Can Anxiety Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

Anxiety can cause a large number of different symptoms, and many of these are very similar to real medical conditions. In lots of cases, they can go unnoticed or cause further anxiety!

If you have noticed that you are suffering from swollen lymph nodes, there can be a variation of different causes, and you should always see a doctor.

Can Anxiety Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

Swollen lymph nodes are usually the result of infections, and there are also more serious conditions related to swollen lymph nodes.

In some cases, anxiety can cause you to feel like you have swollen lymph nodes, and if you have health anxiety, this can be exceptionally frightening!

While it is unclear whether anxiety directly causes swollen lymph nodes, it can cause people to feel like they have swollen lymph nodes, causing further anxiety.

That’s where we come in! We’ve compiled an ultimate guide to whether anxiety causes swollen lymph nodes, the link between the two, and other causes of swollen lymph nodes. Let’s dive in!

Can Your Swollen Lymph Nodes Be Caused By Anxiety?

Swollen lymph nodes can be a symptom of anxiety. It isn’t clear why anxiety can cause swollen lymph nodes and it is thought to be quite complicated.

The lymph nodes themselves do not swell as a result of stress, as their swelling often occurs to fight off an infection. However, there is no denying that some people who suffer from anxiety have reported swollen lymph nodes.

So, let’s have a look at what is happening when you experience swollen lymph nodes as a response to stress and anxiety(see also: What Happens When You Go To The Doctor For Anxiety?).

Health Anxiety

When you are feeling anxious, it is very common for your lymph nodes to feel much bigger than they are. These nodes vary in shape and size, and it can be difficult to judge whether or not they are swollen.

Certain types of anxiety can cause over-sensitisation, which could result in health anxiety.

Mild Infection

When you are stressed and anxious, your immune system is weakened. In day-to-day life, your body is constantly fighting off bacteria and germs, and your body may struggle to fight them off when you are feeling anxious.

In most cases, these infections are not dangerous, and they will not present along with any other symptoms.

Muscle Tension

Anxiety can also cause a large amount of muscle tension in your neck, and this can cause you to feel more pressure on the sides of your neck near the lymph nodes.

Your glands may feel swollen when, in reality, your neck is swollen and your glands are not.

Other Varying Reasons

There are likely some unknown reasons as to why your lymph nodes may swell due to anxiety. Anxiety can cause several strange reactions, and everyone experiences this anxiety very differently.

The neck is a very common place to find swollen lymph nodes, but they can also occur in the armpits, abdomen, or groin.

You may experience swollen lymph nodes in these areas, too, but it is less common for these swollen lymph nodes to be related to anxiety.

It is important to see a doctor if you notice swollen lymph nodes, as only they can rule out other health conditions that may need to be treated.

How To Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes Caused By Anxiety

Can Anxiety Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

There are a few different solutions for treating anxiety that is causing swollen lymph nodes.

Anxiety is a complicated, long-term problem, so you will need to find some treatment options that work well for you. Read on for some top ways to manage anxiety:


Exercise is a great way to treat anxiety. It releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that work to reduce pain and improve your mood.

Exercise is also great because it will tire out your muscles and reduce anxiety. This should help to remove any tension in your neck.

Stay Hydrated

Your lymph nodes may swell if you are dehydrated. Dehydration can also cause anxiety. Drinking water is a great way to understand whether your lymph nodes are swollen due to anxiety, or another issue.

Breathing Exercises

Anxiety can cause rapid breathing, making you breathe in too much air because it feels like you’re unable to take deep breaths.

Slowing down your breathing is a great way to calm yourself down and reduce anxiety. Try breathing in from the stomach rather than the chest, too.

You can also try to engage in yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to get your anxiety under control.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

All of the methods above are designed to reduce your anxiety in the short term to prevent the feeling of swollen lymph nodes.

However, if you are looking for a long-term solution to reducing any health anxiety you should consider cognitive behavioural therapy. This is known to be effective when it comes to reducing anxiety.

Medication is also very helpful when managing the symptoms of anxiety, and speaking to your doctor about this will set you on the path to getting the treatment you need.

Why Do Lymph Nodes Swell?

Lymph nodes become inflamed from lots of different causes. The main function of our lymph nodes is to protect our immune system. They are sensitive to any change, and the inflammation of the lymph nodes is usually a result of an infection.

This inflammation can be caused by normal infections such as the flu or a cold. They can also be caused by a lack of nutrients, a poor diet, or poor sleep.

Specific bacterial infections such as syphilis and tuberculosis can also cause your lymph nodes to swell. It can also be an indication of viral diseases, and certain cancers.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! We have explored the link between anxiety and swollen lymph nodes in this article, giving you some possible treatment options for this anxiety.

After reading this article, you should have all the information you need on the link between anxiety (see also: Meditation For Anxiety (What You Need To Know))and swollen lymph nodes.

Clare McAfee
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