Glandular fever is the common name of a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It used to be called infectious mononucleosis or “kissing disease” because the virus is transmitted through saliva. It attacks a run-down host – someone who has been working hard, sleeping less, eating badly, and is lacking in essential vitamins and minerals. Teenagers are most likely to get glandular fever, as their lifestyle often means that they expend more energy than they replenish.
Like all infections, this condition causes fever, chill, body aches and a sore throat (pharyngitis) – the most prominent symptom – and may persist for weeks or months. It also causes swollen lymph glands because the virus enters the lymphocytes and multiplies there.
Glandular fever is viral, so antibiotics will be ineffective. As with all viral infections, the body heals this problem on its own eventually. It used to be said that if you treat a virus it gets cured in a week, and if you don’t it heals in seven days. Unfortunately, recovery doesn’t happen so quickly nowadays and there can be serious complications. First, the virus may, not be completely overpowered by the body and it can then cause recurrent fever, sore throat and swollen glands. These bouts of infection can go on as long as the body is weak Many people also experience some degree of post viral fatigue, which can have a devastating effect on the body.
Post viral fatigue is also called chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis( ME). The fatigue can stop people exercising enough and also cause shallow breathing, which leads to poor circulation of blood and oxygen and, in turn, to a litany of problems. The muscles become painful; because a reduces supply of oxygen produces lactic acid, triggering aches and pains. Poor circulation of blood to the brain creates fatigue, lack of concentration, poor, memory sleep disturbance and depression.
The difficulty with this condition is that the body was run down before the attack and not only does it have to struggle to fight the virus but also to get back normal energy afterwards. So, once your niece can eat solid food again, it is vital for her to restore her energy through good nutrition, massage and appropriate exercise.
Here are my suggestions:
- Eat a high-protein diet, with adequate daily amounts of game, red and white meat, fish and eggs. If you’re vegetarian, eat eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, and almonds soaked in room-temperature water for 24 hours (to make the nutrients more bioavailable).
- Avoid yeast products (bread, pizza, Marmite, etc), sugar and sugary foods completely. Yeast, which is fed by sugar, brews toxic alcohols in the body and these cause additional fatigue.
- Cut out cheese, mushrooms and vinegar, which all contain fungal products. Fungus helps yeast and candida to thrive in the body.
- Avoid citrus and acid fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, mangos, passion fruit and kiwis. Also avoid spicy and fried foods. Excess stomach acid from these
neutralises bile and stops it suppressing candida.
- Caffeinated drinks (such as coffee, tea, chocolate, cola) and alcohol should also be avoided. These boost energy temporarily but cause fatigue shortly after.
- Massage the body with Lifestyle Oil or two tablespoons of sweet almond oil mixed with three drops of lavender essential oil, focusing on the neck and shoulders, to improve circulation and remove aches. Do this twice weekly for ten to l5 minutes, for four months or so. Details of how to do this are on my Life Style DVD (Integrated Health Group).
- Take 20 minutes daily exercise such as walking, yoga or swimming.
- Take Chawanprash (Pukka Herbs,): one tablespoon daily after breakfast for three months. This ancient herbal formulation helps to boost energy and the immune system.
- BioEnergy (Biotique, tablets): take one twice daily for three months.
- You should also consider vitamin and mineral infusions. Contact Dr Wendy Denning at the Integrated Medical Centre for details. Additionally, I lead rehab programmes, including yoga, walking and massage, in the Himalayas for this type of condition. For details of trips in 2005, contact Paul Loades at the Integrated Medical Centre.