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How I Healed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Epstein-Barr Virus

Mar 02, 2022

I am not a medical doctor and this is not medical advice. I am sharing strictly based on my own personal experiences in illness and in healing. This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for more information.

There was a time between 2015-2018 where I was absolutely pinned by my “mystery” illness issues. I experienced a clear yet wide and confusing array of syndromes and symptoms — many of which I would find out later all seem to be obviously, inextricably linked together. Not only is there growing research around the connections between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and Epstein Barr Virus but it all started to make intuitive sense to me, especially as I learned more through Anthony William/Medical Medium and later regenerative detoxification via Dr. Robert Morse, that an underlying viral component coupled with a deeply acidic environment in the body (respectively, to each of their theoretical domains) is the baseline for chronic illness. And I now believe for all disease, regardless of our individual presentation. 

My (Mostly Prior) Symptoms

In 2015 is when I first started experiencing these various “hit-by-a-truck” type symptoms (listed in order of predominance in my life) that aligned clearly with both CFS and EBV (and other conditions):

  • Unexplained and prolonged fatigue

  • Post exertional malaise

  • Dysautonomia/orthostatic intolerance

  • Vertigo/dizziness

  • Balance problems

  • Brain fog

  • Multiple food (and alcohol and caffeine) intolerances

  • Meniere's / hydrops

  • Aching and general body pain/chills

  • Heart palpitations

  • Tingling and numbness in hands and feet

  • Anxiety/panic attacks

  • Tinnitus

  • Sensitivity to noise and lights

  • Mouth ulcers/cold sores/herpes

  • Enlarged lymph nodes (particularly the submandibular ones under my jaw)

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These symptoms dominated my daily life for about three years. Studies estimate that about 25% of those with CFS/ME are bedridden/housebound. Although I bargained much of my time in bed, fell to my knees crawling at times, and was quite crippled by the symptoms and the fear that followed the initial onset of these episodes, I generally presented as what would be classified as high functioning in the face of never feeling as if I could get myself out of bed. But I did. I pushed myself in grueling fashion to feel and function accustomed to this new way of being (feeling so sick all the time) and I worked hard to maintain the front that everything was okay. I did a great job at this while relying heavily on CBD, PQQ, Vitamin C powder, small amounts of caffeine (even though I was quite intolerant), etc. 

Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Diagnosing Epstein-Barr

Incidentally and thankfully I did lose my full-time job soon after symptoms took over. After that I was lucky to find very flexible, low-key and remote part-time working opportunities where I could manage and often hide my symptoms when/how I needed to. They don’t call these invisible illnesses for no reason. I may have looked fine to others while secretly riding out waves of nauseasness, feeling on the brink of passing out, laying down and putting my feet above my head any chance I was alone, crying, struggling with memory and finding words in conversations, quelling a puffy, rashy downtrodden face with makeup, the list goes on long. 

I floated around doctor’s offices and specialists until, after three years and multiple different practitioners, a Naturopathic Doctor finally took me seriously around the fatigue and dysautonomia symptoms in particular, and pushed for an Epstein-Barr Virus test. My results confirmed, after long awaited suspicion and research, chronic active EBV activity in my blood.

In retrospect, I now had a more clear picture for why at my sickest, among many other specifics, my liver enzymes were high (from EBV possibly nesting in my organs), my gut/intestinal permeability (leaky gut) was extremely vulnerable, I had a hydrochloric acid imbalance and showed chronic inflammation in my gut with no “good” bacteria growth. My sudden onset of multiple food allergies paired with the neurological issues that were swiftly coming into play also pointed to a Blood Brain Barrier malfunction, the axis of communication systems between our digestive tract and the brain. All of which EBV has been linked to.

Read more about the Medical Medium’s breakdown of how EBV can sneakily affect the entire body. According to his detailed interpretations of EBV I was entrenched in Stages 3 and 4 of EBV, where the virus nests into vital organs and inflames your central nervous system. This made much sense to me and reading his book, Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal, validated my symptom presentation like nothing else.

Although my doctor at the time said the EBV blood work wasn’t necessarily an outright CFS/ME diagnosis (although from my research, in some instances it can be enough to implicate CFS/ME with this kind of clear list of paralleled symptoms), it validated my chronic fatigue. I was also at a point where I was no longer attaching myself to the need for clear diagnoses. And earlier when I was hungry and desperate for validation, I always found solace in the statistics that reveal that people with chronic illnesses take about an average of 7-10 years to get a “proper” diagnosis. 

Moving On From Chronic Illness Labels

Around the time these results were starting to come in I was no longer willing to hang around the halls of any medical system, especially conventional, for a label to justify what was happening to my body. I had played that exhaustive and disempowering game for too long, while digging deeper into the scary normalized permanence of identifying and burying myself underneath a disease label. Nothing about that ever felt right to me and I was serendipitously finally finding and utilizing tools that would inspire my deep physical healing.

