curious question about tonsils taken out as a kid.

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 172
   Posted 1/10/2009 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, this may sound silly, but I was curious about something. My son, who now has colitis, had his tonsils removed when he was three.  Before he did, he was always sick, always got strep throat, one case after another.  Then at 3 his doctor took out his tonsils.  After that, the kid never got sick, not even a cold, a flu, (that the rest of us would get)
Then about 10 years ago, he got this colitis.  He is now on Remicade, gets his 3rd infusion Friday.  So,  I wondered if any body else had this connection.  My two other sons, still have their tonsils and they dont' have colitis.  The weird thing is,  my husband used to get strep throat all the time and around 25 had his tonsils out.  It is rough on an older person.  It was a couple years after that he got his first colitis symtoms.  Hmmmm. just made me wonder.  Do the tonsils have anything to do with someones immune system.  I still have mine, and I don't have colitis either. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 1/10/2009 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Don't know if there's a connection or not, but I had mine taken out around four years old. Mine was taken out because of allergies and sore throats. I also ended up around 8 or 9 having to have tubes in my ears... Took awile til they figured out I was allergic to grass and hay. They started me on weekly allergy shots, then went to monthly about the time I turned 14. By 16 we quit shots all together. I still have the allergy, but not as bad. Now I can mow the grass with no problems and even make hay. Being trapped up in the mow with all the hay makes it a little hard, but I can handle it.
38 yr old male, NE Ohio
diagnosed in aug 2008
30 mg predisone, 9 balsalazide, rowesa enema, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol, 2 probiotic, 2 aloe vera
gluten intolerance... attempting to live no/low gluten
update: down to 25 mg pred a day as of 12/25/08
update: down to 20 Mg pred a day as of 1/7/09

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I still have my tonsils and have UC. Had a two year non stop flare a few years back.

Eva Lou
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
got mine out when I was 26- after a year of being on antibiotics basically non-stop for chronic strep. If anything, the trigger would likely be the heavy antibiotic use due to the chronic strep. I haven't had strep since.

diagnosed with UC '02
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Fiber supplement

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16714
   Posted 1/10/2009 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I have tonsils but I have had other surgeries that were hard on my body... I wonder if surgery and the antiboptics from surgery could have something to do with it?
Diagnosed with proctitis in March 2007 - Treated with Canasa 2x Daily
Diagnosed with UC December but had symptoms months ago - Treating with Asacol (feel hopeless)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 1/10/2009 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I was 30 when I had mine out and by then I had already had Uc for about 8 years. There was a theory floating around here about a year or so ago that there could be a connection of Uc activation and our appendixes and tonsils. I can't quite remember what it was all about so maybe try a google search and see what you find.
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Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 1/10/2009 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I still have my tonsils and my appendix. I took antibiotics a lot as a child; almost never as an adult. I developed UC in my 50's.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 1/10/2009 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
There is likely no connection, I still have all my parts, tonsils, appendix and such and I still got an IBD and my mom has UC and never got her tonsils's similar to the coincidence of people who've had mono and then getting UC at some point, it's coincidence, although there are triggers involved with having an IBD so I guess nothing can be necessarily completely ruled out, besides which for the most part, one must be genetically disposed in order for the triggers to set off the disease.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 1/10/2009 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I doubt that doctors fully understand what tonsils do-- they are part of our lymph system-- so they have something to do with immunology. Many members writing here suffered serious and/or recurrent bouts of tonsillitis (& some have sinusitis) before developing UC. I had severe tonsillitis around age 7-8 then it went away 'til my early 20s. Then UC hit me 8-10 yrs later, but my tonsils have been o.k. during that time. Medical science still cannot explain these things. Some IBD researchers in the 1990s thought there may be a connection between childhood appendectomy (due to appendicitis) & failure to develop major intestinal disease later in life-- so they concluded that the appendectomies had a possible "protective" effect on the rest of the colon. But that is really still speculation-- they still don't know enough about the human immune system to arrive at a proven relation between the 2 types of illness. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 1/10/2009 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
They used to think there was a link to crohn's and the mumps but further research found there was no actual link after all...much still needs to be learned when it comes to IBD, the sooner the better for us all.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 1/10/2009 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I got my tonsils out last year, about a year after I got UC. There was an interested thread posted here about it, probably around September of 2007 if you want to search for it.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa; Canasa; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; sublingual allergy drops

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 1/10/2009 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
     I had my tonsils removed when I was five.  I really don't think there is any connection, but I do think there is a connection between heavy antibiotic usuage and UC.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/ see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 460
   Posted 1/10/2009 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I have my tonsils and I have UC. My sister got her tonsils out when she was 5 or 6 and she doesn't have UC. Definitely no connection from my family's perspective.
Female, Age 37
Diagnosed w/c.diff 7/02 when pregnant w/1st and only child during 2nd trimester(wasn't on antibiotics)
C.diff flare within weeks of delivering baby 1/03
Diagnosed with UC 2/03
Current Meds:
75mg 6-MP
Cortenema as needed
Ferrex Forte
Sacchromyces Boulardii 

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 1/10/2009 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
My son's ENT told us that the tonsils are there to "catch" germs,etc. when a person swallows. As you grow and your immunities build then you don't need them (supposedly after around the age of 3). I have my tonsils and UC. My son had his tonsils out last year so I pray that there is NO connection!!

Angela - 38 yr old female
Diagnosed 2005
Currently taking Lialda(2 each am), multivitamin,and Biotin
In remission since June '08

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 1/10/2009 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I'll chime in with those who mentioned antibiotic use could be a trigger/connection with UC. Absolutely a link. As well, use of antibiotics is associated with increased risk of incident of certain cancers, like breast cancer.
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