- 1 What is Epstein-Barr virus?
- 2 Epstein-Barr virus symptoms
- 3 How to cure Epstein-Barr virus? Chronic Epstein-Barr treatment
- 4 Epstein-Barr virus natural treatment
- 5 Chronic Epstein-Barr diet
- 6 Antiviral for Epstein-Barr virus. Acyclovir for Epstein-Barr
- 7 Why is it good to use Acyclovir for Epstein-Barr?
What is Epstein-Barr virus?
Few people have heard about Epstein-Barr virus but according to the estimation of the experts from the WHO, more than 95% of people older 40 are infected with this virus. The virus belongs to the Herpesviridae family, and according to the official classification, it is herpes virus type 4.
Epstein-Barr virus is not seldom because it is easily transferred from a human to human through the biological fluids and by airborne. But it is symptom-free in every second person as other types of the herpetic infections.
- According to the data of the Infectious Diseases National Center, USA, about half number of children at the age of under 5 have had the symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus.
- At the age of 16, about 80% of teenagers have faced this virus and its complications.
- About 98% of people over 40 in the USA regularly face the symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus and they do not even know about it.
The matter is that the symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus may be the same as in other viral and infectious diseases. Therefore, doctors often confuse the symptoms of this virus with the symptoms of the acute respiratory or infectious diseases.
Such high prevalence of the virus is related to its epidemiologic peculiarities. The biological fluids of the body contain the virus; its concentration is especially high in saliva. Therefore, Epstein-Barr virus is also called as a kissing disease. The part of saliva is transferred from a carrier of the virus to the healthy person during kissing. It is impossible to prevent the infection when the biological fluid goes to the healthy body.
As Epstein-Barr virus belongs to the family of the herpes virus, it has a very high infection transmission, and when it reaches the body, it quickly penetrates into the DNA and it is impossible to remove it from there.
As of today, none pharmaceutical company has managed to create a vaccine for this virus. Therefore, a disease prevention is an important element in the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus, and the symptoms and the activity of the herpes virus should be also controlled in the blood.
Epstein-Barr virus symptoms
Unlike other types of the herpes virus, Epstein-Barr virus is not a single disease and is associated with complications that appear during the weakening of the immunity. It means that the herpes virus type 4 is not accompanied with the classical skin rashes, ulcers and inflammatory reactions on the skin. On the contrary, this virus acts from the inside and is more dangerous that other types of the herpes virus.
The main symptom of Epstein-Barr virus is an infectious mononucleosis. A decrease of the activity of the immune system is the main trigger for the development of the disease.
The symptoms of mononucleosis are:
- Pain in muscles;
- Sore throat;
- Inflammation and dull pain in the lymph glands;
- Increase of the liver and spleen.
The symptoms of mononucleosis are similar to the symptoms of the sore throat or the attack of the infectious disease at the first sight. Doctors often do not know what kind of the sore throat they deal with: streptococcal or viral. So, antibiotics are prescribed that cannot be taken during mononucleosis. The use of the antibiotics may decrease the immunity, a risk of the development of the labial and/or genital herpes grows, and the body may have small rash.
It is rather simple to know a cause of the disease now. Special blood tests show whether you have antibodies to certain immunoglobulins, and these tests also show the activity of certain group of the viruses. It is clear after the blood tests what type of the treatment is needed.
However, mononucleosis is not the only symptom of the Epstein-Barr virus. There are other bad diseases that may develop in the setting of the virus outbreak:
- Chronic fatigue is typical for patients at the age of over 40;
- Burkitt’s lymphoma (a malignant type of the lymphoma when the cancerous cells develop in the immune system);
- Hodgkin disease (a malignant disease of the adenoid tissue).
According to the results of the studies conducted by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Epstein-Barr virus may become a cause of several really serious diseases: multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory disease of the intestine, and diabetes type 1.
As you see, the virus does not have an obvious semiology but it causes many diseases that are peculiar to this type of the virus, and if these diseases appear, it is necessary to pay attention to the possibility of the relapse of the herpes virus type 4.
How to cure Epstein-Barr virus? Chronic Epstein-Barr treatment
There are no certain criteria in the medicamental treatment of Epstein-Barr virus. The background therapy is based on two main principles:
- A symptomatic therapy;
- An antiviral therapy.
According to the opinion of many specialists, a specific therapy is not needed during the infectious mononucleosis. This is the common viral disease, and one should deal with the symptoms. A patient is prescribed a symptomatic treatment (not antibiotics) and a state is controlled. In case of the prolonged fever, a patient is recommended a hospitalization.
It also goes for other complications that may be caused by Epstein-Barr virus. Depending on the intensity of the symptoms and their severity, a patient is prescribed a certain type of the treatment.
A prescription of the antiviral therapy to patients with Epstein-Barr virus is still controversial. As a rule, any types of the herpes virus need the antiviral and immune stimulating therapy. However, unlike other types of the viruses in the Herpesviridae family, Epstein-Barr virus has another cycle of the development.
Prescribing the antiviral drugs for Epstein-Barr virus, a doctor should remember that their clinical efficiency depends on the correct representation of the clinical manifestations of the disease, a stage of the infectious process, and a cycle of the virus development on this stage.
The fact that most symptoms of the virus are related to not direct cytopathic action of the virus in the infectious tissues is very important. The symptoms of the virus are related to the immunopathological reaction of the infected lymphocytes circulated in the blood and are placed in the cells of the infectious organs.
