A Google deep dive of your symptoms can pull up pictures you never wanted to see of football-sized goiters and baseball-sized lumps. Finding a weird mass on your body can be scary, but in the majority of circumstances, an oversized lymph node is a minor side-effect of a non-threatening illness. Be thankful your body has conglomerate to battle infections.
What Causes Swollen Lymph Nodes?
Think of nodes as the rest stops in the body’s trash removal freeway. The lymphatic system removes wastes and toxins through a system of delicate tubes. In partnership with major organs, like the spleen, thymus, and kidneys, this ecosystem identifies unnecessary particles and pulls them from bodily tissues. So, what causes swollen lymph nodes?
When this balanced network becomes unbalanced due to genetics, disease, or injury there can be a backup on the interstate that causes liquid to collect inside the lymph nodes. An enlarged knot is a warning sign of various illnesses.
Treatment is partnered with each varying root cause. Options include medications or just getting plenty of water and rest.
Swollen Lymph Nodes in Neck
Some of the largest and most problematic lymph nodes reside within the neck. Think back to being a child and complaining about feeling ill, did an adult squeeze your neck?
They were probing for swollen lymph nodes in the neck because they are a symbol of infection like:
Strep throat. Other symptoms include high fever and sore throat.
Upper respiratory infection. How to tell if this is the origin is observing a runny nose, coughing, sinus pressure, or fever. This is the most common diagnosis.
Below the neck into the collarbone area, things get more serious. Unlike other areas of the body where cancer is the exception to the rule, swollen lymph nodes on the chest most often point to cancer in the stomach, lungs, lymphoma, or breasts. Swelling in this space is always deemed abnormal.
Swollen Lymph Nodes Armpit
After the neck, armpits are the second most familiar spot for lumps. Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit allude to a spectrum of disorders, mild to severe, including:
Viral infections. Minor viruses like the flu and bacterial infections can create bumps in the armpit. HIV is a potential culprit as well.
Cancer. Breast cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma all have a side-effect of a lump under the arm.
Allergic reaction. Products like deodorant and lotions can sink into the epidermis and spark a negative reaction.
Swollen Lymph Nodes in Groin
The section of the human frame that is perhaps the most sensitive can develop growths due to related problems. Swollen lymph nodes in the groin are symptomatic of infections or illness in the lower extremities. Examples would be:
Leg infections. Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections in the legs, feet, and groin area can cause the lymph system to react.
Gout. This painful form of arthritis can signal swelling in lymph nodes for many people.
Testicular cancer. A large lymph node in a male subject could be a manifestation of cancer in the testicles or prostate.
Cervical cancer. Groin swelling in a female could point to cancer of the cervix, ovaries, uterus, or other reproductive organs.
STD. While rare, venereal diseases like syphilis can leak into the lymph nodes and ignite inflammation.
Swollen Lymph Nodes Under Jaw
Ballooning underneath the jaw is a trigger for a variety of commonplace problems. The swollen lymph nodes under the jaw are the most reported instance of swelling. Often, it could point to a dental issue like an abscessed tooth or gingivitis.
The lymph nodes below the jawbone are united with the sinuses and reflect drainage from an upper respiratory infection, sinus pollution, or seasonal allergies.
Swollen Lymph Nodes Under Chin
A lump beneath the chin can hurt and inhibit daily functions like chewing or talking. While it is usually not serious, swollen lymph nodes under the chin should warrant a doctor’s visit to determine which of the following causes are at work:
- Sinus infection. Every lymph nodes in the neck and head are joined to the sinus cavities. Drainage trickles into the lymph nodes and they will swell until the body is done fighting off the germs.
- Viral infections. Measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox all present as an expansion on the neck.
Swollen Lymph Nodes in Throat
Heavy overlap occurs with sources of issues under the chin and in the neck. Swollen lymph nodes in the throat are sparked by issues we already mentioned, but a few prominently display in the forward-facing part of the neck, like:
Mononucleosis. Nicknamed “the kissing disease,” mono runs rampant among tweens and teenagers, but occasionally strikes an adult or two. Its signature symptom is a puffy throat. You don’t have to swap spit or make out to contract this virus. It can be transmitted by sharing drinks, eating utensils, or by getting sneezed or coughed on. The virus that causes mono, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), is a card-carrying member of the herpes family. Therefore, like other family members, mono may lie dormant in some individuals, never presenting symptoms their entire lives.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. An autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Swelling happens more in the front, across the windpipe, than on the sides like with infections.
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