This health condition is most common among teenagers and adults in their 20s. But it can also strike people in their 40s. It is rarely seen in young children.
The major symptom is a feeling of physical weakness. This can reach the point of total fatigue. Other early signs are loss of appetite and vomiting. Other patients feel nauseous and suffer from dizzy spells. Other common symptoms are swollen lymph nodes. Among some people the swelling appears in the armpits.
There is also pain in the neck. Some of the more severe cases lead to spleen enlargement. This may cause health complications. Some people get yellowish skin due to the onset of jaundice. Skin rashes also appear. In extreme cases, the spleen ruptures and the liver gets infected.
There are several diagnostic tests that are run. The first is a thorough physical examination. This is used to assess the overall fitness of the patient. Next is the monospot antibody test. In this exam, the doctor will look for the chemical the body releases to fight the disease.
The doctor will ask the patient about other body pains. Sharp aches in the left abdominal area require immediate attention. It could mean that the spleen has broken open. Other signs of a ruptured spleen are rapid heartbeats and shortness of breath. In some rare instances, the ailment spreads to the brain and the red blood cells.
In moderate or average cases, the best remedy is rest. This helps the body develop the means to combat the illness. Some people don’t even need bed rest. However they should refrain from performing difficult or vigorous physical activities. This means putting off any sporting activities or lifting of heavy weights.
Other simple yet effective remedies are drinking plenty of water and sipping fruit juices. These don’t just provide nutrients. They are also used to get rid of the painful sore throat the patient feels.
Throat lozenges may also provide some relief. If there is fever, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be taken. These are over the counter drugs.
Antibiotics should be taken only if there are other symptoms besides fever and headaches. Cortisone should be used only when there is inflammation in the tonsils.
Good personal hygiene is the best way to keep the illness at bay. This includes not sharing utensils with people who have cough or colds. Other ways are covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Keeping yourself fit is another good idea. A strong immune system means recovery will be much faster.
That being said, it’s important that the patient doesn’t hurry the process. A couple of weeks of rest will be enough. But hurrying it up will cause the ailment to return. It’s better to simply wait for the ailment to heal completely.
Most of the time, mono isn’t a serious or life threatening disease. One only needs to take it easy for a few days. After resting, the disease will go away and resumption of normal activities becomes possible.