The Parotid Gland, Parotitis, and Psoriatic Arthritis

For a long time, I’ve had swelling under my ears and next to my mandible. I believe that it is due to swollen parotid glands.

Is there a link between chronic inflammation and a swollen parotid gland? I had always assumed that it was due to chronic systemic inflammation, but here is some more research, including how I solved the problem.

Here is a picture of the location of the parotid gland:

Location of the parotid gland

Wikipedia says: “The parotid gland is the salivary gland most commonly affected by inflammation.”

There is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease called Sjögren’s syndrome, which I do not believe that I have, but research about it has led to some clues about a connection with some forms of arthritis.

Here is some information from Wikipedia:

Blood tests can be done to determine if a patient has high levels of antibodies that are indicative of the condition, such as antinuclear antibody (ANA) and rheumatoid factor (because SS frequently occurs secondary to rheumatoid arthritis), which are associated with autoimmune diseases.

…SS has been known to be reported in 30-50% of patient’s with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as 10-25% with systemic lupus erythematosus.

All of my tests for rheumatoid arthritis came back negative, but I do have a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. I only got the diagnosis psoriatic arthritis by being very insistent that I get referred to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist didn’t believe that I had psoriatic arthritis until after they saw the x-rays. I was not even asked about all of my symptoms, but after I got the diagnosis and mentioned further symptoms, they appear to be quite confident that it was psoriatic arthritis. I will write more about the diagnosis process in another post, but I just want to make a brief note here that doctors are not very thorough in my experience. In my future blog post, I will also write about recommendations for doctors who might be dealing with psoriatic arthritis symptoms in a patient.

Is There a Relationship between Swollen Parotid Glands and Psoriatic Arthritis?

I’m wondering if there is any relationship between swollen parotid glands

and the psoriatic inflammation even when Sjögren’s syndrome is not involved.

I do not have faith that most doctors are knowledgeable enough to consider things like this. The first time that I went to see a doctor about the swelling, many years ago, he stubbornly insisted that my parotid gland was under the front of my chin, which is not true.

How I Solved the Problem

This is anecdotal evidence based on my own personal experiments:

Every time I go on a mostly vegan diet with very strict eating patterns that eliminate all junk (including sugar, caffeine, processed foods, refined grains, etc.), the swelling goes away very quickly. It also disappeared almost immediately when I went on my first water fast.

After my first water fast, I went on an alternating day caloric restriction diet, still adhering to a no junk, high nutrient eating plan. The swelling has not come back.

For me, it was a very easy solution. It did not require fasting, but only required switching to the right kind of healthy diet. I expect that it will not return as long as I maintain great eating habits.

My questions for readers are: do you have swollen parotid glands, and if so, do you have psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, or another autoimmune condition?


Image of the parotid gland is copyright: Blausen.com staff. “Blausen gallery 2014“. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762, and is used under a Creative Common license.


Previous comments on this post:

PS wrote: Yes ,I do have psoriasis and swollen parotid glands.

Sherry wrote: Yes I have psoriatic arthritis and problems with my perotids. My rhuemy laughed at me when I told her about the glands… they itch and are puffy. I’m on medication to reduce swelling but it’s not helping.

Marj wrote: 5 yrs ago I have my parotid gland removed coz d dr told me dat it will get bigger n it mite n cancerous…less than 6 months I was diagnosed of psoriatic arthritis n have suffered of psoriasis all my life.

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