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Saturday, April 21, 2018

One of the best discussions of HHV-6 online

David Overton on HHV-6:

Herpes type 6 (HHV 6) infections are very common, with almost 100% of people infected, although some people are carriers and do not have problems. There are two types of HHV 6 (A & B) that may have significant health implications.
It was only found in 1996 that HHV 6 infects and affects human DNA and genes. The CDC (US Center for Disease Control) considers HHV 6 one of the most damaging viruses to nerves, causing degenerative nervous system problems. It is commonly missed by conventional providers or mistakenly called “candida” or “toxins” by alternative practitioners.
In my practice, we commonly find and treat HHV 6. HHV 6 is common in people who’ve also had:
• Herpes type 1 or 2: cold sores, mouth or facial sores or rashes, genital problems, vaginal or urinary infections
• Herpes type 3 chicken pox and shingles
• Herpes type 4 (Epstein Barr): mononucleosis, chronic fatigue and many other problems
• Herpes type 5 (cytomegalovirus): mononucleosis, chronic fatigue and many other problems
• Coxsackie virus: another cause of cold sores, mouth or facial sores or rashes and other problems
• Mycoplasma or Chlamydia pneumonia: bacterial infections that may cause many problems
I started testing and treating HHV 6 because it can cause circulation problems and heart disease. I next found it can be part of acne, especially adult acne or rosacea. It is also a treatable cause of autoimmune problems, such as colitis, thyroid problems, rheumatology problems, multiple sclerosis (80% of cases) and other autoimmune conditions. I was surprised to see many neurological or nervous system problems improve with treatment for many of the herpes infections. Headaches, anxiety, mood changes, attention problems, memory problems, numbness, tingling, neuropathies, twitches and other problems often improved. This is because the herpes infections infect the nervous system.
HHV 6 grows inside white blood cells (lymphocytes, B cells, T cells, monocytes) and nerve cells and thus may not show on standard tests. Clues for this infection include abnormal:
• white blood cells
• abnormal red cells
• abnormal platelets
• abnormal urine tests
• abnormal liver or kidney tests
• abnormal circulation tests, including high cholesterol or CRP (C reactive protein)
HHV 6 is an extremely common childhood infection with the potential for slow but progressive problems. Three stages of infections of HHV 6 infection occur:
Stage 1 – The initial infection occurs in childhood and causes a viral infection known as Fifth’s disease, roseola infantum or exanthema subitum. It causes a fever, cold or flu-like infection and can have bright red cheeks. Occasionally a faint rash occurs on the body or extremities.
Stage 2 – Healthy children and adults can get infected. The virus reproduces in the saliva glands and is secreted in saliva often without causing obvious problems. It then hides in the saliva glands, in white blood cells (lymphocytes and monocytes) and persists in various organs. This means the infection may not be obvious and the immune system may not control it. Subtle symptoms would come and go in this situation. People who harbor the virus in these cells can spread infections to other people.
Stage 3 – Patients with stressed immune systems or immune challenges are often associated with chronic relapsing HHV 6 infections. Its disease producing potential is due to its ability to evade the person’s immune system. Immune challenges are common with:
• unresolved or chronic stress, anxiety, depression
• insomnia and sleep problems
• most chronic degenerative conditions (obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, acid reflux, arthritis, asthma, kidney disease, circulation disorders, others)
• blood sugar problems
• poor diet
• other infections (dental cavities, bleeding gums, dental root infections, ear, nose or throat infections, asthma, lung problems, hepatitis, genital, urinary or bladder infections, HIV, etc.)
• some drugs (allergy & asthma medicines, steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, some blood pressure and heart medicines, others)
• inflammation and
• other conditions
Blood tests, while not required, would be the best way to diagnose and manage HHV 6 infections. There are only three labs in the United States that are considered to have accurate tests and we use these labs for testing. Other labs have less accurate or inaccurate testing methods.
If patients have a sequence or combination of confusing symptoms, I recommend considering if they have HHV 6 or other viral infections. These individuals may want to consider testing or treatments. Treatment is long term and takes multiple steps in appointments, but I have seen a wide variety of symptoms improve. HHV 6 is hard to understand, but quite common and treatable.
Reference: CBC website: Emerging Infectious Disease, Vol. 5, No. 3 May-June. Human Herpesvirus 6: An Emerging Pathogen. Camppadelli-Fiume, et. al.
David Overton, PA-C works at Natural Medicines & Family Practice combining alternative and conventional treatments. 

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