Rediscovering mono and how it really interacts with the body.
When I first heard about “” (EBV) five years ago while researching its possible ties to the lupus, I imagined a nerdy Jewish boy in uniform, not a shifty virus with supreme extraterrestrial-like intelligence that is quietly causing millions to suffer.
A rheumatologist had just diagnosed me with lupus and , and I was quickly realizing that figuring out what had caused my condition was like solving an Agatha Christie mystery. Western medicine, unfortunately, was not so good at giving clues.
When I learned that EBV was associated with mononucleosis, “the kissing disease,” I crossed it off my list as a probable cause for my diagnosis because I never recalled getting mono or suffering extreme fatigue that had lasted weeks, accompanied by a severe sore throat.
About six months ago, my naturopath Lisa Fillis informed me she’d read a book called Medical Medium by Anthony William that was transforming her practice. William argues that EBV – and its several strains – mimics about 80 different autoimmune disorders we face today.
“The book intuitively made sense and confirmed some of the nagging suspicions that there is something deeper at the heart of autoimmune conditions and patients’ ill-health,” says Fillis.
I downloaded the book on my Kindle and immediately began reading.
A Modern Era Of Disease
More than 95 percent of the world’s population today has health problems – with over a third (two to 3 billion individuals) having more than five ailments, according to a major new analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2013, published in The Lancet.
Today there are 200 million people in the United States with “mystery” illnesses, says William. Doctors do not know why they are suffering. Meanwhile, 53 million people in America alone live with an autoimmune disease.
If you are one of the millions who suffer, you will most likely see a handful of doctors before you get some type of diagnosis and relief from being told “it’s all in your head.”
If the results of your blood work appear normal (depending on who reads it), you may be told you’re a hypochondriac. Or maybe you’re “just depressed” or “craving attention.”
According to Dysautonomia International, 27 percent of invisible illness sufferers see more than 10 doctors before they’re eventually diagnosed, while 8 percent consult more than 20 doctors.
Western medicine is not known for treating a condition’s root. Chances are you’ll be offered antidepressants. In cliché type fashion, my doctor looked at me pitifully before offering me Cymbalta – and steroids “maybe later.” Even though my body raged with connective tissue pain, I turned the samples down.
Sadly, by the time your condition gets a name (Western medicine has created a rich lexicon full of exotic labels), your situation is often worse and likely compounded. I’ve personally witnessed this narrative too many times.
When my doctor informed me that my body was attacking itself and that there was no cure, I was horrified. How could I turn on myself in this way? If I could not trust my own body, who could I trust?
But after more research, I rejected her diagnosis and concluded it was just her way of saying, “We don’t really know what’s wrong with you.”
EBV Or Not EBV, That Is The Question
“We as a species coexist with virus, bacteria, fungi, and microorganisms,” explains Dr. Dimitris Tsoukalas, M.D., a leading expert in the application of in chronic and autoimmune diseases, as well as the author of How To Live 150 Years In Health. “A large part (more than 50 percent) of our DNA codifies viruses.”
Viruses are not technically alive; they need our cells to replicate as they insert their genes into the DNA of the host cell. Once activated, the viral genes order the cell to begin producing more viruses – carbon copies of the original invader.
Humans are the perfect host. If your immune system does its job, you are able to silence the viral DNA and prevent its expression. But if it does not, the virus multiplies itself with your seeming consent.
If that is not an alien hostage take over, I don’t know what is.
Even though this is an unexplored territory and we are just trying to understand what is going on, it seems that as there are beneficial and pathogenic bacteria, the same occurs with virus too, adds Tsoukalas. “There can be endogenous forms of viruses that participate [in] the physiological functions of our body and exogenous viruses that when the immune system is not efficient and they are encountered in an overwhelming quantity can create disease.”
EBV’s sophistication freaked me out. For starters, it’s the most common viral infection in humans. Out of the roughly 320 million people in the U.S., over 225 million Americans have some form of EBV. You can get it by simply sharing a glass or a kiss.
It belongs to the same family of herpes viruses that causes cold sores, genital herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. Infection with EBV is virtually inescapable; in the U.S., 95 percent of all adults will be infected by age 40, and 50 percent of all children by age five.
The notion that viruses can cause AIDS, flu, measles, and cancer is not new to scientists, writes Dr. Luc De Schepper in his book Peak Immunity: How to Fight Epstein-Barr Virus. And while EBV is best known as the cause of infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever), existing studies link it with particular forms of cancer, such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma and gastric cancer. There is also evidence that infection with EBV is associated with a higher risk of certain autoimmune diseases, especially dermatomyositis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
However doctors seldom recognize EBV as the root cause of a myriad problems, explains William. First, they don’t identify EBV as a possible diagnosis because laboratory testing fails to show reliable, trustworthy, and conclusive results since the virus is adept at hiding in organs, joints, the blood, and the brain. It can also lay dormant for years and cause crippling, long-lasting fatigue, while the infection goes undetected. Once this happens, the virus becomes a lodger for life. BFF.
And even if a doctor does detect EBV, very few know how to address it.
Was EBV, which Schepper describes as “the most eccentric and fascinating herpes of them all”, planning a global takeover? It’s even been found in the Amazon rainforest.
Anthony William, who describes himself as a medium, says he gets his information from “Spirit.” From a young age, he has “had a nurturing relationship with a high-level spirit … who provides him with remarkable medical insight.” Now even though I am open minded, this description made me cautious. Stating that “you will not find these answers anywhere else” can be viewed as both convenient and farfetched. However, with this said, the fact that a lot of the information presented in the book cannot be found on the medical map, doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Especially when you consider the holes and shortcomings of western medicine. The thousands who resonate with William’s book, including myself, can attest to this.
After I finished reading Medical Medium, I asked my naturopath to check my blood for EBV. Sure enough, I had high titers symptomatic of active virus exposure.
I felt under siege.
But then I remembered what William told me during our phone interview; that the body is “doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing when under attack by a stealth virus.”
Autoimmune sufferers are taught to believe that our own brilliant immune system has gone rogue or whacko. That notion alone creates negative stress-induced repercussions, says William. I realized that at the very least, I could erase the faulty but powerful belief that my body was attacking itself.
This new belief was empowering.
My journey to Epstein-Barr and beyond has been an endless quest for healing, one full of twists and sharp-edged turns, dotted with remissions and flare ups. Oftentimes, autoimmune-related symptoms are triggered following a traumatic event – either physical or mental – that ultimately weakens the body’s immune system. It can be pneumonia, a depressive breakup, a death of a loved one, or even the act of giving birth.
In my case it was a literal bang; I experienced a near-death-experience that involved a Ford Explorer smashing into me at 30 miles an hour as I walked across a street. I broke several bones, and an orthopedic surgeon outfitted my left femur bone with a 14-inch titanium rod and two screws. (I later by the way removed the metal from my proverbial flesh).
After the accident, my body started exploding with issues. I joked that Cedars Sinai owed me frequent flyer points. The incidents mounted in ridiculous fashion, and I vowed to write a book of short tales titled Mimi’s Medical Mishaps.
Eruptions included: a delayed union (meaning my femur would not heal); a UTI infection coupled with an allergic reaction to antibiotics that not only left me peeing glass shards, but filled my mouth with 20 plus canker sores; an orange-sized chocolate cyst near my right ovary that necessitated surgery; another hospitalization for pneumonia due to mold in an air conditioning unit at CBS; and the hemorrhoids that followed due to the not one but two they gave me.
The car accident left me ragged, and the trauma to my body was overlooked. I was stuck in the intersection of permanent flight-or-fight and a weakened immune system.
But this story isn’t about adrenal fatigue, cortisol levels, , , the perils of wheat, sugar and dairy, insomnia, gluten-free eating, screwy hormone levels, superfoods, neurotransmitters, the magical bee visitations that led me to direct Vanishing of the Bees, or the truth behind our current agricultural landscape and food supply.
It is, however, a story about the blind spots of Western medicine and a virus that hides in your organs, shits neurotoxins, and thrives on a diet rich in hormones, heavy metals, and toxins. According to William, “The hormones flooding through your body effectively does for the virus what spinach does for Popeye.”
