Adenitis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


Adenitis refers to an inflammatory disease of the glands. Since there are many glands in the human body, it is a generic term for different diseases. The reasons for this can vary.

What is adenitis?

Doctors understand the term adenitis to mean inflammation of the glands. The term therefore does not stand for an independent disease, but for a collective term that includes different gland inflammations.

Glands have a variety of tasks in the body and, among other things, produce important secretions or hormones that the organism needs to function properly. Due to the diverse tasks of the different glands, the symptoms of adenitis can also vary greatly.

However, inflamed glands always indicate the presence of a disease. The causes can be as varied as the accompanying symptoms. Since under certain circumstances it can also be a more serious illness, a gland inflammation should always be clarified by a medical examination.


The causes of adenitis can be caused by bacteria or viruses or can also be based on a build-up of secretions in the glandular area. Some autoimmune or genetic diseases result in inflamed glands.

If, for example, the pancreas is inflamed, this is usually due to a lack of secretion transport, which can develop into potentially life-threatening pancreatitis . One of the viral triggers for adenitis is the childhood disease mumps , which particularly affects the parotid glands . The liver is one of the largest glands in the human body .

If it is inflamed, experts speak of hepatitis . Since the liver in particular contributes significantly to the detoxification of the organism, this disease can also become potentially life-threatening if left untreated. The symptoms of adenitis include swelling, tiredness , abdominal pain , general symptoms of poisoning or even abscesses .

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Depending on its cause, adenitis can cause various symptoms and symptoms. Liver diseases usually lead to fatigue and typical symptoms of intoxication such as fever, sweating and nausea . If a gland in the stomach area is affected (pancreatitis), the adenitis manifests itself as abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhea .

Constipation can also occur if the condition is not treated. Inflammation of the salivary glands is characterized by facial swelling and pain. In the case of bacterial infections, abscesses form , which can become inflamed and are usually also associated with severe pain. Thyroid adenitis can cause a variety of symptoms, including hormonal imbalances , skin irritation, and serious gastrointestinal problems.

Organ disorders can also occur in severe cases. Externally, adenitis may show up as paleness and sunken eye sockets. Other signs depend on which gland is affected – possible symptoms include hair loss , acne and brittle fingernails.

Adenitis can be clearly diagnosed on the basis of the symptoms and complaints mentioned. The localization of the gland disorder must be determined based on a detailed discussion with the person concerned and other examination methods. If the disease is detected early, there are usually no further symptoms.

Diagnosis & History

If there is a suspicion of adenitis, the attending physician will conduct a comprehensive discussion with the patient and also take his medical history into account. A precise description of the symptoms is often sufficient to identify the affected gland.

blood test is also carried out. An ultrasound examination, especially in the abdominal region, can also provide information as to whether the liver or pancreas are affected. The course of adenitis depends largely on which gland is inflamed and to what extent. Inflammation of the salivary glands is usually painful, but in many cases subsides within a few days.

Pancreatitis, on the other hand, leads to the decomposition of the pancreas by its own digestive secretions and can be fatal if left untreated. If hepatitis goes undetected and progresses, cirrhosis of the liver, which is also fatal, develops .

When should you go to the doctor?

If you suspect adenitis, you should always see your family doctor . Warning signs that speak for a medical clarification are typical general symptoms such as exhaustion, mood swings or headaches.

Recurring fever, nausea and apathy also indicate a serious underlying disease that must be clarified. If these or similar symptoms occur again and again and cannot be traced back to another cause, a doctor should be consulted. This is especially true if the symptoms increase rapidly or if the various symptoms accumulate.

Anyone who feels an increasing feeling of weakness should also speak to a doctor. In addition to adenitis, other gland diseases can also be the cause, which must also be diagnosed and, if necessary, treated. If there are accompanying skin changes, swelling or abscesses, an immediate visit to the doctor is recommended. Anyone who notices tissue changes or a puffy face after waking up should take their symptoms to the emergency room. If the symptoms are severe, an ambulance should be called.

