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Got Strep Throat 3 Times in 2 Months
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Got Strep Throat 3 Times in 2 Months

I am a 26 year female, I have been a vegetarian for the last 2 years. I got strep throat about 2 months ago and was given Augmentin to treat it for 10 days. It came back about 2 weeks ago and I was treated again with Augmentin for 10 days. Now it is back again and the doctor said I should consider having my tonsils removed if it comes back again. He has me taking Tetracyclin now and it's day 2.  My tonsils have gotten worse, they are pus pockets all over. He never gave me any type of throat culture though. He said he was sure that it was strep because of the pus sacs.

I don't want to have my tonsils removed, even the doctor told me that there is no gurantee that I won't get another throat infection. I am so worried and am tired of feeling aching, sore and ill every other few weeks. I used to get a lot of sore throats as a child but just recently started getting them alot this year, in addition to 2 upper respiratory infections. I hate the fact that I have to keep taking antibiotics and am wondering if my immune system is conking out on me and if so why? Why do I keep getting sick. Also I am currently taking Microbiology and deal with specimens but I am careful, furthermore I am the only student getting sick.  I am thinking of getting a second opinion but don't know if I should see a Ear, Nose & Throat doctor or an Immunology & Allergy doctor.
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You should definitely not have a tonsillectomy at this time, before further testing is done.  First, your throat should be cultured for fungi and for a wide range of bacteria (including anaerobic bacteria). This should include those of sexually transmitted diseases, if there has been exposure.  You may need an evaluation of your immune system but that should be done after the microbiological evaluation.  There are also non-infectious causes for what appear to be purulent tonsils.

Your best bet for a thorough evaluation would be an Infectious Disease Specialist.  
6 Comments
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I have worked in clinical micro for almost 30 years. My humble opinion is that you really need a throat culture first off.

Second, I would see an ENT as soon as possible and get a second opinion. You could actually have a peritonsillar abscess:

http://www.aafp.org/afp/20020101/93.pdf

You are in the right age range. If you truly have this condition, tonsillectomy (the sooner the better) is recommended by this author.

Group A beta strep and/or Fusobacterium can be the culprit. If your insurance allowed, call an ENT tomorrow! Don't mess around with this throat any longer. Tetracycline is not a drug of choice if you have Group A beta strep, and you can have long-term sequelae if your kidneys become involved with Group A that isn't treated correctly. Tell them you have pus pockets hanging off the back of your throat, or they'll make you wait forever to get in to see the ENT.

Allergies don't cause pus to form. Infections cause pus.

Check out this site too - eMedicine always has good writeups. Pay particular attention to the differential diagnosis section:

http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2684.htm

You also could have Mono! Have you been tested for that? You're in the right age range for that, and mono can give you a nasty looking throat.

Good luck. Let us know how you come out.
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel for you....you sound a lot like me!  I am your same age and have been battling recurrent infections very similar to yours since July.  I know it is frustrating, scary and depressig too. My family Dr. attributed it to my job (2nd grade teacher) but like you mentioned with your work, nobody else is sick ALL the time!
I was already established with an allergist/immunoligist my current problems started.  He did order an immunoglobulin panel, but when it came back normal he sent me to my ENT.  Since most of your problems are with your throat, the ENT might be your best bet....I am not in the medical field, I am just speaking from personal experience.  Hang in there and don't give up!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Bacitech and sc1230.  I went to an ENT yesterday and he said he thinks I have mono.  So I went directly back to my doctor and he took my blood to check for mono, I'll know by Tuesday if I have it.  In the mean time he told me to take some more Agumentin but of course I am not going to do that.  In fact I feel better since I stopped taking the antibiotics yesterday, I have not gotten another fever and although my throat is still sore with white spots, I don't feel as fatigued.

I have just been drinking Golden Seal and Echinechea tea, eating garlic and chewing on watercress.  I am also doubling up on Acidophilis to get my normal flora back up in my system.

I'll let you guys know if I have mono or not.

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for your comments.  I got the monotest done but no mono showed up, so I guess I don't have mono.  So I decided to stop taking the antibiotics and drunk lots of goldenseal/echinichea teas, ate lots of raw garlic and started eatting red meat again (I stopped eating meat over a year ago) because I was told that my not eating meat could have affected my immune system.  Now I have not sore throat and the spots on my tonsils are gone.  I don't know what to think, I am just happy I feel better again and am hoping I don't get sick again but if I do I will take all of your advice.

Thanks again,
Cheryl
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Avatar_f_tn
Glad you are feeling better. Perhaps you weren't getting enough protein in your diet or something.

Anyway, something is right now that wasn't, so good luck.
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