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Can herpes cause extreme weakness and fatigue?

6 posts in this topic


I had unsafe sex in mid Sept of this year. Since late Sept I have had episodes of extreme weakness and fatigue that aren't accompanied by other flu symptoms (upper respiratory, high fever, etc). The weakness was worst when I was standing up, but I felt much better if I lay down. Any physical exertion made me feel hot and flushed. The only consistent symptoms beside the weakness is that I would get itchy-then-crusty sores around my mouth and had a throbbing gland in my neck. These often appeared just before my period, which made me think they were just an unusual pre-menstrual symptom. The episodes have lasted from 4-6 days and have basically left me bed-ridden. But there have also been lots of days in between where I found myself napping at work or feeling run down. My doctors at Kaiser have run blood tests for mono (negative) as well as kidney, liver, and thyroid function, which all came back clear. They keep telling me that weakness and fatigue are not "specific symptoms" and that I'm probably just depressed.

Starting on Dec 24th (it's now the 31st), I started having cold symptoms along with a throbbing gland in my groin. In addition to the cold symptoms, I had a painful spot on my labia. I didn't think much about it and it went away in a few days. I have had the same weakness and fatigue and was in bed for days.

Today (Dec 31) I went to see my naturopath, who I turn to when I can't get answers from my doctors. She listened carefully, asked when I'd last had unprotected sex, made a chart of my symptoms and dates, and concluded that I'm likely experiencing the first onset of a herpes outbreak. My immune system has been tremendously stressed this year from a divorce and job loss, but I know that I'm not clinically depressed and that this illness has not followed any of my normal winter cold patterns.

Almost all the herpes info I've read focuses on the blister-like sores. The ones on my mouth have not been forming visible blisters, but they are itchy and tingly for days beforehand and sort of crusty and dry after. I'm not sure about the labial sore because I didn't think to check it out. Right now I'm having a kind of generalized ache in my left groin (where the gland was throbbing a few days back) and I think I feel another labial sore coming on.

My questions are: could herpes be responsible for the extreme weakness, muscle aches, and other symptoms that I've had for the past 2.5 months?

Do mouth herpes always cause visible blisters?

Kaiser said they don't want to run blood tests since they are "non-specific." What does this mean and are there any tests that are more useful? At the rate it takes to get into see a doc there, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get a "live" lesion sample. Even if I don't get an absolute diagnosis, would you recommend starting anti-viral treatments?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Hi Daphna,

Although everything you have been experiencing could be herpes related you won't really know for sure unless you get the appropriate test. I don't think that even your naturopath would suggest anti-virals before having a concrete diagnosis.

Kaiser is wrong when they say the tests are non-specific, while some of them are, you only need to request that they order the right test. Ask your doctor to order the IgG Type Specific Antibody test for HSV1 and HSV2, not the IgM or the combination 1/2 test.

In case you aren't aware of this, mono is caused by a herpes virus, Epstein Barr Virus, and they can test specifically for EBV antibodies, just as they test for shingles, Varicella Zoster Virus. Herpes Simplex Virus is just another sub-type that they can test for antibodies, specifically type 1 or type 2 antibodies.

Yes, you could have type 1 orally and not experience blisters, same goes for genital herpes, whether it's type 1 or 2. I hope your doctor will help you find what's causing your symptoms and not just dismiss the request for the test.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Herpes can cause fatigue, stiffness especially if you have severe outbreak.

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I was having flu like symptoms and chronic fatigue and weird brain fog before I had an OB... and then during the OB. I would suggest you try taking a good multivitamin, b-complex and ATP. ATP helps the nerves. I found taking these really helped me generally... along with about 10 others supplements... lol

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whats ATP?

I was tld to eat raw garlic and cococnut oil

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too much raw garlic can cause you to burn your stomach. A few days would be fine. It is Peak ATP (Adenosine). I think it is helping with the energy. I am not pushing the website I am going to list.. just it has a description.


I usually get mine from Swansonvitamins.com or vitacost.com, amazon.com.. whichever floats your boat. Sad part is it is still cheaper to buy it online than local even with shipping. swansonvitamins has the lowest shipping usually.

The b-complex, multivitamins help with any deficiencies to boost you generally. The ATP is used by athletes for more energy. Personally, I notice a difference. My boyfriend who works out 3 days a week noticed a bit of difference.

Anyway, I do use coconut oil every day and use the raw garlic on occasion. I don't like the scent I give off when I sweat though with the raw garlic if I use it more than a couple of days... lol

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