Chronic Sinusitis

By Nadene Neale | | Guest Recipes

Sinus Infections Affecting Your Daily Life?

Are you one of the 30 million Americans affected by chronic sinus infections and headaches? You’re not alone, chronic sinusitis is THE most common chronic illness in the US.1 Those who suffer from sinusitis rate their quality of life as worse than those suffering from other common and debilitating chronic diseases such as heart failure, asthma, and lung disease.  Sinusitis sufferers experience constant and painful symptoms and often can’t find relief by any quick or easy means.

Traditionally, sinusitis is treated with a course of antibiotics. However, many sufferers experience a relapse of symptoms including pressure headaches, sinus congestion, and fatigue. Unfortunately, treating and resolving chronic sinusitis isn’t easily accomplished by just combating the infective bug. Often there is a combination of causative factors, in addition to the infective virus or bacteria or fungus, that hinder the body’s ability to rid itself of the disease. These factors often include a bad reaction to a specific food in the sufferers diet, chronic inflammation, poor sleep, or an increased build up of toxins from past or present exposure to a polluted environment.

In addition to eradicating the infective bug, treatment of chronic sinusitis is most effective when attention is given to all the potential contributing factors. Successful treatment results from simultaneously eliminating food intolerances, reducing inflammation, improving sleep quality, and eliminating toxin build up. Furthermore, once the body’s ability to eliminate is stimulated the body can reduce its toxic burden. Reduction of toxic burden frees up our bug fighting immune system to do its job – which is to stomp out disease-mongering bugs.

A personal story from a previous sinusitis sufferer:

“I am a schoolteacher who suffered from chronic sinusitis and bronchitis as well as persistent ear inflammation. My headache was perpetual, my hearing faint, my sinuses packed with mucus, my eyes infected, and my lungs itchy and full of mucus every day. I used antibiotics and oral steroids as well as nasal spray, nasal strips, a netti pot, moisture gels, inhalers, sprays, and a room humidifier, all with little effect. I could barely hear my students. I felt like I had an inflated balloon in my head.

At times the illness was too big a burden. Living the rest of my life like this seemed impossible. Despite a great job, a loving fiancé, and a supportive family, my health seemed doomed.

Then I saw Dr. Neale for Naturopathic treatment. After 45 days of aggressive treatment I wrote in my journal, “Today was a pivotal day. I forgot I was sick. I forgot I suffer from sinusitis. Not one cough today. I can breath through my nose better than I can ever remember. I can smell and taste. I can hear my students. Also, my acne has cleared. My friends tell me my skin is glowing. It’s hard to explain. I have an anticipation inside of me, an excitement. I can’t wait to see where this new found health leads me…”

Here are 3 easy and readily accessible home treatments that sufferers can use to begin treatment of sinusitis and begin their journey back to health.

  1. For example, to improve immune function and draw congestion away from the sinuses, sufferers can perform nightly warming socks treatments. To do this apply a well dampened (not dripping) cool pair of cotton socks to your feet before bed. Follow by covering the damp socks with a dry and warm pair of wool socks. Then go to sleep. By morning the socks should be dry. If the socks aren’t dry by morning repeat the process every night until they do dry. The stronger and healthier the body is, the more ability it has to dry those socks!
  2. Another important treatment involves adapting your sleep schedule to a natural rhythm. Early Homo sapians slept under moonlight and awoke to the sunrise. Our modern lifestyles have greatly altered our natural rhythms. Try going to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time every morning.  The body and mind are quite active while we sleep. The body is busy rebuilding and the mind is busy processing recent information. If our sleep is optimized we can be very productive and heal while we are asleep!
  3. We acquire toxic build-up by living amongst industry and using chemical products daily. To support your body’s ability to eliminate toxic build-up perform nightly castor oil packs. These are easy and safe and effective at supporting liver and gut waste elimination. To perform castor oil packs. Apply a quarter size amount of castor oil to your abdomen (especially to your right lower rib cage where your liver lives). Cover your abdomen with an old t-shirt or organic cotton piece of flannel. Then apply heat to the area. This can be accomplished with a heating pad or a water bottle filled with heated water. Leave the heat application for at least 20 minutes while you are watching TV or reading a book or unwinding at night. Wipe the remaining castor oil off and onto the cloth. You can store the cloth in the fridge for tomorrows use in a plastic baggy or a glass jar. You can reuse the cloth several times before needing to wash it. Careful, the oil will stain the cloth.

Lastly, it is important to address any potential causes of chronic inflammation such as food intolerances. Testing for and eliminating food intolerances will greatly reduce inflammation and the toxic build-up that results from chronic inflammation. Treating and resolving chronic sinusitis is possible. Chronic sufferers can be relieved of their disease for good through addressing the cause and supporting the body’s wise and instructive desire to heal.

Dr. Nadene Neale is a Naturopathic General Practitioner serving Vancouver, WA and the greater Portland, OR areas. Dr. Neale specializes in helping her patients make attainable and sustainable healthy lifestyle choices to resolve their chronic disease once and for all.