Fatigue – And other Long Term Effects of Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) (Glandular Fever/Infectious Mononucleosis/herpesvirus4) and Hepatitis A

It may come as quite a surprise to most people that 95% of us have been infected with EBV at some point in our lives and never knew it happened. EBV can cause Glandular Fever/Infectious Mononucleosis. Some people never realise that they have these conditions others of course know all too well about the fatigue and nausea which accompany this condition.

EBV is estimated to cause over 200,000 cases of cancer worldwide each year principally lymphomas, nasopharyngeal cancer and stomach cancers. EBV may be the cause of health issues related to the gut, lung, liver, adrenals, thyroid and spleen. All are characterised by fatigue.

Because of the way EBV invades the immune system it can live in your system for a long time, often remaining dormant, unless your T-cell response is adequate when the infection occurs. It may resurface when the immune system is low because of stress. In a recent webinar given by Gary Moller for InterClinical Laboratories Gary outlined the symptoms of EBV infection;

Abdominal pain (especially in children)
Cough, congestion or runny nose
Enlarged painful spleen
Fever – ranging from mild to extreme
Fatigue – can be debilitating and prolonged
Liver inflammation and soreness
Nausea with vomiting and/or diarrhoea in some cases
Paralysis (rare) Guillain-Barre Syndrome)
Poor appetite
Puffy eyelids
Sensitivity to light
Skin rash (often seen in children)
Sore muscles
Sore throat – ranging from slight to extreme
Swollen glands usually in the neck, but sometimes in the armpits or groin.

As a person who has suffered from glandular fever I am well aware of all these symptoms. Since having the disease I never fully regained my energy levels not that they were fantastic before I got it in my mid 20’s. Possibly the reason that EBV infections continue to full on glandular fever is because the immune system is weak due to continuous stress.

Copper Excess results from EBV and Hepatitis A infection
One thing I wasn’t aware of before watching Gary Moller’s webinar was that both glandular fever and hepatitis A infections are associated with a specific mineral pattern or profile. That profile always includes high copper levels (even if the initial test does not show high copper levels they will eventually show in subsequent tests).

Looking back over the many years since I contracted glandular fever I realise that the more stressed I was the greater my levels of fatigue. Looking at my hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) (below) done in 2012 I realised that I was still experiencing the effects of stress from many years prior. This is evidenced by the low sodium and potassium levels. My immune system was still compromised as I keep having the cough, congestion and runny nose symptom of EBV. My profile is a classic one for EBV infection. Since 2012 I have had 3 other HTMA tests all of which have shown excessive copper.

Copper Pipes can Exacerbate the Problem
Part of the problem for me has been to find that there is copper in our water. This was quite a surprise because our water comes from the roof. Pure rain water uncontaminated by city pollution. Testing showed that it was slightly acid. I am still investigating how this occurs given that rain water should have a pH of 7. Being slightly acid it is etching the copper from the water pipes. We now filter our water. The other cause of copper etching is poor grounding of the hot water heater which sets up electrolysis. This I have eliminated as a cause of copper in our water. Potential culprits are food grade poly tanks or our colourbond roof which could be adding extra hydrogen ions into the water.

Puberty, Pregnancy and the Contraceptive Pill can add to Copper load
Copper retention is greatest when estrogen levels rise or stay elevated when women experience puberty or are pregnant or on the contraceptive pill. This can affect liver, kidney, pancreatic, small intestine, spleen and heart function. It certainly adds to fatigue levels if you have also had EBV or Hepatitis A (or any Hepatitis). Painful periods can often be tracked to this problem due to the blocking effect copper has on magnesium a muscle relaxant. Copper deposited in absorptive cells in the small intestine actually inhibit iron absorption. Taking iron supplementation or eating plenty of red meat may not lift serum blood levels much if at all.

Why is copper excess such a problem
Copper excess in the body blocks the following nutrients and neurotransmitters and the symptoms can be many and varied:

