Chronic Viral Syndrome can happen when a virus that was previously dormant becomes active again and gets worse over time. Symptoms aren’t necessarily what they were when the virus was acute. This can make diagnosis particularly challenging because many physicians focus on treating symptoms rather than looking for underlying causes, even when their patients continue to chronically suffer.
An example of this the Epstein-Barr virus. If this infection is contracted when someone is very young, the patient may only experience flu-like symptoms for a few days. If infected by this virus in the teens or early twenties, it can present as Mononucleosis, or the “kissing” disease. This is one of the most common viruses to resurface and become chronic. It’s natural to assume that once the acuteness of the illness passes, that it’s gone, however, this is not the case with viruses.
While it’s easy to assume that once a person has a virus and gets over it that it’s gone, but this is often not the case with viruses. They can lie dormant in the body for years. However, if the immune system becomes weakened or other triggers occur, they can reactivate again and become problematic. In the case of Epstein-Barr, it’s possible that the virus can create symptoms associated with either Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Fibromyalgia.
Most common Chronic Viral Syndrome viruses
The most common chronic viral syndromes stem from variations of the Herpes Virus. Most people think of these as either recurring fever blisters (Herpes Simplex 1) or as a sexually transmitted disease that affects the genitals (Herpes Simplex 2) but there are others as well:
- Herpes Virus 3 – Epstein-Barr virus (EPG)
- Herpes Virus 4 – Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- Herpes Virus 5 – Varicella-Zoster virus (Chickenpox/Shingles)
- Herpes Virus 6 – A neuro-inflammatory virus (Multiple Sclerosis/Alzheimer’s)
- Parvo Virus – a virus that in human form affects the skin and immune system
- Cocksackie A & B Virus – (Hand and Mouth Disease/Slapped Face Disease)
The majority of the population has been exposed to at least some of these viruses. When dormant, they can be stored in the organs or cells or both. They can become quite stealthy and actually incorporate themselves into the DNA. In recent years, a lot more research has been done on chronic viral infections. You can find more information about research done at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8538.
Causes of Chronic Viral Syndrome
The most widespread cause of a virus reactivating and becoming chronic is a weakened or compromised immune system. Contracting a different virus can also reactivate a dormant virus, creating a cascade effect of stress on the immune system. Many things can overtax the immune system which can include:
- Severe illness, such as cancer
- Diets high in sugars, simple carbohydrates, along with processed foods
- Exposure to toxins; these can be found in the food we eat, our environment, pesticides, and other chemicals
- Sudden physical or emotional upsets
- Sleep deprivation
- Alcohol/drug/tobacco abuse
- Obesity or overall poor physical health
Symptoms of Chronic Viral Syndrome
Symptoms of Chronic Viral Syndrome are usually very mild in the beginning stages. It may take a while to realize that something is wrong. Over time, other symptoms may also appear and also get much worse and debilitating. They can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are often broad and non-specific. Unless a physician has the wherewithal to look for underlying causes, the patient can experience a lot of unnecessary anguish. Symptoms can include:
- Recurring respiratory problems such as asthma or sinus infections
- Persistent fevers that are low-grade
- Joint pain (with or without swelling)
- Widespread muscle pain
- Rashes and hives
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Relentless fatigue
- Chronic candida (yeast) infections
- Sore throat
- Bloating, gas, and heartburn
At Renewed Vitality, we will test for and address the root causes of your symptoms to determine what exactly is causing them. We also provide hormonal and nutritional support to repair the immune system. We prescribe antivirals, super viral IV infusions, and natural supplements. Most patients are able to return to a normal life after completing a full course of therapy.
Dr. Spurlock has over 18 years of experience working in the field of viral diseases. He specializes in treating Chronic Viral Syndrome, along with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). He is also an expert in body detoxification, weight-loss management, and sleep therapy.