Swollen lymph nodes are a problem caused by swelling in the body. The lymph contains the smallest cells of the lymphatic system in the body. The lymphatic system consists of a network of organs, vessels, and nodes in the body.
Lymph nodes have a lot of medical significance in the body. They become inflamed and enlarged after an attack from disease, such as a throat infection or life-threatening cancer. They are used in deciding cancer stages by looking at their condition. They also disperse lymph fluids throughout the body.
The lymph nodes are the smallest structure of the lymphatic system, and they are responsible for pushing out harmful substances from the body; they collect all such substances in the vessels, which we may have across the body and throughout any outer media.
Symptoms of Swollen Lymph Nodes
Swollen lymph nodes are a problem where the affected part of the body swells up. It becomes red and starts to itch. Swollen lymph nodes are basically caused by bacteria entering the body, and these bacteria react further with the lymphatic system, resulting in swollen lymph nodes.
There are a lot of symptoms of this problem. They usually include itching of the affected portion of the body; the area swells up and becomes inflated; the body experiences runny nose, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing and breathing, among other problems. A mild fever is also seen, which usually lasts for a short amount of time.
- Runny nose: A runny nose is a symptom of swollen lymph nodes. The swollen nodes try to counteract the bacteria present on the skin, which affects the lymphatic system. This causes swelling over different body parts as well, which in turn affects the circulatory system, leading to a runny nose.
- Sore throat: When swollen lymph nodes attempt to counteract the bacteria, they cause a sore throat. This then generally becomes itchy and creates problems when swallowing and taking food into the food pipe.
- Fever: With swollen lymph nodes, body parts become swollen and thus create other problems. This swelling of limbs is accredited to the bacteria entering the body, which causes a mild fever. The fever usually lasts a short period of time, about six to seven days. It is caused by the swelling of the lymph nodes, due to which the temperature of the body increases.
- Sweating at night: Some patients with swollen lymph nodes face night sweats. Due to the nodes swelling, the body’s circulatory system is affected, causing sweating.
- Difficulty swallowing and breathing: Some people with swollen nodes face problems with swallowing and breathing. This is caused by the negative effects in the circulatory system by the swollen lymph nodes.
- Unreasonable weight loss: There are also cases of unreasonable weight loss among patients with swollen lymph nodes. This problem is caused by the frequent running down of nutrients from the body due to the swelling of the lymphatic nodes.
What Are the Causes of Swollen Lymph Nodes?
Swollen lymph nodes are a problem related to the swelling of body parts. It is essentially caused by bacteria entering the body. These bacteria make the body swell up in particular areas, and this in turn makes the body inflated in some parts, creating various problems. There are various reasons why swollen lymph nodes may have occurred over the body, but usually they are due to infections from harmful bacteria over the body:
- Strep throat infection: Strep throat is an infection caused by harmful bacteria in the body. These infections are responsible for swollen lymph nodes, which induce swelling in various body parts. Once the bacteria enter the body, they start increasing. The lymphatic system counteracts them in a way that affects the swollen lymph nodes, causing a strep throat infection.
- Measles: Measles can be a cause of swollen lymph nodes. When certain body parts swell up from the bacteria, this leads to counteraction by the lymphatic system. Swollen lymph nodes are known to be caused by measles. With measles, various kinds of infections hold up the body, including the bacteria that can cause swollen lymph nodes.
- Wound cuts: Cuts may also be responsible for swollen lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes are caused by bacteria attacking the body. Wounds provide a gateway for the bacteria to enter the body and create problems.
Although the lymph nodes and the complete lymphatic system are essential in the body, they themselves sometimes get affected. They face swollen nodes, which create pain in a particular part of the body.
Swollen lymph nodes can be found at various parts of the body, like the neck, chin, groin, and other parts. The main reason for the swollen lymph is accredited to bacteria and viruses, as well as some fungal infections.
Generalized lymphadenopathy refers to the swollen lymph, which can occur in at least two distinct body regions: the neck and the armpits, chest, or groin.
The swelling of the lymph nodes causes pain and increases problems like itching. It usually remains for a period of time, meaning it can’t be eradicated easily.
This problem can be caused by drinking dirty water or through viruses present in the air. The bacteria present in the water make the lymph nodes counteract, and due to that, they swell up in the above-mentioned parts of the body.
Common causes of swollen lymph nodes include:
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
- Parasitic infections
- Autoimmune disorders
- Adverse reactions to medicines
In young people, the most common cause of swollen lymph nodes is a viral infection. Viral infections are caused through the contact of polluted air. Viruses, which are communicable in the air, enter our bodies easily and create problems like swollen lymph nodes.
Another reason swollen lymph occurs is due to a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections are caused by harmful bacteria in the body. These bacteria react to our body and make the lymph nodes counteract, and in this way, they become swollen. The most basic media for the bacteria to enter the body is through polluted water. This polluted water gives home to bacterial infections and helps cause swollen nodes.
Fungal infections are yet another way in which swollen lymph occurs. The fungus or fungi present in depleted food makes the host develop swelling, and by any media, they enter the body and create a situation to force the lymph to counteract. These infections are caused by the consumption of rotten or impure food. When a person comes in contact with contaminated food, the fungi go straight into the body and cause the neck, chin, and groin to swell.
Another potential cause for swollen lymph nodes is a parasitic infection. Parasitic infections are caused by attacking parasites in the host body. Here, the parasites enter the body, where they start regenerating and increasing. With the accumulation of the parasitic cells in the body, the lymph counteracts, and swelling occurs.
Autoimmune disorders and other medical reasons also cause swelling in the lymph nodes. In some bodies, there are immune problems that result in the body becoming a soft target for outside invaders, thus creating a pitch for the lymph nodes to counteract and cause swelling.
In children, the lymph nodes become activated in certain conditions and cause swelling. One such reason is a lice infestation. Lice are organisms that can get into the body and start replicating, causing swollen lymph nodes. Again, viral infections like chicken pox, rubella, measles, and others get into the body and cause the lymph nodes to swell.
Sometimes, the problem in children is caused by anemia, which is the loss of hemoglobin in the body, making it a soft target for issues to occur. Acute leukemia is another possible reason. It leads to general fatigue, bleeding, low-grade fever, and enlarged liver and spleen, as well as swollen lymph nodes.