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My 5-year old son has a golf-ball sized swollen lymph node on the side of his neck and I'm terrified. I've been fighting off tonsilitis myself with antibiotics for the past couple weeks, and our other kids have had colds too within the last few weeks. A little history: My 5-year old who has the swollen lymph node has developmental delays and he's under the care of an integrative medicine doctor/biomedical doctor.  He's on various supplements like extra minerals, antioxidants, and neurotransmitter support.  We've also been chelating him for two years (Andrew Cutler method) for heavy metals, such as aluminum and mercury with ALA and DMSA.  

My son complained 1-2 weeks ago that his neck hurt, and I could feel a swollen lymph node.  He didn't have any symptoms of a sore throat or sickness...just his usual allergy-like, nasal breathing. He's had a TON of ear infections in his infant/toddler years, and out of all my kids, he's always the first to get sick and the illness stays with him longer.  The next day I was going to take him into the doctor, but he then said it didn't hurt him anymore and it seemed like it was going down in size. He's had had no other symptoms. I've been checking the lymph node every day since and it's been about the same size and it didn't hurt him, and he's had no other symptoms. I was just hoping that it would go down, and if it didn't, I was going to take him to the doctor.  The night before last, he woke up crying in pain because of his neck and the lymph node was huge. I'm so scared. Anyone could clearly see it from behind. I don't like to see any lumps, etc. especially in my kid's necks. It's huge. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this sudden swollen lymph node is the size of a golf ball and as far as I know, it just came on within the last couple weeks. TO me as a layperson and a mom, it's been swollen for the past couple weeks, but overnight two nights ago, it totally became huge and painful. I took him to the doctor yesterday and she tested him for strep because I had tonsillitis 1-1/2 weeks ago. He is postive for strep. She thinks the strep is what caused the lymph node to become so reactive and she said that even the lymph node itself maybe be infected. Yesterday, when the lymph node got so big, he was very guarded with his neck all day like it hurt him, like he had a neck sprain, and he wasn't himself...very pale too with circles under his eyes. The ped put him on an antibiotic that will kill the strep as well as any possible staph. I'm making sure that he's taking vitamin c, zinc, vitamin d3, and advanced biocidin and probiotics. PLEASE PLEASE ..... are there any words of wisdom or advice about this lymph node? Could it be that big just because of strep or should I be more proactive and demand further testing right now? After 3 doses of antibiotics so far, it may have gone down a tiny, tiny bit and he's acting a little more like himself, but still I'm so scared about how big the lymph node is.  And another question, could supplements that the biomedical/integrative doctor have my 5-year old son on like minerals, vitamins, neurotransmitters, creatine, lithium orotate, adrenal support, thiamine and taurine cause lymph glands to grow or change?

Hi, Monica,

If he had a red throat, a fever, a headache and a stomach ache and a positive strep screen, then it is likely he has a strep throat and the node, albeit large, is probably due to that.  If he had no sore throat, if the throat wasn't red and just his strep was positive, then it is likely he is a strep carrier and the node may have nothing to due with strep.  I would also treat him and if the node resolves, then this is probably the cause.  Other thoughts would be the coexistence of mononucleosis with strep.  Again, if the node gets better with the antibiotics, I wouldn't worry.  I assume the doctor checked carefully for other nodes.  

I have no idea re the supplements and large nodes.  I also don't know what if any effect the chelation has on this.  I'm a pretty conventional pediatrician and feel that chelation for this type of situation is potentially dangerous and of no value.  Obviously you know that this is the standard pediatrician thought about chelation, so this is nothing new to you.  

Hope he is better and good luck, dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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