Mono & Your Nervous System
Most of the time, when people have mono, they don't experience extreme complications. Sometimes, they may not even know that they have the virus. If they do experience symptoms, and they are diagnosed with mono, they will need a few weeks of rest to recover from the virus.
Complications with the Nervous System
Other times, however, mono can lead to possible complications within the nervous system. The most common complications within the nervous system involve cranial nerve palsies, which includes Bell's Palsy, and encephalitis, which is a swelling of the brain.
It is also possible to experience other nervous system problems, which might include Guillain-Barre syndrome, meningitis and even seizures.
More on Seizures
Seizures occur when there is a sudden change in the electrical activity in the brain. Most of the time, when people have seizures, they may have alterations in their consciousness, in their movement, and in their actions for a brief amount of time.
Seizures can affect anyone - of any color, age or race. While they are not a common result of mono, it is possible that they can be triggered due to the mono virus.
Many Causes of Seizures
Seizures may be due to a severe fever or they may be caused by an imbalance of body fluids or chemicals. For people with diabetes, a low sugar level might bring on a seizure, while for a drug addict, a drug withdrawal could cause this state.
For those with mono, the seizure might be the result of an infection in the brain or an imbalance of body fluids.
When To Get Help
If you experience any symptoms that indicate that you've had a seizure, you should certainly see a doctor. Such symptoms would include blackouts or periods of confused memory.
You might have periods when people tell you that you are unresponsive or staring into space. You could have fast, involuntary movements of your arms or legs.
You may experience what you think is a fainting spell, but have incontinence or extreme fatigue afterwards. Finally, you may experience odd sounds, sudden feelings of fear, or strange perception.
Seizures with Mono
Many of these symptoms might be explained away due to the mono. Since you are already fatigued, you may not notice that you are more fatigued after a fainting episode.
You may find yourself spacing out or seeming unresponsive anyway. It is important to try to identify if you are feeling more strange than you did the day before, and to seek help if you think you may have had a seizure.
Most doctors will say that the seizures will pass as the mono passes - but it's certainly important to get a check up and to consult with a medical professional.
At The Doctor's Office
If you go to your doctor and explain that you think you've had a seizure, they will usually order an electroencephalogram, or EEG. This will help to show if you did, indeed, have a seizure, and what type of seizure you may have had.
It will look for detectable abnormalities in your brain waves. The doctor may also have you go through a brain scan to look for abnormalities in the brain.
Other Nervous System Complications
There are other possible nervous system complications as well, which can include Guillain-Barre syndrome, seizures, meningitis, and transverse myelitis.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is when there is an inflammation of certain nerves that cause muscles to be weak, and sometimes even paralyzed.
Transverse myelitis is an inflammation that can occur either in the spinal cord, or in the bone marrow. The good news is that 85% of the time, these complications improve on their own without any treatment whatsoever.
What To Do?
Certainly, if you've been diagnosed with mono and you start to exhibit any of these nervous system issues, you should consult a doctor immediately.
While most of these situations do get better on their own, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't seek medical attention. It is possible for a nervous system issue to be the result of the mono virus, but it may also be the result of some other issue within your body.
Your doctor will be able to identify the nervous system problem and to give you advice about whether your not you require treatment. At other times, you won't have any mono symptoms, but you will exhibit nervous system issues.
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