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Glandular fever - any alternative remedies which may help?

(20 Posts)
FreckledLeopard Mon 29-Jan-18 09:23:45

We're waiting for blood test confirmation, but very likely that DD (16) has glandular fever. She's had the worst tonsillitis on top and has been in a zombie-like state now since 2 January. She sleeps for hours, is pale as a ghost, totally exhausted when she's not asleep and is just a shadow of her former self.

She's missed four weeks of school now and I'm tearing my hair out. I appreciate there's little anyone can suggest (in terms of conventional medicine) other than rest and painkillers, but I wondered if anyone had had any joys with alternative treatments? Many thanks.

Dreamslongforgotten75 Mon 29-Jan-18 12:36:21

OP, I had this at your DD age and it’s horrible. I think the only thing that makes a difference is rest, good food and fluids. I remember waking up in the morning and having absolutely no energy. It took 2 months to get back to a semi normal state & to this day I can still get tired very easily. Has she been under a lot stress recently ? Maybe a strong multi vitamin would be helpful when her sore throat feels better. Hope she gets better soon.

FreckledLeopard Mon 29-Jan-18 12:46:35

Thank you! She's definitely been burning the candle at both ends in the run up to Christmas (endless partying with new friends at sixth form) and unfortunately it seems to have caught up with her.

I'm giving her high dose vitamin C daily, and zinc, but nothing is having any effect sad

Bekabeech Mon 29-Jan-18 13:14:17

It took a month before she could do anything except collapse on the sofa after a trip to the Doctors. After 3 months she enrolled on a Prince's Trust course, which was a nice gentle way of getting her back into regular activity.
She also gained a widely enlarged knowledge of trash TV, and an understanding of real ill health.
Not trying to do too much too soon is the best medicine. My DD was pretty lucky with few after effects (my niece has some hearing loss).

Bekabeech Mon 29-Jan-18 13:16:33

Sorry the beginning of my message cut off...
My DD had glandular fever about the same age. And had to drop down a year at Sixth form.
We found soluble paracetamol helped of the pain. She also took a multi vitamin.

123bananas Mon 29-Jan-18 13:22:40

As others have said sleep, good quality nutrition, fluids and most importantly time. I didn't listen to my body when I got glandular fever at Uni, carried on working and going to Uni and it took years to recover.

Get the doctor and sixth form onside with her having a protracted period off maybe with home tuition once she improves a little more. If possible it would be good if she could restart sixth form again next year to allow her time to recover without stressing about deadlines and exams. She could do some paid/voluntary work maybe in a few months if recovered enough.

There is no quick fix I'm afraid.

welshmist Mon 29-Jan-18 13:26:01

Absolutely no exercise, games, sports, etc. Time, sleep good nutrition and vitamins the way to go. My son came home from uni. weighing 9.5 stones I was so shocked had trouble not breaking down in front of him. It was xmas, so we basically put him to bed filled up with metatone, rosehip syrup, good foods and forced him to chill for the month he was home.

Cocolepew Mon 29-Jan-18 13:26:03

I was recommended these for my DD

FreckledLeopard Mon 29-Jan-18 15:04:23

Thank you all. Cocolepew - did the supplements help do you think?

Cocolepew Mon 29-Jan-18 15:40:35

Yes, she's on them again because she feels run down and it's been a year or two since she was ill.
She actually had a strep infection but was very similar to GF, we thought thats what she had originally, she was very ill. It was after a sore throat too.
She went back to school for half days only for a good while.

Cocolepew Mon 29-Jan-18 15:41:21

If your DD has had anti biotics a prebiotic might be beneficial as well.

Bekabeech Mon 29-Jan-18 17:10:28

Oh the one other thing to remember is that her spleen is likely to be enlarged. So she should avoid contact sports or other activities where she might fall or be hit (my DD had to stop horse riding for a while after she started to feel better).

AuntieAunt Mon 29-Jan-18 17:20:15

I had glandular fever as a teen and didn't fully recover until post uni. I echo what others have said about postponing the year at 16th form.

A friend also had glandular fever but her family got her a nutritionist which she kindly sent me the report. Basically cut out anything that's not good for the body and what is hard to digest. This included all dairy especially milk and red meat. I could feel myself picking up shortly after and sometimes have to go back to that report when i'm feeling down. I essentially survived on lentils, greens and whole wheat pasta for two years but it worked. It doesn't sound that great but I'd rather have that diet than be up in bed unable to move.

I really feel for your DD as it's awful. Wishing her a speedy recovery.

welshmist Mon 29-Jan-18 18:56:58

My eldest who had it badly, still years later, if he gets stressed at work run down especially in the winter gets sick really easily and takes longer to recover I do wonder if it is down to the glandular fever he had so badly. He is a keep fit fanatic, eats so healthily all the year round so cannot think what else to attribute it to.

