SINUS NATURAL SOLUTIONS
By Monte Kline, Ph.D.
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One of the most common health problems, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, is sinusitis. Sinusitis refers to inflammation of the nasal sinus cavities along with upper respiratory tract infection. Sinus areas typically affected include the area above the eyes, inside the cheekbones, behind the bridge of the nose, and in the upper nose.
Symptoms include headaches, earaches, facial pain, cranial pressure, toothaches, loss of sense of smell, tender feeling around the forehead and cheekbones, and sometimes high fever. Sinusitis may produce facial swelling, stuffy nose and thick mucous discharge. Infection is indicated by yellow or green discharge, as opposed to a cold or allergy symptoms, which only produce clear drainage.
CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL VIEW
Conventional medicine regards acute sinusitis as caused by bacterial or viral infections of the nose, throat or upper respiratory tract. Chronic sinusitis may be caused by nasal polyps, smoking, or irritant odors. Allergenic sinusitis results from food or environmental allergies.
While these three different types of sinusitis are recognized, generally medical doctors approach sinusitis as an infection. Standard treatment is a prescription of antibiotics, even though antibiotics will have no effect whatsoever if it is a viral, rather than a bacterial, infection.
As usual, conventional medicine does not pursue the problem to root causes. Why not ask:
Why does this person keep getting these infections?
Why did these polyps form?
Why is this person so sensitive to odors and fumes?
What are the food or environmental sensitivities encouraging this problem?
Why are people in this climate affected so much more by sinusitis?
The problem is not so much that conventional medicine lacks answers, as that it fails to ask the right questions.
EFFECT OF ANTIBIOTICS
I suppose I really should love antibiotics, given that probably half of my practice results from medical doctors giving people antibiotics for sinus and other infections. Call me ungrateful, I guess, but the overusage of antibiotics makes me want to scream.
Taking antibiotics is the best way I know of to produce more sinus and other infections. When you take antibiotics, you kill off the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, and thus destroy part of your immune system. Normally, these “good” bacteria prevent the overgrowth of the common yeast organism, Candida albicans. With the acidophilus gone, the digestive tract is left unguarded, surrendering the body to this pathogenic organism.
So, how does this affect sinusitis? The absence of the good bacteria, along with the presence of candidiasis weakens the immune system, making you more vulnerable to any type of infection . . . including sinus infections. Candida also produces increased allergic sensitivity, which in turn may cause sinusitis. Another problem results from the transformation of Candida from its relatively benign yeast form into its much more pathogenic fungal form. In this form Candida penetrates the digestive tract wall, goes into the blood stream, and travels to virtually anywhere in the body. Thus the sinuses can be directly infected by Candida albicans.
Another unfortunate effect of antibiotics relates to the production of stronger, more antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Many antibiotic drugs have become virtually useless due to the bacteria becoming resistant to them. Conventional medicine anticipates with horror ever-increasing bacterial infections, which current antibiotics won’t even phase.
So how did this happen? Think of it this way: When antibiotics are used, not all the bacteria are destroyed. Some really tough bacteria don’t succumb as easily as the weaker organisms. So, by taking antibiotics, you leave the strongest bacteria to proliferate, while killing off only the weak ones. I call this selective breeding of bacteria. In the name of trying to kill off “germs,” you end up creating SUPER GERMS.
ROOT CAUSES OF SINUSITIS
1.Food Sensitivities — In my book this is the number one cause of sinusitis — reactions to common foods like wheat, corn, baker’s yeast, and especially milk and dairy products. Foods you are reacting to will cause lymph to accumulate as the body attempts to get rid of this perceived toxicity.” Inflammation in the throat, nasal and sinus areas is characteristic. All this creates a wonderful “terrain” for bacteria to thrive in. Keep in mind that the bacteria are just garbage collectorsthat are only there because you’ve made a bunch of garbage in your head. Don’t make the congestion and mucous by eating the wrong foods, and then the garbage collectors (sinusitis bacteria) won’t have to pay a visit.
So what are really the problem foods with sinusitis? Though any sensitive food can cause this problem, by far and away the number one problem food for sinusitis is cow’s milk. My first question of someone with sinusitis is, “Do you drink milk?” Most of the time the answer is in the affirmative.
