Some Common Knowledge On Enlarged Lymph Nodes

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Found Some Common Knowledge!

It is common knowledge that an enlarged lymph node usually means there is an infection in the area of the lymph node and the body is doing what it was designed to do, which is fight it off. Bacteria, viruses, debris, cancer cells, and other foreign substances that are in the lymph are filtered through the nodes.

When the nodes become overwhelmed they will begin to swell and enlarge. They can also become painful. The node will reduce in size when the infection has run its course or responds to treatment.

In the event of other health issues, it will remain large until treated successfully.

Harmless Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Body

There are 500-700 lymph nodes in the body and many of them will swell unnoticed as they do their job of protecting the body from harmful debris that is traveling through the body. The white blood cells will reproduce to fight off infections and when they are successful they will return to normal numbers and the swelling will be reduced. The white blood cells are known as lymphocytes. Harmless causes of enlarged lymph nodes include the following:

  • Minor bacterial
  • Mild viral infection
  • Some fungi

When the lymph node remains swollen and there are other health problems or symptoms, there could be a more serious cause for the swelling

Enlargement from Serious Health Issues

Not all lymph nodes will shrink down to their normal size, which is the size of a pea. Some will remain swollen and be an indicator there may be a serious health issue that will need to be addressed. Due to the seriousness of cancer, if that is the cause of a lymph node that remains inflamed, a medical professional should examine the node and do tests to determine the cause. Only a healthcare professional can accurately diagnose the cause of the swelling.

Some of the serious health issues:

  • Cancer
  • MRSA
  • Lymphoma
  • Syphilis
  • HIV/AIDS

Some of the less serious causes include:

  • Chicken pox
  • Skin infection
  • Alcoholism
  • Cold
  • Infected tooth

Most of the time swollen lymph nodes are nothing to be concerned about, it is just the immune system doing its job. When there are other symptoms, medical care should be sought.

Schedule a Doctor Appointment

When a lymph node remains enlarged for over two weeks, is painful to the touch, hard, or the skin is red or inflamed an appointment with the doctor should be scheduled and the node should be checked by a doctor. Other indicators that a doctor should examine a lymph node include night sweats, weight loss, fatigue, and prolonged fever.

Relief from painful lymph nodes can be relieved with compresses and over the counter pain relievers.

Can Lymph Nodes Cause Pain On The Upper Spine Of Neck?

Swollen-Lymph-Node-in-NeckCommon places to find enlarged lymph nodes are on the neck and in the groin. The ones along the back of the neck are the cervical lymph nodes and occipital lymph nodes. These nodes are along the spine in the back of the neck.

Swollen lymph nodes aren’t always painful but once they are discovered and no matter what the cause is, enlarged lymph glands can cause concern and create anxiety because of their association with cancer. Generally they are responding to an infection in the body and will go about their business without the need of interference or treatment.

When the cause is a serious infection like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) or other illness, it will need to be treated. When the lymph nodes on the neck are near the spine and they swell, it can cause pressure and pain along the spine. It is rare, but the cause may be from lymphoma, which will need to be treated before the pain and pressure from the lymph nodes will be relieved.

Causes of Pain in Upper Spine in Neck

Swollen lymph nodes can cause pain in the neck region but it is not the only cause. There are other ailments that may be the reason for pain in the upper spine. When lymph nodes swell it can be from an infection in the area or from lymphoma, which is cancer of the lymph nodes. Other causes include the following:

  • Meningitis (spinal or aseptic)
  • Disc that is degenerating
  • Strained muscle
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Bone spurs
  • Infection of throat or ears
  • Whiplash
  • Viral or bacterial infection

All cancers can cause lymph node involvement, which can include the nodes on the back of the neck near the spine. When they are normal size they will not cause pain but when they are distended, there can be discomfort on the spine. In addition to swelling that persists there may be other signs that lymph nodes need to be checked by a healthcare professional.

When to have Lymph Node Checked and Treated

The lymph nodes will naturally swell and return to their normal size as they perform their function of filtering debris and circulating lymph. When they have a job that is too big to handle like a serious illness, infection, or disease then treatment of the cause will be necessary before the nodes will return to normal size. When the following symptoms of lymph node occur it could be a sign of a serious health issue:

  • Painful
  • Hard, fixed
  • Tender nodes
  • Rapidly growing
  • Rubbery
  • Sudden appearance

Only a healthcare professional will be able to diagnose the cause of the above symptoms. There may be additional symptoms that may accompany lymph node symptoms like sudden weight loss, flu-like symptoms, fever, night sweats, difficulty breathing, and infection. If a physician doesn’t find that the cause is an infection, a virus, or other illness the diagnosis may be lymphoma. To find out more about the relationship between lymph nodes and cancer, go to thelymphnodes.com.

