The patient: Shelly, a single mother of two high schoolers who was passionate about being there for her kids, both athletes.
Why she came to see me: For the past two years, after her divorce, she had been suffering bouts of terrible fatigue that would “come on like a flu” and then seem to partially go away but leave her dragging for many months afterward. She was particularly troubled because she couldn’t keep up with her children’s field hockey and basketball activities. Her Ob/gyn, whom I had lectured with and co-managed a number of patients and pregnancies, suspected a chronic herpetic virus and found evidence of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) in a screening test.
How I evaluated her: I reviewed Shelly’s bloodwork and ordered a more complete EBV panel, which showed evidence of a chronic recurrent reactivation of the virus. I explained to her that we had been taught to believe that the virus was incurable and that the best we could hope for was to improve her immune function so that she could limit the frequency and intensity of the reoccurrences.
How we addressed this problem: We discussed all of the pertinent factors contributing to improving immune function, from adequate sleep and stress management to changes in diet and nutritional supplements. I prescribed a number of antioxidant and immune-stimulating vitamins, mineral, and botanicals. One in particular that I had had great success with in the past is a little-known botanical called Lomatium dissectum, which had been used historically as an anti-viral. An isolate of the tincture had been prepared and studied by the renowned naturopathic physician Ed Alstat, ND, and found to possess this property and avoid some of the side effects that had been reported by some with its use.
The patient’s progress: I saw Shelly two weeks later and she appeared to be recovering nicely from her most recent bout of viral reactivation. I cautioned her to go “slow and steady” and continue the regimen, and let me know if she experienced a reoccurrence. After six months of being free of symptoms, we retested her blood and found no evidence of her even having the virus. As my MD friend quipped, “This isn’t supposed to happen!” She remains healthy to this day.