HPV. Other hormone imbalances can also play a role, such as low thyroid function, elevated insulin and blood sugar levels, as well as cortisol that is too high or too low.
6. Toxin Exposure
Another reason why women are not clearing this virus as quickly is toxin exposure. I’m finding this more and more in people who have been exposed to mold toxins. If there are mold toxins in your body – if you think you’ve been exposed to mold in the building where you live or work – then we need to address this because mold toxins can suppress your immune function and make you susceptible to all different kinds of infections, imbalance the microbiome, cause leaky gut, and make you susceptible to HPV.
There are many other toxins we’re exposed to in our food, water, in our homes, our personal care products, cookware, and furniture, so it’s really important to go through a process of identifying what toxins have you been exposed to and help your body get those toxins out. That’s why I developed a Detox Program, to help you detoxify without making you feel worse.
7. Methylation Issues
Lastly, one other reason why it’s hard for women to clear HPV is because of what’s called deficient methylation. Methylation centers around how well our bodies can use B vitamins in the biochemical processes that these vitamins are involved in. Methylation is also used for many purposes in the human body including detoxification, making healthy cells and neurotransmitters, as well as breaking down neurotransmitters and protecting our DNA.
So, if your body is not able to effectively use B vitamins to protect you and make healthy cells, then you become more susceptible to HPV causing abnormal cells. Methylation is negatively affected by several of the other things on this list, including stress, inflammation, toxins, and nutrient deficiencies. You can learn more about efficient methylation and the MTHFR gene variation here.
How To Get Rid of HPV
So, ultimately, it’s by addressing the reasons we are not clearing the virus, that we are actually able to get rid of the virus. That’s what I see time and time again in my practice and program.
Imagine that! When we give our bodies what they need in order to protect you from HPV, you can clear this virus just like the 90% of people mentioned in the research. And, at the same time, you’ll be able to move on with your life, have better energy, mood, focus, sleep and less likely to have any other health issues.
It’s not enough to go after the virus with vitamins, herbs and mushroom extracts. We need to dig in to the reasons you’re susceptible in the first place – the root causes of why the virus is still in your body.
The women who work with me to address those causes end up not only reversing abnormal cells, but getting HPV to negative and keeping it negative. I’ve worked with patients over 15 years ago who have been able to keep HPV negative all this time because we got to the underlying cause of the virus being persistent in their bodies.
I hope all this really helps you get a better understanding of why HPV might be hanging around longer than it should be and also to feel empowered, optimistic and hopeful that there are ways you can protect yourself and help your body fend off this virus for good.
You can find more information and what I suggest for HPV in the HPV Recovery Guide here.
If you are really committed to erasing this virus from your life forever, you can sign up for my Say Goodbye to HPV 12-Week Program here.
If you’re constantly feeling gut discomfort or digestive issues like bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea you may want to sing up for my Heal Leaky Gut Program where I teach you how to heal leaky gut with my proven protocol. Keep in mind that 50% of people with leaky gut, have zero symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to do the food sensitivity panel I recommend.
If you’re interested in a safe and effective detoxification that will actually make you feel better and that you can do without affecting your daily routine, you can sign up for my New 14-Day Detox Program here. It includes The Total Detox Support Kit with a Total Detox Protein Powder (your choice of plant-based or collagen based), Antioxidant Support Capsules, and Complete Amino Detox Capsules.
If you’re ready to fully heal your adrenal glands and rebalance your neurotransmitters, you can sign up for my Stress Warrior Program here. Also, if you want to learn more about how to recover from stress so that you can get back to feeling your best, you may want to read my book Master Your Stress Reset Your Health.
In the book, I also share the quiz I developed to help you identify how stress has affected you specifically by knowing your Stress Type. You can also take this Stress Type Quiz online.
If you’d like me to help you one-on-one by phone or video, from anywhere in the world, to review your symptoms, and what your body is trying to tell you, and to have my guidance to implement my protocol, you can schedule a comprehensive or priority consultation with me.
I think of myself as a health detective, reviewing complex cases to identify what has been missed, and then helping you create a strategic plan for healing. You can set up a one-on-one appointment with me here.
We’re here to help you!
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More Resources from Dr. Doni:
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