How to Get Tested for Reactivated Epstein-Barr (EBV)

This is the second post in my Epstein-Barr (EBV) series. You’ll see the progression of my EBV tests and learn what to ask for if you want to get similar tests.

EBV Testing

Why Epstein-Barr Testing It’s So Confusing

Before you read this post, I shared my story about how after years of feeling tired and treating my low thyroid condition, I discovered that my Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) antibodies were showing a recent infection—even though it had been over 15 years since having mono as a teen—if you want to read more of my backstory.

Today I want to share more about the testing I’ve had over the last two years—plus, why it’s so confusing and frustrating for most people when they ask to be tested for reactivated Epstein-Barr.

First, the medical community is just waking up to the idea that we don’t just get mono once, and that the virus can cause issues for decades.

Old-school Western Medical Doctors used to think that:

  1. About 95% of the population will contract the Epstein-Barr virus at some point (still true),
  2. In some people it stays dormant forever (still true), and
  3. Some people will get mono from it—but once the acute mono phase is over, there is still a belief that the virus will stay dormant (asleep) forever (this is not necessarily true)

In some cases, it will stay dormant forever after the acute mono phase. But in some people, like me and possibly you, the virus can cause issues throughout life. Again, you can read more about my low thyroid issues and EBV reactivation discovery on the first post in this series. But today I want to focus on testing.

Second, while some doctors and practitioners have long known that EBV can cause autoimmune symptoms or lead to conditions like Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia, most have disregarded this idea.

Since new information is still emerging about the virus and the long-term issues it can cause, there isn’t really a standardized test for it. And other practitioners hypothesize that there are actually multiple types of EBV, which makes it even more difficult to test for.

I was intrigued enough to ask for an EBV test from my naturopath but didn’t know what to specifically ask for so just got the test that she chose from her list of options. It was still a good test, as it indicated a “recent primary infection,” which was enough to understand that my immune system was still trying to fight the virus even though my acute mono phase had ended over 15 years before.

The health community uses the words “Reactivated Epstein-Barr” for this phenomenon, but I wonder if it ever really “deactivated” in the first place. I think a better word for it might be chronic, however, Chronic Active EBV is a specific diagnosis characterized by persistent infectious mononucleosis-like symptoms. There is a huge population that is living somewhere in between—the persistent infectious mononucleosis-like symptoms are gone, but you never fully recover.

Back to the testing.

I’m sharing these tests with you to show you why detecting long-term EBV issues is so confusing.

However, I feel positive that I at least know why I have periods of time when I feel so tired, because now I can do something about it. It’s also comforting to know what could have caused this thyroid issue. However, the testing is still confusing, and I’m still a little confused about it.

Also, please note that I’m sharing these tests with you just as a starting point. I’m not a doctor and these are just for reference.

My 1st Reactivated EBV Test

September 2016: Testing for Positive/Negative IGG and IGM antibodies.

Elizabeth Rider Epstein-Barr

The image above is my first recent EBV test in September 2016 (15 years after mono), indicating a positive result. My naturopath in Bozeman ordered this test, and to her surprise, it was positive! (Read more about that in my first post in this series.) On this test from Mayo, presence of VCA/IgM antibodies indicates recent primary infection. This was the first indicator that my body was still fighting the virus and was the point at which we started natural antivirals and treatments. Tests that show positive or negative results without values can be frustrating as it’s hard to gauge the severity of the situation, but at least it’s a start.

My 2nd Reactivated EBV Test

January 2017: Follow-up four months after the first test.

Elizabeth Rider Epstein-Barr

This test above was not that helpful and was ordered by mistake when my doctor thought she was ordering the same as the first one. We had tweaked my thyroid replacement dose, so I had to be tested a few months later. I asked her to test the EVB again to see if anything had changed. When the test came back, I realized it was a totally different test than the first.

She mentioned that she must have just checked a separate box, but this one was a good one, too. I don’t blame her or have any negative feelings about it, but looking back on it I should have asked for the other test again, because comparing two different tests isn’t very helpful.

And after researching this test more, I realized that it didn’t tell us the entire picture—it says “None Detected” because it was testing something completely different. She told me that the natural antivirals must be working and to just keep doing what I was doing. I actually did feel a little better, but as you’ll see over the next year in the following tests, the antibodies that indicate a recent infection and that my body was still fighting the virus, were in fact, still there.

My 3rd Reactivated EBV Test

May 2017: Five months after the previous confusing test.

Elizabeth Rider Epstein-Barr

As you can see here, this test indicated the same as the first. When I got this one, my biggest question was, “Would this have shown the same thing in January?” This is why it’s so important to follow up and get the same test so you can do an accurate comparison.

My Most Recent Reactivated EBV Test

May 2018: This one actually has number values, not just just positive/negative results.

Elizabeth Rider Epstein-Barr

My previous tests were with my doctor in Montana. I recently moved to Seattle and started seeing a new naturopath. During my intake, she mentioned that she wanted to do an EBV test. As you can see on this test above, it only tested IgG, not IgM antibodies like tests one and three did. That confused me because high VCA/IgM antibodies indicate a recent primary infection. She said she now uses this test because it actually gives a value of the IgG antibodies, and over a certain number, it will indicate if your immune system is still trying to fight the virus. You can see from the result and reference range above that anything over 10.99 indicates a positive result, and mine was over 41.

I plan to keep up with the natural antivirals I take and continue to explore natural and alternative treatment options. You can read more about my treatment protocol in this post.

Are Epstein-Barr Antibody Tests Even Helpful?

Here’s the bottom line: EBV testing is still confusing for medical professionals, which makes it even more confusing for patients.

Remember that labs are always a snapshot in time, and it’s possible that different values can be detected at different times.

Even though EBV testing can be confusing, what’s important is to remember that regardless of what the results are, you can still take steps to feel better.

If you’ve had even one test that comes back positive, it will most likely be positive for a long time—possibly even for life. Since we still don’t know a lot about the virus, what’s most important is that you focus on feeling good and healing if you feel off, instead of focusing on the numbers on a piece of paper.

These tests are useful in the sense that you may suspect EBV, and seeing the result on paper might spur action to healing, but also remember that the virus can live so deep in your organs that the test might show negative, even when EBV is ultimately the issue.

You can start your healing protocol on your own even if you don’t have the test results yet.

How to Ask for a Reactivated Epstein-Barr Test

Find a naturopath, functional medicine specialist, or healthcare practitioner who is open to exploring the possibility of Epstein-Barr.

Do some research in your local area, and always ask the front desk when you call to make your appointment if the practitioner is open to testing for Epstein-Barr. I’ve found that naturopaths are always very open to this. The front desk can’t give you a consult over the phone, but they can at least provide information as to whether the doctor is open to testing for that sort of thing. You may have to call a few places since unfortunately some mainstream/”old-school” medical practices are not up to speed on this yet.

If I were starting over again with what I know now, I would specifically ask for the positive/negative VCA/IgM antibodies test (tests one and three above) and the EBV Early Antigen D (IgG) test (test four above), because both provided good information. If I recall, that first test was around $45 (on top of the cost of the visit), and I paid cash at the naturopath, so it wasn’t too out of reach.

Only your medical professional can guide you on this and will know what tests are available, so work with them to find the best testing option for you. I will say that I had to specifically ask for this and let her know that I was ok paying the $45 for her to order it. That’s not a price quote by the way, as I’m sure the charges vary by lab and area.

Is There a Better Test?

New technology is always becoming available, and I want to remind everyone that I’m a patient, not a doctor, so you’ll have to work with your medical professional on what tests are available and best for you. My doctors in Montana and Seattle are both amazing, but they did not have any further tests to conduct.

My doctor at Sanoviv specializes in functional medicine and wants to do a test called ELISpot the next time I visit her to understand if I have any co-infections and to understand the EBV more. ELISpot blood test is sent to Europe for analysis and it’s expensive; we would do it for research purposes because we’re both fascinated by it and I have the funds to do it. Since health is my profession, I’m willing to spend on the research, but I want you to know that you do not have to have expensive tests to start your healing. In fact, the results of that test will most likely not change my protocol, it will just scratch our itch to learn more about the virus.

How to Take Action:

1. Read the other posts in this series for more information:

Post #1: Is It Epstein-Barr Virus Reactivation?
Post #3: My Epstein-Barr Treatment & Natural Healing Protocol
Post #4: Update: Healing from Reactivated Epstein-Barr 

2. If you have an autoimmune condition or low thyroid and suspect reactivated Epstein-Barr, find a naturopath or doctor who specializes in functional medicine and ask for an EBV test. (See notes above about how to ask.)

