Swollen lymph nodes usually occur as a result of infection from bacteria or viruses. Rarely, swollen lymph nodes are caused by cancer.
lymph nodes, also called lymph glands, play a vital role in body's ability to fight off infections. They function as filters, trapping viruses, bacteria and other causes of illnesses before they can infect other parts of your body. Common areas where you might notice swollen lymph nodes include neck, under the chin, in armpits and in groin.
In some cases, the passage of time and warm compresses may be all you need to treat swollen lymph nodes. If an infection causes swollen lymph nodes, treatment depends on the cause.
SYMPTOMS OF SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES :
lymphatic system is a network of organs, vessels and lymph nodes situated throughout your body. Many lymph nodes are located in your head and neck region. Lymph nodes that frequently swell are in this area, as well as in armpits and groin area.
Swollen lymph nodes are a sign that something is wrong somewhere in body. When lymph nodes first swell, :
- Tenderness and pain in the lymph nodes
- Swelling that may be the size of a pea or kidney bean, or even larger in the lymph nodes
Depending on the cause of swollen lymph nodes, other signs and symptoms might have include:
- Runny nose, sore throat, fever and other indications of an upper respiratory infection
- General swelling of lymph nodes throughout your body. When this occurs, it may indicate an infection, such as HIV or mononucleosis, or an immune system disorder, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Hard, fixed, rapidly growing nodes, indicating a possible cancer or lymphoma
- Night sweats
CAUSES OF SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES
Lymph nodes are small, round or bean-shaped clusters of cells. Inside lymph nodes are a combination of different types of immune system cells. These specialized cells filter our lymphatic fluid as it travels through our body and protect us by destroying invaders.
Lymph nodes are located in groups, and each group drains a specific area of our body. we may be more likely to notice swelling in certain areas, such as in the lymph nodes in our neck, under our chin, in our armpits and in our groin. The site of the swollen lymph nodes may help identify the underlying cause.
The most common cause of swollen lymph nodes is an infection, particularly a viral infection, such as the common cold. Other possible causes of swollen lymph nodes include:
- Strep throat
- Ear infections
- Infected (abscessed) tooth
- Skin or wound infections, such as cellulitis
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) — the virus that causes AIDS
- Certain sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis
- Toxoplasmosis — a parasitic infection resulting from contact with the feces of an infected cat or eating undercooked meat
- Cat scratch fever — a bacterial infection from a cat scratch or bite
IMMUNE SYSTEM DISORDERS
- Lupus — a chronic inflammatory disease that targets your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart and lungs
- Rheumatoid arthritis — a chronic inflammatory disease targeting the tissue that lines your joints (synovium)
- Lymphoma — cancer that originates in your lymphatic system
- Leukemia — cancer of your body's blood-forming tissue, including your bone marrow and lymphatic system
- Other cancers that have spread (metastasized) to lymph nodes
Other possible but rare causes include certain medications, such as the anti-seizure medication phenytoin (Dilantin) and preventive medications for malaria.
If infection is the cause of our swollen lymph nodes and isn't treated, an abscess may form. Abscesses are localized collections of pus caused by infections. Pus contains fluid, white blood cells, dead tissue, and bacteria or other invaders. An abscess may require drainage and antibiotic treatment.
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES
CALCAREA IODIDE - Calcarea iodide is an excellent remedy for enlargement of glands. The peculiar symptom is there is hardness in glands
CALCAREA FLOUR - Calcarea flour is another top medicine for glandular swelling. There is indolent glandular enlargements of the cervical and lymphatic glands with hardness. Also there is enlargement of the bronchial and mesenteric glands, worse in damp weather and better from hot fomentations and rubbing.
CALCREA CARB - Calcarea carb is suitable to fat flabby persons , where the swelling of glands tend to suppurate. Another peculiar symptom for the selection of Calcarea carb is sweat on the head , which is sour and offensive
SCROPHULARIA NODOSA - Scrophularia is an excellent remedy for inflammation and suppuration of the glands. It is very effective for nodosities in the breasts
GRAPHITES - Graphites is very effective for enlargement of glands of axilla, groin and neck with skin symptoms. The abdomen is large and hard
BELLADONNA - Belladonna is a very effective remedy for glandular swelling threatening suppuration. They may be in the axillary region or swellings of the mammae which are heavy , red and sensitive. Another character is red streaks radiating from the inflamed gland with great heat and stitching pains
LAPIS ALBUS - Lapis albus covers various forms of growths. In this remedy the glands are enlarged with a certain amount of softness rather than stony hardness as in Calcarea flour. It is also effective for enlargement of mesenteric glands
IODUM - Iodum is one of the top remedies for the enlargement of glands, including tonsils, with withering of the entire body, the muscles shrink and all the skin wrinkles, except mammary glands which dwindle , all glands are enlarged
CARBO ANIMALIS - Carbo animalis is another excellent remedy for glandular swellings. The glands enlarge slowly and then they stay. They do not suppurate , nor do they enlarge much, they are hard.
ACONITUM LYCOTONUM -Aconitum lycotonum is useful for swelling of the cervical , axillary and mammary glands and even where Hodgkin’s disease has been suspected.
MERC IODIDE -Merc iodide is useful for inflammation of glands with pain. They are hard and red . It follows Belladonna well.
AETHUSA -Aethusa is also effective for glandular swelling , where swelling of glands round neck like a string of beads.
PHYTOLACCA DEC. - Phytolacca dec. is very effective for glandular swelling with heat and inflammation. It is useful for tumors of breast with enlarged axillary glands.
GELSEMIUM -Gelsemium is also useful for enlargement and inflammation of lymphatic gland with fever without thirst coming at 10 and 11 am and completely subsiding by evening. Cerebral symptoms such as distression in head, vertigo etc may be present.
BROMIUM - Bromium is one of the top remedies for glandular swelling. Hardness of glands without tendency to suppurate. Useful for swelling of testicles.