Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is one of the most frustrating and ubiquitous illnesses we deal with today. For many of my patients, chronic EBV flare-ups have plagued them for decades.
The severe and familiar symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus appear at times of emotional, psychological, or physical stress. Cumulative stress can also build for so long that even a fender-bender or an argument with your sister is simply the last straw. Sure enough, out pop the severe flu-like symptoms we dread.
For anyone experiencing chronic recurrence of EBV, you know how hard it is to shake and how fast it takes over your daily life. The fatigue and body-wide pain can be unrelenting.
When EBV Flare-Ups Become Chronic, It Is the Result of an Underlying Condition
During their first consultation with me, many of my patients tell me about their positive EBV test result. Many times, they have diagnosis from a physician. They’ve heard from doctors or articles on the internet that their virus is the root cause of all their symptoms.
With a strong, functional immune system, Epstein-Barr can remain dormant for life.
While this convenient idea of one germ, one disease, and one drug for easy treatment sounds wonderful and simple, it is truly wishful thinking. If we chase after these viruses alone, we’ll be chasing them forever.
I have seen this play out in many hundreds of patients that have come through my clinic. Their stories are all similar: “The doctor diagnosed me with EBV and treated me with antivirals. I felt a little better for a while, but then I ‘caught’ it again the next month!” The patient never makes any permanent progress.
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There is a simple reason for this: EBV flare-ups are the the result of an underlying immune weakness. A weakened immune system is caused by Adrenal Fatigue (a stress response dysfunction).
Treating Adrenal Fatigue is what paves the path to immune health. With a strong, functional immune system, Epstein-Barr can remain dormant for life.
Epstein-Barr Virus (Most of Us Have It)
EBV is in the Herpes family of viruses. There are 9 Herpes viruses known to infect humans. Some are known by name, some by number. Human Herpes Virus HHV-1, for instance, is the common cold-sore-causing virus. Epstein-Barr is a virus in the family line HHV-4.
All Herpes viruses have one thing in common: they infect most people in the US, either in childhood or our teenage years. Once infection occurs, these viruses live dormant within the body forever. We are never actually “free” from these viruses.
EBV will most likely reactivate if you are immunologically suppressed.
EBV has an infection rate of approximately 95% of the country. That’s right! Ninety-five percent of us will test positive for having once been infected with EBV. Many us will test positive for having a “past” infection, meaning we once had the virus, our body fought it off, and it is now dormant.
Who’s at Risk for Chronic EBV Flare-Ups?
EBV causes different reactions in different people. For many, the body fights it off without symptoms at all. For others of us, it will cause a mild upper respiratory-type of infection that will come and go; we may never even know we’ve been exposed to the virus.
In a third of us, however, EBV will cause the typical mono-like symptoms that can be severe and debilitating.
Of these people, EBV will most likely reactivate when they are immunologically suppressed. During these times, the person will develop their EBV symptom “pattern,” be it extreme fatigue or more severe “mono” with long lasting flu-like symptoms.
Continual EBV reactivation with extreme fatigue and other symptoms is the body’s way of telling us that there’s something going on at the root, and that is Adrenal Fatigue.
Reactivation of EBV can cause extreme fatigue for months.
Many people get mono or EBV, but most people aren’t chronically ill from it. This is because a healthy body can keep the virus dormant and symptom-free.
After a person is infected with EBV, the virus becomes dormant in the body. In some of us, it is likely that the virus may reactivate, perhaps with symptoms like those experienced during a bad cold. For those with weakened immune systems, however, the symptoms are more severe, and the accompanying fatigue can last for months.
The Link Between Chronic Epstein-Barr and Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal Fatigue is the result of chronic, perpetual stress over time, severe or prolonged enough to overwhelm one’s capacity for that stress. I refer to the capacity for stress as a “bucket” of tolerance. As the bucket fills up, the body shifts into “fight or flight” stress physiology and away from “rest and digest” physiology.
This shift turns on the organs of stress response and turns off the organs of healing and repair (the “rest and digest” function). The immune system is one of the main rest and digest systems, along with the digestive, reproductive, and thyroid.
Excess stress hormones cause immunosuppression.
The immunosuppression that occurs because of the release of excess stress hormones—cortisol and adrenaline—is very well documented, researched, and predictable. EBV will most likely reactivate if you are immunologically suppressed.
Can EBV Be “Cured?”
There is no “cure” for EBV. Once you have it, it’s with you for life. But you can keep it from reactivating.
When Adrenal Fatigue is properly assessed and treated, Epstein-Barr Virus can be dormant and harmless in the body.
Most of my Adrenal Fatigue patients present with immunologic symptoms and current or past EBV infections. In these patients, I focus on healing the system that is leading to immunosuppression.
Without addressing and healing the underlying condition of Adrenal Fatigue, attempting to treat the reactivation of Epstein-Barr Virus or other viruses alone wastes time, money, and energy.
Eliminating Epstein-Barr Virus Recurrence
A strong, functional immune system can keep viruses from reactivating over and over. It will certainly keep the symptoms to a minimum should reactivation occur during times of greater stress.
Realizing there is a life out from under the shadow of these chronic recurrences can be a turning point for anyone who’s been suffering for months . . . most likely years.
After two decades of practice working only with Adrenal Fatigue patients, I’ve found the only way to heal from this frustrating and stubborn condition—and to get the EBV to remain dormant—is through my “Trilateral” approach to healing.