Family Moab

Family Moab
In Arches National Park

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Viral Load

 I wrote the title "viral load" and multiple possible meanings chased each other through my mind. Computer issues, fall respiratory illness season, being exposed to negative people, etc. None of these represent the focus of today's outpouring; instead I'm going to reference the pernicious Epstein-Barr virus. According to a random Google search, "an estimated 50% of all children up to 5 years of age and about 95% of adults experience an EBV infection in their lifetime."  Another search result states that "Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is a herpes virus in which over 90% of the population worldwide has been infected. Complications are rare, but important to recognize."

Hmmm. How "rare," exactly? 

So nearly everyone has had an infection, which means they carry the EBV marker in their blood. I initially had mononucleosis as a 16-year-old high school junior, but every time I get a blood test the marker shows, as it will for everyone who has had an EBV infection. In the last few years, possibly as a result of two bouts with Covid and possibly as a result of increased work and activity levels, I have felt this viral presence as an echo of mono, days on end where I can only function for half a day before exhaustion pulls me under.

A friend of mine (who suffers from repeated shingles episodes at times of high stress) referred me to the Instagram account of the Medical Medium, who discusses EPV in one of his blogs. I haven't delved too deeply into this source, other than to recognize that he is a NY Times best-selling author, so take this reference with a grain of salt. In his blog post about EPV (see link above), Medical Medium says "among the reasons EBV is thriving: so little is understood about it. Medical communities are aware of only one version of EBV, but there are actually over 60 varieties. EBV is behind several of the debilitating illnesses that stump's the mystery illness of mystery illnesses."

That same blog post lists the following as related to EBV: eczema, psoriasis, lyme disease, tinnitus, lupus, eye floaters, vertigo, insomnia, shingles and many more.  It's worth noting the lack of scientific proof relating to causality of many of these situations due to EBV, but I'm interested in exploring the data around it as well as suggestions to combat it.

In the last six months I have had two bouts of mono-like symptoms relating to a combination of physical and emotional stress. Even with eating and sleeping well I can be taken down rather quickly by this combination. Exposure to negative or draining people also factors in. Treatment involves rest, cutting back on workout duration and intensity, cleaner eating (less sugar and processed food) and anti-viral supplements. I do Bio-meridian testing and take certain anti-viral supplements on a year-round basis, bumping up the quantity in times of stress.

It's hard to describe to friends and family how an outwardly healthy person (me) can be incapable of climbing upstairs on a given afternoon, why I have to maintain careful boundaries around work and social commitments. My Bio-meridian practitioner can't prove that my symptoms are related to EBV, the testing just shows that my viral load is through the roof. But it makes sense to me that EBV is behind my symptoms. The greater research in this area seems to support the theory, and I'm eager to explore more.