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Kerry, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  35 years in Nursing: OB/GYN, Peds, Oncology, hospice, Ortho, Neuro, Addiction, Recovery, Geriatrics,
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Inflammed Small Bowel Lymph Nodes

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I have been having lower abdominal pain on the right side. I had a small bowel series x-ray done and my Dr. informed that there is some inflammation of the lymph nodes in a small area. I have had a colonoscopy, blood work that checked for thyroid, celiac and numerous other things all with negative results. the symptoms started 5 months ago with pain in the lower right abdominal area. I had a tests for appendicitis immediately that were negative. I started to vomit daily for about 3 weeks. I was given prevacid and it subsided, but I started to have uncontrollable diarrhea until about 2 weeks ago. Now it goes from diarrhea to constipation and then back. My Dr. put me on zelnorm to try and regulate my bowel movements. I have only been on it for 3 days and it is all diarrhea again. The pain is still there on the right side and has been getting more tender to the touch daily. Will the zelnorm help with the pain? Also, what can inflamed lymph nodes on the small bowel mean? Thank you.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Kerry replied 11 years ago.


Here is one possibility I found doing research using your symptoms.

Mesenteric Adenitis

Mesenteric adenitis is a self-limited inflammatory process that affects the mesenteric lymph nodes in the right lower quadrant. Its clinical presentation mimics that of acute appendicitis. Until recently, the diagnosis was most frequently made when laparotomy performed to assess presumed appendicitis yielded negative findings; now, cross-sectional imaging is routinely applied in the examination of patients.

Mesenteric adenitis is usually a self-limited disease, and management is conservative. Radiologic intervention is generally not indicated. Rotavirus and other viral vectors are the presumed cause in most cases. Although cultures are seldom obtained, most cases resolve without antibiotic treatment.


Infections cause our 'glands' to swell - you might have noticed this from time to time in your neck when you have had a sore throat or sore ear.

The commonest lymph glands to swell in this way are in the neck, under the arms, and in the groin. It's easy to spot these because they get sore and swollen.

However, there are similar glands inside the abdomen around the blood supply to your gut - in what is called the 'mesentery'. When these glands swell to fight a virus, or other infection, they get sore but you can't see the swelling.

All the patient is aware of is tummy pain and feeling a bit fevered. To doctors it can look exactly like appendicitis and it is only clear that this is not the case once the surgeon does an operation and finds the appendix to be perfectly healthy.

So, with 'mesenteric adenitis', which settles all by itself, it is a matter of waiting until it goes away, but being careful to exclude appendicitis.

I hope this helps, please let me know if I can do more detailed research for you.


Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Kerry's Post: When your body fights infection, don't blood tests generally come back with elevated white blood cell counts? All of mine have been normal so far. Also, how long can this viral infection take to get out of one's system? I have also been under the impression that viral infections need to run their cours and cannot be helped by antibiotics. Is this so? If I continue to take the zelnorm and the pain persists, can this be a more serious condition? My doctor and I are both at a loss. I am just concerned since all of the blood work and CT scans and x-rays have been negative for anything and this has been going on for about 5 months now. Thank you again.
Expert:  Kerry replied 11 years ago.

I truly wish I could help you more. Viruses can cause higher white blood counts, but not always. Viruses do need to run their course, but sometimes turn into bacterial infections in which case antibiotics would be of some help. My guess is your doctor prescribed them on the chance that it would help. I would continue them until done since you have started them. To stop antibiotics before they are gone could cause a rebound infection and possibly one that is resistant to antibiotics.

I do wish you the best, XXXXX XXXXX you feel better soon.

If I come across anything else while researching, I will let you know.


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