Our current way of living is EBV’s wet dream.
Now consider this: If most of us have antibodies, it would make sense there are no headlines announcing an EBV epidemic even though it certainly sounds more serious than Schmika. And maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal except we face another sort of epidemic: a society regularly exposed to a toxic environment that suppresses or compromises our immune system. This is compounded by a life full of crazy amounts of stress. A viscous circle ensues and ultimately it’s about a multi pronged approach to get the body to reach again.
A Virus In Four Parts
Stage One: Perfect Cover
The virus is especially vulnerable during this period. Alas, it’s also undetectable through tests and generally causes no symptoms.
During this initial dormant period, the virus floats around in your bloodstream doing little more than slowly replicating itself to build up its numbers. The MoFo is waiting for an opportunity to launch a more direct infection.
“EBV is inhumanly patient. This Stage One period of fortifying itself and waiting for an ideal opportunity can take weeks, months, or even a decade or longer, depending on a variety of factors,” writes William in his book.
Stage Two: Mono, Building An Army
Are you ready? At this stage, EBV turns into mononucleosis and becomes highly contagious. Doesn’t it make you want to kiss that new cute boy?
Mono can manifest as a mild sore throat, so you may not know you have it. But make no mistake, says William, it’s during this stage that EBV “seeks a long-term home by making a run for one or more of your major organs – typically your liver and/or spleen” where mercury, dioxins, and other toxins accumulate.
After the making of Vanishing of the Bees, I was exposed to poisons when I accidentally inhaled a whiff of chemicals intended to fumigate mosquitoes on a beach in the Dominican Republic. It was shortly thereafter that I lost my strength and was diagnosed with lupus/fibromyalgia. And then years later, after my recuperation and during my travels, I was poisoned yet again at the borders in Central America.
“Medical communities have no understanding that lupus is just the body reacting to Epstein-Barr’s byproducts and neurotoxins,” William shared during our lengthy interview. “It’s the body having an allergic reaction to these neurotoxins, which then elevates the inflammatory markers that doctors search for to identify and diagnose lupus. In truth, lupus is just a viral infection of Epstein-Barr.”
EBV has a best buddy, the bacteria called Streptococcus, which travels upward to create strep throat and/or to infest the sinuses, nose, or mouth. It can also travel downward to create infections in the urinary tract, vagina, kidneys, or bladder, eventually causing cystitis.
It was uncanny. In my case, strep had traveled cross-country.
In 2012, after finally wrapping up my documentary, I traveled to Vieques, Puerto Rico. My plan was to decompress and relax (what was that?) after five years of working nonstop on the film. But I got ill with strep almost overnight and never made it to see the Bioluminescent Bay. My partner bribed a pharmacist to get me antibiotics. Sure enough, months later, strep went south and I began developing urinary tract infections. (Thanks to colloidal silver, I’ve been UTI and antibiotic free for three years now.)
“Epstein-Barr is commonly part of the holy trinity, which include toxins, infectious disease, and electromagnetic smog,” adds Functional Medicine Practitioner, Morgan Mellas. “Ninety percent of my patients suffer from autoimmune disease conditions related to Epstein-Barr.”
Another cofactor commonly found is Candida.
Stage Three: Stealth Operator
Once the virus settles into your liver, spleen, and/or other organs, it nests there. Say hello. From this point on, says William, when a doctor tests for Epstein-Barr, she or he will find antibodies indicative of a past infection, when EBV was in its mono phase.
The doctor will not find the EBV presently active in the bloodstream.
“The confusion here is one of the biggest blunders in medical history – this is how this virus has slipped through the cracks,” says William. “Unless you have already followed the measures outlined … to kill the EBV, the virus is, in fact, still alive and causing new symptoms … and it’s eluding the tests. That’s because it’s living in the liver, spleen, or other organs, and the test to detect this has not yet been invented.”
Poisonous Trio: In Case This Sh*t Wasn’t Crazy Enough
EBV can actually excrete waste matter that is itself toxic. And when cells belonging to a virus die at the end of their six week life cycle, the corpses further poison your body. As EBV’s army grows, this causes more byproduct and more fatigue.
