The Epstein-Barr Thyroid Connection: A Hidden Cause of Hashimoto’s

Epstein barr virus and hypothyroidismBetter known as the virus that leads to mono or the “kissing disease,” Epstein-Barr also poses a significant risk to your health. Although this virus can infect you without any significant symptoms, it later may reactivate and lead to serious health risks. The Epstein-Barr thyroid connection only recently came to light through research.

Because this virus stays in your body permanently once you become infected, it can serve as a trigger for serious thyroid problems. Clinical experience and research have found that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common of the related hypothyroid conditions. It results from your immune system becoming overactive and attacking healthy cells as well as invading pathogens, thus developing an autoimmune condition. This could be the mechanism behind the Epstein-Barr thyroid connection.

Table of Contents

What Is Epstein-Barr?

Most medical professionals understand Epstein-Barr and the symptoms of a typical infection that causes mono. However, not many of them also understand the long-term nature of this virus. Initially, it may bring on no more than significant fatigue, fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. On the other hand, the virus acts like a stealth virus so often encountered by those who suffer from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). It literally hides in the body and does not fully die off.

As a result, medical professionals may only address symptoms of the relatively mild infection due to the virus and may believe it has been eradicated it from your body. Later in life, however, it can become reactivated and begin causing symptoms again. Those with compromised immune systems tend to suffer the most serious symptoms such as autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

In addition, as many as 60 varieties of this virus exist. Rather than a simple, short-term viral infection, it becomes a long-term health risk because of the Epstein-Barr thyroid connection.

Effects of the Epstein-Barr Thyroid Connection, Hormone Dysfunction, and Inflammation

The Epstein-Barr thyroid connection involves the inflammation and hormone circuits of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response mechanism. This mechanism works to enable your body to deal with stress that your adrenal glands can’t handle through their release of cortisol.

The Inflammation circuit consists of your immune system, the gut, and the microbiome. If you have a dysfunction of this circuit, your gut and microbiome are prone to entering a state of dysbiosis with an imbalance of healthy bacteria versus unhealthy bacteria. This results in a “leaky gut”, which allows pathogens and undigested food particles into your bloodstream. Once this occurs, your immune system can become hyperactive due to the volume of foreign matter invading your body. This leads to your immune system attacking healthy tissue in its efforts to protect your body. This becomes the foundation for autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis when a trigger such as Epstein-Barr becomes active.

The hormonal circuit of the NEM consists of the ovaries in females, testes in males, the adrenal glands, and the thyroid. When you come under stress from any source, your adrenal glands release cortisol to help you deal with the effects of this stress. Epstein-Barr infection becomes a source of such stress.

The organs involved in this circuit depend on each other hormonally for optimal functioning. If one becomes overwhelmed, it affects the others. With weakened adrenal functioning due to chronic stress, you are likely to also experience thyroid dysfunction and, for women, problems with the menstrual cycle.

In the same way, if your thyroid is under-productive, it may cause further weakening of your adrenals. In addition, if you suffer from estrogen dominance due to ovarian hormone imbalance, it will likewise exacerbate any hypothyroidism you experience.

Causes of Reactivated Epstein-Barr

Reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus most commonly comes from chronic stress. Therefore, those who suffer from adrenal fatigue are more likely to experience a higher risk of this reactivation. Other possible causes of reactivation include:

  • Low vitamin D
  • Insomnia
  • Anemia
  • Other infections such as gut dysbiosis and Lyme disease

Symptoms Associated with Epstein-Barr

Some of the most common symptoms related to Epstein-Barr appear in AFS as well. This can complicate an accurate assessment of those who suffer from AFS. The most common symptoms include:

Epstein barr virus and hypothyroidism

  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Bloating
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Body aches
  • Weakness
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Sweating

These symptoms will typically occur in the initial infection that can last up to four weeks. In some people, the symptoms linger for months. Once your immune system fights off the virus, it becomes dormant in some part of your body. If your immune system doesn’t work efficiently, the symptoms will last longer.

Stages of Epstein-Barr

The Epstein-Barr virus goes through four stages of increasing health risks.

Stage One

This stage encompasses initial exposure and infection. You may experience no symptoms at this point because the virus lurks in the bloodstream, gaining strength for a later opportunity to strike. Such an opportunity may come at a time of hormonal changes such as puberty or pregnancy. It can also come when you are experiencing chronic stress, when you feel burned out, or if you aren’t eating right. Thus, this stage may last for years.

Stage Two

In this stage, you are most contagious. You may develop mononucleosis with mild symptoms or more severe symptoms. The length of time you experience these symptoms also varies from person to person.

In addition, in this stage the virus targets one or more body systems to hide in. Often, it will gravitate to the liver or spleen because of the toxins typically found in these organs.

In stage two, the assessment of the infection is also easier. Blood work and symptoms confirm the existence of mono, leading to the standard attempts at remediation. After this stage, accurate assessment of Epstein-Barr becomes more difficult. Even if it remains active in your body, your healthcare professional can miss it. Consequently, it becomes even more important for you to consult with someone who knows about this virus and its behavior. This becomes even more necessary if you suffer from AFS and have dysfunction of the Inflammation or Hormonal circuit, or both.

Stage Three

In stage three, Epstein-Barr shows itself as a stealth virus. It resides in one or more of your organs and leads to inflammation without triggering your immune system. Blood work at this stage will indicate antibodies showing a previous infection. Even though this lab work may indicate no active infection, the virus can still cause health problems. Your immune system may no longer attack the virus because it remains hidden. However, the added inflammation caused by the virus increases the risk of developing an Epstein-Barr thyroid connection.

Stage Four

During this stage, accurate assessment proves difficult. Blood work typically doesn’t pick up indications of the virus. The virus typically begins affecting your nervous system at this stage, resulting in nerve pain and achiness throughout your body. Ongoing fatigue, numbness in extremities, and sleeplessness often become apparent.

Causes of the Epstein-Barr Thyroid Connection

Epstein barr virus and hypothyroidismThe Epstein-Barr thyroid connection occurs during stage three of the virus. This stage is when the virus chooses which organ or system in your body to hide in. Even after this, however, the virus can leave that organ and attack other places in your body, including your thyroid.