2. Environmental Sensitivities — Environmental sensitivities will “set you up” for sinusitis pretty much the same way as food sensitivities. One difference, of course, is that, unlike a sensitive food, avoiding most environmental allergens is somewhere between difficult and impossible. The key thing to remember is this: Environmental sensitivities tend to develop after first having food sensitivities.I’ve never seen someone with a lot of environmental reactions that did not also have a lot of food reactions. In my experience improving the food sensitivities also improves the environmental sensitivities.
3. Candidiasis —Overgrowth of Candida albicansyeast, as mentioned earlier, frequently produces sinusitis. When Candida assumes its toxic, fungal form, it moves to any area of the body that is a willing host. The sinuses may provide a suitable “terrain” for this fungal organism just like they do for bacteria.
4. Refined Sugar Intake — Keep in mind that we’re looking at what sets the body up, what creates a “terrain” amenable to the organisms associated with sinusitis. Bacteria love refined sugar. When you eat refined sugar, you’re rolling out the “welcome mat” for these organisms to come and stay awhile. We do get some overlap here with our causes in that Candida albicansalso loves white sugar. Stop feeding these unwanted guests and they’ll go away!
5. Nutrient Deficiencies — This usually comes up with about every health problem, including sinusitis. Besides eating the wrong foods, our immune systems are also compromised by specific nutrient deficiencies. Though any deficiency has a weakening effect on your body, I would be particularly concerned with infection-fighting nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids, and Zinc.
CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE “ANSWERS”
As mentioned earlier, the standard conventional medicine approach to sinusitis begins with antibiotics — usually with no concern whatsoever for at least replacing the beneficial bacteria destroyed by the drugs. If your medical doctor believes your sinusitis is allergic, rather than infectious (few M.D.’s believe much in allergies as a “real” cause of health problems, however), he or she may suggest allergy shots and trying to avoid the allergen. Though I’ve met some people who felt they were helped by allergy shots, most notice no benefit.
With persistent sinus problems your M.D. may even recommend sinus or nasal surgery. Again, I’ve seen only a very small percentage of people who felt they were helped by surgery. Most find the problems continue.
NATURAL MEDICINE APPROACH
1. Stop all dairy products — Without even doing any testing, I know 95%+ of the people are sensitive to straight cow’s milk. Many, but not all, are sensitive to cultured forms of cow’s milk like cheese and yogurt. Until being tested, I would avoid these as well as milk itself.
2. Avoid other sensitive foods — I recommend our Electro-Dermal Testing for food sensitivities, or at least the self-testing procedures for food sensitivities in my Help Yourself to Better Health Manual and Tape Album. Apart from testing, you might at least want to avoid wheat and baker’s yeast (bread), since these are usually sensitive in people with sinusitis.
3. Strictly avoid refined sugar — Sugar encourages immune depression and provides a favorable terrain for pathogenic organisms.
4. Vitamins A & C — I often recommend an emulsified Vitamin A for building up the immune system and fighting infection. This type of Vitamin A does not as readily build up in the liver and therefore can be used in higher dosages for limited periods of time. Without testing I would not use more than 50,000 i.u. per day for an adult, 10,000 i.u. for a child. Buffered Vitamin C is essential for dealing with virtually any kind of infection. I would use 5000 – 8000 mg. per day.
4. Garlic — Garlic can be taken in tablet or capsule form, or for the truly brave, as raw cloves. In my experience raw garlic is much more powerful fighting infections than any supplement form I’ve ever used (though the supplements are good). I suggest before bedtime sucking on a small, peeled clove of garlic for maybe an hour before spitting it out. If you get too much, it will burn in your mouth, so take it easy. The garlic will emerge from every pore, so sleeping alone is helpful. A morning shower will deal with the odor.
5. Echinacea — This is another infection fighting and immune system strengthening herb. Don’t use continually, or it loses its effect — three weeks on; one week off.
6. Nasal Cleansing — Irrigating the nasal passages with a salt water solution is an old Scandinavian remedy. I suggest using 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic Salt in warm distilled water filling a Nasal Cup. Complete instructions are in Better Health Update #62 on Nasal Cleansing.
7. Salt Cleanse — Only using Celtic Sea Salt, put 1 tsp in 8 oz. warm distilled water and drink slowly before bedtime. This is awesome for eliminating mucous from the sinuses and upper respiratory tract. See Better Health Update # 56 for details.
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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this publication is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose illness nor prescribe treatment. Rather, this material is designed to be used in cooperation with your nutritionally-oriented health professional to deal with your personal health problems. Should you use this information on your own, you are prescribing for yourself, which is your constitutional right, but neither the author nor publisher assume responsibility.