Why do lymph nodes swell

Lymph nodes are minute pods that contain the macrophages and the lymphocytes. Both these cells are essential to protect the body against all kinds of germs. If a lymph node is swollen, then it is definitely the result of some sort of disease or irregular activity within the body. The reason why a lymph node is swollen determines whether the swelling will cause severe pain or not.

When we catch a bad cold, the lymph nodes in the respiratory organs like the nose and the throat, swells up and may cause pain and discomfort. During flu, one can also experience pain in their arm pits and groin area due to swelling up of the lymph nodes in these soft body parts. Mumps is also the result of extremely swollen lymph nodes in the throat and the jaw muscles. Other common infections and diseases that result due to viral or bacterial infestation and swells up the lymph nodes include measles, toxoplasmosis, gonorrhea, syphilis and a vast number of other diseases. In some of the diseases that are indicated by inflamed nodes, the actual area of infection may be away from the visibly swollen part. Diseases of the blood are the most common examples of such cases because if your blood is infected, then lymph nodes within the entire body may begin to swell up. AIDS and lupus are two diseases that interfere with the healthy immune system of the body, upsetting the balance by increasing the white blood cell production. The WBC then loses its purpose and starts destroying the cells of the body by treating them as pathogens.

These diseases are called autoimmune diseases and they swell up the nodes constantly. Deadly diseases like leukemia and lymphoma are also responsible for inflamed lymph nodes, but most of these blood related diseases inflame the nodes that are near the skin and they often show up on the skin as red spots. Anti-inflammatory medicines often lessen the pain when applied on the swollen area, but it might not be enough if the cause is severe. As a swollen lymph node is by default indicative of diseases, infections, cuts and internal injuries as well, it is best to consult a doctor soon after.