Dear Dr. Heller,

I am 45 years old.  I was diagnosed with mono after I requested my doctor test me for it.  Until that time he told me my throat and sick feeling was from allergies…viral……nothing he could really do anything about.  Please tell me what I can do to hurry up and get better.  I am so tired of my throat hurting.  He won’t test me for strep or Epstein-Barr and has never touched my glands, spleen or liver.  Is this normal for a doctor to NOT investigate a little further?  I was slightly anemic from excess bleeding (female problems) when I started feeling badly.  I have so many questions, but I hate to waste the time writing them and asking if a real live person is not going to respond.  So, maybe you can let me know if there are experts that will reply or if I should just look for another doctor.  My doctor did tell me that he had never had a patient over 30 with mono.  Is a younger patient treated differently?  He also told me that once I was symptomatic I was no longer contagious.  What do you think?  Thank you so much for your time….especially if you are a REAL LIVE PERSON!!  (ha)


It’s time for a second opinion.  Mononucleosis is an infection caused by a virus in the herpes class.  Other viruses in the class cause chicken pox, shingles, and a form of lymph gland cancer. There’s really not much that can be done for mono at this time, although some people may respond to anti-viral medications like acyclovir. A persistent symptom always needs to be investigated.  Common treatable causes include GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease – where stomach acid goes up the esophagus and burns the throat), post nasal drip, dry nose requiring mouth breathing and a resulting dry mouth.  Many of these disorders can have only a sore throat as the symptom.  Many other problems can cause a persistent sore throat, and it should clearly be investigated. A good step now is to see another primary physician (family physician or internist) or an ENT specialist.


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