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How Anxiety Can Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes

Denise Griswold, MSc, LCAS
How Anxiety Can Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes

Your lymph nodes are one of the first places that your doctor checks when you're sick. That's because when they're swollen, it's an indication that you have an infection, and so the doctor knows that you may have a bacterial problem rather than a viral problem.

However, what some may not realize is that anxiety can cause swollen lymph nodes without any infection. In this article we will look at how anxiety causes swollen lymph nodes and what you can do about it. 

How Anxiety May Lead to Swollen Lymph Nodes

Anxiety has a host of different symptoms and different types of anxiety may have different types of side effects that could cause swollen lymph nodes. Even then, however, it should be noted that anxiety actually does not cause swollen lymph nodes. Yet millions of people with anxiety report having swollen lymph nodes. It's actually a fairly common reported anxiety symptom.

The reason so many people report swollen lymph nodes is due to several issues that are unfortunately extremely common in those with anxiety. These include:

Anxiety and stress may lead to several changes to the way your body operates, both in terms of bacterial growth (which again is more common with anxiety) and your immune system to the way your body creates and uses hormones. So it is absolutely possible that some change in your body is causing your lymph nodes to swell.

Swollen Lymph Nodes and Creating Anxiety

It should also be noted that health anxiety is a common symptom of anxiety disorders, and many people develop further anxiety as a response to their own constant monitoring of their health. It's very common to develop concerns that something is wrong, and these concerns lead to monitoring your body, which in turn causes you to self-diagnose more when you notice any difference in the way you feel - even a healthy one.

How to Reduce Swollen Lymph Nodes From Anxiety

Swelling of lymph nodes related to anxiety is likely to not be dangerous; however, you should always visit a doctor if you're concerned about your lymph nodes, because only a doctor can truly diagnose the problem. Some infections can be dangerous and even life threatening. 

If it is determined that anxiety is what's leading you to experience swollen lymph nodes, then the key is to make sure that you can reduce your concern over them. Lymph nodes aren't something you simply change. Ideally, you need to make sure that you're fighting the amount of mental energy you're placing on your lymph nodes to give them that "swollen" feel.

You can do that by trying the following:

These are some very small, easy ways to reduce your overall anxiety and possibly think less about your lymph nodes and neck muscles. You'll still need to address your anxiety overall if you truly want to find relief.

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