Can Stress Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

Have you ever found any nodules in your neck or armpit? If yes, you’re most likely to have swollen lymph nodes. You might have developed these nodules after getting any infection or illness. However, you can get swollen lymph nodes due to numerous reasons. At this stage, you might be wondering, “Can stress cause swollen lymph nodes.”

Keep reading to find out if there is any connection between stress and swollen lymph nodes.


What is Stress, and How Does It Affect Your Body?

Before finding an answer, can stress cause swollen lymph nodes? You must understand how stress affects your body.

Stress is your body’s physical, mental, and emotional response to an external threat or stimuli. However, you might respond differently to stress than your friend or partner. Also, it depends on the intensity and duration of the stress and your coping mechanism.

Most importantly, your body and mind go through a series of reactions after getting exposed to stress. In return, your system releases certain hormones and neuropeptides, such as adrenaline, that lead to elevated heart rate and increased respiration rate. 

Other symptoms of stress may present as extreme worrying, headaches, tension, body aches, and inability to sleep. Furthermore, chronic stress weakens your immune system and destroys your tissues and vital organs. 

How Stress Impacts Your Immune System?

Stress affects your immunity by increasing specific cytokines and biomarkers to show early signs of inflammation. Furthermore, stress hormones such as cortisol disrupt how your central nervous system and neuroendocrine functions, which may lead to a weakened immune system.

Moreover, reducing immune responses and chronic stress puts people at higher risk of developing diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. 

Now that you know the basics of it, let’s discuss, “Can stress cause swollen lymph nodes?”

How Can Stress Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

If you suffer from stress and different types of anxiety, you are more likely to get swollen lymph nodes. However, people who tend to have anxiety disorders experience a choking sensation in their throat that is often misinterpreted as swollen lymph nodes. 

In contrast, stress and anxiety alter how your body reacts in different situations and change its chemical processes, which may predispose you to develop swollen lymph nodes.

Following are a few ways how can stress cause swollen lymph nodes:

Frequent Bacterial Infections

Your body gets caught up with bacterial infections now and then. You might not notice the symptoms of those infections because your immune system copes well with them. However, the lymphatic system leads your immune functions; therefore, you might observe swollen lymph nodes when your body is fighting against a mild infection. 

In contrast, you may develop a weakened immune system due to your high stress and anxiety levels. It makes you susceptible to frequent bacterial infections, resulting in swollen lymph nodes.


Stress can develop numerous debilitating symptoms in your body, and sweating is one of them. Constant sweating may cause you to suffer from dehydration. In addition, you might get less thrifty due to dehydration, which stops you from getting optimum fluid intake. Therefore, dehydration makes you prone to swollen lymph nodes due to insufficient water consumption.

Neck Muscle Spasms

Stress is responsible for altering your electrolyte balance and predisposes you to develop muscle tension, especially around the neck region. However, people often misinterpret neck muscle spasms as swollen lymph nodes. Performing stretching exercises regularly helps to reduce swelling in your neck area effectively.

Hypersensitivity to Health Issues

Living with stress and anxiety makes your body falsely aware of health issues that do not even exist. Also, stress and anxiety make you sensitive to how you perceive or experience a minor health problem. For instance, you’re not trained to differentiate between regular and swollen lymph nodes. Therefore, you might suspect enlarged lymph nodes when you’re under stress or anxiety despite there is no swelling. 


In such situations, seeking an expert medical opinion tames your anxiety and helps you to find out the exact cause of your swollen lymph nodes.

Can Allergy Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

You are most likely to get swollen lymph nodes while having an infection. Most importantly, your lymph nodes are the breeding place of white blood cells that assist your body’s immunity to repel illness. However, if you have allergies, your body’s immune system is highly sensitive and fights against its own cells. It makes you prone to get ill frequently and results in swollen lymph nodes.

Overactivation of the immune system causes enlarged lymph nodes. It happens in the following conditions:

  • Common Cold and Flu
  • Allergies such as sinusitis, rhinitis and dust mite
  • An upper respiratory tract infection 

You are most likely to experience enlarged lymph nodes in these regions:

  • Throat and its surrounding area
  • Neck, and on either side
  • Beneath the jaw
  • Behind the ears

What Are The Other Causes of Swollen Lymph Nodes?

Swollen lymph nodes are among the signs that your body suffers from an illness. Following are some of the causes that provoke your body to get enlarged lymph nodes:

  • Ear Infection 
  • Tonsillitis 
  • Throat disease
  • Common Cold and Flu
  • Viral Infections
  • Lymphedema

These conditions also cause enlarged lymph nodes, but they’re least likely to occur:

Can Swollen Lymph Nodes Hurt?

When you first develop swollen lymph nodes due to an infection or illness, you’re more likely to feel pain and tenderness around your neck, armpit, and groin region. However, you’ll feel relief from pain and tenderness in your enlarged lymph nodes once the infection subsides.

Where To Find Effective Stress-Relieving Therapy in NYC?

At MOCEAN Wellness Center in NYC, our experts identify your condition effectively before recommending any therapy to you. We are well-versed in modern wellness technologies and state-of-the-art equipment to offer 60-minute sessions to cleanse your mind, body, and soul.

Our professionals provide you with sauna therapy, red light therapy, and salt room to reduce your stress and anxiety symptoms.

We also tell how can stress cause swollen lymph nodes and perform lymphatic drainage massage to cure your problem once and for all.

The Bottom Line

Stress fluctuates many regular body functions and puts you in a bad mood. Likewise, stress can trigger swollen lymph nodes by decreasing your immunity and making you susceptible to various diseases. Therefore, if you experience symptoms of swollen lymph nodes, rule it out by seeking immediate medical attention.

To book an appointment at our longevity center in NYC, call us right away. 

Then we create a health plan tailored to your needs.

Based on the results, we develop a personalized treatment plan for each individual to promote optimal health. With 1-on-1 consultations, cutting-edge technology, and a team of experts who care about getting you better, MOCEAN offers you a comprehensive road map on how to become the healthiest version of yourself.