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How is viral syndrome and swollen lymph nodes treated ?

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Hello, I am a 32 y/o female 5' 7" 130lbs. Married, one child 16 months, history of pseudotumor cerebri, anxiety

Swollen Lymph Nodes. 5/15/11 was told my nodes were swollen and to have them checked out, but when I went in, the doctor was rather short with me. He poked around the (WRONG) nodes and he said all good, have a nice day. At that point, I COULD NOT feel them so I didn't worry too much.

7/14/11: Left cervical node (on the back of my neck), then the matching one on the right became swollen. THESE I could feel. Could see grape sized bumps in my neck. Had them felt by a G.P. She ordered a CT, the nodules were .8 and .9cm respectively (too small to biopsy she said) she also said the blood work is fine, and to relax - it was probably an infection that would clear up.

8/16 Neurologist (who I see for the increased intracranial hypertension, diagnosed YEARS ago, but never another spinal tap again) he ordered blood work. He also did an MRI with no changes from my last (empty sella, small nodule that was unchanged). He told me the results of the lab work were great. Here are the (noteworthy or not) labs from last week:

Normal CBC
SLIGHT Elevation in LDH (refercence normal 0-190) mine was 191
Normal MetC
Electrophoresis came back with a gamma-globulin of 1.7 (normal 0.6 - 1.6)
Impression Note: Polyclonal Hupergammaglobulinemia - no monoclonal protein detected

Mayo Clinic Labs PREVIOUS

In August of 06, my c-reative came back at 4.26 (>3.0 is abnormal)
My ESR during that week was 36
I also tested positive for Rheumatoid Factor (using scale criteria of >15 is abnormal and positive) mine was 17

In August of 2007, my C-reactive protein was 14.26 (>3.0 not normal)

Every time I have a pap, I hear that I have a "severe inflammatory response" but otherwise all is normal

1. Headache, persistent, sometimes like a migraine, sometimes like an ice pick jamming into the side of my head. Headache worse when waking up in the morning (used to get worse as the day went on, but for months it has been worse in AM)
2. SEVERE back and neck pain. Sharp, burning pain in my muscles. They hurt so bad I cannot stand it anymore. Also, some sharp pain when the tops of my buttock (like high, close to back, on the outsides - people say sciadica but I did therapy for that and I couldn't stand it, hurt way too bad) come in contact with anything, like a rivet on my jeans etc. VERY painful :(

3. I'm like a vampire (haha), I cannot go out in the sun. I get bright beet red skin on my cheekbones, over my nose and extending up into my temples and down a bit to my jaw. Sun exposure (even for brief times - 20 minutes watering the plants) will make me ill , nauseated, creates the rash on my face, makes my freckels (which look almost like just brown skin now because there are so many on my nose, cheeks, forehead and across the top of my shoulders and upper back. Sun also makes me tired.

4. Even out of the sun, I am EXHAUSTED all the time, even when I finally sleep. I just cannot get off the couch to play with my adorable toddler. I need to get up. Caffeine doesn't do it. It's like my muscles are just "melting" in my arms and legs.
5. I have had bouts of GI issues lasting months in the past and don't feel the "same" since the last one in 09.
6. I am getting clumsy. Since January I have been in the Urgent Care 6 times - fell down stairs and broke a rib, split my eyebrow open on my car door needed stitches, slammed my finger in a door, nail is all black now. The list goes on and on.
7. Cognitive issues: Word recall becomes more difficult every day, and decision making is getting harder, I allow others to make decisions for me (I used to be THE decision maker).
8. Did I mention the LARGE GRAPE sized node in my neck that has not gone down in size? Or the 40 pound weight loss. Sheesh. Can't think of anything else that isn't "weird" right now (like, I have a tiny spot on my whatever, is that something?) :)

I am being treated for ADHD and anxiety right now. Was sent to a psychiatrist, the meds seem to straighten out my thoughts a bit, but have been otherwise unuseful. I take up to 3 vicodin a day 5/500 for pain and 12 200mg advil per day for pain. I take ambien to sleep so I don't need pain meds, and Verapimil for migraines
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.

Everything you describe here sounds like most likely a benign type of viral syndrome. Virus in the environment are common and when we are exposed to them they can sometimes trigger a constellation of symptoms including fatigue, lymph gland swelling, confusion, headache, etc.

These types of viral syndromes sometimes last for months. I would advise that you support your body with good hydration, adequate sleep, a well-balanced diet and a moderate exercise regimen.

Exercise is actually good for the immune system which is why I suggest it here. In addition you can supplement your diet with some Vitamin C - 1000 mg daily and consider drinking some immune boost type of tea such as Echinacea which is readily available at most supermarkets.

I expect your symptoms to gradually level off and improve. In the event that this does not occur, I suggest you visit with your primary physician for a complete physical exam and possibly some blood work as well.

For your sunburn apply sunscreen with spf above 15 or a lactocalamine lotion to prevent irritation.

In the meantime, try not to worry about this and focus on maintaining good health as I have recommended with diet, fluid intake and exercise as well as adequate sleep (7-9 hours per night).

Severe back and neck pains might need to be investigated for neuromuscular problem or a disc disease after going for an MRI under your orthopedician's guidance.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

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