This week’s Q&A From Doctors Express-Memphis

1.    What are the glands in your neck? Mine keep coming up and getting sore every time I get a cold. Is this normal?

What people refer to as “glands” in the neck are actually not glands, medically speaking. Glands are organs in the body that secrete substances made in the gland,  such as the thyroid gland (thyroid hormone); the ovaries in women (estrogen)or testes in men (testosterone); the salivary glands (they secrete saliva). The lumps that you feel in your neck are actually lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are collections of infection-fighting white blood cells. They swell whenever you have an infection as the white blood cells are being mobilized to fight off the infection. Incidentally, lymph nodes are also in other parts of your body too, in fact they can be found all over because infections, of course , can happen anywhere and the body tries to be prepared by having some infection fighting cells stored and ready to work.

2.    Can a three year old get asthma?

Yes, asthma can develop at any age.

3.    I have a headache that won’ t go away for days at a time, then it comes back again after only a couple of days. What can I do?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. You haven’t given me enough information about your headaches, and obviously I can’t examine you to see what is going on.  Bottom line, you need to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss this in detail.

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