3. Share your story with us in the comments below to help other people who are dealing with this. Have you had any testing, or do you plan to? What were your results?

4. Subscribe to my newsletter below this post get your first free ebook and make sure you never miss an EBV update.

5. Stay positive!

It actually doesn’t matter that the testing can be confusing. You can still take charge of your own health. If you feel rundown or low in energy, stay hopeful. Living a healthy lifestyle and incorporating natural antivirals into your routine can help manage (and potentially even get rid of) the virus. I’ll continue to write more posts as I learn more (trust me, I’m typing as fast as I can). 😉

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  1. Amy says:

    I have been struggling with symptoms for years. I recently had my EBV labs drawn. My EBV EA(D) is 38.8, EBV VCA IGG is 259 and EBV nuclear antigen IGG is > 600. I now know why I feel horrible. I had mono at 16-17 and I am now 48.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for this detailed information in all your posts. I have had EBV 6 times (over 20 years) and starting to feel like I am going crazy because I am getting no answers. I think I need to switch to a naturopath. The only answers I have gotten from my doctors are “it’s rare”, “there is no treatment” etc. I’ve started researching on my own and came across your page and it’s helped me a lot !

  3. The ELISAspot test is available in America if you Google labs that run the test.

  4. Keys says:

    Has anyone experienced hair loss? Or menstrual irregularity?

  5. Kathleen Coate says:

    My son (38) started with racing heart and high blood pressure. PCP gave heart drug. He became lethargic and found out Type 2 Diabetic. Started taking that drug. Then extreme fatigue and bedridden. Admitted to hospital for heart….. Found Mono (monospot test). Nothing done about it. PCP said no more testing needs done about mono/ebv. Now, diabetic, pancreatic insufficiency, low BP and tachycardia. Can EBV do all this?

  6. Linda says:

    I found out in May 2021 that I tested positive for EBV. VCA AB IGG was 750 and my Early Antigen was 106 U/ml. It said that I had it in the past but I wasn’t aware of it. Over the last 10-15 years I’ve had the normal sore throat, swollen lymph glands in the neck and throat areas. I had many body aches that I attributed to past injuries as I was pretty active and also a mechanic for many years. After reading about CFS it crossed my mind that I may have had it but I never pursued any testing to find out. I also had much fatigue but just thought it was due to lack of sleep. It never occurred to me to get checked. I’ve been a mechanic most

  7. Jess says:

    Just looking for anyone who can shed light/thoughts of what I have going on. I have never been diagnosed with Mono in the past. I am 39 years old. I’ve had some crazy symptoms over the past 3 years. I had chronically elevated WBCs and monocytes, an odd blister type rash on just my right hand, swollen lymph nodes that were sonogrammed and showed nothing. Upper right quadrant pain but nothing wrong with my gall bladder. Over the last year and 1/2 or so I’ve started with this insane level of fatigue like first trimester pregnancy fatigue but not pregnant. Fast forward. 2.5 months ago I developed trigeminal neuralgia on the right side of my face then my entire right arm and went numb then my entire right leg and foot. My PCP said she had no clue what was going on and referred me to Neuro . Neuro did an MRI of my brain and it showed 5-10 non specific white matter lesions. The differential from the radiologist included a possible viral etiology or Lyme so I figured I’d rule that out thinking they would be all negative. My HIV, Syphilis, and Lyme were negative. BUT My EBV VCA Igm was negative My EBV VCA IgG was >600, My EBVNA IgG was >600 and my EBV EA was >150. I’ve also had a positive ANA with a low titer 1:40 speckled pattern but negative for further lupus and sjordens were negative. I don’t know what way to turn next. The neurologist thinks my numbness is a pinched nerve but what about all these insane lab results??

    • Rachel Thiel says:

      I had EBV first time in 2013 remaining asymptomatic until the last 9 mos. Had CoV in November 2020 and end of July i went to doc to discuss longhauler symptoms and issues and my EBV came back positive, again. Bearing in mind, due to pandemic I have not been intimate or shared food/drink witu anyone…that said, I looked at CDC site and some of the data and research shows Covid reactivated my EBV. Other than extreme fatigue, i havent had one of the other listed EBV symptoms. I hope this helps, even a little? I kmow naps have been my saving grace!

    • Sonia says:

      I had severe mono when I was 16. I feel like I’ve been tired ever since. I also have hypothyroid, and feel like levothyroxine makes no difference. I no longer have a gallbladder or appendix, but I completely understand the R upper quadrant pain that the doctors have no answer for. I also have Trigeminal neuralgia and there are times when my part of my face and head feel “asleep”. I’ve had insane neck pain for the past 8 months. It’s not a pinched nerve and doesn’t feel muscular, but it hurts like hell. I’ve told the dr I’m tired of being tired multiple times, but that falls on deaf ears. I honestly don’t know what to do, but I’m glad to see that I’m not alone and not totally insane with how I feel.

  8. Naomi says:

    I have a question. In 2014 I tested positive for Mono so they did a Epstein Barr Antibody test. It showed positive for Antibodies. In 2015 they tested me for Epstein Barr Chronic Active Infection. I showed positive for EBV NA IGG and EBV VCA IGG. Well last week they retested me because I haven’t been feeling great and I showed positive for both. EBV NA IGG was 177 and EBV VCA IGG was 674. What does this mean? Does it mean I have Chronic EBV?

  9. Deann says:

    Just got my results back today. All of my titers were positive – and I have yet to find a chart that deals with ALL POSITIVES – in every chart – they anticipate at least something is negative…. but nope…
    * AG IgG,
    *Early AG IgG,
    *VCA IgM,
    *VCA IgG –
    all positive with really high ranges…. big sigh…

  10. Debra G says:

    I’ve just received my results from an extensive lab work up for LONGHAUL COVID and my EBV VCA IgG was over 600 U/mL reference range 0-17.9! It’s been over 35 years since I had mono and was beyond fully recovered! I am interested to hear more about the Elispot test about co-infections! I was a Biochemist in Rheumatology and curious as I can tolerate with this chronic fatigue the past 16 months!

    • Erika Robbins says:

      I am here for the same thing!!!! I had long haul covid and have crazy eye symptoms going on being blamed on covid. Just got blood work and Epstein Barr antibodies show recent infection… Same reference range and mine are 530! All are high. This is crazy!

  11. Bonita Frye says:

    I was diagnosed with EBV in 1993. I was 50 . I had severe CFS & FMS. It lasted 5yrs. I recovered after using CoQ 10 & diet pills from my Dr. I was severely fatigued. The diet pills gave me the energy to exercise. That was the beginning of my recovery. Not much info back then but I had read that exercise was helping some people to recover. I took 2 Darvocets just to get out of bed, the pain was so bad. During this episode my weight climbed from 135 to 200. A good day was being able to do 1 load of laundry but I would pay by being down in bed the next day.
    I finally recovered by using supplement & exercise. 25 years later a flare. I was again afflicted with debilitating fatigue. Sure enough my integrated Dr ran the complete test with EA-D AB igG, VCA AB lgG & VCA AB igM. Dr. said I have EBV again. I was so surprised because I improved my life style, eat organic & take supplements. I have started taking L-Lysine & L-Arginine (they work together) & other supplements. It is helping to improve my energy. I might be on the road to recovery again. Hope this is not too much info.

  12. Christie says:

    I just wanted to share with everyone that the best solution to reactived and/or chronic EBV is lifelong antiviral therapy. Any drug that is broadly effective against herpes viruses will work. It’s important to find a medical doctor who understands this. Do not waste your time with herbal therapies or voodoo liver detoxes.

    I currently take 2000mg Famciclovir daily and am back to living a fully normal and healthy life.

    Antiviral therapy is an evidence-based treatment and any MD with access to PubMed can look at the research. There is no excuse for medical professionals to not treat this seriously.

