Is there a link between Bells Palsy and Glandular Fever with MS?

Good Afternoon Everyone, Does anybody know if there is a link between Bells Palsy and Glandular Fever with MS? I am still undiagnosed, but have heard different theories regarding GF and BP being somehow linked to MS. It would be interesting to find out if those of you that have either been diagnosed with MS or awaiting diagnosis have you ever had either of these before? Lisa x

Hello Lisa, I am recently diagnosed and had Glandular Fever when I was 16. Never right after that and my Nurse did say that it was on the list of the possible contributing factors. I have seen it mentioned on here before as well. Have you had GF? Sam x

Hi Sam, I had Glandular Fever when I was 16 also, and then had bells palsy after giving birth to my daughter in 2003. Lisa x

Glandular fever (and other, milder fevers / “bugs”) is caused by the Epstein Barr virus (herpes virus 4), which has been linked to MS.

Bell’s Palsy is associated with herpes virus 1 or maybe 3 (sorry, can’t remember!): 1 causes cold sores and 3 causes chicken pox & shingles.

So, as far as I know, they are caused by two different viruses which aren’t linked despite sharing a similar name.

However, MS can cause symptoms that are easily misdiagnosed as Bell’s Palsy.

Fwiw, I had glandular fever at 16 too. I have never had Bell’s Palsy, but I have had the odd problem with the left side of my face drooping and being unresponsive.

Karen x

Glandular Fever at 17 and diagnosed last year with MS at 38. My mum made me mention Glandular Fever to neuro at first appt as she thinks I have never fully recovered. Was poorly with it tho and took a year out of school. My husband said, (jokingly I must point out)‘at least we now know you are not just lazy!’ I do love my bed at times and the fatigue is like Glandular Fever where I used to be exhausted climbing the stairs. I would be interested to see if there was a link too. C xx

I believe that glandular fever is the only childhood illness that is significantly more common in people with MS than people without MS. They think that the Epstein Barr virus sets off a reaction in the immune system that leads to MS, but only in people with a certain predisposition (which involves genetics and vitamin D).

Btw, it’s impossible to tell if you’ve had the Epstein Barr virus as a child because it can present as anything from a mild, 24 hour “bug” to severe glandular fever.


That’s really interesting Karen. I had lots of blood tests and they always tested negative for Epstein Barr until I was 17 and it tested positive. Whenever I got run down or tired had a flare up, alcohol made me flare up too. Partying holidays when I was younger always made me poorly too. Neuro was interested when I mentioned it to him but no one has queried it since. Thanks for info. C xx

I had severe glandular fever as a teenager followed by viral meningitis within 2 months. I never thought there was a link between GF and MS but looking at the NHS choices website there is.

I had glandular fever when I was 30 (way too old for a common complain amongst teenagers) and my son was just 14 months old. That was fun - not! I also say the MS fatigue reminds me of the exhaustion I experienced with the glandular fever. I have always found that whenever I am fighting off any kind of virus or am a bit run down my glands still swell - in fact, eighteen months after I recovered from glandular fever my GP re-tested me for it in case I still had it. I didn’t, and he decided I would just have to live with sensitive glands …


Hi all This is interesting, I wasn’t diagnosed with GF but with ME in my 20’s but the only thing that kept my doctor acknowledging there was something not right was the fact that my glands were up for over a 9 month period, and they used to go up and down for years after. I have had shingles and seriously nasty cold sores over the years A HAT TRICK !! It seems there could be so much learnt if all history of ms patients were correlated

I also had GF at the age of 19 when I was at uni. I have never really had the same get-up-and-go again! Teresa xx

In 2010, whilst I was pregnant with my youngest, I suddenly, and very much out of the blue suffered extreme fatigue that lasted weeks. I continued to go to the midwife and tell her how horrendous I was feeling. I would literally get up showered and put my make up on, then need to lie down. I was told umpteen times, and I quote ‘we’ll, you are nearly 40’, and I used to say I knew the difference between pregnancy tiredness and extreme fatigue. This lasted for about six weeks, then one day I got up and felt fantastic, literally three weeks before my due date. I guess of I was nearly forty, I should have been feeling even worse at this point. Incidentally, and something that made me wonder, and why i am contributing to this thread, is, that, whilst they were honed in on trying to find a water infection to account for my blood tests, my sister was diagnosed with glandular fever about a week or two after my symptoms disappeared. At times when I get extreme fatigue, it takes me right back to my last pregnancy and how horrendous I felt. I guess I won’t get to now whether it was or wasn’t GF or not, but I also wonder whether these may have been the start of my symptoms that had been disguised by having a baby, baby brain, tiredness etc. I guess I will never know, but it makes you think!

[quote=“Metherapy”] It seems there could be so much learnt if all history of ms patients were correlated [/quote] It is, sort of. Researchers ask us specific things rather than everything mind you. It’s how the link to glandular fever (and the Epstein Barr virus) was found :slight_smile: Anyone with an MS diagnosis - have a look online for the MS Register. It is collating loads of info on people with MS. Anyone - have a look for the MS Tissue Bank. You can leave them your brain and spinal cord and permission to access your medical records after you die (obviously!) to aid research into MS. They need tissue from people with any and all conditions, not just MS, as well as healthy people. Kx


my symptoms all escalated from a severe glandular illness, some ten years ago,i have never really recoverd just evything has stayed with me,and more symptoms as the years pass by,

love boz xxps stil no diagnoses.

Interesting- like a lot of people on here I had Glandular fever at 17 x