Lymphadenitis: symptoms and treatment photo
Sometimes the person under the skin under the lower jaw, on the neck, under the arms or in the groin detects small oval nodules. As a rule, they are painless and not connected with surrounding tissues. It is the lymph nodes.
What are lymph nodes?
Lymph nodes, or lymph nodes are small oval bodies that contain immune cells that protect the body from foreign pathogens (e.g. viruses and bacteria). They are an important part of the immune system that protects the body from disease.
Lymph nodes are located in various parts of the body, including the neck, armpits and groin. They are associated with lymphatic vessels that carry lymph (a clear liquid containing white blood cells) throughout the body. The main function of lymph nodes is to be a refuge of cells fighting diseases of the body. They filter the lymph that flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances and destroying them with the help of lymphocytes. When a person gets sick, his lymph nodes are sending these cells, therefore they can become inflamed or painful. Their inflammation is called lymphadenitis. Lymphadenitis can be of two types:
- Regional lymphadenitis is the most common type of in which the inflamed one or more lymph nodes near the site of infection. For example, inflammation of the tonsils (quinsy) can become inflamed cervical lymph nodes. Other examples are mesenteric, axillary and inguinal lymphadenitis.
- Generalized lymphadenitis – inflammation affects two or more lymph node groups. Typically, this process causes infection or disease that spreads throughout the body.
For the duration of inflammation, acute and chronic lymphadenitis.
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Causes of lymphadenitis
The lymphatic system consists of a network of lymph nodes, lymph ducts, vessels and organs which secrete lymph. Lymphadenitis often develops in response to entering the body of bacteria, viruses or fungi. Enlarged nodes that are usually located in close proximity to the site of infection, tumor, or inflammation. For reasons of development are distinguished:
- Nonspecific lymphadenitis – develops as a result of infectious diseases of nonspecific etiology is most often caused by streptococci or staphylococci.
- Specific lymphadenitis – develops when rare infections such as tuberculosis or fever from a cat scratch that is caused by the bacterium Bartonella. Tuberculous lymphadenitis usually affects the lymph nodes located in the chest, so it is hard to detect.
Lymph nodes often increase in response to injury or infection that developed around them. Localization lymphadenitis helps to locate the problem:
- The lymph nodes on one side of the neck, under the jaw or behind the ears are often exaggerated in cases of sore throat, dental diseases, acute respiratory viral infections.
- The lymph nodes in the armpit area can become inflamed by trauma or infection of the hands.
- Inguinal lymphadenitis develops most often due to damage or infection in the leg, groin or genitals.
- The lymph nodes above the collarbone may be increased during infection in the lungs, Breasts or abdomen.
Symptoms of lymphadenitis
The main symptom of lymphadenitis is enlarged lymph nodes. In addition, the symptoms of infection of the lymph nodes may include:
- Sudden swollen lymph nodes in size.
- Soreness of the lymph nodes.
- The confluence of enlarged lymph nodes among themselves.
- Redness of the skin over the lymph nodes.
- The filling of the lymph node with pus – purulent lymphadenitis.
- Draining fluids from glands in the skin.
Because lymphadenitis is reactive (i.e., secondary) character, it is often accompanied by symptoms of the underlying disease – for example, sore throat, fever, night sweats, fatigue or weight loss. In mesenteric lymphadenitis, the person may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, nausea and vomiting.
Complications of lymphadenitis
When swollen lymph nodes may develop the following complications:
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- Formation of abscess (pus-containing cavity), which need surgical treatment and antibiotics.
- Infection of the skin, located above the lymphadenitis.
- Sometimes lymph nodes become so large can compress the surrounding anatomical structures. For example, when pahovom lymphadenitis can squeezed blood vessels and nerves going to the arm; mesenteric lymphadenitis can cause intestinal failure.
- Tuberculous lymphadenitis is sometimes complicated by formation of fistulas – channels connecting the infected cavity and skin.
Diagnosis of lymphadenitis
The main role in the diagnosis of lymphadenitis belongs to a medical examination, which asks about symptoms and detect signs of an infectious process near the enlarged lymph nodes. Sometimes, diagnosis may require the following tests:
- A blood test to detect infection.
- Taking a sample of tissue or fluid from a lymph node for further study in the laboratory.
- Sowing of fluid from the lymph node to isolate the pathogen.
How to treat lymphadenitis?
Specific treatment of lymphadenitis is determined by a physician which is based on the following features:
- The size of the enlarged lymph nodes.
- Age, General health of the patient, presence of concomitant diseases.
- Tolerance for certain drugs, procedures or other treatments.
- Patient preferences regarding treatment choices.
In some cases, the treatment increases lymph nodes is not necessary. The choice of the exact method of treatment depends on what caused infectious causes of lymphadenitis. Once the pathogen has struck some lymph nodes it can rapidly spread to other areas of the body, so it is important to quickly determine the cause and start treatment immediately.
Antibiotics if lymphadenitis is used, if the disease is caused by bacteria. They are appointed taking into account the type of infectious pathogen. Also if there is pain in the enlarged lymph nodes can be used painkillers for example, Ibuprofen. When purulent inflammation of also need treatment of lymphadenitis with antibiotics and surgical opening of the abscess.
Is it possible to prevent the development of lymphadenitis?
Best way to prevent lymphadenitis is to see a doctor at the first sign of any infectious diseases or upon detection of enlarged lymph nodes under the skin. Also it is necessary in the processing of any scratches or injuries of the skin use antiseptics and to always observe the rules of hygiene.