Epstein Barr Virus and Thyroid Autoimmune Disease

epstein barr virus thyroid autoimmune disease

At Terrain Wellness, our doctors have long suspected that certain endocrine imbalances, specifically autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s Disease, may be brought on by diseases like Epstein Barr Virus in some cases. Not surprisingly, there is a growing body of medical research showing a clear link between Epstein Barr virus and thyroid autoimmune conditions. Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is most known for causing the disease “mono” (Infectious Mononucleosis), but after mono has run its course, EBV may remain seemingly dormant in the body indefinitely.

Dr. Danielle Lockwood on Epstein Barr Virus and Thyroid
Dr. Lockwood

While mono is a temporary condition, the immune system often does not completely eradicate Epstein-Barr Virus from the body. In other words, EBV may remain inactive in the body for decades but can become reactivated even many years later. Logically, if the immune system detects a virus such as EBV, even if it is inactive, it stands to reason that the body will do whatever it can to fight off the infection. But, how to defeat an inactive virus that is dormant and remains latent in the body? Sadly, the body may resort to attacking itself in an attempt to completely root out latent viruses. The body attacking itself is an autoimmune condition.

Also see: Epstein Barr Virus Treatment

Epstein Barr Virus and Thyroid

Causal chain: autoimmune thyroid conditions

  1. Stressors on the body create susceptibility to viral infection, reactivation of a latent virus like EBV, or other infectious process
  2. Immune system, weakened by stressors, resorts to attacking the body in an attempt to fight off infection
  3. Endocrine function harmed via immune response, (Epstein Barr and Hashimoto’s Disease can be related in this way).

The (overly) simplistic view of autoimmune conditions is that the body just randomly starts attacking itself for unknown/no reason. However, as primary care doctors specializing in naturopathic endocrine treatments, we know that latent viral infections like EBV can and do contribute to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s Disease. As part of our ongoing Thyroid Rehab Series, we’re going through these underlying viral causes so that our patients and the public more fully understand the endocrine system and how to improve hormone balance.


EBV Mono Flare-Up and Thyroid

Why would dormant Epstein Barr Virus that the body defeated years ago suddenly become a problem years later? The answer is that there are common triggers to making certain people more susceptible to a viral attack or re-infection from a latent virus. For example, the research points indicates that stressors on the body may leave one vulnerable to autoimmune conditions and/or a reactivation of a latent virus.

Stressors Triggering Epstein Barr Recurrence

EBV and thyroid autoimmune conditions

  • Low vitamins and minerals (namely zinc and b-vitamins)
  • Exposure to toxins such as pesticides, herbicides & heavy metals
  • Chronic stress from emotional trauma, physical injury, work, personal life, over-training or exercise-related nutritional deficiency
  • Certain medications
  • Hormonal imbalances

Although these stressors may well end up in autoimmune conditions, they are only one step in the chain of events leading to these conditions. In our clinical experience, we have found that the causal chain for autoimmune conditions often proceeds as follows: stressors on the body lead to a viral or other infection which causes the immune system into an autoimmune scenario where it attacks the body’s hormone-secreting glands. By understanding the autoimmune process in this way, we can begin to break this cycle of thyroid harm and autoimmune conditions while also improving general health and well-being.


90 Day Thyroid Cleanse: Medical Medium EBV


Is Epstein Barr virus causing endocrine imbalance?

As discussed in the sections above, a virus causing thyroid problems is far more common than it should be. Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s disease can be caused by reactivated EBV.

Why are we testing Medical Medium: Thyroid Healing? Patients keeping asking us about it. So, rather than wrestle with the controversial concept of a “medical medium”, we decided to simply read the book, try the cleanse and share our results. So far, the most interesting part of the book have been the theories regarding the root cause of endocrine imbalances being related to viral causes like EBV. That said, it should be noted that medical research was already pointing toward EBV as a contributing factor to auto-immune conditions prior to the book’s publication. Either way, the cleanse has been challenging, fun and full of great teaching/learning opportunities along the way.

Thyroid Cleanse: The last 30 days

The rules for the last 30 days of the cleanse are the same as the first two months with a few food additions.

  1. Drink about 16 ounces of celery juice on an empty stomach each morning. If you have an allergy to celery you can substitute this for cucumber juice, although celery juice is a stronger juice for the purposes of getting trace minerals and mineral salts. Be sure to drink freshly made plain celery juice with no additives. Note that celery juice is not a breakfast substitute and does not have sufficient calories to sustain health. That said, the juice helps build up healthy stomach acid to kill off pathogens that you may be exposed to and properly breakdown and digest food. If 16 ounces is too much start with a smaller amount and work up to the full 16 ounces.
  2. Sip roughly 16 ounces of lemon or lime water at midday or early afternoon. Lemon juice helps with bile production and liver health. Thinning the bile helps with elimination of toxins accumulated from plastics, pharmaceutical drugs and other environmental exposures.
  3. In the evening drink 16 ounces of aloe water or cucumber juice add in extra parsley or cilantro in this juice.
  4. Eliminate the following: Pork, dairy, gluten, eggs, canola oil, corn, soy.
    Add in “healing foods” throughout the day. See Chapter 22 Powerful foods, herbs and supplements for healing” AVOID any foods that you have known allergies to or if you develop allergic symptoms. Add these foods liberally to your diet as each of them has antioxidant, antiviral support properties and very helpful for boosting the immune system, helping the body to eliminate heavy metals and cleaning the lymphatics.
    Avoid fish and seafood high in heavy metals especially tuna, bass and swordfish
    Lower your intake of fat by at least 25% this helps thin the blood and alleviate liver congestion allowing for an easier detoxification process.
    • Add in the following:

    • Sip 1 cup of the healing tea at any time of the day.
    • Sip 1 cup of the healing broth at any time of the day.
    • Sip 1 cup of the healing juice. You can substitute this for your plain celery juice a few times a week, or add in as an extra juice. Healing juice is best enjoyed in the evening.
    • All recipes can be found in chapter 24 of the Medical Medium Thyroid Healing by Anthony William.

Shopping List For Last Month of Cleanse
  • Celery Bunches
  • Cucumbers
  • Lemon
  • Limes
  • Dried Thyme
  • Dried Fennel
  • Dried lemon balm
  • Apples
  • Cilantro
  • Ginger root
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric root
  • Atlantic dulse powder
  • Kelp powder

Continue to incorporate thyroid healing foods as addressed in the previous two parts of the cleanse.

Epstein Barr Virus and Thyroid

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