Recurring tonsillitis sometimes plague young ones and can also cause a host of other problems as time goes on.

This story, of one of my patient’s, is a good example of what can happen.

My young client came in with a sorry story, but with persistence, patience and understanding he is beginning to turn the corner.  Here is what his Mum says:

From about 5 months old, “D” has always suffered from being unwell, mainly from virus’ or bacterial infections that have effected his airway or throat.
This impacted his body so much that it slowed his digestive system, white blood cell count and iron levels. It has also affected his sleep.
The main symptom he has continuously suffered from is tonsillitis.
Having spent over 2 years to-ing and fro-ing from hospital and the doctors surgery, constantly being given antibiotics; it got to the point at the end of 2019 that my husband and I pushed for a referral to ENT as he had had tonsillitis 5 times in the year.
As we entered 2020 “D” became unwell again with bacterial tonsillitis and then it went straight into having an ear infection. This meant that in the space of 6 weeks he was prescribed 3 lots of antibiotics.
His appointment letter came through, with a 6 month wait (!) before he would be seen by ENT, just for a consultation.
I spoke to Gayle about “D’s” journey and continual struggle of being unwell (on a short mini-consultation to see if Osteopathy could help.) She offered her skills and we began treatment.
Gayle has seen Dennis for 8 sessions so far and there has been a dramatic change in Dennis’ digestive system, and his energy levels. His tonsils are still enlarged but they are not so inflamed or infected.
This little man was just over 3 years old when I saw him – and his body was tired of fighting the bugs and feeling under the weather – but he hadn’t given up!
Having taken a detailed history and thorough examination I found very enlarged tonsils – lots of redness too, but no pustules on them (a good sign), so in effect they were working hard to fight any oral bugs coming into the mouth but were over-stretched. This often happens when the immunity and drainage systems are chronically overloaded.
He had a very narrow posterior throat so the tonsils and adenoids are physically squished into a small area, which makes the situation worse.
The two together lead to mouth breathing – as you can see from the photo – there is not much airway left! This in turn leads to sleep disturbances, night terrors and as the Eustacian tube exits are just by the enlarged tonsils – often ear infections.
All of this is in his symptom picture.
In addition he had two bouts of croup during his first and fifth months – again a sign that there are physical compromises to the function of the head and neck – leading to a proliferation of “bugs” (viral and bacterial) in the lungs. These, and other infections since, have been treated with antibiotics and steroids. Whilst suppressing an infection at the time – they stop the body’s own immunity from developing and learning how to self-protect – not only orally, but in the gut and elsewhere.
As a young baby he also had difficulty feeding and latching on – indicating an early compromised nerve supply, which comes from the cranial base. This was found to be the case. He has had a poor appetite most of his life too.
In summary, this litany of symptoms (and there are others too) are a common presentation derived from moulding and pressures in utero and during the birth process – and then results in various compromises and adaptations as the body tries to survive its circumstances. As growth and development have to adapt around the structures that are there, without practical help things stall, and ill-health develops.

Cranial Osteopathy aims to normalise the structure and function. In “D’s” case – the cranial base restrictions, narrow palate and face, poor facial and dental drainage – are leading to overworked lymphatic tissue (tonsils etc) and a narrow airway (mouth breathing). The antibiotic use has also compromised his gut function repeatedly (even if it has made the immediate infection symptoms subside – it is short-term gain for longer term “pain”). Along with the pinched nerve effects to the gastric nerve, as they exit from the base of the skull to the gut and so upset his digestion and make his tummy feel sore.

It is slow work and requires patience from everyone – but we are beginning to see his whole body operate more normally. 🙂
He may yet need some ENT intervention or dental intervention eg braces in the future to help to widen his palate and this will open up the airway further.
Scrutinising his diet will also help his nutrition and help his gut / immune function – and strengthen his whole body.
Teaching him new ways to breathe too will be important, but he is still very young – not yet 2.5y.
I hope you can see that as an Osteopath – our work is to take ALL the facts and then understand what is happening on a micro and macro level – and then come up with a treatment plan:
  • the causes of the original structural concerns
  • improve the functional responses to the environment
  • restore good blood supply and drainage
  • boost the immune function
  • engage with other specialists as necessary to collaborate
  • improve the diet where necessary

It isn’t about having a quick fix – it is about having the whole body work better.

I also don’t aim to treat the tonsillitis per se – but by treating the WHOLE body, and restoring structure and function the clients’ body can then make the changes towards better health. This is true healing – and your body ALWAYS works towards better health! Osteopathy changes the health of the body.

I am always grateful that I have the skills and experience to assist in this. #OsteopathyWorks on so many levels – it is a whole system of healthcare – not just “putting a bone back in place!”

If this story has inspired you, you are welcome to share it.

If you want some of this “joined-up thinking and treatment” for yourself – make an appointment. Link below.

If you want to recommend someone – feel free – people need more than just the free NHS options.

Health is NOT an accident!

YOUR Health IS MY Priority!

© Gayle Palmer / Living Elements Clinic March 2020


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