Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affect the lives of many people worldwide. Reports show that 90% of people worldwide either currently have the Epstein Barr virus or have had it in the past. The population group most affected by EBV are adolescents and young adults.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports nearly two million people worldwide have multiple Sclerosis. It is most common in young adult females.
Research shows a link between Epstein Barr virus and MS. To understand their connections, you must understand the two diseases independently.
What is the Epstein Barr Virus?
Epstein Barr is in the herpes virus family of diseases, labeled the human herpesvirus 4. It is transmitted through bodily fluids, including saliva. Most people have the antibodies of EBV, meaning they contracted the infection at some point in their lives. Once you get the infection, the virus remains inactive in the body but can reactivate. Not everyone experiences significant symptoms, however.
What Are the Symptoms of Epstein Barr Virus?
It can take a month or longer for EBV symptoms to appear, at which time you may experience the following:
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes, liver, or spleen
- Loss of appetite
- Body aches and pains
EBV is a known cause of other infections like mononucleosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac, Type 1 Diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. Furthermore, a connection exists between EBV and Multiple Sclerosis.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is a medical term describing more than one area with scarring. It is an autoimmune disorder. A person’s immune system attacks the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, or the central nervous system, by mistake. MS hinders brain communication with the rest of the body. It fails to send correct messages, impairing a person’s speech, movements, sight, and more.
What Are the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?
Every person with MS may experience different symptoms at different times and intensity levels. There are common symptoms many people with MS report having in the initial stage, including:
- Color distortions
- Blurry or double-vision
- Vision reduction
- Walking or coordination difficulties
- Numbing, stinging, or pain sensations
- Muscle weakness or spasms
Symptoms are categorized as primary, secondary, and tertiary. Latter symptoms may be the result of untreated initial symptoms. For example, fatigue leads to inactivity and weakness, which leads to an inability to work and major depression.
How Are Epstein Barr Virus and Multiple Sclerosis Connected?
Studies, including Harvard and Stanford studies, show there is a direct link between EBV and MS. Having the Epstein Barr virus increases your chances of acquiring MS by 32 times. As long as EBV antibodies exist in your body, even if they are dormant, your risk of MS increases. Those who develop MS symptoms report onset after about ten years of having EBV.
The connection is that the EBV tricks the immune system into attacking the nervous system. About 25% of people with MS also have antibodies that bind to a protein associated with Epstein Barr and a protein made in the brain and spinal cord. When the body’s immune system attacks the EBV infection, it also mistakenly identifies the brain and spinal cord proteins as enemies and attacks them.
The brain and spinal cord have proteins protected by myelin sheath, a coating around nerve cells. If the immune system attacks this coating, nerve cells are left exposed and at risk for damage. This damage leads to the many devastating symptoms of MS.
It’s important to note that just having EBV antibodies does not guarantee you will develop Multiple Sclerosis. It simply increases your risk. Also, MS is linked to other viruses, including chickenpox, shingles, and measles. However, there is not enough evidence yet to prove they cause MS like EBV.
The primary viruses linking EBV and MS are the herpesvirus and the human endogenous retroviruses (HERVS).
Breaking the Epstein Barr Virus and Multiple Sclerosis Connection
Researchers are working hard to find the best treatments for stopping the progression of the Epstein Barr Virus before it can contribute to developing Multiple Sclerosis. Most efforts focus on eliminating EBV antibodies from the body. Advanced methods, usually administered by rare and infectious disease specialists, include the following:
- Boost the Immune System
Immunotherapies offer huge benefits for many autoimmune diseases. Adoptive T-cell therapy is safe, with few side effects. It is also called cellular immunotherapy and uses the cells of your immune system to improve immune function. Improved cells can be donated, grown in a lab, or boosted through lab techniques.
Low-dose immunotherapies help the immune system increase tolerance to avoid becoming over-excited and mistaking good proteins for bad. Intravenous immunoglobulin therapies use healthy, donated antibodies given to you intravenously to help fight infections.
- Utilize Anti-Viral Protocols
Anti-viral protocols are customized to your specific needs and conditions. Epstein Barr can hinder other treatments in some people. Therefore, finding ways to reduce the virus so other treatments can work is a priority. One method uses anti-metabolic agents that stop viral replication. They may be combined with phototherapy.
Ozone therapy is another method with the potential for treating chronic diseases like EBV. It prevents viruses from replicating.
- Holistic Treatments for EBV
High-dose vitamin C therapy is administered intravenously so antioxidants can boost your immune system. High doses of vitamin C have been shown to kill viruses and bacteria. Methylene Blue IV therapy is another holistic treatment for EBV. Methylene blue is an antiseptic that can reduce inflammation, protect nerve cells, and prevent viral replication.
Herbal supplements, such as a combination of zinc, vitamin C, and echinacea, may be prescribed. Changing from a highly processed diet to a plant-based diet can boost the immune system. Other holistic methods include:
- Stress management
- Sleep hygiene
If you are experiencing symptoms of Epstein Barr Virus, Multiple Sclerosis, or both, contact a specialist today, not a general practitioner. Because Epstein Barr virus and MS require specific treatments, you need a doctor who can offer them using the most advanced equipment and practices.
A great example of a treatment clinic outside the United States, Canada, and the UK is the Lyme Mexico Clinic. Call them to find out how you can benefit from their services.