In some cases, the body’s immune system, which comprises the lymphatic system, can overact to certain allergens such as pollen, certain medicines/chemicals, and even certain foods. When the body notices an allergen for the first time, it normally produces the necessary antibodies including IgE antibodies and B memory cells to fight it. However, when the same allergen appears again, the body is likely to respond by releasing excess antibodies to fight it, especially the IgE antibodies that attach themselves to mast cells and trigger the production and release of histamine, which eventually causes inflammation in certain parts of the body. It is probably important to note that for some people, the release of histamine and its subsequent inflammatory action can lead to anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening condition.
Allergies compromise the lymph system in the following ways:
- Limit the ability of the lymph system to collect and transport tissue fluids from various body tissues to the blood stream.
- Affect the supply of plasma proteins to the bloodstream.
- Affect the transportation of digested fats to the blood stream.
- Interfere with the manufacture of vital antibodies in the lymph system, and consequently affects the effectiveness of the entire immune system.
- Compromises the ability of the lymphatic system to put up an effective defense against infections and harmful micro-organisms in the body.
- It is important to establish which foods and substances you are allergic to and avoid them in order to avoid compromising your immune system. Some of the common symptoms of allergic reactions that you should look out for include wheezing, itchy eyes, running nose and itchiness in the eyes. However, symptoms of allergic reactions may vary depending on various factors including the particular allergen, the quantity of the allergen ingested or inhaled and how the immune system reacts to the allergen.
- Although allergies are more common in children, adults too are susceptible to allergic reactions. Therefore, it is important to be aware of allergies that run in your family and take precautionary measures to avoid compromising the ability of your immune system to function effectively development of allergies.
Once you establish that you are allergic to certain substances, you should avoid such substances in order to protect your overall health. In case you have a history of life threatening reactions to allergens such as anaphylactic shock, ensure you see a doctor immediately if you ingest or inhale an allergen.
Several factors may affect the effectiveness of the lymphatic system and cause lymph nodes to swell. One of the common causes of swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck and underarm regions of the body, is excessive consumption of beverages such as coffee and tea that contain caffeine.
If you notice swelling in any of your lymph nodes, you should consult a doctor to determine the cause of the swelling since the treatment for swollen nodes varies depending on the cause. Besides caffeine, other causes of swollen nodes include the following:
- Colds and flu: These infections often cause lymph nodes in the throat to swell and if left untreated for long, they can cause lymph node inflation.
- Ear infections: Ear infections normally cause nodes in the neck to swell.
- Toothaches: Most people who suffer from dental infections such as tooth decay also suffer from swollen lymph nodes because their lymphatic systems try to fight off the bacteria responsible for such infections. However, toothaches caused by the development of wisdom teeth can also cause swelling in the lymph nodes.
- Sexually transmitted infections: STIs can cause swelling in the groin/inguinal lymph nodes as the lymphatic system struggles to fight off the micro-organisms that cause the infections.
- Any type of infection that affects the body may cause lymph nodes swelling in the area adjacent to the infected part of the body. For instance, breast cancer can cause swelling in the lymph nodes under the arm. As such, in most cases, swollen lymph nodes are merely an indication of the immune system response to infections and the swelling normally disappears within a few weeks.
- If the swelling in your lymph nodes persists for more than two weeks, you should consult a doctor immediately since the swelling may be due to serious causes such as blockage in the lymphatic system caused by poor flow of the lymphatic fluid.
Overall, patients that suffer from swollen lymph nodes should get a proper diagnosis from a qualified doctor because caffeine is just one of the many common causes of the condition.
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.
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
- 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
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.
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.
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.
The human body works in such complex ways that it is sometimes difficult to understand just how and why certain parts work the way they do. Take for example lymph nodes behind your ear.
Lymph nodes are tiny organs that are shaped like a bean and are found throughout the body. They are a part of the immune system and consist of white blood cells that help protect against germs and other viruses.
The ones found near the ear fall under two groups. The first one called preauricular nodes are found in front while the ones behind the ear are called sub occipital nodes.
Lymph Nodes Behind Ear Can Swell
The purpose of the lymph nodes is to fight bacteria so whenever your body needs to deal with it, lymph nodes begin to swell because that is their natural response. There are however, other reasons why the lymph nodes behind ear can swell. It could be because of injury, inflammation, and in worse cases it could also be the first signs of cancer.
What To Do For Pain
If you feel some pain on your nodes you should not hesitate to consult a doctor. The most important matter is to treat the underlying cause of the swelling so that it will easily subside. For pain management however, most doctors would recommend mild dosages of pain relievers like Aspirin. You can also apply warm compress on the area just to soothe the pain.
It is also important for you to take a rest from you usual daily activities to help you recover faster. An infection means that your body is doing everything that it can to fight bacteria that is attacking it therefore you will need all the rest that you can get.
Lymph Nodes And Other Symptoms
If you experience swollen lymph nodes along with high fever, night sweats, and rapid weight loss then it could be a sign of something more serious and will need immediate medical attention. Lymph nodes behind ear usually mean that there is an infection in any of the following areas:
Untreated pain behind the ear could lead to hearing loss and other more severe forms of infection so this matter should not be taken lightly.
In more serious cases, the swelling of the nodes can actually be a tumor and a doctor will recommend for a biopsy and the lymph node will have to be removed. If you are just experiencing an infection swelling will usually subside in a matter of a week and it will return to its normal size after the symptoms have been taken care of.