Are enlarged lymph nodes bad?
Swollen lymph nodes. When there's a problem, such as infection, injury, or cancer, the node or the group of lymph nodes in that area may swell or enlarge as they work to filter out the “bad” cells. For instance, ear pain, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes near your ear are clues that you may have an ear infection or cold
Superficial lymph nodes, particularly in the head and neck, axilla and inguinal regions are amenable to ultrasound (US) evaluation. A normal lymph node is ovoid in shape, hypoechoic to the adjacent muscle and frequently contains an echogenic fatty hilum (Fig.
- If you have found a pea-sized or bean-sized node, this is normal. Normal lymph nodes are smaller than ½ inch or 12 mm. Don't look for lymph nodes, because you can always find some. They are easy to find in the neck and groin.
- The body has about 20 to 40 bean-shaped axillary lymph nodes located in the underarm area. These lymph nodes are responsible for draining lymph – a clear or white fluid made up of white blood cells – from the breasts and surrounding areas, including the neck, the upper arms, and the underarm area.
- The paraaortic lymph nodes (also known as periaortic, and lumbar) are a group of lymph nodes that lie in front of the lumbar vertebrae near the aorta. These lymph nodes receive drainage from the gastrointestinal tract and the abdominal organs.
How to Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes
- Standard treatment for swollen lymph nodes may include pain relievers and medicine to lower a fever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- If the cause of the swelling is infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antiviral medications.
- Here are 15 ways you can support and enhance lymphatic drainage in your body:
- Drink More Water To Flush Your Lymphatic System.
- Eat A Variety of Fruits and Raw Vegetables.
- Feed Your Lymphatic System With Nuts & Seeds.
- Use Herbs & Spices That Boost Lymphatic Function.
- Detox Your Lymphatic System With Sea Vegetables.
- Lymph node inflammation can occur for a variety of reasons. Any infection or virus, including the common cold, can cause your lymph nodes to swell. Cancer can also cause lymph node inflammation. This includes blood cancer, such as leukemia and lymphoma.
- More rare causes include certain blood cancers including lymphoma and leukemia. Allergies are typically not a cause of enlarged lymph nodes. While an allergic reaction is an activation of the immune system, it typically does not cause division of the lymphocytes which can causes those nodes to enlarge.
In general, lymph nodes larger than 1 centimeter (0.4 inches) in diameter are considered abnormal. Swollen lymph nodes not only become enlarged, sometimes visibly so, but may also be painful to the touch. A doctor should be consulted when certain symptoms are present.
- Size. Nodes are generally considered to be normal if they are up to 1 cm in diameter; however, some authors suggest that epitrochlear nodes larger than 0.5 cm or inguinal nodes larger than 1.5 cm should be considered abnormal.7,8 Little information exists to suggest that a specific diagnosis can be based on node size.
- Which lymph nodes are swollen depends on the cause and the body parts involved. Swollen lymph nodes that appear suddenly and are painful are usually due to injury or infection. Slow, painless swelling may be due to cancer or a tumor.
- Lymphadenopathy can occur in just one area of the body, such as the neck. Or it may affect lymph nodes throughout the body. The cervical lymph nodes, found in the neck, are the most common site of lymphadenopathy.
Updated: 17th October 2019