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Mononucleosis Facts And Treatment For Mononucleosis

What is Mononucleosis? Mononucleosis is viral disease transmitted through spread of virus infected saliva. Epstein-Barr Virus or EBV is the virus that causes mononucleosis. This disease commonly occurs between teenagers and young adults aged 15-35 years. Mononucleosis is a highly contagious disease and contact with infected people or sharing saliva infected glasses or personal items can cause the disease.

Symptoms of Mononucleosis

The key symptoms are: weakness and fatigue,  minimal or sever sore throat, occasional vomiting and nausea, swollen lymph glands around the neck, armpits and groin area, fever, jaundice, skin rash and loss of appetite.

Causes of Mononucleosis

The main cause of this disease is sharing personal items such as toothbrush, glasses or lip gloss with persons infected with mononucleosis.

Physical contact causing spread of saliva such as: coughing, sneezing or kissing can also lead to the infectious disease.

Effects of Mononucleosis

The health impacts of harboring a viral infection like EBV are:

  • Neurological problems may affect the central nervous system and cause weakening or paralysis of facial muscles.
  • Inflammation of muscles of the heart
  • Reduction in red blood and white blood cells

What is a good diet to combat Mononucleosis?

Adequate rest and a good intake of fluids can help those infected with mononucleosis. Practice of good hygiene, avoiding sharing personal items and washing hands regularly can minimize the chances of attracting such infections. A good dietary system can also help build a strong immune system which will help keep diseases at bay. Here is a list of dos and don’ts:


  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for health – so eat healthy and avoid junk foods.
  • Have at least 6-8 glasses of water every day
  • Have four to six small meals comprising healthy foods
  • Intake of required supplements such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium can help boost the immune system.


  • Excessive consumption of aerated and caffeine beverages, alcohol, smoking, accompanied by a sedentary and stressed lifestyle is best avoidable.
  • Excessive sports activity, fatigue or overwork is also best avoided.

What is mononucleosis?

Mononucleosis, more commonly referred to as mono or the kissing disease, is a condition in which a person is infected by a particular virus, which is known as the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). This condition can easily be passed on from one person to another, by kissing, or by the sharing of utensils, food, and so on. In fact, contact with a person’s saliva is not always required for the disease to spread. If a person who has been infected sneezes or coughs in the presence of others, there is a strong chance that the people who are present are exposed to the virus. Though this condition can affect both adults and children, it is more commonly seen in teenagers and adults.

There is no specific treatment that is used for curing this condition. However, apart from prescribing certain corticosteroids, a doctor may advise patients to follow a special mono diet, to expedite the recovery process. Moreover, since one of the characteristics of mono is that it leads to fatigue and weakness, it is important to consume high amounts of recommended foods to eat with mono, so that the immune system can be strengthened and can continue to function, as normal.

What is a mononucleosis diet?

A few notable health institutions in the United States suggest that they best way to strengthen the immune system against this disease is by following a recommended diet for mononucleosis. Given below are a few recommendations that are a part of a diet for mono:

•   Drinking a lot of fluids: In order to treat several ailments, including mono, most doctors recommend a high consumption of fluids throughout the day. Apart from eight glasses of water, fluids like fruit juice, clear soup, vegetable juice, barley water, herbal tea, coconut water, and so on, should be consumed at regular intervals during the course of the day.
•   Eating small meals: Overloading the system with three large meals in the day could lead to digestive problems, which can aggravate the symptoms of mono. Therefore, the best diet for mononucleosis is one which contains six small meals a day, which allows the patient to cope with the presence of the infection within the body.
•   I ncreasing the intake of healthy foods: While several health experts state that it is important to follow a healthy diet, when suffering from mono, not a lot of people are aware of exactly what the best food for mono is. Predictably, foods that can help boost immune functioning are often regarded as the best foods to eat with mono. Hence, it is absolutely essential for a mono patient to eat a lot of whole grains, cereals, seafood, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits that are an important part of the mono diet are bananas, apple, strawberries, oranges and other citrus fruits. Vegetables that should be consumed in high amounts are spinach, kale, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and other leafy greens. Certain varieties of seafood are very high in omega 3 fatty acids, which is why they contain anti-inflammatory properties. This includes salmon, tuna, mackerel, haddock and other cold water fish. Apart from these foods, cereals like brown rice and wheat pasta are also very beneficial. Other foods that can increase the mono diet benefits are eggs, chicken, beans and red meat.
•   Eliminating unhealthy foods: Foods that are processed, fried, high in sodium and contain either sugar or saturated fats should be eliminated from a mono diet. This also includes instant food, junk food and pre-packaged meals. Beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee, colas, tea or other aerated drinks, could aggravate the condition and therefore, should be avoided. Reports that are based on mononucleosis and alcohol state the alcohol can have a very bad effect on people suffering from this condition. Therefore, the consumption of alcohol should completely cease, until after a person recovers completely.

Since the mono diet is a relatively healthy and nutritious one, there are several people who use the mono diet for detox purposes. As the consumption of fats, sugar, sodium and cholesterol is also restricted by this diet, people also follow the mono diet for weight loss purposes. However, while the mononucleosis diet is relative safe and healthy and can be used by most people, it is always better to check with a doctor, before switching over or making any dietary changes. This is more important for those people who are suffering from other preexisting medical conditions, besides mono that is.

Apart from following a special diet for mononucleosis, there are other mono dos and donts that patients are required to follow.

Mono dos and don’ts

There are certain home remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of this condition. Given below are some of the other mono dos and don’ts that should be followed by patients:

•   It is absolutely essential to get an adequate amount of sleep and rest through the day, to help the body recuperate and heal faster. This is one of the most important factors that can help speed up the recovery process. However, since mono could take months to get cured completely, most people begin physically exert themselves too soon, due to several reasons. This could increase the risk of suffering from a mono relapse
•   Since one of the most common symptoms of mono is a strep throat, it is important to treat that too. The best way to relieve a sore throat or a strep throat is by gargling with warm water to which salt has been added. For best results, this home remedy should be used at least 3 or 4 times a day and an entire cup of warm water should be used at one go.
•   Some people use cough drops to moisten their throats, which relieves the throat irritation and inflammation. Sucking on a piece of hard candy or a Popsicle should have the same effect on the throat.
•   There are many people who take over the counter medicines to alleviate the symptoms of mono. However, there are several herbs that can help reduce general aches, pains and fever too. After checking with a doctor, it may also be a good idea to add a vitamin supplement to make the immune system stronger.


Submitted on January 16, 2014