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How long can Glandular Fever last?

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So early June I was diagnosed with 'severe tonsillitis', which the sore throat and inability to swallow only really lasted 3 days, but I was given a course of antibiotics and was on the mend from it.

But over the 4 - 6 months, I've just been feeling absolutely exhausted, and found myself piling on weight, despite a good diet and I have quite an active job. I thought the exhaustion was down to my poor shift pattern at work catching up on me, but this was changed in October and I still feel no better.

But anyway, around Mid-October, I visited my doctors for some blood tests, suspecting these issues could be down to an under-active thyroid or perhaps low testosterone or something. And my results came back that I'm positive for Glandular Fever?

Which going home and looking at the symptoms, I had about 1/10 of them. I contested this with the doctors but they are adamant that's what my diagnosis is and there's nothing they can do about it. So the only thing I can think of is that I had glandular fever instead of tonsillitis in June?

I've tried to just get on with things but my symptoms have just worsened and I've now been off work for two weeks with still no recovery. I pleaded with the doctor last week getting my sick note extended, if there was any more tests/anything they could do to help. But all I've been told is that this can last up to 18 months!

My question is, could this just be doctors fobbing me off? Or could this potentially be a thing? Has anybody else on here experienced it? And if so, how long did it take for you to recover and did you try/could you recommend any remedies to help with the fatigue?
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  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,078 Forumite
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    It is a pretty debilitating condition. Being viral, it can present with many, or few symptoms, and people's experiences of it can vary.

    It does tend to relapse a bit in the early years after it, so you may from time to time find yourself 'down' for a few days every now and again.

    The best thing with conditions like this is to just give in to it and rest. Good diet, plenty of fluids and let your body get over it. Fighting it and trying to carry on regardless will ultimately make it worse and recovery longer.

    The blood tests are quite specific, and usually correct.

    I take it you are quite young? It's usually a condition that affects late teen/early 20s age group.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,078 Forumite
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    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/glandular-fever/


    I would imagine you've found this site?

    Very good explanation & advice.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • Jlawson118
    Jlawson118 Posts: 1,132 Forumite
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    Toothsmith wrote: »
    It is a pretty debilitating condition. Being viral, it can present with many, or few symptoms, and people's experiences of it can vary.

    It does tend to relapse a bit in the early years after it, so you may from time to time find yourself 'down' for a few days every now and again.

    The best thing with conditions like this is to just give in to it and rest. Good diet, plenty of fluids and let your body get over it. Fighting it and trying to carry on regardless will ultimately make it worse and recovery longer.

    The blood tests are quite specific, and usually correct.

    I take it you are quite young? It's usually a condition that affects late teen/early 20s age group.

    Thank you! I am 23 so I can imagine that could very much be the cause then. It's just my doctors do have a habit of fobbing off patients so I wondered just how severe Glandular Fever was and just how long recovery really does take.

    Hoping for a quick recovery then, thank you for your detailed response!
  • Spoonie_Turtle
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    Those blood tests are indeed very specific, which is why in my teens my GP was shocked that it came back negative when I had virtually every single one of the symptoms. He deemed it 'a virus exactly like Glandular Fever that isn't GF'. That was in 2006 and I did struggle with tiring more easily and being sensitive to the cold for several years (then other life events took over and my health did a nosedive for separate reasons). So look after yourself, and if possible allow yourself to recover as fully as possible, not pushing your body to do more than it can cope with. Post-viral fatigue is not something you can push your way through without making things worse in the long run. Recovery is not always linear and it will take as long as it takes!
  • Jlawson118
    Jlawson118 Posts: 1,132 Forumite
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    Those blood tests are indeed very specific, which is why in my teens my GP was shocked that it came back negative when I had virtually every single one of the symptoms. He deemed it 'a virus exactly like Glandular Fever that isn't GF'. That was in 2006 and I did struggle with tiring more easily and being sensitive to the cold for several years (then other life events took over and my health did a nosedive for separate reasons). So look after yourself, and if possible allow yourself to recover as fully as possible, not pushing your body to do more than it can cope with. Post-viral fatigue is not something you can push your way through without making things worse in the long run. Recovery is not always linear and it will take as long as it takes!

    It was my chiropractor who suggested it could be thyroid issues and when I looked up the symptoms I had every single one, including fatigue, sensitivity to cold, weight gain etc.

