Epstein Barr Virus – Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is a common virus that 9 out of 10 adults carry. However, Reactivated Epstein Barr Virus or Chronic Epstein Barr Virus occurs when the virus is woken up by one or several of the following ways: unmanaged stress, a secondary infection, nutrient deficiencies, leaky gut or a high toxicity.
Epstein Barr Virus is also called by: Mono, mononucleosis, the kissing disease, EBV
About Chronic Epstein Barr Virus
Chronic EBV usually shows up around 6 months after the initial bout of mono, but it can take years to reactivate. If the virus does reactivate, you may start experience symptoms like the ones listed below. The virus usually ebbs and flows depending on a variety of different factors, such as diet, activity level, stress, etc. A person will also experience “flares” where symptoms become worse than normal. Flares can be the result of anything from sitting too long at work, eating certain foods (i.e. processed sugar and gluten), or bouts of added stress.
While EBV is not technically an autoimmune disease, many autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s, Graves and other thyroid diseases, are fueled by EBV.
Epstein Barr Virus Symptoms
Symptoms can even mimic those of other diseases, so it can be extremely difficult for doctors to diagnose. Many times, patients with EBV are misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, lupus, vertigo, and tinnitus.
+ inflammation of lymph nodes (usually one side of the body is worse)
+ chronic fatigue
+ sensitivity to stress
+ low grade fever
+ pain down the spine
+ numbness and tingling in the extremities
+ mouth sores
+ brain fog
+ digestive issues
+ chronic overall inflammation
+ chills/fever-like symptoms
+ hormone imbalance
+ food aversions
+ sensitive teeth
+ chest tightness
+ muscle aches/weakness
+ sore throat
Epstein Barr Virus Test and Diagnosis
For a proper Epstein Barr Virus diagnosis, we highly suggest you consider working with a local Holistic Nurse Practitioner, a Functional Medicine doctor, Naturopath and/or a Chiropractor that specializes in functional medicine.
The Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) test is called “EBV antibodies.” It’s a blood test used to identify an EBV infection and will detect the presence of antibodies. Be sure the test includes the following:
- EBV-VCA IgG/IgM – viral capsid antigen: A positive IgG result means you’ve had or currently have an infection. An IgM positive results means the infection has been reactivated.
- EBV-EBNA IgG – nuclear antigen: A positive test result is typically associated with a past infection.
- EBV-EA-D IgG – early antigen: A positive EA IgG result could mean that you have an active or reactivated infection.
Reactivated Epstein Barr Virus Symptoms
Similar to other, once the body is exposed to EBV, the virus will stay dormant even after the initial symptoms subside. Thanks to the specialized immune cells that help to keep the virus dormant. Unfortunately, for those of us with autoimmune disease, our immune system can trigger EBV into an active state.
Your immune system can become compromised while fighting another illness, undergoing stress, hormonal changes or taking immunosupressant drugs. Once this happens, the domant virus can come out of hiding to attack the B cells and create the perfect storm.
Here are some common reactivated Epstein Barr Virus symptoms:
- Extreme fatigue
- Sore of inflamed throat
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Enlarged spleen
- Swollen liver
- Skin rash
Related Autoimmune Diseases
With chronic or reactivated Epstein Barr Virus, autoimmune disease is almost commonplace. The following diseases have been scientifically linked to this disease.
- Celiac Disease
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)
- Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Sjögren’s Syndrome
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
Treatment for Epstein Barr Virus
There are many different protocols that natural/functional doctors prescribe as treatment for Epstein Barr Virus. Some have worked for me and some have not. Everybody is different and every case of EBV is different, so it is imperative to find a doctor/medical professional that listens to you and works to find the right protocol for YOUR body and lifestyle.
As far as things that you can implement into your day to day maintenance of EBV, I am a huge advocate for chiropractic care if you suffer from EBV. My husband is a chiropractor and regular adjustments not only boost the immune system in general, but also help my lymphatic system drain properly, decrease brain fog, and help my overall pain. I have found that eating a well-balanced diet of whole foods while staying away from processed sugar, gluten and dairy is key. Listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs in terms of nourishment. Consistent light exercise or movement of some kind, as well as managing my stress in a healthy way and keeping a positive outlook on this whole “life with chronic illness” has been a game changer for me.
Natural Supplements for Reactivated Epstein Barr Virus
Thieves oil, cat’s claw, zinc, B12, licorice root, lemon balm, lysine, echinacea, liposomal vitamin C, monolaurin, elderberry, curcumin, spirulina
Get your Questions Answered about Epstein Barr Virus
ABOUT | Taylor lives in Indiana with her husband, Jon, and their sweet rescue pup, Myles. Battling EBV for over 4 years has made healthy eating and exercise a part of her everyday lifestyle. In her free time, Taylor enjoys traveling, snuggling her dog, making and eating aesthetically pleasing food, decorating (and redecorating) her home, and spending time with her big catholic family.
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES | Epstein Barr Virus