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Rebuilding the Body After Mono

author image Natalie Smith
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.
Rebuilding the Body After Mono
A woman lies sick in bed. Photo Credit: Eric Hood/iStock/Getty Images

Mononucleosis is an illness that results from a viral infection. The illness can last several weeks and leave you feeling weak and fatigued afterward. You may not feel completely recovered for a month or more after the illness goes away. During this time, it is important to get enough rest and to eat nutritious meals to rebuild your strength.


You can help your body recover from mononucleosis by getting as much rest as your body needs. You may still feel very tired even after your physician gives you clearance to begin working or attending school again. Rest as much as you are able to, and return to your regular schedule gradually rather than attempting to resume your former busy schedule all at once. Your physician may be willing to provide you with a doctor's note for your professors or your job that verifies your condition.


A close-up of fresh blueberries.
A close-up of fresh blueberries. Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images

Eat regular, nutritious meals even if you don't feel hungry because your body needs the nutrients to regain your strength. Examples of foods that are beneficial after recovering from a long illness like mononucleosis include foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as leafy greens, peppers, blueberries, tomatoes and cherries. In addition, avoid refined and processed foods as well as red meat and foods containing trans fats. Do not drink alcohol while you are recovering from mononucleosis. Your liver may have become inflamed from your illness, and alcohol can be too hard on your recovering liver.


A young woman swims in a pool.
A young woman swims in a pool. Photo Credit: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Your physician may give you clearance to begin jogging or swimming as early as one month after you have recovered from mononucleosis, according to the University Health Service at the University of Rochester. Avoid contact sports like football or rugby until your physician gives you clearance. Even if you feel fully recovered, your spleen may still be swollen, and it may rupture during rough play. No matter which sports or exercises you start with, take it slow at first to allow your body time to adjust to exercising again. If you feel tired or in pain while exercising, stop the activity.

When to Consult Your Physician

A patient discusses her illness with a doctor.
A patient discusses her illness with a doctor. Photo Credit: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Consult your physician if you still feel abnormally fatigued after two to three months. In addition, seek medical attention if you begin having seizures, if you experience shortness of breath, if your testicles become enlarged or inflamed, if your skin or the whites of your eyes appear yellowed, if you begin experiencing problems with your coordination, or if you experience facial paralysis. These symptoms may indicate that you have developed a secondary infection or you have developed complications from the virus.

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