Fibromyalgia, code name EBV?

EBV the Epstein-Barr Virus. This little gem is thought to be the not only the assailant but the cause of many chronic illnesses including fibromyalgia. Our first thought goes to the “kissing disease.”  Mono or mononucleosis is a virus many individuals get in their early teens.

According to Anthony William, a contributor to the Goop, there are basically 320 million people in the United States and 225 million of them carry some form of the Epstein-Barr Virus. There is not only one version of the EBV virus, there are over 60 strains. Mr. Williams reports that EBV is the source of many significant maladies including thyroid disease, vertigo, and tinnitus. He also believes our so-called “mystery illnesses” such as fibromyalgia, Lyme, and chronic fatigue syndrome (plus many more chronic illnesses) are caused by this virus. The reasoning behind this theory is put into a nice little package of exploring stages the body goes through with EBV while noting if the virus is in an aggressive state or hibernating.

  1. Stage One; Origins and Transmission.
  2. Stage Two; Mononucleosis.
  3. Stage Three; Nesting.
  4. Stage Four; Inflammation of the Central Nervous System.    

Hmmm… it is definitely a theory. I believe it may hold true for ‘some’ of us. My problem with this theory is not everyone who has EBV (that would be 225 million people) has a chronic illness or malady. I understand the virus can hibernate, many can, but sleeping dogs just do not stay asleep forever.

Let’s open up a new box of worms to add to the mix. Let’s start with the fact we are not a very healthy country, to begin with. In fact, we are one of the unhealthiest! According to a study published in 2013 by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, less than 3% of Americans meet the fundamental qualifications for a “Healthy Lifestyle.” Defining it as follows;

  • Excercise for at least 150 minutes a week.
  • A diet score in the top 40 percent on the Healthy Eating Index.
  • Body fat percentage under 20% for men and 30% for women.
  • Not smoking.

Wendy Henderson, a contributing writer for the Fibromyalgia News Today, brought up nine possible causes of fibromyalgia that I found quite interesting. She encourages you to talk with your doctor about the following possible causation factors;

  1. Gluten Intolerance
  2. Candida Overgrowth
  3. Thyroid Problems
  4. Mycotoxins
  5. Mercury Toxicity
  6. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
  7. Glutathione Deficiency
  8. Traumatic Events and Stress
  9. Genes

After looking at all of the information I have put together for this post, including hours and hours of reading about each proposed ’cause’ I have come up with a theory too! I believe the bottom line is there are different ‘types’ of fibromyalgia, just as there are different ‘types’ of other chronic illnesses.

I believe there are most likely three distinct root causes of a chronic illness;

  1. viral origin
  2. traumatic event origin
  3. genetic predisposition origin

So, WHY do we get sick? This is still the question I cannot answer… why do some of us get sick after going through the same circumstances as others, and they do not get sick? Some of us smoke and never get lung cancer, others get lung cancer and have never smoked! Why is this? Luck? Environment? Lifestyle? There must be some combination of conditions that make an individual a prime candidate for an illness. Where does this illness originate? Virally? From trauma? Is there a genetic predisposition?

I really do not know the correct answers.

What do you think?



  1. Very interesting Kim. I think traumatic events are a common denominator for many but I also see a compromised immune system among many fibromates. I have not met anyone with fibromyalgia who was not a hard worker that gave 100% to life befote their illness…

