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Healing from Reactivated Epstein-Barr: Update

Healing from Reactivated Epstein-Barr: Update

Before I get started, I want you to know that all in all I feel great!

I had some surprising test results and will continue to share these insights in case it helps you with your health issues, too. Since it’s been a few months since my last update, I want to share my current testing and treatment updates.

A healthy lifestyle goes a long way to feeling better when dealing with a chronic issue like a virus, and the goal of this series is to help you identify potential issues if you have mystery symptoms or just feel tired all the time. There have been a lot of ups and downs in dealing with reactivated Epstein-Barr but the more we all share, the more it helps everyone.

If you’re new here, you can read my full story of symptoms, diagnosis, testing and treatment in the first three posts in this series, to understand where I’m at and give you ideas for your journey, too.

Now for the update…

Elispot Test for Epstein-Barr Virus

Over the summer I had another integrative physical with my Functional MD, Dr. Armonia del Sol, at Sanoviv Medical Institute. During this visit she let me know that a new and even more sensitive test to detect active EBV is now available. Called Elispot, this test evaluates your T-cell responses to the Epstein–Barr virus. I’m not a doctor, and the science of this gets complicated quickly and is way over my blogger paygrade. So in layman’s terms, I’ll just say that this test gives the doctor even more information as to if your body is actively fighting the chronic infection as opposed to just the IgG and IgM antibody tests.

To be honest, I half expected it to come back negative. While we know both my IgG and IgM antibodies have been high, I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. (However, sometimes I think low energy levels have become so routine that I’m not sure if I know what normal always feels like). My weight has also been fluctuating despite eating a strict healthy diet, so she wanted to do this test to see what my body was fighting. The Elispot test came back positive that my T-cells are still actively trying to fight the infection.

My biggest question was, “what does that mean?”

Modern medicine is still catching up to understanding reactivated and chronic Epstein-Barr infections. This, of course, is frustrating for everyone.

It’s frustrating as a patient, and I can see the frustration my MD experiences because she’s dedicated to science and medicine. Not only that, she’s open-minded to the fact that reactivated Epstein-Barr virus is a real problem that is not yet fully understood by the medical community. Robust testing and treatment protocols have not yet been established, so if you have mystery symptoms and are being treated, my advice is not to blame your doctor. Instead, find a functional practitioner who is open to exploring treating EBV (or chronic viruses in general).

Treatment protocols can be different for each patient, so please remember that when I share what I’m doing it’s meant to give you avenues to explore with your own doctors and not a prescription of what to do.

Additional Blood Ozone Treatments

Dr. Armonia’s first recommendation for me was to do a pretty aggressive round of medical blood ozone treatments (major autohemotherapy) with blood irradiation. (I talk more about blood ozone treatments here.) I did one autohemotherapy per week for three weeks in a row to give a mega-boost to my immune system and hyper oxygenate my blood. I visited Advanced Medical Therapies in Seattle with Dr. Armonia as my referring physician and really liked my experience there.

One hypothesis about the reactivated EBV issues is that the immune system for some reason isn’t reacting strongly enough. So, the goal of this type of immunotherapy in my case was to jumpstart the immune system and potentially kill some of the virus. And it worked because I got a massive sinus infection after the second one, which sucked big time but was actually a good sign that my immune system was in full force. Years ago, I told Dr. Armonia that I hadn’t been sick in years. I thought that meant I was super healthy, but she was concerned because that can indicate that the immune system isn’t responding. You can still have all of those nasty viruses and germs that would make you sick, but your immune system just doesn’t kick in, which is a bad thing. By the time I went for the third treatment the next week I was on the mend and the clinic offered fluids via an IV drip to help me feel better, since I was already hooked up for the ozone treatment, so that was a plus.

Lysine + Morning Celery Juice

I also added a lysine supplement and morning celery juice to my routine, in addition to the supplements I mention in this post. I try to not overload on supplements, but I’ve tested being on and off of these, and they do make a big difference as to how I feel. I just started the lysine and don’t have a full update on that one yet. I’m really loving the morning celery juice. Even though it’s hard to know if it actually helps with EBV (I think it does), drinking fresh juice first thing in the morning hydrates the body and my skin looks extra glowy, so that’s a plus.

You might be wondering, “So what should I do?”

I know it’s frustrating to deal with a chronic virus or mystery symptoms. Read the first three posts in this series (linked at the top and bottom of this post) and look for a functional medicine practitioner who can help you. At the very least, eat as healthy as possible, slow down, and engage in as much self-care as you can, as all of these will help you feel better.

I highly recommend reading The Medical Medium and his subsequent books as they all contain information about healing from reactivated EBV. You can also ask if my MD has an opening at Sanoviv by contacting me here—someone on my team will refer you my contact at Sanoviv and they will help you make the right decision for you. My doctor at Sanoviv is Dr. Armonia, but I would recommend anyone on their staff. I only recommend people and things to you that I personally use and trust.

