Chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome is an unusual response of the body to the classic viral infection. In most cases, people who contract Epstein-Barr syndrome simply feel tired and have a sore throat for a few weeks. They usually don't even know they have EBS. If you contract the Epstein-Barr virus while you are an adolescent or young adult, there is a good chance you will develop infectious mononucleosis, and you'll be markedly tired and unable to function well enough to go to school or work for a week or two while you recover. Most cases of EBS resolve easily and without medical treatment within a few weeks time. However, in some cases a person never totally recovers. Anyone who has not recovered completely from Epstein-Barr syndrome within six months of the initial diagnosis, but rather is living with chronic fatigue and exhaustion, is diagnosed with chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome. It is also called chronic active EBS.
Chronic active Epstein-Barr syndrome can seriously hinder a person's ability to work, go to school or function on a high level as a partner or parent. Because the virus keeps reactivating and knocking you off your feet, you'll have to find ways to cope your with your constant exhaustion and low energy level. Try the following tactics for living with chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome:
Get a Formal Diagnosis
Your doctor will take note of the high level of EBNA antibodies present in your bloodstream, which is an indication of reactivated Epstein-Barr virus. A formal diagnosis will help friends, family and coworkers understand your special needs. While you are in the doctor's office, inquire about lupus, since there is a high correlation between lupus susceptibility and Epstein-Barr infections.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Schedule in 9-10 hours of sleep a night. Try not to nap, since this will interfere with your ability to maintain a good nighttime schedule. See the doctor to make sure you do not suffer from sleep apnea or any other medical conditions that could be causing fatigue.
You need to prevent your muscles from atrophying and your body from adjusting to a lifetime of sluggishness. Keep exercise gentle and nurturing. Try yoga, stretching, water aerobics and walking. Keep exercise periods slow and gentle, but challenging. Build up to more and more exercise as your body recovers. When a period of fatigue sets in, take a break.
You will need to watch your diet much more than your counterparts now that you've contracted this medical condition. Because you are sleeping so much and are not very active, you need to limit caloric intake and make every bite count towards building a healthy you. Choose fresh fruit and vegetables as much as possible, followed by lean meats and whole grains. Limit sugar, fat and empty calories.
The symptoms of Epstein-Barr Syndrome are typically mild. Most likely you'll just sleep a lot and will wonder why you are so tired. However, if you contract Epstein-Barr syndrome as an adolescent or young adult, you may develop the classic infectious mononucleosis symptoms and find yourself dealing with the following symptoms.