The swelling of the lymph nodes can vary in intensity, and depending on what its cause is, the treatment that will best work to reduce inflammation of the lymph nodes naturally. 


Feeling that some part of our body begins to increase in size is undoubtedly alarming and even more so when it comes to the neck. What can we do to eliminate that annoyance? Are we going through an infectious process or will it be something much more complex? In this article we show you the causes of these strange inflammations, and how to treat them.

What are nodes?

The ganglia are tiny tiny glands the size of a corn kernel. They are found in much of the body but are not easily visible. These are part of the lymphatic system , and perform precise functions such as: transporting lymphatic fluid, some nutrients and decomposed substances between body tissues and the bloodstream. That is why  when the lymph nodes are inflamed they hurt and cause discomfort in the affected area and even in general.

How many nodes does the body have?

The human body is protected by a large number of lymph nodes , which can be found individually or in groups. Some can be as small as the head of a needle or as large as an olive. Also in the groin and armpits. It is important that you know that the nodes in their correct condition should not present pain or swelling. Swollen glands in both children  and adults usually come without fever.

What Causes Swollen Lymph Nodes?

When lymph nodes become inflamed, your body is undoubtedly facing one or more microbacterial battles . In common, it is a viral infection and in the worst case it corresponds to a tumor, so it is always essential to go to the doctor as soon as this happens.

How to identify the problem according to the swollen node?

Based on the location of the annoyance, you can determine the cause, so here’s a hint.

1. When you have a cold or sore throat

The first to make themselves felt are the glands in the neck , just below your jaw, or behind the ears. When a ganglion in the neck is swollen for a long time , the discomfort turns into nausea and constant weakness. These lumps on the neck in children are delicate and need immediate review by a specialist.

2. After an injury

These glands can also become inflamed by a cut or bite near the gland or when a tumor or infection occurs in the mouth area, on the neck and even on the head.

3. Due to an infection in the arm or hand

A swollen node in the armpit (axillary lymph nodes) can also swell due to a rare underarm inflammation caused by breast cancer or lymphoma.

4. Due to an infection in the foot, leg, groin, or genitals

The lymph nodes in the groin (inguinal or femoral lymph nodes) may swell. In rare cases, testicular cancer, lymphoma, or melanoma can cause a lump in that area. When a child’s  groin becomes inflamed, it must be treated promptly.

5. Due to a tumor in the areas of the lungs, sinuses, neck or abdomen.

The glands above the clavicle (supraclavicular lymph nodes) may swell due to an infection or tumor in the areas of the lungs, sinuses, neck, or abdomen.

The nodes that are most commonly swollen are those in the neck, groin, and armpits.

When more than one node in the body becomes inflamed, what does this mean?

When lymph nodes are swollen in two or more parts of the body, it is known as generalized lymphadenopathy. This can be caused by:

  • A viral illness, such as measles, rubella, chickenpox, or mumps.
  • Mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus), resulting in fever, sore throat, and fatigue.
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a viral infection that causes mononucleosis-like symptoms.
  • A bacterial disease, such as strep throat (caused by the strep bacteria)
  • The side effects of phenytoin (Dilantin), a medicine used to prevent seizures.
  • Cancer, such as leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

How to treat swollen glands in the neck?

Treatment for swollen glands is indicated based on the location of the affected or swollen node . For example, a bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics, while a viral infection usually clears up in a couple of days on its own. If cancer is suspected, a biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

The best thing you can do to keep your lymph nodes in their proper normal state is by consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals that help your body maintain the appropriate defenses and advantage against any possible threat.

General stress increases muscle tension

When the lymph nodes are swollen in the neck from stress, it is due to muscle tension. To avoid this, exercise regularly to lower anxiety and tension levels. Get enough sleep, studies indicate that an average adult should sleep between 6 to 8 hours a day depending on their metabolism.

How long will the lymph nodes remain swollen?

The lymph nodes may remain swollen long after the initial infection is gone. This is especially true in children , whose glands can shrink in size while remaining visible for many weeks.

It is important to know that any swollen lymph nodes that do not disappear or return to normal size within about a month should be examined by your doctor. Remember that swollen glands can be a symptom of a simple viral infection that happens over the days, but it can also be a sign of a tumor lodged in your body. So pay attention to it.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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