What are the signs of lymph problems?

Lymph symptoms occur when your lymphatic system becomes inflamed, blocked or damaged. A lymphatic obstruction prevents lymphatic vessels from effectively draining fluids from the tissues in the body.

Blood/Lymph Disorder Spotlight

Lymph symptoms are generally related to disorders of the lymphatic system, including lymphedema (swelling brought on by lymph node blockage), lymphadenopathy (enlargement of the lymph nodes), and lymphadenitis (inflammation of the lymph nodes).

There are two types of lymphedema: primary and secondary. Primary lymphedema is a rare congenital disorder caused by the abnormal development of the lymphatic system. Secondary lymphedema is caused by damage to the lymph system. Secondary lymphedema in the arm is common in women who have undergone the removal of a breast (mastectomy) with removal of the lymph nodes in the axilla, or underarm.

Lymph symptoms can also occur because of injuries, lymph node removal (usually as part of cancer treatment), radiation therapy, infections, cancers, and surgery. Swelling of the lymph nodes is a hallmark lymph symptom. Swollen lymph nodes are commonly due to infections and less commonly due to cancers.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms that may accompany lymph symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), and rapid heart rate (tachycardia). Seek prompt medical care if you have undergone treatment for cancer and your lymph symptoms are persistent or cause you concern.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with lymph symptoms?

Lymph symptoms may accompany other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.... Read more about lymph symptomssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes lymph symptoms?

Lymph symptoms occur when your lymph system becomes blocked, damaged or inflamed.... Read more about lymph symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Allergies and the Immune System, Cancer