Dr. Harry Clements, of England, an esteemed friend of the author's, remarks in his Children's Ailments; "When parents and guardians become enlightened as to the proper function of the tonsils, they will not turn to surgeons for help; they will turn on themselves with reproach." He makes this sage observation in his discussion of tonsils and adenoids. I endorse it unqualifiedly.
The tonsils, like the appendix and gall bladder, are special friends of the commercial surgeons. They are little bundles of adenoid tissue (Iymphoid structures) in the throat. There are several of them as follows; the FAUCIAL tonsils, one on each side of the throat; the PHARYNGEAL tonsil on the roof of the space above the throat (the soft palate) and back of the nose, (This is the so-called adenoid); the EUSTACHIAN or TUBAL tonsils, one surrounding the opening of each Eustachain tube; the LINGUAL tonsil, a cluster of tonsillar tissue at the base of the tongue; and, finally, the LARYNGEAL tonsil in the larynx or "voice box." These tonsils are all connected by means of lymphatic vessels and form what is known as WALDEYER'S RING.
These lymphoid structures have as their most important function, the arrest and detoxification of organic toxins which may get into the circulation from the mouth, nose or adjacent structures and from the intestines. When more toxins reach them than they are able to detoxify, their cells enlarge, thus enlarging the tonsils, in order to increase their capacity for work. An enlarged tonsil is an effort to preserve health. Rather than being a menace to life, it is a benefit.
The FAUCIAL tonsils help to support the soft palate and are also important in producing the great variety of tones in the voice. Removal of these tonsils frequently ruins the singing and speaking voice, lowering the voice by one octave.
ACUTE FOSSULITIS, erroneously called ACUTE TONSILITIS, is inflammation of the mucous membrane which covers the outer surface of the faucial tonsils and dips down into and lines the tonsillar crypts or fossulae. This is the most common from of tonsilitis or "sore throat."
QUINCY, erroneously called abscessed tonsil, but really a peritonsillar abscess, is an abscess which forms in the tissues surrounding (usually above) the faucials. This may form on one or both sides of the throat. It begins as common "tonsilitis" or acute or chronic fossulitis and, due to improper care, or to overwhelming of the lymph glands, extends to adjacent and underlying, tissues and nodes and nodules culminating in abscess formation. The abscess usually ruptures into the throat. Rare cases require to be lanced. Thus, these "two diseases'' are really one.
SYMPTOMS: The"onset" of acute fossulitis (follicular tonsilitis) is usually sudden with a rapid rise of temperature which may range from 101 F. to as high as 104 F. The throat is sore, hot, dry, scratchy and swallowing is difficult. The tongue is coated and the breath foul. The tonsils enlarge, the surrounding tissues become congested and inflamed, the glands under the jaw and down on to the throat become swollen and sore. One or more gray or yellow spots or patches form on one or both tonsils. These spots are composed of a cheesy or "pussy" matter in the crypts or fossulae. They are not composed of pus. Headaches, backache; etc. may be present.
Quincy presents these same symptoms, often aggravated, plus the formation of the abscess.
CHRONIC FOSSULITIS, or chronic follicular tonsilitis is a persistent, lowgrade catarrhal inflammation. The condition is characterized by the constant presence of dirty gray or yellow plugs of cheesy" matter hanging from the fossulae. When these are thrown out they have a foul taste and a foul odor.
"ADENOIDS," which is the popular name for enlargement of the pharyngeal tonsil, usually accompanies chronic follicular tonsilitis. Adenoids are also frequently referred to as "adenoid growths" and "adenoid vegetations." The membranes of the nose and throat are passively congested and thickened. Besides the enlargement of the pharyugeal tonsil, there is a concomitant swelling of the thousands of lymph nodes and nodules adjacent to the tonsil.
In young children (under fifteen) "adenoids" are frequently so much enlarged that they obstruct the nasal passage, resulting in the habit of breahting through the mouth. Due partly to the interference with oxygenation, but largely to the systemic condition that gives rise to this condition, such children are flat- cheated, thin, anemic and often mentally dull. The nostrils are pinched and coughing commonly accompanies the condition. Sleep is interferred with and these children become dull, listless and chronically tired. Frequent attacks of bronchitis are not uncommon concomitants.
