Dr. Oz discussed a highly contagious, extremely exhausting and even deadly virus: The Epstein-Barr Virus. Almost everyone reading this article is infected with the Epstein-Barr virus, and we are only starting to understand it. From the moment you are born, you are the prefect target for Human Herpes Virus 4 or the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). Around 95% of us are infected with EBV by the age of 40, and unfortunately we have no cure for the Epstein-Barr Virus. If you catch EBV as a child, you won’t show any signs, until sometimes as a teen EBV will flare up as mononucleosis (“mono” or “the kissing disease”)… did you know that you don’t necessarily get mononucleosis from kissing? In most people though, EBV lies dormant and most people don’t even realize they have it in their bodies. Epstein-Barr Virus is very serious though, because it may be responsible for some cases of multiple sclerosis and even cancer.
Laurie was frequently sick in her early 30’s. Soon after she got married, her sicknesses would not stop; she was sick at least once a month. Laurie was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr Virus. Before too long, she was exhausted constantly, no matter when she went to bed, she could not physically get herself out of bed. One day she finally went to the emergency room and found out she had a large tumor in her chest. All she could think about was her then 3-year-old boy. Laurie had surgery to remove the tumor, which was as big as a football, and she found out it was a non-hodgkin’s lymphoma… cancer. She believes in her heart that this cancer was caused by her Epstein-Barr Virus. Laurie has now been cancer-free for 2 years, but is still exhausted. She says that most people off of chemotherapy this long are feeling much better, but her fatigue is extreme and has only progressed over time (a strong sign of Epstein-Barr Virus).
So how can you get the Epstein-Barr Virus? If someone coughs, the virus particles are contained in the saliva that come out. If you breathe in these particles, they will penetrate into your mouth and nose, and travel to your pharynx. The Epstein-Barr Virus them embeds itself into your white blood cells and is able to change the cell so that it is immortal and won’t die. Sandra Fryhofer, from Emory University, said that the signs of “mono” (which is often the indication that you have this as a teenager) include fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands and extreme fatigue. You usually recover sometime between a couple weeks and a couple of months.
Another woman in Dr. Oz’s audience said that having Epstein-Barr Virus is like carrying bowling balls around with you. She has lost her job, her 20 year relationship, and has no joy anymore… she simply doesn’t care about anything anymore. I felt so badly for this woman. If you are out there and reading this, we are here for you, and love you, and would love to be part of your support team!
What is the science behind the Epstein-Barr Virus? The white blood cells get surrounded by the Epstein-Barr Virus. Eventually the white blood cells become immortal, and sometimes the blood cells can even turn into cancer. All of this, unfortunately, sucks the energy out of you.
Sandra Fryhofer said that if you are tired and getting enough sleep and exercise, you should also get blood tests and check your thyroid and for problems like hepatitis, anemia, lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is a hormone that effects the immune system. Vitamin D is even used in receptors in nerve endings, so you should definitely get your vitamin D level checked if you are fatigued.
Dr. Oz tested his audience and found that 76% of the audience was Vitamin D deficient. There are some simple things that all of us can do to get Vitamin D into our bodies. One glass of fortified orange juice or milk only contains 100 IU of Vitamin D – you can try salmon, cod liver oil, or 1000 I.U. Vitamin D Dietary Supplement (which is Sandra Fryhofer’s recommendation). Dr. Oz also says that a great source of Vitamin D is the sun. If you put sunscreen on the more delicate areas of your body (like your face) and just expose your chest and back to the sun for 15 minutes a day, you will get your daily 1000 IU of vitamin D.