The Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) & Mononucleosis
The last chapter she writes about the connection between auto immune conditions and viruses and one came up consistently in her analysis – the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). EBV is a common virus that causes infectious Mononucleosis (Mono for short) also referred to as Glandular Fever.
Mono is spread by infectious saliva. I’ve heard it referred to as “the kissing disease”. Mono invades the lymph nodes and proceeds to attack lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are small white blood cells that play a major role in the activities of the immune system.
- sore throat lasting two weeks or more
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits and groin
- a persistent fever
The Epstein Bar Virus & Your Immune System
I contracted Mono as a teenager and was sick for months. I slept day in and day out. That was all I wanted to do. My throat was so sore and super swollen. I couldn’t eat much of anything. While I made it through the months of sickness with Mono, I haven’t been the same since.
The glands in my throat have been swollen ever since and my left tonsil is huge! Chronic Mono (lasting for more than six months) is suggested to be the cause behind chronic fatigue syndrome, a symptom that I have most definitely dealt with since.
I wonder about the connection with EBV and my own immune system issues (i.e. Hashimoto’s and Endometriosis). In one of the support groups that I interact with the subject of endometriosis and Mono came up and of little surprise many, many women with endometriosis have had Mono in their lives at some point.
Dr. Blum points out that while EBV is present within many auto immune conditions, it hasn’t been proved scientifically if the EBV is a causative factor or the result of an already faulty immune system.
Regardless once EBV is present it doesn’t go away and while it may lay dormant for many years, it can flare up at any time causing similar symptoms including chronic fatigue.
Since EBV enters the lymph nodes in the neck and throat, the thyroid is most susceptible to damage. Thus there is a strong link between EBV and thyroid issues.
On the Positive Side?
Dr. Blum outlines a healing plan for auto immune conditions in her book and she does mention that by following this path that the body will be in a much better condition to fight off EBV. While there is no “cure” for EBV it seems like it can be contained by supporting the immune system.
I find it interesting when there are connections between different conditions — like EBV, which sends an attack on the immune system and auto immune conditions.
Could the presence of this virus play into endometriosis? I’m not sure, and this would only be proven if all women with endometriosis have it in their bodies, which I don’t think is the case.
Regardless, I do think the presence of this virus has an obvious impact on your immune system. What about you….
Have you had Mono sometime in your life? Do you suffer with chronic fatigue?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…..