High accumulations of neurotoxins create chemical sensitivities. I am. I can detect a gas leak when no one else in the room can. It’s pretty X-Men wild.
Of course your liver can’t keep up with the onslaught of toxins, and your entire system starts going wonk wonk. Your stomach’s hydrochloric acid diminishes, and your intestinal tract starts to become toxic as it slows down, explains William. Soon you aren’t absorbing all your nutrients, and food that is not being fully digested starts to putrefy in your intestinal tract, resulting in bloating and/or constipation. You’ve developed sensitivities to foods that never caused you any problems before.
The list of new symptoms grows: connective tissue pain, insomnia, weight gain, tingles and numbness, joint swelling, brain fog, depression, edema, muscle pain, joint pain, painful tender points, back pain, migraines, ongoing fatigue, dizziness, unrestful sleep, and night sweats. (I’ve bolded the symptoms I’ve personally experienced at one time or other.)
Putting It In Reverse, Healing With Nature
Healing can start when you become your own best health advocate. The virus will never fully disappear, but you can kill 90 percent of it and prevent it from being active. Besides, as Williams says, you don’t want it all gone because it prevents you from catching another variety.
Point is we’re not helpless victims that need to accept a deteriorating condition.
It’s always easier – both for science and patients – to blame some external factor or bad luck for causing us a problem or a disease, says Tsoukalas. The Pasteur approach: microorganisms cause disease (external), or the genetic approach: bad genes cause disease (bad luck in the genetic lottery).
But we now know that truth is somewhere in the middle.
Medicine left the genetics era and advanced into epigenetics. Our genes and our bodies interact and respond to the environment that we live [in], and to the viewpoint we assume for that environment,” says Tsoukalas.”To that degree our lifestyle, nutrition, environmental conditions and emotional status shape our response and interaction to exogenous – or endogenous – factors regulating the balance toward health or disease.
Yes, to get cracking, you will need to turn to real food and supplements and address but it is possible to get your body back.
Click Here To Restore Balance And Health With The World’s Most Prominent Supplement Kit And Keep Epstein Barr At Bay
Beating Mono And EBV
Here are 16 tips based on what has worked for me. Many can also be found in William’s book.
Flip It: Break it down and the word “impossible” can be turned into “I am possible.” Embrace this, and you’ll never see the word the same way again. What you believe is huge. I no longer believe my body is attacking itself. I believe my body is doing a phenomenal job, considering everything I’ve physically endured. I look younger than my age, and I am the healthiest sick person I know. Yes I am an environmental indicator but I am also a warrior, too.
Metabolomic Test: All disease is a cumulative attack, either of deficiencies, overloads or intruders (EBV would be an intruder here). offers 15,000 case studies and molecular blood tests that illustrate that a condition can be addressed successfully, by identifying and then treating the root causes in an individualized manner.
I had the privilege of working with Dr. Tsouklas while I was in Athens to find out what is going in my body and what is needed to return to balance. HoneyColony will be introducing a kit soon to help you determine your particular nutritional needs. You can sign up when we have these tests ready in the U.S.
Coffee enemas: While William doesn’t personally suggest this treatment, many women suffering with mold, parasites, autoimmune conditions, and MCS can attest, help with detoxification, especially when combined with and to absorb and get rid of toxins. Your liver could use the help.
Equilibrium: I take a spoonful in the morning on an empty stomach or mix it in the evening with tea.
William’s List Of Fruits, Herbs, Veggies, and Supplements
- Wild blueberries flush out Epstein-Barr
- Celery builds hydrochloric acid
- every single day; highest quality breaks apart EBV and pushes it out
- Cilantro removes heavy metals
- Silver (I make a batch of silver in the comfort of my own home with a and on a weekly basis. When I travel, I use
- Lemon balm
- (I mix it with organic tahini and turmeric. YUM!)
- Monolaurin was discovered in the 1960s in breast milk as an antimicrobial. Epstein is an envelope encapsulated virus, so it has a lipid coating or envelope around it. Lauriciden breaks it down.
- Cut out casein, sugar and gluten