Lymph nodes on the neck, under the arm, in the groin and other parts of the body – what does this mean? What are the causes of swollen and enlarged lymph nodes? How to treat inflamed lymph nodes? All this and not only we will talk in today’s article. So…
General information about lymph nodes
Lymph nodes (lymph nodes) – An organ consisting of a collection of lymphatic vessels, which performs the following functions: cleaning the lymph, preventing the proliferation of pathological cells (cancer), protecting against the penetration and spread of infectious agents in the body, outflow of intercellular fluid and the formation of protective cells (lymphocytes, phagocytes, antibodies). The lymph node has a rounded or oval shape, about 1 cm in size (the largest in normal condition), when pressed, rolls slightly, as if the small subcutaneous adhesives are painless.
Lymph – fluid formed from tissue fluid flowing through the lymphatic vessels and capillaries. Lymph consists mainly of lymphocytes, which are responsible for the immune response. The tissue fluid itself is a product of filtration of plasma in the blood capillaries.
Lymphatic system – an important part of the vascular system, complementing the work of the cardiovascular system, which performs the functions of cleansing the cells and tissues of the body, and also plays an important role in metabolism. In addition, the lymph delivers immune cells to the lesion of the body, transports lipids. The lymphatic system does not have a pump, but it still moves at a slow pace under slight pressure.
Where are the lymph nodes?
The body contains many groups of lymph nodes, the most famous of which are on the neck, in the armpit, in the groin, in the elbow and knee folds, in the thoracic and abdominal regions. Each group is called – regional, and it consists of several lymph nodes. The above groups contain the largest number of lymph nodes. Each group is a protection for those organs and tissues that are located near it.
The lymph nodes in the neck and other parts of the body can also be divided into smaller groups. So, on the neck they can be found – from the front and back sides of the neck, under the jaw and chin, at the back of the head and in the area of the ears. Having considered the following photo of cervical lymph nodes, the general picture, where they are located, will become clearer:
After familiarization information, we now turn to the consideration of the causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes.
Enlarged lymph nodes – causes
To begin with, an enlarged lymph node, or lymphadenopathy, is a symptom of various adverse processes. You can also say that this is a kind of beacon, which indicates that it is in the organs of that localization that there are some health problems and they are already beginning to protect the body. For example, in inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract of an infectious nature (sore throat, pharyngitis, laryngitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, and others), it will increase the cervical lymph nodes. With osteomyelitis, synovitis and bursitis in the knee area – the knee lymph nodes will increase and
How is the lymph node enlarged? When an infection penetrates the body or an inflammatory process develops, the nearest lymph nodes produce protective cells that accumulate, causing them to increase. Further, when an attempt is made to spread the infection throughout the body, the lymph nodes retain it in themselves, and the higher the infection of the body, the more pronounced the increase. The size of the enlarged lymph nodes can reach 5 cm.
If in the period of increase nothing is taken,
Systemic infectious diseases and other pathological processes in the body can cause a simultaneous increase and inflammation of the lymph nodes of several groups throughout the body.
The main causes of enlarged lymph nodes
- Infection of the body – viral (influenza viruses, parainfluenza, Coxsackie, herpes), bacterial (staphylococci, streptococci, Pseudomonas bacilli, mycobacterium tuberculosis), fungal;
- Pathological cell division leading to the formation of tumors;
- The presence of inflammatory processes;
- The presence of the following diseases – OCR (tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza), sinusitis (sinusitis, rhinitis, etmoidit, sphenoiditis, sinusitis), otitis media, scarlet fever, measles, dermatitis, furunculosis, gingivitis, caries, periodontitis, rheumatism, sarcoidosis, syphilis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, tuberculosis, brucellosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, gout, osteomyelitis, infectious mononucleosis, HIV infection, AIDS, lymphoma, wounds;
- An allergic reaction to a product, a substance, which causes the over-production of protective cells;
- Weakened immune system – stress, hypovitaminosis, avitaminosis, hypothermia, chronic fatigue;
- The presence of a benign or malignant tumor;
- Mechanical injury of the lymphatic vessel, node;
- The use of some drugs – Atenolol, antibiotics (cephalosporins, penicillins, sulfonamides), Quinidine, Carbamazepine, Captopril, Hydralazine, Pyrimethamine and others.
The reasons for the increase and inflammation of the lymph nodes are huge, but most of them can be contained in 3 main groups – inflammatory processes, infection, oncology.
Lymph node inflammation – symptoms
Depending on the cause, lymphadenopathy (lymphadenopathy) and inflammation (lymphadenitis) of the lymph nodes may be different, for example:
- The lymph nodes have increased, there is no pain when they are pressed – usually indicates an allergic reaction, weakening of the immune system, the inflammatory process, the initial stages of tuberculosis;
- Many small enlarged nodes indicate a weakened immunity;
- Lymph nodes are enlarged and painful – the most common cause is infection (the development of infectious diseases);
- Enlarged, immobile and painless with pressure nodes with irregular contours may indicate the need to apply for an examination by an oncologist.
