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Sinusitis not due to infection: what to do?

Discussion in 'Immunological' started by Sasha, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I posted some weeks ago about having discovered that the headaches and discomfort under the eyes that I was getting was probably due to sinusitis. A lot of people posted helpful comments about how to combat sinus infections until such time as I could get to see my doctor.

    I've seen him now and he says that although it's sinusitis, it's not due to infection because my nasal mucus isn't green or yellow (TMI, sorry). He's put me on a low-dose steroid inhaler (Flexinase) to see what happens.

    2.5 weeks in, I've not had a headache since but the discomfort under my eyes persists and when I go to bed, I can't sleep on my side because my nose blocks up (this has gone on for years and is presumably part of the same issue).

    On another thread, Hip says that three anti-inflammatory supplements have helped him/her (sorry, Hip!) with anxiety and notes also that his/her anxiety was worse on days with worse sinus inflammation. Here are the supplements:

    • The first and most potent anti-anxiety supplement is N-acetylglucosamine, taken at a dose of 1000 mg twice daily (not be confused with glucosamine, a related supplement).
    • The second most potent is flaxseed oil, one level tablespoon (15 ml) daily.
    • The third is the herb turmeric, at a dose of 1000 mg twice daily.

    I'm wondering if anti-inflammatory supplements might be better for my non-infection-based sinusitis than long-term Flexinase or if there are other approaches I could also try.

    Any ideas?
  2. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    The steroids are prescribed because they are anti-inflammatory. Other anti-inflammatories might help, but are not as strong as steroids.

    Some pseudoephedrine or similar acting drug will help by making the mucous membranes contract. A strong cup of coffee will do the same.

    You could also use a neti pot to clean out your nasal passages.
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi adreno - I tried nasal irrigation for a few days when I thought I the sinusitis might be due to an infection and it had no effect, unfortunately. I'd be worried about caffeine these days - I already get palpitations (I have OI) so stick to decaff.

    I suppose I was hoping that systemic, food-based anti-inflammatories might be better/safer in the long term than drugs and maybe be more help across the board for my ME if inflammation is an issue for us generally.

    I'll be reviewing with my doctor when 4 weeks is up. Maybe he'll prescribe a higher dose of the steroid - it's not working very well yet.
  4. Vinodray Thakker

    Vinodray Thakker

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    I have issues with sinusitis,namely nasal polyps. This has resulted in loss of smell and taste. Surgery is an option,but I do not prefer this route. Steroids can restore temporarily which I am against due to side effects. Has anyone out there found a natural solutions! Any help or suggestions will be welcomed.
  5. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Hi Sasha,

    I too suffer from chronic sinus problems. At times they are inflamed or infected but, othe times they are not but I still suffer like you do.
    I already had 2 sinus surgeries tfor blocked sinuses and deviated septum but, I still have this problem.
    I too use a steroid spray daily.

    I am very interested too if the above regiment might help us with our sinues issues.

    Did you try any yet?
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Hi Nielk - no, I only just read about it before I posted. I think I've got some flax seed oil and turmeric power in the cupboard, though!
  7. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    Idiopathic sinusitis may have as "cause" some form of mast cell activation screw up. If, in addition to sinusitis, you also have gastrointestinal issues, that would strongly suggest Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. You could try cromolyn sodium, a mast cell stabilizer, for at least a couple of weeks to see if it helps. In The US, it is an OTC medication available as NasalCrom. In the UK, it's called Rynacrom but don't know whether it's available over-the-counter.

    Additional info on Mast Cell Activation Syndrome:
    Mast cell activation disease: a concise practical guide for diagnostic workup and therapeutic options.

    Incidentally, MCAS may very well be what many people diagnosed with ME/CFS have.
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, nanonug - I've had a look at that paper and I don't think I've got MCAS.
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I know u said its not infection related but i have been able to control my sinuses with doxycycline. I used 200mg a day for 6 months, recently stopped it for a week or 2 and it started to comeback but not as strong so back on 100mg a day of doxy and doing fine with it. I also take nystatin with it to avoid candida/fungal issues. For me i think its related to immune suppression, im hoping with more time on valcyte my immune system picks up enough that i wont need doxy then.

    cheers!!!
    Sasha likes this.
  10. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    I used Zostrix capsaicin cream in large amounts for my muscle fibro pain. By coincidence I found it got rid of my sinusitis too. My sinusitis was also not caused by infection, just like yours.

    The other thing that was very very important was to have a conventional skin test to find what inhalents I was allergic to -in my case house dust mite and cats. Then I avoided them. I avoid house dust mites by having special bedsheets, no carpets, frequent laudering etc.

    I strongly recommend the capsaicin cream and allergy check and avoidance that I did.

