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Fibromyalgia Fatigue, Epstein-Barr and Chronic Fatigue

Fibromyalgia fatigue is a common complaint from patients suffering from fibromyalgia. One theory says that this fibromyalgia fatigue is caused by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV).

This theory also speaks about the relationship between Epstein-Barr and chronic fatigue.


Patience often gets the credit

that belongs to fatigue.

-Franklin P. Jones


EBV is passed from one person to another by the sharing of food utensils, kissing, and through other means of close contact involving the saliva.

When EBV enters the cell, its aim is to take control of the body’s DNA and to reprogram it to make copies of itself (more virus). Alert to the invasion, the body’s immune system launches a counter attack by sending its killer cells to destroy it. In combating the virus, the immune system mass produces antibodies at a high rate of speed. These antibodies are a cause of fibromyalgia fatigue.

Symptoms caused by EBV often depend on the age of the individual. In young children, the symptoms seem to be the same as if they had a cold. These symptoms include sore throat, low-grade fever, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

In teenagers, the mononucleosis episode can last up to two months and symptoms can be more pronounced than in children. Teenagers may exhibit the above symptoms as well as allergies and enlarged lymph nodes in the armpits, groin, and neck.

If the EBV onset occurs in adulthood, the above symptoms may be even more severe. In addition, fever can be accompanied by night sweats, and there can be swelling in the spleen and liver, and extreme fatigue.

According to some estimates, over 90 percent of the adult population in the United States is infected with EBV. However, often the immune system can beat back the virus and the patient will recover, although the virus will likely establish a lifelong dormant infection. Other times, the immune system wins the battle only intermittently and the fatigue and other symptoms will then come and go. Still at other times, the battle can last a lifetime. In this case, the patient will always be plagued by fibromyalgia fatigue and aches and pains, recurrent sore throat, and other symptoms.

Epstein-Barr and chronic fatigue may go hand in hand

If the body is in a life-long battle, the system becomes weakened and confused and can even turn on itself. With this theory, the immune system sends forth antibodies that indiscriminately attack parts of its own body. This can lead to autoimmune illnesses such as lupus, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

When the body’s antibodies attack the thyroid, the sufferer can have feelings of gloom and doom and depression that results in moodiness and irritability. The attack on the thyroid can also slow metabolism, thereby promoting weight gain. This can lead to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

When EBV attacks nerve cells, the patient experiences peripheral nerve pain.

When EBV attacks muscles, the patient experiences inflammation of the muscles.

When EBV attacks the brain, it can cause brain swelling, seizures, deafness, and impairment in concentration and memory.

Invasion by EBV can also aggravate pre-existing conditions

The Epstein-Barr virus does not always launch an all out assault right away. Sometimes it lies dormant inside the cells and waits until the body wears itself down through alcohol and drug abuse, old age, or extreme stress.

Then it can take advantage of the body’s weakened state and may cause fibromyalgia fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome and other illnesses. Also, other viruses in the herpes family, such as the Human Herpes virus (HHV-6) and the cytomegalovirus can act in concert with EBV or can be the culprits themselves instead of EBV in causing fatigue and other symptoms, as well as illnesses. Even bacteria, fungi, and yeast can cause these illnesses instead of viruses.

There is no known method of ridding EBV from the cells, and in cases when the body is having a hard time beating back the virus, it needs “help from the trenches”.

This help comes in the form of YOU! If the immune system does not get help, it begins to lose the battle, and other opportunistic diseases such as cancer may eventually take root in the body. By supplying the immune system with what it needs, the body will be able to send the virus into remission. As a result, fatigue and other symptoms will be alleviated.

The beginning steps to help your immune system come through understanding what is going on in your body and by using a holistic approach which consists of proper nutrition, healthy exercise, vitamin supplements, homeopathic medicines, relaxation techniques, and emotional support.

In this way, the body will be able to repair itself when under attack from foreign invaders. 

works cited for fibromyalgia fatigue

Stoff, Jesse A., and Charles R. Pellegrino. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Hidden Epidemic. New York: HarperCollins, 1992. 6-31. Print.

Filed under cause chronic fatigue syndrome connection epstein barr virus fibromyalgia symptoms fatigue

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