We recently received an email from Josh (name changed for privacy) asking if candida overgrowth was the cause of his sore throat and swollen gland and lymph nodes. Josh lived a fairly healthy lifestyle: he exercised regularly and stayed away from heavy sources of sugar such as soda.
Before I continue with this article, you should know I've recently compiled a list of science-backed ways to get rid of candida yeast infections. You can download my free Candida Report here if you haven't yet.
Josh became concerned when he started to have trouble swallowing: his throat was sore and he felt swollen lumps around his neck and jaw. His first thought was that the pain and swelling were signs of a cold or allergies, however there were no other symptoms. Antihistamines did not work, he did not become sicker, and the problem was still around after a month.
Josh’s doctor presumed that his concerns were also from allergies, and gave him prescription antihistamine medication to try. He was tested for thyroid health and other potential causes, but all of his results were normal. Going to the gym or being able to hike on steep slopes became uncomfortable because he was short on breath and deep breaths hurt. Eating was becoming more difficult, too, and he had difficulty swallowing his supplements.
Josh did some research online and found that his symptoms may have been from candida overgrowth. He was not able to find a comprehensive answer, and thought that candida was typically only a problem for women. His question was simple: do yeast infections cause swollen lymph nodes and glands?
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Salivary Glands and Candida
Many people will feel sore lumps around their neck, jaw, and ears, and associate these spots with lymph nodes. However, these swollen areas could be salivary glands. Saliva is a strong source of bacteria and other pathogens, and candida can settle in these glands. The glands can feel like stones, swell up into huge lumps, cause sore throats and painful swallowing, and affect the lymph nodes. People who have experienced swollen salivary glands and done candida cleanses with a focus on antifungal mouthwashes have found huge success in healing their glands.
Lymph Nodes Overview
Lymph nodes are tied to the immune system, and assist in fighting bacteria, viruses, and other infections. Cervical nodes are around the neck, and easily felt in the throat when swollen. The pelvic area, armpits, and the chest and breast area are a few other locations. Every node is susceptible to swelling, but the throat is the easiest place to feel and notice when the nodes are enlarged.
Though uncommon, excessive yeast may cause swollen lymph nodes. There is no clear answer, however some potential causes for the swelling may have a link to yeast. Other possible reasons for sore throats and swollen lymph nodes will be discussed further along in this article.
Lymph Nodes and Candida
One method of deciding whether or not yeast could be contributing to inflamed lymph nodes is to look for other signs of infections. Gas and bloating, cravings for sugar, excessive phlegm (think: excessive sniffling, running nose, and coughing), general pain around the body, and fungal infections are common indications of candida overgrowth.
A sore throat and difficulty swallowing may connect to excessive candida even if the lymph nodes are not affected. Thrush is a fungal infection in the mouth which can cause these symptoms. White spots on the tongue and inside the mouth that are lumpy, a constant bad taste in the mouth, and red, cracked areas at the corners of the lips are also signs of thrush. If any of these signs are present, then there is most likely candida overgrowth.
When undergoing a candida cleanse, be aware that the die-off effects may cause lymph nodes to swell, as the body is being attacked by toxins that the yeast releases while dying. Supplements such as molybdenum (canXida Rebuild) and comprehensive herbal formulas can help ease or completely counter the negative die-off effects associated with a candida cleanse.
Other Potential Causes
Though Josh brought up that he did not think allergies were the problem, the body’s attack on harmless particles can be an ongoing problem in some individuals. Many people associate allergies with isolated and environmental factors, such as the season, pollen, and pets, however food allergies are a common problem.
More awareness is being brought to food allergies, which can cause the lymph nodes to swell. These allergic reactions are difficult to manage even when the culprit food is avoided. Prepackaged snacks and meals, as well as restaurants, add in allergens.
Allergens may have alternate names on food labels, especially corn. Many ingredients such as xanthan gum, ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C), and baking powder are derived from corn and will have the same negative effects as eating corn. Some foods have similar chemical structures, such as brown rice and wheat. This means that people who are allergic to wheat or gluten may have a reaction when eating brown rice.
Excessive yeast in the body can contribute to worsened allergic reactions to food, as the gut is already inflamed and the immune system imbalanced. Many people who have followed a strict candida cleanse diet found that their allergic reactions to food and environmental factors lessened, and in some cases, went away completely.
An often overlooked cause of health concerns is stress. Depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation and insomnia, mood, and other factors can cause swollen lymph nodes. Stress puts pressure on the immune system and creates inflammation in the body. Stress is not an isolated problem, either: yeast overgrowth is a common result of excessive, unmanaged stress in life.
The adrenal glands are responsible for stress and hormonal regulations, and work with the thyroid to maintain a healthy body. If overloaded from stress, thyroid levels can become too high or low. Thyroid diseases are not uncommon, even in men, and may cause sluggishness or anxiety symptoms such as an increased heart rate. If someone has rapid weight gain or weight loss and has not altered their diet or exercise much, they may have a thyroid condition.
Though not related directly to candida overgrowth, excessive toxins in the body can contribute to poor health which includes node swelling and sore throats. Long-term use of antibiotics, environmental factors such as polluted areas, diet, and food additives can contribute overtime to a toxic body.
Toxins put stress on the immune system, and people are often more susceptible to becoming sick, and have trouble fighting a flu or cold. People have done candida cleanses for their toxic bodies and found much success in cleaning out their system.
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Regular care of the lymph nodes can support healthy immune function and prevent inflammation. Certain practices can help cleanse the nodes and alleviate the pain.
Chamomile tea cools the body, while ginger warms the body up. Depending on how the body feels, balancing it out is important. Massages can also detoxify and drain the nodes as a relaxation method.
Sweating is another helpful practice for draining lymph nodes. Detox baths are available if exercise is difficult. Jumping up and down for at least ten minutes can wake up the lymphatic system. Jump rope, jumping jacks, and trampolines are a few options. Another method is to be in a hot shower and rapidly change the water to cold.
Even if candida overgrowth or another cause affects the lymph nodes, draining them will offer some relief while the underlying issue is being determined and resolved. Though sore throats and swollen lymph nodes are not a direct result of yeast overgrowth, other causes may still relate to infections.