Glandular fever - extra symptoms

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i havent read all the posts on here but i cant help but notice with the handfull i did read that most havent listed some of the symptoms i suffered from in my battles with the infection.

I wasnt diagnosed until 2 months after suffering from 'repeated tonsilitus', mostly through my own fault for refusing a blood test in my first appointment, (hate needles, but soon got over that), so u add that 2 months into the original 6 weeks of infection with no symptoms; i had G.F for over 3 months before anyone could tell me what was wrong with me. And it wasnt until after i was diagnosed that i connected all the dots about things i had simply brushed off, but were actually symptoms of the infection.

the first one i remember what a soreness in my armpits, the first time i thought it was cause i had fallen asleep in my bra (we all know this to be uncomfortable lol) but after it happened a few times i did get a little concerned n mentioned it to my mum. when i read about this in the list of clinical symptoms i thought well hold on, what else has been going on that i havent really noticed as such.

one thing i'm disappointed about is with all the website, none list anything to do with G.F messing up your emotions. and maybe it is just me (although i wouldnt like to know that, coz it hints at another problem) but i was soooooooo emotionally messed up its not funny. i would cry for no reason, or over tiny little things. in the early days of 'tonsilitus' the battery in my car went flat while i was at work because i'd be sitting in it in my lunch break listening to music. generally i would be like oh well, gona have to wait for the roadside assist guy when i knock off n laugh. but i was furious, i went storming all around the supermarket/hardware shop that i worked in at the time, askin everyone if they had jump leads in their car, when no one did and one of my good workmates suggested i ask the hardware guys or i might be able to buy some up there, i nearly blew his head off coz i 'dont wana buy f****n jump leads!!!!!!'. in the peak of G.F i used to pretty much live on the couch in the lounge n my parents n brother would just move around me. i once spent nearly all day crying over tv shows. couldnt stop. it was horrible. i started out watching the movie 'A Walk to Remember' bawled my eyes out at the end, then Oprah was doin a segment on the Tsunami survivors, bawled my eyes out, watched Aust Idol where they cut the top 100 down to 20 or whatever, never watched it before, but bawled my eyes out for these poor people. Greys Anatomy was on that night, it was the bomb series final, where that guy had a bomb in his chest n meredith had her hand on it or whatever, had only seen one or two episodes at the start, but i bawled my eyes out!!! and i would frequently swing from a good/ok mood to angry/pissed off/depressed for no reason, or jst over little things.

i was diagnosed with Hep B during the peak of my G.F and had to go back to the doctor for weekly blood tests - hence the getting over of needles, used to amuse me actually coz i was dehydrated so it was quite an effort to get my vessels up, i'd have a tournacay on each arm, bowls of boilin hot water to immerse my hands in, lol... but my mum was warned to watch me closely n if i started to look at all yellowish to take me straight to hospital, so she'd drag me out into all types of light tryin to distinguish if i was yellow or not, luckily it never got that bad. but i was unable to drink alcohol for 2months afterwards (it was only just over 2months until my 18th birthday at the time, & we wouldnt know unitl another blood test the week before whether i would be able to celebrate as traditional for an Aussie)

my throat glands swelled up so much i couldnt swallow my own saliva let alone the vitamin pills & baroca, and thistle milk my doctor had told me to buy for my liver, add to that the antibiotics i was prescribed before my diagnosis had given me thrush so i had that to contend with, some yoghurt stuff to try and replace the good bacteria in my system.

a month after my initial diagnosis my hands and feet started getting dry & itchy. at first i thought i'd had a reaction to washing up liquid that i'd used. but it turned out to be another symptom. it progressed from dry & itchy to being able to peel off entire panels of skin from the tip of my fingers to my wrist, and the top of my toes to my ankles. i think i peeled of 3-4 layers of skin over about 3 weeks. not pretty.

these are the symptoms i havent heard about from anyone else, i also experienced the complete exhaustion, the waking up being ok for 1 hr maybe 2 n then draggin ur ass back to bed to sleep for another 8 hours. the aches all over, sometimes i wasnt sure if it was from lack of movement of from the G.F, it took another 6 weeks from my dianosis before my doctor would allow me to go back to work. and only for 3hr shifts a max of 4 times a week.