Like any spoonie, I could go on and on with the fascinating linkages and deeper explorations of my blood work and symptoms over the years, especially in retrospect. There is so much more volume and detail to this story but I turned the chapters before I could write that mess. And I’m grateful for it. Detaching from disease labels was necessary to heal my mind and invite necessary neuroplasticity. 

If you’re in that place where you are trying to piece together the daunting correlations and causations of your disease labels, admittedly, I would have been catering to your search and more helpful in that sense if I had written this during those dark and yearning for answers years. I carried a lot of knowledge about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr Virus (and all my likely comorbidities) back then.

I was obsessed with obtaining knowledge of my disease labels and felt solace and empowerment in confronting the puzzle head on, every day, reading and saving (can we talk about spoonie digital clutter?) countless papers, articles, blogs. Taking feverous notes, looking up dream specialists daily, drawing my own conclusions and wondering why the research was seemingly so behind. But I wouldn’t have been able to tell you about true healing from those depths of my illness. 

I especially found meaning from the comfort and cohort of chronic illness forums — where we’re all supporting each other while putting the clues together in a mess of deeper and growing identification with our symptoms. While I know how nice this can feel (I REALLY do) it is the exact opposite thing our brains need if we truly want to heal from these physiological and biochemical looping mishaps in our bodies. Once I found answers for how to heal, that the body heals itself if we create the right environment through living foods and a radical healing lifestyle, I walked away from this common, very understandable fixation on disease mastery.

It no longer mattered when I started to see the stunning results and beginnings of homeostasis from a raw vegan, high fruit diet — a path that has regenerated my body from the very deep roots of these devastating imbalances. 

If you’re in that place where you are ready to leave your disease labels in the dust, to truly dedicate yourself to a new way of living, to put yourself first while healing from and unlearning the layers and harsh realities of deep societal programming, to feel fully alive again with no more reservations or clinging to old ways that don’t suit a healed you (you may or may not know what exactly these are right now but if you turn towards fruit-based healing you soon WILL), then you are in the right place. 

What Has Healed Me

Soon after I discovered Anthony William, The Medical Medium, in 2017 is when everything changed. His books uncovered all the mysteries of my interconnected issues and it was the first time I felt thoroughly understood. His chapter titled “Fruit Fear” kicked off my big pivot. This was me. I was seriously afraid of fruit! I mostly avoided it for years, because sugar. In retrospect it’s so odd to me that I would easily reach for a donut over an apple, as if the logic was that if I was going to have sugar at all it might as well be the kind I “wanted”, the kind of sugar we are addicted to and programmed to binge on — because we aren’t eating fruit! I was, like many of us are, truly brainwashed into fearing carbs in every silly sense. Between 2015-2017 I was pretty classically low-carb, low-sugar, paleo obsessed.

I didn’t necessarily agree with this fruit fueled knowledge at first but something about it felt and sounded right to me when I didn’t want to admit it. I decided to challenge myself to several Medical Medium cleanses. My symptoms were improving for what felt like the first time and fruit felt so good. I started to trust this information and bash the fruit fear little by little. You can see an interesting and inspiring timeline of this fruiting up on my Rosie Heals Instagram account, where you’ll also find much more information on healing. 

In 2018 I discovered the principles of regenerative detoxification via Dr. Robert Morse and the Mangotarian on youtube and binge-learned about the lymphatic system and the healing benefits of getting out of the body’s way via a high-fruit raw vegan diet. I immediately went to about 90% fruit (this includes tomato, avocado, cucumbers, etc.) for two months in the summer of 2018 and experienced rapid physical, emotional and spiritual healing. My vision and balance issues cleared dramatically which were always the most damning.

It was so surreal to experience this feeling and I remember it being one of the most emotional moments of my life. From there I haven’t looked back. I feel I’ve regained about 85% of my function and am 100% dedicated to this lifestyle and carving out the new me every single day. Although challenging in many ways, it has been the time of my life.

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What’s Next?

These are the steps and tips that I took to heart towards healing my CFS, EBV (and other comorbidities) and brain/nuero related issues. I believe anyone with any debilitating disease, syndrome or symptom can heal with these steps. You will need to take things slow and hyper customize this for YOU. The individual approach to these steps cannot be understated. Healing can vary greatly depending on your general background and constitution. Always take time to learn and draw inspiration from others but try not to compare yourself too strictly to any other healing narratives. This is your road to walk and rock. 

  1. Start a transition diet. I highly recommend transitioning to a whole foods plant based, living foods and/or higher fruit diet by first using Medical Medium healing protocols as a brilliant, delicious, easy and enjoyable starting point. I also found much revelation around the turmoil in my body and felt spiritually invigorated when reading his books. It was perhaps the first time I felt truly empowered and understood, especially around the viral activity and Epstein Barr Virus piece, which makes up the core of the graceful explanations and intuitive stitchings of his books. Before chronic illness my aversiveness to religion made me distant from spirituality by association. If you’re in that space I’d invite you to have an open mind when taking in the protocols. At the end of the day, whether or not you resonate with Anthony William’s story, skills and spiritual vantage point, his recommendations rely on the simple healing benefits of fruits and vegetables (and some herbs and supplementation) and the avoidance of damaging processed foods and animal products, for which there is a large body of scientific research and thousands of personal stories to support. The Mucusless Diet Healing System is another great transition diet guide.