    Some people find hot pepper sprays with capsaisin in them work for sinus and migrain pain but I found it burned me and hurt my nose. The cream being rubbed in the skin worked a million times better.

    I hope my suggestions help....or anyone else's suggestions help. I had years of agony before I found those things out.
    Sasha likes this.
  11. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Hi Sasha

    Let me list the supplements that I found were most effective for clearing my chronic sinus inflammation / nasal congestion. When I say clearing, I don't mean that they clear the sinuses once and for all; you unfortunately need to keep taking them to maintain clear sinuses.

    In approximate order of potency, the sinusitis supplements are:

    N-acetylglucosamine 1000 mg twice daily — the best (at least in my case)
    Propolis 1000 mg twice daily.
    Reishi 1000 mg twice daily.
    Grape seed extract 300 mg daily.
    Saccharomyces boulardii x 2 capsules twice daily — clears the nose and sinuses probably due to its promotion of secretary IgA in the sinus and nasal mucous membranes.
    Malic acid 500 to 1000 mg — this is acidic, and if taken with meals it can also usefully help the weak digestion of ME/CFS.
    Magnesium cream/oil (applied transdermally to the whole body) has a good effect on sinusitis.
    Echinacea 1000 mg twice daily.
    Cat’s claw 1000 mg twice daily.
    Vitamin A 25,000 IU daily.

    In addition, avoiding dairy products (no milk, butter, cream, cheese, yogurt) can help reduce sinus inflammation.
    Wayne and Sasha like this.
  12. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Some of my sinus infections didn't have the green mucous or any other obvious signs of infections. I was surprised when the first doctor I saw diagnosed a sinus infection when I had pain in that area. The CAT scan showed the infection was eating through that area. AB's and nasal washing cleared this up (but they came back now and then). Sadly nutritional supplements didn't help me.
    Sasha likes this.
  13. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    A mast cell stabilizer such as Rynacrom may still help, though.
    Sasha likes this.
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, everyone, for this extra info - this is all good stuff for me to look into.

    UKXMRV, do you know why your doctor thought you had an infection even though your mucus was clear? I'm worried that my doctor may be missing something if that's why he's ruling out the idea of infection (unless he's just waiting to see if the Flexinase stops the symptoms). I don't like the idea of an infection eating my sinuses! I'm wondering if I should ask for a CAT scan but I'd need to justify the request. Presumably that's a hospital procedure?
  15. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Sasha, he had a relative with sinus infections and recognised the symptoms. I was just lucky. The CAT scan was done in a NHS hospital. My consultant was very good. They now do a different procedure though for new patients now. It's a camera that they stick up your nose on a cable. Not pleasent but quick.
    Sasha likes this.
  16. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks - I've just been looking the NHS sinusitis page and it says that for chronic sinusitis (which mine is) you might get a referral if antibiotics and steroids don't work. I'd rather have a camera up my nose than a dose of radiation so fine by me if that's how it goes!
  17. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    I take generic Claritin every day and it keeps the worst of it at bay. I still have some sinus congestion but it's not nearly as painful, and my mucus is much better. I usually don't have the energy for a neti pot. I haven't had to take any antibiotics since I started the Claritin, and I haven't noticed any side effects.

    Irene
    Sasha likes this.
  18. So glad to see this thread, i have chronic sinusitis (unrelated to the CFS i think? not sure) and seem to go through cycles of it being infected and then not....anyways will try some of the things above :)
  19. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Sinus problems are pretty common amongst this patient group! I have had them most of my life but whenever I treat gut infections, the sinus problems disappear--probably because about 80% of the immune system is in the gut and when it is messed up, seems like the immune system is messed up too.

    My doctor asks whether you have sinus problems on his intake form and he only sees ME patients so he must find it a common affliction in this group.

    Best wishes,
    Sushi
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  20. EastTenn

    EastTenn

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    Formerly had severe sinus problems, and the sinus issues all seemed related to food toxicities released from my gut. A number of different supplements seemed to help (like flax seed oil, tumeric, grape seed extract, aminos, but especially systemic enzymes), but the root of the problem never went away until my leaky gut healed. That meant the removal of heavy metals in my intestinal track and the eradication of the fungal overgrowth there.

    Liver support products recommended by my alternative provider, especially the L, Ls, and Lb products from Systemic Formulas as well as systemic enzymes really helped minimize the problem

    http://www.systemicformulas.com/biofunction

    Alleghany Nutrition has some especially good enzyme formulas. Taking them on an empty stomach help clear up the entire body of offending proteins and peptides released into the bloodstream from a leaky gut. Would usually feel immediate relief in my sinuses within minutes of taking them on an empty stomach. Normally would take them right before bed and two hours after breakfast..

    http://www.alleganynutrition.com/index.php?Diff between HP & MF series
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