The size of the enlarged lymph nodes can vary from a few millimeters to several centimeters. They can also be firm or half soft to the touch.
In addition, enlarged lymph nodes may accompany the following symptoms:
- Redness of the skin around the enlarged lymph node;
- Discomfort, and even pain when swallowing, turning the head;
- The presence of skin rash, urticaria;
- Increased and high body temperature;
- Increased sweating, chills;
- Unreasonable, drastic weight loss;
- Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly);
- Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly);
- Collapse, painful condition;
- Cough, runny nose, sore throat;
- Lack of appetite, nausea.
Lymph node complication
Chronic lymphadenitis with purulent formation often leads to complications.
Among the complications are:
- Periadenitis (inflammation of tissues surrounding an inflamed knot);
- Fistula in the internal organs;
- Peritonitis, sepsis.
Diagnosis of lymph nodes
Diagnosis of lymph nodes includes:
If necessary, a site biopsy can be performed.
Lymph node treatment
How to treat lymph nodes? Treatment of lymph nodes is aimed at addressing the root causes of this condition. If you cure the disease, which led to enlarged nodes, they will go out and normalize in size.
Initially, if the enlarged lymph nodes are caused by an infection, the type of pathogen is detected, after which a specific drug is prescribed:
- If the cause is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are prescribed;
- If the cause is a viral infection, symptomatic treatment is prescribed, with the exception of some diseases that require the use of antiviral drugs (Aciclovir – for herpes, drugs with interferon – for ARVI and
Treatment of enlarged lymph nodes of an allergic nature is carried out with the use of antihistamines (Loratadin, Suprastin), and it is also necessary to remove the causative agent of an allergic reaction.
Among other recommendations and methods for the treatment of lymph nodes are:
- Plentiful drink – from 2 liters of water per day (for adults) and 1 l (for children);
- For removing high body temperature – taking anti-inflammatory drugs Paracetamol, Nurofen, Nimesil. Children are recommended to make compresses on a water-acetic basis.
- With a strong inflammatory process, they may prescribe hormonal drugs (glucocorticoids) – Prednisone, Dexamethasone, Hydrocortisone.
- With strong weakness and soreness, semi-bed and bed rest is prescribed.
Remember that treatment must first be directed to the elimination of the root causes of enlarged nodes,
What can not be done with enlarged lymph nodes?
- Mass the enlarged node;
- Warm it up;
- Lubricate with warming or bactericidal ointments.
The above actions can lead to the release of the infection beyond the node, its entry into the blood and further spread throughout the body.
Lymph node removal
Removal of lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy) is performed in the following cases:
- Inflammation of the lymph nodes with the formation of pus;
- Cancers and the presence of metastases.
Surgical intervention is due to the fact that in the lymph node, as we have said, there is an infection.
Treatment of lymph nodes with folk remedies
Important! Before using traditional remedies, be sure to consult your doctor!
Chamomile, sage. Pour 2 teaspoons of chamomile or sage medicinal glass of boiling water, let it brew, strain and use as a mouthwash and throat. This tool will help to cope with inflammatory processes in the oropharynx.
Ginseng. 2 tbsp. tablespoons chopped ginseng root pour 500 ml of boiling water, then put the preparation for cooking in a water bath for 20 minutes. After leaving the means to cool, strain and take 50-70 ml 3 times a day, 20 minutes before meals. A decoction of ginseng root strengthens the immune system.
Collection Make a collection of the following ingredients – 3 parts of blackberry leaves, 2 parts of hanging birch leaves, 2 parts of green rye stalks and 1 part of immortelle flowers, budra grass and wheatgrass roots. Mix everything thoroughly and 2 tbsp. spoons of collection pour 500 ml of water. After boiling and simmer on low heat for about 2 hours. Strain and drink the resulting broth 1/3 cup 3 times a day, after eating, for 12 days. Well helps against acute respiratory infections and other diseases that cause an increase in cervical lymph nodes.
Compress 1. Mix together in equal proportions the leaves of the nut, the grass of oregano, the grass of yarrow and the grass of mistletoe. Pour the collection with water, bring to a boil, boil for another 5 minutes and set aside for infusion. After wetting a rag made of natural fabric into the tool and tie it a sore point. Compresses to do until full recovery.
Compress 2. Add to the enamel pan 1 l of white grape wine and 1 tbsp. sorrel, put the dishes on the fire, bring to a boil, boil on low heat for 5 minutes, set aside for 30 minutes. Dampen a cloth with the agent and apply as a compress on the sore spot.
Lymph node prevention
Prevention of lymphadenopathy includes:
- Compliance with the rules of personal hygiene;
- Good nutrition, giving preference to foods enriched with vitamins and microelements;
- Avoid spontaneous use of drugs;
- Timely access to a doctor in the presence of various diseases, so that they do not become chronic;
- Avoid hypothermia;
- Avoid stressful situations or learn how to overcome them – if necessary, change jobs;
- Keep an active lifestyle.