Enough rest strengthens our natural immunity from illnesses. Plenty of liquid intakes help the body recover from diseases and avoid dehydration. Dietary supplements can also help strengthen the body. In general, we must exercise a healthy lifestyle. After a viral infection like glandular fever, we must be better and live our life. Boosting the immune system is significant and is a must.
Anyone can have diseases. Even people who look healthy and fit are not exempted from glandular fever. Disease-causing microorganisms are easy to transfer from one person to another. One of the common viral infections for teenagers and young adults is glandular fever.
With this article, we will know what glandular fever is, what causes glandular fever, and, how to boost the immune system after having this. Let us defend our body from disease-causing microorganisms through bolstering our immune system.
What Is Glandular Fever?
Glandular fever is a kind of infection. The most affected are teenagers and young adults.
The virus Epstein-Barr virus(EBV) causes glandular fever. According to studies, EBV is present to 90-95 percent of the human population in the world.
Glandular fever is the same as infectious mononucleosis (IM). Infectious mononucleosis or "mono" is contagious. This might cause complications like having fever, sore throat, and fatigue.
What is EBV?
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a kind of lymphotropic herpesvirus. This is a causing agent for mononucleosis infection. There are two genotypes of EBV - Type 1 and 2.
EBV is also known as human herpesvirus 4. This is the common cause of IM or glandular fever.
EBV virus can stay in the body and become dormant. When you are already exposed to it, tendencies are it will live forever in the body until triggered. When it is active, it can cause common symptoms.
How Does EBV Spread?
EBV is transferable through contact with the saliva of an infected person. It is contagious. The use of plates, cups, and spoon and fork of the infected person is a way for you to get it. Coughing and sneezing are ways to transfer it.
Kissing is also a direct way of passing the infection. As a matter of fact, glandular fever is called the kissing disease.
An infected person is contagious for up to two months after the first contact. In some cases, the EBV remains in the saliva for up to one year and a half. Until such then symptoms are seen.
What Are The Symptoms Of Glandular Fever?
Glandular fever symptoms might appear after an incubation period of four to six weeks. The disease does not appear immediately after contact with the infection. The most common sign of this infection is to have fatigue. This can last and continue for more weeks after initial contact with the EBV.
Along with continuous fatigue, symptoms can also last more than it is. The symptoms are as follows:
Flu-like symptoms.Having the flu will make you feel tired and weak. Also, this includes having a runny nose. The flu will also make you cough a lot.
High body temperature (38 degrees Celsius or above).A high body temperature indicates that there is an unusual happening inside the body. This means that the body gets hot because it is fighting infections. Having a high body temperature from 38 degrees Celsius and up is having a fever. But having a fever does not mean, instantly, that there is a severe illness. Getting a high body temperature is a normal reaction of the body. This is a specific way to defend the body from viral diseases.
Loss of appetite.Losing the want to eat is very common for someone who has a disease. This is also a common reaction to the body. It is because our cells are weak. This is due to having a sore throat as well. Sore throat hinders us from eating. The immune system is the target of these viral infections such as the EBV. The immune system is the totality of the body.
Sore throat.When infected with EBV, a sore throat will occur. A sore throat can be mild. Most often, the sore throat is like having tonsillitis. The throat is very red and swollen. This might be painful but there are treatments to this symptom. Severe tonsillitis that lasts for a period indicates a glandular fever.
Swollen lymph glands.When the body fights the viral infection, the lymph glands also do its part. The lymph nodes are important in fighting diseases. Lymph nodes are small filters. It serves as a filter for these viruses not to get into our cells. The neck and armpit lymph nodes are usually affected by the EBV.
Swollen spleen.The spleen is an organ that is under the left ribs-abdomen. This body organ is significant for our immune system. You will feel pain under the ribs from mild to severe aching.
Inflammation of the liver.The EBV can cause you mild inflammation of the liver or hepatitis. This condition is common for people who are over the age of 30. Hepatitis is usually associated with having yellowing skin. Another symptom of hepatitis is the eyes are also In another term, this is jaundice. Other symptoms are alcohol intolerance, loss of appetite, and nausea.
Complications from these symptoms include the puffing of the eyes or swollen eyes. Having a terrible headache is also a complication from these common symptoms.
As the EBV still lies within our body after initial contact, we will feel tired. This can be fatigue. Fatigue is when there is extreme tiredness and weakness. Symptoms of fatigue are nausea, dizziness, and constant tiredness.
Is There A Treatment For Glandular Fever?
This viral infection - glandular fever or mononucleosis does not have a specific cure. The glandular fever disappears within four to six weeks even without treatment, though in some cases, fatigue lasts for up to six months.
After having glandular fever, one of the musts is to boost the immune system. As the EBV is already lying inside the body, we at least have to take care of ourselves.
