Treating Sleep Disordered Breathing in Kids by Tonsillectomy

Collapse of Pharynx during sleep can cause apnea, by Habib M'henni & User:DMY on Wikimedia
Collapse of Pharynx during sleep can cause apnea, by Habib M’henni & User:DMY on Wikimedia

A tonsillectomy is now being used to treat sleep apnea and snoring in kids. They did away with that operation to treat infection. Will they discover it is not wise even for obstructed breathing during sleep?

Modified comment on “Say Aaa! Then Zzz: Tonsillectomy Helps Kids Sleep” on Morning Edition, 14 March 2011,  where I discuNational Public Radioss how doctors need to consider environmental causes other than germs, like toxins, as a cause of sore throats. Toxins can damage tissue, attracting predatory microbes. They can also interfere with nerve transmission, preventing proper muscle contraction, gland secretion, and control of fluid flow in the subcutaneous tissues of the nose and throats.

Updated 16 Aug 2011


NPR reporter Nancy Shute interviewed Dr.  Richard Rosenfeld, eye, ear, nose and throat specialist at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, N.Y. who said that doctors used to remove tonsils at the slightest sign of infection. Then such surgery went out of fashion.  It has returned now that kids are showing sleep apnea and its accompanying snoring.

My Ideas:

They found out that tonsillectomy didn’t cure sore throats.  This mania about germs has led physicians to only look on top of the epithelium for microbes, not under the epithelium for the source of the irritation.  Toxic elements can flow in the interstitial fluids in the connective tissue that lines that epithelium (lamina propria) and adventitia on top of the pharynx.  Metal ions can irritate nerves and cause the patient to feel itching, stinging, burning, and pain anywhere it flows, thus could cause a sore throat.

Toxic elements can also cause inflammation and swelling of the lymph nodes, of which tonsils are members.  Swelling of the lymph nodes interferes with free flow of lymph.  Removing tonsils allows clearing of chronic obstruction of the air passage, but does nothing to remove the toxic elements running in the interstitial fluids.  Thus these kids will still show symptoms like sneezing, stinging within the nose, runny nose–a lot of the same symptoms of an infection.  Many doctors test for the presence of microbes, and regardless of whether they find them, will hypothesize that it was a virus causing these symptoms.  Many doctors prescribe an antibiotic based upon the symptoms of fever and no discovery of a bacterium.  None of them test for other types of irritants. They do not take into account that these microbes target damaged tissues in a body already compromised in function.  They rarely affect “healthy” people–thus the difference in response to germs seen in the general population (except to dangerous viruses/bacteria).

Toxic elements do not have to kill you or even make you extremely ill, but just interfere with the normal chemistry in the body. These toxins may cause many of those side effects that have been found as a result of some medications, causing small symptoms that are annoying at best to completely baffling to doctors (See  “Toxins”). To assume that the liver removes all toxic substances is naive.

Many toxins would do such damage to capillaries that they could never reach the liver. If you injected them into the liver, they would basically destroy it, since the liver can be seen as the anatomical and physiological equivalent of a giant capillary. They will travel within the hypodermis and from there to deeper places of the body with the normal flow of interstitial fluid.  For all we know, many of the symptoms like nausea, bloating, cramping, pain, burning, may be early warning symptoms of toxic poisoning (but not necessarily toxins lying on top of the gut epithelium as if we swallowed them).

All of these symptoms may precede heart disease, diabetes, or thyroid, adrenal, reproductive, urinary and lower bowel disorders. Since, as stated above, microbes are attracted to already damaged tissue, they will be attracted to regions where toxins are found.  Infections may just be circumstantial.  Only recently have some of these symptoms have been noted as preceding a heart condition. The link between diabetes and heart disease may not result from a cause and effect (untested, by the way) but be due completely to the presence of a cause to both: particular toxins in the interstitial fluids.

As I stated in my comments on the report, “How To Beat Sleep Apnea? Cut It Out” , the brain sets up workarounds to prevent us from feeling certain symptoms, especially if it doesn’t know how to get rid of these toxins.  It may direct the body to sequester the toxins away from a site where we felt those symptoms, move them to a permanent depot (not the liver, as stated above), or constantly move them around, unless by chance you eat the right foods to get the toxic elements to combine with substances that will not break down in the liver but pass on to kidney or gut for exit.

Everything that I said for this post can apply to another study recently reported on NPR’s All Things Considered for 15 Aug 2011 (“Sleep Apnea Makes Quick Comeback If Breathing Treatment Stops”). Below is what I posted on the NPR site:

This study is one more study that strongly suggests that the causes for apnea are not being addressed in treatment processes. I’ll bet that Bill Peters’ doctors have never done a spectral analysis of his hypodermal fluid to look for toxins.  In Peter’s case, there is a high likelihood that some toxic metals like iron, zinc, aluminum, are interfering with the action of motor nerves to pharyngeal muscles so that they periodically collapse, especially when there is difficulty of moving hypodermal fluids, as when we sleep. I discuss the possible emotional and toxic causes of sleep apnea in “Surgical Approach to Sleep Apnea“. See also my comments posted at the site of NPR’s report on All Things Considered for 18 Oct 2011 “When It Comes To Baby’s Crib, Experts Say Go Bare Bones“.

So how does the breathing machine work to prevent apnea if sleep apnea is caused by toxic irritation of the nerves to the pharynx? In the exact same way that exercise works to reduce “idiopathic” pain in the joints (see my post “Mind-Body Medicine and Joint Pain“)–by increasing the flow of ions in the interstitial fluids in the adventitia surrounding the pharynx, thus flushing the toxic chemicals away from the nerve synapses on muscles.  Since toxic ions pool when we sleep, just as all ions do, and all ions start to rapidly flow to all tissues of the body when we wake, so awakening stops the apnea. The breathing machine is just making ions move where the increased air flow is pressing against the pharynx, and toxic ions move away from the nerve endings in this case.

For more of my ideas on the functions of sleep see my blog post “Sleep–What it Does“.

Keep up with new posts I make by subscribing to this blog: go to the top and click on “Subscribe” in the gray WordPress Choice Bar (if you are already registered in and have logged in) or when you comment on this blog, click on the “notify” check boxes.

© Copyright 2014 by Martha L. Hyde and


Please Leave a Comment--you must be registered (free! No, you do not need to create a blog) To Keep Out Remote Comments By Those Who Do Not Visit This Page At ALL

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s