Viruses have been a topic of media focus over the last several decades, with COVID-19 and all its variants most recently. Plus there’s Zika, Ebola and H1N1 in the past, and of course the flu emerges as a mainstream media fear-inducer every fall.
But there’s another virus that is far more prevalent than any of those and it affects up to 95 percent of Americans, but the “news” is completely mum on the subject! (Probably because there’s not a vaccine for it that they can push for their pharma partners.)
It’s an elusive virus that in some cases lies dormant and doesn’t cause a problem…but in others, it’s quite a different story and it can mean disease and ultimately death.
I’m talking about the Epstein-Barr virus.
Here’s what you need to know about this common but little-known virus that may be affecting you more than you realize.
Epstein-Barr—a herpes family member
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was first discovered in 1964 when Sir Michael Anthony Epstein and Ms. Yvonne Barr found it in a lymphoma cell line…hence the name Epstein-Barr.
EBV is part of the herpesvirus family—specifically, human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4). It is the virus that causes mononucleosis (aka “mono”).
Could it be affecting you?
As I said above, Epstein-Barr is quite prevalent, affecting up to 95 percent of people in most developed countries before the age of 20.
It can be sneaky, because while it can cause symptoms like extreme fatigue, weakness and fever, most people who have it don’t even know it because it is lying dormant.
Like other herpes viruses, Epstein-Barr virus is spread through intimate contact via bodily fluids including saliva, blood and semen.
While EBV most commonly results in mononucleosis, unfortunately that’s not the only disease it can trigger.
A certain protein produced by the Epstein-Barr virus, called EBNA2, interacts with a number of genes that are associated with various autoimmune diseases and can “activate” these genes, resulting in the development of disease.
The known EBV-related autoimmune conditions include:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)--including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Celiac disease
- Type 1 diabetes
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Don’t poke the bear!
Most people are not even aware they have EBV. And when it does “make an appearance” as mono, once you recover after a few weeks the EBV “bear” typically goes back into hibernation.
Unless something “pokes” it into action.
Reactivation of EBV may be seen in people going through major, stressful life changes such as the death of a loved one, a relocation, job loss or menopause. It can also happen during other times of chronic stress or emotional upset.
This makes sense, since your immune system is hampered when you are under great stress, and you are far more susceptible to illness.
When EBV is triggered back into action, symptoms can include persistent fatigue, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and flu-like symptoms.
It can even cause depression!
To diagnose EBV, your doctor can do an Epstein-Barr Virus Panel to include: Viral capsid antigen (VCA)-IgM, VCA-IgG, D early antigen (EA-D) and Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen (EBNA).
The typical treatments are useless
The typical treatments for EBV (steroids and anti-viral medications) are not really “treatments” at all because they just provide symptomatic relief, while presenting a long list of side effects to boot.
Your best protection against Epstein-Barr virus is to rely on what Nature gave you—a strong functioning immune system!
Here are ways you can support the power of your immune system to help prevent contracting EBV, or to help keep it at bay if you’ve got it:
Eat immune-supportive foods
Have a healthy diet including plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, carrots and sweet potatoes, dark blue and black berries, nuts and seeds, healthy fats and good quality proteins such as chicken, beef and eggs.
At the same time, avoid refined carbs and sugars, as these feed harmful yeasts and microbes in your gut which in turn can weaken your immune system functioning.
Supplement with the top immune-supportive superstars
When it comes to immune support, nothing beats vitamin D and probiotics!
Vitamin D helps to tame inflammatory immune actions such as those seen with autoimmune disease. Since it’s a very common deficiency (especially this time of year in the northeast), daily supplementation with a top-notch product like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B® can help ensure your body maintains health supportive levels of this crucial nutrient.
And a multi-strain, full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield PLUS is your gold in terms of immune support! About 80 percent of your immune system resides in your microbiome’s beneficial bacteria, so maintaining a healthy population of friendly flora is vital to a healthy immune system!
Many acupuncturists can help your body achieve a “detox” and get on the road to healing from the effects of Epstein-Barr. If you have known EBV, I strongly suggest you seek out a skilled acupuncturist in your area.
Get enough sleep
Lacking sleep can obliterate your immune system function. Studies have shown that just ONE poor night’s sleep can reduce immune functioning by up to 30 percent!
So listen up, you Night Owls—it’s time to start hitting the hay earlier. Late night reruns, Netflix and Facebook will have to survive into the wee hours without you.
And if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, the melatonin our Soothing Zzzz’s Blend gummies can help!
See how a strong functioning immune system and smart prevention measures can help your fight against EBV, as well as support total optimal health!
To your health,