  2. Get Inspired. Fully support your healing work by finding people and resources that can motivate and guide you on this lifestyle! If you’re inspired by this blog you can follow my active IG account, @rosieheals, and check out some of the people I follow there who inspire me greatly daily. 

  3. Work in more and more fruit over time. If you are deep in chronic illness symptoms of any kind, especially chronic fatigue syndrome or active EBV, it makes sense to work towards high fruit eating as quickly and as much as realistically possible. If you were like me, in total desperation to try something that works, you will inherently understand this in your bones. I’ve learned (through Dr. Robert Morse and my personal experience) that fruit helps regenerate brain and nerve tissue like no other.

  4. Consider some short, safe juicing periods. But ONLY AFTER educating yourself about juicing and fasting first. Learning how to prepare for and break food free periods is of the utmost importance and takes careful skill and discipline to do it properly. Be thoughtful and gentle if you take up juicing or fasting periods. Never go hungry while juicing and if you DO experience insatiable hunger, then eat. I must put it on this list because taking cautious, intuitive breaks from solid food allowed my body to heal deeply in the last two years. And when you’re in hell the bottom line is that it’s nicer to get out a bit faster than slower. 

  5. Embrace the healing crises. It is inevitable that as the body heals it purges toxins and old matter from the deepest stagnant crevasses of the body, often times making us feel a range of mild to severe uncomfortable symptoms. People sometimes experience a feeling of walking backwards through time as they feel old injuries or other health issues re-surface momentarily as you’re working everything out on “nature’s operating table”. Emotional wounds/trauma are included in this purging. In fact, I now believe emotional detoxification can be one of the most important aspects of physical healing. 

  6. Take up getting to know your higher self. This is the you, under all the physical and emotional pain, under the negative self talk, that loves unconditionally. Embracing the phenomenon of old wounds coming out in the process. It’s there, quite likely buried under decades of yours and other people’s expectations of what you “should” be. In hindsight, I truly believe chronic illness was a rude yet beautiful messenger for me to slow way down and find my higher self (hint: sitting, waiting in your heart). It forced me to reroute my life in the ways that would finally support that. I was a type-A people pleaser who never EVER put myself first. Unlearning these tendencies in healing is critical and, as you’ll see, becomes mandatory. There are several books listed here that supported my emotional and spiritual healing. I especially love A Gradual Awakening

  7. Retrain your brain. This one is slow and steady. Practice meditation often. Take walks in new places. Stop talking about your illness as much as possible. Start feeling love well up in your heart space instead. Believe in your healing and say it out loud. Do things with your non-dominant hand. Rest deeply. Eat, chew and experience food mindfully. Consider reading Joe Dispenza’s Becoming Supernatural.

  8. Practice gratitude for healing food. When I first had to make “extreme” diet changes I was very much in the woe is me space. I was also surrounded by mainstream people (well meaning) who reinforced this victim mindset in me. Once I committed to and started to heal from a raw vegan lifestyle heavy gratitude for the food followed. Before this, I held resentment for healing foods, labeling them (mostly subconsciously) as boring, restrictive and limiting. Now I hold deep appreciation for the privilege to eat these foods and I see the sheer abundance and beautiful variety available on this lifestyle — feelings I never got to explore and appreciate when I was a Standard American animal eater. 

  9. Make the ethical connection to this lifestyle. Veganism is about and for the animals. This notion locked everything in for me. Serendipitously, once I eliminated animal products and experienced the massive benefits of this for my health, the ethical message made its way to me loud and clear. I was suddenly compelled to finally bear witness to what is devastatingly hidden from our consciousness — the slaughter footage, educational documentaries, compelling speeches/talks, and expose style IG accounts of how awful the meat and dairy industries are. Making a deep and sincere connection to the animal suffering on this planet brought me into major alignment with my true self and naturally helped me out with #2 and #6 on this list and healing more authentically in general. 

  10. Buy the Detox Miracle Sourcebook. If you’re interested in working your way through this list I believe the number one companion you can have is this book. Best purchase of my life and if you read the reviews, it’s the same for many others as well.

This is not always fun or easy business. But it’s way more fun and easy than chronic illness. And that is the fire you must keep lighting under you. No true healing will ever be overnight. In most of our cases it took decades (of wrong eating/drinking/drug taking, trauma, environmental toxins, etc.) for our bodies to express this level of discontent. Always be gentle with yourself, keep getting back up and find comfort in knowing that the magic and love in finding yourself through true health is worth every one of these steps.

Much love and power to you.

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