Once the virus enters your thyroid, it can actually kill thyroid cells, leading to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Normally, when a virus invades one of your organs, your immune system becomes activated to deal with it. The Epstein-Barr virus can produce neurotoxins that work to confuse your immune system. These toxins serve to keep your immune system from finding the virus in your thyroid and from fighting it if it does find it.

It appears Epstein-Barr specifically targets your thyroid as a means to disrupt your endocrine system and thus find a way to invade your nervous system.

In addition to Hashimoto’s, this virus is also linked to other autoimmune conditions such as lupus and a type of B-cell lymphoma.

Mechanisms Involved

Several possible mechanisms appear involved in the Epstein-Barr thyroid connection as well as other autoimmune conditions.

One possible mechanism relates to molecular mimicry. This occurs when your immune system reacts to proteins in your body that are similar to those associated with a virus. In this case, your immune system attacks both the virus and your thyroid.

In addition, CD8+ T-cell deficiency can lead to poor control of this kind of viral infection. Likewise, it can lead to an overactive immune response that targets your thyroid or whichever organ the virus invades.

Further, those with an already existing autoimmune condition may experience a higher viral load, and what is called “bystander activation” of the immune system in response to ongoing infection.

Chronic stress or poor nutrition also can hamper the effectiveness of the immune system.

In the presence of Hashimoto’s, thyroid antibody levels decline dramatically when remediation of the virus occurs.

What Can You Do About Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus?

Several options exist if you think you suffer from chronic Epstein-Barr or effects of the Epstein-Barr thyroid connection.

  • The first step involves working with a functional health professional. If you suffer from AFS, this person should also understand adrenal fatigue.
  • Since inflammation plays such a major role in thyroid problems, you should cut out foods that promote inflammation and substitute foods that reduce it. Eat less sugar, fewer processed foods, and unhealthy oils. Add greens, vegetables, healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil, and grass-fed meat.
  • Reducing stress and learning to manage stress in more healthy ways will also reduce the effects of Epstein-Barr.
  • Get sufficient sleep. Seven to eight hours per night of good sleep should help you deal with any viral infections better.
  • Add natural anti-virals to your supplementation regimen. They will not completely correct the issue of Epstein-Barr, but they will help you deal with it and other viruses more effectively. However, if you have later stages of adrenal fatigue, beware of die-off and paradoxical reactions when taking anti-virals. Always consult an experienced practitioner before starting natural anti-virals.
  • Add supplements that support the immune system and adaptogen herbs to help
    re-balance hormones. Some helpful supplements could include vitamins C and D, zinc, mushroom extracts, and echinacea.

The best way of addressing the Epstein-Barr thyroid connection is to adopt a comprehensive approach that includes supporting your gut health, reducing stress, balancing hormones, and handling inflammation.

Conclusion

The Epstein-Barr virus poses a significant health risk due to its functioning like a stealth virus. In other words, it hides in various organs until something triggers it to re-emerge and reactivate. You may have had the virus for years and not know it.

Once it reactivates, it poses a health threat through the Epstein-Barr thyroid connection. The virus can lead to the development of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, perhaps the most common hypothyroid condition in the U.S.

Epstein barr virus and hypothyroidismIt becomes an autoimmune condition due to the effects of increased inflammation and an over-active immune response. For those with AFS or dysfunctional Inflammation or Hormonal circuits of the NEM, the risk of developing Hashimoto’s increases. Symptoms of Epstein-Barr appear similar to those of AFS.

If you are suffering from the Epstein-Barr thyroid connection, there are steps you can take to improve your health, as noted above.

Whatever course of action you decide to take, however, please do so with the guidance of your healthcare professional who will assess your options and help you choose the best approach for your health.

If you would like to know more about or need assistance with choosing ways to deal with the Epstein-Barr thyroid connection, the team at Dr. Lam Coaching can help. We offer a free** no-obligation phone consultation at +1-626-571-1234 where we will privately discuss your symptoms and various options. You can also send us a question through our Ask The Doctor system by clicking here.


— Update: 04-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Epstein-Barr Virus Symptoms and Thyroid Connection from the website drbeckycampbell.com for the keyword epstein barr virus and hypothyroidism.

When it comes to thyroid health and particularly autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, there are many things in the body that can trigger this autoimmune response. One of the many triggers includes chronic infections such as the Epstein-Barr virus. The connection between the Epstein-Barr virus and thyroid health is pretty strong, and I am going to break down exactly why and talk about the most common Epstein-Barr virus symptoms so that you can uncover if this virus may be affecting your thyroid health.

Before we dive into that, let’s explore what exactly this virus is and how it affects your body.

What is the Epstein-Barr Virus?

You may be familiar with this virus and its link with mononucleosis which is a virus that commonly affects children and young adults. This virus which is commonly referred to as “mono” can cause symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. Epstein-Barr can cause mono. However, not everyone who is infected with Epstein-Barr will develop mononucleosis.

While Epstein-Barr can cause mononucleosis, it can also lead to more serious disease which we will talk about when we discuss the connection between the Epstein-Barr virus and thyroid health.

Read more  Epstein Barr Virus and Thyroid Disease

The problem with this virus is that once present in the body, it can persist for life. Epstein-Barr can also become reactivated which can cause symptoms, but at other times it may not cause any symptoms at all. Reactivation can become particularly problematic for those whose immune systems do not work as they should such as in the case of autoimmune conditions.

There is also quite a bit of confusion surrounding this particular virus. While modern-day medical practitioners know what the Epstein-Barr virus is, it is not as understood that there are over 60 varieties of this virus. Many doctors may diagnose this condition thinking that it’s a short-lasting thing, but often times it’s a long-term issue that can cause chaos in the body if not addressed appropriately. This virus can lead to problems such as thyroid disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome which is not something many medical practitioners talk about when addressing this virus.

Epstein-Barr Virus Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms associated with Epstein-Barr include:

  • Sore throat, usually severe
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Bloating
  • Body aches
  • Weakness
  • Sweat
  • Dizziness

Keep in mind that while these are some of the most commonly seen Epstein-Barr virus symptoms, some people experience symptoms not as commonly associated with Epstein-Barr which can easily lead to misdiagnoses which can ultimately make it difficult to feel better and get to the source of the problem if not working with an experienced health professional.