that was over 2 years ago, and i've had one real flare up about a year afterwards, and odd days of a swollen uncomfortable throat that would go down in 24-48hrs. & ever since i would stress everytime i got a cold or started feeling a bit off that it was coming back. it was such a horrible thing to go through, i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy, which is sayin a lot coming from a true Scorpio.

i'm pretty damn sure that i'm in the midst of another flare up at the moment. my throat is massivly swollen, but hardly sore at all which makes me certian that its not tonsilitus, which i had once or twice as a child and recall being very painful. but i also know G.F to be painful as well. but my glands are swollen in my neck, fuzzy head, unable to concentrate for very long unless i'm dosed up on nurofen - which has enabled me to write this. but the doctor refused to blood test & prescribe anitbiotics. so i'm giving them a couple of days, hopin that i'm wrong. but i dont think i will be, i know my body. i just hope its not as bad as last time.

i would love to hear if anyone else has experienced the extra symptoms i did.

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  • Posted

    It's amazing the number of websites that tell you you cannot get GF more than once. I had it for over a year when I was 14 and have just had another blood test to confirm I have it again. (I'm now 42!) Over the years I have not really had good health, I also have eczema and asthma,

    and no end of bouts of tonsillitus. My doctor now reckons that it never went and I never really recovered the first time. One major problem I did have when I was younger was a really bad infection in my eczema.

    Every part of my skin which was already sore became infected with thick green pus, feet, legs,hands, I actually went to school in slippers as I could not get any shoes on. Although my skin is much better I still now have lots of cold sores.

    I know what you mean about being emotional, I have no patience at all, I'm just so tired that even the slightest thing upsets me.

    This time my liver is swollen and I have pains in my chest, its easy to say rest but when you have two kids and are on your own its impossible.

    I did find a good site called ' loads of people with recurring GF.

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  • Posted

    Hi there. My docotr suspects I have glandular fever but still waiting for blood test results to confirm diagnosis. I too have had soreness under my arms which is how it all started, I then got a fever which I thought was flu and now this awful fatigue, aches in my body and no energy to do anything. Also get dizziness and have no appetite. My hands have also gone quite dry and sore but not to the extent of peeling off sheets of skin. Any time I get up to do something my heart pounds.

    I hope its gone soon. Also the crying and bad moods thats also something im experiencing. :cry:

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  • Posted


    Okay, I haven't had some of your symptoms or at least not to the degree that you have but a lot of them really resonate with me.

    I’m 22, live in Aus and am 8 months post my first identified GF infection.


    I got a very bad urinary tract infection just before finding out I had Glandular fever, so I can't be sure of whether the fever I experienced was due to GF or due to my body fighting off the infection in my bladder and kidneys. Either way the fever was BAD.

    Ended up going to a local bulk billing GP that I'd never seen before 'cause my GP is only in her clinic three days a week and I couldn't wait.

    This random GP diagnosed me with a bad Urinary Tract Infection.

    Prescribed me a course of Antibiotics (Amoxicillin, which I later found out can cause an allergic reaction when mixed with Glandular Fever, which may have made my later symptoms like the rash worse but who knows.)

    -Yellow spots on skin.

    They appeared at first as what looked like little yellow mosquito bites. They appeared on my arms, chest, stomach and thighs. They would start as a kind of itchy spot, welt up within 2-5 minutes to a pea size or smaller with a yellow surface, then fade off leaving just a little hardly visible yellow patch. There were probably a total of around 30 spots in all over a three hour period.

    Very odd and I still don't know what that was caused by, and it never happened again, but I figured I'd write it down in case someone else had something similar.


    My first noticable symptom of Glandular Fever was I became Jaundiced (I visited my usual GP after noticing) It was very visible in the whites of my eyes and in my skin tone.

    Was real scary actually 'cause my doctor had no other symptoms to go on so we had no idea in the beginning what it was.

    Jaundice faded after about two weeks.

     -Significantly Reduced Liver Function

    (found out from bloods)

    This was the reason for the afore mentioned jaundice , the liver function took about three months to return to a normal, had blood tests every week, then every two weeks until it was better.

