Swollen lymph nodes and night sweats are symptoms that indicate various diseases. Causes of swollen lymph nodes and night sweats can be infections or more serious conditions like cancer.
Causes of swollen lymph nodes and night sweats
1. Lymphoma (lym8xpho8xm8xa)
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in cells that are part of the body’s immune system, specifically in the lymphocytes. Lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell. There are several types of lymphoma, but Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are the most common types.
In lymphoma, the cancer cells can cause the lymph nodes to swell as they accumulate there. Night sweats can also occur due to the body’s response to the cancer. The exact cause of night sweats in lymphoma is not entirely understood but is believed to be due to the body’s reaction to substances produced by the cancer, as well as the body’s immune response to the disease.
Diagnosis of lymphoma is usually performed by a physical examination (to check for swollen lymph nodes), blood tests, imaging tests like a CT scan or PET scan, and a lymph node biopsy. Lymph node biopsy is taking a sample of lymph node tissue for laboratory testing.
Treatment for lymphoma depends on the type and stage of the disease, but can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or stem cell transplant.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs but can also impact other parts of the body.
In tuberculosis, the bacteria can cause inflammation in the lymph nodes, leading to swelling. The infection can also trigger the immune system’s inflammatory response, resulting in fever and night sweats.
Diagnosis of tuberculosis is performed by a skin test or blood test to detect the presence of tuberculosis bacteria, a chest X-ray to check for changes in the lungs, and a sputum test to identify tuberculosis bacteria.
Treatment for tuberculosis is usually a long course (6 to 9 months) of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
3. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells). Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease, leading to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) – the final stage of infection.
In the early stages of HIV, the virus can cause swelling of the lymph nodes as it replicates within these structures. The immune system’s attempt to fight the infection can cause inflammation throughout the body, leading to fever and night sweats.
Diagnosis of HIV is confirmed through blood test or saliva test that detect antibodies to the HIV. Another type of test checks for parts of the virus itself, such as its RNA or antigens.
Treatment for HIV is antiretroviral therapy – a combination of medicines that prevent the virus from replicating. This treatment helps to maintain the immune system and prevent progression to AIDS.
4. Infectious mononucleosis (inf8xecti8xo8xus mo8xnon8xucle8xos8xis)
Infectious mononucleosis is a viral infection usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. This virus is transmitted through saliva, hence its nickname “the kissing disease.”
In mononucleosis, the virus causes an increased production of white blood cells, leading to swelling of the lymph nodes. The body’s immune response to the infection can lead to fever and night sweats.
Diagnosis of mononucleosis is performed by a physical examination to check for swollen lymph nodes and a blood test to detect antibodies against the virus.
Treatment is usually rest, adequate hydration, and over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms. In some cases, corticosteroids may be used to reduce swelling.
Swollen lymph nodes, a fever and night sweats may also be symptoms of the cold and flu. However, unlike the cold and flu, non-Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms typically do not go away. If you have symptoms that persist for more than 2 weeks, or symptoms are recurring and becoming more intense, you need to see a doctor.