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Constant Tonsil Infections
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Constant Tonsil Infections

Ok...Last year, I had tonsillitis 3 months consecutively.  Now, since this past August, I believe, I have been getting sick just about every month since then.  It usually happens during the second week of the month.  I've missed a lot of school.  I go to the doctor almost everytime I get sick, and he usually says the same thing: my tonsils are infected and I should stay home for a day or two.  He always gives me Amoxicillin for it...usually about 500 mg per capsule, one or two capsules twice a day.  Now, either my body has become so dependent on the Amoxicillin because everytime I finish the medicine, the infection comes back, or my body fights the Amoxicillin and it's useless.  When my tonsils get infected, they won't remove them because of the chance of further infection to my body.  But when they get uninfected, the won't remove them because they say they look perfectly fine.  My doctor obviously doesn't know what the problem is because he can never figure out what it is when I come to him with the problem.  This is driving me nuts.  My mom says I have to wait until the summer, after I'm out of school, to get my tonsils removed so I don't miss anymore school than I have to.  As we speak, I'm sick once again because of my tonsils being infected...I just got of the Amoxicillin from being sick a month ago...see...doesn't take long after I finish the medicine.  This is driving me nuts not know what is wrong.  I'm kind of getting scared that I might have a throat cancer of some type, although I doubt it, but the thought still enters my mind.
Please help.
Sincerley,
Sick!!!
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251132_tn?1198082422
I am sure you are tired of being sick.  That makes sense.  There are several reasons for having infections that keep coming back.  None of them are cancer.  It is possible that your tonsils are not totally clear of an infection, even after you feel well and do not appear sick and then the infection flares again.  It is possible that this has nothing to do with the tonsils, but is related to a chronic sinus infection.  These can present exactly as you have described and amoxicillin usually does not take care of the problem.  I would talk with your Mom about getting someone to look at these as possible causes of your reoccurring infections.
6 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I work in a microbiology laboratory. Many pathogens are now resistant to amoxicillin. Has a culture been taken to see exactly what's growing? Empiric treatment (i.e. treatment without culture) doesn't seem to be working. It's important to know what's going on back there.

If you are in a pre-teen or teenage age group, have you been tested for mono? Mono can present with a bad throat.

You might want to hit your doctor up for a referral to an ENT (ear/nose/throat doctor - also known as an otolaryngologist).

Exposure to more and more amoxicillin is just going to make your bacteria more and more resistant to it. It has the advantage of being cheap. However, because it's been so overused, many common bugs that used to be eliminated by it are now resistant to it.

Have your mom insist on a culture and/or a referral to a doctor who will take your complaints seriously.
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Avatar_n_tn
I went to the doctor Tuesday.  It wasn't my normal doctor, because it's very hard to get an appointment with him out of school hours.  But the doctor that i did see said that even he wasn't sure (this was the third doctor i've seen about this) what it is.  He asked a lot of questions about my allergies.  I have a lot of problems with allergies, but I am on medicine which helps that.  Then he mentioned something about acid causing it.  I told him that I have the condition IBS (irriatable bowel syndrome) and that got his attention.  He said that acid reflux might have something to do with it.  I told him that I've never had acid reflux, but he said that I could have it and just not know it.  Ok..so that's a possibility...and unlikely one, but still one.  Not tuesday, but the last time I went to the doctor for my tonsils, which was a month ago (the last time they got infected) I got tested for strep or staph (whatever it's called) and the results were negative for those two things.  The doctor said he'd have the lab run a culture on the swab, but according to the doctor I saw Tuesday, a culture was never done, and if it was, it wasn't on my file.  So supposedly a culture was done, and if it was, I nor the doctor knows the results.
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Avatar_f_tn
They may have done a rapid strep test in the office. Depending on the kit used, they are over 70%-90+% sensitive for Group A strep ONLY. They do not test for anything else. Most doctor's offices don't perform cultures. They send the swab on to a regular clinical laboratory. There is a device called a telephone (you may be familiar with that) that the doc's office could use to call the lab they usually send stuff to and see if a culture was done. The lab can also use a state-of-the-art device called a FAX machine to fax the results to the doctor's office, as I'll bet they have one of these new-fangled machines also :-). Large offices are notorious for losing lab results or having them charted on the wrong charts. I know because I used to be a lab marketing rep and also found someone else's lab work on my medical chart once (I was snooping). They yelled at me for snooping, and I said I was sorry, but it would help if they took this result out of my chart because it didn't belong to me.....nothing else was said. Obviously this doesn't happen with every report on every patient, but it might be a possibility.

Acid reflux could be causing your problem. What is your age? You sound fairly young for this sort of problem.

No offense, but are you quite overweight? That can contribute to acid reflux, also, unfortunately.

My mother has acid reflux (and is overweight), and takes Nexium daily. She has had the head of her bed propped up about 6-8 inches on blocks for years, which helps relieve the backwash of acid. You could try that in the interim - it's easy and can't hurt. Just stack something sturdy under the legs of your bed frame - the ones at the head ONLY. You'll have to sleep on a slant, but it may help.

Let us know what happens with you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, I'm very familiar with the thing called a telephone...Afterall, I am a teenager.  The doctor that I saw said that the culture would be done in their lab at the office.  I'm not sure that that's entirely true however.  And a state-of-the-art device such as a fax machine is way too complicated for doctors here in Roanoke.  I wouldn't doubt it if they did lose my results or stuck them in another chart.  They're pretty well known for screwing up at my doctor's office.  Especially when it comes to billing payments and overcharging large large not-needed sums of money.
I am 16 years old and my doctor does seem to think that my stomach problems are a bit unusual for somebody my age.  I've had this problem since I was 15 and I'll be turning 17 soon.
I don't think that I'm overweight...a couple of months ago I was about 10 or 15 pounds more than I should be for my age and my height, but i've lost 20 lbs since them and I'm getting in better shape.  
For my IBS, I take Levbid.  Well, if the bed thing really works, then that's great...but uh, I have a very heavy bed...It's a bunk bed and not one of those that's make out of the crappy "metal".  One of the nice, you're-never-gonna-get-it-off-the-ground wood bunk beds.  So that idea might not work.

Also, to your first response....I was in the hospital a while back because I suddenly was struck down with severe pain and couldn't move with a temperature of 104.  I was tested for strep, mono, and the flu.  I had to have the nose swab done which I'm really wondering if the nurse that did it to me has ever experienced that cause she was taking extra precautions to make sure it was uncomfortable.  The ran it in the lab and it came back neg for strep and mono, but I did have the flu.  But not just the flu...a very rare type so i'm told...i was about the 5th case the doctor that examined had seen in our county or something like that.  So no mono.

I see what you mean about the body becoming more and more resistant to amoxicillin after more and more exposure.  Well, anytime that I've seen the doctor for my tonsils, which has been every month or close to every month since this past August, all that he's given me to treat it has been Amoxicillin.  So that's been 10 months of Amoxicillin...I think the effectives is starting to decrease...Do you think?!?!?!?

You're also right about the amoxicillin being cheap...especially with my insurance...it was only .79 cents.

But the thing with the ENT, the doctor said he doesn't see what good that do really.  I'm sure why.  I know that I need to go to talk to an ENT to get my tonsils removed which is very likely to happen in June or July...I have to wait till school's over.  So, I'm not really entirely sure what to do about this.  It would be great to find out what's causing this and get it out of my body...But like i said, it might not even be bacterial like the doctor said.  He really really doubts that.  I'm trying to think back to the past couple of years as to any serious medical problems that I've had that could be causing this.  I don't take a lot of vitamins and I know that that's bad for my immune system.  My mother's been MAKING me take them this past year so that I don't get so sick...But I'm wondering that maybe because I started taking the vitamins that maybe because my body's not used to it that my immune system is going haywire.  I don't see how that's really likely.  I mean, i don't even take the vitamins that much.  So i doubt it's that.  I seem to be very much like my mother in the case of getting sick...if anything at all is going around, she get's it...then i wind up getting it from her in the end.  I can't really think of anything that could be causing my tonsils to be constantly infected that has to do with past medical problems.  I don't know...It's getting very frustrating...especially when my doctor(s) can't even figure out what's causing it.
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Avatar_f_tn
You can prop yourself up on pillows when you sleep. Try that for a few nights. You can also get a wedge pillow to put under your mattress, but they're not real cheap.

If you're giving each other illnesses, make SURE you wash your hands a lot. Also. Wash off the telephone (telephones are NOTORIOUS for passing bugs), doorknobs, etc. Always wash after you're in the bathroom. If you have dirty Kleenex's, don't leave them lying around for others to pick up - throw them out yourself. Keep antibacterial wipes by the phone for awhile. It can't hurt, and maybe can stop the bug passing. I KNOW you're on the phone a lot (my daughter is 24, and she lived there) so this may help. Use handgel when you can't use soap and water.

The vitamins are GOOD for you. They will help. Any that you don't need, you will urinate out the excess.

I still think it sounds like you need to see an ENT.

I'll be gone for a week, but will check the thread when I get back. Hope things get better for you.
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