Constant Nasal Congestion

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Just throwing this out there in case anyone has suggestions on remedies or causes.

For years now (started years before CFS) I've always had a stuffy nose. Always. I'd say I'm usually at around 50% of a fully open nasal passage. It's just blocked, I don't have any runny nose, mucus, etc.
I've never had allergies, so I don't think that's it. Besides, it never gets better with any time of the year - just always constant. When I take anti-histamines, it doesn't clear up either.

Every once in a blue moon I will have full use of my nose, and it's pretty amazing. I don't recognize a pattern of the times when it'll clear up though (at best it might happen a couple days a year).

All theories welcome!:D
 

Hip

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I developed constant nasal congestion after catching the virus (coxsackievirus B4) which went on to trigger my ME/CFS.

Supplements which I find help reduce the stuffy nose include N-acetyl-glucosamine, Saccharomyces boulardii and magnesium cream rubbed onto the body skin (method described here).
 

tyson oberle

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Just throwing this out there in case anyone has suggestions on remedies or causes.

For years now (started years before CFS) I've always had a stuffy nose. Always. I'd say I'm usually at around 50% of a fully open nasal passage. It's just blocked, I don't have any runny nose, mucus, etc.
I've never had allergies, so I don't think that's it. Besides, it never gets better with any time of the year - just always constant. When I take anti-histamines, it doesn't clear up either.

Every once in a blue moon I will have full use of my nose, and it's pretty amazing. I don't recognize a pattern of the times when it'll clear up though (at best it might happen a couple days a year).

All theories welcome!:D
My nasal congestion comes from meat (whether grass fed or not), seafood (whether wild or farmed), nuts, seeds, dairy products (including Goat, Sheep, Camel, grass fed cow A1 or A2, but I haven't consumed dairy in years), eggs, spirulina, all protein powders (isolate, hydrolyzed, etc), legumes and many high fat foods (pork rinds, all butter whether raw or Ghee, coconut whether fresh or dried). Anything that has lots of protein and some proteins are worse than others and the more protein I eat the worse my nasal congestion is.

According to my research, nasal congestion happens from inflammation in the capillaries/blood vessels of the nasal membranes. If we have nasal congestion and it is indeed due to inflamed capillaries in the nose then I think we can assume that all of our blood vessels throughout the body are inflamed as well.

I bet if you fasted for a day or two (if your condition permits), then your nasal congestion would get better and then you would know that it comes at least in part from food.
 
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brenda

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I am finding out of late, how my nasal congestion us due to histamine intolerance. I tried an antihistamine one night and found an improvement but l do not want the side effects of staying on it so am researching the low histamine diet and using DAO supplement. Have cut out some high histamine foods so far and not so blocked up or sneezing so much.
 
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@Hip thanks, I'll dig out the magnesium spray I made up (was into it for a bit, but decided why since I take the supplements). I take S. Boulardii from time to time too, I'll double the amount and get some N-acetyl-glucosamine. I am doing the testing for Dr. Chia (appt. next November :eek:) so I'll see if I have the coxsackievirus B4 (although I don't think so based on what you and others have mentioned symptom-wise).

@tyson oberle I had food sensitivity testing done a few years ago, and proteins, beans and nuts were the only things I didn't react to lol. About 60% of vegetables and fruits I did, however. I steered around the suspect plant food for a year and then decided it was probably limiting my gut flora or even worse making me sensitive to the few things I could eat all the time. I might have to make a go at the Carnivore Diet again...
 
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I experience swelling daily in a cycle which includes the nasal/sinus is swollen...not congested. If I lay down during the afternoon its particularly noticeable.....feels like back where the adenoids are supposed to be (but mine were taken). Nose pinched feeling, back of sinus blocked feeling.

I've translated this to be: a Mast Cell angiodeama type swelling response, and its happening all around including eyes, palette, tooth pulp, lips. Mine has been improving at the moment. I assume my lower brain stem is similarly swollen. Cervical spinal area also feels swollen Together: its the big SQUEEZE.

Just starting N-A-glucosamine....
 

BeADocToGoTo1

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Have you checked the air quality in the house? Perhaps one of those Philips air filters might help. SoCal has unpleasant air quality a lot of the time. In the LA/OC area you are also close to some of the largest oil refineries.

