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What Could Cause A Lymph Node To Swell?

Q: I have a lymph node in my neck that is almost always a little big and a little tender. I know that can be caused by having an infection but it doesn't seem to be what's going on. Are there other things that can cause a lymph node to act like this?

A: Yes, there are actually many others. As lymph nodes are an accumulation of tissue whose job it is to serve as a defense mechanism, anything that the body perceives as toxic can create a change in this area. Bacteria and viruses are only two such toxins.

I have seen patients who had a similar condition that was caused by an overabundance of yeast in the body. It is also commonly seen in chronic allergic situations as well as some parasite infestations. One of my patients would overload his lymph system by eating high fat-content meals. He soon decided it wasn't worth the trouble and changed his dietary habits. Mercury toxicity from "silver" fillings has also caused a backed up lymph system.

As an enlarged lymph node can be caused by something as simple as a chronic lack of pure water on one hand, to a type of cancer on the other, it is important to determine just what the cause is. I would recommend a thorough physical examination at my office as well as some specific blood tests to correlate with the exam findings.