Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Are Swollen Glands a Cause for Concern? They Don't Go Down after Two Weeks, ABI JACKSON Suggests ; Most of Us Have Experienced Sore, Puffed-Up Glands When We're Run- Down or Battling Lurgy - but If They Don't Go Down after Two Weeks, ABI JACKSON Suggests You Had Better Get Them Checked

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Are Swollen Glands a Cause for Concern? They Don't Go Down after Two Weeks, ABI JACKSON Suggests ; Most of Us Have Experienced Sore, Puffed-Up Glands When We're Run- Down or Battling Lurgy - but If They Don't Go Down after Two Weeks, ABI JACKSON Suggests You Had Better Get Them Checked

Article excerpt

WITH cold and flu 'season' now in full swing, chances are, you've already been struck with your first winter bug.

But have you ever wondered why your glands swell up when you're run-down, or battling a stinking cold? "We use the term glands, but what we're talking about here is lymph glands, they're the glands that help fight infection," explains Matthew Trotter, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull. "They swell up when we're exposed to any sort of infection - so coughs, viruses, sore throats, urine, bowel and bladder infections, etc - your glands will swell up."

The medical term for this swelling is 'lymphadenopathy', and while it generally indicates that you've picked up an infection - in other words, you're unwell - it's also a sign your immune system is doing its job, cranking into action and sending a stream of bug- busting white blood cells around your body. "So at this time of year, when you start to get more coughs and colds, you may notice the glands swelling more," adds Matthew.

However, there are also occasions when swollen glands can themselves be a cause for concern, and may need to be investigated more thoroughly...

Are lymph glands only in our throats? NO - as Matthew points out, these glands can be found "all around the body", and we actually have hundreds of them, some of which are internal and can't be felt.

The sides of the neck/throat area is perhaps most commonly where people notice their glands swelling, but it's also common to spot swollen lymph glands in the armpits and groin.

Do some people's lymph glands tend to swell more than others? SOME people may notice swelling more than others. It could be that they are simply exposed to - and pick up - more infections, and some people's bodies respond more acutely to infection, so they may be more prone to noticeably swollen glands.

"You're also more likely to feel and be aware of glands going up and down if you're a very thin ENT surgeon Matthew Trotter person, particularly in the neck area, where it's easy for glands to stand out against the muscle and skin," adds Matthew.

When should the swelling go down? …

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