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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Swollen Glands

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 11/30/1999]
Question: The center of my upper lip (below nose) began swelling up yesterday. To the best of my knowledge this was not due to a blow to the mouth, don't recall biting my lip, no sign of abrasion, no sign of a stinger. Doesn't hurt, just swollen, localized to center of upper lip. This morning I woke up with a tender, swollen gland under my right jawline. Are the two related?

Answer: Probably, I suspect you have an infection in your lip-call your doctor, these should be treated right away.

Swollen Parotid Glands [posted 8/6/98]
Question: I have swollen parotid glands. I saw an ENT Doctor and he said it's not uncommon for thin people to have this condition. He said it could be chronic. I have no other symptoms. I am 5'2 and 100 lbs. I am also a vegan. He prescribed an antibiotic and triamcinolone, a steroid in case this is an infection or an inflammation. I would appreciate your comments.

Answer: Usually viral in origin, but not very common any more - at least in general practice. I agree with a short treatment of steroids. The antibiotics are ok, but would not be effective unless there is a bacterial cause. Mycoplasm can cause this problem, but much less commonly.

Swollen Glands
Question: During a recent upper respiratory infection I experienced frequent discomfort in the glands below both jaws. Are these truly glands or are they lymph nodes and, if they are lymph nodes, why do they swell up? One doctor told me to drink more water to decrease the swelling. How does this help?

Answer: These are lymph glands and swell as they do their job which is to fight infections. The lymph nodes are filters which strain lymphatic fluid. Whenever the straining process nets bacteria or viruses the immune system in the lymph gland attacks and kills the ģinvader.ī Presumably, extra fluid intake will increase flow through the lymph system and aid in its activity. This is an appealing idea but not well tested.

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