    • Kathleen Coate says:

      Hi Christie, my son(38) went from healthy 7/4/21 to disabled 10/1/21. The only thing that seems relative is EBV. First found bp and hr high… 160/100 and 160 respectively. Then found out type 2 diabetic glucose 360. He started having extreme fatigue and muscle pain which we assumed was diabetic drug metformin. 1 month later hospitalized for heart and found Mono/EBV. Now he has been diagnosed with POTS, pancreatic insufficiency, type 2 diabetes. No one is following up with EBV. (covid negative) What type of doctor in Orlando FL could work with us and get type of treatment you are receiving? THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  13. Julianne Oseth says:

    After years and years with chronic pain, sweling, inflammation, swollen glands and cysts i finally got to a doctor who is a specialist.
    I also mentiones my persistent hpv virus(20 years) and he decided to run a number of tests, inclusing ebv virus, which I have had antibodyvtests for 20 years ago, and was tild then that i have had mono.
    The test this time showed elevated levels.
    I do not knpw excactly what test he ran, bit I am beeing retested before he refers me to another specialist. He mentioned lupus ang MS.
    I am freaking out after reading about Chronic EBV and the poor outcome it has.
    As i do not understand musch of any og this, i would love some words of wisdom🙏🏻

  14. Jean says:

    Wow…just wow
    I had an ebv test…all they said was…I had a past infection:
    EBV Ab VCA,IgM <36 neg
    EBV Ab VCA,IgG 306 HIGH +
    EBV Nuclear antigeAb,IgG 74.6 HIGH
    **** I had a bad reaction to my SECOND MODERNA vaccine…broke out in a rash,all over…could this be EBV coming out?
    Someone,please help me…I feel so alone in this fight

    • Glenna Downes says:

      You’re not alone. I had a similar experience. I got the J&J vaccine on April 5th. With a myriad of symptoms afterward, including muscle and joint pain, headache, sore throat, chills, sweats, and then a swollen tonsil on my right side that I still have today. PCP ordered mono spot on May 21st that came back positive, then EBV antibody on June 4th that came back:
      EBV AB TO EA D = 27.4 H
      EBV VCA IGG = 142 H
      EBV VCA IGM = <10
      EBV EBNA IGG = 68.6 H

      I am waiting for the ENT to tell me what this means in relation to the swollen tonsil. I suspect that the vaccine triggered the EBV/mono because I've been social distancing and being careful.

    • mary lynch says:

      Omg. I’had a reaction after first Moderna and have been having terrible daily migraines since the first and second. I just had the test and the IGG numbers were high. Don’t really know what they mean. The IGM was negative.
      I’ve been so sick since March.

  15. Dawn Johnson says:

    I had EBV a few years ago effected I think about everything . No one diagnosed me until way after . I’ve done a ton of reading my EBV Igm shows 36 & negative but , my EBV vca Iga stays high around 400 all the time & my EBV Nuclear Igg high around 50. however both have spiked again up to 600 & 76 . Yet my EBV Vca igm stays at 36 & my dr did a pcr test & said it was negative . But she has not done the EBNA
    antibody test . My understand is the antibody teat is the one that truly tells you if you are not currently fighting the infection ? Can anyone confirm that ? Can anyone else tell me why my numbers go up at times ? I’m just really frustrated with the way I feel & seem to not be getting good answers . Thanks for any input

  16. Justin says:

    Im in seattle too. I did a lab corp EBV and came up negative. Then did a quest diagnostics and came up in the 400’s for IgG.

  17. Susan says:

    My son’s ESV Ab VCA, IgG is over 500 U/mL. To my knowledge he has never had Mono. His ESV Ab VCA, IgM in less than 36 U/mL. No one can give me answers. Do you have a place for me to start? Thank you.

  18. Lenni M Parsons says:

    Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your story. I have had fatigue, got tested for EBV a few years ago, results came back “previous infection”. While my IgM was negative my CA IgG was positive 33.90, and my NA IgG was positive 475. Was fine for a long time and now extreme fatigue again. Never diagnosed with throat problems or mono ever in my life. Seeing a holistic doctor for more tests and watching Anthony Williams, think he might have this accurate.

  19. Teri Trahan says:

    My husband was diagnosed 4 years ago wirh Epstein barr. I dont know if this was his first infection or not he was 56. He has red spots covering his entire body which i later found out was hemorrhaging because his platelets dropped to a dangerous 60.000. He had Blast Cells in his blood and fatigue that was so bad he couldn’t get out of bed. They did bone marrow test because it looked like leukemia. He recovered somewhat. Now its fours later and he has tested positive again twice this year. This virus is attacking him in so many ways. The worst part is he has been to oncologist..gastroenterologist. rheumatologist and cardiologist. I told the dr that Epstein barr was at the root of the new symptoms but none listen. That’s when I demanded to test for Epstein barr and it was positive. Later I went back to beginning and found his blood work showed positive EBV that dr. Failed to tell us. He has had debilitating stomach ache and chest pain . He has been tested for gallbladder..pancreas and endoscopy and colonoscopy all tests were clear..oncologist thinks he has lupus which can be because of EBV. My husband has lost 30 pounds and I cant explain the exhaustion he feels. We are waiting on a dr from Houston Texas. Hopefully infectious disease dr. We cannot find a dr. Around Beaumont Texas that knows any thing. Not just that they aren’t LISTENING to us and putting the pieces together. This virus is killing my husband and I need HELP.PLEASE.

    • Christina says:

      I’m being treated by a doctor in Grapevine, TX. Dr Rodney Russell. Maybe too far?

      • Anna says:

        Hi Christina,

        I noticed your post about going to Dr.Rodney Russell. I was wondering if you would recommend him?

    • John Riley says:

      Hi Teri , if you happen to receive this I am going through the same thing as your husband. I’m 51 for the last year I been to every type of doctor you mentioned including heart to try to find out what is wrong . I just finally had a blood test for EBV .. It came back positive that I had it before but, I never had MONO in my life or symptoms…. the EBV IGG CAME BACK AT 750 .. I think thats the highest here ?? Me and my wife are desperately looking for answers but , not getting anywhere. I was perfectly healthy this time last year and it seemed like in one day my life has stopped. We live by dallas and was just trying to reach out to anyone to see if there is anything we can do ? I been having heart palpitations all year . Lost weight about 60 pounds of muscle. Stomach problems, exhausted, out of breathe… We just feel there really is no hope . So if by any chance you guys found out anything different or anyone else let me know . We even considered flying out to the MAYO CLINIC basically, anything to find out what is wrong . Sorry I never commented on any of these things so I am probably rambling and don’t know if anyone at all will see this but , again trying

      • Amanda Ewell Gallacher says:

        Try monolaurin- it kills EBV. But the virus is super hard to get rid of and you’ll need to stay committed to taking monolaurin for a few years. My in laws are doing it and I need to start. Read medical medium. My IGG is at 600.

    • Nila says:

      Dr Tim McCullough in League City near Houston is incredible with this kind of thing. I highly recommend him. Dr Russell is good but Dr McCullough is much more skilled with blood work and alternative medicine. He’s one of the best for complex illness.

  20. Yenny says:

    thank you for all the info. I’ve had the virus for a couple of months and feels like the flu. I also have a TBI injury and that together is a lot of pain and fatigue. Can you please help me with a diet to make me fell better. and I will get retested soon

  21. Jean Pollastrone says:

    I don’t know why this is so confusing. I am a 56 year old woman. I got mono in my mid 30s, while working in a pediatric ER. I now have rheumatoid arthritis. My primary doctor ran a Ebstein barr virus test a few months ago. The IGG was 377.0, IGM negative. She recently ordered Ebstein barr DNA pcr plasma. First time said quantity insufficient, retook and now says unable to determine result due to presence of pcr inhibitor. Any idea what any of this means?

  22. Kim Diedrich says:

    Hi Elizabeth, I’m wondering what you know about using t L-Lysine for re-activated EBV? I’ve been using 1000mg daily, and 1000 mg of monolaurin. I haven’t been retested since my first positive test for EBV, which said my level is high. I have to retest because I’ve been on the monolaurin & L-Lysine for while. I felt much better for chronic fatigue. I recently tried the Lauricidan brand monolaurin ordering from their website, & had a bit of fatigue after switching. Do you know why the pellets wouldn’t melt in hot coffee? That makes me wonder if they’re digesting at all. Really curious what you have to say about L-Lysine.

    • Amanda Ewell Gallacher says:

      My in laws take the lauracidin brand! They seriously had to start at 1-3 pellets and work your way up. The virus has die off and kicks you on the way out doing the Herxheimer effect. But stay with it! Also your suppose to drink the pellets with cold water so they can digest in your stomach.

  23. JENNIFER says:

    Hello thanks so much for this article! I had my tonsils removed as a child due to cronic streptococcus. I have Hashimotos hypothyroidism since 23 years old. I have been suffering from cronic fatigue and nerve related autoimmune disorders after a recent vaccine. I went for extensive blood work from a naturalpath doctor and my immune system is very low as well as many things are very low. These are my numbers-

    She has give me a supplement protocol. She also offered ozone therapy. I also just started reading the MM cleanse to heal. Not sure where I should start. I’m so tired of feeling this way. The nerve pain is getting bad. I’m only 37 but I feel so much older out of no where. Any advice would be so appreciated!

