How does most of lymph get back into the blood stream? (I don't mean the lymphatic system)

How does most of lymph get back into the blood stream? (I don't mean the lymphatic system)

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

I once read that it was because of osmotic pressure that it returns to the blood stream, by entering the venules. But why? If lymph originated as plasma how come that the solute concentration is higher in the venule? Doesn't plasma contain solutes such as salts, nutrients, oxygen, etc. ?

Technically 'lymph' is used to refer to the fluid found within the lymphatic system. If it's not in the lymphatic system, it is not lymph fluid. Thus, your question is really asking about interstitial fluid or the plasma that was filtered out of blood capillaries.

The answer to your question is based on the Starling equation. Normally fluid leaves a capillary due to a net pressure that favors the interstitium. This net pressure is based on the hydrostatic pressure within the capillary being greater than the interstitial pressure of the surrounding tissues, and the oncotic pressure of the capillary (that draws fluid in) being weaker than the hydrostatic pressure of the capillary (that pushes fluid out). At the venule end of this system, the capillary oncotic pressure is stronger than the capillary hydrostatic pressure, drawing fluid back into the circulatory system.

Remember that albumin is the most important component which establishes the oncotic pressure within a vessel, and that this protein is normally NOT released out of a vessel during filtration. Thus, it passes from the capillary into its corresponding venule directly.

Yes, plasma that enters the interstitium contains many of the same components as when it is in the blood, but the main difference is the protein content, losing the majority of proteins as it enters the interstitium.

Now, if you are asking how the majority of LYMPH fluid re-enters the blood stream, the answer is through the R lymphatic and L lymphatic (aka thoracic) ducts, at the location of the R subclavian or R internal jugular, and L subclavian veins, respectively. Once fluid enters lymphatic capillaries, it goes through a system of lymphatic vessels, trunks, and finally, the above mentioned ducts to rejoin blood.


  2.англійська%20мова%20за%20професійним%20спрямуванням/2/№%2003.%20Heart… htm

Massage Tips for Lymph Drainage Therapy Sessions

Helpful Massage Tips, not that you've scheduled your first Lymph Drainage Therapy appointment or integrated massage session and are probably curious and eager to see what it's all about. Here are some massage tips you need to know to make your Lymph session as effective and enjoyable as possible:

Remember, you are about to stimulate your body's most powerful system of detoxification. If you do not follow the recommended instructions given below, you may feel sick after receiving lymph massage. The lymphatic system is responsible for handling and neutralizing toxins and wastes created from food, pollution and our own body's daily cellular activities. It is also responsible for housing and transporting immune cells.

Because of this, a 30 minute Lymph Drainage Session is recommended to begin with so that your body does not attempt to cleanse more quickly than it is capable of at this time. If you are integrating Lymph Drainage into your 60 minute massage session, your therapist will start with 10-15 minutes of Lymph to see how you respond before increasing the ratio of Lymph Drainage to massage therapy.


Massage Tips Before your lymphatic treatment:

  • If you are working with another medical professional verify with them the ideal time to receive this work for optimum results (guided detox, surgery, illness). You may choose to increase certain nutrients (antioxidants such as Vitamin C to bind toxins) or temporarily add supportive herbs to support the liver and kidneys detoxification processes prior to and after your lymph massage sessions. For more recommendations on diet, check out our diet page (link coming soon).
  • Please note that Lymph Drainage Therapy will metabolize certain drugs out of your system more quickly along with most types of toxins. thus, if you are on pain medication or fresh off a surgical procedure, you may need to adjust your medications.  Please discuss this with your Medical Professionals.
  • Arrive at your appointment well hydrated. Dehydration will severely impair your ability to detoxify and rebuild and may make you feel ill.
  • Expect to undress to your level of comfort but know that direct contact with the skin is always best. Tight clothing and under wire bras will make it difficult to get lymph moving.
  • If you choose to wear clothing during your session, wear cotton underwear and pants with no buckles, zippers, or pockets - such as yoga pants or yoga shorts.  Wear a v-neck t-shirt or tank top so the neck and collar bones can be accessed by your therapist.
  • Arrive with an empty stomach or eat a light snack prior. Drainage will be performed in the deep abdomen and organs.
  • Do NOT apply lotion to your skin prior to treatment. Dry skin contact is more effective for stimulating the stretch response needed by your lymph vessels.
  • Do NOT drink alcohol or consume recreational drugs the night before or immediately after your session. Your liver will be responsible for detoxifying much of what the lymphatic system collects so please don't burden it before your session or you may feel quite sick afterwards.
  • Plan and allow for a period of MOVEMENT immediately after your session. Your lymph collects toxins and places them into the blood stream for removal. 10 to 15 minutes of gentle movement and breathing is recommended such as a short walk before getting into your car after the session, walking your dog, or hitting the gym or a gentle yoga class is one of the most critical massage tips to follow.
  • Plan and allow for a period of REST after treatment and movement if needed. Your body's resources and nutrients will go toward "cleaning up shop" and this may include an immune response to cleanse any bacteria or foreign cells that don't belong. Rest will allow the body to regenerate and heal.
  • If you are already sick, fighting an illness, or recovering from illness, consider shortening your session or contact your therapist to identify the best time to receive lymph work. The first acute 24-48 hours of illness is NOT the appropriate time to receive lymph massage. Be prepared for your immune system's increased response listed above!  This may include a temporary increase in mucous, coughing, or nasal drip and nose blowing!
  • Use the restroom prior to getting on the table. No one likes to "hold it in" or run to the restroom in the middle of a relaxing Lymph Drainage session!
  • If you don't need to urinate immediately after your session you are likely dehydrated.  Consider drinking more clear filtered water prior to your next visit!
  • If you are receiving Lymphatic Breast Massage please print and sign the consent form here.

