So Maybe I should have listened to my dad…
Let me tell you it is a mistake many high school kids make, but what they don’t tell you is that it can come back to bite you and become a chronic disease not just a week out of school!
I’m talking Epstein Barr Virus or as many people call it -Mono or even better “The Kissing Disease”…
I was seventeen years old when I was given the “Kiss of Death” as I like to call it…good old MONO!
I was dancing competitively, practicing three to four nights a week, a high school student in honors classes, and playing premiere soccer, I brought new meaning to ” Burning the candle at both ends”. I was a high energy person who loved to be busy, I truly didn’t know how to sit still, but I little did I know I was wearing my already bad immune system down to nothing. I remember the weekend all of my balls I was juggling in the air came to a crashing halt, I had just competed in a dance competition and remember laying on the floor on the side of the stage before I would go on, I was so tired….I just assumed it was due to my upcoming monthly friend and called it a day. Well, I went to perform and collapsed on stage from the pain and had to be whisked to the hospital and would spend hours with a high fever and horrible pain under my ribs with no source of infection. After countless hours, it finally came back that I had EPV/Mono with Strep, I took antibiotics for the strep and spent almost three months out of school and any activity. I was never the same but it would take me 15 years to really put the connection together, and multiple doctors blamed my multiple lists of symptoms on anything that was an easy fix, ADHD, IBS, Anxiety just to name a few.
Fast forward fifteen years and my son became sick with a mysterious illness, many of his symptoms were similar to mine so I decided to start putting myself through tests and did a timeline of my symptoms to hopefully figure out a connection. Well, we learned in the process that we both had Chronic Lyme Disease, Yeast Overgrowth, Leaky Gut and EBV while his levels were just slightly present mine were astronomically high! I was in shock and while I felt horrible It wasn’t the same horrible I had felt when I had EBV the first time, and how could so many test and doctors miss all of this!
What is Ebstein Barr- Virus?
The Epstein-Barr virus is one of the most common viruses and is part of the herpes virus family. It has been estimated that EBV, which was discovered in 1964, infects almost everyone at some point during their lives. The Epstein-Barr virus often causes no symptoms, but it can cause mononucleosis and has been implicated in the development of other conditions, including multiple sclerosis and breast cancer.
What are some Epstein-Barr virus symptoms?
When teenagers are exposed, about half will get mononucleosis (mono) or ‘kissing disease.” A few weeks after contact with EBV, monocytes, a certain type of white blood cell, grow unchecked, filling up in lymph tissue. Teens can be laid up for weeks, sometimes months, before the fatigue lifts and they begin to feel normal again.
Symptoms of mononucleosis include
- Extreme fatigue
- Swollen glands
- Sore throat
- Painful swallowing
- Enlarged lymph nodes in neck and under arms
- Enlarged spleen
- Enlarged liver
- Red spots on the roof of the mouth
- Eye swelling
So as you can see by the pictures above, I had these mysterious rashes almost like cystic Sores mainly near my mouth and face, they had started off as cold sores which I also had always gotten when I was stressed but would get one. They turned into more and spread all over my body and would last for 3-4 weeks with a clear like fluid. My symptoms new came at the same time, so I never really put the pieces together until after. I also had horrible painful spots on the roof of my mouth, again I would just assume it was a canker sore flare when I was stressed , EBV never crossed my mind!
How can I catch it?
There are many ways to catch EBV….
- You can get it as a baby if your mother has the virus.
- You can also get it through infected blood.
- Hospitals don’t screen for the virus, so any blood transfusion puts you at risk.
- Transmission can also happen through other bodily fluids, such as those exchanged during sex. Under some circumstances, even a kiss can be enough to transmit EBV.
Someone with the virus isn’t contagious all the time, though. It’s most likely to spread during its Stage Two. Which brings up something that I did not realize which was that EBV had four stages!
The Four Stages of EBV…
If you catch EBV, it goes through an initial dormant period of floating around in your bloodstream doing little more than slowly replicating itself to build its numbers.If you physically exhaust yourself for weeks and give yourself no chance to fully recover, or undergo a traumatic emotional experience such as a breakup or the death of a loved one, the virus will detect your stress-related hormones and choose that time to take advantage.
EBV will also often act when you’re undergoing a major hormonal change—for example, during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. A common scenario is when a woman goes through childbirth. Afterward, she may feel various symptoms, including fatigue, aches, and pains, and depression. In this case, EBV isn’t exploiting your weakness, but the fact that hormones are a powerful food source for it—their abundance acts as a trigger.