How To Boost The Immune System After Glandular Fever
1. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
Enough sleep strengthens our immune system. The relationship between sleep and the immune system are close.
As a matter of fact, not enough sleep increases the percentage of getting diseases. In a study, healthy adults with six hours of sleep are likely to catch a cold. Healthy adults with six or more than six hours of sleep do not catch a cold or at least rarely catch a cold.
Having enough sleep strengthens our immune system. Our immunity to diseases is getting enough rest.
When we have diseases, we have to sleep more often to allow our immune system to get better. This is to make the body enough energy to fight the disease.
The ideal time of sleep for adults must be 7 or more hours. For teenagers and young adults, 8 to 10 hours is enough time for sleep. And, for younger children including infants, they must sleep up to 14 hours a day.
2. Eat healthy plant foods.
Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds are plant foods. These are rich in antioxidants which are essential in boosting the immune system.
Antioxidants are helpful in fighting free radicals. Free radicals are unstable cells that usually cause inflammation of the body part.
Moreover, fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins. They also contain fiber and other nutrients that are essential for body functions.
3. Limit sugar intake.
Sugar contributes to weight increase. Intake of a lot of sugar can cause obesity. The weight increase is inappropriate and is not healthy at all. Obesity or overweight increases the chance of getting diseases.
A study proved that obese people get twice as sick even if they get a vaccine. And, people who are not obese who got a vaccine did not get any sick.
Excessive sugar intake can cause diabetes and heart diseases. Ideal sugar intake must be less than 5% of the total calorie intake per day. It must be 2 tablespoons per day if you are counting 2,000-calorie intake per day.
4. Fats but healthy.
Healthy fats are present in salmon and in olive oil. These healthy fats help in reducing body inflammation due to viral infections. Eating healthy fats bolsters the body's immune system.
Olive oil is high in anti-inflammatory substances. It also helps in reducing the risk of getting heart diseases and diabetes.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This also fights inflammation in the body.
5. Eat fermented and probiotic-rich food.
Fermented food is high in probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that help to maintain the health of the digestive tract.
Probiotics-rich foods include yogurt and kimchi.
If you are not fond of fermented food, then there are probiotic supplements as an option.
6. Moderate exercise.
Moderate-regular exercise is helpful in reducing the inflammation in the body. Also, moderate exercise helps the immune cells to reproduce in a regular manner.
Moderate exercises are as follows:
7. Drink. Drink. Drink.
Drinking lots of water does not fight the viral infection directly. Being hydrated is extremely important to the total body's health.
Dehydrated people experience headaches. It also affects the total body's physical performance. It affects digestion, mood, heart, and kidney functions.
Water is free of calories, fats, and sugar. Drinking enough water will lessen the possibility of getting a urinary tract infection.
Aside from water, you can also drink fruit juices. In a day, a person must at least consume 8 to 10 glasses of water.
8. Try to be stress-free.
Being a stress-free person helps in maintaining immune health.
Stress promotes an imbalance in the immune system's cell function. It makes the cells unstable and can cause inflammation and other complications.
There are different ways to manage stress levels. One of the most effective ways is to meditate. Exercising and yoga classes are also helpful to practice the mind not to think of the stresses. Consulting and talking to licensed counsellors may also help reduce stress levels.
9. Vitamins and supplements.
Supplements may be in the form of a tablet or a liquid-gel capsule. Also, there are food supplements that come as a drink or a powder ready for mixing to water.
Studies show that supplements help in strengthening the body's immune system.
Vitamin C is very essential in maintaining the immune system's health. You can get it from eating citrus fruit, green leafy vegetables like spinach. You can also get it from eating strawberries, papaya, and bell peppers.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help in fighting diseases in our body. Vitamin E is an essential component in the fight or flight process of the immune system. Intake of foods high in vitamin E is a must for everybody. Almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds are good sources of this.
Vitamin A is present in carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes. This is a powerful antioxidant that helps in strengthening our immunity from infections.
Vitamin D rich foods include salmon, tuna, and sardines. Milk and cereals are also a good source of this vitamin. There are people who are not good at absorbingthis vitamin from plant foods. Another option is to get a prescription for dietary supplements.
Zinc is present in seafood and poultry products. Zinc helps the immune system's response to viral infections. This causes to reduce body inflammation.
Our body is a big playground for dormant viruses like EBV. Anytime, it can be active and can complicate our total health. It will affect our immune system which must be well-maintained.
Our immunity to diseases depends on our health habits. Eating healthy foods and maintaining daily supplements can help bolster our immune system. Thus, even if we are the most healthy person, diseases are just right there. What is better is to prevent it from coming and destroying our life.
We should always be ready for all these diseases and prevent having glandular fever. What we can do is to improve our daily health routine and live a life free of diseases.