Feb 24 2009

Epstein Barr symptoms – fatigue, diarrhea and nausea

Published by at 5:43 pm under Complications of mono


When you are infected with Epstein Barr virus, your body mounts an immune response in order to clear the virus from your system. As well as symptoms like a sore throat, coughing, fever and swollen glands (which we discussed in an earlier post), you can also experience debilitating fatigue, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Let’s have a look at these symptoms in more detail.


Fatigue is your body’s way of telling you to slow down, go to bed and sleep! In order to fight Epstein Barr you need to rest your body, so any energy can go toward healing your body. 

I understand that committments to work, study, family and sport can be important, however it is vital that you rest your body in the early stages of this illness. If you continue to push yourself, you will prolong your illness or suffer from complications.

One of the Scandinavian countries enforce a mandatory rest period of a few weeks after people are diagnosed with mononucleosis to ensure the symptoms do not become chronic. It would save a lot of suffering if this practice was adopted worldwide!


Diarrhea speeds the evacuation of bugs and their toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. If you have diarrhea it is advisable to rest your gastrointestinal tract by consuming only water or fluids like broths, until the condition clears. Medication like Lomotol can stop diarrhea temporarily but may worsen other symptoms like nausea or abdominal pains as the infection is not being eliminated. Medication can also prolong the length of the illness.

Nausea and vomiting

These symptoms are the body’s way of emptying the stomach of dangerous substances or bugs. Nausea can also indicate that your liver has been infected with the Epstein Barr virus.

The best approach for nausea and vomiting is to cut down your food intake – preferably by doing a liquid only diet or a light diet of dried toast, broths and soups with no fats, dairy, alcohol or sugar. This will ensure that less energy is needed for digestion, more for fighting the infection. To quell the nausea, ginger, peppermint or spearmint tea may be drunk. If you are vomiting regularly then an electrolyte replacement drink may be needed. Avoid taking medications that suppress the symptoms and allow you to eat. These medications may prolong the healing process.

Epstein Barr treatment

If you have been diagnosed with Epstein Barr, it is important to rest your body, drink plenty of pure water and support your immune system with vitamins, minerals, herbs, an immune-boosting diet and lifestyle improvements. These natural treatments for Epstein Barr are discussed in detail in the e-book “Nature’s Amazing Mononucleosis Cures” by naturopath Elizabeth Noble.


155 responses so far

155 Responses to “Epstein Barr symptoms – fatigue, diarrhea and nausea”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Marissa, Sorry to hear your daughter has been diagnosed with mono. It is best to keep her home until she is over the diarrhea and lethargy. Mono is most contagious when there are obvious symptoms like coughing, sneezing, a red sore throat and diarrhea. Keep her warm, well rested and well nourished with plenty of water, hot broths and fresh juices. If she is hungry then small amounts of rice, steamed vegetables, chicken, dry toast or crackers, stewed apple and mashed banana are good. Once she is back to her normal energy levels with no diarrhea then school is fine. It would be worth telling the school nurse in case other students have been infected. Elizabeth

  2. Tom says:

    Has anyone had long lasting effects of mono?I am a 19 year old college student. I had a sinus infection initially in December and found out I had mono in February. After I initially got over the miserable symptoms of mono I now have prolonged fatigue and swollen lymph nodes all over my body that will not go down after other symptoms have cleared. I felt like I initially got over the sore throat and head symptoms of mono and felt fine for a while, but now I feel as if the fatigue has come back and I also have noticed that my GI system has been messed up ever since. I am about 3 months out of initial diagnosis. Anyone had similar problems?

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for your message. Some people do suffer prolonged fever and swollen glands for several months after diagnosis. The best approach is to rest as much as possible, get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy diet and take some immune boosting supplements like vitamin C, zinc and olive leaf extract. For your fatigue, the adrenal glands may need some nourishment with extra B vitamins and magnesium. The virus may have upset your bowel flora so a course of acidophillus and bifido bacteria would be a good idea. In the majority of cases the symptoms will clear within 6 months.
    Best wishes,

  4. Cheryl says:

    I was diagnosed with mono before Christmas. Never had the sore throat symptoms, just extremely tired and terrible nausea and loose stools. Felt better for a couple months and now the severe nausea, tiredness and loose stools is back. Wondering if this is normal or if anyone else has experienced this.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Cheryl, Sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Mono can linger for several months causing symptoms like fatigue, nausea and loose stools. I would recommend you do a course of acidophillus and a liver cleansing diet with lots of fresh vegetables, quality protein and water. If the fatigue continues then the B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium may help. Elizabeth

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