Julia Nelson

Whole30 and Chronic Sinusitis/Nasal Polyps

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Today is Day 1 of my first Whole30 (although I've been eating paleo-ish since the beginning of January). My main motivation is getting some relief from my chronic sinusitis. I've been dealing with it for a couple years, and even had surgery 7 months ago to remove nasal polyps and open up my sinuses. That helped for a while...but about 3 months later, my sense of smell was gone again and I started getting congested. I really want to get to the root of the problem and not be on nasal sprays and steroids and deal with surgery again.

I'm just wondering if there are others out there with a similar experience who have found some relief with this way of eating. Also wondering if you recommend people with sinus issues follow the auto-immune protocol.

Thank you!

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Jenelson,

I didn't have sinus issues to the extent that you describe, but the Whole30 has helped my sinuses tremendously! I used to get sinus infections 4-6x per year, each lasting about ten days. I can also simply breath better and deeper; I think I had a lot of inflammation in my lungs that has improved.

Do you currently eat dairy and grains? If you do, I suspect cutting them out will help your sinuses hugely!

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i have perennial rhinitus and excercise induced asthma. both of these conditions have been greatly alleviated through eating paleo. when i start to stray too far, i definitely feel it. you're just on day one so give your body time to see results and heal.

if you drink alcohol regularly that can definitely have a congestive effect so doing the whole30 could give you some great relief. good luck!

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This is actually pre-Whole 30, but...I too had major sinus issues a few years back, and it got to the point where I had surgery (which I paid for mostly out of my own pocket). Later that year some angel of mercy steered me towards gluten-free/wheat-free eating, and the difference it made was enormous.

Of course I fell off the wagon, with painful results (e.g., on descending planes) but since doing the Whole 30 I have avoided wheat and gluten completely. I don't think I'll be falling off the wagon this time...the very thought of eating a baked good causes a twinge in my sinuses...

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I had two sinus surgeries as a child, and used to get at least two serious sinus infections a year. These sometimes required a couple rounds of antibiotics, sometimes combined with steroids. I was supposed to have sinus surgery back in August and skipped it...since starting a Paleo diet in October, I have not had a single sinus infection or even a cold! I noticed the biggest improvement after I spent a weekend baking for a bridal shower and eating a LOT of non-Paleo, gluten-containing treats. After about two days of reverting to that SAD diet, my congestion started to return hardcore. I hopped back on the Paleo bandwagon, and it was gone shortly. As Kecia Lynn said, I think gluten may have had the largest effect for me.

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Thanks for your replies! They definitely give me encouragement to keep going. :) I have asthma as well and eating paleo has already helped a lot with that - looking forward to some improvement in my sinuses as well!

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Thanks for your replies! They definitely give me encouragement to keep going. :) I have asthma as well and eating paleo has already helped a lot with that - looking forward to some improvement in my sinuses as well!

Just found your post and your symptoms sound a lot like mine, so how are you now? Did the Whole 30 work, did you notice a change?

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I have a question for you sinus-sufferers out there. I eliminated dairy years ago and gluten 2-3 years ago, but I still have sinus issues and my right ear hasn't stopped itching and has felt 'plugged' for 4 + years. Last year, I had a brain MRI to check out my pituitary gland and the only thing they found was one of my deep sinuses was inflamed, even though I didn't feel like I had an active infection. It's been implied by an alternative practitioner that perhaps my pituitary gland isn't working properly, which is (as I'm told) tucked in between the sinuses. Since I have multiple symptoms of an under-functioning pituitary gland, I'm hoping to get the sinuses under control and see if the other issues resolved.

Sinus/ear issues have plagued me my entire life. I certainly don't have as many new sinus infections as I did prior, but I still have signs. I've had a splitting sinus headache for the past few days and I don't want to take antibiotics. So, my question: what else has worked with sinus issues (food-wise) other than eliminating dairy and gluten? I also gave up eggs, citrus, and nuts (nuts are more recent). Any input would be appreciated!

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Hi, Karen!

Fellow sinus sufferer (nursing a sinus infection as we speak!). Did you eliminate grains and sugar, too, or just dairy and gluten? I find that I have to maintain a pretty strict Whole30-style life to get sinus benefits. When I have a cheat meal, they're always the first things to come back, too. Immediately, my sinuses will flare up and produce a ton of mucus.

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Hey, I'm nursing a sinus infection as we speak, too! Although I didn't eliminate all grains until my Whole30 (on day 24, I think?), the only grain I had on a semi-regular basis was corn. I used to be big on rice but got so sick of it that I probably only had it 2x in the past 6 months. And sugar I mostly avoid - hard to find something sweet that doesn't have gluten, dairy, eggs, or yeast - all things that I avoid. I'll admit I suffered through the occasional bag of M&Ms, but seldom.

For me, it's not so much a ton of mucus - it's the sinus and ear pressure that just won't stop. I rarely get a runny or stuffy nose. Today, it's the mega-throbbing sinus headache that makes my eyes throb when I stand up, though I can breath clearly through both nostrils. I've considered seeing a Rolfer for it as I wonder if it's more structural than food, but if I can fix it with food, I'd prefer that!

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Just thought I'd post an update to my story. I posted back in April, and started and stopped a few Whole30s since then (I would last for about a week without seeing any improvement in my sinuses, and then give up). I'm on day 16 now of a Whole30 which I intend to complete, but...my sinuses are worse! They were feeling great through about day 10 or 12, and then flared up and got more inflamed/congested than they have been in a while. I didn't add anything new to my diet, but something non-compliant may have snuck in while eating out. I really have no idea.

