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The Epidemic of Autoimmune Disease in the United States

There is an epidemic in the United States and it is only growing. You will not see it on the front page of a newspaper or on news TV channels, but it is there and it is very serious. It is the epidemic of autoimmune diseases. They are among the most prevalent forms of chronic illness in the United States and has affected an estimated 23.5 million Americans.

The startling fact that there are more than one hundred different autoimmune conditions should be enough for it to be talked about more often. They are all serious chronic diseases caused by an underlying problem in the immune system. There are more people suffering from autoimmune diseases than from cancer or heart disease, yet most people do not even know what autoimmune diseases are. The lack of awareness is making it harder for people to recover and causing pain, disability, and even death.

Unfortunately, most conventional doctors are not familiar with autoimmune diseases themselves and cannot figure out what is causing their patient’s symptoms or cannot get to the root of their patient’s problem. This makes it frustrating for the patient, can make them feel hopeless and even give up on solving their problem altogether.

The Answer to Treating Autoimmune Diseases

The good news is that there are ways to help and even reverse an autoimmune deficiency. Integrative functional medicine, a medical specialty that focuses on reversing these chronic conditions, is the best way to solve the problem. The problem with going to a conventional doctor is that they will take your symptoms and treat them as the same symptoms as another person. This works fine for trauma or health issues but does not work so well for chronic illnesses such as an autoimmune disease. What needs to be done is find the root cause by narrowing down possible root causes and testing them to confirm.

There are three broad categories that Dr. Anju Mathur, a Los Angeles Autoimmune physician, uses to divide the possible underlying reasons of autoimmune diseases. They are:

The body is influenced by something that is toxic to it, meaning the body has been or is currently being exposed to something that is harmful. This could be harsh chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, parasites, etc.

The body could be deficient in something that is essential to its health. This could be the endocrine system hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, cortisol, Oxytocin or human growth hormones. There could also be nutritional deficiencies.

The body may have hormonal or nutritional imbalances.

Fortunately, there are several tools that are effective in treating these various factors. Some of these tools include targeted nutrients, IV vitamin infusions, bio-identical hormones and a metabolically correct diet. Additionally, any needed lifestyle changes along with these tools usually resolve most autoimmune diseases.

It is also very important to only use things that are natural to the body as it has its own innate intelligence and an inborn ability to heal. What we do is find out what is undermining the body’s ability to survive by using effective natural therapies to bring back the quality of life.

Autoimmune disorders are not something to ignore and need to be talked about more often so those who may have an autoimmune disease can handle it fast and regain overall wellbeing and have a higher quality of life. While conventional doctors may not have all of the information on autoimmune diseases, there are other options that can find the root cause and bring your body back to normal. The answer is integrative functional medicine.

Alternative Therapies for Treating Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia affects approximately 2% to 4% of the population, with women being the majority who are diagnosed at a rate of 7 to 1 compared to men. Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose due to the fact that it is known to occur along with other chronic illnesses. While the cause is unknown, experts believe that fibromyalgia may amplify how the brain processes pain signals. It is thought by some physicians that fibromyalgia may be made worse by having a hormone imbalance. This is because hormones, such as testosterone and DHEA, play a role in how pain receptors respond in the body. When the hormone balance is restored, it is possible to harmonize the way that pain receptors perceive pain, which would then reduce the symptoms of body pain. While there are many fibromyalgia treatment options, alternative therapies may be what you are looking for.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Due to the fact that fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose, it is important to know the characteristics to make it easier to identify. The symptoms of fibromyalgia have been known to start after a physically traumatic event, surgery, severe distress or a serious infection. However, the symptoms can also accumulate over time. Fibromyalgia is a disorder which causes widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness, making the quality of life reduced. Some of the symptoms may include:

Muscle pain

Memory deficits

Headaches or migraines

Morning stiffness

Overactive bladder

Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

Other chronic illnesses that fibromyalgia tends to occur with are Rheumatoid Arthritis, a systematic inflammatory disease of the joints, Lupus Erythematosus, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and tissue damage, osteoporosis, a degeneration of cartilage and bone, and Ankylosing Spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory disease.

