Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), also known as human herpesvirus 4, is a member of the herpes virus family. It is one of the most common human viruses found all over the world, and it has caused a secret epidemic.
Of the approximately 320 million people in the United States, more than 225 million are infected with some form of EBV.
Most people get infected with EBV at some point in their lives, as it spreads very easily through bodily fluids, primarily saliva. EBV can cause infectious mononucleosis, also called mono, and other illnesses.
Even more, this relatively unknown virus is responsible for various mysterious diseases such as fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, Hashimoto’s disease, hormonal imbalance, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, some types of cancers, autoimmune diseases and more.
EBV has evolved over the decades and each new generation of viruses has become more dangerous than before.
EBV Transmission – How You Get Epstein-Barr Virus?
There are many ways to get EBV. For example:
- As an infant if your mother has a virus.
- Infected blood, for example by blood transfusion (hospitals do not screen for this virus).
- Organ transplantations.
- From chefs who have cut a finger and it gets into the food.
- Through bodily fluids, especially saliva when kissing, sharing drinks and food, using the same cups, eating utensils, or toothbrushes.
- Having contact with toys that children have drooled on.
- EBV can also spread through blood and semen during sexual contact.
The virus is not always infectious, and is most likely to spread in its second stage. There are actually over 60 strains and mutations and each can create different symptoms and conditions as they move through the four stages of invasion in the body.
For more information on the health problems EBV causes and how you can heal, please read Thyroid Healing.
The First Stage of The Epstein-Barr Virus
When you get infected with EBV, it goes through a latent (inactive) period. It floats in your bloodstream, doing almost nothing more than copying itself to increase the numbers and waiting to start a real infection.
The virus can wait it’s time for weeks, but even years. Finally, in your weak moment, the virus detects your stress hormones and takes advantage of that moment.
Epstein-Barr virus is in latent state and waits you to have weak moments, for example:
- If you exhaust yourself for weeks and do not allow yourself to fully recover.
- Deprive your body of essential nutrients such as zinc or B12.
- Go through a dramatic event such as losing or leaving a loved one.
- When you undergo a major hormonal change, such as puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.
- The common scenario for women is childbirth. After that, the woman may experience a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, pain, discomfort, and depression.
In case of puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, EBV does not take advantage of your weakness and stress hormones, but the fact that hormones are its powerful food source, and their abundance acts as a trigger for it. In the first stage, the virus is particularly vulnerable.
However, EBV is not detectable at this stage and does not cause any symptoms, so you usually do not know how to fight it because you have no idea about its existence.
The Second Stage of The Epstein-Barr Virus
At the end of the first stage, EBV is ready to fight your body, and to announce his existence by causing mononucleosis. It’s that famous mono we hear about growing up as “the kissing disease”.
It is a disease that affects thousands of students every year who exhaust themselves by partying or studying through the night.
However, mononucleosis is the second stage of EBV. This is the period when the virus is most contagious. Avoid contact with someone else’s blood, saliva or other body fluids if they are mono, or if you have mono.
In the second stage, your immune system goes to war against the virus. How fiercely this battle takes place varies from person to person and also depends on which variant or strain of EBV it is.
Symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus second stage – mononucleosis:
– You may have mononucleosis for a week or two with moderately rough throat and tiredness, in which case you are unlikely to understand what is going on.
– However, you may also experience symptoms that lasts for several months like for an example:
- Inflamed and sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Enlarged spleen
- Swollen liver and more.
At this stage, EBV is looking for a permanent home, hiding in one or more of your most important organs – typically the liver and/or spleen.
EBV likes to be in these organs because they can accumulate mercury, dioxins and other toxins. The virus thrives on these toxins.
The Third Stage of the Epstein-Barr Virus
If you have not already taken the steps to destroy EBV, the virus is actually still alive, causing new symptoms and will not be available for testing.
This is because once the virus has established itself in the liver, spleen and/or in other organs, it stays there and no study has yet been found to identify it. If the virus is undetectable in your organs, your body will conclude that it has won the battle and the invader has been destroyed.
The mononucleosis will go away and the immune system will return to its normal state. However, unfortunately, the Epsten-Barr virus has just begun its journey through your body.
If you have a typical EBV variant, it may remain dormant for years or even decades – without your knowledge. But if you have a particularly aggressive EBV variant, it can cause serious problems.
For example, the virus can dig deep into the liver and spleen, causing inflammation and enlargement of these organs. And again, keep in mind that your doctor may not associate “already passed” EBV infection with its current activity in the organs.
