Infectious mononucleosis, also known as the kissing disease or mono, can be described as a condition caused by the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). This ailment is characterized by a sore throat, fever, malaise and weakness. The virus, which is a member of the Herpes virus family, is mainly transferred from one person to the other, through saliva and therefore you can contract this disease if you kiss someone who has already been infected. Though kissing is one of the most common ways for the EBV to spread, it is not the only way. You could also be exposed to the mono-causing virus in case you share food or utensils with an infected person.
Symptoms of Mononucleosis
There are several symptoms that may be evident in those who are afflicted with mono. However, it takes anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks for the symptoms to appear. Given below are some of the most common signs and symptoms for mononucleosis:
- Appearance of a rash on the skin
- Breathing difficulty
- Changes in the color of the skin, as it takes on a yellowish tint
- Extreme weakness and fatigue
- Intense headaches or body aches
- Lack of appetite, often accompanied by weight loss
- Moderate to high fever
- Night sweats
- Sore throat, which is quite severe and does not seem to get better in spite of using antibiotics
- Swollen lymph nodes, glands and tonsillitis
Remedies for Mononucleosis
There is no specific medical treatment that is recommended for mono, as antibiotics do not really help in getting rid of a virus. Therefore, it is all about self-care and the use of home remedies that can alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms. Medical treatment is only provided to control symptoms if they are threatening or if there is a risk of complications developing. Given below are a few simple and natural home remedies for mononucleosis:
- Get an adequate amount of sleep and sufficient rest throughout the day. This will allow your body to recover at a faster pace. When it comes to treating mono, rest is one of the most important factors.
- A strep throat can easily lead to mono, which is why it should be treated as soon as possible. The best way to deal with a strep throat is by gargling with warm saltwater a couple of times a day. For best results, try to use an entire glass of warm water in one go.
- You can relieve some of the symptoms of mono by keeping your throat moist at all times. This also helps reduce throat irritation or inflammation to a great extent. You could suck on a piece of candy, some ice or a Popsicle for this purpose.
- Drink a lot of water during the course of the day, to flush any toxins from your body and strengthen the immune system. Warm liquids will also help alleviate the irritation in the throat and fever.
In case you have the habit of smoking, you are strongly advised to quit smoking for a few weeks at least. Smoking can aggravate the symptoms of mono and therefore should be strictly avoided.
Diet for Mononucleosis
Given below are some of the foods that should be included in a diet for mononucleosis:
- Fresh fruits like berries, apples, bananas, oranges and other citrus fruits
- Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, kale spinach and other varieties of leafy greens
- Certain varieties of seafood that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, like mackerels, tuna, haddock, salmon and other cold water fish
- Cereals and whole grains, which include oats, brown rice, whole grain bread and wheat pasta, to name a few
- Lean meat, like skinless chicken and turkey
- Beans and legumes
- Given below are some of the additional recommendations for a mono diet:
- Increasing Fluid Intake: It is important to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, especially when recovering from a viral illness. In addition to water, you could also make sure that you drink fluids like vegetable juice, fruit juice, herbal tea, barley water, coconut water or clear soup at regular intervals during the day.
- Eating Regularly: In case of a viral infection, it may be difficult for your body to process a large meal, which in turn, could lead to digestive problems. In order to avoid such problems, it is best to make sure that you eat around 5 to 6 small meals at regular intervals during the day to avoid putting your digestive system under any stress.
- Eliminating Unhealthy Foods: It is important to make sure that you avoid consuming unhealthy foods like junk food, fried food, sweets, fattening foods, foods with high sodium content, refined foods and prepackaged meals while recovering from mono. Other foods that should be strictly avoided include chocolate, alcohol, aerated drinks, coffee and tea.
- In case your diet does not provide your body with the adequate amount of nutrition, it may be best for you to add a vitamin supplement. Before doing so, it is important to consult a doctor for daily recommended doses.
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