Ask The Nutritionist - Suffer from recurring chronic sinusitis?
Q: Hello Angie, I have had recurring chronic sinusitis for the last ten years, it is very painful and I cannot seem to get rid of it once and for all. I am unsure as to why I have it or how I can get rid of it or alleviate the symptoms without taking yet another course of antibiotics? Kerry, L Age 4
A: Hi Kerry, Sinusitis is an infection of and often leading to inflammation of the sinuses, hollow spaces within the skull. These spaces are found above the more central part of the eyebrows(frontal sinuses), at the upper part of the nasal bridge (ethmoid sinuses), and under the eye sockets are the largest one (maxillary sinuses).
When an infection occurs the immune system sends in various different immune cells. These can gather in large number along with dead cells and debris from damage caused. This combination causes a build-up of purulent substance, of puss. This purulent substance builds and builds and along with the inflammatory process eventually causing pressure within the sinuses and therefore pain. This is one of the main symptoms used to diagnose sinusitis.
Antibiotics have a multitude of side effects that are not desirable including their negative impact on the liver. One must also take into consideration the fact that sinusitis can also be caused by physical trauma, viral infections, and fungal infections. It is a wise idea to find out what the cause of your sinusitis might be but in the mean time you can approach your symptoms and do an umbrella treatment approach.
Do anti-inflammatory approach including turmeric, ginger, oily fish, nuts and seeds, and green vegetables and then you can include foods and herbs that have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties such as garlic, ginger, thyme, sage, rosemary, and lemon. Preparing steam baths, hot water in a bowl with eucalyptus oil sprinkled on top, place a towel over the bowl and your head under the towel inhaling the steam to open the sinuses. The Eucalyptus oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Great for your skin too.