The Fourth Stage of The Epstein-Barr Virus
The ultimate goal of Epstein-Barr virus is to leave the thyroid gland and cause inflammation in the central nervous system. This is usually not allowed to happen by the immune system.
But EBV has successfully exhausted your thyroid when you enter the third stage, and if you are suddenly hit by some physical or severe emotional damage, the virus exploits your vulnerability and begins to cause a range of strange symptoms ranging from palpitations to general aches and nerve pain.
The usual scenario is an accident, surgery or other physical injury, after which you will feel very unwell for much longer than you might expect from the injury.
Blood tests, X-rays and MRI do not detect anything, so doctors are not aware of this viral neuritis. The fourth stage of the Epstein-Barr virus is therefore the main source of mysterious diseases – a problem that confuses doctors big time.
In fact, what happens is that the damaged nerves release a “disorder hormone” to signal to the body that the nerves are vulnerable and need to be repaired. In the fourth stage, EBV detects this hormone and rushes to the damaged nerves.
When a nerve is damaged, the nerve roots fall out of the nerve shell. EBV seeks these openings and grabs them. If successful, it can keep the area inflamed for years. As a result, relatively little damage can worsen and cause constant pain.
Symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus fourth stage – a viral inflammation may include:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Painful and tender points
- Back pain
- Stinging and/or numbness of the hands and feet
- Constant fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Restless sleep
- Night sweats
- Tinnitus – Or ringing in the ear, is usually caused by EBV getting into the inner ear’s nerve channel, called the labyrinth. The ringing is the result of the virus inflaming and vibrating the labyrinth and the vestibulocochlear nerve.
- Vertigo and Meniere’s Disease – Vertigo and Meniere’s disease are often attributed by doctors to calcium crystals, or stones, becoming disrupted in the inner ear. However, most chronic cases are actually caused by EBV’s neurotoxin inflaming the vagus nerve.
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain
- Esophageal spasms, and asthma can also be caused by EBV inflaming the vagus nerve.
- Tingling and numbness in hands and feet, can be caused by phrenic nerves becoming perpetually inflamed by EBV.
- And heart palpitations can result from buildup of EBV’s poisonous virus corpses and byproduct in the heart’s mitral valve.
Health Problems, Toxifications and Diseases Caused by Aggressive EBV Nesting in Your Organs
Health Problems and Toxifications Caused by EBV
- EBV secretes toxic substances, in other words by-products of the virus. It becomes increasingly important as the virus multiplies and its growing army feeds and secretes toxic by-products. These residues are often identified as spirochetes, which can lead to, for example, false-positive Borrelia titers (Lyme disease screening tests) and misdiagnosis of Lyme disease.
- If a particle of the virus dies — which often happens because they have a six-week life cycle — then consequently the corpse of the virus itself is also toxic and further poisons your body.
- The toxins that EBV secretes during these two processes can form the neurotoxin, a poison that disrupts nerve function and confuses the immune system. The virus secretes this specific toxin continuously during the strategic periods and the fourth stage of EBV, preventing the immune system from targeting and attacking the virus.
- Also the liver works so lazy that it does a poor job of removing toxins from the body.
- Hepatitis C (EBV is actually the root cause of hepatitis C).
- The lazy activity of the liver causes a decrease in the amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and the gastrointestinal tract becomes toxic. This in turn results in some foods not being fully digested but spoiled in the gut, causing bloating and/or constipation.
- You develop sensitivity to foods that did not cause you any problems in the past. This happens when the virus consumes food that it likes, such as cheese, and turns it into something that your body does not recognize.
- All this poison in your body eventually triggers the immune system (which tries to intervene, causing inflammation) and also completely confuses it because the immune system has no idea where the toxins are coming from, so it is unable to label the virus for complete destruction.
Diseases Caused by EBV
EBV is best known for causing mononucleosis, but less often it can lead to other diseases, including:
- Ear infections and diarrhea in children.
- Guillain-Barre syndrome.
- Certain cancers, including Burkitt’s lymphoma and cancers of the nose and throat.
- Studies also show a link between EBV and multiple sclerosis (MS), but more research is needed to determine if the virus can lead to MS.
- When the immune system is disrupted, EBV uses chaos to leave the organ in which it nest and flee to another organ or gland, in this case the thyroid gland. EBV may be the cause of most thyroid disorders and diseases, especially Hashimoto’s disease, but also Graves’ disease, thyroid cancer and other thyroid diseases. In the United States, the number of cases of thyroid cancer has rapidly risen. The medical community is unaware of the reasons why the increase in rare forms of aggressive EBV is so high.
