Stop for a minute and imagine how you would feel if all you could manage to do in a day was….well, sleep. You’re tired all of the time, your limbs won’t function, you look physically fine, but everybody calls you lazy. You know something is wrong, so you go to the doctor and the doctor tells you “you are imagining things,” or they snicker to co-workers behind closed doors to watch out because the “hypochondriac is coming!” or maybe they think you are crazy, and need to go to the loony bin.
But you’d better go look in the mirror and thank your lucky stars that this person isn’t you because Epstein-Barr is a virus that most of us carry in the epithelial lining of the nose and throat. You know, you’ve heard of it before, you’ve probably even been teased about it in school. It is called the “Kissing disease,” infectious mononucleosis.
This disease could give the civil war between the North and the South a run for its money, because this illness is like a civil war happening inside of your body. The virus invades the B-cells of the immune system itself, called a civil war because eventually it pits one immune system defense against another immune system defense.
The war is on for the natural killer cells, cytotoxic and suppressor T- cells, plus antibodies, hunt down the same immune systems virus-infected B-cells. Its like pitting our war torn troops in Iraq against each other instead of the enemy. But the troops never get called home, the fight is on perhaps for life. Even if the disease goes into remission, a few B-cells hide and wait around to come in from behind for a surprise attack
It is possible for the virus to replicate because the virus never leaves the body, they hang out in the nasopharynx. The epithelial cells line your nose and throat, which is a natural part of development and they mature. Maturity trigger the virus into action, as though you were being constantly reinfected.
Some people can have a bout of Epstein-Barr Virus and not even know it. It mimics symptoms of the cold and flu. Others have high fever, swollen glands, headache, weakness, and fatigue so devastating that they can’t even lift their head. Mono usually lasts from one to four weeks, although in some cases it has persisted for months.
Unfortunately, some people never seem to get rid of it, or it lasts years instead of months. It waxes and it wanes, terrifying because once it is gone you dread its return.
It has been devastating to some people because it requires almost constant bed rest. One woman had to remain in bed for 22 hours a day, completely wreaking havoc in her life. She lost her job and her home, and her family had to take over the day to day responsibilities.
In order to validate this disease and help people cope, the name was changed to Chronic Fatigue syndrome. The stress of feeling alone and misunderstood does nothing to help any disease. The principles of stress reduction such as deep breathing and meditation play a part in helping the disease go into remission.
Some of the things that have helped those with Epstein-Barr Virus is keeping their minds busy while resting, like reading books and taking up a low energy hobby like knitting. Let others help you, such as friends and family members. Don’t stress over housework. Get caught up on some of those old movies you’ve been meaning to watch.
Join a support group to gain the mental and emotional strength needed to carry on. A support group can be comforting and validating. A support group helps you to accept yourself as a worthwhile person. This disease is something happening to you, this disease is not you.
Maria, a woman who has suffered on and off for years said “You’ve got to prioritize your life. When you’ve barely got enough energy to breathe, you learn to decide what’s most important in your life.” A support group can help set individual priorities, and help you not to feel alone.
This is a good example of why we should not judge our neighbor, and label people as worthless or lazy. We do not know what other people are struggling with. We cannot know until we walk a mile in their shoes. If we do know, perhaps we could lend a helping hand.
Some of the healing foods for Epstein-Barr Virus also known as Chronic Fatigue syndrome are:
Brewer’s yeast (chock full of folate and Vitamin B12)
Healing nutrients and phytochemicals for CFS:
Vitamin E & C
for a more comprehensive list go to www.healingfoodsreference.com
*I am not a doctor, please consult your doctor if you feel you may have this disease or any other disease. This article is for informational purposes only
Michaud & Epstein “Fighting Disease”