This post has been written in response to a request from one of my patients, but also for my niece who is recovering from glandular fever.
Glandular fever is a type of viral infection. It is also known as infectious mononucleosis (‘mono’), and sometimes colloquially as the ‘kissing disease’ due to its transmission by saliva . It can cause fever, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and glands.
It is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and less so by Cytomegalovirurs (CMV) and Rubella (German measles). The majority of sufferers are in their teens or early adulthood years, but really, people of any age can be affected.
Glandular fever has an incubation period of about one to two months, perhaps shorter in children. Signs and symptoms may include headaches, a rash, loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, weakness, sore throat, swollen glands, spleen tenderness/pain, swelling around eyes, and occasionally jaundice. Fatigue can sometimes persist for up to 3 months or so. Full recovery is usual. There are also those who become infected with the virus but do not develop symptoms.
Complications of glandular fever are uncommon, but can be serious. They include a ruptured spleen (medical emergency), pneumonia, and prolonged fatigue. Afterwards, the virus will remain in the body for life, lying dormant in a number of throat and blood cells. In some cases, the virus will be ‘latent’, meaning it has the potential to give rise to a lingering illness.
Naturopathic medicine for glandular fever
Fortunately, there are many safe and effective naturopathic treatments to help with symptoms and for patients to make a full recovery. These are best prescribed by a qualified naturopath (such as moi!) who can advise you on which is best for you.
- Rest, rest and more rest!
- Plenty of fluids to help prevent dehydration, especially if there is fever. If sore throat symptoms are severe, sucking on ice cubes may help to get some fluids in.
- Healthy eating: chicken soup, vegetable juices, yoghurt, smoothies etc.
- Immune boosting vitamins and minerals such as high dose C, D and zinc.
- High dose probiotics (60% of our immune health stems from the state of our gut bacteria)
- Herbal medicine to the rescue such as Echinacea, St John’s Wort, Licorice, Rehmannia and Poke root. St John’s Wort high grade is particularly effective for herpes ‘envelope’ virues. (We stock this at my clinic).
- Gargle with a herb mix before swallowing, also with salt water.
- Homoeopathic remedies such as belladonna, cistus, ailanthus, phytolacca, mercurius.
- Heel Traumeel tablets sucked and gel rubbed over the neck and gland area.
Are you ready to overcome glandular fever?
Book yourself in for a consultation today!