Chronic sinusitis is a common health condition that affects 14 out of every 100 people in the United States. While these problems may not seem serious, they can be an expression of imbalances within the immune or digestive systems. In addition to the typical sneezing and runny nose, sinus infections may cause headaches, abdominal pain, and even menstrual problems. Because there is only a thin plate of bone between the sinuses and brain, sinus infections can cause mental fogginess and a lack of concentration.
Acute sinusitis, most often caused by allergies or the common cold, can progress to chronic sinusitis, which involves abnormal production of sinus fluid and swollen, inflamed nasal passages. This transition to chronic sinusitis can result from certain physiological, anatomical, and environmental factors; immune system imbalances; infectious agents, such as bacteria, fungus, or other pathogens; and allergies.
It may seem like a stretch to link allergies with digestion, but they’re actually quite interconnected. In fact, a common source of allergies is inflammation of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. When inflammation occurs, large molecules can enter the circulation. The immune system then launches an attack. The result is an allergic reaction that initiates an inflammatory process, ultimately affecting the sinuses.
Two well-known dietary contributors to sinus congestion are dairy products and gluten. Avoiding these two food groups often leads to improvement in sinus problems.
Poor indoor air quality also plays a large role in aggravating the cycle of chronic sinusitis. Research has shown that reducing fungal air concentrations using a high-efficiency particulate air filtration system (HEPA) helps restore the sinus mucosa to a normal state. You can also lower your exposure to other allergens, such as dust mites and animal dander, by removing carpeting and feather bedding from the environment and using pillow and mattress covers that are mite proof.
Natural Treatments for Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is most effectively addressed using safe and natural remedies—antibiotics only provide temporary, partial relief. The holistic treatment of chronic sinusitis requires a multifaceted approach that addresses allergies, the digestive system, dental health, immune support, circulation, and drainage. Key components of this approach include manual therapies, detoxification, acupuncture, diet, herbs, supplements, and homeopathic remedies —all of which offer long-term support, not just for sinuses, but for your overall health as well. Some particularly effective therapies include:
Supplements and Herbs
A variety of natural herbs and supplements can be useful in reducing allergic reactions, decreasing inflammation, boosting immunity, and helping thin
and expel mucus.
Take The Test
It's actually very easy to determine if you are suffering from an ongoing hidden sinus infection by performing a simple screening test: Gently press your three middle fingers into your maxillary sinuses (just under the bone under your eyes) or frontal sinuses (in your forehead) and see if you feel pressure. If you do, keep applying the same pressure and wait. If the pressure increases over time, you may have chronic sinusitis.
Sinus & Allergy Survival Kit
Each of the products below contain either one or a combination of the nutrients covered in the article.
|EcoNugenics Padma Basic This proprietary blend of Tibetan herbs has been clinically tested and helps strengthen immunity, as well as promote cardiovascular health.|
|Himalayan Institute Neti Wash Plus Designed as a Daily Neti Pot Boost, this liquid contains antibacterial herbs, including goldenseal and bayberry, and sinus-soothing xylitol.|
|New Chapter Organics Lifeshield Breathe Formulated with reishi, cordyceps, and a few other mushrooms, this respiratory formula can be taken any time, even on an empty stomach.|
|Ron Teeguarden's Dragon Herbs Magnolia Sinus Developed by a leading Chinese herbalist, this product combines magnolia flower with other Chinese herbs for sinus and immune health.|
|Solaray QBC Plex Chewable This supplement is popular because, as online reviewers attest, it works. It contains quercetin, bromelain, and vitamin C. Also available in capsules.|