Consuming doses of "whole food" Vitamin C like those found in Camu Camu Powder, a fruit from the Amazon, can improve your detoxification and healing process after a Lymph Drainage Therapy Treatment and between sessions.  Magnesium is often useful, along with some herbs and other antioxidants which may assist in the cleansing process.  To find a practitioner who can help you decide what nutritional support you need here.

Massage Tips During your Lymph Drainage session:

  • Your massage therapist's touch will often be very light to moderate (just enough pressure to stretch the skin) but the treatment should never elicit pain or discomfort.
  • Your therapist will concentrate on several key areas of your lymphatic system: neck, armpits, abdomen, hips. Organs such as the liver and kidneys, lungs and digestive track will also be addressed in addition to any areas of complaint.
  • You may experience sensations on the table as lymph fluids begin to move (tingling, coolness in fingers and toes, digestive nois e s ).
  • Your therapist may incorporate other energy healing or massage therapy techniques to aid in optimal lymph flow with your permission, of course! The most common are Scar Release, Myofascial Release, Craniosacral Therapy, and Energy Healing. 

Every person will respond to Lymph Drainage Therapy differently as some people may already be experiencing toxicity symptoms prior receiving this work! Changes can occur immediately and sometimes up to seven days after treatment.

As mentioned before, it is best to gently exercise for 10 to 15 minutes immediately after your Lymph Drainage Massage session (i.e. walking) to assist your body in the removal of toxins.

Healing responses or a "healing crisis" may occur and can be characterized by a temporary increase in symptoms during your detoxification process. You may feel tired, sore, or achey and therefore suspect that your lymph treatment is not working. However, these reactions are signs that your body IS cleansing itself of toxins and impurities. If you experience this, please refer to the before your massage tips again to review those that may have been overlooked.


What to expect after your Lymph Drainage session: The list below are only a FEW of the more common healing responses that may be experienced shortly after your session:

  • Feeling your body as "light and fluffy."
  • Brain Fog.
  • Increased odorous urination.
  • Increased odorous bowel movements.
  • Temporary change in your body odor. Increased sweat.
  • Deeper and more restful sleep.
  • Hunger or cravings for fats.
  • Thirst.
  • Tiredness, wanting to rest or nap.
  • Sinus Drainage.
  • Ear Drainage.
  • Reductions in swelling and headaches.
  • Reductions in swollen lymph nodes (2-7 days)
  • Shifts in congestion (one sinus to another etc.) or pressure changes in joints or areas where prior injury or trauma has occurred.

After Several Lymph Drainage Therapy Sessions, other common benefits may occur:

  • Weight loss with a reduction in adipose and cellulite tissue. .
  • Reduction or elimination of your chronic pain.
  • Reduction of your skin conditions and allergies.
  • Increased energy.
  • Increased metabolism.
  • Reduction of PMS symptoms.
  • Improved range of motion in your joints.
  • Stronger immune system function and illness prevention.
  • Regeneration or youthfulness of skin tissue.