  24. Crissy says:

    Very interesting! I felt a couple years ago that EBV was my issue on my fatigue. I had been fairly well until my dog came down with cancer and I was up every night with him for 3 months, syringing water and taking him outside every 2 hours. I thought that after he passed and I got my first real night of sleep that I would feel great the next day. Boy was I ever wrong. I felt horrible like I was sick for 2 weeks. Besides still lingering fatigue, I also had memory issues. Well, I think my body was in crisis mode to help my dog and then it let everything bad out afterwards.

    So, I had the test done, luckily my normal doctor did it and insurance paid. My results were the IgG “>150.0 High U/ml”

    I wasn’t really sure what the solutions were, but I just tried to be healthy as normal and then I felt like I knew the reasons why I felt so tired sometimes.

    Well, I’ve had that feeling much more this year and I got tested again and they said it was over 600. I haven’t gotten the actual papers back, but it at least validates what I thought I knew. It would be great to keep info between us somehow. Please email if you agree. Thanks!

  25. Tee COLt says:

    Your Value
    576.0 U/mL, dont know what this means


    hi! i’m glad i found your blog – we have similar histories as far as the childhood strep and teen mono. i also broke my arm doing gymnastics as a teen and had several surgeries. i’ve been wondering if the covid crisis will start to spark interest in the viruses that can lurk in our bodies and attack, causing great damage to our lives and found this. i found out about the medical medium a little after you. i had not heard of lauricidin before and i am going to get some. feeling tired and digestive issues.
    thank you elizabeth rider!

  27. Alex says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I am in Canada and am wondering if you can tell me the name of the test/lab that you did the fourth test from (the one that gave levels). I did tests that show reactive to all antigens except the VCA 1gM (shows non-reative). Interpretations say past infection or possible reactivation. I am having the worst symptoms now, fatigue dizziness, neuromuscular symptoms, respiratory symptoms and doctors don’t know what to do with me and have told me it’s anxiety. Im at my wit’s end trying to figure out what is happening to me. I don’t ever recall having mono as a teen.

    • Gabrielle Doiron says:

      Hi! I’m in Canada too. I got this test, it’s through a lab in Germany “Armin Labs”. Just google Armin Labs EBV. You can order the kit through them or your naturopath can get it. It’s the ONLY test I’ve been able to find that you can get done in Canada. It ended up costing me around $500 cdn.

  28. Jennifer says:

    Hey friend, great posts.
    I am in the same boat as you. I was dx with hashis after I had my baby and it seems that EBV is one of the root causes. My early antigens are at 46 (0-8.9 are the norm)… Is that the test that confirmed your reactivation?

    check out the website

  29. Kimberly D. says:

    I have been feeling so exhausted for months especially after I eat breakfast. This use to happen to me decades ago when I was in high school & I was constantly being tested (weekly) for Mono which always came back negative. When I was around 36 my body felt like I had been beaten with a baseball bat daily from head to toe for weeks. My lymph nods in every part of my body hurt so bad I went to my PCP & he had blood work done on me which included an EBV test. When my results came back he said that I had EBV. Now at 58 years old I started feeling like I was in high school again, always tired, no energy especially after eating breakfast. I had blood work done at an Urgent Care & requested that they test for EBV. When I received my results I brought them to my PCP. He said “Oh, this only shows that you once had Epstein Barr, you don’t have it now”. The EBV Interpretation Chart lists columns with categories: EBV-IgM, EA (D)-IgG, VCA-IgG & EBNA-IgG There are 5 rows listed that show the symbols of : a “-” (Antibody Absent) or a “+” (Antibody Present). The EBC Seronegative row indicated “-” under all columns. The Early Phase row indicated a “+” under EBV-IgM, a “-” symbol under the other 3 categories. The Acute Primary Infection indicated a “+” under EBV-IgM, a +/- under EA (D) – IgG, a “+” under VCA-IgG & a “-” under EBNA-IgG. The convalescence/Past Infection row indicated a “-” under EBV-IgM, a “+/-” under EA (D) – IgG & a “+” for both VCA-IgG and EBNA-IgG. The Reactivated Infection indicated “+/-” for EBV-IgM & EA (D) – IgG & a “+” under VCA-IgG & EBNA-IgG. My final result values are as follows under: 1) EBV Early Antigen Ab, IgG ” 63.7^”, Ref Range & Units 0.0 – 8.9 U/mL, Positive = >10.9. 2) EBV Ab VCA, IgG “179.0^”, Ref Range & Units 0.0 – 17.9 U/mL, Positive = >21.9 & 3)EBV Nuclear Antigen Ab, IgG “78.1^”, Ref Range & Units 0.0 – 17.9, Positive = >21.9. I certainly am not a doctor of anything but I think my PCP is completely wrong telling me I don’t have an active case of EBV. I could be wrong, it wouldn’t be the 1st time but………

    • Chris says:

      I believe you have myalgic encephalomyelitis also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. You symptoms fit it exactly in my opinion. I understand because i have it too.

  30. Our body is equipped with a powerful set of tools for resisting invading microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Unfortunately, these set of tools, or the immune system, sometimes goes awry and attacks our body. These misdirected immune responses are referred to as autoimmunity. In case you are experiencing any abnormalities in your body, go seek autoimmune specialist ASAP.

  31. Tamas Erdi says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I am aware of two labs in Germany that would do ELISPOT for EVB, one is called Biovis, the other one is ArminLabs. Hope it helps.


  32. Julia says:

    Oh my goodness. I am crying reading this post and the comments. I had EBV at 17. I have struggled with fatigue, brain fog, depression and anxiety, and a host of other symptoms. After I got over the worst of EBV (I never had mono) a doctor told me I had CFS. I told him he was making it up because he didn’t know what was wrong with me (this was almost 30 years ago).He did tell me EBV could come back at any time. Other than that, his only advice was to
    make sure I always got plenty of rest. I have tried MANY things over the years. Cutting out gluten and dairy have helped a lot. I am scheduled to see a naturopath in a few weeks. There is so much more to say, but I will simply end with thank you. It’s so nice to know I’m not crazy. 😊

  33. Beth says:

    I was first diagnosed with mono at age 13. Then, at age 29, I got it again. Horrible litany of symptoms; swollen spleen and fatigue being the frontrunners. I had it return in fall of 2018 and now again in winter 2019. I live near Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic and they don’t even know why it’s being reactivated. I’m so exhausted from feeling like this. I’m lucky to find this page.

    • Jo says:

      Hi Beth!
      Mine has been found to be reactivated recently but I suspect this has been happening on and off for my entire adult life. Haven’t been the same since mono at 16. My doc also found that I have high levels of mold toxicity, cytomegalovirus and low thyroid. Maybe those are a few things you could have your doctors look into? Good luck!

  34. Annette E says:

    I went to my PCP on Nov 6th 2019 because I was extremely tired and couldn’t figure out what was wrong! I thought Maybe I was low on iron or vitamin d again. But nope, she told me I had the EBV virus! This virus is terrible!!!!! I’ve never been so fatigued in my entire life!!!! I was Tired after just brushing my teeth or taking a shower. I was missing work and my daughter’s basketball games. I kept Running to my doctor and the ER because being so fatigued was making me extremely anxious and I was thinking that maybe something else was wrong!! I went for a follow up last week and it’s no longer active but I’m still fatigue. Is this normal? It’s not as bad as it was a few weeks ago!!

  35. Emily says:

    I’ve been struggling since April with extreme anxiety, tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitations, fatigue, dry mouth and throat, and allergies., insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, gerd, weight loss, heat and exercise intolerance, and sadly many others. I’m also hypothyroid too. I’ve been to a ton of doctors, the ER knows me by name, and I’ll have brushed it off as anxiety. Yes, I do get anxious, but I know my body and this was not anxiety. I finally got my doctor to test and here are my results…hopefully I can get the right treatment soon to start feeling better…back to the world of the living!

    • jackie says:

      Your symptoms sound exactly like mine for the past 12 years! However, I also have lyme disease (chronic) because the doctor didn’t believe it even though I had a bruise (yes a bruise!) not a rash on my leg. I also had a fever and swollen lymph nodes. All he wanted to do was prescribe an antidepressant. Ended up going to a CFS and Fibromyalgia clinic in Pittsburgh (6 hrs from my home) where I was able to get some help. Best treatment was the anti-viral IV’s I received which had licorice in them. Die off was pretty bad but effective. Unfortunately, the clinic is no longer in business so back to square one! I feel your pain Emily!

  36. Bob says:

    Hi Elizabeth, Sorry to read what you are going through. I tested positive, again just as recent as today, twice before in 2008 and then a DNA test back in 2009 showed that I had not even a trace of EBV. Have you been tested for Lyme?

  37. John says:

    Just an FYI. You can order your own labs and research your results. Doctors aren’t worth the money especially if you don’t have it and this is something for which there is no cure.

