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Tonsil and Thyroid Issue

By March 3, 2010 - 7:02pm
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I was wondering, I've been having tonsillitis problems for about almost a year now and I feel as tho my thyroid might be getting affected by this. Lately I've been feeling a little swelling on both sides of my throat around the thyroid area. What I'm confused about is that is it possible for tonsillitis to affect the thyroid glands? A ENT specialist told me that you might feel a little swelling around the lower portion of the neck but it's really been bothering me lately. Would removing the tonsils help this?

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my daughter aged around 12 years have suffering for cold and cuff. She have been feeling a little swelling on both sides. we have tested the blodd test of tsh but the report is negative, but in Sonography her left side glands is 3 inch and right is around 5 inch. What I'm confused about is that is it possible for tonsillitis to affect the thyroid gland and tell me what precaution have to take for child.

December 9, 2014 - 10:39pm

Hi, cGao,

Welcome to EmpowHer, and thank you for writing!

If you've been having tonsillitis for more than a year, that in itself seems enough reason to me to have them removed. That's a lot of pain and suffering (and a lot of antibiotics!) to deal with. Is there a reason why you or your doctor are hesitant to go ahead and take them out?

It's impossible for us to tell you how it would affect your specific case. But since the tonsils and the thyroid occupy the same space, along with your lymph glands, it makes sense that any of them can affect the other. Here's a bit of a TIME magazine article on tonsils and thyroid goitre:

Dr. John Theodore King of Baltimore argued that at least exophthalmic goitre is intimately connected with chronic tonsillitis. His thesis: the lymph channels of the thyroid and the lymph glands of the neck (including the tonsils) are closely interconnected. This is a newly discovered fact. Through these lymphatic channels any infection of the neck can spread and affect the sympathetic nervous system which serves the neck and eye sockets. All this led Dr. King to suspect that the most frequently infected gland of the neck, the tonsils, might be the cause of exophthalmic goitre.

You can read the whole article (it's not long) here:

Basically, you are dealing with inflammation of one area, and wondering whether it affects another area. And the answer is yes, especially when swelling and soreness are involved. But as to whether having your tonsils out would make the swelling go down at the base of your neck is something you'd need to ask your doctor. If it is another thyroid problem -- completely apart from the tonsils -- that would need to be addressed on its own.

March 5, 2010 - 9:32am
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