The virus is especially vulnerable during Stage One. However, it’s also undetectable through tests and causes no symptoms, so you normally wouldn’t know to fight it, because you wouldn’t be aware it was there.
Medical communities are unaware that every case of mononucleosis is only Stage Two of EBV.
This is the period when the virus is most contagious. It’s, therefore, advisable to avoid getting exposed to blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids from someone who has mono…or to avoid exposing anyone to your fluids if you have mono.
During this Stage Two, your body’s immune system goes to war with the virus. It sends identifier cells to “tag” virus cells, i.e., place a hormone on them that mark them as invaders. It then sends soldier cells to seek out and kill the tagged virus cells. This is the power of your immune system coming to your defense.
You can have mono for just a week or two with a mild scratchy throat and tiredness, in which case you aren’t likely to realize what’s really happening, so you most likely won’t visit a doctor for a blood test.
Then again, you can get hit hard with fatigue, sore throat, fever, headaches, rashes, and more that hang on for several months. If this happens, the chances are you’ll go see a doctor who’ll test your blood, and the Epstein-Barr virus will show up as a form of mono…most of the time.
It’s during this stage that EBV seeks a long-term home by making a run for one or more of your major organs—typically your liver and/or spleen. EBV loves being in these organs because mercury, dioxins, and other toxins are likely to accumulate there. The virus thrives on these poisons. During EBV’s Stage Two it often brings a date, meet your new friend with no benefits “Streptococcus”, it can travel up to create strep throat and/or infect the sinuses, nose, or mouth. It can also travel down to create infections in the urinary tract, vagina, kidneys, or bladder . . . eventually causing cystitis.
Once the virus settles into your liver, spleen, and/or other organs, it nests there.
From this point on, when a doctor tests for Epstein-Barr, she or he will find antibodies and take these to indicate a past infection, when EBV was in its monophase. The doctor will not find the EBV presently active in the bloodstream. The confusion here is one of the biggest blunders in medical history—this is how this virus has slipped through the cracks!The virus is, in fact, still alive and causing new symptoms…and it’s eluding the tests. That’s because it’s living in the liver, spleen, or other organs, and the test to detect this has not yet been invented.
With the virus hiding undetected in your organs, your body assumes it’s won the war and the invader has been destroyed. Your immune system returns to its normal state, your mononucleosis ends, and your doctor tells you that you’re healthy.
Unfortunately, the Epstein-Barr virus has barely begun its voyage through your body.
If you have a typical variety, EBV could lie dormant in your organs for years—possibly for decades—without your knowing it. If you have an especially aggressive variety, though, EBV may create serious problems even while it’s nesting.The virus may burrow deep into your liver and spleen, causing those organs to become inflamed and enlarged. And once again, keep in mind that your doctor does not know to connect the dots between past EBV and its present activity in the organs.
The virus also creates three types of poison:
- EBV excretes toxic waste matter,this becomes increasingly significant as the virus grows more cells, and its expanding army keeps eating and excreting poisonous byproduct. This waste matter is often identified as spirochetes, which can trigger false positives on tests such as Lyme titers (screening tests for Lyme disease) and lead to a false diagnosis of Lyme.
- When a cell of the virus dies—which happens often, as the cells have a six-week life cycle—the corpse that is left behind is itself toxic and so further poisons your body. As with viral byproduct, this problem becomes more severe as EBV’s army grows, creating fatigue.
- The poisons EBV creates through these two processes have the ability to generate a neurotoxin—i.e., a poison that disrupts nerve function and confuses your immune system.
The issues that may result from an aggressive variety of EBV nesting in your organs include:
- Your liver performing so sluggishly that it does a poor job of flushing toxins out of your system.
- Hepatitis C. (EBV is actually the primary cause of hepatitis C.)
- Your liver’s sluggish performance leading to the lowering of your stomach’s hydrochloric acid and your intestinal tract starting to become toxic. This, in turn, can result in some food not being fully digested and instead putrefying in your intestinal tract, resulting in bloating and/or constipation.
- Your developing sensitivities to foods that never caused you problems before. This happens when the virus consumes a food it likes, such as cheese, and transforms it into something your body doesn’t recognize.
