There are 7 common mistakes that people make when treating the Epstein Barr virus that causes mononucleosis or glandular fever. These mistakes can slow your recovery and in some cases lead to secondary infections like strep throat, pneumonia, sinus infection or chronic fatigue syndrome. Let’s have a look at each of these mistakes in more detail:
Mistake 1 – Not resting your body
The most common mistake people make is not resting when they are first diagnosed with the Epstein Barr virus. Mononucleosis symptoms can include fatigue, sore throat, swollen glands, muscle aches, headaches, nausea and sometimes fever. Despite these debilitating symptoms some people try and struggle on and keep going to work, school or college, running a household, rushing around after their family. There is no way you will make a fast and complete recovery from Epstein Barr if you don’t stop and rest your body.
Mistake 2 – Not getting adequate sleep
Carrying on from this first mistake is the second mistake – not getting enough sleep. Your body specifically needs good quality sleep when recovering from Epstein Barr. When you are asleep your body produces a hormone called growth hormone, which is your body’s repair hormone. Lack of sleep and going to bed too late (after about 11 p.m.) will result in your body making less growth hormone.
To ensure you are asleep by 11 p.m. and you get a good night’s sleep, make sure you are not watching TV, playing computer, drinking caffeine, doing work or rushing around before bedtime. Get into a routine of relaxing before bed. Having a warm bath, reading quietly in bed, meditating, doing yoga or enjoying a chamomile tea are all good ideas you can try.
Mistake 3 – Lack of adequate water
Now the third mistake, and this is probably the most common mistake I see in my patients, is not drinking enough water to flush out the Epstein Barr virus and toxins from your body. Your aim should be to be drinking at least 8 glasses of fluid a day. Fluids can include pure water, herb teas, lemon in hot water, broths, soups and freshly squeezed vegetable juices. Your fluids should not include tea, coffee, soft drinks or alcohol which will just dehydrate you and make you feel worse.
In some people with mononucleosis, the throat can get really sore and inflamed which makes it hard to swallow. In these cases a hot lemon and honey tea can help soothe the throat and make drinking easier. Alternatively sucking on ice cubes can numb the pain and get the fluids into your body.
Mistake 4 – Eating the wrong foods
One of the cheapest and simplest ways to treat Epstein Barr is with good healthy foods. How well your immune system functions is directly linked to what you eat. If you eat all the wrong foods like sugar, white flour products, processed foods, alcohol, coffee and excess fats then there is no way you are going to make a good recovery from mononucleosis. Your body needs the right vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibre and essential fats in order to boost your immune system, reduce fatigue and help your body cope with stress.
The best diet for Epstein Barr treatment is based around good quality protein foods like fish, organic chicken, tofu, whey protein, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes. Every meal should have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – cover at least 80% of your plate with leafy greens, salads, vegetables and low carbohydrate fruits. Add to this some essential fats like fish oils, avocado, cold pressed olive oil or flaxseed oil, and you have a good balanced meal that will help you treat mononucleosis effectively.
Mistake 5 – Treating Epstein Barr virus with antibiotics
Antibiotics are of no use in treating Epstein Barr virus. Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria not viruses. In some cases using antibiotics to treat Epstein Barr can result in skin rashes, fungal overgrowth, digestive upsets and suppressed immunity.
Mistake 6 – Not taking the right supplements
One of the fastest ways to treat Epstein Barr is to add some supplements to your regime. I give all my mononucleosis patients vitamin A, C, E, zinc and selenium with great results. The B complex and magnesium are also beneficial to help repair the adrenal glands, improve energy levels and ensure a good night’s sleep.
There are also some great herbs for the treatment of Epstein Barr. The best ones are Olive Leaf extract, echinacea, garlic and astragalus. The right amounts of nutrients and herbs for you will vary according to your age, the severity of your illness and how much food you’re eating.
Mistake 7 – Resuming activities too early
Getting back into strenuous exercise or daily activities too early is a sure fire way to put you back at square one. Many people start to feel a little better, and rush back to their previous sport or work, only to find they get a relapse and start feeling awful again. The best advice I can give here is too take things slowly. Start off with some gentle walking and monitor how your body responds. Do an hour of housework or shopping and see how you feel. Perhaps go back to work or college for half a day and see how you cope. Build up slowly over a few weeks taking time to rest your body, eat well, take your supplements and drink plenty of water.
The Epstein Barr virus is a latent virus, so once you’ve had it, it can reappear if you overstress your body or do too much.