Epstein barr virus and hypothyroidism

How Do You Contract the Virus?

So, we now know some of the symptoms of Epstein Barr, and we know that it is much more complicated than many medical professionals may know, but how exactly does someone develop Epstein-Barr?

One of the very first ways someone can contract the virus is if a mother had Epstein-Barr while pregnant, her baby could get it. Secondly, you can get the virus through blood transfusions infected with the virus, but you can also get it by just coming in contact with someone who is infected with this virus if they are in the infected stage. Keep in mind though that if someone has Epstein-Barr, it doesn’t mean that they are contagious at all times. It all depends on the stage the virus is at within the body which is what I am going to review next.

The Stages of Epstein-Barr

As if the virus wasn’t confusing enough,  it actually works in different stages. There are four stages to the virus.

Stage One

In stage one, you just caught the virus, and it’s possible that it is in its initial dormant stage where it just hangs out in your bloodstream while it quietly works to gain strength and then waits for the opportunity to cause an infection. This can occur if you are stressed out, burnt out, overworked, or maybe aren’t feeding your body right. If you let your body become too depleted the virus could become opportunistic and strike at this time. The virus may also take advantage during periods where your body may be going through some hormonal changes such as during pregnancy or for teenagers, during puberty.

The thing about stage one of the Epstein-Barr virus is that you can contract the virus, but it can hang around and wait for the perfect moment to strike for a long time, sometimes years.

Stage Two

Stage two is when the virus has decided to strike and can turn into mono as we spoke about before. Mononucleosis is considered to be stage two of the Epstein-Barr virus, and you have probably heard of this being referred to as the “kissing disease.” Stage two is when you would be the most contagious.

At this stage, symptoms will vary from person to person. Some people may go through this stage with only a mild sore throat and just some fatigue while others may experience more severe symptoms such as debilitating fatigue and a severe sore throat. Some people may even develop a rash. The length of time someone will experience these symptoms also varies. Some may only be down and out with the virus for about a week while others may be battling the symptoms for months.

Stage two is also the time where the virus may be targeting one or more than one of your organs to hang out in. Often times the EPV (Epstein-Barr virus) will choose the liver or the spleen as these two organs are home to certain toxins that the virus loves.

Stage Three

During stage three, things are a little bit different. The virus may have chosen its organ or organs of choice to call home, and if you were to get blood work, then lab tests may show antibodies which doctors would mark as having a past EBV infection. This is where the problem comes in. If your doctor is reading your lab work as if the virus is no longer active but you have not taken any steps to ridding your body of the EBV then the virus could very well be active in the body and still causing issues. The virus can go undetected as being active during this stage because chances are it is hiding out in one or more than one of your body organs. We will talk specifically about this and thyroid health coming up.

When the Epstein-Barr virus lives in one of your organs, it can cause inflammation, and it can do so without triggering your immune system since the virus is literally hiding. After stage two, your immune system may stop attacking the virus thinking that it has already ridden the body of the infection when in reality, EBV is just a very smart and tricky virus that knows how to hide in the body and not be detected.

Stage Four

In the final stage of the Epstein-Barr virus, its end goal is to affect your nervous system. If the virus invades your thyroid during stage three, there is a good chance you may begin to experience some unwanted symptoms such as nerve pain and just feeling achy throughout your body.

Unfortunately, during this stage blood work would not necessarily detect any sign of the infection so it can be very difficult to be diagnosed properly if you are not working with a health professional who has experience with this condition and its various stages.

Once it attacks your nervous system, you could experience things like ongoing fatigue, insomnia, and numbness in your extremities. It is during this stage that many people are misdiagnosed, and many people are given inappropriate medications or are thought to have hormonal imbalances because lab tests are not able to pick up on the infection.

Epstein barr virus and hypothyroidism

How is the Epstein-Barr Virus Diagnosed?

Often times, this virus is diagnosed during stage two of the virus when symptoms are at their worst. Many people will head to the doctor complaining of a sore throat and fatigue, and their doctor will run blood work. It’s common that during stage two, the virus will show up as a type of mono.

After stage two, it can be very difficult for the virus to show up on lab tests and even when it’s still active in your body, doctors often miss a diagnosis. It is not as simple as one would think, with four stages and the ability for the virus to hide out in your body for long periods of time you have to work with someone who knows the virus well to give you the proper diagnosis.

The Connection Between the Epstein-Barr Virus and Thyroid Health

We have talked about how the Epstein-Barr virus can affect different areas of the body, but I want to talk specifically about its effect on thyroid health. The connection between the Epstein-Barr virus and thyroid health occurs during stage three of the virus.

If you remember, stage three is when the virus has decided which organ or organs it wants to call home, but it can also leave its organ of choice and begin attacking other organs or even your thyroid when your immune system is out of control dealing with the virus.

The Epstein-Barr virus can actually cause Hashimoto’s disease as once the virus is in your thyroid, it can kill thyroid cells. Now, remember when I said that the Epstein-Barr virus is incredibly smart? Well here’s just another example, while your immune system would normally be able to ward off an infection like this the EBV is very smart in the sense that it can confuse the immune system due to neurotoxins it can create which can literally throw your immune system for a loop. This can make it very difficult for your immune system to number one, find the virus that may be hiding out in your thyroid, and number two go after it.

This virus specifically goes after the thyroid as a way to disrupt the endocrine system as a way to get closer to affecting the nervous system which generally occurs in stage four of the virus.

As awful as this virus sounds, there are things that you can do to support your body and keep the virus at bay if it is something you have been infected with which is what I am going to talk about next.

Steps you can Take Today

There are several steps you can take to tackle EBV and improve your health naturally.

Work with a Functional Health Practitioner

The first step you need to take if you suspect Epstein-Barr virus is to work with a Functional Medicine Practitioner, such as myself, who understands how EBV works. If you suspect this is something affecting you, you can contact me here for an initial consultation to talk about an individualized approach to getting to the bottom of your health concerns.

On top of working with a skilled Functional Medicine Practitioner, there are other steps you can take to support your body.

Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet with Healing Foods

Remove inflammatory foods from your diet, such as refined sugar, refined oil, artificial ingredients, junk food, deep-fried food, and processed foods. Eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, including greens, vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, healthy fats, such as avocados, coconut oil, and organic ghee, and clean protein, such as pasture-raised beef, grass-fed poultry and eggs, and wild-caught fish. Add anti-inflammatory foods with antimicrobial properties, such as garlic, parsley, coconut oil, cilantro, and curcumin to your diet.

Reduce Stress

Make sure to reduce stress and learn to handle stress better. Reduce stressful situation and contact with people who bring you down. Spend time with uplifting, supportive people, and doing things you love. Practice stress-reducing strategies, including meditation, breathwork, gratitude, journaling, coloring, regular exercise, time in nature, grounding, healing baths, and ‘me-time’. Work with a therapist or a life coach to address emotional difficulties and learn stress reduction strategies if needed.

Get Enough Sleep

Make sure to sleep 7 to 8 hours a nigh. Support your circadian rhythms by going to bed and waking up around the same time. Develop a relaxing evening routine and avoid electronics, food, sugar, and caffeine in the evening. Create a peaceful sanctuary in your bedroom with a comfortable bed, bedding, and pillows, a salt lamp, calming essential oils, your favorite books, dark curtains, and anything else that makes you feel calm.

Try a 30-Day Thyroid Reset

As you’ve learned, there is a strong connection between EBV and thyroid issues. If you have thyroid imbalances or thyroid disease, I recommend reading and following the recommendations in my book, The 30-Day Thyroid Reset Plan: Disarming the 7 Hidden Triggers That are Keeping You Sick. This plan will help you to address underlying causes of your thyroid issues including EBV infections, repair your thyroids, and improve your overall health. You will learn everything you need to know about thyroid disease. I offer a 30-day plan to improve your health and my favorite thyroid-friendly recipes to nourish your body with delicious meals.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to thyroid health issues, especially autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease, there are a variety of things that can trigger an autoimmune response. One of the many triggers includes chronic infections such as the Epstein-Barr virus. Understanding the connection between the Epstein-Barr virus and thyroid health is key to uncovering the root causes of your thyroid condition and creating the right recovery plan. I recommend that you work with a functional health practitioner and follow my tips to overcome EBV and thyroid issues naturally.

If you are dealing with symptoms of EBV, thyroid issues, or other health issues, I invite you to schedule a consultation with me. I can help to identify the root cause of your condition and recommend a personalized treatment plan to repair your body and regain your health and well-being. Schedule your consultation here.

Epstein barr virus and hypothyroidism

If you are not ready to make an appointment but would like more information? Try my new book, The 30-Day Thyroid Reset Plan ,where I walk you through a step-by-step plan to support your thyroid as much possible..

Resources

Medical Medium. What’s Potentially at the Root of Medical Mysteries

Epstein Barr Virus Infection. EMedicineHealth.


— Update: 04-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Epstein Barr Virus and Hashimoto’s Disease from the website drhedberg.com for the keyword epstein barr virus and hypothyroidism.

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Epstein-Barr Virus or EBV is a herpes virus (Herpes 4) that is significantly connected to Hashimoto’s disease and many other autoimmune diseases.  It is the most common infection I see in my patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  Testing for Epstein-barr virus is fairly straightforward but treatment can take a long time.

How do you get infected?

Epstein-Barr Virus is transmitted by saliva resulting in mononucleosis (“mono”) also known as “the kissing disease.”  EBV can also be transmitted via semen during sexual intercourse, by blood or blood transfusion. Most people get infected when they are young after their first kiss or if they exposed to another infected person’s saliva on a shared drinking glass.

What are the symptoms of mono due to acute Epstein-Barr Virus infection?

Fatigue
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Sore throat
Fever
Rash
Enlarged liver and spleen

The above symptoms are the usual result of the initial infection which lasts about 2-4 weeks but sometimes they can go on for months.  Once your immune system fights off the virus, it becomes inactive for life.  Epstein-Barr Virus however can reactivate later in life resulting in autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, fatigue and many more illnesses.  This is similar to the Chicken Pox virus that stays in your body for life but it can reactivate resulting in painful shingles.

Read more  Relationship Between Your Thyroid and Dental Health

Key point: Just because you never had mono, this doesn’t mean you can’t have the virus.  Some people get infected with EBV and never develop symptoms.

You can infect another person no matter how old you are if the virus is reactivated in your body.

***Some people will have a “mono-like” illness and EBV antibodies are negative. This is due to another active infection including cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, herpes 6, herpes 7, HIV or hepatitis B.

Epstein barr virus and hypothyroidism

What health problems can Epstein-Barr Virus cause?

Many autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s disease, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis etc.
Weakened immune system making it more difficult to fight other infections
Facial nerve palsy (Bell’s palsy)
Guillan-Barre Syndrome
Sleep problems
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Viral meningitis
Transverse myelitis
Optic neuritis
Encephalitis
Cerebellar ataxia
Paralysis on one side of the body
Pneumonia
Pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas)
Myocarditis (swelling of the heart)

Epstein-Barr Virus is also associated with a number of cancers including Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and Burkitt’s lymphoma.

What is the best test for Epstein-Barr Virus?

Blood testing through all commercial labs such as Labcorp are readily available for testing.

Let’s break down each test component:

EBV Viral Capsid Antigen (VCA) IgM: Indicates an active infection and stays positive for 4-6 weeks.
***VCA IgM antibodies can cross-react with cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, herpes simplex or rheumatoid factors. This must be taken into account due the potential of a false positive.
***VCA IgM antibodies have been shown to rise in those over 60 years of age.

EBV Viral Capsid Antigen (VCA) IgG: Positive in the early stages of infection peaking at 2-4 weeks, then it begins to drop and stays positive for life.

EBV Nuclear Antigen (EBNA) IgG: Not positive in the acute phase but starts to elevate 2-4 months after infection.  IgG stays positive for life.

EBV Early Antigen (EA) IgG: Positive in the acute phase of infection and then begins to drop for 3-6 months after infection.  A positive test indicates active infection.

