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Lymphadenitis and How It Affects Lymph Nodes

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Lymphadenitis is a rapidly spreading common complication of the lymph nodes in response to bacteria, fungi, or viral infections that break down red blood cells in the body.

Simply stated, Lymphadenitis is a common complication of infections of the lymph nodes found in the arms, legs, neck, chest, or abdomen, in response to bacteria, fungi, or viruses, with swollen glands found near the site of the infection, tumor, or inflammation that may rapidly spread within hours of contracting the ailment.  Streptococcus, responsible for many cases of such conditions as meningitis; bacterial pneumonia; endocarditious inflammations of the inner layer of the heart and heart valves; erysipelous infections of the skin; and the thirty-three known species of Staphylococcus that live on the skin and mucous membranes, can cause many different diseases through toxic production or invasion through such things as food poisoning, and may also cause Lymphadenitis. 

The localized inflammation of lymph nodes created by Lymphadenitis can develop acutely or chronically, and may be caused by pyogenic bacterial infections, or granulomatous hereditary diseases in which immune system cells have difficulty killing ingested pathogens, Lymphadenitis may develop in many organs of the body resulting in such symptoms as swollen, tender, or hard lymph nodes with red skin over the area, that may feel rubbery if abscesses have formed.  Cellulitis, Sepsis bloodstream infections, and fistulas due to tuberculosis can be other symptoms of Lymphadenitis. 

Lymphadenitis may also be caused by protozoas, rickettsiae bacteria, tuberculous basillus, Rabbit Fever, Catscratch Fever, infected acne, dental abscesses, bubonic plague, tonsilitis, sore throats, Lymphagranuloma Venereum, chancroid infections, cytomegaloviral herpes viruses that may have no symptoms, or can cause severe illnesses in people with compromised immune systems, in which various studies indicate may affect as many as 85 percent of the population of the United States throughout their lifetimes; Brucellosis Undulant Fevers, and toxoplasmosis parasidic diseases that can typically cause mild flu-like illnesses.

Results of Lymphadenitis may include the build up of tissue fluids, increased white blood cell counts, fevers, chills, appetite loss, heavy sweating episodes, rapid pulses, and general overall weakness.  A complete recovery from Lymphadenitis can usually be made with cool compresses that reduce pain and inflammation, antibiotics to treat the infections causing the ailment, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications, good general health and clean personal hygiene practices.

The bacterias that can cause Lymphadenitis are hemolytic and break down red blood cells, releasing hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment, and main protein in red blood cells, into the blood plasma, or liquid part of the blood and lymph fluid, that constitutes about one half of its volume.  Lymphadenitis may be diagnosed through physical examinations, the patient's medical history, lymph node examinations, external symptoms associated with the ailment, white blood cell count tests, blood cultures that identify the source of the infection, and biopsies of the affected lymph nodes.


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Brett Matthew West

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