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How Concerned Should I Be About Persistent Swollen Lymph Nodes

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Posted on Sat, 25 Jul 2020
Question: How concerned should I be about persistent swollen lymph nodes in my armpits and groin after 4 months? A dull pain comes and goes.



I live in the UAE where being HIV positive will get me deported. I’ve had three negative tests (most recent being 95 days after potential exposure) but I am nervous that because I went to an anonymous clinic that the results could have been tampered with. I have visited a GP but have had to avoid addressing my concerns directly. Could a viral or bacterial infection other than HIV still be causing my nodes to be swollen after all this time? My doctor did basic blood work and identified that I have hypothyroidism but it is unclear if it is related.



I’ve had no tests for viruses or bacteria with him. If I do have HIV and it is identified in a test I will be imprisoned.

Are there any viruses or bacteria other than HIV that would cause this ongoing symptom for such an extended period of time?

Could my nodes be swollen as a result to an autoimmune condition causing swollen lymph nodes?
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Follow up: Dr. Bhagyesh V. Patel (0 minute later)
How concerned should I be about persistent swollen lymph nodes in my armpits and groin after 4 months? A dull pain comes and goes.



I live in the UAE where being HIV positive will get me deported. I’ve had three negative tests (most recent being 95 days after potential exposure) but I am nervous that because I went to an anonymous clinic that the results could have been tampered with. I have visited a GP but have had to avoid addressing my concerns directly. Could a viral or bacterial infection other than HIV still be causing my nodes to be swollen after all this time? My doctor did basic blood work and identified that I have hypothyroidism but it is unclear if it is related.



I’ve had no tests for viruses or bacteria with him. If I do have HIV and it is identified in a test I will be imprisoned.

Are there any viruses or bacteria other than HIV that would cause this ongoing symptom for such an extended period of time?

Could my nodes be swollen as a result to an autoimmune condition causing swollen lymph nodes?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bhagyesh V. Patel (56 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
multiple clinical possibilities need additional details.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome to Ask A Doctor services.
I have read your query and here is my advise.

* As per my clinical experience, there can be various reasons for the general
lymphadenopathy as
- chronic bacterial infection
- viral infections ( cytomegalo and other viruses also possible apart from
HIV )
- low immunity
- auto immune disorders
- proliferative conditions such as lymphoma
- others

* Kindly provide me further details so that I can assist you further in details
for this.

1. Progress of the lymph nodes enlargement since beginning.
2. Current size, consistency ( as hard or soft ), fixed to underlying structures
or movable ?
3. Any changes in weight, appetite ?
4. Noticeable or measurable fever if any ?
5. Also provide investigations available in form of biopsy and others as
complete hemogram during follow up discussion.

Awaiting for your response.
Regards.
Dr Bhagyesh ( MS consultant surgeon )
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bhagyesh V. Patel (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
multiple clinical possibilities need additional details.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome to Ask A Doctor services.
I have read your query and here is my advise.

* As per my clinical experience, there can be various reasons for the general
lymphadenopathy as
- chronic bacterial infection
- viral infections ( cytomegalo and other viruses also possible apart from
HIV )
- low immunity
- auto immune disorders
- proliferative conditions such as lymphoma
- others

* Kindly provide me further details so that I can assist you further in details
for this.

1. Progress of the lymph nodes enlargement since beginning.
2. Current size, consistency ( as hard or soft ), fixed to underlying structures
or movable ?
3. Any changes in weight, appetite ?
4. Noticeable or measurable fever if any ?
5. Also provide investigations available in form of biopsy and others as
complete hemogram during follow up discussion.

Awaiting for your response.
Regards.
Dr Bhagyesh ( MS consultant surgeon )
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Bhagyesh V. Patel (15 hours later)
1- one month after a trip to Cambodia I had flu symptoms my lymph nodes in my arm pits and groin became enlarged and were aching. The swelling would flare up and with that night sweats. Previously, I had a slightly enlarged firm lymph node on the back of my neck. After another few weeks it also became extremely enlarged. This is the area where I had a biopsy which came back without any concern of cancer. This revealed concern about my thyroid. The doctor did a test and identified that I have hypothyroidism. The swollen lymph node on my neck has returned to normal but the swelling in my armpit and groin persists. However, I no longer have and other symptoms or night sweats. It has now been 4 months total

2- they are quite small and easy to move. I would say a third of the size of a mosquito bite.

3- at the onset of symptoms I had lost weight and appetite. This persisted for a couple of weeks. Recently, my weight has increased quite a bit. This is likely somewhat due to quarantining. However, I understand this is could also be due to hypothyroidism.

4- all symptoms of a fever subsided but lasted 2-3 weeks. This obviously had be very concerned and led to my initial HIV test which was negative. Because the nodes remained enlarged after the fever symptoms I had two more tests. The most recent being 95 days after a potential exposure.

