Lymph nodes are oval structures that are arranged throughout the body with the function of filtering undesirable elements for the body. They are part of the so-called lymphatic system, which allows the body to defend itself against possible threats, differentiating its own and foreign particles.
The lymph nodes can become inflamed, that is, increase in size. This can be normal or be something to pay more attention to. From FastlyHeal, we bring you this article. You can obtain information to know if your lymph nodes are swollen, when convenient for you to go to the doctor and when not, and the possible treatments to understand how to reduce inflammation of the lymph nodes.
Table of Contents
Why are the nodes swollen?
The ganglia are structures arranged throughout the entire organism, measuring less than 1 cm. Many of them are grouped in different areas: cervical, axillary, and inguinal, among others. They are a filtering station within the lymphatic system, which causes all kinds of substances and particles of their own and foreign to reach them that, when not recognized, generate a reaction causing the lymph node to increase in size ( adenopathy ). It is called adenomegaly if the size of the node exceeds 2 cm. However, in children, there may be an increase of up to 2 cm without implying disease since children are more likely to encounter substances with which they have never had contact before, inflammation being part of that new contact.
Another aspect to consider is if the adenopathy is located in a single sector (axillary or cervical, for example) or if it is generalized, which leads to thinking about different diagnoses if it is one or the other.
Different conditions can cause swollen lymph nodes:
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections.
- Food: dairy and gluten frequently cause inflammation in the body. Contaminated food can cause infections accompanied by lymphadenopathy.
- Chronic diseases: autoimmune, tumor, substance deposition diseases, exposure to toxins, among others.
- Medications: some can cause enlargement of nodes, such as anticonvulsants, gold salts, captopril, cephalosporins, allopurinol, atenolol, penicillin, sulfonamides.
Symptoms of swollen glands
The nodes are swollen when any of these symptoms occur:
- Lymph nodes were more significant than 1 cm.
- They may or may not hurt on palpation.
- The consistency can be soft or hard.
- Inflammation of the skin overlying the ganglion.
- Nodes are found where they shouldn’t be: above the clavicle or at the elbow.
There are cases where a person with swollen lymph nodes should promptly seek medical advice, as they must receive specific treatment or must be studied in more depth to find out the cause. These cases are:
- Fever (greater than 38 ° C) for more than one week.
- Night sweats.
- Enlarged nodes in several non-contiguous areas of the body (e.g., axillary and inguinal).
- Hard nodes.
- Painful glands.
- Present risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases (multiple sexual partners, no condom use).
- Intravenous drug use.
- I was bleeding or bruising in different areas of the body.
- Persistence of swollen glands for more than 15 days.
How to reduce inflammation of the glands: medical treatment
Because the causes of swollen glands are many and varied, so are the possible medical treatments that can be received. Therefore, before receiving treatment, a professional must carefully carry out a questioning, a complete physical examination, and, if required, specific blood or imaging tests to arrive at the proper diagnosis.
For viral diseases, generally, only symptomatic treatment is indicated (for fever and body aches), and it is necessary to wait for the lymph nodes to deflate over the days.
In a bacterial infection, the treatment with antibiotics is indicated, but these should not be used if the picture is not confirmed since sometimes the vision worsens.
It is essential not to self-medicate in case of swollen lymph nodes since a consultation at the right time resolves doubts and avoids unnecessary treatments and diagnostic delays.
How to reduce inflammation of the glands naturally.
Whatever the cause, the following recommendations and natural remedies can be advised to reduce inflammation of the lymph nodes:
- Do not permanently touch the lymph nodes that are believed to be inflamed, as it causes them to remain inflamed by constant manipulation.
- Drink a sufficient quantity of water. Not other drinks, as they don’t hydrate in the same way.
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables. It helps the body use less energy in digestion and provides the necessary vitamins and minerals. In this way, any infectious or inflammatory process being suffered can be resolved more quickly.
- Avoid the consumption of food and beverages that generate an accumulation of toxins in the body and require an extra effort for digestion, causing the persistence and worsening of diseases: processed (everything that contains flavorings, sweeteners, preservatives), sugars and refined flours, vegetable oils (vegetable fat, vegetable shortening), meat (beef, pork, chicken), processed meats (cold cuts, sausages), dairy (they have been found to generate persistent inflammation and their supposedly beneficial calcium is not such).
- Ginger tea: has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why consumed in the infusion can help to improve infectious/inflammatory processes.
It is suggested that if any symptoms indicate prompt consultation with a professional, do not waste time since an early diagnosis often contributes to a faster resolution and with fewer adverse effects.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to reduce inflammation of the lymph nodes, we recommend that you enter our Immune system category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.