Yay! My immune system fought off another UTI!… Boo! I’m in a CFS flare once again!…And other familiar tales from the ‘Life & Times Of A Host Body To EBV’.
EBV reactivation due to unrelated infections? YUUUUP! Sometimes, this is the catalyst that bring on all the familiar symptoms of a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome flare. In fact, the Epstein Barr Virus has long been thought of as one of the most common causes in developing CFS.
What is the Epstein Barr Virus? Well, the charming Mr. Barr is like a dinner guest that approximately 95% of the population has played host to. He’s the bad mannered caller, who after drinking all your best wine; props his dirty loafers on the table, tips your delicate dining chair onto its back two legs, belches loudly, then proceeds to light a cheap cigar that fills the room with the smell of incinerating dung.
With most of the population, the virus stays present in the body (much like the lingering odor of tobacco leaf smoke), but inactive. The problem for the ‘small percenters’ like me is, Mr. Barr enjoys my hospitality a little too much. Coming back to inflict me with his company over and over again, the Epstein Barr Virus seems to be that one obtuse ‘guest’ who doesn’t understand the concept of leaving after a ‘reasonable amount of time’.EBV has long been thought of as one of the most common causes in developing CFS... Click To Tweet
So, feeling yet another UTI coming on this past weekend, I went into ‘UTI Prevention Overdrive’! I pounded water, and straight cranberry juice like nobody’s business. Guess what? I BEAT that stinkin’ UTI to the punch! What I didn’t bank on, was that although my immune system did what it was designed to do in fighting off one infection, it was not strong enough to combat two infections at once. Mr. EBV is now awake, and having its way with my system.
It has been found that 30% of those with CFS/ME have ‘holes’ in there immune systems in response to the EBV virus. So, it is logical to conclude that an already compromised immune system is not going to handle the increased demands of fighting the presence of two infections at once. Mine chose what it saw as the ‘lesser of the two evils‘, and reactivated my EBV rather than allow a UTI to take over.30% of those with CFS/ME have 'holes' in there immune systems... Click To Tweet
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can seem similar. For me, the main things that separate the two are; the quality (or specific ‘feel’) of the associated fatigue, and the difference in pain. CFS flares have a certain ‘flu-like’ aspect to them, whereas Fibromyalgia’s pain symptoms feel more like ‘injuries’ to specific areas.
EBV Reactivation Due To Unrelated Infections ~ Sure Signs Of EBV Related CFS Flare*
Waves of ‘flu-like’ achy pain ~ This is the main indicator of an EBV re-activation for me. I will wake up feeling a shuddering flow of heavy joint pain, and a sense of overall ‘unwellness’.
Pain in specific areas ~ Earaches that radiate down the neck / increased hand pain (like severe arthritis without the swelling) / abdominal-menstrual like cramping.
Vertigo ~ UGH! I HATE this one! Balance issues are not uncommon with FMS, but the dizziness I often experience with a EBV/CFS flare can be severe. It’s scary when the world starts to spin, and you’re going down unless there is something to quickly grab on to.
Extreme Fatigue ~ The fatigue I feel with a CFS flare is more intense than the fatigue I have with FMS. Resting after a shower is a necessity (because a shower falls under the heading of: ‘prolonged period of sustained physical activity’). Also, staring half-lidded into space for hours on end, after collapsing onto the couch is not unheard of during this time.
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