Treatment & Therapy

If adenitis was detected during the medical examination, the attending physician will initiate appropriate therapy. If it is a bacterial infection, it is usually treated with antibiotics , which means that the inflammation heals quickly.

Particularly mild forms of adenitis can also easily heal on their own without requiring any medical treatment at all; Nevertheless, it is advisable to have a doctor clarify the matter. If pancreatitis is severe, the organ must be temporarily protected; food is then ingested via a nasal tube. Depending on how far the pancreas is damaged, surgery may be necessary. This involves removing the damaged tissue.

Hepatitis is treated depending on the individual trigger. If there is a viral cause, symptomatic therapy is usually advisable. If there is a risk that the disease could take a chronic course, strong medication is also used. In the advanced stage, i.e. with severe damage to the liver, a liver transplant can also be necessary as a life-saving measure.

If the adenitis arose as a result of an autoimmune disease , it is advisable to administer immunosuppressive drugs. These reduce the activity of the immune system and thus prevent the organism or the affected glands from reacting. In this case, however, it is important to avoid other infections that can occur more frequently due to the weakened immune system.

Outlook & Forecast

Adenitis can cause a variety of symptoms and complications. The further course depends heavily on the cause of the inflammation. In most cases, severe pain occurs when the salivary glands become inflamed . In the worst case, this can lead to death if the salivary gland is decomposed by the digestive secretions. It can also lead to fatal cirrhosis of the liver. For this reason, the diagnosis and treatment of adenitis must be carried out early and comprehensively so that there are no consequential damages and complications.

In most cases, the treatment of adenitis is carried out with the help of antibiotics. This can lead to various side effects. If it is only a mild form of the disease, it usually heals on its own and there are no further symptoms. In severe forms, surgery may be necessary to remove the damaged tissue . With complicated damage to the liver, a transplant of the organ is necessary for the patient to survive. Depending on the severity of the adenitis, the patient’s life expectancy can be reduced by the disease.


Preventing adenitis is not possible across the board, since these are different diseases that affect very different glands and body regions. Of course, as always, a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and sufficient exercise is recommended, as this can already prevent the development of numerous diseases.

Inflammation of the liver and pancreas can best be prevented by eating a low-fat diet and especially by drinking alcohol in moderation. In many cases, these diseases can be traced back to abusive consumption of the stimulant. If symptoms such as facial swelling , abdominal pain or constant tiredness occur, a doctor should be consulted to prevent the disease from progressing.


Adenitis is the inflammation of a specific gland in the human body. Existing adenitis often has an underlying disease that must be treated by an appropriate doctor. Appropriate follow-up care is very important and significant if adenitis is present. It is important that the affected person eliminates the cause of an existing adenitis.

Even in such a case, appropriate follow-up examinations are very important so that renewed adenitis can be recognized and treated at an early stage. If the sick person does without follow-up examinations, there is a high risk of the disease coming back. Anyone who undergoes follow-up examinations immediately after recovering from the illness avoids unnecessary complications.

If appropriate follow-up examinations are not carried out, there is a very high probability of complications, which in particularly bad cases could even be life-threatening. Appropriate follow-up care is therefore very important and significant in the case of existing adenitis, so that serious complications can be avoided.

You can do that yourself

If adenitis was detected, drug treatment is first initiated. Antibiotic therapy can be supported by those affected by a number of measures.

Physical protection is the most important thing. Cool wraps can help with symptoms such as tiredness or abdominal pain. Diseases of the ears or internal organs require medical treatment. Medical treatment is not necessarily required for particularly mild forms of adenitis. The symptoms often go away on their own once the trigger has been eliminated. Severe pancreatitis, on the other hand, requires individually tailored therapy. The doctor will first suggest a change in diet to the patient or ensure food intake via a nasal tube.

Depending on how badly the pancreas is damaged, a surgical intervention can also be useful. The patient should then take it easy. The body is very weak, especially in the first few days after an operation.

The person affected should initially not exercise and support the recovery with a healthy and balanced diet. Since there is an increased risk of a recurrence, regular visits to the doctor are indicated. If you have any unusual symptoms, you should speak to the responsible doctor immediately.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.