Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Mesenteric lymphadenitis is a condition whereby the lymph nodes of the mesentery are inflamed. Lymph nodes help your body fight against disease by trapping and destroying any pathogens attacking your body. The inflamed lymph nodes are usually located in the membrane between the intestine and the abdominal wall. In most cases, this disorder occurs due to an intestinal infection such as stomach flu. Mesenteric lymphadenitis is often mild and barely causes any serious complications. However, if you do experience sudden severe abdominal pains, then you should ensure you visit a doctor for proper treatment. Mesenteric lymphadenitis commonly affects children and teenagers. It is also referred to as mesenteric adenitis.

How Do You Treat Mesenteric Lymphadenitis?

Mesenteric lymphadenitis is not a serious illness. Therefore, it can heal on its own within a few days without needing treatment. However, if the underlying cause of the illnesses is a bacterial infection, then a prescription of antibiotics should be given to kill the bacteria. For pain management, the patient can take over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen. Other than that, general supportive care including hydration suffices.

Treatment of mesenteric lymphadenitis is important in severe cases to avoid possible complication such as;

  • Dehydration due to frequent diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Abscess (pus) in the abdomen
  • Peritonitis, although rare, it is a condition that affects the membrane surrounding the outside of organs in the abdomen.
  • Sepsis, which is a result of the immune system overworking while trying to fight against the causative agent (infection) of mesenteric lymphadenitis.

When Should You Visit A Doctor?

Well, the general prognosis of mesenteric lymphadenitis condition is that it is not serious and will improve on its own over time. Regardless, you should be alert on any signs of severe symptoms or further complications that may arise. If you experience severe abdominal pains, severe vomiting and diarrhea, weight loss and high fever, make sure you make a doctor’s appointment. Other than that, you should visit a doctor to confirm that you are truly suffering from mesenteric adenitis and not serious appendicitis.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Mesenteric Lymphadenitis?

The signs and symptoms of mesenteric lymphadenitis are based on what caused the illness in the first place. However, common symptoms include;

  • Tenderness in the skin near the abdomen Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Malaise (general feeling of sickness)

In other cases, even before one shows signs of having mesenteric adenitis, one may develop an upper respiratory tract infection. As a result, one develops a sore throat. The symptoms of this illness often occur in the lower right abdomen, which resembles the symptoms of appendicitis. Nevertheless, mesenteric lymphadenitis is less severe compared to appendicitis.

Diagnosis of Mesenteric Lymphadenitis

Diagnosis of mesenteric lymphadenitis can sometimes be difficult as a patient may lack symptoms. In other cases, it may be difficult to diagnose if the resultant pain is widespread, making it difficult to pinpoint where the pain is arising from. The easiest way to examine one for this ailment is by performing an imaging test to determine whether the lymph nodes are swollen. Anyways, the first step to diagnosing mesenteric lymphadenitis is by going through one’s medical history. It is likely that a patient who had recent stomach flu or other intestinal infection, may have developed the condition. In addition to that, a physical exam is of importance to check for tenderness, any swelling or pain on the abdominal area. Your doctor may also choose to take a blood sample to check for any infections.

Conclusion

Doctors treat mesenteric lymphadenitis using antibiotics and pain relievers for abdominal pains. Other than that, general supportive care will help improve the condition in no time. You can do so by ensuring you get enough rest, stay hydrated and sometimes, apply heat on the abdominal area to relieve pain. In addition to that, you can adopt some natural treatment remedies such as licorice, Echinacea and wild indigo, which have numerous health benefits.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 29, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest