Did you know that certain cancers and autoimmune diseases may have a similar cause? And that cause is completely avoidable? What you're about to read is maddening. Because the cause of these diseases is completely unnecessary in most cases.
The cause is a very common surgery that many children and some adults have done to relieve a reoccurring sore throat. As you have probably figured out, the surgery removes the tonsils. Doctors typically think the tonsils don't do anything, so they have no problem cutting them out. Nearly a quarter-million people have their tonsils removed every year. Most of them unnecessarily. Doctors will remove them if you have too many sore throats in a year — or if they're too big.
Some tonsils get so big they cause breathing problems. If you've tried everything else and they won't shrink, you may have to remove them. But you must know ahead of time that the surgery is going to wreak havoc on your immune system. That's because the tonsils are part of your immune system. When you eat and drink (or just swallow saliva), you swallow tons of bacteria. Some of it good bacteria. Much of it bad bacteria. Your tonsils provide that first line of defense to fight these pathogens that you just swallowed. They also help protect you against any inhaled pathogens. That's because your tonsils have specialized cells on their surface that captures these pathogens. This makes it easy for the B cells and T cells to attack and destroy.
So when the surgeon removes the tonsils, they're removing your first line of defense against disease. What's more, it has a lasting impact on your immune system. Back in the 1950s, polio was still a major problem in the United States. Researchers found that children who had a tonsillectomy were three times more likely to contract bulbar polio than the children who didn't have their tonsils removed. Bulbar polio infects the brainstem. And it's interesting that some of the symptoms of polio are similar to tonsillitis – sore throat, fever, headache, and vomiting. These researchers suggested that the tonsils are catching the polio virus and beating it rather than letting it infect the brainstem. I don't know if this has been proven, but it makes sense.
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Consider this: The tissue that makes up your tonsils is very similar to other lymphatic tissue. You've probably heard of the lymph nodes that are in your arm pits and near the groin. This tissue holds lymphocytes. These are a special type of white blood cell. They fight against bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and toxins. And they help control the immune response. So when you remove the tonsils, it throws your entire immune system into a tailspin. This makes you more susceptible to autoimmune disease and cancers that are caused by viruses, such as lymphoma and sarcoma.
Why are you more susceptible? In 2012, researchers found that the tonsil "is a 'factory' for immune cells." It specifically makes T-cells. And these T-cells are what protect you against viral cancers and autoimmune diseases.
So instead of having your tonsils cut out, what can you do to fight tonsillitis? The first thing to try is avoiding common food allergens, such as dairy, wheat, and eggs. Dairy is the most common culprit. So avoid it and see if that shrinks the tonsils.
If that doesn't work, then try some vitamin D and some vitamin C. The dosage for the vitamin D is 5,000 IU daily for adults. For children, WebMD says 2,000 IU daily for children. This is a good dose. Or they can take 5,000 IU every other day or every third day. For vitamin C, take a minimum of 1,000 mg daily. During tonsillitis, take up to 1,000 IU after each meal. Your bowels may not tolerate this dose, so you may need to start lower and build up. If you're taking vitamin C already, your bowels will be more tolerant of it. If these two nutrients aren't enough, try other immune-boosters, such as Echinacea and garlic.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.