Viruses are a type of microbe that can causes a wide range of diseases, everything from the common cold to HIV. Unlike other types of disease causing microbes, viruses can only replicate inside host cells. They are hijackers. They invade our cells and use the cells machinery to multiply and produce more viruses. This can kill, damage, or change your cells making you sick. Some types of virus can even damage your DNA changing your genes.
If a viral infection if fully resolved by the immune system, disease is usually short lived. But there are certain types of viruses that can hide in the body creating chronic infections. These latent viruses have become a significant threat to health for many of people. They can impair energy production, and compromise functioning of the body’s nervous system, immune system and detoxification.
Some of the most common culprits are the Epstein Barr Virus, Cytomegalovirus, and viruses in the Herpes family.
New research indicates that as many as 55% of people with chronic fatigue have a form of the Epstein Barr Virus that is difficult for the immune system to fight. Other studies have also linked chronic Epstein Barr infections to other chronic diseases including: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), coeliac disease, and type 1 diabetes.
Chronic infection with cytomegalovirus has recently been shown to dramatically reduce the body’s ability to fight other infections and contribute to the immune system ageing faster than normal.
While chronic infection with herpes virus type six has been linked to thyroiditis – a condition where the thyroid becomes inflamed and stops function correctly. Thyroiditis is very common in those with unexplained fatigue.
The herpes simplex viruses which cause cold sores and genital herpes are also able to remain in the body, hiding within the nervous system. The viruses are able to change the host cells so they don’t undergo their natural cell death mechanism. By maintaining the host cells, the virus is able to house its growing numbers. The problem is this process uses a lot of extra energy leaving the sufferer fatigued and less able to fight other infections.
Identification and efficient management of chronic viral infections is a critical step in the management of chronic fatigue and autoimmune conditions.
The Advanced Chronic Viral Screen is a blood test which can identify chronic infections by the key viruses implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome and autoimmune conditions. It includes tests for:
- Epstein Barr Virus
- Herpes Simplex Viruses 1 and 2
- Human Herpesvirus Type 6
This test is recommended for anyone who suffers with:
- Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- An autoimmune condition such as systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease or type 1 diabetes.