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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: RA/Lupus/ how is it related to large tonsils?

 cricket99 - Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:19 pm

Hello...I am a 27 year old female that is fed up and wanting answers. I have been dealing with pain for years. When I was 12 years old I had my tonsils/adenoids removed. I had suffered all my childhood years with repeated strep throat and tonsilitis. My parents finally decided that it is the right time for them to have them removed. Well after the surgery I was told by my doctor that my tonsils were "HUGE!". He went on to say that he was surprised that I was able to breath. He also told me that they fit in an adult male palm. I was shown pictures..and was allowed to keep them. I now can't seem to locate them. He went on to keep my tonsils and use them in a medical journal and show them at a conference that he was attending the following day.
My question is...Could that have been an early sign of RA or Lupus..or both? My doctor believes now that I have RA which was brought on by Lupus. I always thought that it was one of the other..but I was wrong. Could something have been done years ago that may have made a difference in how I feel now?
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:01 pm

User avatar Hello,
I do not see a higher predisposition for RA or SLE in chronic childhood tonsilitis patients.

Rheumatic fever is an autoimmune response to strep throat and is characterized by multiple joint arthritis, possible endocarditis, nodules, rash.
My understanding is that rheumatic fever does not predispose a person to rheumatoid arthritis. Nevertheless, it doesn't sound like you had rheumatic fever with your chronic throat infections.

I tend to think the bodies' immune system would not tend to go into an autoimmune state later in life because of chronic infection as a child. I do not see any evidence of that.

Thanks for writing in.
Take care.

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