To support your continued detoxification and regeneration process, the therapist may give you self treatment exercises to do regularly. Additional massage tips and common recommendations for keeping your lymphatics healthy and flowing are listed in our Lifestyle tips for Healthy Lymphatics Page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by three species of microscopic, thread-like worms. The adult worms only live in the human lymph system. The lymph system maintains the body&rsquos fluid balance and fights infections.

Lymphatic filariasis affects over 120 million people in 72 countries throughout the tropics and sub-tropics of Asia, Africa, the Western Pacific, and parts of the Caribbean and South America. You cannot get infected with the worms in the United States.

How is lymphatic filariasis spread?

The disease spreads from person to person by mosquito bites. When a mosquito bites a person who has lymphatic filariasis, microscopic worms circulating in the person&rsquos blood enter and infect the mosquito. When the infected mosquito bites another person, the microscopic worms pass from the mosquito through the skin, and travel to the lymph vessels. In the lymph vessels they grow into adults. An adult worm lives for about 5&ndash7 years. The adult worms mate and release millions of microscopic worms, called microfilariae, into the blood. People with the worms in their blood can give the infection to others through mosquitoes.

Who is at risk for infection?

Repeated mosquito bites over several months to years are needed to get lymphatic filariasis. People living for a long time in tropical or sub-tropical areas where the disease is common are at the greatest risk for infection. Short-term tourists have a very low risk. An infection will show up on a blood test.

What are the signs and symptoms of lymphatic filariasis?

Most infected people are asymptomatic and will never develop clinical symptoms, despite the fact that the parasite damages the lymph system. A small percentage of persons will develop lymphedema or, in men, a swelling of the scrotum called hydrocele . Lymphedema is caused by improper functioning of the lymph system that results in fluid collection and swelling. This mostly affects the legs, but can also occur in the arms, breasts, and genitalia. Most people develop these clinical manifestations years after being infected.

The swelling and the decreased function of the lymph system make it difficult for the body to fight germs and infections. Affected persons will have more bacterial infections in the skin and lymph system. This causes hardening and thickening of the skin, which is called elephantiasis. Many of these bacterial infections can be prevented with appropriate skin hygiene and care for wounds.

Men can develop hydrocele or swelling of the scrotum due to infection with one of the species of parasites that causes LF, specifically W. bancrofti.

Filarial infection can also cause tropical pulmonary eosinophilia syndrome. Eosinophilia is a higher than normal level of disease-fighting white blood cells, called eosinophils. This syndrome is typically found in infected persons in Asia. Clinical manifestations of tropical pulmonary eosinophilia syndrome include cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. The eosinophilia is often accompanied by high levels of Immunoglobulin E ( IgE) and antifilarial antibodies.

How is lymphatic filariasis diagnosed?

The standard method for diagnosing active infection is the examination of blood under the microscope to identify the microscopic worms, called microfilariae. This is not always feasible because in most parts of the world, microfilariae are nocturnally periodic, which means that they only circulate in the blood at night. For this reason, the blood collection has to be done at night to coincide with the appearance of the microfilariae in the blood.

Serologic techniques provide an alternative to microscopic detection of microfilariae for the diagnosis of lymphatic filariasis. Because lymphedema may develop many years after infection, lab tests are often negative with these patients.

How can I prevent infection?

Avoiding mosquito bites is the best form of prevention. The mosquitoes that carry the microscopic worms usually bite between the hours of dusk and dawn . If you live in or travel to an area with lymphatic filariasis:

  • Sleep under a mosquito net.
  • Wear long sleeves and trousers.
  • Use mosquito repellent on exposed skin between dusk and dawn.

What is the treatment for lymphatic filariasis?

People infected with adult worms can take a yearly dose of medicine, called diethylcarbamazine (DEC), that kills the microscopic worms circulating in the blood. While this drug does not kill all of the adult worms, it does prevent infected people from giving the disease to someone else.

People with lymphedema and elephantiasis are not likely to benefit from DEC treatment because most people with lymphedema are not actively infected with the filarial parasite. Physicians can obtain DEC from CDC after lab results confirm infection.

People with lymphedema and hydrocele can benefit from lymphedema management, and in the case of hydrocele surgical repair. Even after the adult worms die, lymphedema can develop. You can ask your physician for a referral to see a lymphedema therapist for specialized care. Prevent the lymphedema from getting worse by following several basic principles:

  • Carefully wash and dry the swollen area with soap and water every day.
  • Elevate the swollen arm or leg during the day and at night to move the fluid.
  • Perform exercises to move the fluid and improve lymph flow.
  • Disinfect any wounds. Use antibacterial or antifungal cream if necessary.
  • Wear shoes adapted to the size of the foot to protect the feet from injury.

