Anxiety can cause even the calmest person to act different, and it can cause stress, which affects the body in different ways. One way that anxiety affects the body is to create the lymph nodes to swell. These glands can be a little temperamental and swell up whenever there is trouble, but they are not having little temper tantrums; they are getting geared up to do some major cleanup. Occasionally the node is of average size, but an anxious person perceives it being enlarged. It is common for them to swell up when there are signs of infection, disease, and excessive debris in the body. A less common cause of enlargement is cancer that has spread from other parts of the body. For someone who is already anxious, swollen lymph nodes can add to nervousness because of the fear that it is caused by cancer even though the fact is that swelling can because by several other reasons, and it is caused by cancer is rare.
Causes of Swollen Lymph Nodes in People With Anxiety
People who have an occasional bout of anxiety rarely have health issues caused by stress. For those who regularly suffer with anxiety, it can take its toll on the body. Stress can cause the immune system to become weak, and then a person is susceptible to the following:
The body will react and rise to fight when there are problems. Among the main fighters are the lymph nodes, and they start posturing and puffing up, ready to compete at the first signs of trouble. It isn’t clear why when there is no illness or disease that people with anxiety notice swollen lymph nodes. One cause may be tense muscles that push the node up in a more noticeable position.
Related – Tooth Infections: Bye-Bye Tooth Fairy
Tension From Anxiety
Anxious people often have a lot of stress within their bodies. This tension can cause muscles to ache and become sore. When muscles get tense, it can cause the lymph nodes to become more prominent, especially the nodes on the neck. Other places that lymph nodes may swell include the following:
There are 500-600 nodes throughout the body, in areas where the nodes are not noticed even if they are enlarged. Some types of anxiety will cause a person to hyper-focus, and the body can be one of them. Nodes that are of average size and disease-free may feel enlarged to an anxious person, which breeds more anxiety. This happens because the first cause that comes to mind is cancer, even though most often the time, the reason is a simple infection that will run its course with little or no treatment.
Treating Swollen Lymph Nodes from Anxiety
When lymph nodes are swollen, there commonly isn’t any reason for concern, but if there is a concern, then a simple checkup can relieve health anxiety. For some who are overly anxious due to an anxiety disorder, medication to balance the chemical imbalance may be helpful. Sometimes distraction techniques can help control the impulse to obsess on a health issue like swollen lymph glands. Procedures can be found at CalmClinic.com. For those with lymph nodes that are swollen, it is often safe to just let it run its course, but there are times to get nodes checked. There are some of the signs that the lymph nodes are gearing up for a severe fight, and these are the signs that a physician should examine an enlarged node:
- Rubbery texture
- Fixed location
- Rapidly increasing in size
- Does not return to average size in 2-3 weeks
- Unexplained weight loss
If there are other unexplainable health issues, it could be an additional sign that the node needs to be checked. After the results of an examination are received, a treatment plan will be made. When there is a severe infection from bacteria like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus-aureus) or a viral infection, it will need to be treated before the lymph node will return to its original size. When cancer is the cause, then the disease will need to be treated, which can include surgery, chemo, and other types of cancer treatment.
Read About – Neck Lymph Nodes
Knowing the signs and symptoms of lymphoma, different types of cancer, and severe infection, then it will be easier to determine if a physician needs to be consulted to examine it. When there are no signs of health problems or after an exam doesn’t come up with any illness, it may be necessary to get mental health help to deal with the anxiety that is related to health issues.