What is Glandular Fever?
Glandular fever is the more common term for infectious mononucleosis, or the ‘kissing disease’, as it is sometimes known. It is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Glandular fever symptoms are typically characterized by a sore throat, high fever, swollen lymph nodes or glands, and extreme fatigue.
Glandular fever is not highly infectious, even though the most common way of spreading the virus is through saliva from person to person. This viral infection is most common among young people 10 to 25 years old.
If you catch glandular fever, you may be potentially infectious for weeks or even months afterwards. Sometimes infectious mononucleosis can lead to symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
In rare cases, glandular fever may lead to serious complications affecting other parts of the body, including inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), inflammation of the sac around the heart (pericarditis), inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), pneumonia, ruptured spleen, or cause the destruction of red blood cells.
What Causes Glandular Fever?
The cause of glandular fever is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The most common way of spreading the virus is through the transmission of saliva from one person to another. Coughing, sneezing, and sharing drink bottles, eating utensils and other personal items can also spread the virus. In addition, the virus can also be spread through blood transfusion and organ transplantation.
Diagnosing Glandular Fever
The diagnosis of glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis is based on your physical symptoms, and will include a blood test and a throat swab. Your doctor will perform a blood test to determine abnormalities in the white blood cells. A throat swab will help determine if you have glandular fever.
Treatments for Glandular Fever
There is no specific treatment for glandular fever and it is generally symptomatic. Rest and sleep are recommended, as well as drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.
Fever and pain can be treated with pain killers such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Recovery usually takes about two weeks and complementary and supportive treatments such as acupuncture and massage can help to improve immune function and congestion of the liver, spleen, and lymphatic system.
Natural Remedies for Glandular Fever
Natural and holistic treatments have proven to be a wonderful alternative to traditional medicines in providing relief for glandular fever symptoms or other viral infections. Herbal and homeopathic remedies can be greatly beneficial to ensuring optimal physical, emotional, and mental health.
Herbs such as Viscum album and Echinacea purpurea can also strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation and encouraging repair of damaged cells, while research has suggested that Olea europea may help to fight against the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), while Wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) and Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabr) are used in acute conditions to boost immunity and soothe the throat.
Homeopathic ingredients can also assist in treatment and recovery. Belladonna can help to address the early stages of mononucleosis with the sudden onset of fever, while Ferrum phosphoricum can treat fever accompanied by a painful cough and sore chest. Kali muriaticum is a good choice to address extremely swollen tonsils. Remember to always source herbal and homeopathic remedies from a reputable company, as therapeutic dosage and ingredient quality are important when using natural medicines.