    I've had two weeks off work but I'm still feeling forced to go back on Thursday (it's that kind of employer) which I think rest is more needed :mad:

    How long did it take for you to recover?
  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,546 Forumite
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    I had glandular fever in my mid 20s - I was off work for 7 weeks. Went back too early as I frequently felt exhausted and had to go home ,fortunately had an understanding boss!
    After ~ 3-4 months I was feeling better - but I had relapses for several years after.
    Now in my 60s , I have got an underactive thyroid which took months to diagnose but felt very similar to the glandular fever symptoms from my 20s. Now on the "correct" dosage of levothyroxine but still not right.
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,078 Forumite
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    Jlawson118 wrote: »

    I've had two weeks off work but I'm still feeling forced to go back on Thursday (it's that kind of employer) which I think rest is more needed :mad:

    Indeed you should!

    It can be hard if it's a relatively small company you work for. As a small business owner, I can sympathise with your boss. But some understanding now will pay dividends for him when you're back at full power.

    Try and get quite a specific note of your Dr if you can. Glandular fever is generally well known as something that can floor somebody for a while.

    All the best with it.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • Spoonie_Turtle
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    Jlawson118 wrote: »
    It was my chiropractor who suggested it could be thyroid issues and when I looked up the symptoms I had every single one, including fatigue, sensitivity to cold, weight gain etc.

    I've had two weeks off work but I'm still feeling forced to go back on Thursday (it's that kind of employer) which I think rest is more needed :mad:

    How long did it take for you to recover?

    I sympathise! In my current health decline I was sure it must be due to my thyroid but I paid privately for thorough thyroid blood testing and it was okay - not great, but okay.

    I was off school for a couple of months and went back part-time for a few months after that. Mum says I never really recovered fully but I was able to function reasonably well as a young adult in the following few years :)

    It's hard to know what to suggest because all of the coping techniques for fatigue are aimed at (and arise from) the context of disability which is not your situation, but things like pacing can help recovery and in many cases can prevent problems from becoming debilitating in the long run. Pacing is about breaking things down into manageable chunks, adapting how you do things (one really simple trick for fatigue: sit instead of stand) and resting before your body is exhausted, so it can recover better between tasks. Also switching tasks between physical/cognitive to prevent any one type of exhaustion through doing too much.
  • Jlawson118
    Jlawson118 Posts: 1,132 Forumite
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    edited 11 December 2019 at 1:36PM
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    Toothsmith wrote: »
    Indeed you should!

    It can be hard if it's a relatively small company you work for. As a small business owner, I can sympathise with your boss. But some understanding now will pay dividends for him when you're back at full power.

    Try and get quite a specific note of your Dr if you can. Glandular fever is generally well known as something that can floor somebody for a while.

    All the best with it.

    It's a large organisation I work for but I have the kind of management who wouldn't understand this sort of thing, they'll just think I'm taking the mickey during the busy season. Which they can see from my records I rarely take sickness. Although in all honesty I also think a lot of my fatigue is down to the stress the job's causing me in general. I'm looking to get out of there in the new year.

    Also a bit worried because I only get a few weeks of sick pay and I've got my mortgage and bills to pay so I'll go back but discuss lighter duties. Although I do have a fair bit of time off in the coming weeks/months as I'll be off for a few days for Christmas, then I've got a fair few days early January for my girlfriend's birthday where I think we're going to do a spa weekend which will be relaxing, and then we've booked to go away with my in March and I think if I'm still feeling like this by then, then the sun will do me the world of good too. Just got to hang in there until then, it'll soon be upon us :eek:
  • Jlawson118
    Jlawson118 Posts: 1,132 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
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    I sympathise! In my current health decline I was sure it must be due to my thyroid but I paid privately for thorough thyroid blood testing and it was okay - not great, but okay.

    I was off school for a couple of months and went back part-time for a few months after that. Mum says I never really recovered fully but I was able to function reasonably well as a young adult in the following few years :)

    It's hard to know what to suggest because all of the coping techniques for fatigue are aimed at (and arise from) the context of disability which is not your situation, but things like pacing can help recovery and in many cases can prevent problems from becoming debilitating in the long run. Pacing is about breaking things down into manageable chunks, adapting how you do things (one really simple trick for fatigue: sit instead of stand) and resting before your body is exhausted, so it can recover better between tasks. Also switching tasks between physical/cognitive to prevent any one type of exhaustion through doing too much.

    Yeah this was my issue, I was off for a week with what I thought was tonsillitis in June and my grandma and even my boss at the time both said I'd gone back too early! But I wasn't entitled to sick pay at that point so I had no choice but to go back (had to be with the company two years which I met in August to qualify for sick pay)

    I'll definitely give those tips a go though, thank you! I've just said in my last post I've got a fair amount of holidays coming up in the next few weeks/months anyway so it shouldn't be too hectic for me at work
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