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Lymphadenopathy

Lymphadenopathy is a condition when the lymph nodes become swollen and their function becomes impaired. The lymph nodes are an important part of the immune system, so in case of any damage, you may be prone to the various diseases. You may feel the enlarged lymph nodes on your neck, under the jaw, behind the ears, on the back of the head, armpits and groins. The first symptom of lymphadenopathy is enlargement of the lymph nodes. The other symptoms are pain or tenderness of the lymph nodes, redness of the skin where the affected lymph node is and hardened lymph nodes. You may also experience symptoms which are characteristic for flu, such as fever, sore throat and runny nose.

Causes of Lymphadenopathy

There are various causes of lymphadenopathy, but the most common is a viral infection. Others infections, caused by bacteria or parasites can also lead to lymphadenopathy. Some of the infections which cause lymphadenopathy include the common flu, tonsillitis, measles, skin infections ear infections, gingivitis, teeth infections, mononucleosis, mumps and infections of the wounds. Infections such as tuberculosis or some sexually transmitted diseases also cause the swelling of the lymph nodes. Disorders of the immune system can also cause lymphadenopathy, especially HIV, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Another cause of lymphadenopathy is cancer. The cancer may affect the lymph nodes directly or it may be a consequence of metastasis. Your lymph nodes may become swollen if you experience a side effect of certain medications. The cause of lymphadenopathy can also be a cat scratch disease. Some other conditions or diseases may cause the swelling of the lymph nodes.

Treatment

The treatment of lymphadenopathy depends on the underlying cause. If lymphadenopathy was caused by a bacterial infection, you may be given antibiotics. In case of viral infection, swelling of the lymph nodes will go away after you are cured from the infection. In case you experience pain, you may take some painkillers or Aspirin to reduce the inflammation. More severe conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis require special treatment. If lymphadenopathy is a consequence of cancer, you will receive cancer treatment which may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy or surgery.

Home Treatment

The most important thing while you are sick is to get plenty of rest. This will help your body heal and you will need less time to recover. Drink plenty of fluids each day and take some painkillers to ease pain. You can also apply warm compressions on the affected lymph nodes.

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