Heavy alcohol consumption puts individuals at risk for serious complications and diseases. In addition to causing common conditions like heart disease and liver damage, heavy drinking may make some existing conditions harder to maintain.

For example, say someone has a disease such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which affects the lymph nodes. This individual’s lymph nodes are mostly likely swollen because of their disease; but if they drink heavily, the complications may increase and cause bodily pain. How does this happen? Keep reading to learn more about the association between alcohol consumption and swollen lymph nodes.


Symptoms of Alcohol Use

Many individuals are aware of the major symptoms of alcohol use. These side effects are relatively common and don’t pose immediate risks unless someone begins to show signs of alcoholism. While/after drinking alcohol, individuals may experience the following symptoms:

  • Hangover
  • General feeling of unwellness
  • Behavior changes
  • Blackouts
  • Hallucinations
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in coordination
  • Loss of inhibitions

As these symptoms occur, the inside of the body is going through its own taxing process. While the symptoms above are very noticeable, the issues below may be more serious and develop over time.


Alcohol’s Effect on the Body

Essentially, alcohol reduces communication between your brain and your body. So while your brain is experiencing side effects of alcohol, your body may not know how to keep up. The following complications may occur after extended or frequent alcohol use:

  • Shrinking brain
  • Cancer
  • Heart problems
  • Liver damage
  • Lung infections
  • Irritation or pain in the area over the stomach
  • Pancreatitis
  • Infertility
  • Thinning bones
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Muscle cramps
  • Numbness
  • Frontal lobe damage
  • Pain in lymph nodes

Even though lymph node pain is not an extremely common side effect of alcohol abuse, it is very possible and may be likely for individuals who suffer from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


Lymph Nodes: What Are They?

Lymph nodes are a part of the lymphatic system, which is a large network of vessels. These vessels run through nearly every tissue in the body. Lymph is a liquid substance, similar to blood, that circulates and passes through the filters that the vessels provide. The job of lymph is to pass through lymph nodes seamlessly to remove damaged cells or particles. The nodes, essentially, are collection centers for lymph. Lymph nodes can be located in the neck, throat, armpit, and groin. If lymph nodes are swollen, the lymph will have a difficult time passing through and ridding the body of harmful particles.


Can Drinking Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes?

While drinking does not commonly cause the swelling of lymph nodes, it may cause pain in those areas. Half of people with lymphoma have enlarged lymph nodes, which typically don’t cause pain unless they are triggered by something like alcohol. Therefore, getting swollen lymph nodes from drinking is uncommon unless an individual begins drinking heavily after being diagnosed with a disease like Hogkin’s lymphoma.

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Caring For Your Lymph Nodes

If you have Hodgkin’s lymphoma or any other lymphatic system complication, it is recommended to avoid alcohol as much as possible. Those who see a lump in their throat or experience pain in the neck, groin, or armpit should contact their doctor as soon as possible.


To learn more about the possible effects of drinking alcohol, call our team of highly trained admissions coordinators at 267.209.7312.