When I realized that had once again been exposed to mold it totally explained why I have not been feeling my best. I knew something was off about the classroom I had been sitting in every week. I felt woozy, my head felt full and I even experienced some anxiety. Each time I went to this building my symptoms got worse and I began to get new symptoms.
My initial symptoms were pronounced fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches. I don’t like slowing down to take naps but I was crawling in bed almost daily and sleeping for two or three hours. A few weeks of exhaustion led me to go to my doctor who diagnosed me with chronic reactivated Epstein-Barr virus along with a few other viruses. As I began to research this I decided to share my findings with you and share what I’m learning.
DISCLAIMER: Before I go on you need to know that I’m not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be online, only at home. Everything I share here is for informational purposes only based on research that I’ve done for myself. Do your own research and always consult your physician before taking any supplements or changing anything that you may be presently doing.
Also – this post contains affiliate links and I am always so appreciative when you use them because it helps me keep this blog online. It doesn’t cost you anything extra but makes a tremendous difference for me, so thanks! You can read more about my disclosures here.
My Health Team
My alternative doctor did his usual energetic testing for my evaluation and told me that mold is toxic to me. Mold can often cause old viral infections to reactivate. I tested positive for EBV again along with other viruses. A few weeks later I confirmed this with my integrative doctor through blood tests. Energetic testing also revealed active HHV6 (Herpes Simplex 6), and adrenal fatigue.
Even though I’ve come to trust energetic testing, I’ll often visit my integrative doctor for a more thorough evaluation and might request blood work for things like Vitamin D and iron levels. Of course when I go to her because I’m not feeling well she’ll automatically run a full panel of bloodwork on me.
Sometimes, it’s nice to have a blood test confirm the energetic testing because many people don’t understand energetic medicine and they won’t believe you when you tell them that’s how you know your body is dealing with a viral infection or other illness.
I believe it’s important to have a medical team rather than one treating physician. Unless that physician is all-encompassing, this will mean traveling to a few different places. If you look hard enough you may be able to find a really great physician who accepts insurance! Now let’s discuss the Epstein-Barr Virus.
About Epstein-Barr Virus
When you think of Epstein-Barr virus you might immediately think of Mono and that’s because it is the virus that causes Mono but it also causes other viral activity. Epstein-Barr virus or EBV is also known as Human Herpesvirus 4. Whenever there’s a reactivated or chronic infection it is often accompanied by other Herpes viruses. They are found within the B cells and can often reactivate for the same reason.
EBV is one of the most common viruses and just about everyone has been exposed to it at some point. I’ve read that over 95% of the population has had it at some point in their life.
The Epstein-Barr virus is also responsible for triggering some autoimmune conditions as well as some forms of cancer as explained more below.
Epstein-Barr Virus Transmission
EBV is most commonly spread through saliva but can also be spread through other bodily fluids and is possible to be transmitted through blood transfusions.1
When the initial infection is contracted as a teen or an adult it can cause Mononucleosis (Mono), the Kissing Disease. The Epstein-Barr virus and CREBV are highly contagious and can be transmitted during the incubation period, weeks before the onset of symptoms.
When infants and children get EBV it is most likely not diagnosed as EBV but rather as a non-specific virus. Teens and adults usually have more significant symptoms and are more likely to be diagnosed with Mono. Symptoms for Mono may last for several weeks but could last for months.
Chronic Reactivated Epstein-Barr Virus or CREBV can also cause other illnesses as I’ll list later. It’s very common for those with tick-borne diseases, like Lyme disease, to test positive for EBV and that’s because of the great burden tick-borne diseases place on the immune system.
Once you have EBV, the virus can lie dormant and remain inactive in your body until your immune system is compromised again. When this happens the virus can reactivate causing CREBV.
Chronic reactivated Epstein-Barr Virus is considered a rare progressive disease that can last for six months or longer. 2
Symptoms vary depending on age and the condition of the immune system but can include the following:
- fever (often low-grade)
- swollen throat and lymph nodes
- enlarged spleen
- swollen liver
- facial paralysis
- muscle weakness
CREBV can present with the following symptoms:
- all of the above
- debilitating and sometimes severe fatigue
- achiness throughout the body
- swollen throat and lymph nodes
- debilitating neurological symptoms
Chronic reactive EBV can begin with symptoms that mimic the flu and followed by prolonged chronic fatigue.
Researchers believe the following diseases are connected to EBV:
- Systemic Lupus
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Juvenile Arthritis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Chrohns Disease
- Celiac Disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
EBV is associated with a number of rare cancers and malignancies including Hodgkin’s disease, B cell lymphomas, Burkitt’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and cancers of the nose and throat.3
How to Diagnose EBV
Most doctors can test for EBV through a blood test. Tests look for the presence of antibodies to the virus and can distinguish between a new infection or one that has been reactivated. Some alternative physicians can test for EBV using energetic testing.
I read about a Comprehensive Viral Panel from Dr. Jockers which looks like a really beneficial panel of tests used to look for multiple viral infections. It’s not necessary to order these from this website because this is something your doctor can do but you can get an overview of the types of tests that you should consider having done. Read more about that here: Comprehensive Viral Panel Test.
Elevated viral antibodies is a sign of an active infection. IgM testing would be a more recent infection and IgG would indicate an infection in the past.
There are no known traditional treatments for chronic reactive Epstein-Barr virus or even EBV. Anti-virals do not work. The best way to treat EBV is through rest and building the immune system. Eliminate stress and take the time to rest and heal, easier said than done!
The following can be very helpful:
- Restorative Sleep
- Nourishing, Nutrient Dense Foods
- Gentle Exercise
- Gut Health such as taking probiotics, eating fermented foods when possible and avoiding inflammatory foods.
- Vitamin C – excellent immune builder.
- L-Lysine helps to fight herpes viruses.
- Olive Leaf Extract has antiviral properties.
- Lemon Balm is antiviral and helps to relieve stress.
- Oregano Oil
- Thieves Essential Oil
- Ashwagandha is an antiviral, adaptogenic herb to help with stress and immune support.
- Holy Basil is an antiviral, adaptogenic herb to help with stress and immune support.
- Reishi is an adaptogenic herb to help with stress and immune support.
What I’m Doing
I’m not thrilled to be battling a chronic viral infection and I plan to do whatever I can to get better as quickly as I can. I laugh as I write that because I’m still so totally type-A. I realize that the time it takes to heal isn’t something that I can control but I’m implementing many of the modalities listed above for my best chances.
I’m attempting to get restorative rest, I’m doing gentle exercises on a daily basis, and eating nutrient-dense foods. I’m also using homeopathic remedies from my alternative care doctor and I’m using adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha and Eleuthero. I try to use the Infrared Sauna when I can and I’m using several of Young Living’s immune building products like Ningxia Red and Inner Defense.
It’s important to really listen to your body, rest when needed, practice gratitude, and give yourself plenty of time to heal. That’s not easy for most of us but it is very important.
Have you or are you now healing from CREBV? I would love to know what you have found to be helpful!
The Sleeping Giant – Tips to Treat Reactivation of Epstein Barr Virus by Jill Carnahan
Epstein Barr Virus – A Key Player in Chronic Illness by Dr. Bill Rawls
Epstein-Barr Virus by Dr. Axe
7 Natural Remedies for Epstein Barr Virus by Dr. Jockers