- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Chronic Sinusitis Sufferer? Your Stomach Might Be Involved!
Acid Reflux Disease May Be a Co-conspirator
Welcome sufferer. Have you been having repeated bouts with sinusitis? Does it seem like it gets cleared up, you get a few weeks, a month, or two months off and you're back on the antibiotics again? Are you missing out on the fun things you like to do? Are you a sinus drainage zombie, able to go to work while coughing and hacking, get through a miserable day, eat, and collapse? Yes? I've been there and I sympathize. But I can do more than that. I'm no doctor but it took 2 1/2 years for doctors to figure out why my sinusitis was so persistent. I came to hate the word chronic. But you're suffering so I'll cut to the chase.
Here are a few important questions: do you use acid indigestion products regularly? Have you had years of frequent upset stomachs and heartburn, much more regularly than your friends, relatives, and loved ones? Are you a connoisseur of the various flavors and textures of Tums, Pepto, Maalox? If so, ask your doctor to check into the possibility that you might have acid reflux disease playing tag team with your sinusitis. If you're doctor can't do what needs to be done, ask him or her to send you to an ears, nose and throat specialist who can.
If you're the doubting Thomas type who won't take somebody else's word for it without experimentation, here are a few tricks to try to see if maybe you too have sinusitis. Still, I recommend you put aside the doubt and ask your doctor first. But, try this. You can start by changing your diet. Acid reflux is aggravated by the following: alcohol, caffeine, chocolate (awful isn't it, but there's still white chocolate which isn't actually chocolate at all), citrus products, and peppermint. Remove these items from your diet. See if this doesn't make some small difference to your regular stomach upset and heartburn. There are also over the counter stomach acid reducers that can be taken before breakfast and dinner but I'm not a doctor and won't be suggesting anyone take any medications without doctor's approval.
So, if you wish to take a stab at getting your life back and leaving sinusitis behind, it doesn't hurt to ask. Have your doctor steer you to that ears, nose, and throat specialist and see if acid reflux, which unbelievably has many of the same symptoms as sinusitis, isn't a co-conspirator with your sinusitis in keeping you sick. The two diseases were playing tag team with me. When one was beat, the other would take over, sickening me again and for a long time fooling everybody into thinking it was just repeated cases of sinusitis.
Best of luck to you in your recovery. Keep up your faith and your strength. This too shall pass, no matter how it feels right now.
If You Also Use an Inhaler
To make things a little more complex, do you also use an inhaler, say for asthma? If so, buy yourself some over the counter saline solution for your nose in a convenient little spray bottle. After using the inhaler, shoot some saline up your nostril with your head tipped back. Say K, K, K, K to yourself (this works your jaw and gets the saline moving) and be patient. Soon enough you'll feel that saline hit your vocal cords and you'll swallow. You want to do this because the inhaler irritates the area around your esophagus and vocal cords. The irritation calls for your sinuses to create mucus as a balm for the irritation. So, to help stop the mucus, here's another chain to break, along with the acid reflux issue.
Now, Have a Drink
Another proactive step you should take is to drink plenty of water. You hear it all the time and so you roll your eyes and discard this one. Don't. The reason for drinking the water is to thin the mucus going from your nose down your throat. If you don't drink enough water, your body rations the precious fluid, sending it to your gut where it is needed most. This leaves your head high and dry, which creates thick mucus instead of thin mucus and you get sicker. So drink up, my friend. It's all for a good cause. How do you know you've had enough? There are two ways to tell. First, your urine is clear. Second, your eyes feel moist again. ... Oh yeah, and there's a third way. Once you start down the hydration path, your body will start asking (no, demanding) more of the precious liquid you've been so long denying it.