chronic pain chronic fatigue syndrome
multiple sclerosis chronic illness
The fibromyalgia / mononucleosis link
October 3, 2007 8:50pm CST
One of the reasons my doctor thought I had fibromyalgia was that I had a very bad case of mononucleosis when I was 17. I was sick for about 6 months and had flare ups for years afterwards. (My mom and dad also had mono at that time - very bad cases.) Now they think that there might be a link between mono and Multiple sclerosis. What gives? Is mono a sort of boogyman for illness later in life? Does anyone else with fibro or MS have a history of mono also?
2 people like this
• Orangeville, Ontario
4 Oct 07
I did a poll on a fibro board and about 83% of those with fibro had mono at some point. Having said that, I had mono when I was 17. I was off school for a month and then had to be driven to school for about a month after that. Then I had a relapse when it came time for studying for exams. I don't remember any particular problems after that. I never liked shopping much and it always made me tired but don't know if that is related. I acquired fibromyalgia after the birth of my second daughter. Mono is related to fibro in that the symptoms are very similar - sore throat, swollen glands, fever, pain. It is said that mono plants a seed that lays dormant until triggered by a trauma like an accident, abuse or in my case childbirth. Before I had my daughter I had experienced an abusive marriage and underwent quite a bit of stress during my second pregnancy, and a lot afterwards as my baby was colicky and kept me up nights. Although I also had a slow recovery after childbirth, I do believe symptoms of fibro started while I was pregnant. EBV - Epstein Barr Virus is the mono virus. Many fibromites will find that they test positive for that which means it is contributing to their fibromyalgia symptoms, or exacerbating them. In my own case, I do not believe that the stresses I endured would have caused my fibromyalgia had I not had mono when I was a teenager. I think mono plays a very prominent role in fibromyalgia. There is also research being done about undiagnosed polio. But having had these illnesses does not mean you will get fibromyalgia. There are many, many factors involved, many symptoms, no known cause or cure. Mono is just one theory, one which I blame for my own downfall.
• United States
4 Oct 07
I should clarify this. Mono is extremely common. I work in a college in medical facility and I see it a lot! Most people who get it don't even know they have and think they have the flu or something similar. And most people never develop the slightest complication from it. The epstein-barr virus, associated with mono, is so common that the majority of people carry it and never have any symptoms. That's why I'm suspicious of doctors tying fibro and MS to mono. It's a common illness so it might be harder to find people with fibro or MS who *hadn't* had mono. I just wonder if anyone else with MS or fibro had heard this from their doctors and if their doctors had any other evidence to tie the two together.
1 May 12
i was told my daughter did not have lupus mainly because we had told the doctor she had mono when she was younger. what i'm wondering is if that many people do get mono what is the percentage of people with lupus or other diseases that also had mono. do the ask that as a question. NOT for Lupus! so she was diagnosed with Lupus than we were told she did not have that and had fibro because of mono. if you asked cancer patients if they had mono would the majority say yes because mono is so common. yes many would say yes. so that means mono is linked to cancer. NO it does not mean that. if you asked people with parkinson if they had mono the majority would say yes. does that mean mono causes parkinsons NO. it's because mono is so common among all of us that the answer to the question did you have mono would the majority of the time be yes! so i'm thinking this entire mono connection is really not true. i think if a patient says they have mono it shouldn't come into the diagnosis from the doctor. ruling out lupus should be based on tests and other symptoms. not mono! not sure if i'm making sense here. i'm still shocked at all this Lupus and Fibro life my daughter is living with....any thoughts new friends?