Swollen lymph nodes
Lymph nodes are tiny bean-shaped glands found throughout the body and are part of the lymph system which functions in carrying fluid or lymph fluid, nutrients and waste materials between the tissues of the body and the bloodstream. Lymph nodes can be found in single form or in groups and they are very small like the head of a pin or large as an olive. Groups of lymph nodes can be found in the groin, neck and the underarms.
The lymph system is part of the immune system which is the defense system of the body against disease. The lymph nodes filters the lymph fluid, eliminate bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances which are destroyed by the white blood cells or also known as lymphocytes.
When the lymph node swells, it can cause a condition known as lymphadenopathy or lymphadenitis and the swelling node can reach to pea size up to an egg. Swollen lymph nodes can be a sign that something is wrong in certain parts of the body like an abscessed tooth, measles, tonsillitis, skin infections, ear infections, mononucleosis and common cold.
- Lymph node can swell due to infection, injury or tumor that develops near the lymph node.
- Lymph node swells due to common cold or sore throat, a cut or a bite near the gland and when a tumor or infection develops in the head, neck or the mouth.
- The axillary lymph node which is found in the armpit can swell caused by injury or infection to the arm or hand.
- The lymph nodes found in the groin or the femoral or inguinal lymph node can swell due to injuries or infections in the groin, foot, leg or the genitals.
- Glands found above the collarbone or supraclavicular lymph nodes can swell due to infections or tumor that develops in the areas of the breast, lungs, abdomen and the neck.
- Dip a clean wash cloth in hot water and wring out excess water. Place the warm wash cloth on the swollen lymph nodes at least 5-10 minutes several times every day until swelling is minimized. Another way is washing the swollen area using warm water several times throughout the day.
- Using the fingers, gently massage the lymph nodes for at least 5 minutes for two to three times every day until the swelling is minimized. Massage helps in stimulating the lymph nodes in order to help function normally, it also lessens the swelling and minimize the buildup of impurities in the nodes.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in 1 cup or warm water. Mix well and gargle this solution at least several times every day for one week. Salt water gargle helps minimize swelling and inflammation of the affected area in the neck due to infections in the throat.