Reactivated Mono

I actually see a re-activated form of EBV in quite a few patients, particularly individuals who have fibromyalgia, forms of depression, chronic fatigue, pain, Hashimoto’s and all sorts of immune dysfunctions. Unfortunately they are very common. If I have a patient who has hit a plateau in the healing process, I often go hunting for viral etiologies. Sometimes the immune system is keeping viruses at bay including EBV, re-activated CMV (not so common), Herpes 1 and 2 and a less common form, Herpes 6.

So let’s introduce a few players to better understand why viral etiologies can contribute to chronic conditions that seem unresolvable. First we have the immune system or the army. Many parts of the army are strategically trained for their job. Base camp is set up in your digestive area, the appendix, the small intestine, large intestine, and spleen. After training, these troops are sent throughout the body to do their job. Glands and lymph nodes are where the army sets up distant camps. Let’s talk about a few of these soldiers, the bombers or tankers (toxic T Cells), and the weapon makers (B cells).

Epstein Barr Virus or EBV or Mononucleosis is a member of the Herpesviridae family, Human Herpes Virus-4 to be exact. It is known as the kissing disease or glandular fever in some countries. It is nicely protected by a capsid and a lipid layer and infects only humans by getting inside the cell. Most all viruses infect the body by getting inside a cell and taking over the cell’s ability to reproduce. EBV loves to get inside the B cells and epithelial cells. It is speculated that 60-98% of adults show evidence through blood test that they have had EBV. For the most part, we don’t tend to get EBV until we are in our late teens or early twenties when we start kissing strangers. It takes 30- 50 days to get the infection, which shows up as a sore throat, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and a few other oddities. In chronic carriers, the virus can be shed periodically in our oral secretions. No wonder so many of us have had Mono. But why do some of us get over it and in others it shows up in another form?

When our army identifies this intruder (EBV), it gathers the troops and gets to work. So lymph nodes get swollen, and sometimes the spleen gets bigger as it is trying to make more soldiers for the fight. The bomber cells and tanker cells get busy blowing up whatever cells have the virus. The virus can only reproduce inside a cell so they must sacrifice the other immune cell, the weapon maker. Then the clean up crew comes in to gobble up the debris, which increases the swelling need for all the transportation going on. Now the B cells have a very important job so sacrificing them doesn’t go unnoticed. These weapon-making cells make the antibodies that attach to anything that needs to be removed from the body. They keep us healthy but when they get confused they contribute to autoimmunity and we attack ourselves. But, when there are not enough bombers and tankers to destroy the infected B cells, these weapon-making cells can go off and hide and become deformed. For example, in AIDS or other compromised conditions, there are not enough tankers and bombers to destroy the infected B cells, so the weapon cells turn evil, malignant, or cancerous. The in-between occurs when our immune system is good but not good enough. We see these B cells easily confused and there is so much in our world of genetic mutations, toxicity, additional intruders, and poor nutrition to get confused about. This is where the chronic conditions resulting from EBV comes into play.

Antibiotics do not address any viral etiologies and do not target the areas of the body where this play is taking place. Instead, antibiotics will completely ransack the balance in your gut, where your immune system army has its base camp. Botanicals and cell salts can specifically target areas of the body affected and effectively provide army back up tools and troops. Homeopathy can assist the troops in being inspired to do their job properly and provide some leadership. Hydrotherapy helps with transportation. Anthrosophical, temperament, and miasmic approaches will work with your body according to its preferences. There are so many natural tools that can be used and are on your army. It takes strategy to use the army at the appropriate time to make it all work.

As you can see, there is hope and solutions to many chronic conditions and part of the solution is in finding the original problem.