On a different tangent, do you suffer from acid reflux or silent reflux?
 

jstefl

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I have had nasal congestion for a very long time, as far back as I can remember, 60 years or so. Just to point out what kind of craziness exists in the medical "profession", I went to a nose and throat specialist a few years back complaining of my symptoms. He stuck a tiny camera up my nose and told me that the problem was acid reflux and all I needed to do was to raise the head of my bed 1 foot and that would fix it. He gave me a brochure that he had printed up showing how to tilt my bed. Apparently this was his standard diagnosis for all his patients. What was even more painful was the $ 400.00 this cost me after the insurance company paid their part. It would be really nice if the medical profession could weed out the lunatics.

I tried steroid sprays, but I couldn't handle them long term. I found that XLEAR nasal spray works well and is tolerable for me.
 

Hip

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He stuck a tiny camera up my nose and told me that the problem was acid reflux and all I needed to do was to raise the head of my bed 1 foot and that would fix it.
Acid reflux is often a default wastebasket diagnosis given by doctors when they cannot find any other causes for nose or throat symptoms.
 

BeADocToGoTo1

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I have had nasal congestion for a very long time, as far back as I can remember, 60 years or so. Just to point out what kind of craziness exists in the medical "profession", I went to a nose and throat specialist a few years back complaining of my symptoms. He stuck a tiny camera up my nose and told me that the problem was acid reflux and all I needed to do was to raise the head of my bed 1 foot and that would fix it. He gave me a brochure that he had printed up showing how to tilt my bed. Apparently this was his standard diagnosis for all his patients. What was even more painful was the $ 400.00 this cost me after the insurance company paid their part...
Interestingly enough that was exactly the cause for my nasal congestion. And, raising the head of my bed 20-25 cm was indeed an incredibly simple and effective action, albeit just one of many that needed to happen. If he used a camera he likely saw irritation of the tissue. However, it was not the root cause, and most docs then do not go deeper in asking why is the tissue irritated, or why are you refluxing in the first place. A super close and honest look at food and beverage intake, food sensitivities, microbiome dysbiosis, allergies, etc. are often not done, and instead an acid blocker prescription is given.

That reminds me, @Lieselotte, have you checked for food and beverage sensitivities? One simple cause of congestion often overlooked is sensitivity to milk proteins. Have you tried eliminating dairy completely (including any sneaky inclusions as processed/packaged ingredients) for a couple of weeks to see if it has an impact? This resolved long term nasal congestion for a friend of mine.
 

rel8ted

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My nasal congestion comes from meat (whether grass fed or not), seafood (whether wild or farmed), nuts, seeds, dairy products (including Goat, Sheep, Camel, grass fed cow A1 or A2, but I haven't consumed dairy in years), eggs, spirulina, all protein powders (isolate, hydrolyzed, etc), legumes and many high fat foods (pork rinds, all butter whether raw or Ghee, coconut whether fresh or dried). Anything that has lots of protein and some proteins are worse than others and the more protein I eat the worse my nasal congestion is. According to my research, nasal congestion happens from inflammation in the capillaries/blood vessels of the nasal membranes. If we have nasal congestion and it is indeed due to inflamed capillaries in the nose then I think we can assume that all of our blood vessels throughout the body are inflamed as well.
I bet if you fasted for a day or two (if your condition permits), then your nasal congestion would get better and then you would know that it comes at least in part from food.
Mine was exacerbated by food allergies. But, I have had 2 allergists now tell me I am allergic to "pretty much everything in the air." It is much more controlled now that I have eliminated a laundry list of foods.

It is also worth noting that alpha gal allergy can cause this symptom if your reaction is mild. If you live in an area with lone star ticks and have been bitten by one, it is worth some research.
 
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@BeADocToGoTo1 I've had the full Cyrex food intolerance panels and also the IgE food allergy scratch test. No IgE allergies to speak of. But in terms of intolerances (IgG/A), I have many.
I've been off of gluten for 8 years. Off of dairy, eggs, and all grains for 5 years. Didn't seem to make a difference in my nasal congestion though.

@jstefl I'll check out XLEAR
 

Hope4

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@Lieselotte. I only keep the sniffles/sneezes/stuffy nose away, or mostly away, by going on elimination diets, and very carefully testing what can go back in. Some foods I can only eat at particular seasons. Some foods I do better with at a certain time of day.

For example, I react to egg whites. I can eat a few, but not too many, nor too often. I can eat egg yolks every day with no reactions, if they are organic.

