Glandular Fever, also called infectious mononucleosis (IM) is a viral infection which is usually transmitted through saliva. It is most common in adolescents and young adults.
What to look for
Early symptoms resemble flu, with fever, a sore throat and headache, but within about two days the lymph glands in the neck, armpits and groin become swollen and painful and a light rash similar to that of German Measles may develop. The tonsils are severely swollen, making swallowing difficult and occasionally obstructing breathing, and there is an overwhelming feeling of fatigue and lethargy. Sometimes the spleen becomes enlarged and the liver may be mildly damaged, leading to a brief episode of jaundice. While the symptoms disappear within three to six weeks, full recovery may be slow and energy levels may remain low for several months, with accompanying depression and drowsiness during the day.
Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus or cytomegalovirus, both of which belong to the herpes family. The virus multiplies in the white blood cells and eventually the efficiency of the immune system is reduced. The disease may recur in a milder form within a year or so of the initial infection.
When to seek further professional advice
If you think you might have glandular fever or are experiencing any of the above symptoms you should consult your doctor.
Alternative Treatment includes: Homeopathy, Alexander Technique, Western Herbalism, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbalism, Autogenic Training, Ayurvedic Medicine and Reflexology.
A doctor will do a blood test to confirm the diagnosis, although this is not always reliable as different viruses may be involved and further tests may be required. There is no curative medication, but very occasionally corticosteroid drugs are prescribed to reduce inflammation. Most commonly, bed rest is recommended for about a month in order for the immune system to build up sufficiently to fight off the virus.
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