Avoid the Tonsillectomy!

You probably remember the long series I ran in the newsletter this past summer about the modern health care system -- doctors specifically -- being the leading cause of death. Please understand that I don't blame doctors entirely for this horrible state of affairs in medicine as I do a system that allows, even promotes, so many unnecessary procedures, drugs and mishaps.

So you can imagine, I'm not all that surprised about the recent findings of a Dutch study that debunks the need for tonsillectomies. In fact, researchers said these surgeries are no better than caring for children who have mild throat infections or minor breathing problems due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids.

Scientists found there was a "marginal" reduction in episodes of fever and infections in 150 children with mild symptoms in the first six months after they had a tonsillectomy, compared to a matched group of 150 children who didn't have the surgery. But there was no difference between the two groups during the next 18 months.

The number of tonsillectomies performed in the U.S. has declined significantly over the past three decades, from more than 1 million a year in the 1970s to about 250,000 annually. But the trend toward unnecessary surgery hasn't changed in places like the Netherlands.

Some doctors are taking a different approach, however, preferring to counsel parents that the natural course of upper respiratory tract infections is "generally favorable."

Of course, cleaning up your diet by eliminating refined sugars and grains and eating the foods more suited for your nutritional type is by far your greatest ally in fighting and preventing disease.

British Medical Journal 11 September 2004 (Vol 329, No 7466)

Yahoo News September 10, 2004

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