Alternative Therapies

Fibromyalgia is essentially an autoimmune disorder and like any other autoimmune disorder, it is very important to find and correct the root problem. Alternative therapies than can help with fibromyalgia pain include:

Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy – A therapy for both men and women that replaces hormones that have been lost overtime with age. By replacing these hormones, women may find improvement in sleep, stronger bones, healthier moods and regulated body temperature. Men may find healthier emotions, thicker hair, increased muscle mass and increased metabolic functions.

Phospholipid Exchange Therapy – A therapy that can help to detoxify the body on a cellular level, which in turn improves overall health and immune function. Toxins can be stored in body fat for long periods of time, making them stay in the phospholipid layers of cells to cause increased levels of toxicity and cellular degeneration. Unlike regular detoxifications, Phospholipid Exchange Therapy can excrete dangerous chemicals that have been lodged in the cell membranes. Phospholipid Exchange Therapy can improve several disorders including fibromyalgia, autism, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and infertility.

IV Nutrient therapy and diet – IV nutrient therapy strengthens the immune system by feeding vitamins, minerals, and other natural substances directly into a patient’s bloodstream, which bypasses the digestive system. This can give a huge advantage as it brings vital nutrition directly to the organ systems of the body rather than processing through the liver, stomach, and intestines first. IV therapies can help with hypertension, fibromyalgia, diabetes, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and hepatitis.

Fibromyalgia can create a big impact on the overall quality of life. While it can be hard to diagnose, knowing and understanding the symptoms is vital in order to identify it yourself. Patients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia have experienced great benefits from Bio-identical Replacement Therapy, Phospholipid Exchange Therapy and IV Nutrient Therapy. However, if you feel you have any of the above symptoms, these therapies can help improve several ailments and disorders. Finding the root cause and treating it fully and naturally can change your life.

The Differing Ways Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy Benefits Men vs. Women

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a fantastic option for men and women who are experiencing a difference or loss in hormones. BHRT has different benefits for both genders but can make you feel healthier and change your life, no matter what your gender is.

What BHRT Can Do for Women

Most women will naturally start to lose their hormones as early as the late 20’s and early 30’s and these hormones will continue to decline until the onset of Menopause around the age of 52, which is right when you will start to experience those annoying hot flashes and horrible night sweats. Other factors, such as stress, lack of nutrition, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, smoking and excessive alcohol intake can also cause hormones to decline even at a young age. Women may also experience premature menopause induced by surgical removal of their ovaries.

All of these factors can make menopause dreadful and life harder, but bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can benefit women going through hormone decline at any age. Some of the benefits for women may include:

• Healthier moods occur when sex hormones such as progesterone and estrogen become balanced. When hormones decline, women can experience an increase in anxiety, irritability, depression, and anger. By regaining balance, you can improve your emotional health.

• Stronger bones can also occur from having balanced hormones. When estrogen declines, the bones may become less able to absorb enough calcium, which can cause bones to become brittle and porous.

• Weight loss can also be a result of balancing hormones. Progesterone is a natural diuretic, and when there is not enough of it, women may feel bloated and retain water. Additionally, an estrogen deficiency can cause the body to hold onto body fat.

What BHRT Can Do for Men

Men can suffer from hormonal imbalances just as women do. Testosterone levels steadily decline once men hit 30 and then dramatically drop in their 40’s and 50’s. This is also known as Andropause or male menopause, as the aging process and symptoms are similar to those women experience during menopause.

Andropause is the time in a man’s life when a drop in the levels of the male hormone, testosterone, occurs. Due to this, life can become more difficult, there may be weight gain, energy loss, loss of sex drive, mood swings, mental fogginess, muscle atrophy, and erectile dysfunction. BHRT can help men recover from the effects of hormone decline. Some of the benefits may include:

• Increased muscle mass can be caused by balanced testosterone levels. This is because testosterone has a direct effect on muscle building.

• Thicker hair could be the result of healthy levels of testosterone. When testosterone levels are lower, hair follicles can be caused to die away. Increasing free testosterone helps preserve hair follicles.

