Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), also known as human herpesvirus 4, is one of the most common human viruses. It is a member of the herpes virus family and spreads most commonly through bodily fluids, primarily saliva. According to the CDC about 90% of adults have antibodies that show that they have a current or past EBV infection.
Q: Do you see any connection to the Epstein-Barr virus and autoimmune disorders, particularly hashimotos thyroiditis, and if so do you have any suggestions about supplements or diet that might counteract the symptoms of the virus?
Dr. Lisa: Many people have been exposed to Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis) at some time in their life, and most don’t even know it until a blood test is performed that shows an old infection. There is some research to show that autoimmune disorders may be related to previous viral or bacterial infections, including EBV. Anyone who has ongoing fatigue should get a full thyroid panel, but may also need specific EBV and HHV6 titers (another type of herpes virus that has been associated with chronic fatigue). If these tests are positive, then an antiviral medication may be useful.
This Q&A was part of our Live chat with Dr. Lilienfield
on Facebook in January, 2016!