Swollen Lymph Glands


Throat | Endocrinology and Metabolism | Swollen Lymph Glands (Symptom)


Description

Lymph nodes are an important component of the body immune system and help in fighting infections. They are small, soft, round or oval structures that are found throughout the body and are connected to each other in chain-like (lymphatic chains) fashion by channels similar to blood vessels. Each individual lymph node is covered by a capsule made up of connective tissue.

Lymph nodes are located throughout the body. Some are directly under the skin while others are deep inside the body. Even the most superficial (close to the skin) lymph nodes are usually not visible or palpable (felt by touching), unless they are swollen or enlarged for some reason.

There are more than 600 lymph nodes throughout the body, but the ones most frequently enlarged or swollen are found in the neck, under the chin, in the armpits, and in the groin. Swollen lymph nodes are also known as lymphadenitis, lymphadenopathy, swollen nodes, or swollen glands.

Causes

They can occur in any age group or population, but generally occur most often in children. The body relies on the lymphatic system to fight off germs, infections, and abnormal substances such as cancer cells. Lymph nodes are an important part of your body’s immune system.

There are may causes for swollen lymph nodes, sometimes referred to as swollen glands (lymphadenopathy or lymphadenitis). In general, lymph nodes become swollen when they are active either due to an infection, inflammation, or cancer.

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