Surgical removal of the pharyngeal tonsil is the common mode of treatment. It is unsatisfactory as well as damaging. The tonsils usually regrow or other lymph glands adjacent thereto enlarge and the trouble is as bad as ever. We frequently meet with people who have had two or three such operations and who are worse than ever before. A third operation is advised. Only recently I saw a child which had had three operations and a fourth was now demanded by the surgeon. These cases quickly yield to the care that will be described fully in this chapter. Dr. Faulkner says of the surgical methods in these cases:
"The results of operation will always be disappointing in cases that accompany nasal catarrh; with thickening of the lining of the nasal passages, in cases of narrow nostrils, and mix-shaped nose; in cases of irregular teeth, in deformity of the upper jaw; deformity of the mouth and palate, in cases of deafness, with inflammation of the middle ear and with thickening and hardening of the linings of the ear passages; in affections of the ear drum; and in all children with poor constitutions, improper or insufficient food, and bad hygienic surroundings."
If there are any cases not included in this, let me add that the operation will always be unsatisfactory in these also.
The "adenoids" normally shrink in size after puberty and are seldom the seat of trouble thereafter.
Inflammation, enlargement or abscess of the lingual tonsil (the tongue tonsil), although apparently less common than troubles of the faucial and pharyngeal tonsils, may occur more often than generally supposed. When it becomes inflamed the whole base of the tongue sometimes becomes inflamed also. The tongue becomes tender on pressure and both talking and swallowing become difficult. Breathing may even be affected.
THE TUBAL TONSILS often become enlarged and inflamed. This is usually accompanied with the swelling of the thousands of nodes and nodules in the immediate neighborhood, and also by a passive, non-inflammatory swelling of the mucous membrane lining the cavity back of the nose and this may, in turn, partly close the Eustachain tube resulting in catarrhal deafness. This catatth may even extend up into the eustachain tube and into the middle ear. Most such cases are curable by the methods later to be described.
Inflammations and enlargements of the various tonsils arc usually associated with other conditions of the mouth, nose and throat, such as catarrh, colds, sinus inflammation, inflammation in the antrum and posterior nares, abscessed teeth, etc. The patch work methods of medical men in treating these conditions are as absurd as those employed in treating the tonsils. The method, described in this chapter will prevent or correct these other conditions also. After all, prevention is the logical plan and natural hygiene will really prevent the development of disease.
CAUSES: These troubles develop in children and adults who suffer with gastro-intestinal indigestion and who habitually over eat on milk, bread, cereals, and other starches, sugar, cakes, pies, preserves, syrups, pan cakes, candies, ice cream and the like. Add these factors to faulty elimination and such persons will develop trouble every time a drop in temperature, an unusual exposure, or an environmental stress places a heavier tax upon their nervous energies and, thus, puts and added check to elimination. "Adenoids" are less frequent in breast-fed than in bottle fed infants. The manner in which medical men insist on lots of milk for children and, then, follow this with wholesale tonsil operations, looks suspiciously like they know how to build trade. Cereals with milk and sugar, fruits with starches and sugar; frequent between meal eating--these will cause enough digestive derangement to produce tonsilitis. The medical man's insistence on plenty of nourishment leads parents to believe that these troubles are due to lack of food. They stuff and cram their children and feed them cod-liver oil and, as a direct consequence, they are made sick.
The present vogue is to cut out the tonsils upon the least sign of trouble and often when there is no trouble at all. This method is both futile and damaging, although lucrative to the doctor or surgeon. In my book, The Natural Cure of Tonsillar and Adenoid Affections, I have carefully analyzed this practice from every angle and shown its damaging character, as well as the utter needlessness if it.
Here before me as I write, lies a book entitled The Mother and the Child. It is written by a registered nurse, Kathryn L. Jensen, and published by the Review and Herald Pub. Assn., the official publishing house of the Adventist Church. The book has had a wide circulation among these faithful of the Lord. In this book I find such atheism as the following:
"There is only one remedy for seriously diseased tonsils and that is the complete removal of the diseased tissues by a competent surgeon. Whether or not the tonsils are diseased is of course, a question for a competent throat specialist to decide."
