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What causes enlarged abdominal lymph nodes?

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Quick Answer

Causes of enlarged abdominal lymph nodes include infections in the abdomen, lymphoma, sarcoidosis and AIDS, according to Cleveland Clinic. Abdominal lymph nodes swell when the number of white blood cells inside them increase as a response to illness or infection.

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Lymphoma describes a group of cancers that affect the bone marrow, thymus, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes, notes Healthline. Most lymphoma cancers have no known cause, but factors that can increase the risk of their development include having HIV, taking anti-rejection medications, and being exposed to chemicals in pesticides and fertilizers. Symptoms of lymphoma include coughing, fatigue, bone pain and night sweats.

Sarcoidosis is a disease that occurs when one or more organs is inflamed, including the lungs and lymph nodes, explains Cleveland Clinic. The disease can cause lumps to form in affected organs, which change the organs' functions. Doctors do not know what causes sarcoidosis, but believe it is due to an abnormal immune response. The most common initial symptoms of sarcoidosis include a persistent cough, shortness of breath, reddish bumps on the skin and fever.

AIDS is a disease caused by the HIV virus, which damages the immune system, according to Healthline. HIV is transmitted through sexual activity as well as through blood transfusions and by sharing needles with an infected person. Initial symptoms of HIV last for up to two months and include fever, headache and joint pain.

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