By Kennedy Shelley
Why are your glands swollen? Is it an infection? Is it something worse?
The lymph glands are part of your body’s immune system. They collect and remove an infection from the body.
They often swell as a result of infection, especially in the throat. This is why often the first sign of a cold is a sore throat.
There are many types of infections that can cause a sore throat and your lymph glands to swell.
There are two types of infections, bacterial and viral. Bacterial infections you can treat with antibiotics if it is serious enough, but while there are some antiviral drugs, they are usually used in the most life-threatening situations.
If your sore throat is really painful, it may be a strep infection.
This is when the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes infect the mucous membranes of the throat, and then the body tries to fight it off trying to get the bacteria out of your throat. That’s what causes all the swelling and pain.
About 20-30% of all sore throats are due to strep according to the Center for Disease Control.
A strep infection is usually suspected when there is pus in the throat and there is also fever. This may go away on its own or require antibiotics.
It does need to be monitored, I tried to ignore this once and ended up in the Emergency Room and nearly had to have a breathing tube put in because the infection almost cut off my windpipe.
The most common cause of a sore throat and swollen glands is what is referred to as the common cold.
This is a relatively minor viral infection that causes an inflammatory response in the lymph system as the body fights off the infection.
An Epstein-Barr virus can cause mononucleosis which will result in seriously swollen glands and a persistent sore throat.
It typically develops over 4-6 weeks and can leave you in a weakened condition for months.
Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done for this infection except rest.
The best defense against all of these infections is a strong immune system. Getting rest and a good night’s sleep is the number one thing you can do.
There is a myriad of possible home remedies. Chicken soup remains a favorite because the warm liquid does help the lymph fluids move.
Stimulants like coffee are usually avoided because the goal is to rest the body so it does not try to force it to take action.
Some people swear by fasting during a cold in order to increase the body’s natural immune response and there is a growing body of evidence that because fasting increases autophagy, this may be the best action.
Autophagy is where the body’s cells eat the weak and damaged cells. It increases the release of the human growth hormone and in the long run, makes you stronger.
To learn more about the power of fasting see this article in Freedom Health News.