The early antigen is usually left out of many EBV tests I review which unfortunately means we can’t make an accurate diagnosis of reactivation without it.  Since the VCA and EBNA IgG tests are positive for life, it is best to use the Early Antigen IgG to monitor successful treatment of the infection.  The VCA IgM is beneficial to have only if you want to see if it is an acute infection or a recent reactivation. The panel I order through Labcorp contains all of the above markers and then I will just use the Early Antigen IgG in most cases to monitor progress.

The Monospot test is not a very accurate test because it is negative many times in children with mono. It also has shown to have too many false positive and false negative tests.

It is important to note that in very rare cases, you can have active EBV infection but none of the antibodies are present on your blood tests.

If you are hypersensitive to mosquito bites then you may have an active infection.

How does Epstein-Barr Virus cause Hashimoto’s Disease?

Dr. Michael Pender does an excellent job in this paper explaining how EBV can cause autoimmune diseases including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  I will try and simplify the paper for you below.

Due to specific genetic reasons, people with autoimmune disease tend to have fewer immune cells that can fight the Epstein-Barr Virus so it can more easily reactivate and stay active.  Biopsies of the thyroid glands of patients with Hashimoto’s disease and Epstein-Barr Virus show massive amounts of the virus inside the thyroid gland.  This results in an immune attack on the virus and the thyroid gland.

A number of things can prevent your ability to fight off EBV including:

Too much estrogen in your body
Vitamin D deficiency
Low Ferritin levels
Anemia
Hypothyroidism
Zinc deficiency
Chronic stress (adrenal and autonomic nervous system imbalances)
Insulin resistance
Chronic inflammation
Gut dysbiosis and/or gut infection
Insufficient protein intake known as “Protein Energy Malnutrition”
Chronic insomnia
Other stealth infections that are stressing your immune system

What are the best treatment options for Epstein-Barr Virus?

There are a number of compounds that are effective for EBV including:

Monolaurin
Cordyceps
Reishi
Curcumin
Olive leaf extract
Artemisinin
Berberine
Vitamin C (Intravenous is very effective)
EGCG

I want to make it very clear that simply taking any of these will most likely not result in successful treatment.  Why is that?  Simply attacking the virus does nothing to solve the underlying reasons why your immune system can’t control this virus.  A successful treatment plan is a comprehensive approach including all the things we do in functional medicine such as gut health, stress physiology, macro/micronutrient balance, hormone balancing, reducing inflammation etc.

Many people make the mistake of taking compounds for EBV which suppresses the viruses activity, but then it just reactivates when they stop supplementing.  This is because the reasons why it reactivated have not been addressed.

There are cases where I don’t even target the virus and it deactivates because we work on the underlying causes of the infection.  It is however extremely beneficial in many cases to target the virus as well as everything else that needs fixing for a quicker and more successful outcome.

Epstein-Barr Virus and Hashimoto’s Disease Summary

The first thing to do is work with a functional medicine practitioner who will properly test you for EBV reactivation.  The second thing to do is work with your functional medicine practitioner to balance all of your body systems and address all the potential causes of EBV reactivation noted above. This way you can have lasting control of the virus so it doesn’t reactivate again.

As long as the Epstein-Barr Virus is active, your immune system will continue to be under stress and out of balance.  Since Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease, all potential stressors on the immune system must be eliminated in order to be successful and heal properly.

I get great results with patients who have Hashimoto’s disease with associated Epstein-Barr Virus reactivation.  This is one infection you don’t want to overlook so get tested soon and you’ll be on your way to eliminating one more piece of the Hashimoto’s puzzle.


— Update: 04-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Is Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Associated With Thyroid Tumorigenesis?—A Southern China Cohort Study from the website www.frontiersin.org for the keyword epstein barr virus and hypothyroidism.

Introduction

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a well-known human tumor virus with a very high prevalence in the population, especially for children and youth. EBV serum (IgG) is positive in an estimated 95% of the world's population (1). EBV infection is associated with epithelial and lymphoid malignancies, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), gastric cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma and Burkitt's lymphoma (2, 3). Although EBV has B-lymphocyte tropism, it can also infect T lymphocytes, myocytes, and epithelial cells in the oropharynx and stomach (4). Once EBV infects a host cell, it starts to induce a lytic or latent infection with diverse genes expressed. EBV nuclear antigens (EBNA 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C, and LP), the latent membrane proteins (LMP 1, 2A, and 2B) and two small noncoding RNAs (EBV-coded small RNA, EBER-1, and EBER-2) are expressed during the infection (3). These genes collaborate to induce tumorigenesis by causing systematic inflammation, suppressing the antitumoral immune system, and preventing anoikis.

Whether EBV infects the thyroid gland remains controversial. To date, only a handful of reports on the association between EBV and thyroid tumorigenesis have been investigated. Stamatiou et al. (5) summarized publications regarding the EBV detection rate in thyroid cancer specimens from 2001 to 2015. The conclusion was inconclusive because the results were highly contradictory, ranging from negative to 100% positive for EBV infection.

Therefore, in the current study, we explored the role of EBV in thyroid nodule development and its clinical significance in a cohort from southern China.

Methods

Patient Selection and Sample Collection

A total of 384 patients, including 261 with papillary thyroid carcinomas, 87 with nodular goiters, 21 with follicular adenomas, 12 with follicular thyroid carcinomas, and 3 with medullary thyroid carcinomas, who underwent thyroidectomy between December 2017 and June 2018 at the Department of General Surgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, were identified as being eligible for the study. All the data were extracted from the database of the Department of General Surgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University. The patients included in the study met the following criteria: (1) primary thyroid neoplasms (including thyroid cancer, nodular goiter and follicular adenoma) confirmed by post-operative pathological results, (2) no history of thyroid/neck surgery, (3) no previous diagnosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) or other EBV-related disease, (4) no history of neck radiotherapy, (5) exclusion of cervical metastatic cancer, parathyroid neoplasms and Graves' disease, and (6) sufficient medical history. All patients were invited to donate a 5-mL blood sample for storage when they received preoperative examinations in our department. Blood samples were allowed a maximum of 6 h at room temperature before serologic analysis. The serum samples were then separated and divided into 4 tubes. All the serum samples were stored at −80°C at the Department of General Surgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University. All the tissues samples were formalin fixed and paraffin embedded (FFPE) and then were cut into 4-μm-thick sections. All the clinicopathological parameters were recorded and evaluated according to the criteria of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC, 8th edition). This study was approved by the ethical committee of Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University. Informed consents were obtained from all involved patients when they were admitted to the hospital to provide their test results/specimens for future medical research.