I had a full blood count and everything came back normal except my thyroid. I am now taking medication.

Are the continuing nodes a potential side effect of hypothyroidism. My doctor suggested it is but due to the risk of HIV I didn’t not tell him about the potential exposure or flu symptoms.

Could they be the result of tuberculosis? I was in Cambodia for a week.
default
Follow up: Dr. Bhagyesh V. Patel (0 minute later)
1- one month after a trip to Cambodia I had flu symptoms my lymph nodes in my arm pits and groin became enlarged and were aching. The swelling would flare up and with that night sweats. Previously, I had a slightly enlarged firm lymph node on the back of my neck. After another few weeks it also became extremely enlarged. This is the area where I had a biopsy which came back without any concern of cancer. This revealed concern about my thyroid. The doctor did a test and identified that I have hypothyroidism. The swollen lymph node on my neck has returned to normal but the swelling in my armpit and groin persists. However, I no longer have and other symptoms or night sweats. It has now been 4 months total

2- they are quite small and easy to move. I would say a third of the size of a mosquito bite.

3- at the onset of symptoms I had lost weight and appetite. This persisted for a couple of weeks. Recently, my weight has increased quite a bit. This is likely somewhat due to quarantining. However, I understand this is could also be due to hypothyroidism.

4- all symptoms of a fever subsided but lasted 2-3 weeks. This obviously had be very concerned and led to my initial HIV test which was negative. Because the nodes remained enlarged after the fever symptoms I had two more tests. The most recent being 95 days after a potential exposure.

I had a full blood count and everything came back normal except my thyroid. I am now taking medication.

Are the continuing nodes a potential side effect of hypothyroidism. My doctor suggested it is but due to the risk of HIV I didn’t not tell him about the potential exposure or flu symptoms.

Could they be the result of tuberculosis? I was in Cambodia for a week.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bhagyesh V. Patel (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
follow up.

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for the relevant details needed.

* As per your narration, size of lymph nodes are third of mosquito bite,
which is almost normal size of lymph nodes and one can not consider
them as clinically significant lymph node enlargement.

* As the other aspects of the conditions like absence of fever and weight
gain are considered clinically significant recovery.

* I do not consider these lymph nodes to be of concern from disease
perspectives.

* So far as the doubt about tuberculosis is concerned, there will be
persistent fever, weight loss, loss of appetite, enlarging size of lymph
nodes manytimes about dime size.

* HIV is also ruled out after repeated tests done.

* Overall, I would consider the issue as acute inflammatory lymph node
enlargement which is in phase of resolution at present and you should be
in regular physician follow up without further hesitation.

* Focus on your balanced nutritious diet intake for build up of your best
immunity level and recovery.

Wish you great day and best health.
Regards.

Take care.
Dr Bhagyesh ( MS consultant surgeon )
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bhagyesh V. Patel (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
follow up.

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for the relevant details needed.

* As per your narration, size of lymph nodes are third of mosquito bite,
which is almost normal size of lymph nodes and one can not consider
them as clinically significant lymph node enlargement.

* As the other aspects of the conditions like absence of fever and weight
gain are considered clinically significant recovery.

* I do not consider these lymph nodes to be of concern from disease
perspectives.

* So far as the doubt about tuberculosis is concerned, there will be
persistent fever, weight loss, loss of appetite, enlarging size of lymph
nodes manytimes about dime size.

* HIV is also ruled out after repeated tests done.

* Overall, I would consider the issue as acute inflammatory lymph node
enlargement which is in phase of resolution at present and you should be
in regular physician follow up without further hesitation.

* Focus on your balanced nutritious diet intake for build up of your best
immunity level and recovery.

Wish you great day and best health.
Regards.

Take care.
Dr Bhagyesh ( MS consultant surgeon )
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Bhagyesh V. Patel

General Surgeon

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 20408 Questions

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How Concerned Should I Be About Persistent Swollen Lymph Nodes

How concerned should I be about persistent swollen lymph nodes in my armpits and groin after 4 months? A dull pain comes and goes. I live in the UAE where being HIV positive will get me deported. I’ve had three negative tests (most recent being 95 days after potential exposure) but I am nervous that because I went to an anonymous clinic that the results could have been tampered with. I have visited a GP but have had to avoid addressing my concerns directly. Could a viral or bacterial infection other than HIV still be causing my nodes to be swollen after all this time? My doctor did basic blood work and identified that I have hypothyroidism but it is unclear if it is related. I’ve had no tests for viruses or bacteria with him. If I do have HIV and it is identified in a test I will be imprisoned. Are there any viruses or bacteria other than HIV that would cause this ongoing symptom for such an extended period of time? Could my nodes be swollen as a result to an autoimmune condition causing swollen lymph nodes?