Men with hydrocele can undergo surgery to reduce the size of the scrotum.

Entry Into Bloodstream

Once inside the intestinal cells, micelles go through another repackaging. They’re now covered in a mixture of lipids and proteins. This new coating allows fats to travel through water-based environments in your body. But they still don’t go straight to your bloodstream. These fats, which are now called lipoproteins, are transported into the nearest lymph vessel. While the lymph system is better known for filtering body fluids to remove bacteria and other damaging substances, it also carries fats up to a large vein in your neck, where they finally enter your bloodstream.

Brain lymphatics: immune privilege redefined?

This past year, researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) led by Jonathan Kipnis and Antoine Louveau were analyzing the brains of healthy mice, and happened upon what looked like well-organized immune cells—specifically T cells—throughout brain tissue [1]. They weren’t roaming willy-nilly through the tissue something was confining them. After looking more closely, they identified lymphatic vessels in the brain, draining CSF and its contents into the neck’s lymphatics and to the lymph nodes below [3, 4]. Independently, a group of researchers in Switzerland, led by Kari Alitalo and Aleksanteri Aspelund, made the same discovery [5], making it highly unlikely that the finding is a fluke. Why hadn’t this been seen before?

The sophisticated imaging technology the researchers used had never before been applied to this task. Their study involved looking at large, intact brain samples from mice, as well as monitoring live mouse brains. In both cases, the teams specifically labeled the brain’s structures and cells with differently colored fluorescent tags. For example, T cells might be tagged with red fluorescence, blood vessels with green, and so on. This strategy allowed them to visualize these lymphatic systems by fluorescent microscopy [4].

Discovering a new body part in the 21 st century is in itself remarkable, and the scientific significance of this finding is equally extraordinary. While it doesn’t necessarily upend ideas of the brain’s immune privilege, it demonstrates a specific connection between the brain and the immune system—one that was previously thought to be nonexistent—and indicates that these two systems may be far more intertwined than previously believed. The specific implications of this finding are still unresolved, but it is now thought that defects in lymphatics could factor into diseases where immune dysfunction harms the brain, like Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s [4, 2].

In healthy individuals, it’s likely that the immune system uses brain lymphatics for immune surveillance. While the brain’s microglia still cannot exit the parenchyma, cells in the CSF and lymphatics could shuttle information back to nearby lymph nodes via the lymphatic vessels (Figure 2). They would thus be able to efficiently communicate immunological messages about the brain in an “outgoing” direction without disrupting the barriers that keep the brain safe—although all of this remains to be verified.

What Do Lymphocytes Do?

There are actually many differences between B-cells and T-cells, even though they are both lymphocytes. B-cells and T-cells are associated with different “territories” of the immune system.

One part of the immune system—the more B-cell dominant territory—is focused on making antibodies that can bind to foreign invaders and lead to their destruction.  

The other part of the immune system—the more T-cell dominant territory—is focused on recognizing the invaders and then directly killing them, through a very specific recognition sequence that leads to cell-to-cell battle.

These two different turfs or territories are described by specific terms. The artillery, or the antibody-producing side, is known as humoral immunity. The infantry, or the cell-to-cell battle side, is known as cell-mediated immunity.

B-cells are the cells that come to mind when thinking about antibodies, or humoral immunity, and T-cells are the cells that come to mind when thinking about cell-to-cell combat, cytotoxicity, or so-called cell-mediated immunity.

In reality, there is often cooperation between B-cells and T-cells, just as there is coordination between those who fire the mortars and the infantry.  

B-cells mature in the bone marrow and move to the lymph nodes. B-cells become plasma cells or memory cells when foreign antigens activate them most B-cells become antibody-producing plasma cells only some remain as memory cells.

Memory B-cells help ensure that if the enemy is encountered again in the future, the mortars are prepared.   Plasma cells can be found in lymph nodes and elsewhere in the body, where they work to produce large volumes of antibodies.

Once antibodies are released into the blood and lymph, these antibody molecules bind to the target antigen to begin the process of neutralizing or destroying the foreign agent.

T-cells mature in the thymus and differentiate into different types. There are several types of T cells, including the following:

  • Cytotoxic T cells find and directly attack foreigners such as bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. recruit other immune cells and organize an immune response.
  • Regulatory T cells are thought to suppress the immune system so that it doesn't overreact, as it does in autoimmune diseases. (Central aspects of the biology of these cells continue to be hotly debated.)   respond to the presence of tumor cells and participate in anti-tumor immune responses.  
  • Memory T cells remember markers on the surface of bacteria, viruses, or cancer cells that they have seen before.

