Greatest Impact On Females

Mononucleosis is an equal opportunity disease, infecting our young without regard to their ethnicity, religion, or sex. But it seems that women students who get mono are missing a lot more classroom time than their male counterparts.

Could this be a throwback to the idea that women are the weaker of the species?

According to researchers at the University of Edinburgh, female undergraduates with mononucleosis missed 16 hours of school on average, compared with only 3 hours for male students suffering from mono.

Women also reported that their symptoms, such as severe fatigue, lasted twice as long as those of the men. Women were still exhausted 4 months after diagnosis compared to only 2 months of symptoms for the guys.

This recent study involved 115 Edinburgh students. The participants answered questionnaires. Among the students were 57 confirmed cases of mono and the other healthy participants served as the control group.

In the ill students, the researchers discovered that for both sexes, study time, including those hours spent in and out of the classroom, had been reduced by 25 hours a week during the time of the severest symptoms.

Social Activities

Those students with mono slept 3 hours longer every day than the healthy students and cut their hours of social activities by as much as 8-10 hours a week.

By three or four weeks into their illness, study time was still cut by some 16 hours weekly.

The report on this study, which was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, stated that for women, the consequences of the disease were much direr.

"Comparison of symptoms between males and females revealed that self-reported IM-associated fatigue was significantly more common, more severe, and longer-lasting in females," said the authors." This resulted in females taking less exercise during their illness, missing more study and being more likely to discontinue their studies."

Immune System

One of the study authors, Karen MaCauly, who is affiliated with the Centre for Infectious Diseases in Edinburgh, said that no one was sure why the virus had been harder on the women.

"Presumably this is down to the immune system but we really don’t know why. Further studies may be necessary to confirm the link."

If you're a mom

Mothers all work. Whether we work outside of the house or we take care of the house and our children all day long - we are working.

When we have a cold, it is often hard to continue our routine and to get everything done. Multiply that feeling by 1000, at least, and you have the experience of being a mom with mono.

What Do You Do?

If you are a mom who has just been diagnosed with mono, it's time to take care of yourself. You probably have every excuse in the book for why you have to keep charging ahead, but none of these excuses are going to help you to get better.

It is your responsibility, in order to benefit yourself, your family and your job, to get better. And, as far as the medical community is concerned, the main way to recover from adult mono is to get into bed.

How Long Will Mono Last?

Usually doctors say that the main mono symptoms will last one to two weeks. It takes weeks - if not months - however, for the body's immune system to overcome the mono virus and to feel better.

Tips for a recovery

Get a lot of rest

Take ibuprofen for fever, sore throat and muscle aches

Gargle with warm salt water, as it can help to reduce swelling and discomfort in your throat

Drink a great deal of fluids and definitely avoid alcohol

Avoid lifting anything heavy

Avoid playing any contact sports until you've received the ok from your doctor (Mono patients can have enlarged spleens which can rupture with too much activity.)

Getting Help

It is very important that you get help during this difficult time in your life. You won't be able to help your kids to get to school, make their lunches, get to work, clean the house, help your kids in the afternoon, put them to bed, clean up after them, etc.

You need to hire someone to help for the coming months, find a way for your husband to be home more, hire teenagers to come to your house after school, or ask family and friends for extra assistance.

It is very important to take care of yourself and not to pressure yourself to do too much too soon.

When To Worry

You may feel tired for a very long time after your diagnosis. Don't worry if it takes awhile to get back onto your feet. If, however, any of your symptoms seem to get worse, or you find that you simply aren't getting better for weeks on end, then it's time to revisit your doctor.

Get the help that you deserve from a health care professional and make sure that you are recovering as you should be. While it will be very difficult to view your illness this way, try to see it as a chance to relax, to read and to take some of the pressure off of yourself.

You'll be in charge soon enough and will have all of your old demands placed back on you - take this time to recover and to enjoy having less demands for your time. You need it and you deserve to help your body to recover.


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