Lymphoma and Painful Nodes on the Neck

Though an uncommon cause of pain on the upper spine is from lymph nodes that are swollen from lymphoma, it is possible it may be the cause. Only a physician can diagnose cancer after a thorough exam and the results of testing are received. When this is the case, the affected lymph nodes will need to be removed and a biopsy (dissection) will be done. Removal of a lymph node is called a lymphadenectomy and it is often done as an outpatient procedure.

There are many causes of spinal pain in the neck and one of those causes can be from swollen lymph nodes. The cause of the nodes enlarging is often just a minor infection but it may be from a serious health issue. When concerned about lymph node symptoms a physician should be consulted.

Can Low Vitamin D Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

Image: Vitamin D

Can Low Vitamin D Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

Lymph nodes, which are organs packed with networks of lymph capillaries and located all over the human body, are part of the lymphatic system that fights off bacterial and viral infections in the body. Because they are body organs, lymph nodes are prone to infections, such as sarcoidosis disease, which occurs due to insufficient amounts of vitamin D in the body. A key symptom of the disease is the swelling of certain body organs including lymph nodes, lungs, and eyes. However, if you have swollen lymph nodes, it is important to note that a myriad of other factors may be the cause of your condition. Therefore, identifying the right cause of swollen lymph nodes is a key step to receiving timely and effective treatment.

Tips

Here are some of the other common causes of swollen lymph nodes:

  • An abscess in the mouth (may affect lymph nodes located in the mouth)
  • The flu and other sinus infections
  • Gingivitis
  • Tonsillitis
  • Mouth sores
  • Skin infection
  • Medical drugs such as Phenytoin and drugs used in typhoid immunization
  • Swollen limbs that indicate a blockage in the lymphatic system
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as HIV and Arthritis, may also cause lymph nodes to swell
  • Some types of cancers such as Leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Advice

It is important to note the following:

  • The causes of swollen lymph nodes may differ depending on the part of the body where the swelling occurs.
  • In most cases, the swollen lymph nodes indicate that the body is fighting off an infection and the swelling goes down in a couple of days without any need for treatment once the lymphatic system effectively fights off the infection.

Warnings

It is important to contact a doctor as soon as possible when any of the following happens:

  • The swelling in your lymph nodes persists for several weeks.
  • The swollen lymph nodes are inflamed, red, and tender.
  • Your lymph nodes harden.
  • You get a fever while your lymph nodes are still swollen.
  • You experience night sweats or unusual weight loss.
  • In addition to the swollen lymph nodes, you also have a sore throat and/or shortness of breath.

Conclusion

In most cases, swelling in the lymph nodes indicates that there is a problem with the body’s immune system. Therefore, it is important to examine your lymph nodes frequently in order to identify any swelling as soon as possible and get the appropriate treatment.

Citations

Hello Swollen Lymph Nodes… Can You Go Away!

The body’s lymphatic system is essential to fighting off disease and illness.  This system filters bacteria, viruses and cancer cells from the blood stream.  When there is an active illness, your lymph nodes, including the ones under your armpit may swell.

The swollen lymph nodes in your armpit can often be felt through your skin.  It can become painful as it continues to swell.  Once the underlying cause of the swelling is resolved, your node should return to its normal size.

Minor Swelling

If the swelling is minor, associated pain may be reduced by use of hot compresses and over the counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  To prepare the hot compress, wet a washcloth with warm water and place it on your inflamed area.  These two steps can help to reduce swelling and discomfort.

If the swelling continues to get worse or lasts longer than two weeks, you should see a doctor.  The long term complaint could be an indicator of a serious condition.  In addition, if you suffer from difficulty breathing or a sore throat, you should have medical attention.

Severe Swelling

The lymph nodes also are responsible for removing cancer cells from your body.  Swelling that does not go away can indicate such conditions as lymphoma, leukemia or a metastasized cancer.  This makes it essential to see a doctor if the condition does not improve.

Infection In Your Body

A swollen lymph node is often a sign of an infection in your body.  Such infections could be related to:

  • an upper respiratory infection
  • mumps
  • measles
  • infected tooth
  • HIV

If you had recent contact with cats, it could indicate an infection caused by cat scratches, especially if accompanied by fever.  In rare cases, the infection might include TB or syphilis.

Swelling With The Lymph Nodes Under The Armpit

Swollen lymph Nodes under the armpit that do not receive proper care can also become abscessed.  If an abscess occurs, your gland will need to be drained by a doctor and the infection treated using antibiotics.  In rare cases, the infection can spread into the bloodstream resulting in sepsis.  This bacterial infection is very serious and can lead to shutdown of organs or death.  If this happens you are normally hospitalized and require IV antibiotics to overcome such serious infections.

Conclusion

While most swollen lymph nodes are not an indicator of a serious medical condition, those that do not go away within two weeks can indicate a serious condition.  The best action if your lymph nodes remain swollen is to see a doctor.  In cases of minor swelling treatment with warm compresses and OTC medication are all that are needed but don’t ignore the swelling if they seem to never get better.

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