So many antiviral drugs inhibiting the replication of Epstein-Barr virus and reducing the content of the virus in the biological fluids do not provide a required clinical effect on the severity and a duration of the disease symptoms.
In other words, the outbreak of the virus happens due to the development of the pathological process. And even if the use of the medications is started, a patient will lower the activity of the viruses, and it will not affect the disease symptoms. So, the doctors prescribe the symptomatic treatment at first, and then the intensity of the symptoms are controlled by means of the antiviral products.
The situation is different with the chronic type of Epstein-Barr virus. In case of the frequent outbreaks of the virus and relevant diseases, a patient needs an antiviral therapy, and a therapy to increase the immunity.
It will help to activate the additional protective cells and also inhibit the virus cells in the biological fluids. Moreover, a number of the relapses can be reduced within a year, and a risk of the development of such diseases as multiple sclerosis, diabetes type 1, and rheumatoid arthritis is reduced. The action of the virus on the nervous system and liver is reduced, and the biological blood tests are improved.
Epstein-Barr virus natural treatment
The most effective treatment of Epstein-Barr virus is based on the improvement of the immunity and an increase of the resistance to the virus. Many doctors even recommend patients not to abuse the antiviral products but prefer the natural methods of the disease prophylaxis.
There is just a chance that you will not face the symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus, if you follow the balanced diet, get enough vitamins, and stimulate the immune cells.
The effective Epstein-Barr virus natural treatment is based on a support of the immune system:
- Avoid depression, severe stress, psychoemotional breakdowns. It is a great stroke for your immune system. Use natural sedative adaptogen herbs.
- Physical activity. Nothing improves the immunity as sports and fresh air.
- Get enough sleep and try to regulate the sleep regimen and work. The syndrome of the chronic fatigue is one of the symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus, and it is manifested due to the sleep disorder.
If you have had the disease symptoms, the treatment may be based on the natural ingredients. As the treatment suggests the symptomatic therapy, you can use as follows:
- Herbal infusions that will relieve and remove the fever;
- Tea with herbs, honey, and lemon;
- Try to sleep more and take a rest. Minimum physical activity, and just clean your head out of work and concerns. You should release the nervous system, so that it could cope with the virus.
Avoid over fatigue and stressful situations within a month after the recovery. The disease symptoms pass within a week, but the virus is still active and can relapse at any time.
Chronic Epstein-Barr diet
A balanced diet is one of the important elements of the treatment and a prevention of Epstein-Barr diet. Patients should practice the balanced diet that includes all nutrients to increase the immunity:
- Consume more fruit and vegetables containing vitamin C. Your daily dose of vitamin C should be at least 1 gram.
- Increase a consumption of garlic, onion, and ginger. They enhance the immunity well.
- Saturate fatty acids omega 3, vitamins in the group D, D3, and E will help to cope with the physical and mental loads.
- Replace the vitamin mineral complexes with fresh juices. Start a day from a glass of juice that has leafy green veggies, orange and yellow fruits, and fresh forest berries.
- Refuse from alcohol that affects the central nervous system and breaks the cells of the immune system.
- Eat a small amount of food several times a day. This way, you will improve the metabolism, get rid of the excessive body weight, and help the body to get rid of the viruses and infectious agents.
Bear in mind that protein is a base of the body functioning. If you do not consume meat, increase a consumption of fish, eggs, and dairy products. If you are planning to completely refuse from the animal protein, it may have a negative influence on the immunity, and the disease outbreak may happen.
Dr. Brigitte Mueller-Morel, MD: Despite a conflicting opinion of many doctors about a low efficiency of the antiviral drugs in the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus, every second patient with the symptoms of this disease is prescribed Acyclovir or its analogues.
The matter is that the virus is very dangerous in the context of the possible complications. Acyclovir and other antiviral drugs are taken not to relieve the disease symptoms but to reduce a risk of the development of the malignant tumors in the lymphocyte system.
Acyclovir is prescribed in the following cases:
- During weak immune status of a patient, during HIV or AIDS;
- Concomitant diseases during the aggravation of Epstein-Barr virus;
- During complicated course of the disease with multiple symptoms;
- During chronic course of the diseases, frequent relapses of the disease (not more than 3 times a year);
- Adults with chronic fatigue due to the virus relapses.
Why is it good to use Acyclovir for Epstein-Barr?
The matter is that Acyclovir is a drug with the broad action, and it is active as to all types of the herpetic infection. It means that if Epstein-Barr virus causes a decrease of the immunity, and herpes zoster, labial herpes, or other types of the disease appear, Acyclovir will effectively reduce all symptoms and control the activity of the virus in the cells of a patient.
Acyclovir inhibits a replication of Epstein-Barr virus and reduces a content of the virus in the biological fluid. It means that a risk of the virus transmission is reduced during a contact with a healthy person. Moreover, a decrease of the virus activity in the biological fluids allows to relieve the disease symptoms naturally, and so a need in having a large symptomatic therapy is reduced.
Acyclovir is prescribed during the first signs of the Epstein-Barr virus outbreak: 800 mg 5 times per day. The treatment lasts for 10 days, and then the efficiency of the antiviral therapy is estimated.
In case of this type of the herpetic infection, it is pointless to prescribe Acyclovir for longer period even if the disease symptoms are kept. The matter is that the main purpose of the use of the antiviral drugs is to reduce a peak of the virus activity, so that the immune system could control Epstein-Barr virus. Then, a task consists in arresting the symptoms, and Acyclovir will be ineffective in this situation.