Inflammation of lymph nodes: possible causes

In most cases, inflammation of the lymph nodes has no serious consequences, especially if it is caused by the presence of infection in the body (so the lymphatic system helps immunity).However, doctors recommend that the condition of the lymph nodes be controlled, in order to detect violations of another nature in time, so if they are inflamed, it is better to consult a specialist.


Small spherical formations, sometimes manifested on the neck at the time of inflammation (for example, if a person has a cold) are lymph nodes. Their importance for our body is invaluable, as they act as filters for tissue fluid - lymph. Normal lymph nodes are almond shaped (less than 1 cm) and are located in groups on the neck, in the armpits, groin, chest and abdomen.If you notice pain and inflammation of a group of lymph nodes, first of all, remain calm and remember that more than half of cases do not have a serious etiology. Of course, it is always better to diagnose a doctor.In our article, we will talk about the functions of lymph nodes in the body and the possible causes of their inflammation.

What are the lymph nodes for?

Basically, the lymph nodes perform the following functions:

  • filter out lymph from foreign substances, such as bacteria and carcinogenic cells, and destroy them.
  • produce white blood cells: lymphocytes and plasma cells responsible for the destruction of foreign substances.
  • protectimmune system.

The lymphatic system in our body is structured in the same way as the vascular, and consists of lymphatic vessels, capillaries, nodes, trunks and ducts. It is of great importance in the metabolism and purification of cells and tissues. Lymph nodes differ in shape and size. For example, the lymph nodes located under the lower jaw are about 1 cm and have the form of beans. Nodes at the back of the head are smaller (approximately, cm). Inguinal nodes are more elongated, and their length is approximately, see.

Why inflamed lymph nodes?

Inflammation of the lymph node can be caused by various reasons. Because their primary function is to protect the immune system, they are very sensitive to various changes in the body. Possible etiology of inflammation is most often not dangerous, but lymph nodes can become inflamed due to serious diseases, up to oncological ones. So, let's look at the reasons in order:

  • infections of colds (influenza, acute respiratory viral infection, tonsillitis)
  • bacterial infections: syphilis, tuberculosis, salmonellosis
  • lupus
  • viral infections: measles, rubella
  • infections of other pathogenicity: malaria, leishmaniasis
  • rheumatic diseases
  • the effect of various medications and medicinal substances: perchlorate, co-trimaxazole, hydantoin
  • stress, insomnia, unhealthy diets, nutritional deficiencies
  • lymphoma- a tumor disease caused by benign neoplasms.

No doubt, it is critical to evaluate the symptoms of inflammation of the lymph nodes, so thatto exclude the appearance of malignant tumors.

What is important to know in diagnosis?

Naturally, if you contact a doctor, we will get a complete examination and find out the appropriate methods for treating inflammation of the lymph nodes.It is important to answer questions about the following:

  • Is there a catarrhal disease or flu at the moment?
  • where is the inflamed lymph node: on the neck, in the armpit or subclavian cavity?
  • when the first symptoms of inflammation? Has it developed suddenly or gradually?
  • are there any painful feelings?
  • Do you take any medications?
  • were you on a trip not so long ago?
  • Is there a decrease in weight?

All this will help to identify the causes of inflammation: in most cases, it is caused by other diseases, and our immune system does not withstand the load and does not have time to recover.Sometimes lymph nodes become inflamed when taking certain medications.

Useful information

There are different groups of lymph nodes. They are located in our body in a special way to become a barrier to infections and cancer.

Most often, lymph nodes located onneck, which is associated with infections of the respiratory tract and oral cavity.It is necessary to control the size of the nodes so that they do not become excessively large: if the lymph node exceeds 4 cm, a biopsy will be required.

Remember also that the cervical lymph nodes are usually harmless even in an inflamed condition.But the violation of subclavian nodes is always very dangerous and requires immediate treatment, as it gives signs of oncological processes.

How to prevent inflammation and keep the lymph nodes healthy?

The main strategy of maintaining the health of the lymphatic system and preventing (if possible) inflammation of the lymph nodes, of course, is to strengthen the immune system.For this, it is necessary to consume daily foods rich in the following elements:

Vitamin C

It is vitally important for the immune system, since it helps it to fight against infections, viruses and bacteria and protects our cells. Vitamin C in large quantities is contained incitrus, kiwi, strawberry, mango and tomatoes.

Vitamin E

This vitamin boosts the production of white blood cells, helping us to fight cancer and bacteria. He is presentin most fruits and vegetables, dried fruits and nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds)


Products with a high content of beta-carotene are rich in antioxidants, which reduce the harmful effect of free radicals, which strengthens the protective properties of the body. To do this, it is very useful to use freshcarrots, corn, watermelon, cabbage, beetroot, pumpkin, asparagus and apricots.

Selenium and zinc

Selenium and zinc are needed for our body to form new cells and maintain the energy of the immune system. Which foods contain zinc and selenium? Firstly,these are whole grains, Brazil nuts, most of the dried fruits, seafood and soy.

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