NutrientSome Symptoms of deficiency
MagnesiumInsulin resistance, hyperglycaemia, oxidative stress, platelet aggregation, pro-inflammatory states, accelerates atherosclerosis, agitation, haemolytic anaemia, anxiety, arteriosclerosis, calcification of arteries, chronic fatigue, disturbances of heart rhythm like tachycardia,  hypotension, insomnia, IQ loss, irritability, premenstrual syndrome, osteoporosis, stiffness of joints, tendons and ligaments, arthritic and joint pain, kidney and gallstones and calcium deposits in arterial walls.
IronAnaemia, breathing difficulties, brittle nails, burning mouth syndrome, cold sensitivity, constipation, headaches (chronic), cognitive deficit, digestive disturbances, fatigue, frequent need to clear throat, hypothyroidism, left hemisphere neural deficits, mitochondrial stress, neurotransmitter stress, poor immunity, restless leg syndrome, sore inflamed tongue, spoon shaped distortion of fingernails, general weakness, periodic leg movements
NutrientSome Symptoms of deficiency
ZincAcne, alopecia, anorexia, decreased leptin levels, increased susceptibility to viral infections,  poor immunity, abnormal T-cell function, impaired wound healing, learning disorders, loss of taste and/or smell, loss of appetite, low sperm count, manic depression, metabolic syndrome, moodiness, poor concentration, poor memory, sterility, stretch marks, white spots on fingernails.
MolybdenumAsthma susceptibility, defect in sulphur amino acid metabolism which affects the ability to detoxify the liver, gout, infertility, mental and visual disturbances, oesophageal cancer, tachycardia.
ManganeseAdrenal insufficiency, atherosclerosis, brittle bones, dermatitis, disturbed carbohydrate metabolism, disc degeneration, glucose intolerance, hypothyroidism, loss of hearing, pancreatic damage, osteoporosis, reduced fertility, tendon and bone abnormalities, tinnitus, increased body alkalinity, nausea, non-trauma epilepsy.
Vitamin B1Anorexia, appetite loss, backache, burning feet, cardiac failure, calf muscle tenderness, chronic fatigue, constipation, lowered immunity, difficulty rising from squatting position, difficulty talking and swallowing, disruption of blood brain barrier, exacerbated plaque formation, fluid retention, foot drop, glaucoma, gut disorders (low stomach acid), fatigue, hair loss, inability to concentrate, irritability, depression, muscle weakness, nervous exhaustion, numbness and tingling of hands and feet, sweating, tachycardia, toe and heel pain, weight loss.
Vitamin B3Abdominal discomfort and distention, low stomach acid, burning mouth, chronic infections, headaches, depression, dermatitis, fatigue, diarrhoea, gingivitis with tooth loss, haeme deficiency, indigestion, loss of hearing, memory loss, muscular weakness, night terrors, restlessness, photo-sensitive dermatitis, tingling fingers, visual and auditory hallucinations.
Vitamin B5Abdominal pain, alopecia, anaemia, burning feet, depression, dermatitis, cardiovascular disorders, fatigue, hyper-irritability, hypotension, infections, insomnia, itching, kidney stones, muscle cramps or spasms, poor immunity, sleep disturbances, tenderness of heels.
Vitamin B12Agitation, ADD, inflammation, concentration difficulties, dementia, depression, impaired folate metabolism and hence DNA synthesis, irritability, laboured breathing, memory loss, mood swings, numbness, restlessness, peripheral neuropathy, sore mouth and tongue, temper outbursts, tingling, weakness and weight loss.
Vitamin CAbnormal brain function, abnormal osteoid and dentin formation, bleeding gums, conjunctivitis, easy bruising, increased wound healing time, depression, fatigue, greater susceptibility to infection, hypochondria, increased risk of some cancers, listlessness, pains in joints, rough skin, thrombosis, weakness, dry eyes, weight loss.
NutrientSome Symptoms of deficiency
Vitamin ECardiomyopathy, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis of the gall bladder, gait disturbances, kyphoscoliosis, muscle wasting and weakness, neuromuscular deficit, poor immunity, pulmonary embolism, red blood cell haemolysis, red blood cell fragility, shorten RBC half life, altered proprioception and vibratory sense, absent deep tendon reflex, Babinski’s sign.
FolateAnaemia, age-related hearing loss, apathy, constipation, cracks on the lips, depression (often where there is a reduced response to anti-depressants), cognitive delay, fatigue, forgetfulness, headaches, increased risk of preterm delivery, insomnia, irritability, mental sluggishness, loss of libido, restless leg syndrome, seizures, skin disorders, weakness.
BoronArthritis, decreased manual dexterity, increased calcium loss, lowered serum testosterone and 17 beta-estradiol, poor cognition, poor hand-eye co-ordination, poor short term memory.
DHEALow libido, increased risk of insulin resistance, fatigue, lowered mood, weight gain, lower testosterone levels.
Co-Enzyme Q10To make Co-enzyme Q10 the body needs tyrosine and folic acid and vitamins B2, B3 and B6.  Copper blocks B3 and can affect B6. Angina, heart failure, diabetes, fatigue, muscular dystrophy, periodontal disease, renal failure cardiomyopathy and infection.
CarnitineFatty liver, heart disease, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, muscle weakness, obesity, tiredness.
MelatoninSleep disturbances such as insomnia, inability to go to sleep and stay asleep, fatigue, tiredness.
SAMeConverts serotonin to melatonin so lack of SAMe leads to insomnia, converts noradrenaline to adrenaline, helps control gene expression, prevents fatty liver, depression, motor neuron loss, liver cancer.