• Improved mental acuity occurs as hormones come into balance. Often decline in human growth hormone, testosterone, aldosterone or thyroid hormones in men cause declines in mental prowess.

While these are not all of the benefits of BHRT for men and women, it can give you an idea of how important having balanced hormone levels is for all aspects of your health. While there are not bio-identical hormone replacement side effects, there are certain risks for both men and women you should be aware of. If you are experiencing bad effects due to menopause or male menopause, find life to be more difficult and your overall health seems to be lower, contact a bio-identical hormone replacement doctor to discuss your options so you can feel more energetic and full of health.

5 Signs You May Have an Auto Immune Disorder

Autoimmune diseases are currently affecting an estimated 23.5 million Americans, most of whom are women, and you may have had no idea. Autoimmune diseases are not popular topics of discussion, but they should be. There are more than one hundred different autoimmune conditions, all being serious chronic diseases caused by underlying problems in the immune system. More people suffer from autoimmune diseases than from cancer or heart diseases; Autoimmune diseases are considered a top 10 leading cause of death in women who are under the age of 65, yet most people have no clue what these conditions are, let alone how to identify them. By knowing the signs, the faster you will be able to find the correct treatment and handle the condition.

Five signs that may indicate an autoimmune disease include:

1. Joint pain, muscle pain or weakness or a tremor

2. Feeling tired or fatigued, weight gain or cold intolerance

3. Hair loss or white patches on your skin or inside your mouth

4. Recurrent rashes or hives, sun-sensitivity, a butterfly-shaped rash across your nose and cheeks

5. Abdominal pain, blood or mucus in your stool, diarrhea or mouth ulcers

There are several other signs of an autoimmune disease, but these are some of the main indicators.

What Causes Autoimmune Diseases?

Autoimmune diseases have an underlying genetic component that can be turned on by many other factors. For example, toxins and heavy metals like mercury from molds, infections like Candida, the herpes simplex virus, and inflammation due to food sensitivities, such as gluten; there is a definite link between autoimmune diseases and gluten intolerance.

An autoimmune disorder starts when your body is working hard to protect itself against something that could be dangerous, such as a toxin, an infection, allergen, or food. The main part is that it fails to differentiate between the intruder and parts of your own body, which means the immune system can attack parts of your own body, thinking certain types of tissues are dangerous. Your body then turns these antibodies against itself, causing a very bad effect on your organs.

What to Do if You Think You Have an Autoimmune Disorder

The good thing is that you can stop and reverse the disease. To do so, you first need to identify and treat the underlying cause. Conventional doctors will only treat the symptoms of an autoimmune disease and will not look for the root cause. They will often prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, or immunosuppressants, which all fail to treat the underlying cause of the condition and are not a long-term solution. In fact, taking immunosuppressant drugs for a long period of time can increase your risk for cancer and severe infections. Due to the fact that no two autoimmune diseases are the same, the way conventional doctors treat the symptoms (autoimmune disorders can have similar symptoms) would not treat your specific condition, still leaving you with an untreated condition. Integrative functional medicine, a medical specialty that focuses on reversing these chronic conditions, will find the underlying cause and help reverse the condition and symptoms.

Autoimmune disorders, when gone unnoticed or unidentified, can wreak havoc on organs and your health. However, there is something you can do about it to take control of your health. Knowing and being aware of the symptoms for an autoimmune deficiency, even if the symptoms show up at a later time, can allow you to find the root cause, the proper treatment faster so you can reverse the condition as soon as possible, and get your health back to a normal state.

What are the Health Benefits of Chelation Therapy

Metal toxicity can go unnoticed but can cause a large number of health conditions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is no known safe level of toxic metal. What is a toxic metal? They are metals such as mercury (tooth fillings), arsenic, lead, and cadmium, which are known to impede with biological functions in the body. Chelation therapy, an alternative medicine that is a non-invasive way to remove accumulated metals in the body, can improve several health conditions. Chelation therapy involves a chemical solution called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), which is administered into the body, usually directly into the bloodstream through an injection, so it can chelate or bind with the toxins and remove them before imbalances have the chance to develop.