Hybridization

Serologic Antibody Analysis

Statistical Analysis

All continuous variables were expressed as medians (Percentile 25, Percentile 75). Statistical analysis was conducted using SPSS 22.0 (SPSS, Inc, Chicago, IL, USA). To explore the relationship between EBV and the clinical pathological features in PTC, such as gender, age, and tumor size, chi-squared test and Fisher's exact test were used as appropriate; < 0.05 considered as statistically significant.

Results

The clinicopathological features are presented in Table 1. The median age of the included patients was 45 years (40, 61). The median number of resected lymph nodes in Level VI (for those with central neck dissection) and Level II-Vb (for those with lateral neck dissection) were 11.5 (7, 15) and 40 (25.75, 58.75), respectively. Two hundred eighty eight patients came from Guangdong Province (Southern China), and 96 patients came from other provinces of China (Figure 1).

Serological Antibodies

The VCA/IgA and EA/IgA antibodies were tested in all 384 patients with thyroid nodules as well as the population of positive/normal controls. There were 42 (10.9%) patients who were either VCA/IgA antibody or EA/IgA antibody positive or positive for both antibodies; therefore, these patients were designated as the serological antibody positive group. Comparing all clinicopathological features between the serological antibody groups, none of these parameters with statistical significance were identified (Supplementary Tables 1, 2). The number of patients with available serological results was 857 and 6,923 for NPC (positive control) and normal population (healthy control). After matched ages and sex, 384 NPC patients (positive control) and 384 healthy controls (normal population) were compared with those of the thyroid cohort (Supplementary Table 3). There were 311 (81.0%) patients who were serological positive in positive controls, and 40 (10.4%) patients with positive serological tests in the normal population.

hybridization

None of the samples analyzed by ISH showed EBER expression in thyroid normal/cancer cell nuclei, even those with positive results in serological antibody analysis (Figure 2).

Discussion

EBV has been revealed to be associated with the development of many cancers, such as gastric cancer, NPC, and Hodgkin's lymphoma (3). Chronic inflammation induced by EBV infection may play a significant role in the progression of cancer (4). However, the relationship between thyroid tumorigeneses and EBV has not been fully elucidated with conflicting results. The preliminary investigation of EBV in thyroid lymphoma was inspired by EBV persistently infecting B lymphocytes, contributing to lymphoma formation. In 2003, Shimakage et al. first reported EBV infection in other types of thyroid malignancies with a Japanese cohort (12). Shimakage et al. (12) explored the potential involvement of EBV expression in the progression of thyroid cancer by examining different thyroid neoplasm specimens, ranging from PTC to anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC). The specimens were subjected to PCR, RT-PCR, ISH and indirect immunofluorescence staining. The results showed that mRNA and protein were positive for all carcinoma specimens and their expression was prominent in ATCs. For benign nodules, they showed no signal or very few signals during ISH. A similar result was conducted by Moghoofei et al. (13). The authors determined EBV infection by qRT-PCR and revealed that the EBV detection rate in PTC was similar to that of the healthy control. However, EBV positivity was associated with the tumor stage. Additionally, based on the PCR result, several inflammatory factors, such as Survivin, CD44, NF-kappaB, and IL-6, were higher expressed in the EBV-positive groups, and the mRNA expression of EBER1 and EBER2 was higher in thyroid tumor group. The reports from Almeida et al. (14) and Homayouni et al. (15) conducted similar results based on PCR and the ISH test in Brazilian and Iranian populations, respectively.

However, negative results for the association between thyroid tumors and EBV infection have been obtained. Despite a few infiltrating lymphoid cells in 1 (2.2%) of the specimens, none of the 45 PTCs were positive for the EBER-ISH test in a Japanese cohort (16). Bychkov et al. (17) reported that 1 of 20 thyroid cancer tissues contained single EBER-positive inflammatory cells. Cancer cells and normal thyroid tissues were consistently negative for ISH. Additionally, Tsai et al. (18) reported a negative association between benign tumors and EBV infection using ISH or PCR or Southern hybridization in a Taiwanese population.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study regarding EBV and thyroid neoplasms based on serological antibodies and ISH analyses in a cohort from the southern part of China. Similar to other southeast Asia neighbors, EBV is highly prevalent in southern China. Additionally, NPC, which has a closer relationship with EBV infection, is more endemic than in any part of the world, especially in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong (19). VCA/IgA and EA/IgA antibodies could reflect the status of recent viral infection and, therefore, are widely used biomarkers for screening NPC in the southern China population (8). In the current study, the positivity rate of serological antibody analysis was 10.9%, which is similar to that in previous national population-based studies conducted in the 1970s (7–9). However, there is no meaningful results between the clinicopathological parameters and VCA/IgA or EA/IgA antibodies. Furthermore, we failed to detect EBER signals in thyroid cancer cells or normal thyroid cells based on the ISH test. Interestingly, two PTC patients who were serological test positive with concurrent NPC were enrolled in this cohort. These two patients had pathologically confirmed NPC by preoperative fiber-laryngoscopy accidentally. They all received radiotherapy for NPC after thyroidectomy and were disease-free at the last follow up. However, we failed to detect the EBER signal in thyroid cancer cells, although the NPC specimens showed nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells that were positive for ISH. Our data indicated that the EBV detection rate in thyroid tumor samples from the southern China population is extremely low, consistent with previous EBER-based reports but differed from PCR-based tests. Several reasons may explain our findings. First, there is difference in populations and geography among different studies. Second, diversity in EBV detection techniques and their interpretation may cause conflicting results. Bychokov A believed that not only viral load assays (PCR or qPCR) but histochemical assays (ISH, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry) should be implied to ensure the precise tissue detection of EBV (17). A false-positive result may be received because any tissue containing B lymphocytes may have traces of EBV DNA (20). Additionally, there is no standard for the interpretation of EBV positivity for the ISH EBER test in thyroid tumors. Previous studies with positive results, which set a cutoff of few (<5%) EBER-positive cancer cells and even a single EBER-positive cancer cell are questionable because, in hematological malignancy, <1% of the EBER-positive background lymphocytes are usually regarded as negative during evaluation (20).