    -Enlarged Spleen

    (found out from Abdominal Ultrasound)

    **NOW THIS** is something everyone suffering from a bad infection should probably consider. as your Spleen can become enlarged when your body is fighting off infection.

    Aught to be careful of things like contact sports because if your Spleen is enlarged it protrudes outside the protection of your ribcage and could be damaged by a blow to the abdomen.

    -Appetite loss.

    For about three weeks I had very little wish to eat.

    -Felt 'hot' for about a week (though I didn't have an actual fever)


    I just slept, so much sleeping.

    The bad lethargy lasted another week or so, but honestly I don't feel like it's ever really left.

    I'm lucky enough that I'm a full time mum of a 2 yr old girl so I'm mostly at home, but I still can't get through a full day without having at least a small nap.

    If I don't rest I just get grumpy/emotional, lose concentration and sometimes get dizzy.

    Man oh man were you on the money about the complete exhaustion.

    Even now 8 months later I can’t even find the motivation or energy to do most of the things I used to enjoy doing.


    It came five or so days after initial symptoms.

    It appeared first on my cheeks, then outer biceps, then chest, tummy and finally thighs.

    I even had a hint of a rash on the tops of my feet lol.

    Super itchy on my biceps.

    -Sore throat.

    That came in about a week and a half after the initial symptoms, which thankfully only lasted three or four days.

    -Possibly Lowered Immune System

    I get sick a lot more now.

    I used to get maybe two colds a year but lately it seems whenever someone I know gets sick I WILL catch it, which is very frustrating and stressful (plus when I do get sick I seem to get extra lethargic for a couple weeks after, I’m guessing a leftover treat from the GF)

    I’ve had Genital Herpes for nearly three years, and for about five months after getting Glandular Fever I found I’d get three or four sores a month, which is far more than I’d ever had before.

    Felt like I had a lowered immune system and so the Herpes was able to rear it’s ugly head.

    -Dry skin on shoulders.

    Started about 6 months after initial GF symptoms.

    It may be unrelated (and I'm gonna get it checked lol soon as I find the motivation) but it's definitely food for thought.

    I have these dry patches on my shoulders, they sort of bubble and then peel little by little until I have these sort of raw spots underneath that have no pigment.

    I now have small pigment-less spots where the dry patches have been plus some newer dry patches that are still doing their thing.

    -Blotchy skin.

    My skin never really recovered from the rash.

    I always had quite milky, translucent skin with very few blemishes aside from the odd freckle or scar.

    Now though, I have really fine red dappled sort of markings on my body where the rash was.

    It’s hardly visible in most places but I notice it mostly across my cheeks, and my neck and it’s quite a letdown for the ol’ self esteem.

    It really seems to flare up where I get hot, like from a hot shower or hot weather.

    I wonder if anyone else has had trouble with stubborn blotchiness lasting months or years after their GF rash (if they had one)?

    -Heightened Emotional State

    Now this really struck me from what you said.

    I’ve felt like I’ve been depressed, anxious and stressed since the GF but I thought it was just me.

    I'm super glad you mentioned being emotional about yourself though because I hadn't thought that it might be related.

    I don't know if it's because GF has affected my hormones or chemical balance directly or if it's a low mood because I physically can't do the things I used to be able to do (weeks of inactivity due to being lethargic stomped down my fitness and I haven't been able to fully recover it yet, though I am slowly working on getting more active again)I was a little lost because I'd had bad depression as a teen and thought it was over now that I haven't got crazy teen hormones.

    I feel a little better now though because if it has been caused more by the GF then I feel there's a chance it may fade over time and be something I can overcome (with the help of my doc of course).

    Thank you heaps for being so open about your symptoms, it’s really helped me to look at the things happening to my body and realise that there might be a connected reason for it all.

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  • Posted

    I've not been offcially diagnosed with gf but I'm convinced I have it, the terrible sore throat and glands out to here, but I also am loosing skin off my feet (and a little off my fingertips), I've had it for 3 or 4 weeks, over the holiday season, so getting to see a doc has not been easy, making an appointment tomorrow


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