Shotty Lymph Nodes - Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Shotty Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes are a group of cells that are enclosed in connective tissue capsules, and are categorized as lymphocytes and macrophages. Lymphocytes manufacture proteins which capture bacteria and foreign bodies, while Macrophages break down the captured matter; together they protect the body by destroying pathogens. They filter lymph fluid too.

When the lymph nodes become swollen, one is said to be suffering from Shotty Lymph Nodes; these are usually found around the groin, armpits, chin and neck. Shotty Lymph nodes occurs when the body is suffering from a severe bacterial or viral infection. At times, they may get swollen after the infection has passed. They are rubbery to the touch and are not sensitive or tender.

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Symptoms of shotty lymph nodes

When you have an infection of any part of your body, you may experience shotty lymph nodes. Initially, they are characterized by swelling, and depending on the kind of infection patients may present the following symptoms:

  • Night sweats.
  • Swollen lymph nodes, which can be the size of a pea or kidney bean, but sometimes bigger.
  • Tenderness and pain around the swollen lymph nodes.
  • Inflammation of all the lymph nodes in the body; this is a sign of a compromised immune system such as HIV
  • Symptoms similar to those of an infection of the upper respiratory tract; runny nose, sore throat and fever.
  • Swollen limbs which may be caused by the obstructions of the flow of the lymphatic system; this occurs when the swollen lymph nodes are deep within the skin.

Note: If Shotty lymph nodes are not treated in time, they may lead to other complications and infections showed below:

Abscess development – When pus builds around the shotty lymph nodes, the patient gets an infection known as an abscess. The pus contains dead tissues, bacteria, fluids and other pathogens. To treat this, the abscess has to be drained and antibiotics prescribed. An abscess around an important organ can be life-threatening.

Infection of the bloodstream (Bacteremia) – When a bacterial infection in one part of the body begins to travel to other parts of the body, a bacterial infection of the blood stream may occur. This may also lead to serious sepsis. Bacteremia can lead to organ failure and eventual death, and the treatment is aggressive; hospitalization and the administration of intravenous antibiotics are necessary.

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Causes of shotty lymph nodes

The lymphatic system comprises organs, vessels and lymph nodes spread out in many parts of the body. Most lymph nodes are found in the head and neck regions. When you get Shotty Lymph Nodes, the infection is usually found in the head and neck areas; the armpits and groin are also susceptible to this infection.

Viral infections, such as the common cold, are the main causes of shotty lymph nodes. However, parasitic and bacterial infections may also lead to the swelling of the lymph nodes. There are a variety of other causes and they are listed below.

  • Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and other immune system conditions
  • Common infections such as strep throat, measles, infected or abscessed teeth, ear infections, skin and wound infections, HIV/AIDS, mononucleosis, and others.
  • Uncommon infections like cat scratch fever, syphilis and other STDs, Tuberculosis and more.
  • Lymphoma and Leukemia and others cancers, especially those that spread to the lymph nodes themselves.

In some cases, though rare, one may get shotty lymph nodes after taking preventative medications for certain diseases. Anti-malaria and anti-seizure drugs are some of the preventative drugs that bring about this condition.

Treatment of shotty lymph nodes

Shotty lymph nodes that are caused by viral infections usually go away on their own after treatment has been given; note that viral infections are not treated with antibiotics.

Here are some of the treatments given for shotty lymph nodes, depending on what the underlying cause is:

  • Bacterial infections – When shotty lymph nodes occur due to bacterial infections, antibiotics are prescribed. This condition may also be caused by an underlying HIV infection and the management procedures for HIV are given.
  • Cancer – Shotty lymph nodes caused by underlying cancer will go away after specific pre-existing cancer treatment is given. Normally, cancer is treated through chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.
  • Immune system disorders – Lupus, HIV/AIDS, and Rheumatoid Arthritis are common causes of shotty lymph nodes. The management and treatment of these conditions will make the shotty lymph nodes disappear.

There may be some pain and tenderness occurring when you get shotty lymph nodes; you can manage it in the following ways:

  • Wet compresses to the affected areas help reduce the swelling. Dip a washcloth in some warm water, wring out the water and then apply it to the shotty lymph nodes.
  • Over-the-counter pain medication can help reduce the pain and tenderness.
  • A lot of rest will help you fight the underlying infection and reduce the pain from the shotty lymph nodes.
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