Read more  Is Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Associated With Thyroid Tumorigenesis?—A Southern China Cohort Study

Indeed, in the current study, there are many limitations. First, the retrospective study nature may cause inevitable bias. Second, serological antibody analysis only involved VCA/IgA and EA/IgA antibodies and may be insufficient for EBV viral load evaluation; more comprehensive assays should be included in further studies. Third, only the EBER-based ISH test was included in the current study. Other viral detection methodologies, such as the LMP-1 immunohistochemical test, could be implied to better evaluate EBV infection in a future study.

Conclusion

We found no correlation between EBV and thyroid diseases in our study based on the current evidence. Future studies are warranted to reveal the significance of EBV in thyroid tumor developments.

Ethics Statement

This study was approved by the ethics committee of Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University. Informed consents were obtained from all enrolled patients.

Author Contributions

S-TL and HL designed the study. S-TY, J-NG, and R-CL conducted the analysis. S-TY and R-CL drafted the manuscript. Z-GW, B-HS, Y-MJ, and J-YL participated in result interpretation. All authors have read the manuscript and approved for publication.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Acknowledgments

S-TY received a grant from President Foundation of Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University (No. 2018C024). The funders played no role in study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, writing of the report, or in the decision to submit the paper of publication. They accept no responsibility for the contents. We thank Professor Shuang Wang (Department of Pathology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University) and Dr. Yan Li (Department of Pathology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center) for pathological guidance. We also thank Dr. Huasong Zhang (Department of Otolaryngology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University) for plotting the figures in this paper.

Supplementary Material

The Supplementary Material for this article can be found online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fonc.2019.00312/full#supplementary-material

References


— Update: 04-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Epstein Barr Virus and Thyroid Disease from the website www.palomahealth.com for the keyword epstein barr virus and hypothyroidism.

In this article:

  • What is the Epstein Barr virus?
  • Connection between the Epstein Barr virus and thyroid disease
  • Does the Epstein Barr virus cause autoimmune thyroid disease?
  • How to test for the Epstein Barr virus
  • What to do if you have reactivated the Epstein Barr virus
  • Other treatment approaches for the Epstein Barr virus

What is the Epstein Barr virus?

The Epstein Barr virus, abbreviated EBV, is also known as human herpesvirus 4 or HHV-4. EBV is a member of the family of herpes viruses. Estimations suggest that as many as nine in ten people globally have been exposed to the Epstein Barr virus, most as children. 


When exposed to EBV at a young age, the initial infection (the “lytic” or infectious stage) typically causes no symptoms or a short, mild illness. Suppose the first exposure is as a teenager or adult. In that case, symptoms are evident about half of the time, with a diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis—often referred to as “mono,” manifesting as severe fatigue, fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.  Most cases of mono resolve within two to four weeks, and the virus then becomes dormant for life—the “latent” phase.


In some people, however, EBV switches between the dormant latent phase and the active lytic phase. That means that some people become reinfected and experience symptoms of EBV more than once. 

Some of the factors that can lead to EBV reactivation include a suppressed immune system, exposure to other bacteria or viruses, taking steroid drugs, and physical or emotional stress.


Connection between Epstein-Barr virus and autoimmune thyroid disease


EBV is a known trigger factor for a variety of autoimmune diseases. Specifically, a protein that Epstein-Barr produces attaches to locations on the human genome associated with seven autoimmune conditions: multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.  


Researchers in Poland have also found a very high prevalence of EBV infection in both Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Graves' disease patients compared to the general population. Hashimoto's and Graves' diseases are the two most common autoimmune diseases. They are estimated to affect up to 10 percent of people worldwide. 


The Polish study found that 81 percent of Hashimoto's thyroiditis cases and 63 percent of Graves' disease cases had EBV proteins evident in the thyroid gland. These findings suggest that chronic EBV and EBV reinfection may cause autoimmune thyroid disease.


Is exposure to EBV a reason behind the prevalence of autoimmune thyroid disease? 


The question is still being studied, and determining the cause of any autoimmune condition remains complicated. 


Experts attribute from 60 to 70 percent of autoimmune thyroid conditions to your genetics. Genetics and family history are only part of the picture, however. Other factors also come into play, including radiation exposure, selenium deficiency, iodine excess, physical or emotional stress, nutrition, pregnancy, other hormonal imbalances, trauma to the neck or thyroid, smoking, bacterial and viral infections, and some medications.


While it's not definitive, the theory is that EBV-infected immune cells infiltrate the thyroid gland in people who are predisposed to autoimmunity, including autoimmune thyroid disease. Once they've gotten a foothold in the thyroid gland, the EBV-infected cells start producing antibodies and cause the surrounding immune cells to overreact and attack the thyroid gland. 


A healthy immune system typically stops this process quickly. But in someone with a genetically or environmentally affected immune system, the virus takes hold. Reinfections can periodically flare up and cause not only symptomatic EBV reinfection. Still, they can “switch on” autoimmunity in the thyroid gland itself.  


Let's be clear, however. You will likely come across information from armchair “experts” and so-called “medical mediums” who claim that EBV is the cause of all autoimmune thyroid disease and even thyroid cancer. That is not only unproven but also highly unlikely.


Autoimmune diseases are notoriously complex and typically involve many environmental and immune triggers. Everything from h. pylori gastrointestinal infections to gluten sensitivity to nutritional imbalances are all possible contributors to the risk of developing autoimmune thyroid disease.


Does the Epstein-Barr virus cause autoimmune thyroid disease?


It's difficult to answer this question for sure, but in some cases, it certainly seems plausible. 


Take my situation, for example. I had a severe mononucleosis infection at age 17. I also had an equally debilitating EBV reinfection at age 30. In both cases, thanks to aggressive nutritional and holistic support, I recovered pretty quickly. 


