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EBV Reactivation Due To Unrelated Infections ~ The Sure Signs Of EBV Related CFS Flare

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

EBV Reactivation Due To Unrelated Infections ~ The Sure Signs Of EBV Related CFS Flare

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.

EBV Reactivation Due To Unrelated Infections ~ The Sure Signs Of EBV Related CFS Flare

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EBV Reactivation And Related Health Issues
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  • Reply
    Cat aka TimeyWimeyGirl7
    July 18 at 8:56 am

    Omg! I love your definition of a shower! For me the worst part is not only am I exhausted but (even though I take an almost tepid shower) I become overheated and sweat from
    The combination of pain and lack of body heat regulation. Sometimes I wonder if it was worth it, I come out of the shower already starting to sweat and the act of drying myself off increases the amount of moisture rather than lessening it! Ugh! Hope u feel better soon!

  • Reply
    July 18 at 9:32 am

    I love your analogy of the EBV as the unwelcome guest! lol EBV is now being seen as the root cause of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis 🙁

    • Reply
      July 18 at 10:18 am

      Wow! Now that’s interesting Debra! Crazy isn’t it? That stinking little EBV causes a lot of problems!!?

  • Reply
    Stefani @ Crafty Christian
    July 20 at 4:32 am

    I’ve suspected EBV too, as Debra said, because I’ve got Hashimoto’s as well. I have also been suspected to have chronic neuro Lyme, but we all know how accurate the Lyme tests are (rolling my eyes)… I’m now on an herbal regimen for fighting Lyme and other co-infections (and it’s supposed to be able to take on EBV too!). Just started my third month and I’m noticing pretty good improvements! The diet is the hardest part for me, having 2 toddlers at home. Sometimes I just can’t seem to make the time to take care of myself after taking care of everyone else all day. That fatigue is no joke!
    Stefani @ Crafty Christian recently posted…6 Essentials for Going Gluten FreeMy Profile

    • Reply
      July 20 at 7:20 am

      Thank you for stoppin’ by Stefani! It seems that by now they would have a more accurate test for Lyme disease. Unfortunately, like Hashimoto’s, it does not seem to get the reasearch money so many other diseases get…maybe one day. Keep me posted on how your herbal regimen goes! Would be interesting to find out how well works! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sharon Hutchinson
    July 23 at 7:22 am

    I am the odd woman out in that I despise heat and love the cold. Even as a young child, everybody would enjoy the shore and just being outside while after a short time in the sun, that horrible headache I would always get is still a bad memory for me. The cold makes me feel alive. All the summer lovers here are nowhere to be seen. Since I’m in NJ, the heat, humidity and BUGS are now in full swing and my hubby and I have not left the house for days. Would love to move farther North.

    Good to know that others also go through the shower ritual. The hardest part is preparing mentally for the energy to just get to the bathroom. So hard for other folks to understand that it is a major endeavor on our part. And if hair washing is in the mix, it’s double torture.

    I too feel that the fatigue of CFS trumps Fibro every time. My favorite phrase is that CFS feels like it sucks the life force out of the body, leaving a weary shell. And to think that its existence was doubted for so very long. I believe there are various causes for CFS, and the EP virus is up there as a bad guy. Thank heaven doctors have now been recognizing that our tiredness and other symptoms are not psychological in origin. That used to really hurt when yet another doctor would come to that conclusion. “It’s all in your head”-wow, thanks for that one doc.

    • Reply
      July 23 at 2:24 pm

      Yes, CFS is a ‘catch-all’ phrase that likely emcompasses many individual health conditions and diseases. Hopefully one day they will figure it out.

  • Reply
    July 24 at 1:25 pm

    Feeling the full brunt of CEBV today,! Thank you for your post, they help me so much!

    • Reply
      July 24 at 6:20 pm

      Sorry Cat! I know exactly how you feel! 🙁 Hope you feel better soon! ♥

  • Reply
    Sue Jackson
    July 24 at 4:23 pm

    Great post! There are lots of other reactivated infections that are often behind ME/CFS, too, like Lyme disease, HHV-6, and CMV – all with the same results you describe with EBV.

    And the specific type of immune dysfunction in ME/CFS makes us super-susceptible to bacterial infections – hence your UTIs (for my son and I its recurring bronchitis) – our immune systems over-respond to viruses and allergens (hence the crash!) but under-respond to bacterial infections.