I do better with egg yolks at dinner/supper, than having beef or chicken livers late in the day.
The meat/offal needs to be at breakfast or lunch.

I have trouble with casein and lactose. I can have yoghurt, or light cream, without many symptoms. Cream cheese or mascarpone causes a tiny bit of stuffiness. The more casein, the more congested.

Hope this gives you an idea or two.

I wish you success in solving the challenge. :)
 

PatJ

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Frankincense, thyme, and eucalyptus essential oils may be helpful. A few drops of the essential oil (individually, or a mix) can be added to a bowl of steaming water. Then the patient's head is covered with a towel while leaning over the bowl and the steam is inhaled for five minutes.

It can also be diffused. This tip is from a bottle of NOW Hyssop essential oil - Open Airways Blend: Add 6 drops of hyssop oil, 4 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of peppermint oil to a diffuser and enjoy.

And here is a suggestion from lior here on PR in another thread:
What has been a revolutionary technique for me: Breathing slowly and shallowly through my nose.

I found it on a forum in the middle of a night of desperation but I can't remember where it was. As a long-term asthma sufferer I find this technique scary to do because it involves not taking in very much air. But it's only for a few breaths. Somehow, it opens me up. I don't know why it works, but it does.

Now when I wake up, I breathe slowly and shallowly through the tiny gap in one nostril for maybe 10 breaths, and gradually, quickly, in just under a minute, my airways open and I can breath almost fully through my nose. It means I can get back to sleep quickly.
 

BeADocToGoTo1

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@BeADocToGoTo1 I do have an air purifier in my bedroom so at least when I'm in bed the whole night the air should be cleaner. It never seemed to make a difference. Even when I lived really close to the ocean with a nice breeze I still was all stuffed up.
Do you notice a difference when you are in a clean air environment, perhaps during a multi-week vacation away from some of the worst air quality in the US? I ended up getting a little handheld device Temtop LKC-1000S which indicates air quality for PM2.5 and PM10 (µg/m3) particles, HCHO and TVOC. Just having an air filter in the bedroom might not be enough, especially in LA.
 
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@PatJ thanks I have all of those except Hyssop, sounds like a nice combo to try in my diffuser. (that's one oil I don't have lol)
I just tried the shallow breathing technique and no big change... Right now I'm at 70% one nostril, and about 20% with the other. I can try that again though later.

@BeADocToGoTo1 thanks for all the great suggestions :hug: I'm rarely every traveling, so most brief nostril clearings are at home. But one I had last year was in Portland. Of course the travel was too much for me so I started crashing, feeling flu-like, and sore throat, and more congested. I got some cold and flu medicine. The last two days in PTL were clear-nose days! Don't know if it was the air, the air and decongestant/antihistimine, or neither...
 

PatJ

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Here are some more things to consider that are sinus related.
Nattokinase - "I have tried so many medicines from 2 allergists, but this Nattokinase is the only thing which cleared my sinus and allows me to sleep while breathing through the nose." From a Vitacost review of Drs Best Nattokinase 2000 FU

Andrographis, from Mary on PR:
Andrographis has been like a miracle herb for me. I had had chronic sinus infections (every time I crashed, which was at least once a week, I'd get sick) for many years and so was sick most of the time, as well as crashing etc. Anyways, since taking andrographis, I get much less sick and recover much quicker. I've had no other herb act like this one. And it's cheap! and only requires a small dose.
...
I take it regularly, it's an immune modulator, and I'll take a break every couple of weeks. I slacked off for awhile and found myself getting sicker, for longer periods, so have started back taking it daily. Now Foods makes a good product, and I also have had good results with Planetary Herbals brand.

Sinus drain technique:
From: https://dr-bill.blogspot.ca/2007/12/drain-those-sinuses.html
1. Using moderate pressure, use thumbs starting in the middle of the forehead (frontal sinuses) and push laterally or sideways towards the ears, repeat 2-3 times (especially if you feel a lot of 'gunk' or mucus underneath).

2. Start with thumbs on either side of the middle of the nose (maxillary sinuses) and again push sideways towards the ears as in step #1.

3. Start with thumbs under jaw and in front of big neck muscle (SCM-sternocleidomastoid) and push down towards collar bone.

Miyarisin / Clostridium Butyricum (probiotic), from adreno on PR:
One of the first things I noticed with CB was a "clean out" of my sinuses - it was pouring out for a month or so. It seems to have calmed down now.