Well I got some of my test results back, and it was not a huge surprise, based on how I have been feeling. I have what is called chronic Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). If that name sounds familiar it is because it is the name of the virus responsible for mononucleosis, or mono. Little known fact, 95% of the adult population has EBV and 50% of children have it by the age of five! This means 9.5 out of 10 people walking around have EBV, so that is probably you!
EBV lives in the white blood cells of the body and never goes away. It’s a lot like strep. Once you are infected, you keep that sweet virus for life, but for most it stays dormant. For some, myself included, it becomes chronic and can cause a lot of nasty symptoms. It has also been linked as a precursor to some autoimmune disorders.
Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus was something I was diagnosed with at the beginning of my journey, but after a lot of work I had it return to a more dormant state. Based on my most recent labs, however, it is back in high demand. If your worried about being around me now, don’t! My condition is not contagious, it is kept only to my lucky self:)
That being said, however, I am on a mission to kick it to the curb….or I guess the dormant life! Along with returning to a solely paleo diet and lifestyle, I started a few supplements that have been shown in some cases to help tame this beast. As a result, the past few days have been ROUGH. Usually this would be concerning, but I know from previous experiences, that this is what is classified as “die-off” symptoms.
“Die-off” symptoms are as glamorous as they sound. It is caused by the Herxheimer Reaction, which is what occurs when the body is experiencing a dramatic killing of toxic pathogens, and it can’t keep up with it’s elimination of them. It eventually does catch up, but could last anywhere from a few days to a few months. Here are the symptoms associated with “die -off”.
- -Joint and muscle pain
- -Brain fog and confusion
- -Bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea
- -Hives, rash, or itchiness
- -Chills or cold extremities
- -Swollen glands
- -Recurring vaginal, prostate, or sinus infections
- -Skin breakouts
Fun right? Anyway I have been struggling with many of the above symptoms for the past three days. It feels a little like the flu with some extra goodies thrown in. I will say that this time around during “die-off” I have focused on drinking extra water, getting extra sleep, making sure to get in my magnesium (naturally helps with detoxification), and most importantly, I have welcomed this experience with open arms.
Last time, I fought it. I was terrified that this would be my new normal, that more things were going wrong. This time, I’ve decided to go with the flow. This is ultimately a really positive thing, as ironic as that is. Health is always a journey that ebbs and flows, and I am embracing each experience as it comes. Nothing is forever guys! Thanks for reading!