Some of the conditions that can occur due to a high level of heavy metal toxicity are: initiating oxidative stress, cancer cell activation, hormone synthesis and dysfunction, weakened immune system, reduced energy metabolism and interference in the body’s cells and tissues. Even non-toxic minerals, such as calcium and iron, can accumulate to unhealthy levels, which is believed to contribute to hypertension, vessel disease, and certain heart conditions.

General benefits of chelation therapy include:

• Anti-aging effects
• More energy
• Rejuvenated Cardiovascular System
• Improved Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Anti-candida effect
• Improved hormone function
• Improves weight
• Reduces allergies
• Slows or reverses Alzheimer’s
• Reduces kidney stones
• Detoxifies bone marrow and organs

Along with general benefits, chelation has been used for decades to help improve many cardiovascular disease symptoms by reducing plaque and mineral deposits in the arteries. For example, calcium deposits are usually found in the plaques on artery walls and are responsible for the hardening of the arteries and vessel diseases. Chelation therapy may also stimulate the release of a hormone that makes it possible for calcium to be removed from plaques or makes cholesterol levels lower. It can also improve blood vessel function and reduce artery inflammation by reducing the damaging effects of oxygen ions on the walls of the blood vessels.

The benefits of Chelation therapy in regard to heart health may include:

• Reduced blood pressure
• Reduced arterial plaque
• Improved energy levels
• Decreased arterial inflammation
• Better cardiovascular function
• Lower cholesterol
• Improved circulation
• Reduced oxidative stress

Although research is still underway, some health care providers use Chelation therapy to treat coronary heart disease.

More benefits may include:

Act Like an Antioxidant

Chelation therapy can also act as an antioxidant by reducing inflammation, fighting free radical damage and removing metals that cause chronic disease development. It has been suggested that EDTA also binds to metals stored within bones, muscles and tissues in the body that can lead to increased inflammation or pain.

Less Pain and Swelling

Due to the fact that chelation therapy targets inflammation, which is what causes most diseases including arthritis and many autoimmune disorders, many people experience less pain from inflamed muscles, joints, and bones when using EDTA.

Can Help Lower Risk for Learning Disabilities

How conditions such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorders should be treated and prevented are controversial in the medical community, however, many are now looking to alternative treatments, such as chelation therapy, to control the symptoms.

While there is still research being done on chelation therapy, there are many benefits one may receive from EDTA and is worth looking into and considering as a way to get relief from joint or muscle pain, prevent certain health conditions and remove toxic metals from the body that can build up from things such as mercury fillings in the teeth, vaccinations, farm-raised fish, foods that are not certified organic and radiation/chemotherapy treatments.

Is IV Therapy the Right Step for Disease Prevention in 2017?

Intravenous (IV) nutrition is a way of feeding the body vitamins, minerals, and other natural substances by delivering it directly through the patient’s bloodstream, which bypasses the digestive system. This way vital nutrition is going directly to the organ systems of the body, a huge advantage for those who are ill or recovering.

The difference between nutrients being sent directly to the organs and being taken orally is this: When a nutrient, such as a vitamin, is taken orally they have to go through the liver, stomach and the intestines. Many substances may be rendered inactive, reduced in potency, or may not be well absorbed. However, when giving nutrients to the body directly through an IV, the full substance is used and can boost the immune system with immune enhancement IV therapy and supplement deficiencies.

The Health Benefits of IV Therapies

IV therapies can help with hypertension, asthma, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, diabetes, hepatitis, cancer, neurological disorders, headaches, and multiple sclerosis. While it is advertised as a hangover cure in Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Las Vegas, it can actually help athletes, give more energy and give a beauty boost to those who desire it.

There have been many people who have had successes with IV therapies. From warding off dizziness, fatigue and stomach issues to overall feeling more energy and healthier by using vitamin infusion. Your abilities increase, such as doing your job better, because you have more energy and your organs are working properly. When your cells are working properly, your organs work properly, and when your organs are working as they should, your overall health improves.