    No links but any accredited site that works with LabCorp is good. It’s the same exact people who do labs for hospitals and doctors. You order online then walk in at your convenience. You can choose the test you want, Elizabeth. The one you prefer is $140.

    As someone who has been seen every 2-4 weeks for decades by doctors, I’ve learned a lot about medicine.
    I suggest a basic blood panel first. Why? It’s cheap and rules out other or co-existing factors. If you have any type of infection your white blood cell count will be elevated. Depending on the one you order, it can screen how your thyroid is functioning and show vitamin deficiencies or detect diabetes.

    If someone then chooses to have EBV confirmed as the culprit after ruling out other issues, they can pay the $140 and take it to their provider. Mine were shocked and felt threatened that I don’t need them to get the lab tests I want. For many skeptical doctors (like the one who first tested me for EBV after a shouting match over whether it was real) putting test results in their hands is the evidence they need.

    Most doctors are prohibited from ordering extensive or expensive tests like this as a matter of policy. They can’t cure or even treat EBV so it’s an unnecessary expense.

  38. Jenny Jones says:

    Here are my test results. I am waiting to see the infectious disease doctor next week to find out exactly what is going on. The only thing my primary care doctor could tell me is I tested positive for ebv.

    EBV AB VCA, IGM 150.0
    Standard 0.0-8.9

    EBV Ab VCA, IgG 292.0
    Standard 0.0-17.9

    EBV Nuclear Antigen Ab, IgG 77.2
    Standard 0.0 -17.9

    I have been getting sick with sinus problems, achy weak muscles, fatigue, sore throat, hoarseness, headaches, pain/swelling in hands and fingers, puffy eyes, brain fog, forgetfulness, dizziness, trouble sleeping, blurry vision, gerd, swelling in neck, and excessive thirst. This has been going on for almost 5 years and I finally saw a doctor that broadened the scope of what to test for. Hopefully I can get some answers and some relief. I hardly have any days now when I feel good.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    I just got blood work done and ALL EBV numbers were negative (IGM, Early IGg, and EBNA IGg) EXCEPT the VCA IGg, which was 25, over 21.9 is positive.

    My thyroid numbers are good, no sings of autoimmunity. All my bloodwork was great except this one single slightly positive number. Weird. What’s that even mean? Does it mean I’ve been exposed to EBV but I’m handling it well? My DOM gave me an herbal product, which I’ll use. Just wondering how aggressive I need to go after EBV. Thanks!

  40. TC says:

    Thank you so much for this blog and info. It’s easy to understand. I came across it when I was trying to find out what my EBV results mean. I also have low thyroid functuon and I figured it was all connected. Looks like I have a lot of info and books to read to figure it all out. Thanks again.

  41. Heather Hatch says:

    Elizabeth! I’ve found your posts very interesting. I’ve had almost an inverse route from you, blaming my symptoms on EBV for years and recently coming around to the conclusion that it’s a thyroid problem. 🤣. I had mono at 15years. Like a lot of people in these comments, it lasted much longer than most, at least 4 months. And even after that, it was June and I tried to run with the cross country team but couldn’t because I would get short of breath, so fatigued, and my muscles didn’t seem to cooperate. I think now that those were my first hypothyroid symptoms. Things were mostly ok until 2013 at age 28 I began having recurrent episodes of extreme fatigue, which it sounds like you have. They felt like mono. On the first one my internal med doc got my EBV antibodies and like you, I had very high acute phase antibodies (IgM). So she assumed I’d had a recurrence. Well, this has continued to happen once per year and the total episode lasts 3-4months before I’m totally back to normal. Fatigue is followed by extreme muscle weakness, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance (whereas I’m usually very active and exercising 4-5x per week for an hour). I’m also cold all the time. This winter our thermostat was at 68-69 overnight and I had to sleep with a heating pad, wool socks, sweat pants, two shirts and a sweatshirt, and 5-6 layers of very thick blankets (micro plush or quilts). ANYWAY every year she checks the standard stuff to make sure everything’s fine, and also EBV antibody panels, which continue to show high acute phase antibodies. Well this year I did some more research and there is more out about EBV than there was 5 years ago. I read some medical articles from EBV experts at NIH in Maryland. They said that although rare, some people can have elevated acute-phase antibodies for years after an infection, so they don’t trust those labs alone to qualify someone as having chronic EBV. They verify through finding the actual viral DNA in your blood. Quantitative EBV DNA by PCR. That was your second test. This is much more specific than the antibody tests. And if I were you, I would definitely get it again next time you think you have a reactivation ain’t with your antibody levels so you can know for certain if you actually have replicating EBV during your episodes or if your acute phase antibody titres are just elevated for a prolonged period. I had my doc order that this year, and it was negative!! Now unfortunately for me I still don’t have a full picture, because I had been taking Valtrex for a month prior to the test. (PS: Your first post said western med has no treatments for EBV, but since it is in the herpes virus family, it can be treated with Valtrex. There are medical studies showing it decreases EBV DNA in patients with first-time mono. I started taking it with my episodes a couple years ago). I wish I had gotten the EBV DNA PCR done at first sign of symptoms, because then I would know once and for all if it has any role, but now I’m not quite sure if it was negative because it was never the cause of my most recent episode, or if it was obliterated by the Valtrex. I was still having symptoms though, but I also understand there are post-viral syndromes even after a virus has been cleared. So who knows. I suppose if it happens again next year I can do the EBV DNA test right off the bat. As a note, the medically-defined CAEBV is a very serious syndrome and apparently does not respond to antivirals like Valtrex. I wonder like you if there is some middle-road chronic infection that has not yet been defined by the medical community. ANYWAY this year I decided to see a new doc. He’s an MD, but a sports med doc and into functional medicine. I told him about my episodes every year. In addition to fatigue, muscle weakness, SOB, cold intolerance, and exercise intolerance. also have dizziness when I stand up sometimes, and some numbness and tingling in my fingers. He said I have a thyroid problem my MD has been missing for six years. He sent me for more comprehensive thyroid labs and said he’d be treating me no matter what to have a trial of thyroid hormone. He feels that standard lab ranges for TSH and even free T4 and free T3 are too wide and people have a lot of improvement if they are treated to the upper 25%ile of thyroid hormone levels. So, that’s where I am. I’m going to be starting thyroid hormone this week after my next visit with him. I’m curious if you would answer a couple questions for me, to clarify some things, since we are on this parallel path of EBV vs thyroid: 1. You said you never responded to thyroid treatment that great, which is why you pursued looking into EBV. Were you taking thyroid hormone or just natural treatments? Were you taking T4 AND T3, or just T4? As a pharmacist I heard patients say a lot they never felt the same on T4 only and my new doc says the same, you have to give both and push the dose until people feel better, which is often to the very top end of normal. So that may be something to consider if you are still optimizing your treatments. I wonder if EBV caused hypothyroid or perhaps the reason some us took so long to get over mono compared to others is that we already had a low level thyroid problem that was unmasked by the viral illness.

    Thanks for the post. It’s interesting to read someone else’s journey and try to learn from each other. EBV definitely needs more research by the mainstream medical community.

    • Andre says:

      Hello Heather,

      thanks for sharing your story! I’m on a similar path and wanted to compare notes.

      Definitely EBV and thyroid parallel!

      Regarding the thyroid:
      – TSH, FT3 and FT4 ranges are too wide in reference labs
      – treatment usually starts with T4 but experts point out that even if you feel better don’t settle until you get TSH close to 1, FT4 in range, and FT3 in the upper range.
      – have you measured your thyroid antibodies? That would lead into a Hashimoto diagnosis, to which many of your symptoms (including cold intolerance) map to.

      Regarding EBV:
      – having a hypothyroidism diagnosis doesn’t eliminate EBV from being reactivated. In fact, EBV is a key trigger for thyroid issues.
      – I just did the EBV PCR and I’m having trouble interpreting the results. My results were:
      Quant < 500
      Viral Log < 2699
      Quant copies < 245
      Quant log copies < 2.389
      which seem to indicate POSITIVE for EBV, but not as high as the quantities would be identified by the test.

      I wonder if this is the right interpretation, and where do I go from here?


