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Dr. Hive - Extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, possible virus or lymphoma?


SebastianCat
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I know many here have dealt with this type of issue, so I need the collective wisdom of the Hive.

My BIL is dealing with symptoms of extreme fatigue and swollen lymph nodes that has lasted for several months now.  It's gotten so bad that he's been unable to work for the past couple of weeks.  He's had bloodwork and a CT scan which were mostly inconclusive, and he's currently waiting to see a specialist (either an oncologist or a hematologist, I'm not exactly sure which one).   The initial impression of the doctor was that it was most likely a viral infection (akin to mono, but they don't think this is mono) or it could be a lymphoma, and they will need to do more tests to further diagnose anything more specific.   From the bloodwork, some of his WBCs were low, but not severely low, his HGB was low, several blood protein levels were high, and the CT scan showed nothing outside of the swollen lymph nodes.

While they are waiting to get in to see the specialist (which is more complicated than typical because of insurance issues), my sister has asked me to research what they can and should be doing in the meantime with diet, supplements, etc.  My sister and BIL have decided that they need to stay away from the internet right now, because everything they read just freaks them out.

So, has anyone dealt with these types of symptoms or diagnoses?   Can you recommend something - diet, supplements, books, anything that they can do to proactively boost his immune system while they wait for clarification?   Thanks!

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I'd be very cautious about starting any type of supplement in the middle of testing.

(Well, personally I wouldn't do it 'cause I think it's a horrible idea. The last thing I want to do is start taking something that may muck up already murky test results.)

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I'm sorry.  I'd probably just recommend getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and trying to get in some gentle, peaceful exercise -- nice walks outdoors, etc.  I'd probably hold off on adding new supplements until testing is complete.  I'm sure it feels helpful to be actively doing something, and I'm not certain if you can throw off test results with supplements, but who knows.  How long will he need to wait to see the specialist?

It does sound so much like when my dd had mono, although it sounds like they've ruled that out.

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One thing to consider regarding insurance issues is to seek out various ethnic communities which may offer free clinics.  Our Muslim and Hindu communities here both offer free health screenings and such to people of all faiths.   The Hindu health fair had almost every major specialist there, seeing patients, helping them.  

 

As for diet/supplements, is he losing weight? If so, do the most nutritious foods you can that he will eat.  So it may be whatever his comfort foods are....either made from scratch, or with extra veggies, or just higher quality ingredients. 

 

I would not play around with supplements at this stage until they figure out what is going on.  

 

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