Sanoviv is a world-class hospital and healing center. Not only is it a functional medicine hospital, but Sanoviv also has a dreamy spa, cutting-edge medical treatments, and a gourmet all-natural kitchen with talented chefs that prepare all of your food. It’s a healing paradise. If I had mystery symptoms or a cancer diagnosis, it would be the first place I turn. I’ve been a patient for four years, and one thing I love is that they are extra professional and not just trying to sell you, so they do a complimentary admissions interview to make sure they can even help before booking your stay. Remember that there are not set-in-stone treatments for some issues, so I tell people I recommend to Sanoviv (or any treatment center) to never expect that a doctor can “fix” you or wave a magic wand. It’s called “practicing medicine” because it’s a practice, but in general, you will at least have more information and a plan to move forward after an integrative physical.

My next step with Dr. Armonia is to redo the EliSpot sometime this year. After major autohemotherapy, it’s essential to give the body time to let the immune system kick in and do its thing. Immediately retesting wouldn’t provide accurate results. I’m hosting my annual retreat at Sanoviv in April and will have it redone then, a good six months after the aggressive three in three weeks treatment. She also recommended a mycotoxin test (mold) because she recently went to a conference that discussed EBV, Lyme, and mycotoxins as coinfections.

I share my story here in case it can help you explore your own health. I definitely don’t have all of the answers, but I hope that some of the information about my testing, treatments, and protocols can help you find answers about your health, too.

Feeling Better by Living Better

In general, I’m feeling pretty good! I continue to focus on healthy food, sleep, and self-care. I go into detail about healthy living and creating habits that you enjoy in my forthcoming book, The Health Habit: 7 Easy Steps to Reach Your Goals & Dramatically Improve Your Life (Hay House—coming in August) The book isn’t specifically about EBV or a “prescription” for a way to be healthy, but instead figuring out what works for you and creating daily healthy habits that you enjoy (and actually look forward to!).

I’ll do another update soon. Stay on my email list for notifications and more good stuff.

Other posts in this series:

Sending you loads of healing thoughts and love,

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  1. Joan

    March 12th, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, Elizabeth. I have similar issues, and I’ve been to a dozen doctors, mostly unhelpful. I’ve also read and tried treatments from the Medical Medium. I was just wondering about the connection between EBV and mycotoxins, as I’ve tested positive for both. I’m starting a new treatment that involves taking bentonite clay internally.

  2. Eddy Shera

    March 12th, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Elizabeth, so glad you are feeling better. Good for you for sticking to solving the problem. Wish I were going to Sanoviv again this year, but its not possible for me. Have a great trip! s

  3. Mollie Toth

    March 12th, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    It’s so interesting that you mention the connection between EBV and mycotoxins as my doctor was continuously scratching her head and saying “your immune system is battling something, but what is it?” I tested positive for mycotoxin exposure and was interested to learn that the the mold toxicity was likely causing my EBV to spike, and it was not the EBV that made me more susceptible to mold. No wonder my EBV titers have been constantly elevated! I’m anxious to see what happens when we get the mold under control and how it affects my reactivated EBV and all of the shared symptoms. While the treatment for mold is pretty simplistic (mostly binders) the hard part is figuring out all of the places that I have been exposed to it. I have also been doing OHT treatments (ozone high dose therapy) either weekly or biweekly and feel like it is responsible in helping me get over the hump.

  4. Molly J

    March 12th, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Stroke of luck finding your EBV posts! Was just looking at my lab work from last week and pondering what it all meant in terms of impact on my life. The EBV Ab IgG was 17.9, not too bad but high. However, my VCA is 399.0 and EBNA is 206.0… yeah… I almost fell off my chair. Very thankful for my ND friend for suggesting that we do a consult after complaining about “still feeling like I have mono, but my MD keeps telling me it’s all in my head and that I really just need to treat my ongoing depression”. To which we laughed, because: Like Hell I Don’t Have Depression! Last night my husband gave me a big hug and said “you were right all these years, you DO still have mono!” Um, yeah, have been telling everyone that for YEARS! HA! I had severe mono 26 years ago, with enlarged liver & spleen, mono induced hepatitis, and 5 weeks off work; when all I could do at that time was get up to the bathroom and grab small plates of food that friends left in my fridge. The medical literature is terrifying, and I have too much to accomplish to worry about lymphomas and MS! I am going the anti-viral route for now, with a load of supplements. My diet is typically very good and I have access to locally grown foods (Snoqualmie Valley BTW… just east of Seattle!), but I can certainly do much better. Will be checking in for more info and see how your journey is going!

  5. Pam

    March 13th, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Medical Medium is the only protocol one needs to follow. Anthony William (AW), of Medical Medium, is the original and only that has brought EBV awareness and the Celery juice movement to where it is today. AW started the healing path for millions of people decades ago by telling people to drink celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach; this has resulted in a global movement that is happening today. If you start drinking celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach – tell people where it started from – with Anthony William of Medical Medium. Medical Medium books are finally bringing to light about EBV that Anthony William has been talking about for decades. Not once have I read in any of his books refer to “reactivated EBV”!?! His latest book ‘The Liver Rescue’ should be a must read for everyone. In May 2019, he will be coming out with his new book “Celery Juice” and you can pre-order now with Amazon. Anthony even created an entire website about celery juice here – celeryjuice . com. I receive all of the Medical Medium emails, and about a month ago I received an email called ‘The Healing Benefits of Lysine.’ As Anthony William of Medical Medium has said many times; people are taking my work and trying to make it their own. Don’t be fooled – get it straight from Medical Medium.

