Why do Lymph nodes Swell?

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Why do Lymph nodes Swell?

Lymph nodes are tiny organs which possess cells that protect the body from disease. When lymph nodes at the jaw are swollen,  it leads to mumps. The diseases that can lead to large swollen lymph nodes are measles, infections in the ear, toxoplasmosis, scratch fever, syphilis, gingivitis, tuberculosis, tonsilitis, mouth sores and gonorrhea.

Swelling of lymph nodes is scientifically called as Lymphadenopathy. Children are known to have swollen lymph nodes more often than adults. The swelling might be due to an infection in children, while it might be a more dangerous cause for adults. Lymph node swelling is usually caused by viral or bacterial infections. Other,  causes may include cancer, arthritis, allergy, metabolic disorders and hyperthyroidism.

Infection is one of the causes of swollen lymph nodes. This infection can enhance the WBCs number as they increase with a single trigger from an antigen. During the process of giving a counter for a viral infection in our body due to common cold or HIV infection, lymph nodes will swell.

When there is any inflammation seen near the lymph nodes, it can trigger swelling . The WBCs that have died after fighting with the malignant cells in cancer tissue may also trigger the lymph nodes to swell. Presence of malignant cells in the blood can also lead to swelling.  Sometimes , autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and HIV infection make lymph nodes remain swollen for a long time. The swollen lymph node is about 0.39 inches in diameter and occurrs normally when the body suffers from fever. It is painful to have swelling at these nodes hence, taking anti-inflammatory drugs will bring relief to these nodes.

Sometimes lymph nodes swell at one region but may indicate ailment at other regions of the body.

Author: Hari M

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