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Case study: Tonsillitis

MagazineOctober 1992 (Vol. 3 Issue 7)Case study: Tonsillitis

I have a 14 year old son who suffers from enlarged tonsils and bouts of tonsillitis

I have a 14 year old son who suffers from enlarged tonsils and bouts of tonsillitis. I believe that this could be treated by adjusting his diet and lifestyle, but unfortunately I don't have any control over this as I am separated from his father who has full custody.

My son was scheduled to have his tonsils removedas two doctors have told my husband that they are just "too big".I am very much against a tonsillectomy and so I gathered as much information as I could detailing the futility and danger of such an operation, not to mention the small, but certainly not insignificant, risk of death involved.

My husband's response to this information was to defer the operation while he seeks the opinion of a specialist. I should be astonished if a specialist says anything except hat the tonsils should have been taken out yesterday!

My final hope is if I can persuade you to publish this letter and allow me to appear to any of your readers who have suffered, or know of anyone who has suffered, any harm or ill effects whatsoever from a tonsillectomy, to write to me with their story. First hand experience isthe best possible evidence. Leanne Quintano, c/o Mr N. M. Gwynne, 57 Bridge Street, Pershore, Worcs.

The late Robert Mendelsohn, himself a respected American paediatrician, had the following to say about tonsillectomies

"Few children reached their teens with their tonsils intact, despite the fact hat their removal could rarely be justified on legitimate medical grounds. For millions of children the consequences of this purposeless surgery were emotional trauma, loss of a natural defense against disease, and, in some cases, death.

"The only absolute indications for tonsillectomy or for removal of the adenoids are malignancy or airway obstruction because the tonsils are so swollen that it becomes virtually impossible for your child to breath. Yet, for any decades doctors performed them routinely, defending this irrational behaviour with the unproven contention that failure to remove infected tonsils would subject the child to possible hearing loss or, at the very least, lead to recurrent sore throats.

". . . The tonsils and adenoids are lymphoid tissues, which are the primary site of the body's immunologic activity against disease. Because they are the interceptors of bacteria entering your child's throat, it is inevitable that they become infected, swollen and inflamed. If they are removed, your child's first line of defense against infection is gone, and the responsibility is transferred to the lymph nodes in his neck. His body's immunologic competence is reduced and there may be an increased risk that your child will become a victim of Hodgkin's disease. . . .

"I doubt that more than one child in 10,000 requires this surgery, yet hundreds of thousands of tonsillectomies are still performed every year. They result in 100-300 deaths, with a complication rate of 16 per 1,0000 procedures."

A final thought. You may recommend that as one of these "experts" your husband speak to Dr. Stephen Davies, Damien Downing or other clinical ecologists with experience in treating chronic infections by boosting the immune system, treating allergies or nutritional deficiencies. Another possibility is to avoid dairy products, which often are the culprit in chronic ear or throat infections.


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