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Tonsils? yes? no? irrelevant?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by sarahg, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. sarahg

    sarahg Admin Assistant

    I am wondering how you all feel about tonsils? Do you still have them?

    Did you have them out before or after you got sick?

    Do you feel that not having them has helped or hurt your immune response?

    Do you feel that still having them in has helped or hurt your immune response?

    Do you feel it's just totally irrelevant?

    If you got them out, why?

    Has it been suggested that you have them removed but you resisted or refused?

    I have been thinking about tonsils lately, they are a rather controversial organ and there seems to be no real consensus on their merits or detriments. I know a guy in his mid 30's that just got his out and he is hoping it will stop every infection he gets from moving promptly to his chest. He's otherwise healthy though I think, but I am interested to hear how it ends up working out for him.

    When I was a child and I was going to the toxic mold infected school (which was unknown at that time) I has swollen tonsils nearly constantly. Doctor after doctor urged my parents to have them removed. My pediatrician called them "kissing tonsils" cause they were always so huge. My parents always demurred thinking that they were a needed organ and I should keep them no matter what. I generally feel like that was a smart decision on my parent's part. After I was out of the mold school I stopped having problems with them.

    But now with my wacky immune response my tonsils swell unpredictably in response to allergens, chemicals and who knows what. Sometimes to the point that it feels like my throat is closing. But it is not and I can still breathe clearly through my nose. It is a disconcerting sensation to say the least though. I have been told that even unswollen they are larger than normal.

    I am really interested to hear what others think about their tonsils or lack thereof in light of this disease. Probably with all the stuff going on in the UK it will take a while to get this discussion going, but I figured I'd better start it while my brain was in "go" mode.
  2. Suzy

    Suzy Guest

    tonsils - had mine removed

    I had mine out when I was about 4 or so. So, yes, 30 years before getting ill. I haven't done much research on tonsils so all I know is they are part of the immune system. But I really , really wish I still had them as i feel every body part ahas a purpose.
    I had a lot of infections as a child, so the tonsils were removed. I continued to have infections anyway and ended up in the hospital at age 7, simply b/c I had an enlarged lymph node on my neck.

  3. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

    East Coast
    A great question, Sarah

    Hi Sarah,

    This is a great question, it will be interesting see other's opinions. Over the years I have read arguments regarding tonsils as to whether we really need them or not. My own unscientific belief is that they probably do help filtering out some of the nasty stuff that tries to invade our systems thru our mouths. I had mine out years ago because they kept getting infected over and over and at that time (1968) it was the thing to do. The surgeon who took mine out did a real hack job (I am told they were impacted into my sinuses and that is why the surgery lasted afor hours). For years afterwards docs who looked in my mouth asked who had taken my tonsils out. I wish I still had mine and believe that I hopefully could control infections in them with herbs (I have had good luck with goldenseal and olive leaf).

    I am also concerned with no longer having a gallbladder since I believe that at least part of its function is to help with toxins. (another thread).

    Your question about whether having them out hurts the immune response. Can you be more specific? Do you mean that in the sense of not catching viruses, etc. that are going around? Or in the sense that can be measured (CD4's, 8's, NK cells, etc.)?

    Looking forward to seeing other posts,

  4. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    sarahg, this would make a great poll. Would you be up to adding one to your first post?
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Ashland, Oregon
    Hi Sarah,

    I read this booka number of years ago which had a chapter entitled "Tonsils, Should You Keep Them"? The author, Norman Walker, was quite the health crusader and I believe lived to be well over 100 years of age.

    Not only did he emphasize the importance of tonsils, but I seem to remember him giving a simple way to treat affected (or infected) tosnils. I thionk he called his technique swabbing, where you sort of massage or stimulate the tonsils (I think with Q-tips) and get them to drain properly if they are clogged. I'm not sure if this technique is in the book I referenced, but I would think you could find it somewhere if you did some searching.

    Good luck in finding some resolution on your tonsil questions. I personally believe they are an important gland, and suspect they may be doubly important with the health conditions we face. I think the trick might be in keeping them healthy enough to be functional and not have dysfunctional tonsils become another burden we have to carry.

  6. Frickly

    Frickly Senior Member

    I had my tonsils removed when I was a baby but have often thought if I still had them then they would cause me some problems. I have lots of swelling in my lymph nodes under chin and am glad the tonsils are not adding to the problem.
  7. talkingfox

    talkingfox Senior Member

    Olympia, wa
    I still have my tonsils and at least 2x a year they give me serious issues or at least they did before I discovered the wonders of Bee Propolis.
  8. Senior Member

    I had my tonsils out at the age of 30. It was the most horrific pain I've ever felt in my life, and it had no significant effect on how often I was sick. My tonsils were "cryptic" (like little craters) so they harbored bacteria, and I thought maybe I'd have less throat infections if I had them removed. I still get the same number of throat infections, only now I can actually swallow when I'm sick. I'm far more comfortable without them, but don't let anyone tell you it's an easy recovery. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone. It was 2 weeks of extremely severe pain, never a moment of relief. I was in ER three times for dehydration, pain, and swelling, but luckily no bleeding complications like many other adults. After 2 weeks, the pain was tolerable, but it wasn't completely healed for about 4 weeks. Just keep in mind, they're essentially cutting out part of your throat, then burning it closed. It hurts. I'm glad I did it NOW, but if I had known THEN what I know now, I probably wouldn't have had the surgery. Or I'd have at least made more preparations for pain control. If you decide to do it, ask for good drugs if you can tolerate them. I had to go without pain meds because narcotics make me vomit, and that would have risked hemorrhage at the surgical site. It's a risky, painful surgery, so I would say keep your tonsils unless they're truly making your life miserable.
  9. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

