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Swollen glands
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Swollen glands

I have been having trouble with what I thought was swollen glands for several months in a row. I went to the doctor in Feb. and had a CBC which came back completely normal. He confirmed that the glands in my neck and groin area were swollen. They were painful too. A few weeks later, I got a cold. The swollen glands seemed to go away, but I can't really remember whether they disappeared completely or not. In early April I had laryngitis but no cold, and then my glands swelled up and were painful later in the month and have stayed swollen for the most part ever since. I had another cold in the middle of May though, and during it the pain and swelling seemed to go away. But they returned after the cold disappeared. I just saw my doctor again 2 days ago. He ran another CBC which came back totally normal. He also said that my lymph glands are not swollen, but my submandibular salivary glands are, and he refered me to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. They do not feel swollen until I eat, and then they are visible, round, hard lumps when I chew. When I tighten my neck muscles they are visible too, but when my neck and throat are relaxed they can't be felt or seen, really. There isn't really any pain, and sometimes they don't seem as swollen as others. There is no pattern to this at all, but they're not going away. I cannot see any lumps under my tongue and it doesn't hurt when I eat. Could this be a sign of HIV? I'm scared to death that I have it. I have no other symptoms of HIV, and have been with the same HIV negative partner for the last 4 1/2 years. Before that I did have some risky encounters, though. I know that these are symptoms of HIV, but I just thought the swelling was from having colds. I remember having this swelling at various times last fall and last summer as well, but they didn't occur with any illness, and they didn't hang around this long. My lymphocyte count was not elevated, showing no sign of infection. What could this be? I'm so worried about it, and I'm also worried that my worrying is making things worse. Does this sound like HIV? I also have hypothyroidism, but this has been perfectly maintained for years. I have an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat doctor in two weeks. Is there anything specific I should have him test for?
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Most common reason for enlarged glands would be infection - so any bacteria or virus can certainly be the cause.  If this is suspected, antibiotics would sometimes be empirically given and then the lymph nodes observed.  

The thing that everyone is scared of is lymphoma.  Typically, this should be suspected if the lymph nodes do not go down after an extended period of time.  If this is suspected, the lymph nodes can be biopsied for further evaluation.

HIV certainly can be a cause.  If you are at risk for this, then a simple blood test could be obtained for an evaluation.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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i just got over being sick my 3rd time htis summer!! this time i had strep throat! and i am on antibiotics now and my throat doesn't hurt anymore. Also when i was sick my glands were swollen but they arn't anymore well only one is. My right gland is swollen adn there is a bump?? is that bad!? when will it go away??
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