  42. Randi Bufalini says:

    I recently got a bad case of Vertigo and since I had taken a minor fall in my home, my ENT doctor told me that crystals in the ear get misplaced in a fall and that is causing this awful feeling. This has been since last September and I started therapy to get them back in place. I will cut to the chase. New therapy at new place did tests and it is not the crystals and when he found out I have not felt good for years and I was diagnosed with EBV, he said that alone can cause my ear problems. I looked for my old test results,( which no DR.could ever tell me what they meant,except don’t worry,it is not the cause all my symptons,I have had for over 25 yrs. Found only one old Lab from 2014 and had you test #3 done. EBV Early Antigen ab, IgG, Like you said normal is Less than 9.0 and mine was 120. This is not the only out of range test I have had done ,just can’t find them.
    Would a test result of 120 cause me to feel as Sh ty, as I hve felt all these yeaes and this test was done in 2014.
    Just knowing that it could would make me feel beer, knowing someone( you) believes this is the reason

  43. Angela says:

    I was diagnosed with mono in college in the late ’80s. I didn’t know anyone who had it. I had been feeling really bad and run down for quite a while and had been “powering through,” not knowing what was wrong, and my doctor suspected that made my case much worse. I was diagnosed over Christmas break and had to drop out for the spring semester. I spent about three months housebound, feeling awful, having zero energy. Just getting out of bed and getting dressed wore me out. I was convinced I must have lymphoma or something worse than mono, I was so sick for so long.

    I eventually, gradually began to feel better, but I’ve struggled with other issues that I think are related to EBV ever since. I was diagnosed with IBS and TMJ in college. In my early 30s I got my first autoimmune diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. I was very sick for the first couple of years until I learned how to manage my UC. In my early 40s I was diagnosed with Raynaud’s and, now in my early 50s, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease – all autoimmune conditions. I am using the Autoimmune Protocol diet, along with anti-inflammatory supplements to control my symptoms.

  44. Jayne says:

    Hi Totally interested Im.doing Anthony Williams Life changing Food book.. an it’s saving my life..I have now realized I’ve had chronic Ebv whole life bad after 30 an new strains too. I have bern thru so much I could right a book lol I researched 9 countries an then also find medical medium an he really put it all together..Its out now China realizes 7 cancers from ebv.I have had non Hodgkin’ much more an its all right there in his 4 whole life an friends an family.!! .Its so true like research says we r in a 95% epidemic of Ebv Strains..other countries it’s even worse an kids die at 5 or younger from ebv….Grants are flying out for race to vaccine that won’t work Its the right foods that will save us eaten all the time…..Beat it ebv strep etc down into a hiding remission…Just in 10 months flowing Anthony’s books.I stopped 13 years of immune I’m.fighting off colds etc blood pressure went high too perfect 127/ 70….. ..16lbs melted off no extra exercise..ebv was so bad I was so sick.. hair loss .u name it I had strep an shingles 138lb. Not bloated ..way better ..healing first time in 30 years.I had given up.alot of food after I believe thru recent years gots others ebv strains….strep…more people need to gasps it’s serious..I totally get it now..I see the whole picture..I wish I love an healing to you….Im going to continue to follow Life Changing Foods..its truly saving millions..totally get used to celery juice!! Lol

  45. Tina says:

    Hello Elizabeth-

    Please help if you can. I was told I have Chronic Active Epstein Barr, and from my research it appears to be a very grim diagnosis. I’m looking for answers and a way to prove this wrong. My labs last week-

    EBV Early ANTIGEN Ab, IgG >150.0 (positive shows as >10.9)
    EBV Ab VCA, IgG >600.0 (positive shows as >21.9)
    EBV Nuclear Antigen Ab, IgG >600.0 (positive shows as >21.9)

    Also, thank you for sharing your wisdom. I’ve purchased the supplements you recommend in hopes of slamming this virus back down.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Tina, I’m not a physician so I don’t give people feedback on their numbers. I recommend that you continue to work with your healthcare professional and continue to do your own research (we are always our own best health advocates!). I also recommend the book The Medical Medium and finding a naturopathic physician or medical doctor who specializes in functional medicine. Wishing you well! ~E

    • Heather Hatch says:

      Tina –
      Chronic active Epstein-Barr means different things to different providers. The official diagnosis of CAEBV is grim, as you have found. I don’t hunk your labs necessarily mean you have that syndrome. I am a pharmacist, trained at a tertiary-care hospital and have also been trying to wade through what role if any EBV has in my recurrent symptoms. ANYWAY, if you read the studies that have been published on CAEBV out of the NIH in Maryland, you will find that they say some antibodies can be elevated in some patients for years after an infection – even acute phase antibodies that were typically considered to indicate a very recent infection. Those researchers ensures their patients had CAEBV by doing a Quantitative Epstein Barr Virus DNA PCR. Essentially the labs you have had snow your body has been exposed to EBV at some point and mounted an immune response. Only by checking for the EBV DNA in your blood can you know if EBV is actually active and replicating in your system. I would recommend asking your doctor for EBV DNA by PCR as it is more specific than just presence of antibodies.

  46. Tracy Gaschler says:

    What natural anti virals are you taking?

    • Hi Tracy, you can read about everything I take in the 3rd post in this series, it’s linked above. (My comments don’t allow links so I can’t link it here, but go back up to the post and find post 3 called “My Epstein-Barr Treatment & Natural Healing Protocol” ~E

  47. Sherry says:

    Thank you for the information on EBV I have had it for 11 months now. Started having Tremors about 3 months ago. My thyroid is also been found low too. But I am so tired and I am 59 years old. Ready to be well. I want to get well🙏🏻 Will be seeing a Neurologist for the Tremors in March.

  48. Taylor says:

    I think this article is great – I’m sending it to a patient who is just starting working with me (who has both CFS and we detected EBV) to just show that this is quite mysterious, and the point is to keep working on it. I think it shows that first off, no practitioner has this “figured out”, everyone is different but it’s important to test, re-test (the same values), and continue working on the root cause.

    I will mention that for ME working with people (everyone practices differently of course) I like to see the IgG markers more than the IgM, because it shows more of that “chronic” activation. Examples:

    EBV Ab VCA and/or EBV Nuclear Antigen, both IgG.

    But great blog, great post, great site, great job keep it up!!!!

    • Hi Taylor (Dr. Taylor?), Thanks for your comment and kind words. My MD agrees with you and prefers to look at the IgM, but there’s so much confusion even around testing that I mention both since that’s what some practitioners have ordered for me. Glad to have you here! I always appreciate input and comments—we all need as much info as we can get. ~E

  49. Kat says:

    Hi there. I can so relate to your story. I had mono twice when I was young. The second time was very severe and was in the hospital with it. In the past month I think I have reactivated Epstein-Barr. My doctor ran blood work including the mono test. Which came back negative. Is this different that the reactivated EBV rest? I’m trying to navigate this but it’s extremely difficult and just want to feel better.

  50. Des says:

    Thanks so much for sharing pieces of your journey. Just got the ELISA EBV testing done and am anxious to get it back. How’s your journey going? Have you retested your IgG to see if the levels have come down at all? Are you also following the medical medium celery juice “protocol” ha, don’t know what to call it.

    • Hi Des, I had an EliSpot EBV test a few months ago and plan to write the 4th post in this series soon! I’m feeling pretty good these days but my body is still actively fighting the virus. I haven’t completed the full protocol yet but plan to. Stay on my email list for updates 🙂 ~E

  51. Erika Gibson says:

    I have cried several times reading your story. It felt as if you were telling my story. In 1995 I was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital by ambulance for severe infection of mononucleosis, strep and tonsillitis concurrently. I was 16. I also contracted hep b while in hospital. I was a very sick young girl. I too didn’t get it from kissing boys, but by stupidly drinking after a friend who had just “recovered” from mononucleosis a week or two earlier. Had I known that ONE terrible decision would effect the rest of my life I would have most certainly resisted taking that sip! I too never got over the symptoms of mono and was in and out of doctors offices all the time for strep and tonsillitis. I honestly don’t know how I ever even graduated. But I did. At 19 I had a tonsillectomy. At 22 I had an appendectomy. Life went on and I had all but forgotten what “normal” was supposed to feel like anymore. My normal was as good as it was gonna get. By 28 new symptoms were emerging and I was losing lots of hair, gaining weight and constipated for the first time in my life. At my mother’s suggestion, I saw an endocrinologist and was diagnosed with Hashimotos when I was 29. I too was astounded that my body was attacking itself! Started thyroid medicine and symptoms somewhat improved but never fully go away. In 2011 my gallbladder was removed while I was 7 months pregnant. In 2013 I had pancreatitis with my second pregnancy. In 2017 I convinced my endo to let me try Armour. So far that has been the best medicine to treat the Hashimotos with the most “diminished” symptoms. Hey, I’ll take any positive that I can get.. this journey has been exhausting and obviously never-ending. This past June I suffered a graphic loss through miscarriage at the age of 39. After that loss, I discovered that at almost 4 months later I was still (and had been the whole time) suffering from chronic pancreatitis once again brought on by pregnancy. Although this loss was very painful, it has certainly provided some long lost answers to my many questions about my health problems and journey. Thus leading me here to learn about this EBV thing that has obviously been wreaking havoc in my body for the last 23 years. For the first time I finally have a explanation that makes sense! I can hardly wait to find a doctor to test me for this. Finally after so many years, I’m finally onto something big here. I hope and pray I can once and for all find the true healing that I’ve been desperately searching for. Thank you so much for sharing your story and journey. Xoxo

    • Hi Erika, thanks for sharing your story with us. I know it can feel frustrating, but keep believing in yourself and continue to research and work towards feeling better. I wish you tons of healing! ~E

  52. Sarah Ventola says:

    Hi. I live in Seattle and am struggling with many symptoms of EBV and believe it is now in my central nervous system. I have implemented a clean eating and supplements protocol per Anthony William but need some medical support at this point. Would you be willing to share the name of your naturopath in Seattle? The one I am seeing is not open to EBV and is not trying to help my new symptoms. Thank you for sharing your story it is so helpful!!!

