I have had glandular fever for 5 months and don't seem to be getting better, what should I do?

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Hi, I am 23 years old and got diagnosed with glandular fever in my finals at university back in May this year. I have always struggled with extremely bad tonsillitis throughout school and university, however, was unable to get them out on the NHS because I did not meet the criteria. Despite, getting incredibly bad tonsillitis up to seven times a year and being ill for about 8 days each time, my doctor stated that I needed to have it 8 times with two throat infections in a single year in order to get them out. Last summer I was also diagnosed with extremely bad vertigo, therefore missed a lot of work and could not socialise with friends due too extreme dizziness and sickness. As the summer finished, I started to become better and felt like I was recovering, however, one month into my first university term,  I took a bad U-turn and started to become progressively ill.  Symptoms were: extreme fatigue, vomiting, bad headaches, achy muscles and the feeling of being a flat battery. It got to the point where I was bed bound, and could barely do my university work or socialise with friends. I was also in my finals at university, so it was a very difficult time.  Eventually after many misdiagnoses from doctors over a 4 month period,  I was diagnosed with glandular fever in May. Since my diagnoses, I have rested, not drank alcohol, not worked and  eaten healthy, however, I just don't seem to be getting any better and ended up in hospital last week again and also had to cancel my holiday. I've started yoga and meditation to try and get in a more positive mind set as I'm slowly feeling more and more depressed due to the frustration of not getting better and not being able to do things. Is it normal to still be this ill after 5 months with glandular fever? Is there anything I can do to speed up recovery? I have also just got a job, however, I am unsure if I can start now as I feel so exhausted and my glands are back up again, its honestly just an ongoing nightmare. The doctors have also linked it to possible post viral fatigue. I just want to be a normal 23 year old who can work, socialise with friends and enjoy life again. 

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23 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jess,

    Yes, this is very normal with glandular fever, I was ill for almost a full year( I am 56 so it lasts longer when you are older) i rested, took vitamins and drank a lot of green tea. It has been a year since my recovery so it does get better eventually.

    • Posted

      Hi Mono too,

      Are you completely symptom free for the past year or do you have the odd symptoms now and then? I am so looking forward to the day when this is all behind me.

    • Posted

      That’s such good news but a WHOLE YEAR !!! Agh!!! Only been 6 months for me ... can’t imagine going through the motion everyday for another 6 months !!! 😫😫😫 

      I hope you gradually got better over that time and that it wasn’t completely awful for a whole year . I’m doing what’s recommended loads of immune support good diet short walks loads of rest and no stress!!  

  • Posted

    I’m right there with ya jess. After no diagnosis for almost 6 months I diagnosed myself and requested more blood work . 

    The best you can do right now is overload your system with immune boosters . I know it’s an awful awful time and like you my social life has gone feel terrible mostly and have just spent months at home alone . 

    It gets terribly depressing the fatigue is unbearable and just that ‘off’ feeling all the time is also getting me down .

    It’s just a waiting game now but I believe if we rest and do everything we’re supposed to we’ve got a better chance of feeling better.

    I used to work out every day and have had to give that up . From what I’ve read many people get a turnaround at 6 months so here’s hoping for us!

    Hang in there !! 

    • Posted

      I'm glad to here other people are going through the same thing, as all the websites online sayyou should recover within 4-6 weeks which just seems madness! I'll make sure I continue to do everything to boost my immune system! Thanks for the support and best of luck with your recovery! 

    • Posted

      4-6 weeks maybe if you are diagnosed right away and you’re 18!

      Mine has been 6 months now but I hindered recovery as was still working out like crazy .... oh well past is the past and we can just do the right thing moving forward . 

    • Posted

      Hi lori,

      I feel your pain. I pretty much did the same as people were telling me that owe you are depressed, you have insomnia, exercise will help so I carried on running and it completely ruined me. I wasn't getting that buzz and lift after each run as I used to. Instead I was in agony with achy body plus it took ages to recover after each run but the fighter in me carried on. Not to mention I carried on working full time from 8:30am to 6pm Monday to Friday even when the insomnia was so bad that I was only sleeping for about 3 hours each night. It was like torture really. I have no doubt all these things I have just mentioned delayed my recovery. Thank God i am in a better place now.

    • Posted

      Gosh Kay ! That’s awful how have you worked through ALL this ????

      Yes I felt TERRIBLE when I was running but normal and good afterwards. I had no clue I was making things worse as I didn’t know what I had ????  

      I think if I’d got diagnosed earlier would be better now as have always eaten right been extremely healthy . Stupid drs!!!! 

      So now it’s almost 2 weeks since I worked out and on Valtrex ... feeling a bit better each day and managing walks at the beach now . 

      My sleep has improved too I’m not as anxious and don’t feel as exhausted throughout the day .... that was the worst ! Waking up and just watching the clock until I can go to bed again. 

    • Posted

      Looking back lori, I don’t know how I did it. All I know it wasn’t easy.

      For me  I felt ok whilst running though I noticed I wasn’t as fast as before, however it was a say or so after each run that I would feel the pains. 

