Autoimmunity as a symptom?

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) keeps popping into my life. 

I don't have an active version of the virus myself, although it is very possible that I'm a carrier. (Heck, I may even have a reactivation of the dang virus. I really should test myself. I think I had a mild case of mono as a kid.) 

You are probably a carrier as well. Epstein-Barr virus is one of those herpes viruses that is all over the place. Almost everyone has been exposed to it and it just hangs out in our bodies, mostly doing a fat lot of nothing except living off of us. Neat, huh? It's only when our immune system is weakened in some way that it can start being problematic. Many times the initial infection with EBV causes infectious mononucleosis--you know, mono, and yes, it is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults.

Symptoms of active EBV (mono) include:

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Fever

  • Sore throat

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Enlarged spleen

  • Swollen liver

  • Rash

Thing is, active mono is acute and can be treated fairly quickly, which throws EBV into remission or latency. So BOOM, your mono symptoms are gone. But the virus isn't. It has actually taken up residence in your cells. It's the reactivation of the dang virus that kicks your butt. Stress is a common trigger for that reactivation.

At least 3 people I know have mentioned having mono or EBV to me recently. And exactly ZERO of those people is a teenager ( know you think of mono as the teenage kissing disease!). And exactly ALL of them are women. They are likely dealing with a reactivation of Epstein-Barr and not mono. To quote a colleague: "Chronic reactivated EBV is like mononucleosis from hell." Long-term fatigue, full-body achiness, low-grade fever, emotional disturbances and stressors (ahem, anxiety and depression...), as well as autoimmune diseases, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis show up as SYMPTOMS of chronic reactivated Epstein-Barr virus.

This is one of those times when you can start to see that things are connected. 


Yeah, that's kind of mind-blowing, right? Usually autoimmune disease is considered a diagnosis and generally one that is incurable. And when you get a diagnosis it's like, the END of the search...isn't it? 


Doctor: "Ok we did all these tests and your symptoms all match up and so here is the answer: you have autoimmune disease. There is nothing else we can do." The End. 

Well hey there, what if you have a latent, hidden, sneaky little virus in your precious body that is wreaking havoc? And what if you can bolster up that immune system of yours and knock that virus back into doing a fat lot of nothing? And what if all of this decreases or even gets rid of, the symptoms you are experiencing, including symptoms and markers for rheumatoid arthritis/systemic lupus erythematosus/Sjögren’s syndrome/Hashimoto's thyroiditis/insert-other-autoimmune-diagnosis-here? It's worth looking into and treating, right? It is to me, because I'm about treating the root cause of a problem, not just taking away the symptoms for a while.

We can test for that EBV infection, both active and latent. You can rest and eat foods that boost your immune system. You can add antiviral herbs and supplements that fight to put that virus into dormancy. And you can restore your system to the fully-functional state that it likes and wants to be in.

Here's the deal. That's what works most of the time. It's simple really...but terribly hard. And it's not The End, it is actually just the beginning. It requires lifestyle change, attitude change, going against the flow, and inconveniencing yourself and your loved ones. HARD STUFF.

I'm not gonna lie about that but you know what I will do?
I will hold your hand, answer your questions,
allow you to scream and cry and punch (soft) inanimate objects, press in when you need me to,
and remind you on an hourly basis that you can do it, because I want you to HEAL.
But I can't do any of those things unless you make the first move.

Do you have these symptoms? Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune
condition? Do you flat out feel like crap and you have no idea why? 

Aren't you over it?

Let me help you. You are hella stronger than you think you are and I know you can do hard things. Set up a call and let's chat--I love to listen, I want to help you, and I know some sh*t. IT'S FREE and I promise not to bug you unless you blatantly and distinctly give me permission into your life for the express purpose of bugging you. :) And after reading this, if you just want to full-on body slam into working with me, you can join Rebel Healthcare right here. I'm not gonna stop you! 

Need more information about me and why I call my practice Rebel Healthcare? Click here.


Other great resources on EBV and autoimmunity:

The Sleeping Giant - Tips to Treat Reactivation of Epstein-Barr Virus

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), Fatigue & Hashimoto’s: Breaking the Cycle Naturally

Epstein-Barr Virus: A Key Player in Chronic Illness


{ By the way, if you no longer have the markers OR the symptoms of autoimmune disease, do we call that a cure?
Hmm. This is a topic for another time and another post...but it is a question to consider... }



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Kirsten Harrison