About a year after recovering from my EBV reactivation, however, I started noticing weight gain, fatigue, and brain fog. I was soon diagnosed with Hashimoto's hypothyroidism. 


Were they connected? It's possible, given what we now know about the cause-and-effect relationship between EBV and autoimmunity. However, at the time, I was a cigarette smoker and was recovering from a neck injury from an auto accident. These are also known risk factors for autoimmune thyroid disease.


How to test for Epstein-Barr virus


The first step in exploring whether EBV is related to your autoimmune thyroid disease is blood testing. 


These two laboratory blood test panels can check for EBV reactivation:

  • EBV Early Antigen Test
  • EBV Antibodies Panel. 


You can request these tests through your doctor or order them yourself online.


What to do if you have reactivated the Epstein-Barr virus


If you do have reactivated EBV, the next question is obvious: what should you do?


First, be aware that conventional doctors rarely offer medical treatment for infectious mononucleosis, much less reactivated EBV. Some physicians, however, have had some promising results prescribing antiviral drugs, including acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and ganciclovir (Zirgan). These medications may help reduce EBV antibodies. In turn, these medications may also help lower thyroid antibodies and calm autoimmune reactions, so it may be worth discussing antiviral treatment with your thyroid doctor.


Other treatment approaches for Epstein-Barr virus


I have a complicated relationship with EBV and viruses in general. As I mentioned, at age 17, during the winter break of my senior year of high school, I came down with a terrible case of mononucleosis. According to my doctor, my blood test results were really bad. He warned I would be out of school to recover for the rest of the year, delaying my graduation and transition to college. He also said there was no treatment for mono other than “rest.”


My mother, frustrated by the complete lack of treatment options, was determined to find a solution and turned to a knowledgeable friend who was an early adopter of natural medicine and nutritional approaches. 


Together, they quickly created an aggressive megavitamin, supplement, and nutritional protocol for me to follow. Two weeks after my diagnosis, with repeat blood work, the doctor said, “I don't know what you did, and I don't want to know, but whatever it was, the levels are almost back to normal.” I was able to return to school a few days later.


Then at 30, I came down with a nasty upper respiratory infection, followed by what felt again like mono. The doctor confirmed that I showed very high reactivation of EBV. I was brain-fogged, exhausted, and unable to work. Under the guidance of a holistic physician, I again turned to various vitamins, supplements, and dietary changes. I was able to recover and get back to work in about a few weeks. (About a year later, however, after I started noticing weight gain, fatigue, and brain fog, I  was diagnosed with Hashimoto's hypothyroidism. Were they connected? Very likely.)


Since my reactivation and Hashimoto's diagnosis, I've become far too familiar with the other members of “the family” of herpes viruses. Along the way, blood tests have shown that in addition to HHV-4/EBV, I also carried HHV-3, the virus that causes cold sores, chickenpox, and shingles, and HHV-6, the virus that causes rashes, inflammation, and fevers. 


I could tell when I was going through a viral reactivation, as I would have a recurrence of mono symptoms, and my hypothyroidism would become much harder to manage. I learned to research and advocate for myself for my Hashimoto's, so I turned my efforts to combat the “family” of viruses that had moved in!


I started with a year-long course of antiviral medication—in my case, valacyclovir—but it didn't seem to reduce my frequent periods of reactivation or have much impact on blood tests measuring EBV antibody levels in particular.


I decided to go back to what had worked in the past, diving deep into my study of natural approaches. I discovered that nearly every natural medicine practitioner has their own “viral protocol.” Even a quick search on EBV unearths dozens of different diets and supplement programs focused on eradicating EBV. 


Some of these programs are, frankly, dubious. For example, the “medical medium” who believes all thyroid problems stem from EBV also believes that daily consumption of large amounts of celery juice, blueberries, cilantro, and asparagus will “cure” EBV. I have yet to see any scientific evidence to support this questionable claim.


I did find, however, that there are some common recommendations found across the holistic and naturopathic spectrum. Together with a team of knowledgeable practitioners, we put together an approach that worked for me. I'm pleased to say that I no longer have antibodies to any human herpesvirus, including EBV, and no evidence of reinfection.


Supplements

I have successfully used the following supplements. You'll find many practitioners recommending them to combat EBV and viral infections.

  • Monolaurin is a byproduct of coconut fat that contains antiviral and antibiotic properties
  • Cat's Claw is an antiviral botanical supplement derived from plants
  • Lysine is an amino acid with antiviral properties‍
  • Zinc is a mineral that helps regulate the immune system‍
  • Selenium is a mineral that helps reduce inflammation and regulate immune response
  • B Vitamins, especially B1 (thiamine) and B5 (pantothenic acid), help to support the immune system
  • Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the immune system response
  • Probiotic supplements help to maintain balance in gut health, for optimal immune response‍
  • Vitamin D and Vitamin C help to support the immune system and adrenal function


Nutrition

I follow a generally healthy diet that focuses on non-starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and good fats. I also make it a point to include sufficient healthy, lean protein with every meal. I make sure to eat probiotic-rich fermented foods, like yogurt, kimchee, and pickled vegetables. I generally avoid gluten and choose free-range and wild proteins and organic, hormone-free, and pesticide-free foods whenever possible.


Stress management

One factor known to cause reactivation and worsen viruses is steroid drugs and the body's stress hormones. Stress causes the body to pump out higher-than-normal levels of adrenal hormones–the body's own “steroids.”  We've long known that stress is a precipitating factor for autoimmune disease. But now, we understand that stress hormones “feed” and promote viruses, and EBV triggers and worsens autoimmune disease. It explains how stress is a risk factor for autoimmune disease.


That's why I have also incorporated daily physiologic stress reduction into my antiviral protocol. By this, I mean practicing something that generates a genuine “relaxation response,” including a reduced heart rate, lower blood pressure, and lower cortisol levels. This practice helps to inoculate my body against the effects of stress. My favorites are guided meditation, breath work, and gentle yoga.


Next steps

Getting a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr virus and embarking on a program to eradicate—or at least mitigate—reinfection is not a do-it-yourself project. I recommend that you partner with a knowledgeable healthcare provider to give yourself the best shot at success.

Schedule a consultation with an online thyroid doctor: 

References

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About the Author: Tung Chi