    Santa Rosa, CA
    yes, I have no tonsils

    Suzy, my story sounds a bit similar. My tonsils were removed at age 3 by a doctor not eager to remove tonsils but who thought mine had to go. At age 6, I had a large swollen, infected gland in my neck and had to go to the doctor for shots (what kind of shots, I wonder?), and then had to have it lanced. Then again, I got another hugely swollen gland on the same side of my neck which eventually went away on its own but left a large scar on my neck. I didn't have many other infections as a kid, though, until I got ME/CFS at age 29, although I think I had Hashimoto's from age 22.
  10. CJB

    CJB Senior Member

    I had mine out when I was 24. I don't think I had as much trouble as you did, but it was pretty awful and painful. I had been having recurrent "tonsilitis" for about 2 years and the surgery was recommended. I still got sick an awful lot. But instead of tonsilitis, I would get bronchitis. If I had it to do all over again, I don't know. It was so long ago. I don't remember any serious regrets.
  11. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

    Sarah, still have my tonsils, while my sibs had them removed. I am the only one with CFS. My tonsils never gave me trouble and have never had more infection than the average cold once or twice a year- until now. So iMO it's not relevant.
  12. sleepy237

    sleepy237 Senior Member

    I had recurring tonsillitis as a child, never had them removed...plenty of penicillin. Not had any problems for nearly 18 years. Today, one tonsil is swollen + gland and it is so painful to swallow, just incredible all the time between with no problems.
  13. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

    I also had recurring tonsillitis as a child, was fairly sickly with constant treatments, but tonsils were removed when I was about 6 years old. That ended all the sore throats and I was almost never sick again until my late 30s when I contracted CFS after a nasty flu-like bronchitis. So my CFS probably does not relate to tonsils.

    There is another reason I don't think the tonsils are related to CFS, at least not in a major way. I have an adult daughter who has CFS, almost identical case to my own, and she never had the sore throats and still has her tonsils. So one with tonsils, one without, some shared genetics, and both with disabling CFS.

    We are different in a lot of other ways, for example, I have lots of amalgams, but she does not have a single one, so it is not mercury. My daughter never had the nasty flu-like illness. But she did have a lot of stomach flu as a child, and so did I, so we both seem to have GI issues. We both seem to also have methylation defects, both of us can only tolerate limited sulfer-containing foods in a day. This seems to support a genetic susceptibility for CFS, at least in part.
  14. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    I had nose bleeds badly as a child and doctor said having tonsils out would stop this, so I had mine out at the age of 4. I haemorraged during the surgery and ended up having to have a blood transfusion (and possibly got XMRV from that). (Looking back on all that bleeding trouble I wonder if i had some kind of blood disorder causing it).

    I got CFS/ME when in my 20s. I dont know if my tonsils grew back or not (Ive heard they can).

    Over the years Ive heard 2-3 different ones with CFS/ME say that getting their tonsils out was the best thing they ever did due to sore throats and infections which getting them out did help. So obviously for some of us, it may be a good idea.
  15. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    I am wondering how you all feel about tonsils? Do you still have them? Yes

    Did you have them out before or after you got sick? N/A

    Do you feel that not having them has helped or hurt your immune response? N/A

    Do you feel that still having them in has helped or hurt your immune response? Not sure

    Do you feel it's just totally irrelevant? Not sure.

    If you got them out, why? Did not, but did have it mentioned by some Dr, I think before my diagnosis (perhaps and Infectious Disease Dr or ENT), that I should consider having them out. Not a big discussion wasn't pushed on me at all. I think perhaps it was mentioned because I have chronic pharyngitis?

    Has it been suggested that you have them removed but you resisted or refused? See next line up.
  16. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

    Upstate SC, USA
    I still have mine, but almost didn't!

    I had tonsilitis 3-4 times a year from as young as I can remember until I was about 16-17 years old. It was 10 days of penicillin just about every time unless my temperature was over 104 degrees (Far.) then I had to drop'em get one in the cheek. Somewhere around 16-17 years of age it pretty much stopped and we had no idea why. I would still get very mild cases, but I would start with "saltwater gargling" and it would go away in a few days.

    I haven't had any of the white pockets, which we used to call "puss pockets", for at least 20 years and can count the number of times that I have had to gargle over those 20 years on one hand.

    I was always under the impression that your tonsils were like the "first alert" to invaders entering the body via mouth and nose which therefore activated immune system quicker??

    They may help with immune activation as I have never in my life had the flu. Had some bad colds, but never the flu. I also have never had the mumps even though all my friends growing up had them.

    My mother had the discussion with my doctor about having them removed, but he didn't want to do it at my age as he pointed out that it was possible that going through puberty could change the way my body reacted to tonsilitis. It was always thought back then to be a bacterial infection since there was formation of the "white pockets" all over the tonsils.
  17. Francelle

    Francelle Senior Member

    Victoria, Australia
    Had mine out at aged five.

    I was carrying Scarlet Fever in my tonsils and giving SF to lots of other kids but didn’t get sick myself – lol! So out they came. I still remember the day.
  18. lucy

    lucy Senior Member

    Can we add a poll to this thread? I would be interested to know if there is a significant percentage of ppl with the tonsils removed, I had mine out at the age of five. Was a common practice then for children who get colds and sore throat more often than other children.
  19. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    Yes, we have no tonsils today

    Mine were removed at age 5, after years of recurrent infections. Pretty clear symptoms of ME/CFS began at age 16.
  20. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    Wow, great for you to never have the flu or mumps! Sounds like you had/have a good immune system, so I wonder how you got ME/CFS?!


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