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Swollen Lymph Nodes: Causes& Treatment

Swollen Lymph Nodes: Causes& Treatment

Your lymph nodes can be a front-line soldier in the battle against illness. Nasty bacteria and viruses can attack us when we least expect it. Our lymph nodes can help our bodies fight off infections before they attack the rest of our bodies. These front-line soldiers act as a filter to help keep us healthy and we here at HPFY can give you some helpful information on understanding the causes and potential treatments for swollen lymph nodes.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

What are Lymph Nodes?

I’m sure we have all heard of lymph nodes, but do we understand what and where they are in our bodies? Lymph nodes are located throughout our bodies, but they are concentrated mostly in our neck, armpits and groin areas. They are responsible for producing lymph, which carries white blood cells throughout our bodies in order to fight infection. Our lymph nodes are the main sites where our immune system response is initiated. When lymph nodes are swollen or inflamed, it is a sign that our bodies may be fighting an infection or another medical condition such as cancer.

Treatment for Swollen Lymph Nodes

There can be numerous reasons for swollen lymph nodes, so how do we treat swollen nodes? Normally, lymph nodes become swollen due to some form of infection. Some common causes of swollen nodes can include, but are not limited to:

  • Influenza
  • Mononucleosis
  • Strep throat
  • Ear/tooth infection
  • HIV infection
  • Lupus
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If your lymph node area is swollen and the overlying skin is red and inflamed, you should visit your doctor. Other reasons you may want to visit your physician can include if the swelling has no apparent reason or the swelling is close to your neck or collarbone area. Often swollen lymph nodes can be treated at home, without any visit to a medical professional. Symptoms of swollen nodes can include everything from coughing to fever/chills to fatigue. Some simple, at-home treatments for swollen lymph nodes can include:

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It is often the cause of your swollen lymph nodes that will dictate the course of action your doctor may take. For instance, swollen nodes caused by cancer may not return to proper size until cancer itself is dealt with. This can involve removing a tumor or the infected lymph nodes themselves.

Our lymph nodes can be the first line of defense for our bodies to fight off infections and other health problems. By identifying what the cause may be will point you in the right direction in order to treat them properly. Remember to visit your physician if your swollen lymph nodes stay swollen or inflamed for a long period of time or if there is no obvious cause for their inflammation.

 

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