- The virus bides its time until it senses stress-related hormones indicating you’re in an especially vulnerable state—say, as a result of burning the candle at both ends, enduring a severe emotional blow, or suffering a physical jolt such as being in a car accident—or when it senses you’re undergoing hormonal upheavals, such as during pregnancy or menopause.
The ultimate goal of the Epstein-Barr virus is to leave your thyroid and inflame your central nervous system.
Your immune system normally wouldn’t allow this to happen but remember your immune system is anything from normal at this point.EBV has successfully worn you down in Stage Three by entering your thyroid, and if on top of that you abruptly get clobbered with some physical or severe emotional injury, the virus will take advantage of your vulnerability and start to cause a multitude of strange symptoms that range from heart palpitations to generalized aches and pains to nerve pain.
An example of this was shortly after turning eighteen just two years after having EBV in high school I was in a motor vehicle accident, getting surgery, breaking my femur and shattering my patella and then feeling awful for much longer than would be expected from the injury alone.Blood tests, X-rays, and MRIs will reveal nothing was wrong, so doctors blamed it on PTSD from the car accident. Stage Four Epstein-Barr is, therefore, a major source of mystery illnesses—that is, problems that cause doctors massive confusion.
The issues that result from this viral inflammation can include:
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- painful tender points
- back pain, tingling and/or numbness in the hands and feet
- ongoing fatigue
- dizziness, insomnia
- unrestful sleep
- night sweats
Patients with these issues are sometimes diagnosed as having fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis, all of which are collections of symptoms that medical communities admit they don’t understand and for which they have no cure. In such cases, the patients are given inappropriate treatments that don’t begin to address the real culprit—because these mystery illnesses are really Stage Four Epstein-Barr
How to get rid of EPV ?
The following herbs and supplements (listed in rough order of importance) can further strengthen your immune system and aid your body in healing from the virus’s effects. Unfortunately, most doctors do not treat EBV other than some things like Ibuprofen and steroids to deal with the symptoms in the first two stages. Sadly this way of treating never really kills the virus nor does it keep you from getting recurrent flares.
- Cat’s claw: herb that reduces EBV and cofactors such as strep A and strep B.
- HerpEze– Helps with cold sores and viral load
- Silver hydrosol: lowers EBV viral load.
- Zinc– strengthens the immune system and protects the thyroid from EBV inflammation.
- Vitamin B12 : strengthens the central nervous system.
- Licorice root: lowers EBV production and strengthens the adrenals and kidneys.
- Lemon balm: antiviral and antibacterial. Kills EBV cells and strengthens the immune system.
- 5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolate): helps strengthen the endocrine system and central nervous system.
- Selenium-strengthens and protects the central nervous system.
- Red marine algae: powerful antiviral that removes heavy metals such as mercury and reduces viral load.
- L-lysine– lowers EBV load and acts as a central nervous system anti-inflammatory.
- Spirulina (preferably from Hawaii): rebuilds the central nervous system and eliminates heavy metals.
- Ester-C: strengthens the immune system and flushes EBV toxins from the liver.
- Nettle leaf: provides vital micronutrients to the brain, blood, and central nervous system.
- Monolaurin: antiviral; breaks down EBV load and reduces cofactors.
- Elderberry: antiviral; strengthens the immune system.
- Red clover: cleanses the liver, lymphatic system, and spleen of neurotoxins from EBV.
- Star anise: antiviral; helps destroy EBV in the liver and thyroid.
- Curcumin: component of turmeric that helps strengthen the endocrine system and central nervous system.
- PROBIOTICS– We use GutPro after many trials with probiotics this was the best, no d-lactate, no strep strains, no allergens! THIS WAS KEY TO HEALING MY STOMACH WHICH HELPED HEAL MY IMMUNE SYSTEM!
Testing for EBV
The first step of the healing process is to know the cause of your suffering is Epstein-Barr—and for that will require continual testing and persistence on your part. EPV should be retested every couple weeks if showing clinical symptoms and especially during a flare. The EPV panel above shows you how to determine if you have an active EPV infection and if you ever did have an EPV infection at some point. Its effectiveness stems from hiding in the shadows so that neither you nor your body’s immune system can sense its presence. Once you find out EBV is causing your symptoms things are different for you. If you have EBV, you now have a mind-body understanding of what’s causing your health problems. From this alone, your immune system will strengthen and the virus will naturally weaken. So when it comes to fighting EBV, in a very real sense, knowledge is power!
For more questions on our battle with EBV and how our treatment is going please feel free to always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org