  6. Sarah Raycroft

    March 29th, 2019 at 5:18 am

    Hello! I’ve been reading your blogs about your struggle with EBV and relate on so many levels. I have suffered from fatigue and chronic headaches for about 8-10 years now. I am currently 20 and in college and constant fatigue and chronic headaches to do not mix well with the stress and fun of college, so my parents and I pursed some holistic medicine doctors about a year ago to try and get to the bottom of things since no one else has ever been able to tell us anything. Recent bloodwork revealed that my levels for mono were SKY-HIGH and that it has probably infected my body in the form of EBV and my symptoms just take place through headaches. We are beginning treatment and medication. I’m super intimidated about the life changes I’ll need to make, especially focusing on my diet and being a college student. I’m physically active, working out 3-5 times a week but I have never been where I wish to be physically due to some hormone issues that we are now wondering if is also an effect of EBV. Your story is inspiring and making this “new normal” a little less intimidating as I prepare for the next few weeks. Praying so hard my symptoms and pain goes away, while also kind of just accepting this will be something I must manage and “deal with” for the rest of my life.

    Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing. Wish me luck haha.

  7. Mary Donahue

    April 12th, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    So I tested 6 weeks ago or so for reactivated Epstein-so I tested about 3 weeks ago with reactivated Epstein-Barr virus. I also tested for reactivated Epstein-Barr virus last summer. I also had a TSH of 16.9. I had Graves disease and a full thyroidectomy 38 years ago. I have been fighting to get my TSH levels normal for the last 18 months after being completely normal for 36 years. I am wondering if the Epstein-Barr virus ever went back and remission from last summer. I have been off work for 5 weeks now. I initially went into the doctor for running a fever and just feeling really lousy for a week. It turns out among the elevated TSH level and the reactivated Epstein-Barr virus that I also had influenza b at the same time. I feel like my body has just been attacked. Now I do feel quite a bit better than I did all those weeks ago. But I can’t do more than two hours of any activity without just feeling completely drained.

  8. Jana

    August 14th, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    All I can say is, “Wow!” I had mono when I was 35, at least that was when it was first diagnosed. That diagnosis came after visiting 3 doctors who told me that it was normal to feel tired when you are 35 and have two little kids. But this tired was unlike any tired I had ever experienced, except perhaps when I had pneumonia as a teen. (I wonder if I had mono then that was missed?) At any rate, I eventually felt less tired and life went back to a sort of “normal”.

    I say sort of because I don’t honestly think I have been fully well for two decades. I started getting migraine headaches at 40 and these continued — 3 to 4 per month — until January of this year. I also had flare ups of mono symptoms,; maybe once per year. I quit going to the doctor for these because they give antibiotics out like candy — not blaming them, just stating a fact — and I couldn’t notice any difference between taking them and just slowing down.

    In January, I started a rigorous exercise program and started making my own yogurt. My migraines virtually disappeared. My sleep was better, though not perfect, and other minor health issues resolved.

    All was well until Monday, when I got a killer headache, extreme fatigue, sore throat, etc. Another relapse of the EBV? I am so intrigued my your protocols and will try to find a local doctor (I live in a very rural area) who will do the test. I feel as if I may finally be on the verge of what could be a life-changing discovery.

    Or, at least I will know it isn’t all in my head.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. Athena

    September 5th, 2019 at 4:11 am

    Thanks for the advice and I’m glad to hear that you are getting better, also I just recently have EBV last month and it just came back again this month, and coincidentally I have USANA too which my mom gave me before I decided to study abroad. Right now I’m doing some home remedies that would ease the pain of my throat also I’m a little afraid of going to the hospital because the reason why it was back again is because there are times that I would skip my doses of medicine and also I thought that since I’m getting better that’s why I think it’s okay to skip some sometimes if I forgot to take it. Anyways now that I know that there are other ways to prevent it is changing my lifestyle especially now I’m studying in a University and living in a dorm.

  10. Mindy

    September 7th, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you so much for this series of articles. I have been dealing with reactivated EBV for about the past 18 months, and although it’s gotten MUCH better, there have been some side effects lingering. I didn’t do the testing you talked about, but just do muscle response testing with my naturopath. I have kinda a bizarre question for you… if you have reactivated EBV, can you reactivate it in your romantic partner via kissing? This has been weighing on me a bunch, and even made me avoid dating for the first year of reactivated EBV, but am dating someone now and it would give me peace of mind to know I’m not infecting him. Did your partner get EBV from you at any point? Any input you (or anyone else) have with this would be very greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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