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  • What would cause tonsils to be chronically inflammed but not infected?

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    Old 10-11-2003, 05:54 AM   #1
    rnmcd
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    Post What would cause tonsils to be chronically inflammed but not infected?

    For the last 12-15 years my doctors have commented with a "wow those are some large tonsils" but they don't say that the tonsils should be removed.

    What would cause the inflammation? Are tonsils part of the lymphatic system?

    Thanks.

     
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    Old 10-11-2003, 08:21 AM   #2
    brightstar
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    It could be that they are just large. Mine are the same way and have been large for as long as I can remember (I'm now 23).

     
    Old 10-11-2003, 03:01 PM   #3
    music007piano2002
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    Mine are quite large too. I just leave them alone, if it isn't broke, don't fix it kind of thing. Mine are staying put.
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    Old 10-11-2003, 10:15 PM   #4
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    A lot of CHILDREN have large tonsils > Our tonsils tend to get smaller as we age, but some adults have large ones for life. It doesn't mean they are inflamed either.
    Unless they are causing breathing or choking problems, or snoring/sleep apnea, or you have chronic sore throat, leave'em alone.

    zuzu xxx


     
    Old 10-13-2003, 01:02 PM   #5
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    what are tonsils for?

    are they part of the lymphatic system?

     
    Old 10-13-2003, 02:09 PM   #6
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    Yes tonsils are part of the lymphatic system and they are meant to be centers of infection fighting. Your body captures and concentrates bad bacteria in those centers for attack and disposal. The enlargement usually means a serious battle is going on.

    I had enlarged tonsils for years as well and my doctor gave me that line about it being normal for some people. I didn't really believe it but I had no idea what to do and he certainly wouldn't help.

    Enlarged tonsils mean infection of some sort and to just leave it alone is only asking for trouble. My tonsil on the right side stuck out almost half way into my throat at times, but I noticed that sometimes it would go down only to reenlarge later. I figured out that this happened when ever I was feeling really good, my tonsil would go down some. When I got sick with a cold or flue, my tonsil would enlarge again. The extra enlargement would last way longer than the sickness did.

    Eventually I took 3 antibiotics in a row and each one caused my tonsil to decrease in size. It still wasn't the same size as the other side, but it was down. Then I started taking 2000 IU of vitamin D and that has really caused my tonsil to shrink. Presently it is only slightly swollen and each month it continues to shrink even through colds/flu. This shrinkage has also caused the famous tonsil stones to show up but as each stone leaves (my latest one 3x6 mm) my tonsil shrinks a bit more. I believe the stones are a result of calcified remains of the fight between my body and the bacteria, rather like the hard white stuff you can sometimes get out of a pimple after it's mostly gone away.

    So first thing I recommend is start taking 1000 IU of vitamin D and 1000 mg of vitamin C. See if that makes a difference. If it does, then it's an infection for sure and you need to go convince your doctor to give you an antibiotic like zithromax which attacks all kinds of weird bacteria including mycoplasma which other antibiotics can't deal with. If your tonsil problem has been long term, then you will need a longer term antibiotic, like for a month of say doxycycline or septra. Both of those worked well for me and they don't have any significant side effects. Don't forget to get some bacteria pills from the health food store. After you finish the antibiotic you have to replace all the bacteria you killed with some good ones.

    I would also recommend you get a thyroid test and some blood tests to test your ability to fight infection. You may find your white cells are down. If your thyroid isn't working properly you can also suffer low grade infections that your body just can't get rid of. That's what happened to me, turned out my thyroid was low. Of course the doctor never bothered to check that, he just said my tonsil problem was "normal". Yeah right!!!


    [This message has been edited by orion (edited 10-13-2003).]

     
    Old 10-13-2003, 08:19 PM   #7
    Mich4
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    Orion,

    I'm just wondering, I'm curious about your problem. I have one tonsil that has been sore (right sided sore throat for 15 months). I do get very tiny tonsil stones occassionally. When I look in my throat my tonsils look the same size (the right is actually shrinking and is slightly smaller than the left), but when I stick out my tongue and look, the bottom part of the tonsil seems swollen. I have been to the ent many times and he says my tonsils are normal, I just have a sensitive throat. The tonsil stones in the right tonsil feel like they should be the size of bowling balls, but they are so tiny. I have been very worried about throat cancer, but everyone says I would have more symptoms by now than a sore throat. I can swallow, not hoarse, etc. Of course I still worry. Last October (I had pain then), I had a CT of the neck, normal, a thyroid ultrasound (2 small cysts 3mm), 2 scopes through the nose to the vocal cords (normal) and numerous blood tests (normal). Right now I simply pick at my throat alot, I gargle (not enough). Does this sound like your issue. I have recently quit smoking (well still trying, down to about 5 a day, never was a heavy smoker). I am 33.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Did you have a problem with just one side bothering you? How old are you? Did you have pain? Many people don't seem to have pain with these tonsil stones. In the last year I have had maybe 15 days pain free. My most recent pain free period was about a month ago for 2 weeks.
    Thanks for any information you can give me.
    Mich4
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    Old 10-13-2003, 09:01 PM   #8
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by Mich4:
    Orion, I'm just wondering, Mich4
    "When I look in my throat my tonsils look the same size (the right is actually shrinking and is slightly smaller than the left), but when I stick out my tongue and look, the bottom part of the tonsil seems swollen."

