Lymphatic System in the Neck Area
The lymphatic system consists of numerous lymph glands that are located in every part of the body. The neck is, for example, rich in lymph glands, which are positioned superficially, and in deeper layers of the neck.
Swollen Lymph Glands
Superficial lymph nodes of the neck may be palpated if they become enlarged, while enlargement of deeper lymph nodes can only be visualized with ultrasound, CT scan, or an MRI of the neck. Lymph glands are also located under the jaw and may become enlarged due to numerous medical conditions of the oral cavity. Infections are actually the leading cause of enlargement of the lymph nodes. But in some cases jaw lymph nodes enlarge due to more serious medical conditions.
Common cold and streptococcal infection of the tonsils and throat are the most common causes of enlarged lymph nodes under the jaw. Infections of other nearby sites can also be accompanied by swollen lymph nodes. These include tooth abscesses, mumps, measles, glandular fever, infected wounds of the jaw, laryngitis, pharyngitis, and even an ear infection. Cat scratch disease, toxoplasmosis, sarcoidosis, and tuberculosis may also lead to enlargement of lymph nodes under the jaw. Imunocompromized people such as those suffering from HIV and AIDS, as well as individuals who have autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, may suffer from swollen jaw lymph nodes.
Leukemia and lymphomas may feature enlarged lymph nodes under the jaw as the first signs of the disease. Even the spread of tumors of other sites can result in neck lymph node enlargement. Tumors which commonly metastasize into the neck lymph nodes include oral, throat, and laryngeal cancers. Even certain medications can be responsible for swollen jaw lymph nodes. Also, goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Since the thyroid gland is situated in the neck, its swelling may be sometimes confused with enlargement of lymph nodes under the jaw.
Treatment for Swollen Lymph Nodes under the Jaw
Treatment can start only after the underlying cause of enlargement has been identified. The doctor performs the physical examination, and may even recommend ultrasound of the neck, CT scan, or MRI. In certain cases enlarged lymph nodes are even biopsied and the specimen is pathologically examined.
After the proper diagnosis has been set the treatment may be conservative and include a variety of medications, or the enlarged lymph nodes may be treated surgically. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor will choose the most convenient treatment modality and help the patient deal with the disease.
Hormonal Imbalance Causes Enlarged Adrenal Glands
There are two adrenal glands in our body, and both are settled just above the kidneys. Adrenal glands belong to the endocrine system and secrete hormones that regulate the levels of stress. They do not function alone and work hand in hand with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Enlarged adrenal glands can develop, among other things, due to hormonal imbalance. There are a number of conditions that may be possible causes for adrenal imbalance. Addison’s disease, or adrenal insufficiency, is , for example, a condition that develops when the adrenal gland is not able to produce the sufficient amounts of cortisol and aldosterone.
Other Adrenal Gland Disorders
Amyloidosis is another possible cause for adrenal gland imbalance. The reason for the development of this condition is the dysfunction of bone marrow cells. They are unable to break, which leads to enlarged adrenal glands. Chronic infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, are other possible causes of adrenal disorder manifested in swelling and enlargement. Cushing's syndrome occurs when there is a high level of cortisol in the body. It is generally associated with benign tumors of the adrenal glands. Phaeochromocytoma is a tumor that begins to form in the adrenal gland, resulting in its enlargement.
As one cannot prevent the body from developing an enlarged adrenal gland, the best thing he or she can do is to recognize the symptoms and start the treatment in the early stages so that the outcome will be a full recovery. The tests that can detect enlarged adrenal glands include a MRI scan, CT scan, ultrasound, or MIBG scan. The most frequent symptoms include adrenal adenoma and carcinoma, adrenogenital syndrome, increased adrenalin level, increased noradrenalin level, and high adrenal autoantibodies. It is not an easy task to recognize these medical issues, and a lot of tests are required in order to diagnose them. For this reason, it would be best to visit a doctor whose specialty is in adrenal glands.
Treatment for Enlarged Adrenal Gland
The method of treatment depends upon the severity of the disorder. Consequently, there is not a unique method of treatment. It depends on the doctor’s evaluation and judgment as to the kind of treatment that will be implemented, and it is also necessary to take into consideration the patient`s medical history.