Dreamslongforgotten75 Sat 03-Feb-18 10:03:22

I believe the virus stays in your system for the rest of your life and re- appears ( for want of a better word!) in times of stress. My mum also had it and we both get identical symptoms when we are over doing things. Glands swell up and you have an overwhelming sense of tiredness. It never truly goes away. I was hospitalized when I had so I assume I had a fairly bad dose of it. How is your daughter feeling now OP?

FreckledLeopard Wed 07-Feb-18 12:34:43

Hello - thank you for all your messages. We finally got the blood test results yesterday and it's confirmed as being glandular fever.

DD's still off school but a little bit brighter than she was a week or so ago. She's hoping to try and hour or two of school tomorrow and see how she goes. She's having reflexology which is helping, as well as taking Vitamin C and zinc, echinacea and iron (she's anaemic too).

It's just so frustrating that there's no cure and no quick fix!

Citrasun Wed 07-Feb-18 12:42:48

Please be careful about letting your DD go back too soon. She really needs to be fully recovered or she risks relapsing, or worse still, have problems much longer term.

I had GF as a teen and suffered with mini relapses throughout my 20's and 30's. During the last 10 years I have been diagnosed with ME which has been attributed to the Glandular fever. It's a common trigger apparently.

Your DD really needs to listen to her body and as others have said, drop a year now, if need be, rather than try and push through.

mrsreynolds Wed 07-Feb-18 12:47:05

Poor love.
Soluble co codamol or paracetamol that can be gargled for the pain
Difflam throat spray
Optibac pro biotics
Vit C (berocca)
^ I get all the above from Amazon
If she wakes with a dry throat then a humidifier in her bedroom at night will help
And of course...

brownelephant Wed 07-Feb-18 12:54:25

as above + vit d3 which is an important one for cell metabolism.
plus possibly iron, if blood test showed deficiency.

good nutrition and enough rest.

hope she feels better soon. took me a couple of months to get back to almost normal.

Bettertobehealthy Wed 07-Feb-18 18:49:51

Hi Freckled ,

the last poster " brownelephant " has hit the nail on the head !

Your daughter needs to have a good vitamin D level. It will help fight off Epstein-Barr virus. ( Infectious mononucleosis - i.e. GF ) .

At the end of this post I link to a scientific explanation , somewhat more complex , but the gist of that research paper is as follows:

Vitamin D is a regulatory hormone , which is part of the control mechanism for over 2000 genes, that is 10 % of the entire human genome. It has effects on many bodily systems , not only bones, but inflammation , bacterial and viral defence mechanisms, growth, foetal development, etc. Vitamin D , is the ONLY hormone that is limited by the environment. By that, I mean, food and sunlight on skin will determine how much of the vitamin D hormone is available to all the cells in the body. Without sufficient Vitamin D hormone , those cells cannot work properly. In this instance B and T immune cells might not be able fight off GF.

Every other hormone is made as required from within the body from existing plentiful compounds, hormones such as cortisol, growth hormone, progesterone, estradiol, aldosterone etc. The point I am making is that without sufficient Vitamin D , your girls immune cells will be hampered in fighting off that infection. Sufficient Vitamin D will enhance immune cells ability to react and so eliminate the pathogen. ( Epstein-Barr virus ).

Throughout the world , infection by Epstein - Barr is common. In third world countries , many children have been infected asymptomatically, and fought it off by 5 years old. Generally they have no after effects. Their immune systems cope with it. However , here in the West , the situation is different , although about 90 % of us become infected within our lifetime , it is more commonly at a later age and can cause a symptomatic illness.

My suggestion would be , to make sure that she has a good level of vitamin D , supplement her if necessary. You could ask her doctor to make the necessary test , or you could send off for a test at this NHS Lab here . ,

I have written on a few threads here on Mumsnet , and explained that here in the UK , we cannot make Vitamin D in our skin , from sunlight, between mid-Oct and mid-April. sunlight does not have UVB radiation , and cannot generate Vit D. It is for this reason that many of us are deficient. I would be very surprised if your daughter had a sufficient level at this time of year.

If your daughters level is below 100 nmol/L then she could very well be helped by a supplement . That supplement should aim to raise her blood level to over 100 , preferably to 120 - 140 , ( the common human level , found in a sunny, healthy environment )

To achieve those kind of levels in a teenager , your daughter will probably need to supplement by about 3000 to 6000 IU per day for a couple of months at least. Without measuring her current level , you will not know the best dose. Although 3000 IU per day is well below the USA Institute of Medicines ( I.O.M ) Tolerable Upper intake level , TUIL of 4000 IU .

I hope this information is helpful. If you need any more info then please get back to me.

best of luck


P.S. I have posted quite a bit here on Mumsnet about Vitamin D . search my user name.

PPS . The link to that medical paper

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