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Swollen Glands

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Besides the “normal” swelling that you might feel during your pregnancy there is a kind of swelling that can occur that requires closer care.   "Swollen glands" refers to enlargement of one or more lymph nodes.

Lymph nodes produce lymph, which travels throughout your body in the lymph system, which fights infections and diseases. Swollen glands usually indicate weakness of your ammine system.

You can feel the glands in numerous parts of the body: the groin, armpit, the neck (there are lymph nodes on either side of the front of the neck, both sides of the neck, and down each side of the back of the neck), under the jaw and chin, behind the ears and on the back of the head .Other causes of enlarged lymph nodes are rare. By far, the most common cause of swollen lymph nodes is infection.  When swelling appears suddenly and is painful, it is usually caused by injury or an infection.


Infections that commonly cause swollen lymph nodes include mononucleosis, German measles (rubella), tuberculosis, mumps, ear infection, tonsillitis, an abscessed or impacted tooth, gingivitis (swelling of the gums), mouth sores, and sexually transmitted diseases.  Identifying the location can help determine the possible cause.  Swollen lymph nodes may also be caused by some medications or certain vaccinations.

Soreness in lymph glands usually disappears in a couple of days without treatment, but the nodes may not return to normal size for several weeks after the infection has cleared. Generally, if glands are painful, it is because they swell rapidly in the early stages of fighting an infection.

Call your doctor if:

• Your glands don’t get smaller after several weeks or continue to get larger.
• Your swollen glands are red and tender.
• Your glands feel hard, irregular, or fixed in place.
• You have a fever; night sweats, or unexplained weight loss.
• Any node in a child is larger than 1 centimeter in diameter.

Most cases of swollen glands are common and show the body fighting against an infection. Inflamed glands are a signal that our body is weaker and needs extra attention.


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