    The good news is that there are a couple of treatments that can help to normalize your immune system, thus cutting back on the recurrent bacterial infections and the horrible crashes from underlying viruses. We’ve had great success with both low-dose naltrexone and inosine – both have helped to greatly reduce virally-induced crashes and reduced the number of bacterial infections we get – far fewer crashes and way more good days!!

    Here’s more info:


    So glad I found your blog through Chronic Fridays Linkup!


    Living with ME/CFS

    • Reply
      July 24 at 6:34 pm

      AUUGHH!! Sue!, YES! More confirmation that LDN is the right way for me to go! I see my Dr. on Wed when we will be discussing LDN. The more I hear about it, the better it sounds, although I know it does work for everyone.
      You’re right about all the diseases attached to EBV. They are finding alot of ties to the virus and developing various health issues later in life.
      Thank you for this Sue! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 24 at 5:08 pm

    Congrats on beating the UTI I’m so sorry that it was a victory that was won at such a hard price! Isn’t it a huge bummer that we can’t really just have one issue? One disease? I hope that you are feeling better now, it stinks to lose time and be down for the count. Thinking of you!
    Nikki recently posted…5 Swoon Worthy WordPress Theme Options.My Profile

    • Reply
      July 24 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks Nik! Well, still feel kinda cruddy, but it’s par for the course! Thank you! 🙂

  • Reply
    Deborah Davis
    July 25 at 5:01 pm

    I have always enjoyed your relevant insights on important healthy living concerns and issues so I am so delighted that you shared EBV Reactivation Due To Unrelated Infections ~ The Sure Signs Of EBV Related CFS Flare
    at the Healthy Happy Green & Natural Party! Thank you so much for sharing your gems and for your support! Pinning and sharing! All the best, Deborah
    Deborah Davis recently posted…Traditional Chinese Massage and How It Compares to Other TechniquesMy Profile

    • Reply
      July 25 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you so much Deborah! ♥

  • Reply
    Brandi Clevinger
    July 26 at 5:26 am

    It’s funny the way you described ‘Mr. Barr’! haha

    I have all of those symptoms you described. The last bout of vertigo I experienced landed me in the hospital because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I thought I was falling backwards and my head was spinning so bad that I became sick to my stomach. On the way to the hospital, my husband had to stop so that I could vomit. The spinning earlier caused me to be motion sick. It was terrible.

    I’m going to talk with my physician about this because, like I said, I have all of these symptoms but I thought it was just fibro. It could be something more. Thanks for the information!
    Brandi Clevinger recently posted…Chronic Friday Linkup July 22, 2016My Profile

    • Reply
      July 26 at 2:17 pm

      UGH! I HATE that vertigo business! What did they say? Keep me informed! ♥

  • Reply
    Dawn Marie Meeks
    September 5 at 5:55 pm

    This was helpful. I’ve been procrastinating bringing my latent infections to my doc because I am still trying to train her on EDS but this article makes me realize it is something really important I need to address because I go through these symptoms on a monthly basis it seems. My former PCP understood latent and reactivated infections but this new one seems to only understand writing prescriptions. Ugh! The struggle is real with this chronic illness business!
    Anyways, thanks for the great post and blog! I always enjoy reading over here at A Life Well Red 🙂

    • Reply
      September 5 at 10:47 pm

      Thank you Dawn! 🙂 Unfortunately, many doctors are only interested in treating symptoms rather than taking a more ‘holistic’ approach. I think we’ve all had this experience at one point or another. Thank you again, and have a wonderful week 😉

  • Reply
    Gail Conoshenti
    April 5 at 6:08 pm

    Gail Conoshenti. Very interesting information. I have similar problems. A couple of years ago I had EBV and I was in bed for a month. I just got over a virus and now I am just extremely worn out. I was diagnosed with Fibro a few years back. Of course them think I am depressed. Who would’nt be if they always felt bad. I also have low thyroid. I am posting this because I had extreme dizziness , with vomiting many years ago. The first Dr. said don’t bring it on yourself! I thought I was dying. I read a womans mag. And found out it eased caused by my inter ear filling up with fluid at that time of the month. I just took direritic at that time and promblem solved! Hope this helps.

    • Reply
      April 6 at 9:05 pm

      Thank you Gail! I would encourage you to check out a website called ‘Stop The Thyroid Madness’. It is an EXCELLENT resource for those dealing with thyroid issues, especially the info on what type of thyroid med to use and ask for. Thanks again!

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