- Epstein-Barr virus invades the thyroid gland for strategic reasons – it tries to confuse and put pressure on the immune system. Once EBV reaches the thyroid gland, it begins to drill itself into its tissues. The virus particles spin and spin literally like a drill to dig deep into the thyroid gland, destroying thyroid cells along the way and creating scar tissue in that organ, causing hypothyroidism in millions of women, from mild to extreme.
- Pressure on the adrenal glands creates more adrenaline, EBV’s favorite food, and makes it stronger and more capable of attacking its ultimate target – the nervous system.
NB! While the above may sound discouraging, don’t let yourself be depressed. The thyroid gland has the ability to recover and heal itself when given what it needs. And never underestimate the power of your immune system, which can be simply activated by knowing the truth.
Immune System Attack Against Epstein-Barr Virus
As a counterattack, the immune system tries to surround the virus with a wall of calcium, creating nodules in the thyroid gland. However, this does not make a big harm for EBV. Firstly, most virus particles evade this attack and remain free.
Secondly, the virus particle that the immune system successfully surrounds with the wall usually survives and makes its calcium prison to a comfortable home, feeding on the thyroid gland and depleting its energy.
The virus particle can even turn this prison into a cyst that puts pressure on the thyroid gland.
At the same time, these immune system attacks against EBV can harm you if you do not consume enough calcium. This is because when the immune system does not get enough calcium from the blood, it draws what it needs from the bones, causing osteoporosis.
Patients With Epstein-Barr Virus Are Often Misdiagnosed
As EBV is hard to detect, it is usually misdiagnosed as:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome. There has also been a massive increase in the number of people with chronic fatigue syndrome, where EBV depletes the body by producing neurotoxins and causing inflammation in the central nervous system. This can eventually weaken the adrenal and gastrointestinal tract and make you feel that your batteries are empty.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- One of the greatest misconceptions of all time is the perception of EBV symptoms in women as perimenopause and menopause.
- Symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, dizziness, hair loss, and anxiety have often been mistaken as hormonal changes – which have triggered the use of destructive hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
In such cases, patients are prescribed inappropriate treatment that is not directed against the real culprit – because these mysterious diseases are, in fact, the fourth stage of the Epstein-Barr virus.
Healing From The Epstein-Barr Virus
The first step of the healing process is to know the cause of your suffering is Epstein-Barr. From this alone, your immune system will strengthen and the virus will naturally weaken.
Another good news is that if you carefully and patiently follow the steps detailed in Part IV of the book Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal, you can heal.
Even more, you are already on the path of healing by reading this article, as it is the first step. Because when it comes to fighting EBV, in a very real sense, knowledge is power.
You can free yourself of EBV, recover your immune system, rejuvenate your body, gain full control over your health, and move on with your life.
In short, instead of just treating symptoms, your goal is to:
- Suppress and try to eliminate the virus from your body
- Boost your immune system and create an environment in your body where the virus can’t thrive.
How long the process takes varies for each individual and depends on myriad factors. Some people conquer the virus in as little as three months.
However, a more typical period is a full year. And there are some people who need 18 months or more to destroy EBV.
10 Ways To Treat Epstein-Barr Virus Naturally and Epstein-Barr Diet – 24 Healing Foods
Acute cases of EBV are treated in much the same way as a cold or flu virus. Up to 80 percent of your diet should come from fresh fruits and vegetables.
However, certain fruits and vegetables can help your body rid itself of EBV and heal from its effects. The following 24 foods (mostly based on the book Thyroid Healing,but based on a personal experience we added few into this healing recipe) are the best ones to incorporate into your diet. Include them daily or as often as possible, so that you get all of these foods into your system.
1. Epstein-Barr diet – 24 healing foods
- Wild blueberries – Flush EBV neurotoxins out of the liver and help restore the central nervous system.
- Celery – Provides mineral salts to the central nervous system and strengthens hydrochloric acid in the gut.
- Sprouts – Strengthen the immune system against EBV (high in zinc and selenium).
- Asparagus – Strengthens the pancreas and cleanses the liver and spleen
- Spinach – creates an alkaline environment in the body and provides highly absorbable micronutrients to the nervous system.
- Cilantro – Removes heavy metals such as mercury and lead (favored foods of EBV).
- Parsley: Removes high levels of copper and aluminum (which also feed EBV).
- Coconut oil – Has antiviral properties and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Garlic – Antiviral and antibacterial.
- Ginger – Relieves spasms associated with EBV and helps with nutrient assimilation, also antiviral.
- Turmeric – Has an anti inflammatory effect.
