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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you.