There are drawbacks, however. The treatment can cost hundreds of dollars, which is normally paid for out-of-pocket and is questioned whether or not making a lifestyle change, such as eating a healthier diet or exercising, could do the same thing and cheaper at that. It is also a concern that too high of a dose of supplements can have severe health consequences. Taking more than the daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals can increase the risk for some cancers; anything in excess can be damaging to the body and an IV therapy makes it easy to take more than that is necessary.

There is also the question of whether or not IV therapy promotes an antidote for binge drinking. If someone can cure their hangover with an IV treatment, they may think excess drinking is okay, when in reality an IV treatment will not reverse the effects done by binge drinking.

At the end of the day, IV therapy can be a good choice since it can boost the immune system and give nutrients directly to the organs of the body. However, there are downfalls that can occur at the same time that should be taken into account. If you are interested in IV treatment, first seek more knowledge on the subject to see if it’s right for you, then find a good clinic (not all are the same), and last, but not least, do not use it as a cure-all; give yourself the right expectations.

Is There a Connection Between Holiday Stress and Adrenal Problems

The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, are no bigger than the size of a walnut and their sole function is to help the body deal with stress. They affect practically every part of the body, including thoughts and emotions. When you experience constant stress, you may experience exhaustion as well, which could mean adrenal fatigue. While the holidays are fun and enjoyable, they can also be stressful and uncomfortable during certain situations.

What happens when your adrenals are burned out or tired? You may experience fatigue yourself, dizziness, difficulty focusing on a specific task, feeling tired because of a deadline or presentation that needs to be done on short notice, loss of motivation, difficulty getting sleep, low blood pressure, and exercise intolerance.

During the holidays, if you are overly stressed about making sure a party goes perfectly or seeing certain people stresses you out, your adrenal glands are then made to excrete cortisol, a hormone that protects the body from inflammation created with stress. Over time, the constant excretion of cortisol starts to make the adrenal glands tired and the body will steal materials from other hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, to convert them into more cortisol.

While holiday stress itself may not cause adrenal fatigue, holiday stress can still add extra stress onto an already stressful lifestyle, which can cause adrenal problems.

Who’s at Risk?

Anyone who lives a high-stress lifestyle and specifically people going through middle-aged changes since their sex hormones are beginning to decline already. Other people who are at risk are those who stay up all night, whether that be for fun or because they have to for their job. This is because the body naturally gets tired when it gets dark, so when a person stays up or ignored the natural chemical that makes the body tired, the adrenal glands have to produce adrenaline to keep the body awake. If this is only done once in awhile the body has time to recover, but if it is done on a regular basis, the body does not have time to recover and will cause adrenal fatigue.

Preventing and Treating Adrenal Fatigue

Preventing adrenal problems during the holidays does not have to be hard. Try adding in de-stressors, such as yoga, exercise, reading, drawing or anything that takes your mind off of what causes you to stress out. If it is your job or schoolwork that is stressing you out, try planning things out in advance so you do not end up procrastinating or maybe you need to find another job. If nothing seems to help, an adrenal fatigue test may be a good place to start.

Remember that the holidays are for relaxing and enjoying time with loved ones. Obviously, there will be times during the holidays and in your day-to-day life that will cause stress and that is normal but adding things into your life that help to free your mind of that stress will help tremendously.

Overactive, Underactive and Hyper Thyroid: What You Should Know

The thyroid, a gland located below the Adam’s apple and above the neck, is a vital part of the body that most people are not aware of. The thyroid is part of the endocrine system and it releases hormones, which are responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism, heart rate and how fast the body burns calories. The thyroid gland also works to synthesize energy from proteins, carbs, and fats and helps the body regulate energy and heat.

Sometimes an imbalance can occur, due to imbalances with thyroid hormone, and can cause two situations: overactive (hyper) or underactive (hypo) thyroid.

