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Had a swollen lymph node near ear. Painless. Suffer fatigue, joint pain, weight gain and IBS. Remedy?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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Hi, I have had a swollen lymph node next to my ear on my jawbone for about a month and a half. I saw the nurse practitioner about a month ago, and was told to wait and see if it shrinks. I waited a month, and called the my drs office back, since it hasn't changed. They scheduled an ultra-sound appt today, and confirmed that it was a lymph node. I have another, unrelated appt on July 30, and was told by the nurse prac to wait until then to see if there is any change.

The lump is painless (size is almost half and inch or one centimeter), and it is the only one that I have am aware of on my body other than a couple of very small lumps near my right knee. Above the knee about two inches and toward the inside of my leg about two inches. I neglected to mention this at my appt today, as I just remembered the lumps on the knee, which have been there about a year. Very small, about 1/4 inch or half a centimeter in diameter.

Should I seek a second opinion, or is this anything to be very concerned about?

Also, I have been struggling with fatigue, joint pain, weight gain and ibs over the last few years. Thyroid, and several other diseases have shown neg on labs, so there is no diagnosis other than low t (due to low lh, and fsh) at this time.

Thank you
Posted Sat, 13 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 2 hours later

Thank you for the query.

In such situation, it is good to definitely diagnose the problem so it wont be a reason to worry.
Lymph node can get enlarged due to infection in the surrounding area (like ear infection, throat infection, tooth infection). If you have had any pain in the time when the lymph node has become visible, the infection is most probable reason.

Sometimes, lymph node enlargement can be caused by a cancer. This is much less often than infection, however always should be considered. You have been waiting a month and nothing has changed with this lymph node. And most likely it wont. Some lymph nodes when get enlarged, will stay in that size for ever.

So there is nothing to wait for. And I`m pretty sure, such waiting is not a very comfortable for you. That is why in such case, the best choice is to have a biopsy of such lymph node. The biopsy material will be analyzed by a hystopatologist and you will get the answer.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had a swollen lymph node near ear. Painless. Suffer fatigue, joint pain, weight gain and IBS. Remedy? 2 hours later
Thk you for the detailed response!

I have one more quick question. Could an insect bite cause a swollen node . I havent noticed any stings. Perhaps a sweat bee or another small bug. I do some yard work from time to time, so I might have been bitten and not noticed it. I live in the southern USA , so we have numerous insects during the hot and humid summer.

Thx again!
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 5 hours later
Yes, an insect bite can be the reason of enlarged lymph node as well.
Insect bite is a kind of inflammation. Moreover, toxins are injected into the blood stream. This stimulates immune system so the lymph node in the bite area can get enlarged.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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