Research: The Long-Term Risks of Having Your Tonsils Out
A World-First Longitudinal Study by University led by the University of Melbourne has specifically looked at the long-term effects of removing the tonsils and adenoids in childhood.
“For the first time, researchers have examined the long-term effects of removing tonsils and adenoids in childhood, finding the operations are associated with increased respiratory, infectious and allergic diseases.”
In is fantastic that the linked article (below – and captioned above), by Dr Nerissa Hannink, of The University of Melbourne, has looked at the long-term risk of removing the tonsils and adenoids in childhood – and, especially that the conclusion was; “…..our results support delaying tonsil and adenoid removal if possible, which could aid normal immune system development in childhood and reduce the possible later-life disease risks we observed in our study,” Dr Byars says.
For practitioners working with the impact of dysfunctional breathing (according to medical diagnostic norms) in clients, we find this as no surprise, especially given that most people fail to breath anywhere near medical diagnostic norms for what is considered functional for breathing – and the dysfunction most often begins at a young age.
In the linked article the tonsils and adenoids are described as acting as first line of immune defense.
“But we now know that adenoids and tonsils are strategically positioned in the nose and throat respectively, in an arrangement known as Waldeyer’s ring. They act as a first line of defense, helping to recognise airborne pathogens like bacteria and viruses, and begin the immune response to clear them from the body.”
However, when you look at the structure of the entire respiratory system, including the nose, we are designed to principally breathe in and out of the nose – the mouth being reserved for breathing in emergencies such as high level exercise or when one is startled or out of breath, and takes a gasp. The hairs in the nose filter the air we breathe, and the mucus in the nose and sinuses disinfect, humidify, and heat and cool the air that we inhale, so that when air reaches the lungs for gas exchange it is moist. at the right temperature and clean, optimising gas exchange.
As such, perhaps that tonsils and adenoids are not first line of immune defense. It would make more sense that the nose and sinuses are first and second line (in correct breathing), making the tonsils and adenoids third or fourth line of immune defense.
This may also then explain why the tonsils and adenoids become so inflamed in children. Given so many people mouth breathe instead of, or in addition to, primarily nose breathing, this would mean that the nose and sinuses are largely or completely by-passed by inhaled air making the tonsils and adenoids now first line of immune defense instead of 3rd or 4th. Therefore, perhaps they are being overworked by taking too much of the load of a function they merely assist in, rather than performing entirely – the resultant inflammation of tonsils and adenoids being a consequence of this overload.
In addition to delaying the removal of tonsils and adenoids as suggested by the research in the article, it may also be prudent to investigate the reason why the tonsils and adenoids become inflamed so often in children.
Correcting, or retaining breathing to functional norms, could be the first step in addressing this issue. That, on a few occasions has certainly has been my findings in clinic with clients, and that many of my colleagues report.
If you’d like to learn to retrain your breathing to correct, or functional levels, then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0425 739 918.