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Swelling in the neck: causes

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The swelling in the neck or lymphadenopathy occurs by enlarged lymph nodes, a crucial part of the proper functioning of the immune system, which helps the body recognize and fight various infections and pathologies. Generally, when lymph nodes hurt and appear suddenly, it is usually due to an illness, so there is no need to be alarmed. However, if the swelling seems painless and slowly, it may be from lymphoma.

This Inflammation in the neck is a problem that occurs quite frequently and that, as we have already mentioned, can be caused by different factors. For you to resolve all your doubts about this condition, at FastlyHealwe, explain what the possible causes of neck inflammation are.

Lymph nodes and their function

The lymph nodes in the neck are connected to a complex network of tubes called lymphatic vessels, which are distributed throughout the body. These lymphatic vessels contain a fluid called lymph, which has millions of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the cells that form the first line of battle of our immune system. Therefore, the primary function of the lymph nodes is to defend the body against pathogenic organisms.

Lymph nodes are usually found in groups or chains throughout the body. Some are so low that they cannot even be detected even though they are inflamed. And others are just under the skin. The central lymph nodes are found around the head and neck, behind and in front of the ears, at the base of the scalp, under the chin and above the clavicles, in the armpits, and the groin.

When the body detects an infection or foreign object that it does not recognize, it mobilizes the group of white blood cells to where it is needed, accumulating in the lymphatic glands closest to this place.

Neck swelling from infections

Infections are the most common cause of neck inflammation, the most common being:

  • Bacterial: pharyngitis, skin infections, tuberculosis, atypical mycobacteria, lymphogranuloma venereum, diphtheria, or typhoid fever.
  • Viral: mumps, rubella, measles, mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis B, or AIDS.

Neck swelling from tumor or cancer

Cancers that can cause swollen lymph nodes to include:

  • Leukemia.
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Lymphomas: the most common in this case is Hooking lymphoma; the lumps can not only appear in the neck but also in the groin, with symptoms similar to those of the flu.
  • Salivary gland tumors.

Neck swelling from medications

Certain medications can cause swollen lymph nodes, including:

  • Anticonvulsants such as phenytoin.
  • Typhoid vaccine: Typhoid fever is a disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella type I, which is transmitted through contaminated food. It is advisable to apply this vaccine if you travel to countries with this infection.

Neck swelling from immune disorders

Immune or autoimmune disorders that can cause swollen lymph nodes in the neck include:

  • HIV: the human immunodeficiency virus attacks the person’s immune system, making it weak to any contagion.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: an autoimmune disease, such as an inadequate response of the immune system, where the joints become inflamed.

Diagnosis and treatment

If there is swelling in the neck, the medical staff will perform a physical exam and ask you about your symptoms: when the swelling started, if it appeared suddenly, and if the ganglion hurts when pressed. In addition, to arrive at a more accurate diagnosis, the following tests may be performed:

  • Blood tests, including liver function tests, kidney function tests, and complete blood count with leukocyte formula.
  • Biopsy of the swollen lymph node.

Once we have a definite diagnosis, the doctor will proceed to treat your adenopathy with the appropriate medications, focused on treating the pathogen.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Inflammation in the neck: causes , we recommend that you enter our Immune system category .

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