Stress and Consequent lowered Immunity leads to EBV infections

Constant stress lowers our immunity and reduces the effectiveness of our digestive system. Low levels of zinc, a natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial leave a stressed individual much more susceptible to viral infections.  Weakened adrenal function or burn out due to long term stress affects the ability of the liver to eliminate accumulated copper.  In a HTMA low sodium and potassium levels are indicative of adrenal exhaustion and poor stomach function leading to poor digestive outcomes. In addition low sodium and potassium effect the electro-chemical gradient between the inside and outside of your cells.  This has the effect of making it more difficult for nutrients to pass through the cell wall.  This is why taking nutrients when a person has adrenal exhaustion can be like pouring water on stone. Nothing happens to change the mineral pattern.

Subsequent HTMA can show little if any change.  The secret seems to be to turn the dial down on the accumulated stress through using kinesiology techniques.  The accumulated stress is affecting physical function and recovery.  In my own case releasing old stress patterns was just as, if not more important than taking the nutrients.  For persons suffering adrenal exhaustion no kinesiology will mean no overall change in the HTMA pattern over time. My second hair test moved me to a Slow 2 which would be the normal recovery pattern but then subsequent tests revealed the same pattern as the initial test as shown below. This is because the energetic body affects the physical body (physiology) and accumulated stress resides in the energetic body re-enforcing physical function.

In order to eliminate the copper it is necessary to regain good adrenal function. The liver also needs support. Any heavy metals and chemical overload need to be eliminated in order to restore good liver function. When liver function has been impaired kidney performance may be sub-optimal and need support.


Nutrients to consider:

A good liver support

Kidney tonic

Chlorella to eliminate heavy metals and chemical toxicity

Vitamins C & E, B6 & B Complex

Zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, selenium and molybdenum

Plenty of good fats such as omega 3’s & 6’s


Betaine hydrochloride for good digestion especially where zinc is low and adrenal exhaustion is evident. Vitamin B6 is needed for good adrenal function and also to make stomach acid.  It also activates zinc and magnesium in the body.

Vegetarians and Vegans should take Vital Pea protein powder with each meal as these groups are often low in protein. In addition for this group vitamin B12 is a necessity.

Things to avoid

All diuretics such as coffee, tea and alcohol. High sugar and carbohydrate diet as this affects liver, pancreatic and brain function.

Copper excess and Candidiasis

There is a link between excess copper levels and candidiasis infections possibly because copper blocks the action of zinc in the body which is necessary for good immune function. See my article on Candida and how to eliminate it.

Copper excess and Depression and Insomnia.

In order to make serotonin the body must convert tryptophan to 5-hydroxytrytamine. The process requires many nutrients that are blocked by copper such as folate, iron, vitamin B3, zinc, magnesium and vitamin C.  Dopamine is important for motivation and again copper blocks many of the nutrients needed to make it.  Poor digestion caused by stress exacerbates the problems.  These effects often take place over many years and are not noticed until a trigger event occurs.  Everyone look to the trigger event as the cause but the actual cause can be excess copper and low nutrient levels.

Sleeping requires the conversion of serotonin to melatonin.  That process requires magnesium and SAMe. Both are blocked by copper.   δ Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) also quietens the brain but requires vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium and vitamin C to convert L-Glutamine all of which are either effected by or blocked by copper excess.  This is often why people who are depressed cannot sleep.

Changes in Personality Pattern Caused by High Copper Levels

Various commentators have described three patterns of behaviour associated with copper excess. They are not mutually exclusive. From my person experience and from observation of others with high copper levels people can exhibit predominately one pattern but show signs of the others;

Pattern 1

Anxiety/Worry, Agitation, Depression/Low Mood, Insomnia

Pattern 2

Constantly needing reassurance, “Emotional”, “Hypochondria”

Pattern 3

Surly, Aggressive, Angry, Pushy, Beligerent, Abusive, Violent

References for this article:

The Relationship Between Exposure to Epstein Barr Virus & Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis – A focus on EBV, the liver and copper presented by Gary Moller for InterClinical Laboratories on 12 October, 2015

Hormonal Balance – Understanding Hormones, Weight and Your Metabolism by Scott Isaacs M.D. F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E. with Todd Leopold.

The Visual Textbook of Nutritional Medicine by Igor Tabrizian M.D.