Lymph nodes are bean-shaped glands found throughout the body. Their primary work is to fight infections or germs that invade the body. These glands typically exist under the armpit, behind the ears, in the groin region, as well as under the jaw and chin. However, one may experience swelling after developing an injury or infection near a lymph node. With that in mind, here is some information about the effect of caffeine on lymph nodes.
Caffeine, which is widely found in beverages such as coffee, is a stimulant that can cause irritability, increased heart rate, alertness, insomnia, and dizziness. In addition, Dr. Sahara, a former KC Chiefs associate alternative team doctor for 2 ½ NFL seasons, says caffeine compromises optimal lymphatic drainage causing lymph nodes to swell. Medications such as Dilantin, used to treat seizures, can also cause lymph node swelling. Other possible causes of such swelling include sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, illnesses that affect the immune system like:
- systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) orlupus
- viral illnesses like measles or chickenpox
- as well as cancer (leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease)
Dr. Sahara recommends drinking pure water rather than caffeinated drinks. This is because, unlike the hearth, the lymphatic system does not have a pump, and this essentially means that the accumulation of fluids can easily lead to swelling of lymph glands. As such, you should drink an extra 500ml of water after drinking a caffeinated drink. In general, a swollen lymph node should return to its normal size after a few weeks. In fact, such soreness usually subsides after a few days. Still, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, one should seek medical attention if swollen lymph nodes are red and tender, do not get smaller after several weeks, or feel hard. Physical activities such as walking, swimming, cycling, or jogging can improve the flow of fluids around your lymphatic system. Finally, eat potassium-rich foods because they act as diuretics and therefore reduce the retention of fluids in the affected body part.
In conclusion, if you have swollen lymph nodes, you should avoid caffeinated drinks. Moreover, you should drink pure water and undertake physical activities such as running and swimming. Finally, you should consult a physician if symptoms do not subside after several weeks.