NKT cells are't the same as natural killer (NK) cells. They're both lymphocytes and do the same jobs, but NKT cells are need to be pre-activated and differentiate in order to work.  

The lymphatic system is an extensive drainage network that helps keep bodily fluid levels in balance and defends the body against infections. It is made up of a complex network of lymphoid organs, lymph nodes, lymph ducts, lymph tissues, lymph capillaries and a network of lymphatic vessels that carry lymph and other substances throughout the body.

In comparison to the cardiovascular system the lymphatic system has not in the past been the focus of much research. However its’ important role in the body’s immune system has meant that it has increasingly become the focus of research in more recent times.

The spleen, which is located in the upper left part of the abdomen under the ribcage, works as part of the lymphatic system to protect the body, clearing worn out red blood cells and other foreign bodies from the bloodstream to help fight off infection.

Functions of the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system has three functions:

  1. The removal of excess fluids from body tissues. This process is crucial because water, proteins, and other substances are continuously leaking out of tiny blood capillaries into the surrounding body tissues. If the lymphatic system didn’t drain the excess fluid from the tissues, the lymph fluid would build up in the body’s tissues, and they would swell.
  2. Absorption of fatty acids and subsequent transport of fat, chyle, to the circulatory system.
  3. Production of immune cells (such as lymphocytes, monocytes, and antibody producing cells called plasma cells).

Fluid and Protein Balance

As blood moves through the arteries and veins, 10% of the fluid filtered by the capillaries, along with vital proteins, becomes trapped in the tissues of the body. This loss of this fluid (approximately 1-2 liters/day) would rapidly become life threatening if the lymphatic system did not properly function. The lymphatic system collects this fluid and returns it to the circulatory system.

Immunity and Spread of Infection

The lymphatic system plays an integral role in the immune functions of the body. It is the first line of defense against disease. This network of vessels and nodes transports and filters lymph fluid containing antibodies and lymphocytes (good) and bacteria (bad). The body’s first contact with these invaders signals the lymphatics, calling upon this system to orchestrate the way the infection-fighting cells prevent illness and diseases from invading microorganisms. The spleen also helps the body fight infection. The spleen contains lymphocytes and another kind of white blood cell called macrophages, which engulf and destroy bacteria, dead tissue, and foreign matter and remove them from the blood passing through the spleen.


Lymph vessels in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract absorb fats from food. A malfunction of this part of the lymphatic system can result in serious malnutrition. The lymphatic system also impacts diseases such as excessive obesity caused by abnormal fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

Basic Anatomy

The lymphatic system is a network of very small tubes (or vessels) that drain lymph fluid from all over the body. The major parts of the lymph tissue are located in the bone marrow, spleen, thymus gland, lymph nodes, and the tonsils. The heart, lungs, intestines, liver, and skin also contain lymphatic tissue.

One of the major lymphatic vessels is the thoracic duct, which begins near the lower part of the spine and collects lymph from the pelvis, abdomen, and lower chest. The thoracic duct runs up through the chest and empties into the blood through a large vein near the left side of the neck. The right lymphatic duct is the other major lymphatic vessel and collects lymph from the right side of the neck, chest, and arm, and empties into a large vein near the right side of the neck.

Lymph nodes are round or kidney-shaped, and can be up to 1 inch in diameter. Most of the lymph nodes are found in clusters in the neck, armpit, and groin area. Nodes are also located along the lymphatic pathways in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, where they filter the blood. Inside the lymph nodes, lymphocytes called T-cells and B-cells help the body fight infection. Lymphatic tissue is also scattered throughout the body in different major organs and in and around the gastrointestinal tract.

How a Healthy Lymph System Typically Works

Carrying Away Waste

Lymph fluid drains into lymph capillaries, which are tiny vessels. The fluid is then pushed along when a person breathes or the muscles contract. The lymph capillaries are very thin, and they have many tiny openings that allow gases, water, and nutrients to pass through to the surrounding cells, nourishing them and taking away waste products. When lymph fluid leaks through in this way it is called interstitial fluid. Lymph vessels collect the interstitial fluid and then return it to the bloodstream by emptying it into large veins in the upper chest, near the neck.