All in all, I feel so much better eating this way (even though I can't breath through my nose) and plan to stick to it after the 30 days, with some planned treats afterwards. But, I will be heading back to the doctor for some prednisone or some nasal spray to get this under control. I hope eventually to be able to main the state of non-inflammation that meds provide through diet alone (or at least fewer meds).

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I have had chronic sinusitis for about 7 years.

My current regime is daily Nasonex spray and I take preventative low dose prednisone (3-5 days at a time) when my sinuses start to flare up, before a full infection sets in.

I've seen a big improvement on Whole30 and will be watching my symptoms during reintroduction. Milk has always made me feel sick in the stomach and sometimes flu/cold like symptoms.

Has anyone found a difference in types of dairy? Parmesan vs cheddar vs soft cheeses like brie

Is there anyone who doesn't have a reaction to gluten?

I'm planning my reintroduction, so just trying to keep the "worst" things on their own.

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Hi Karen! I just joined this forum. I did the Whole30 this February and I remember my sinus issues going away, and then I got off and for the last 2 months but sinus issues have been worse than ever! So I'm back on. I wanted to let you know though, I read that not only can gluten cause sinus issues, but also sugar. I ate a lot of processed bad junk the last 2 months and I know it had refined processed foods but also probably really high in sugar. Maybe that will also help!

Sinus/ear issues have plagued me my entire life. I certainly don't have as many new sinus infections as I did prior, but I still have signs. I've had a splitting sinus headache for the past few days and I don't want to take antibiotics. So, my question: what else has worked with sinus issues (food-wise) other than eliminating dairy and gluten? I also gave up eggs, citrus, and nuts (nuts are more recent). Any input would be appreciated!

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Glad you found something that worked! Although I do notice my ears itch more with sugar, eliminating it unfortunately doesn't resolve the problem. I've completed 2 whole 30s and a whole 50 with no change. :(

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Karen, I'm in the same boat. Seasonal allergies are kicking my butt right now. I noticed a bit of a change in the nasal congestion area, but not a clear up. I think my allergies are just to severe. I walk into an allergy doctor and they usually give me a list of stuff I'm NOT allergic to. Ha

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I agree with all the folks who said dairy, wheat and sugar all affect their sinuses negatively. Any time I eat one of those three I get all stuffed up. Whole 30 has helped my allergies immensely, so I hope you get some good results. Something else that has helped me is sinus rinsing. I use a squeeze bottle and saline solution from NeilMed (www.neilmed.com - I am in no way affiliated with them; I just use the product.) I find it easier than a neti pot. A good probiotic helps too. Kudos to you if you can get the good bacteria from fermented foods, but I'm getting some help from a supplement. Good luck.

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HI all... I to suffer from allergies and chronic sinus infections. I just started seeing a chiropractor( 2 sessions) and I cant believe the change in my sinus pressure already. I had no idea that chiropractor's could help with sinus issues or I would have went years ago.

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I am in a very similar situation to the first post respecting to sinus problems,
8 years of it and after many natural therapies I am at the same point of not being able to breath from my nose or smell.

I have started AIP 2 months ago.
I am being very strict with it, and I do feel like excessive mucosity is diminished, as in I don't feel in inflammed and stuffy like before.
It's very different in that sense.

And I deffinetly augmented the percentage of times during the day that I breath through my nose.
Though indeed I still breath through my mouth most of the time, and I rarely smell.

But I wouldn't go back. And that's why I don't even feel the desire to cheat, because I do see a direct correlation.


Also I will start trying Xlear nasal spray (natural xylitol) from today on aswell.

 

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Some products which have helped me over the years, talk to your ENT: 

 

FESS Eucalyptus (unlimited use)

http://www.fess.com.au/our-products/fess-eucalyptus-nasal-spray/47C699E2B2931068BB510FEEB07A9444

 

Nozoil - it has a funny name, but really helps with healing - contains sesame oil (not okay for anyone allergic to sesame)

http://www.enttech.com.au/products/nozoil

 

Savlon - antiseptic cream (kills some forms of staph - gentle on the nose)

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/21043

 

I also sleep with a hot vaporiser, I find it makes a big overall difference (as does the lack of dairy and wheat/grains!).

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I also suffered from chronic sinusitis and was asked to go under surgery by my doctor. After surgery everything was fine. I didn't feel congestion in my nose and also was able to smell properly. I think you should consult, your doctor again

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On 8/13/2018 at 12:11 PM, ashtrap said:

I also suffered from chronic sinusitis and was asked to go under surgery by my doctor. After surgery everything was fine. I didn't feel congestion in my nose and also was able to smell properly. I think you should consult, your doctor again

Source: https://sinuspressurepointsx.com/

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Great thread, I thought it was just me!! I have had chronic sinus pain and pressure for years. Finally had balloon sinuplasty about 7 months ago and even though I am breathing more clearly, the pain and pressure has not gone away and has maybe even gotten worse. I do acupuncture, see a chiropractor, have been gluten free for over a year now. I have a pretty healthy diet regularly but have never been able to determine any food triggers that make the pain/pressure worse (except too much red wine - that definitely makes it worse), so I decided to try Whole30. I am on Day 17 and not feeling ANY better. I actually feel more lethargic and my pain and pressure was a little better for the first two weeks but is much worse the last few days. It's very discouraging.

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I have a chronic post nasal drip that will not go away. Eating makes it worse, esp anything spicy. Have had sinus allergies all my life. I'm hoping to see some results from shifting off of grains, dairy and alcohol. Also have other inflammatory reactions in my joints. My first time on Whole 30 starting 1/2/19, we shall see.

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