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Epstein-Barr or CFS?

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Old 05-19-2005, 10:43 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3
nightvision33 HB User
Epstein-Barr or CFS?

Hey everyone, I'm a 23-year-old male. Does this sound like a case of EBV? I have always been the type of person who never gets colds or the flu, because I was always careful to wash my hands. Last semester at college, however, I let my guard down. I played beer games a few times where you share drinking cups. I didn't get sick until the end of the semester. I woke up the next morning with body aches, fatigue, and chills. The doctors dismissed it as the flu. Ten days later, the acute flu-like symptoms subsided. A day later, however, new symptoms came up: dry mouth (and I mean completely dry), cracked bleeding lips, night sweats for a week, and a constantly churning gurgling stomach).

My fatigue grew worse over the next few weeks. It got to the point where I was sleeping 18 hours a day. When I did get out of bed, I felt like falling asleep again. In the weeks and months afterward, I tested negative for flu, mono, thyroid problems, Lyme and HIV. It's been 5 months since I first felt sick. My current symptoms are: morning fatigue (difficulty waking up), and aching muscles (esp. neck, shoulders, back and legs). I also have had a tired feeling in my chest. It seems like I can't fall asleep before 3 AM and I can't wake up until almost 1 PM.

My question is this: Could my years of avoidance of colds and flu have made me more vulnerable to something like EBV? Meaning my immune system wasn't used to fighting off viruses, and so maybe it wasn't prepared. And also, is it possible to have Epstein-Barr virus without having mono? Do the symptoms I describe sound familiar to anyone? It's really frustrating that doctors tell me there's nothing wrong, and then prescribe me antidepressants, which don't help at all.

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Old 05-19-2005, 12:54 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 263
kiya HB User
Re: Epstein-Barr or CFS?

I'm not a doctor, but from what I can recall... Epstein-Barr is mono/glandular fever. It is possible however to test negative for it and still have had it. Epstein-Barr can cause CFS.

The whole antidepressants thing - I'm not a big fan of doctors prescribing antidepressants when they can't find anything clinically wrong; it seems stupid and unnecessary. Saying that, if you are having problems sleeping then I've heard antidepressants can help, but that ones taken in the evening are best for that. I was taking Prozac in the morning and it only made me more sleepy during the day and mucked up my sleep at night.

It's really tough to know whether you have CFS. It's a case of excluding everything else first. Sorry I can't be of any more help!


Old 06-10-2005, 11:19 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2
Anton_Linn HB User
Re: Epstein-Barr or CFS?

Hello! I have similar problems-quite severe since spring 2002, made some research also, i`m sill fighting against it, i was tested for all kinds of stuff- nothing, but EBV test only now on it`s way to Labs. Can i ask you first:
do you have symptoms of GERD (throat spasms, a feelling of a limp somewhere in throat etc.) What with your stool? Do you have body stiffness(movements restricted?)? What with joints-any pains? How dry are your lips and the skin around mouth, cracks in mouthcorners? Have you confronted yourself to a (great) stress befor the oneset of symthoms? Do you feel yourself better after some activities, sport, throughout the day, evenings? Are you active at all? Do you have signs of reumatism? Have you been testes for RF,CRP,CPK? IS IT ALL RIGHT?
wish you good luck!!!

Old 06-10-2005, 02:25 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Posts: 578
Bothrops HB User
Re: Epstein-Barr or CFS?

Hey Nightvision,
What have you tested positive for? From what I have read you can get EBV without getting mono. When a Dr. They have also proven that EBV is not the cause of CFIDS and have found that just as many people with CFIDS test positive to HHV-6 as do chronic EBV. I dont know if this is true but I do believe the more a child is exposed to viruses the healthier they will be as an adult. A childs body is prepared to take on viruses of all sorts. Most everyone has been exposed to EBV and CMV. It will never leave your body and a healthy immune system will keep it in check. If your system slips any EBV and CMV will quickly reactivate. The question is, do you have CFIDS? Go to the CDC's page on CFIDS and read what it takes to be diagnosed with CFIDS. I guess if you match you pretty much have it. If you are ill do not stop looking get a full workup done, get all the blood test done, Lupus, sclerderma, parasites, thyrhoid, diabetes, adrenals. Also see a ID Dr. and get bloodwork on immune system. You have to have all this done because 7 out of ten people with CFIDS ends up being diagnosed later on with something else. In my case lyme. Whatever you do make sure all is done to rule out similer problems. Do not stop until you and every one else is satisfied that what you have is a post-viral CFIDS.

As far as antidepresants are concerned they have been the #1 drug of chioce for people suffering with CFIDS and Fibro. They will help with pain, sleep and depression. If the drug you are taking is not helping after a month tell your doc and they will try another or a differant dossage.

Old 06-11-2005, 10:59 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3
nightvision33 HB User
Re: Epstein-Barr or CFS?

Anton_Linn: I haven't tested positive for anything. I don't really have any of the symptoms you asked about. Is it possible all this was caused by a prolonged anxiety attack? Because I remember a couple days before, smoking weed and experiencing chest irritation. It was difficult to lay on my side. I started getting paranoid thinking I would get lung cancer because the irritation lasted a few days. Another symptom I forgot to mention is dark circles under my eyes, which I never had prior to all my other symptoms. These dark circles are most pronounced when I first wake up, and have bothered me every day for the past four months. Does anyone else get these?

Old 06-12-2005, 02:23 AM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 1,448
peregrine HB User
Re: Epstein-Barr or CFS?

A high percentage of the population tests positive for EBV and most of them never develop problems. I believe the person who said EBV has not been shown to correlate to CFIDS is correct

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