- Raspberries – Rich in antioxidants, removes free radicals from the organs and bloodstream.
- Lettuce – Helps cleanse EBV from the liver and stimulates peristaltic action in the intestinal tract.
- Papayas – Strengthen and rebuild hydrochloric acid in the gut and restore the central nervous system.
- Apricots – Immune system rebuilders that also strengthen the blood.
- Cayenne – Anti inflammatory.
- Lemon – Rich in vitamin C
- Pomegranates – Help detox and cleanse the lymphatic system and the blood.
- Grapefruit – Rich source of calcium and bioflavonoids to support the immune system and flush toxins out of the body.
- Kale – Contains a high amount of specific alkaloids that protect against viruses such as EBV.
- Sweet potatoes – Help detox and cleanse the liver from EBV byproducts and toxins.
- Cucumbers – Strengthen the kidneys and adrenals and flush neurotoxins out of the bloodstream.
- Fennel – Contains strong antiviral compounds to fight off EBV.
- Essential fats – Like nuts, seeds, avocados and natural, cold-pressed oils.
For more information on the health problems EBV causes and how you can heal, please read Thyroid Healing.
2. Healing herbs and food supplements
The following selection of herbs and food supplements can further strengthen your immune system and aid your body in healing from the virus’s effects.
Read more about healing herbs and food supplements to treat Epstein-Barr virus from the book Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal.
- Probiotics – A healthy gut is necessary for a healthy immune system.
- Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, meaning your cells can adapt its use to your needs.
- Vitamin D – If necessary, take extra vitamin D. A simple blood test from your doctor will reveal your vitamin D levels, and this is one of the easiest deficiencies to fix with a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement.
- Zinc – Strengthens the immune system and protects the thyroid from EBV inflammation.
- Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin and/or adenosylcobalamin) – Srengthens the central nervous system.
- Licorice root – Lowers EBV production and strengthens the adrenals and kidneys.
- Selenium – Strengthens and protects the central nervous system.
- Red marine algae: powerful antiviral that removes heavy metals such as mercury and reduces viral load.
- Spirulina – Eliminates heavy metals and rebuilds the central nervous system.
- Vitamin 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.
- Curcumin – Component of turmeric that helps strengthen the endocrine system and central nervous system.
3. Drink plenty of water, vegetable juices and consume broths
Drink plenty of water and fruit juices to help with fever and pain and to prevent dehydration. Naturopath Elizabeth Noble, author of “Nature’s Amazing Mononucleosis Cures,” also recommends focusing on vegetable juices, broths, soups and herbal teas.
4. Avoid processed foods
Processed foods require a lot of attention from your system to process. They ruin your gut bacteria, cause dysbiosis, bog down your liver, and don’t nourish your body. Consume as few processed foods as possible.
5. Moderate exercise
Movement is important not just for your physical health, but even more for your mental health. Even if it’s just a 15 minute walk.
6. Better-quality sleep
As good night sleep is vital for your strong immune system, be sure you`ll get enough rest.
7. Get rid of parasites in your body
Excess parasites in your gut can cause absorption issues meaning your body isn’t getting the nutrients from the food you eat. A lot of immune issues like Epstein-Barr stem from digestive tract issues.
8. Get rid of yeast infection – Candida
Candida breeds on sugar, so cutting down on sugars helps to eliminate candida from the blood and digestive system. Excess candida can cause leaky gut syndrome which causes brain fog and also weakened immune system.
The cleaner the body during the time of healing the better so that the immune system can stay strong and do it’s job to heal Epstein-Barr Virus.
The best way to get rid of candida is to consume quality probiotics and boost your immune system. Read about how to treat yeast infection (candida) naturally here: Vaginal Yeast Infection in Women – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.
9. Get rid of toxins and heavy metals in your body
Stress, toxins and heavy metals are EBV favourite foods. Even more, they prevent your immune system to focus to its task. Read more about the natural detox options here: Complete Heavy Metal Detox Diet – 7 Plants to Cleanse Your Body From Heavy Metals.
To know more about this topic and the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus, please read following books:
- The Medical Medium by Anthony William
If you have thyroid issues:
- Medical Medium Thyroid Healing by Anthony William
Compiled by Maria-Helena Loik
Source: This article is written mostly based on the New York Times bestselling book Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal
Other sources: Cdc.gov/epstein-barr/about-ebv.html, Webmd.com, Elizabethrider.com, Riordanclinic.org, Medicalmedium.com, Livestrong.com, Healyourlife.com
Pictures: Pexels.com, Pixabay.com, Shutterstock.com