    My left tonsil is totally normal, my right tonsil was swollen almost half way into my throat. Now it's slightly swollen, and divided into 4 lobes.

    "The tonsil stones in the right tonsil feel like they should be the size of bowling balls, but they are so tiny."

    The stones always feel big but they are relatively small. I have had many over the years but in the last year or so the biggest ones have come out.

    Did you have a problem with just one side bothering you? How old are you? Did you have pain? Many people don't seem to have pain with these tonsil stones.

    Only the right side bothers me, the left side never has. My stones only appear on the right side. I am 48, this has been going on for about 15 years. I discovered my thyroid problem about 6 years ago. When my tonsil was swollen it was painful to swallow, it's not now at all.

    Since you have had so many negative tests I think you can be sure it's not cancer. I would try the vitamin D and C and see if that helps. Also only gargle with salt water and stop using any anti-germ mouth washes. I doubt they are helping and might be making the problem worse over time.



     
    Old 10-14-2003, 07:20 AM   #9
    Mich41
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    Thank you for your reply, I feel a little better now. My right tonsil seems to be dividing into quadrants as well. What a good way to describe it.

    Thanks again, you have helped me alot.
    Mich4 or Mich41

     
    Old 10-14-2003, 10:26 AM   #10
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    Orion, can antibiotics decrease the size of enlarged tonsils permanently? Even for a person with chronically enlarged tonsils (at least 15 years)?

    I would never considered Vitamin D to help infected/inflammed tonsils...it must do more for the thyroid aspect as opposed to decreasing the infection.(?)

    I wonder why I have not experienced these "stones" that have been mentioned. My main problem is the inflammed tonsils affect my breathing and I have very frequent and painful sore throats.

    What do you take for your hypothyroid condition?

    I do have a low white blood count...I would have thought it should be high because of my inflammed tonsils trying to fight off infection. Any ideas?

    Thanks Orion and everyone.

     
    Old 10-19-2003, 06:24 PM   #11
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    ^

     
    Old 10-21-2003, 07:13 AM   #12
    nam0428
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    For those of you have been experiencing the tonsil stones there is a topic on this site called tonsil stones which could be helpful. You can keep picking at them, gargalling with salt water, or use a water pick. For me the tonsil stones with other problems have become very painful and consistent. I have made the decision to have my tonsils removed which was suggested by an ent dr. and the only way you can ever rid yourself of tonsil stones. I know what you feel like when you say they feel like the size of balling bowls but aren't. If they are that painful you may want to consider the removal - from what I have been told there is no cure. But you have to way out the pros and cons depending on what you are going thru. You may also have bad breath because of these stones. I am having my tonsillectomy on Nov 6 and will let all of you know how it went

     
    Old 10-22-2003, 12:08 AM   #13
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by rnmcd:.
    "Orion, can antibiotics decrease the size of enlarged tonsils permanently? Even for a person with chronically enlarged tonsils (at least 15 years)?"

    It worked for me and I had mine for about 15 years. This week two new stones came out and my tonsil is almost normal size now. I am really pretty happy about that because it has been soooooo long since my tonsil was normal and I always felt something was wrong.


    "I would never considered Vitamin D to help infected/inflammed tonsils...it must do more for the thyroid aspect as opposed to decreasing the infection.(?)"

    Vitamin D is known to have effects on the immune system and although I wouldn't have believed it before, I now think that it has had a significant effect on my tonsil. I don't know of any relationship between thyroid and vitamin D. I have been taking thyroid meds for 6 years and that did have an affect on my tonsil but it never shrunk completely like it is doing now.


    "I wonder why I have not experienced these "stones" that have been mentioned. My main problem is the inflammed tonsils affect my breathing and I have very frequent and painful sore throats."

    I didn't start having big stones until my tonsils started shrinking permanently. Perhaps your tonsils remain inflamed and are building the stones inside (such stones have been imaged inside a tonsil and recorded in the medical literature).

    "What do you take for your hypothyroid condition?"

    synthroid

    "I do have a low white blood count...I would have thought it should be high because of my inflammed tonsils trying to fight off infection. Any ideas?"

    I assume by "low" you mean normal. My white blood count was always normal even when I had a very enlarged tonsil. That was one reason my doctor said it was normal to have such a big tonsil because the blood work was normal. I guess some infections don't trigger white blood cells to increase or perhaps in my case my body wasn't able to mount a serious attack because of it's weakened condition.



     
    Old 10-22-2003, 12:13 AM   #14
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by nam0428:
    I have made the decision to have my tonsils removed which was suggested by an ent dr. and the only way you can ever rid yourself of tonsil stones. ..... I am having my tonsillectomy on Nov 6 and will let all of you know how it went
    I think you should really reconsider surgery and instead try intensive antibiotics first, followed by an anti-yeast program.

    Despite having bad tonsils for over 15 years, mine have finally recovered, so I don't see why you can't.

    I would also have blood test for infection and thyroid to make sure they are normal.


     
    Old 10-22-2003, 08:34 AM   #15
    nam0428
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    Orion

    I have had tonsillitus several times over the years. I have been told that once you get a severe case of tonsillitus that you will keep getting it until you have them removed. Heve you heard anything on this.


     
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