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Tonsillitis is an infection in the tonsils. This leads to inflammation, which causes pain in the throat. Tonsillitis usually occurs as the result of a throat infection. During an outbreak, the tonsils will be red and covered (partially or fully) in a grey, white or yellow substance. If you are suffering from tonsillitis, you will develop a sore throat very quickly and will have trouble swallowing.

Tonsillitis and Mononucleosis

Because throat infection usually accompanies mono infections, it is common for mono patients to develop tonsillitis. In fact, almost everyone who gets mono will develop tonsillitis during the course of the infection.

Risk Factors

A history of tonsillitis will raise the chances of a tonsillitis infection accompanying an outbreak of mono. However, all patients, no matter what their age, are at risk of subsequent tonsillitis infection.

Symptoms of Tonsillitis

The symptoms of a tonsillitis infection usually last four to six days and can include:

  • A mild to severe sore throat
  • A fever of 101F or higher
  • Chills
  • Difficulty swallowing due to a feeling of constriction in the throat
  • Earaches
  • Stomachache
  • Loss of appetite, vomiting, aches and pains
  • Bad breath

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you think you have tonsillitis, the doctor will do a physical examination, look in your throat and take a swab to do a culture. Since strep and tonsillitis can easily be confused, the culture is important. If you do have tonsillitis the usual treatment is a course of oral antibiotics. Procaine penicillin or benzathine may be injected, but this can be painful. Bed rest and pain relievers, such as aspirin, are usually recommended for tonsillitis patients. If the tonsillitis is extremely severe, or recurrent, a tonsillectomy (a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed) may be recommended.

Alternative Treatments

Naturopathic treatments for tonsillitis include:

  • Natural antibacterials such as: myrrh (Commiphora molmol), bitter orange and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis).
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis) and cleavers (Galium aparine) can improve the health of the lymphatic system
  • Rhus toxicondendron, Mercurius, Lachesis, Arsenicum, Lycopodium, Phytolacca and Hepar sulphuris are homeopathic medicines that may be helpful in the treatment of tonsillitis.
  • Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) can help to strengthen the immune system.


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