The mesentery is a membrane that links the small intestine to the abdominal wall. When the lymph nodes in this membrane become inflamed, Mesenteric Lymphadenitis occurs. This condition most often arises due to a viral, bacterial or parasitic infection.
Norovirus and rotavirus are two common viruses that can cause this disorder. Staphylococcus, streptococcus and salmonella are three types of bacterial infections that can create inflammation. Various health conditions, such as lupus, Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis, appendicitis and diverticulitis, are also connected to mesenteric lymphadenitis. Although not as common, inflammation in the mesentery lymph nodes can materialize due to various types of cancer including pancreatic cancer, gastrointestinal cancer and lymphoma.
Pain and tenderness in the abdomen is a common symptom of mesenteric lymphadenitis. The pain is often centered in the lower portion of the right side of the abdomen. A high fever often accompanies the abdominal pain.
Other frequent symptoms include feeling tired, having no energy, upset stomach, vomiting, no appetite and diarrhea. If the abdominal pain becomes excessive, individuals should contact a physician as soon as possible. Continual weight loss and sleeplessness due to abdominal pain are additional symptoms that signal a doctor visit is necessary.
Most of the time, medical treatment is not needed for this condition, as it will eventually get better.
Individuals can take over the counter pain medications to help with the pain and to control a fever. Placing a warm heating pad on the abdomen may also help alleviate the pain. Diarrhea, vomiting and a fever can all lead to dehydration, so it is important to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day.
If the mesenteric lymphadenitis is caused by a bacterial infection, a doctor will prescribe an antibiotic medication. Blood tests may be ordered to discover the specific type of infection.