  53. Emily says:

    Hi Liz!

    Thanks for sharing your health journey with low thyroid and EBV! I’ve recently been tested here in Canada and found out that I have EBV reactivation. I didn’t recall even ever having mono but this new information makes so much sense – I’ve been dealing with severe mono like symptoms for well over a decade! I appreciate you sharing all the testing options and your protocols! I feel extremely fortunate to have all of your experience and protocols as a reference! Thanks again for sharing and for all the support!

  54. Jessica says:

    Hi Elizabeth,thanks for the info I’m actually planning to go for a test I’m super exhausted regardless of what I do to rest,my thyroid levels are normal except for the antibodies which are not so bad. I hope I get answers it’s frustrating to always be vitamin levels are also fine so I’m suspecting ebv or sleep apnea.stay blessed

  55. Brigid Filmer says:

    Thank you for these posts! I just got my lab results back and my EBV VCA IgG number came back as 214. I too got mono at 18 in college and never felt the same again. After the freshman mono, I would get horrible throat infections at the end of every semester. They would get so bad that I would end up in the college infirmary. My parents would have to come pick me up and load me in the car to get home for the winter/summer break. My grandfather was a pediatrician so he would prescribe antibiotics ALL THE TIME! Over the years the throat infections slowed down but I never had any energy. I was a personal trainer for few years after college. I remember feeling exhausted everyday even though I was exercising and eating healthy. If I had 20 min between clients I would find a quiet place to lay down and nap. I would take 2 to 4 naps a day. Skip to my 40’s, married, two young girls and my thyroid becomes a mess. So here I am, now on an antidepressant, anti anxiety, T4, T3 and oral hydrocortisone for my non existent adrenal glands. I am so glad that I took this test and am now scheduled with a naturopath and nutritionist to come up with a plan. I bought the book you recommended and will for sure look at your protocol. I think I was confused that it could ever be EBV because sometimes I would have ok energy to live life. It makes sense now how symptoms come and go. It also probably explains why I got shingles at 38 years old and why I get a cold sore every time I exercise. Thanks for your time and effort writing your story. It is obviously been very helpful!

  56. Denise I Pierce says:

    I have almost the same history as yours. I am also from Montana. I am just beginning the journey to finding a doctor that will listen. I believe I am right now struggling with reactivated EBV. My last reactivation was in 2016 and I had Mono when I was 17. My VCA IgG levels were 497 in 2016 and 278 now, VCA IgM was negative on both, Nuclear IgG 98 in 2016 and 103 now, and the Early D IgG was 33 in 2016 and 36.9 now. I have low level symptoms this time so far but in 2016 I was barely able to function. Any suggestions?

  57. Big Red says:

    I have recently tested positive for chronic active ebv. I have not been well for over five years, not able to work for the last four. I have gone the rounds of doctors, both medical and allopathic. How could I have gone so long without an accurate diagnosis? I had been told more than once that it was anxiety (which I knew it was not).
    I eat organic and live a clean lifestyle. Over the last few months, I had felt as though I had improved and was functioning at 80% of my former health level, but I could not seem to break through; it was as if something was blocking my healing. Then my health again took a nosedive. I needed to start striking conditions off of a long list of possibilities and asked my GP to test me for EVB (It just happened to be the top of my list.) She ran all three tests and the results were all positive and very high.
    I have been thrilled to learn of this diagnosis and am so relieved to learn there is hope that I may feel good again. I am currently learning all I can about a virus, until two weeks ago, I never knew I had.
    Thank you for your guidance.

  58. Marcia Peers says:

    I have EBV. I live in a Small, Rural Farming Community in Far, NE Nebraska where there is only Primary Doctors!! They have No Idea what to do with me!! EBV Ruptured my Spleen. I was Misdiagnosed as having Constipation in the ER. I was Screaming in Pain, Coded 3 Times, Air Lifted to a Trauma Center and had a Spleenectomy. THERE,,, Problem Solved!!!! Only it is Still Killing me slowly!!! They have No Idea what to do. I am 59. I am very Ill, #108 which is very Low for me!! When is IT Enough?? I Can’t go on living like this.

    • Jaye says:

      Marcia have you checked out the work of Anthony William’s? His first book has helped so many friends of mine with EBV and his new book out called Liver Rescue is amazing. He has a 9 day sage detox for the liver and supplement dosages if you have a viral liver issue which most of us with EBV have. Check out his medical medium Instagram page and all the healing testimonials. All the best on your healing journey.

  59. Laurie says:

    I was tested for EBV twice in two years, and the results are always the sane. IGM negative, but IGG for early antigen 150, capsid 750, nuclear 600. My doctor thinks this is a good thing?!?! I also have anaplasmosis, mycoplasma, off thyroid levels but always barely in range. Adrenal fatigue, DHE A & testosterone very elevated. An I crazy thinking the EBV numbers are way too high? Thanks!

  60. Rachel says:

    This was a super insightful post!!! I had mono when I was in highschool and have never felt that I’ve recovered from it, so like you mentioned, I don’t feel it’s “reactivated “, rather that it never deactivated!! I’ve been bouncing between doctors for the past 5 years using “trial and error” to solve the symptoms that plague me (besides Epstein Barr I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and Celiac disease) I have been eating AIP/Paleo for about 3 years and have to be very strict, otherwise I will have all kinds of reactions/symptoms.. :/ I am doing research on whether or not you can actually kill the Epstein Barr virus…as it almost seems it is something that stays with you for life, no matter what. I’m wondering jf the reason the virus is running rampant is due to a weakened immune systems inability to control and inhibit the virus.. So, I am curious if the key to focus on is not so much how to kill the virus but how to strengthen the immune system??…doing both simultaneously would be perfect! 😄 Have you done any research on ozone (autohemotherapy) or neural therapy ? Ive been researching them both and am curious what your thoughts are. Also, I also have been in contact with Sanoviv and have been seriously contemplating visiting them…. I’m just not sure if it is worth it…if they’ll truly be able to help me. I’ve tried so many things that haven’t worked …. putting so much time, money, and effort into something that doesn’t help is so frustrating and exhausting.. so, any insight would be sooooo incredibly helpful and forever appreciated!!!


    • Jaye says:

      Hi Rachel
      Check out Anthony William’s work and his books. He is changing the world with his healing insights.. Hos Instagram page is filled with stories of autoimmune diseases and one healing story after another. Your paleo diet is not doing you any favours. As Anthony says these high protein diets are also high in fat and burdening the liver so it cannot help you heal or detox. It’s a trendy diet that has helped people only to a certain point because it cuts out processed foods but then the healing goes no further. Check out his Liver Rescue book. Its amazing.

  61. Jacqueline Ledy says:

    Hi Everyone,

    A few months ago Epstein Barr Virus came up along with Cytomegalovirus, underactive thyroid and in pre-diabetic range. Also, I had a couple of cycsts on my ovaries and my testosterone is below normal range. I went to soooo many doctors the past 3 years, including sleep specialists, psychiatrists, Endocronologists, gynos, Autoimmune specialist, Accupuncturists, energy healers. I have tried soooo many diets most of my life, desperate to increase my energy and get rid of my brain fog, muscle soreness for no reason and other symptoms. I’ve always considered myself a healthy person. I don’t eat garbage and I work out. I take vitamins and herbs…

    I had mono at 15 and I started getting strep throat often for a few years after. I’m 37 now. I have been struggling with extreme fatigue since I was 15! I have been on and off Adderall, diet pills, loads of caffeine… any upper I can get my hands on to get me out of bed most of my life. No one had answers until now. I also would get Candida a lot, which is weird because I’ve always tried to avoid sugar (including fruit). I could go on and on and on about my struggles and how many things I’ve mess up or missed out on because I was too exhausted and felt like a vegetable.

    The only person who has given me any insight as to what is the cause of my symptoms and what the hell Epstein Barr Virus really is, is Anthony Williams (Medical Medium). I got off my thyroid medication I was taking for (5 months). I got off Adderall one week ago. I’ve adjusted my diet an a big way. Fruit is number one, followed by veggies. I’ve never had so much fruit in my life. I will never again do paleo, keto, bullet proof or any of the other diets. Please please please check him out. His Instagram. He has a podcast on SoundCloud. I’m still tired and I have a ways to go but I difenintelh feel a huge difference and I will be getting follow up blood work in the months to come. Epstein Barr wasn’t even mentioned to me by my primary physician! I double checked my own blood work. Make sure you have access to all of your blood work online or however. Also, (ladies) try to get female doctors. The men I’ve had are so absurd. I’ve been told to “ just work out more” when I can barely get out of bed. I’m 5’9, 120 lbs and I’m skinny fat but I’m not overweight. The thyroid medication made me loose weight (I went from 140-120) in a couple of months. Now I’m being told to eat potato chips for the sodium! Lol. So dumb. In my experience, women understand tiredness and will actually listen. I hope this helps someone. Check out Medical Medium

    • Jaye says:

      Thank you for your post Jacqueline. I couldn’t agree with you more re: Anthony William. What a godsend he has been with autoimmune issues and the only one that has ever made sense. His celery juice and heavy metal detox smoothie has turned my life around. I don’t bother with anyone else for advice and realise they are running on theories. The paleo/keto theory has been so detrimental to healing. Am waiting for the fallout in a few years from the keto diet. No consideration given to the liver in this diet. Am almost finished reading Liver Rescue. What a revelation.

  62. SAH_2018 says:

    Hi! Stumbled upon this trying to do some research. Just got lab results back from Dr yesterday diagnosis is active EPSTEIN-BARR virus. They tested EBV Early Antigen AB IGG and it came back at >150.00 (>10.99 is positive). Also tested EBV VCA IGG and it was >750.00 (positive is showing at >21.99). Looking for any advice to be pointed in the right direction. Only recommendation from Dr was to take FMLA and “sleep”. I’ve felt terrible for so long, there has to be something else out there that I can do. I just don’t know where to look. There is SOOO MUCH conflicting information online, I’m lost. Again, and advice, tips, literature, types of Drs to seek out, etc would be greatly appreciated

  63. Loren says:

    Hi! Thanks for your post; I recently got a test with very similar results to yours, with a number value for my antibodies at 45. Did your doctor tell you that meant it was active? I’ve been sick but my doctor claims that is a normal number. Thank you!!!

  64. Jen Ward says:

    I am a Health Provider in Oregon (Acupuncturist, Health Coach, Ayurveda, Functional Medicine) and share a similar story to yours in my teens. In this decade after going through Chinese Medicine school (an oh so stressful time) and then getting bit by a tick a year later (and two other stressful events) things were never the same: weight gain, changing thyroid levels, unexplained nerve pain, etc.. etc.. Every provider, EVERY provider just wanted to treat my Thyroid… so I persisted to find the ROOT. It wasn’t until I read Thyroid Healing book that I started to think about EBV. So I finally got the results just TODAY: “It shows you have recurrent chronic epstein barr virus.”

    Excited to read your posts and begin implementing Thyroid Healing book recipes etc., up my Acupuncture visits, add more Herbals and take a long look at my work/life balance. I have been following you for quite some time (I am IIN Grad 2002) and I glad you are putting this information out there. As I educate myself I will continue to educate my patients. As a Health Professional it’s crazy what I had to go through and if it was tough for me to get to this place Doctor after Doctor with all this knowledge, it’s definitely tricky for the average person out there!

    Cheers, Jen W.

    • Hi Jen! Thanks for sharing this, and grateful to have you in our online community. EBV is coming up more and more and modern medicine is just starting to learn more, so we’re all in the learning process together. My own functional medicine doctor just mentioned how modern doctors (even the progressive ones) are having to shift to thinking about EBV more like the way they look at chicken pox and shingles (that it can recur). They were all taught that everyone gets EBV and mono once and then it’s never an issue again. I just had an Elispot test (most sensitive available) and it confirmed the active EBV (I half expected it to be negative.) I’ll update the blog soon with more on that test—I’m still learning more. Again, thanks for being here! ~E

  65. Linda says:

    Hi Elizabeth! Linda here. I read your three blogs about EBV. I finally found my records.

    On 7/6/17 my test results said: EBV Early Antigen Ab, IgG 56.9 (should have been 0.0-8.9

    The EBV Ab VCA IgG was below 600, should have been 0.0-17.9
    EBV Nuclear Antigen Ab. IgG again, below 600 Should have been 0.0-17.9

    On 10/5/17:
    Early Antigen Ab, IgG 53.4

    The next two, like the previous readings were the same, below 600.

    When the doctor looked at this, he just said the tests are not always accurate but that I definitely had EBV.

    I am pretty sure I still do, and if you read the first Medical Medium book, I think I have stage 4, as I believe it is in my nerves. Lately my pain is better, but I know I am not 100% yet. I see the doctor on Friday and I am still on the same thyroid dose. I don’t feel like I am ready to lower it yet, unless I am dealing with liver issues as much as thyroid and EBV. I haven’t seen him for 9 months/ Anthony William had said that sometimes it can take up to year or more to see results when you begin to eat right for EBV. Thank you for your articles!!! I think there are many more people than we realize with the same issues. I am following Medical Medium protocol as much as I can. It makes sense to me that the way to kill the viruses is to take away their food supply.


  66. Linda says:

    Dear Elizabeth,

    I also have low thyroid and EBV. I am seeing an Internal Medicine doctor who told me about Medical Medium and had me get his books. WOW! Makes sense. I am having a very difficult time with eating vegan. I like meat, fish. I really don’t like chicken or turkey, so that is a plus. I tried the 28 day diet, and can’t even go one week without cooking something. I know it is ok to cook, but it is better to eat raw. I have tried some of your recipes and love them! Thanks for the positive attitude! Such a help!

    • Hi Linda! So glad you posted this comment. Raw isn’t always necessarily better. There isn’t one specific way that is best, not for one person and not for an entire lifetime. It’s common and natural to eat different ways in different seasons of the year and different seasons of life. Raw food has a ton of benefits, but don’t feel guilty for eating cooked foods! You don’t have to label your eating habits. I eat mostly vegan too but also incorporate eggs, fish, turkey and chicken because I feel better when I eat them. You don’t have to be 100% of a certain eating style. In fact, this is the premise of my book that’s coming out next year (Hay House 2019) 🙂 Glad that this post helped you, and glad to have you in our online community. ~E xo

  67. RLF says:

    Elizabeth, did you know that The Medical Medium published a book last November titled Thyroid Healing? You might want to look into it and see what you think.

  68. Zee says:

    Is this test only for people with low thyroid problems? My thyroid is normal, but most of the time I feel tired in the morning.

    • Hi Zee, great question. People can have EBV troubles and symptoms without thyroid issues, so it may be something you still want to check out. The book The Medical Medium has great info on this. ~E

  69. Leanne says:

    Thanks Elizabeth for sharing this info. I too was recently diagnosed as reactivated EBV. Thankfully I am working with great functional medicine practitioners, but it’s still frustrating. I would love a quick fix to get me back to feeling 100% right away, but realize this longer drawn out process is making me learn to take better care of myself. Look forward to hearing the suggestions you received and to see if they are different than what I was told.

  70. Stephanie says:

    When I read the Medical Medium book my jaw dropped. I felt the truth in that book about EBV! I had been bed ridden for a month when I was 15, and my mom always said I was never the same. And I haven’t, and right now I have been diagnosed with Mental Exhaustion and as a Holisitic Nutritionist, I have observed that I have all the symptoms of stage 4 Adrenal Fatique.
    After reading the book and hearing another woman’s story about getting tested again for it and clearing the symptoms I went to see my doctor (regular MP) to ask for the EPV test. She thought I was crazy because she said my EPV would be dormant. I don’t know if it is the same tests as you, as I don’t think it was, and she told me it came back negative, but I don’t feel that is totally correct.
    Thanks for sharing! I will seek out a functional practitioner willing to help me investigate!! I have been suffering for too long! ~ Steph

    • Stephanie, yes! Life it too short to suffer for so long. So many women share this same story. I’m glad you’ve read the book and plan to seek out a functional practitioner. Keep us posted! Sending you healthy vibes, ~E

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

A health expert, author, and creative entrepreneur

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