Miss Jensen seems wholly unaware of the fact that it is to: the financial interest of this competent throat specialist to decide that the tonsils are diseased, and that he usually decides in his own favor. Because she is ignorant of methods, other than surgical removal, which remedy the condition of the throat, she is not,. thereby, licensed to offer her ignorance as an infallible rule for the mothers of this land. There was never a more false statement made than that removal is the only remedy for diseased tonsils. Removal is not even a remedy--still less is it the only remedy. Miss Jensen may be forgiven for repeating what she has been. taught by her medical superiors, but those superiors are certainly guilty of crime.
The inevitable results of leaving to experts the matter of determining whether or not the tonsils of your child are diseased, is well illustrated by the following facts. In his popular newspaper column, How to Keep Well, Dr. W. H. Brady recently ran an article entitled "The Scandal of Tonsillectomy." In it he mentions a certain mid-western city in which, in a given month, approximately a thousand tonsils were removed. A pathologist went to the trouble to examine one thousand tonsils, removed in a dispensary, and found that 710 of them had never been seriously affected, and that 430 did not reveal any evidence whatever of the need (from the medical viewpoint) of an operation. These specialists, who spill the blood of your children for money, cannot be trusted to tell the truth about the conditions they find in their little throats.
Miss Jensen says: "Only yesterday a mother exclaimed, 'Had I only known two years ago that my boy's diseased tonsils and adenoids would cause deafness." "Another parent rejoices because a supposedly dull child is now making his grades with ease, as a result of the removal of diseased adenoids. The anemic, underweight child can usually be helped if diseased tonsils or adenoids are the cause of the malnourished condition. These diseased tissues act as distributing points for germs, and through the blood stream infect every part of the body.
"This pus, even in minute amount, may cause rheumatism of the most serious type, affecting joints as well as muscles. Chronic middle ear disease, causing deafness, is a common result, because of the easy access to that organ from the tonsil. Many of the serious heart diseases, acute and chronic kidney diseases, and some serious eye troubles are the result of infection from diseased tonsils and adenoids.
''Because diseased tonsils and enlarged adenoids in childhood impair nutrition, the vitality is correspondingly lowered, and the cliild is more easily susceptible to colds, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other contagious diseases."
Now that we know the diseases that are caused by diseased tonsils, we only need to know what causes the diseased tonsils. If we think that perhaps Miss Jensen knows the secret, we are to be disappointed; for, our search reveals only that she is a product of her medical training. She knows no more than the medical profession and might well have left her book unwritten. There already are too many such books. She advices: "Observe carefully the eating, breathing, and sleeping habits of your children. Have their eyes, nose, throat, ears, and teeth examined carefully once a year by a competent physician and dentist. Upon the first evidence of impairment of tonsils or adenoids, take the child to a competent throat specialist. If you do this, it will later save you many dollars in doctor bills."
This is the old story. Watch for symptoms and have these treated as soon as they appear. She heads this advice, "Prevention." But no trouble is ever prevented by treating it after it develops. I don't care how many medical men and their echoes in the nursing profession dispute this, prevention makes treatment unnecessary. If a trouble is prevented, there will be no "first evidence of impairment of tonsils and adenoids." Miss Jensen simply does not expect the carrying out of her advice to prevent tonsillar troubles.
Under "after effects" Miss Jensen says: "Adenoid tissue (the tonsils are composed of adenoid tissue) does sometimes reappear, and a second, and sometimes a third removal may be necessary after the first." She tells us that "this happens only in extreme cases," a statement that is contrary to the testimony of the leading throat specialists of both Europe and America.
CARE AND REMEDY: If the case is acute all food should be withheld until all acute symptoms are gone after which a fruit diet should be given for three to five days. If the case is chronic a fast or an orange or grapefruit diet may be employed until the throat is clean and breathing is free and easy. Then, a fruit diet or a fruit and green vegetable diet should be fed until the tonsils are nearly normal, after which moderate quantities of proteins and starches should be added to the diet.
The mouth and throat should be kept clean. Antiseptic washes and gargles, however, should not be employed for this purpose. Most drugless men employ dilute lemon juice for this purpose. If the reader is still addicted to the sick habit and the "doctoring" habit, he may employ the dilute lemon juice.
After the tonsils are normal it is an easy matter to keep them so by proper care of the body. Plenty of rest and sleep, an abundance of sunshine, daily out door exercise and a proper diet are all that are essential. No drugs should be given at any time, during or after the trouble.
Massage of the throat should be avoided, as should, also, packs
around the throat.