  • Posted


    I’m really sorry that you have to go through all this, it really sucks, but it is fairly normal for Mono to last this long. The timeline of recovery differs from person to person but for some it can even take up to a year and more to fully recover from this virus. Of course not saying it will take you that long necessarily but you really just need to be patient with it. Keep doing what you are doing and get lots of rest. I also started to feel very ill and weak around May and only started to get a lot better in the last weeks of August, but I still need to be careful because if I exert myself too much the off balanced, dizzy and weak feelings come back. 

    I can really empathize with feeling depressed when you are stuck in your bed, unable to socialize with friends and live your life, but it does get better eventually.. take it one day at a time. There will be a moment where suddenly you feel a lot better and the worry just goes away. For now, it’s a waiting game, which is frustrating and I totally understand, but in the meantime try and keep yourself busy and if you are really deperate to socialize, just invite a good friend over for an hour to watch TV with you, it might make you feel better. I know it helped me to have small social interactions at home where I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed if I felt ill. 

    Take care (: 

    • Posted

      I think at 6 months  if you thought it would take a whole year or more you would just have a breakdown and collapse . 

      We have to keep thinking ‘I’ll be better soon’ 

      Otherwise we wouldn’t go on !!! 

      So yes I realize it ‘can’ take a while but not the best thing to say to somebody who’s already depressed.

      So glad you got over this and just learning myself about the ‘post viral fatigue ‘ . 

      And yes I limit my life lots of rest good food and supplements ... early nights abc no stress. It’s lonely but whatever it takes ! 

  • Posted

    Hi I was diagnosed with post viral fatigue after possible mono. Tests were done months after onset of symptoms so of course showed past infection. 

    Anyways. I was bedridden, weak, no appetite, extremely anxious, night sweats for months.  Couldn’t work for months and was mostly housebound for another few months. It felt hopeless and awful. Whenever another month came and went I got more depressed because of things I read like CFS or people getting better much sooner. 

    But the day came I got better. I’m back at work full time, on my feet for 6 hours a day! I even started going back to the gym.. my routine is much more normal though I have days still where I need to rest because I feel just off or tired. I know someone who said that he didn’t feel normal for about 2 years! 

    Your recovery is happening now, and I don’t know when your big change will happen.. but it will. One week you will find you feel better. Then you’ll have a bad several days again. Then another week better... so on and so forth. Until the good weeks turn into a good month and the bad weeks just turn into a bad day here and there. Do not worry.. though it’s hard to do. You’ll be healthy again.. and then you’ll be back here giving people encouragement because this is an awful and isolating thing to go through. Take care, time will heal you! 

    • Posted

      So good hear you got better! Your symptoms sound so similar to mine! Thanks for the support, I'll keep doing everything to make my immune system as strong as possible! 

    • Posted

      That’s great news! I’ve been having a few ok  days then bad days follow . It’s good to know that this is normal and that the good days will eventually outweigh the bad ones .

      2 years though that’s a long time out of your life ! This thing has scared me to death .. I do hope I can regain my confidence again to do things . I’m petrified now of pushing it ... I don’t even go out at night anymore in case I’m

      Punished by this thing the next day . 

  • Posted

    Hi Jess,

    So sorry to hear you've been through such a tough time this last while, first with your throat and tonsils and now with mono, empathising having been through a tough time with mono when I was a similar age to you a number of years ago. 

    As the guys have been saying I definitely want to reassure you that this is normal for mono for still to be feeling this way after 5-6 months. And importantly to reassure you also that it does get completely better still. For me it was 9-10 months before I really started to get fully better, that's not to say it will be as long for you it's different for everyone, but just to let you know that there is hope and it will get better, even if it still takes a little longer. My experience was that BY FAR the worst phase and intensity was the first 6 months. 

    It sounds like you are doing all the right things, just continue to rest and not put pressure on yourself right now and talk to close family / friends about how you've been feeling as it's so traumatic and painful to live through this virus I know. Taking vitamins and herbs was something that helped me too, a good strong multi-vitamin per day, higher doses of Vitamin C (1000mg-3000mg per day), a B complex vitamin per day and/or Co-enzyme Q10 (great for energy levels and nervous system) and immune boosting herbs like siberian ginseng, echinichea and oregano also great.

    Thinking about you Jess and remember you will get through this and things will get better, even though I know at times it doesn't feel like it when going through it - hang in there.


    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your support! Nice to hear that people have been in similar situations to me now and have recovered. I'll continue doing everything possible to boost my immune system! Just cannot wait to be fully better! 


    • Posted

      Yes we just have to take one day at a time if we do get a good day or two don’t push it . Patience is needed during this time as we have no real date .... which is so frustrating 😖 I know ! 

      We can’t make plans and have to really baby ourselves during this time . Good food loads of supplements limited stress and loads of rest ! 

    • Posted

      Thanks for your kind words Jess, please keep me in your prayers too as have hit a bit of a rock bottom this week too with my own pain and circumstances. Craig

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