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Wed, 1st March 2017
 

What is glandular fever, and is it treatable? This is a common regular inquiry, especially from younger people. Currently we do not have any specific antiviral antibiotic to kill the EB (Epstein-Barr) virus which causes this nasty condition. It frequently hits teenagers, often via saliva from an infected boy-girl partner (hence its common name, the "kissing disease").

A very sore throat often infected tonsils and glands under the jaw, neck, groin which swell and are painful. Sometimes the liver is swollen and tender, under the left lower rib cage. Fever and sensitive tingly skin also occur, feeling listless and generally off colour. It is common in school and uni students. GF, or "infectious mononucleosis" (its medical name) is diagnosed by a specific blood test, finding big white cells in the blood and antibodies.

Treatment. Rest, plenty of fluids, preferably water, paracetamol for fevers, no antibiotics (some which may cause a red rash if taken) Most patients do OK but its "blood marker" stays forever in the system, and recurrences later in life are common.

This is specially so if tired and stressed out. It can also cause temporary mild paralysis, such as the upper eyelids, which may uncontrollably droop for days to weeks. Mostly these get back to normal.

Fortunately Dr Nature cures most. In some SE countries, it may lead to cancer of the neck region, but this is rarely seen in Australia. It is just a nasty virus.

 
SORE BACK

Q: 

I develop discomfort in the lower part of my back about 3pm each day. I sit on a chair all day long, answering phones or at the screen.

A: 

Try and stand up and move about every hour or two, and maybe do a few body bends, head twists, knee bends. Blood can stagnate, lactic acid builds up causing muscle fibre spasm and pain. Also, use a small cushion in the lower (lumbar) region. This often helps. Special gear supporting the lower back is available from shops. Look around.

 
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LIBIDO

Q: 

Since starting blood pressure medication, my libido has waned to an alarming extent.

A: 

This is common, especially with blood pressure medication. Also with various sedatives, tranquillisers, and stomach acid suppressants. Smoking is also a big turn off, as is too much grog. Talk to your doctor, who may vary the medication.

 
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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

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