An enlargement of the lymph glands or nodes indicates swelling. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped mass, consisting of lymphatic tissue, bound by connective tissue. The lymphatic system is spread throughout the body, and as such the nodes are situated in several parts, being most prominent in the collarbone, armpits, and the groin region. Inguinal lymph nodes are those which are found in the groin region. They are responsible for filtering the lymphatic fluid, a clear fluid which transports white blood cells to all parts of the body, and acts as a defensive mechanism against outside virus and bacteria. Hence, it's an important part of the immune system. Their swollen condition may be due to several reasons, the most common being injury and infection.
Causes of Swollen Inguinal Lymph Nodes
Whenever there's a tumor, infection, or injury to the inguinal lymph nodes, they swell. Depending on the location of the swelling, the exact cause can be identified. It's because they actively fight against outside bodies that they swell, and at times become painful. This indicates that there is some underlying condition, which you need to get medical help for.
Tumors: If the lymph nodes swell gradually, it may be due to tumors or malignancy. Cancer may be another cause. In case it originates from the blood cells like leukemia and lymphomas, or in the lymph nodes, swelling may be caused. It is mostly spread from other parts of the body to the lymph nodes.
Bacterial Infection: Infections caused due to bacteria, virus, parasites, and fungus are the most common reason for this condition. If swelling and pain appears suddenly, you can be sure that it's due to infection or injury. Bacteria such as streptococcus and staphylococcus may cause swelling of the groin lymph nodes. Some of the other causes of this condition due to infection by bacteria include sexually transmitted diseases, cat scratch disease, and chlamydia.
Other: Some of the common causes of swelling of lymph nodes are infectious mononucleosis, rubella, chickenpox, measles, herpes, tuberculosis, mumps, sore throat, ear infection, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, serum sickness, lymphoma, and salivary duct stones. For swollen lymph nodes in the groin, abscess formation, systemic conditions, or viral infections are the most common reasons. Also, some of the other rare causes include genetic lipid storage disease, sarcoidosis, and transplant graft rejection.
Usually, swelling of the inguinal lymph nodes disappears within a few days without taking any medications. In the early stages of an infection, when the white blood cells fight infection in the body, the lymph nodes swell. Once the infection is cured, the swelling recedes. If the swelling is due to general viral infections, it will disappear over time. In case it does not, it's best to consult a doctor. Moreover, if there is severe pain accompanied by swelling and rapid growth, besides fatigue, prolonged fever, night sweats, and weight loss, consulting a professional becomes a must.
If there is some other underlying condition, swollen condition of inguinal lymph nodes won't be diminished. In such cases, you need to get help immediately. As with all medical conditions, the doctor knows best.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is solely for informative purpose and not intended to replace the advice of medical experts.