Fighting Infection

Lymph fluid enters the lymph nodes, where macrophages fight off foreign bodies like bacteria, removing them from the bloodstream. After these substances have been filtered out, the lymph fluid leaves the lymph nodes and returns to the veins, where it re-enters the bloodstream.

Looking at the Lymphatic System

Lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes can be visualized by the process of lymphangiography. A radiopaque (not transparent to x-rays) contrast material is injected into a lymphatic vessel. This will show up the vessel and its’ connections to other lymph vessels. The fluid is left in the system for 24 hours and the lymph nodes can then be observed by X-rays. This technique is quite important in the treatment of neoplasms and other disorders of the lymphatic system. The technique is also used to locate lymph nodes for radiation therapy or for surgical removal.

Learn more about the lymphatic system…

*From The Merck Manual of Medical Information – Second Home Edition, p. 1053, edited by Mark H. Beers. Copyright 2003 by Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ. Available at: Accessed (April 25, 2008).
Please visit all of The Merck Manuals free online at Thank you

Raising Awareness

Jack Kelly – LGDA Founding President to Retire

After leading the LGDA for all of its nearly 14 years, Jack Kelly is set to retire May 31. In his letter to the community Mr. Kelly wrote that the work of the foundation has been “the most rewarding work of my life.”

Reach for a Cure

Register a patient in the International LGDA Registry for Lymphatic Malformations. Help researchers worldwide unlock the mysteries of lymphangiomatosis and Gorham's disease to find a treatment and a cure!

COVID-19 and Vaccine FAQs


To have the newsletter delivered directly to your inbox, Sign up here

The Patient & Family Voice

Patient Support

LGDA is here to help you find resources and to provide support to patients and families living with Gorham-Stout disease (GSD) & lymphangiomatosis/generalized lymphatic anomaly (GLA).

Click Here to Email Us

LGD Alliance
19919 Villa Lante Place
Boca Raton, FL 33434
Phone: 1-318-734-8240

I have found many people need a 2-3 month lymph cleansing, scrubbing boost to get lymph up to optimal function. Herbs like manjistha, brahmi, and our Lymph-Vein HP are powerful for lymph, but do not provide that deep lymph scrubbing or cleansing many folks need.

Lymph Cleanse is best taken for 2-3 months (any time of year) to thoroughly detox the lymphatic system.

It combines five powerful time-tested, lymph-cleansing herbs: red root, ocotillo bark, ginger root, stillingia, and astragalus. Below, I describe the reasons I chose these herbs.

Symptoms of Lymphatic Congestion

When your lymphatic system is congested, you can experience a whole host of uncomfortable issues. Symptoms can include:

  • Rings get tight on fingers
  • Soreness and/or stiffness in the morning
  • Feeling tired
  • Bloating
  • Itchy skin
  • Holding on to water
  • Breast swelling or soreness with each cycle
  • Dry skin
  • Brain fog
  • Breast swelling or soreness with each cycle
  • Dry skin
  • Mild rash or acne
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Mild headaches
  • Elevated histamine and irritation due to common environmental allergens
  • Occasional constipation, diarrhea, or mucus in the stool

Almost every one of these health concerns can be linked to poor waste removal in the lymphatic system. When the lymph system becomes congested and loses its ability to remove waste efficiently, the body will start to speak to us the signs of circulatory congestion ensue. The key is to learn to listen while the body is still whispering, and not wait until it starts screaming.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

When there’s a problem in your body, like an illness or an infection, your lymph nodes can swell. (This usually happens only in one area at a time.) It’s a sign that more lymphocytes are in action than usual, trying to kill off germs.


You may notice this most often in the glands in your neck. That’s why your doctor feels the area under your jawbone. They’re checking to see if those glands are bigger than usual or tender.

Many things can make your lymph nodes swell. Any infection can trigger it, including a cold or the flu, an ear infection, STDs (usually inguinal), shingles, tuberculosis, or an abscessed tooth. Rarely a vaccine can cause swollen lymph nodes on the side of the vaccination. Much less often, it can be a sign of something more serious, like cancer.

Sometimes medicines like phenytoin (taken for seizures), or drugs that prevent malaria can cause swollen lymph nodes, too.


American Academy of Pediatrics: “Swollen Glands.”

American Cancer Society: “What is Hodgkin disease?”

Mayo Clinic: “Parts of the immune system,” “Swollen lymph nodes.”

National Cancer Institute: “lymph node.”

The Merck Manual of Medical Information– Second Home Edition, Merck & Co., 2003

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Why the Healthcare Provider Examines the Neck and Throat.”