ABC Medical Center > Swollen lymph nodes

What is Swollen lymph nodes?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


The lymph nodes protect the body from any invading agent, so when they become inflamed it is due to a viral or bacterial infection. The areas most susceptible to such inflammation are usually the armpits, neck, and groin.

The lymph nodes are made up of a set of small, specialized cells of the immune system that filter the lymphatic fluid or lymph on its way through the body, defending it from any potential threat. When the nodes become inflamed, it is a sign that there is some anomaly in the body that must be attended to promptly.

Swollen lymph nodes can be due to:


  • Tooth abscess.
  • Strep throat.
  • Ear infections.
  • Infectious cellulitis.
  • Mononucleosis.
  • Measles.
  • Syphilis.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Toxoplasmosis.

Autoimmune diseases:

  • Arthritis.
  • Lupus.


  • Leukemia.
  • Lymphoma.
  • Any other type of cancer that has metastasized to the lymph nodes.

Signs and symptoms Swollen lymph nodes

Depending on the cause, different symptoms can occur, such as: 

  • Pain and tenderness in the lymph nodes.
  • Sore throat.
  • Tiredness.
  • High fever.
  • Chills.
  • Swollen lymph nodes throughout the body.
  • Hardening of the lymph nodes and rapid growth, which may be a sign of cancer.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sweating.
  • Coughing fits.

Once the infection subsides, the lymph nodes usually become swollen, but it is important to see your doctor whenever there is inflammation, to identify the cause and avoid complications. <}100{> When a lymph node infection is not treated early, an abscess may form that needs to be drained and treated with antibiotics.

Diagnosis and treatment Swollen lymph nodes

Your doctor, after knowing your symptoms and analyzing your medical history, will perform a physical examination to observe your lymph nodes and will request blood tests and imaging studies such as chest X-ray, MRI, and computed tomography. If deemed necessary, they may require a lymph node biopsy to analyze in the laboratory.

The treatment to follow will depend on what is causing the swelling. If it is due to a bacterial or viral infection, antibiotics or antivirals will be recommended. In the case of an autoimmune disease, such as arthritis or lupus, treatment will be aimed at controlling the condition.

If it is due to cancer, your doctor will assess what is most suitable for you, be it surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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