Hyperthyroidism

An overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism, occurs when the thyroid produces more thyroid hormone than the body needs. Some of the symptoms are: nervousness, mood swings, fatigue or muscle weakness, heat intolerance, trouble sleeping, hand tremors, rapid and irregular heartbeat, frequent bowel movements, weight loss and enlarged thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism is most common in women over 60. Those with other thyroid disorders are likely to develop hyperthyroidism.

The most common reason behind a hyperthyroid is Graves’ disease, Thyroid nodules, benign thyroid tumors or some medications may cause hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism

An underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, is when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone for the needs of the body. Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease, is the most common cause. Hashimoto’s is when the body’s immune system attacks its own thyroid until it can no longer produce hormones. Just like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism is most common in women over 60 and those with other thyroid disorders are more likely to develop hypothyroidism.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism are: weight gain, fatigue, puffiness in face, depression, cold intolerance, joint and muscle pain, poor memory, mental fogginess, constipation, thinning hair, dry skin, slowed heart rate, heavy or irregular menstrual periods, fertility issues, and decreased sweating. Because these symptoms vary and the intensity of these symptoms can vary, the condition often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed.

Hypothyroidism is also caused by starvation or yo-yo dieting at a young age; diabetics can also develop hypothyroidism.

What to do if you experience symptoms

If you experience any of the symptoms of hypo or hyperthyroidism or think you have a thyroid problem, you can get the thyroid tested. Normally, doctors will use a test that measures thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormone output (thyroxine or T4 and triiodothyronine or T3). However, there have been many scientific studies that show TSH is an unreliable indicator of thyroid function. Instead, free T3 and free T4 are more reliable of the status of the thyroid. In addition, thyroid antibodies can be checked for, as well as reverse T3 (a bad version of T3). When speaking with your thyroid doctor about thyroid tests, make sure you request a test that will check the free T3, free T4 and thyroid antibodies.

If you have been tested and found to have either hypo or hyperthyroidism, you can be treated for it by a thyroid specialist. The interesting part about a thyroid disorder is that there are no two that are exactly the same. Your treatment will be tailored to your situation, which might mean you need thyroid hormones or maybe you will need herbal extracts. All in all, the thyroid can be treated and in some cases the condition is reversed.

Mono Causes & Cures Explaining Epstein Barr

Epstein-Barr, also known as the EBV virus, is a member of the herpes family and is one of the most common viruses around the world. So much so that almost every person is exposed to EBV at some point in their lives and it is estimated that 90 to 95 percent of adults have antibodies that indicate a current or past EBV infection. While anyone can get the virus, it is most often seen in children. While there are specific Epstein-Barr symptoms, they closely resemble symptoms from other illnesses too, making it harder to diagnose.

How Mono is Related to EBV

First of all, EBV is known to cause other illnesses, including mononucleosis and it can be spread by kissing, having sex and sharing foods and drinks after someone who has EBV. So, while someone may have gotten mono from another person, it does not necessarily mean that other person also had mono, but could mean they had EBV. Some symptoms of mono are: fatigue, sore throat, headache, fever, swollen tonsils and swollen lymph nodes. General symptoms of EBV are: coughing, headache, fatigue, fever, swollen tonsils, nasal congestion and sneezing. Both viruses have very similar symptoms, which can cause a wrong diagnosis.

What Causes Mono?

While other viruses can cause this disease, the most common cause of mononucleosis is the EBV. Symptoms of mono usually develop around four to six weeks after exposure to EBV. Earlier symptoms resemble symptoms of a cold or a flu, but as the virus goes further along, symptoms get worse. Additional symptoms of an advanced infection are: fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleen, swollen liver, and rash, which are more common to the symptoms we see in mono rather than the Epstein-Barr virus symptoms earlier on.

Both mono and the Epstein-Barr virus have no known cure; antibiotics do not work on viruses such as these two. The recommended treatment is to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and take over-the-counter pain and fever medications. Adults and teenagers who have EBV and mono are normally seen to get better within two to four weeks, although some can have symptoms for months. After you have had an EBV infection, the virus will become dormant in the body. Sometimes the virus may reactivate, which does not always cause symptoms, but those who have a weakened immune system are more likely to develop symptoms if the virus reactivates.