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Does Having Epstein-Barr Make You Immunocompromised?

The immune system is designed to protect you from illness and disease. When it works as it should, the body is kept healthy and relatively safe from various pathogens. However, some things can cause the immune system to malfunction. From not eating the right foods to leading a sedentary lifestyle and missing out on precious sleep, there is no shortage of lifestyle factors associated with weakened immunity. Environmental risks can also cause the immune system to run poorly, including viruses like Epstein-Barr. But does having Epstein-Barr make you immunocompromised?  

Research has long examined what being immunocompromised means, how it affects health, and what causes it. To date, there are some answers to all these questions – but some things are still a mystery. Recent data surrounding the Epstein-Barr virus has painted a picture of its connection to autoimmune disease and immunocompromised individuals. But does it cause a person’s immune system to falter, or is there more to the story than that?

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Can EBV Turn Into Lupus?

Viral infections are common. But did you know we can contract various types of viruses without even knowing? While there are possible symptoms associated with most virus-driven illnesses, the immune system can sometimes fight so well that people don’t feel any changes in their bodies. Because of that, when these kinds of viruses spread, they can do so quickly and easily. Once a person contracts certain types of these viral infections, the virus can also lay dormant in the body for the rest of their lives. In these cases, the spread may be lower, but not nonexistent.

One virus that has afflicted most of the world’s population due to its low symptoms, high spread rate, and ability to lay dormant is the Epstein-Barr virus. But what is Epstein-Barr, exactly? And does it have a link to other diseases – can EBV turn into lupus, for example? Read on to learn more.

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Is Epstein-Barr Virus Linked to Autoimmune Disease?

The Epstein-Barr virus is the most common viral infection in the world, and it’s thought that roughly 90% of the population has been infected with it at some point in their lives. It belongs to the herpes family of viruses and is otherwise known as human herpesvirus 4. Its commonality stems from its ability to spread easily through saliva and other bodily fluids, and the lack of specific symptoms it causes.

Considering how common it is, people may wonder why they’ve never heard of EBV. Many have likely either experienced or known someone who experienced a specific infection caused by the virus known as mononucleosis (mono), or “the kissing disease.” Typically, people with EBV contract it during childhood and are asymptomatic, meaning they experience no symptoms at all. However, even when signs of infection arise, they include ailments such as fatigue, fever, throat inflammation, and swollen lymph nodes. Of course, all of these afflictions can develop because of various health issues, not just Epstein-Barr.

New research is shining a light on this common virus and its connection to other health issues. Various findings have suggested that, even though EBV can lay dormant within the body, it can still set off a host of problems that people will have to deal with for the rest of their lives. Specifically, it has been recently linked to incurable autoimmune diseases. So how is Epstein-Barr virus linked to autoimmune disease, exactly? Read on to learn more.

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What Autoimmune Diseases Can Epstein-Barr Virus Contribute To?

Human health can be fickle, especially if you contract a specific pathogen. Various bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other harmful substances can infiltrate the body and wreak havoc on more than one system. Research has shown that catching certain viruses or other illnesses can increase a person’s risk of developing different types of diseases later in life.

While the reasoning for this differs depending on the type of pathogen and the disease that develops, one such virus and disease connection found is the Epstein-Barr virus and autoimmune disease. But what is the Epstein-Barr virus? And what autoimmune diseases can Epstein-Barr virus contribute to?

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Can Lyme Disease Cause PANDAS?

Lyme disease can affect both physical and mental health in various ways. The disease, transmitted by infected ticks, is caused by the borrelia bacteria. When Lyme disease is not treated promptly, it can lead to health issues such as cognitive decline, joint pain and inflammation, arthritic conditions, and nervous system issues. Lyme disease has also been associated with the onset or worsening of other health conditions.

If a child contracts Lyme disease, they can also develop a condition known as PANDAS. But what is PANDAS, exactly? And can Lyme disease cause PANDAS directly?

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