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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

Chronic Epstein Barr Virus

By Dr. David Pollack

The past few years have shown a huge increase in the number of people dealing with chronic Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). While there are many causes for this surge in cases, the top two reasons include increased stress and reactivation due to another virus, such as COVID-19. 

EBV causes many issues. It is the same virus that causes mono (mononucleosis), often caught when we are in our teens or early twenties. Just like chicken pox, EBV stays in the body, dormant, forever. And just like chicken pox, it re-emerges at different points in our life, often due to increased stress or being reactivated by another infection. So as chicken pox returns as shingles, mono comes back as chronic EBV. Shingles can last a long time. Without proper treatment it can hang around for months or even years. In my opinion, EBV is even more chronic. Some of my patients have had it for more than a decade. Many people are unaware that they have it or have had it. There are simple blood tests to detect the antibodies for this virus and, based on how high those antibodies are, the results can determine if the virus is reactivated in its chronic state. 

Most people with EBV experience three classic symptoms. The first is fatigue which can range from mild to profound and be constant or intermittent. The second symptom is a sense of “brain fog” where thinking and perception aren’t clear. This can also range from mild to profound. Some people have a fuzzy or fullness sensation in their head or even just their eyes. It is often described as though one’s head is filled with cotton or fiberglass. The third most common symptom is mild to moderate body aches. The fuzzy sensation I described earlier can also be felt in the limbs. Of course, everyone is different, and our sensations can be described in many ways. However, approximately 80 percent of those suffering with chronic EBV experience these classic symptoms. 

Then there are the not-so-classic symptoms. Some people liken EBV to Lyme disease. Lyme, as discussed in previous articles, is known as the “Great Mimicker.” It can look like many different diseases. Why does this happen? Unlike most viral infections—which generally infect specific tissues—Lyme and EBV can infect most tissues of the body. Most commonly, the nerves and liver are affected, which then creates the symptoms described above. However, if the virus lives in the digestive tract, more digestive symptoms will occur. If it’s nestled in the reproductive system, a patient might present with low hormones or infertility, and so on.

A few years ago, a woman came to see me for various health issues. While she was my patient, she mentioned that she and her second husband were trying to get pregnant for 12 years. Both had children from their first marriages, so they were unclear as to why it was such a challenge to conceive. After determining that she was in great health, we decided to see if there was something going on with her husband’s health. When he became my patient, he shared that he had minor health complaints besides fatigue from owning multiple businesses and burning the candle at both ends. When reviewing the results from his blood tests, I noticed his EBV titers were “off-the-charts.” After deploying an antiviral EBV protocol, less than two months later his wife was pregnant. Not only that, his energy and focus improved dramatically. 

For simple cases like his we are often able to jump right into some anti-viral herbal therapy and often notice a dramatic improvement in about four weeks. However, everyone’s treatment plan is different. For those with multiple issues, we must repair some of the ongoing issues in the body so the treatment plan may stretch out for several months. This sets the stage for empowering the immune system to be able to fight and suppress the EBV virus. 

So many people are suffering from the effects of chronic EBV and do not even realize it. Life can be so much better, happier and clearer. We just need to take the first step to owning our health.

Dr. David L. Pollack is the founder of Pollack Wellness Institute, located at 66 Commack Rd., #204, Commack, NY. For appointments or information, call 631-462-0801, email [email protected] or visit PollackWellness.com.

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