ZocdocAnswersWhy do my glands continue to swell?

Question

Why do my glands continue to swell?

The glands in my neck continue to get swollen. They will go back to normal for a few days and then bang they are swollen again. And I am not sick that I can tell. Why do my glands keep getting swollen though?

Answer

Swollen glands in the neck can be caused by several different things. They may represent lymph nodes or possibly even salivary glands. Lymph nodes are found all over the body, including in the head and neck area, under the arms, in the groin, and throughout the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. Lymph nodes are where white blood cells traffic in the body during immunosurveillance for infections or cancers. Swollen lymph nodes can indicate many different things, including some kind of infection or even a malignancy such as lymphoma. In addition, the salivary glands are also found in the head and neck region and can become swollen as a result of autoimmune disease, infection, or an obstructing stone. In order to determine what is causing your symptoms, the best thing to do is to see your physician right away. It will be important to know if you have had any other changes in your health in addition to the swollen glands, such as fever, cough, night sweats, weight loss, or pain in the area. Your doctor can do a thorough physical and possible some basic laboratory testing to help figure out what is going on. Hopefully this will turn out to be something minor, but in order to protect your health you should definitely be seen right away.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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