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Interesting. My fibromyalgia was triggered by an adverse reaction to a course of iv steroids. Within 48hrs I had debilitating entire body pain. That lasted. Before I’d just had migraines (the steroids were to try to stop a 30day cluster migraine). Now suddenly every muscle was in agony. Months the later I was able to get an appt with the top fibromyalgia researcher in the country at the time and he said he’d seen cases like mine only twice in all of his years but he definitely felt my fibromyalgia triggered from the way my body reacted abnormally to the steroids.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. the trauma for me was more when my then PCP (who I fired shortly there after) refused to give me a referral to a rheumy and just wanted me (then about 20yrs old) to ‘accept that you’ll be in pain the rest of your life’ and there was nothing I could do about it. That pissed me off to no end, hence my firing her and finding others more knowledgeable for opinions, feedback and ideas.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Kim;
    I think that most of the time, even for Doctors who are more interested in the patient than the time constraints put upon them by Insurance providers, eventually become automatic in the course of treatment they utilize. Similar to a one size fits all philosophy. Unfortunately we as lay people generally do not know enough to contradict this process initially so we fall in line with the try this then that routine.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I absolutely agree! We do not even get diagnosed right away, so there are many treatments we go through before even discovering what we have! We have to follow protocol. And. Once we understand what we have and can learn how our body reacts we become active participants in our treatment process. Thanks for weighing in, Heidi! ~Kim

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your very thoughtful post echoes what is happening now with the treatment of cancer, treatment is now being tailored to the individual rather than one form of treatment for all…my fibromyalgia may have been triggered by severe stress in the workplace or by family system stressors, by addressing some of these issues, my fibromyalgia is in remission (I was very lucky, even at its worst, I could send the pain away by taking an Advil) and if I sense it returning, I make sure I take the time to recalibrate my world and check in with myself…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you! Another very unique process as to how we each individually have to handle this disease. I went through a cancer process with my brother who was allowed to choose his treatment, unfortunately, we lost him in 2003 but there was something empowering about that. Thank you for your thoughtful response. ~Kim

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Your post encouraged me to share…I’m sorry to read of your brother’s passing from cancer, there are too many diseases and chronic conditions out there in the world that we have to dance with…hopefully, it just makes us stronger!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry about your brother. I kind of think I was born with the fibro….just too many early symptoms to ignore. My mother and her sisters have it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind acknowledgment of the loss of my brother.

      I believe you would be genetically predisposed to fibro then? We each have such individualized conditions. We cannot be lumped into one theory and call that a treatment protocol for all! Thanks for sharing.~Kim

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is an interesting discussion, unfortunately like all I have come across it can come to no conclusion for an individual (not a criticism of this thread / blog / author).
    I can trace my ME / Fybro / CFS – whatever it may be – back to a distinct event of Glandular Fever at the age of 19 (if only I’d been kissing too many girls). I’ve spent the 20 years since gradually realising that things are “not quite right” and the crux of the discussion above for me is the mention of genetics. My dad passed 3 years ago and I recognise a lot of my behaviours from him (tiredness, dithering [aka cognitive impairment], irrational short temper [stress & tiredness combined] and symptoms of depression. He was never a very open person and didn’t talk about his well-being and feelings, something I’d like the opportunity to talk with him about now (his passing was a cathartic experience in many ways and opened up previously muted conversation between my Mum and Sister).
    I find it difficult to distinguish where a genetic condition stops and a post-viral syndrome starts. No doubt, there is no clear line; I would think it likely that I was genetically predisposed to suffer from GF with a little encouragement from poor lifestyle at that stage of my life. Would I have suffered through life since to the same extent if I hadn’t awoken the virus or was that just a spike due to conditions at the time, and what I consider now to be the after effects are what would have been normal life anyway?
    I doubt I will ever be able to answer these questions.
    The various blood tests I have requested over the years have all returned “normal”. Whatever this is, is does a good job of hiding until I endure some kind of stress – mental or physical – at which point it knows just how to keep me down, pull me lower, stop me in my tracks and impair my enjoyment of life. I can manage it with varying success but now my mind turns to my 3 year old daughter – I fear for her future if this is it, but at least can help her understand sooner.
    We battle on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very thoughtful description of your fibro, the questioning, and the guessing… it is detective work no doubt. Researchers have a long way to go to nail down what the causes of fibromyalgia are as well as the ‘types’ of fibro! This disease, its understanding of it, is in its infancy! There is progress being made… slowly but surely. You will definitely be there for your daughter and no matter what the outcome, I believe it is a battle we will one day win! Again, thank you for your very thoughtful sharing of what you are and have experienced. We need these discussions! ~Kim


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