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Swollen Lymph Glands

INTRODUCTION

The term “swollen glands” should properly known as "swollen lymph nodes" because it refers to an abnormal enlargement of one or more lymph nodes. Swollen glands alone are not a symptom of lymphedema instead they are most commonly caused by an infection. [1]

COMMON LOCATIONS OF SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES

 Major groups of lymph nodes. Lymph Notes

Which lymph nodes are swollen depends on the type of problem and the body parts involved. Identifying the location can help determine the possible cause. Common areas where swollen lymph nodes can be felt with the fingers include the:

  • Groin.
  • Armpits.
  • Neck on either side of the front of the neck, on both sides of the neck, and down each side of the back of the neck
  • Under the jaw and chin.
  • Behind the ears.
  • On the back of the head.

CAUSES OF SWOLLEN GLANDS

Lymph nodes can become swollen due to infection, inflammatory conditions, an abscess, or cancer. Other causes of enlarged lymph nodes are rare. Infection is by far the most common cause of swollen lymph nodes is infection. The infections that commonly cause swollen lymph nodes include:

  • Abscessed or impacted tooth
  • Ear infection
  • Colds, flu, and other infections
  • Gingivitis (gum disease)
  • Mononucleosis
  • Mouth sores
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Skin infections
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tuberculosis

OTHER CAUSES

  • Immune or autoimmune disorders that can cause swollen lymph nodes include rheumatoid arthritis and AIDS.
  • Cancers that can often cause swollen lymph nodes include leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, many other cancers may also cause this problem.
  • Which lymph nodes are swollen depends on the type of problem and the body parts involved. Identifying the location can help determine the possible cause.
  • Swollen lymph nodes may also be caused by some medications, such phenytoin for seizures, or certain vaccinations, such as typhoid immunization.

WHO TREATS SWOLLEN GLANDS?

When swollen glands occur, a primary care provider is consulted first. Then, based on the patient’s condition, a referral may be made to the appropriate specialist.

REFERENCES:

[1] National Institute of Health MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary

© LymphNotes 2011. This information does not replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.

Got a question or comment? Post in the 'Lymphedema and Other Conditions' forum.
Category: Lymphedema and Other Conditions Updated: 2012-07-13


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