Lymphatic system, which is part of our body’s immune system, is prone to several infections or diseases. One such condition is the lymph node infection. It is the inflammation of lymph nodes mostly due to a bacterial infection of a wound.
But, it can also be due to bacteria, viruses, protozoa, rickettsiae, fungi and other disease agents.
Lymphadenitis or inflammation of the lymph nodes may lead to infections in the neck, ear, groin and other parts of the body.
The disease spreads to a lymph node from nose, ear, skin or eye infection.
Some infections such as streptococcal infection, cytomegalovirus infection, syphilis, infectious mononucleosis and tuberculosis can also cause lymphadenitis.
The symptoms of the disease may last for few days or for few weeks. The early symptoms are swelling of the lymph nodes. It is often due to the buildup of tissue fluid and high increase of white blood cells due to the body’s response to an infection.
The lymph nodes that are swollen may feel hardened and is painful when touched. Skin that covers the lymph nodes feel hot to the touch or may become slightly red.
Some other symptoms of Lymphadenitis include:
- Abdominal pain on the lower right side, but sometimes it can be widespread
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling unwell
- Loss of appetite
- Heavy perspiration
- General weakness
- Rapid pulse
Lymph node infection with or without symptoms occurs mainly in adolescents and children. It is more common in young boys when compared to girls.
Usually, infection disappears on its own and it rarely causes complications. But if the lymph node infection is due to a severe bacterial illness that is not treated, bacteria can possibly spread into your bloodstream.
The condition finally leads to a life-threatening condition called as sepsis.
Sometimes, lymphadenitis is accompanied by lymphangitis. Lymphangitis is the inflammation of lymphatic vessels connecting the lymph nodes. This disease indicates the presence of bacterial infection.
The symptoms of lymphangitis include: throbbing pain the lymph nodes, flulike symptoms, high fever, severe aching muscles and red streaks around the swollen lymph node.
Treatment for Lymph node infection
Lymphadenitis or lymph node infection spreads within few hours, so treatment should start promptly.
But, the mild and uncomplicated cases of lymphadenitis can disappear on their own within few days. The treatment should include:
- Analgesics for pain control
- Antibiotics for treating the underlying infection, such as pencillin G
- Fever reducers
- Hot moist compressors for reducing pain and inflammation
- Anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling and inflammation
To get relief from pain and fever, get plenty of rest, drink lot of fluids to prevent dehydration caused by vomiting, fever and diarrhea. Applying moist heat to the abdomen can ease the discomfort.