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Old 10-04-2007, 11:20 AM   #1
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Unhappy Chronic Sinusitis

I have had health problems since as far as I can remember. I have PCOS (hormonal imbalance) which makes me predispositioned for certain ailments and I also have allergies.

In the summer of '04 I worked a hard job and suffered some stomach pain due to too many Ibuprofen. I also suffered some bowel problems in the spring of 2006 after I was told I had a UTI (urinary tract infection) and put on high levels of CIPRO.

Since then I have just been feeling ill. I was told I had a Sinus Infection this January, and have apparently had one since. I was also treated for 2 bouts of tonsilitis and a severe chest cold before I went to an allergy doctor.

I started seeing him in July and he put me on antibiotics and set me up for surgery (severly deviated septum). The surgery was on August 9 and I still have a sinus infection. I have been on so many antibiotics that I stopped being able to name them (Augmentin was one). I get sick very easily and always feel ill. I'm always "tired." Headaches, cough, sneezing, burning/painful eyes, and bowel problems plague me.

He at first questioned my taking the antibiotics or using the nasal spray, but now he finally does a culture (it's very bloody) and puts me on a new antibiotic (avelox) along with some steriods to reduce swelling. I just want the pain and the illness to stop. It's hard for your job to see you sick a lot or to explain to teachers why you bomb a test. The other day, during a test, my eyes hurt and burned so much that I could barely see and had a difficult time understanding the questions.

I just want to cry. I know I live in a bad area but I just can't afford to move. Does anyone have any advice or past experience? I sometimes get migraines when the eye pain makes my eyes sensitive to light.

Last edited by jenl2881; 10-04-2007 at 11:20 AM.

 
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:09 PM   #2
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Did anyone ever mention having your tonsils out?

 
Old 10-04-2007, 12:38 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Yes but I cannot afford it.

 
Old 10-04-2007, 01:30 PM   #4
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

It sounds to me like your sinus and infection problems might be symptoms of an underlying cause. Have your drs ever talked to you about food allergies/sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, or a systemic candida infection being the cause of your problems? I'd suggest getting a full nutritional panel run (vits/mins) along with a test for candida.

Rather than going through the expense and pain of allergy testing, you might consider reading up and trying an Elimination Re-Challenge Diagnosis diet. Its where you eliminate certain common allergy-causing foods from your diet and then reintroduce them one at a time. I strongly suggest trying this, after reading up on how to correctly do the food re-introduction.

Food sensitivities can cause all kinds of reactions and not just the ones we first think of. Reactions may be delayed for 12 up to 72 hours after eating.

They can cause: chronic headaches, sinus headaches, migraines, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, red face, runny or stuffy nose, post nasal drip, ringing in the ears, red ears, earaches, vertigo, blurred vision, eye pain, dark circles under eyes, bad breath, geographic tongue, mouth ulcers, recurrent upper respiratory infections and colds, recurrent ear infections, irregular or rapid heart beats, palpitations, high blood pressure, asthma, wheezing, chronic cough, colic (in infants), nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loose stools, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis (Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis), reflux, heartburn, indigestion, gall bladder conditions, malabsorption syndromes, cystitis, interstitial cystitis, recurrent urinary tract infections, blood in urine, nephritis, glomerulonephrosis, recurrent vaginitis, PMS, hives, eczema, psoriasis, acne, muscle and joint pain, arthritis, lupus, muscle weakness, fatigue, hypoglycemia, starch and sugar cravings, hyperactivity and attention deficit, behavior problems, learning problems, convulsions, bulimia, obesity, anxiety, panic reactions, depression, mental dullness, memory lapses, mood swings and irritability, anger outbursts, difficulty thinking.

Any of this stuff sounding familiar?

Now while some of the above-listed are autoimmune disorders, chronic exposure to sensitivity-causing foods can trigger such disorders, especially after an infection or illness.

Just so you know, I was also recently dx'd with PCOS. My dr has emphasized that I cut all refined sugar and flour out of my diet and, instead, eat a diet of 1/2 veggies, 1/4 complex carbs, and 1/4 protein. I'm also doing the Elimination Re-Challenge diet because I've had some chronic health problems since I was a child (in my 40s now) and nothing else is working.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Last edited by Nyxie63; 10-04-2007 at 02:01 PM.

 
Old 10-04-2007, 02:07 PM   #5
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

I have lots of the above symptoms, I have a underactive thyroid and now have lots of allergies , PEANUTS, FISH, WHEAT, EGG, that the food I was tested for, Also DOGS, CATS ,POLLEN, TREES, I found this out in may of this year, and its scares me to eat things, I also have sinus and stomach problems, inflammation of the duodenum.

what food are you allergic to??

I feel so scared that I may get another Autoimmune Disease ...take care...Mandy

 
Old 10-05-2007, 12:04 AM   #6
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Almost all of these symptoms can also be caused by celiac disease, and/or gluten sensitivity. It is highly underdiagnosed. Ask for a tTG blood test-a simple, inexpensive blood test.

 
Old 10-06-2007, 08:34 PM   #7
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Unhappy Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Well I have had the food allergy tests, and had no reaction whatsoever. I do have allergies to dogs, grass, mold, trees, and dust. The grass is in our front yard, actually. I started getting ill mostly after Hurricane Rita hit. I think it's the increase in mold in this area, and also there are a lot of plants and refineries here. I have wanted to do the food allergy thing (taking out stuff and putting it back in) because I'm sure I have an allergy to some Cajun spice as it has made my throat swell before.

I don't ingest any form of artificial sweetener or High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), eat natural/organic products when I can, don't drink or smoke, and wear sun screen often. Most doctors look at me and can't figure out why I'm sick. They think I'm a hypochondriac.

I have been tested for blood sugar problems because I tend to run low (63 when fasting) and PCOS sufferers often have an insulin inhibitor, or I believe that's what it's called. I don't know what the test was called, but it showed what my insulin levels had been running at over a period of time. I also had that test where you drink that horrible orange liquid, with no results.

Since I started on the Avelox (400MG) and Prednisone (20MG) Tuesday, I have had sever pain in my eyes, diziness, drowsiness, trouble working/going to school, severe fatigue after any activity, and just sever headaches. The headache worries me the most as I've had the pain in the back of my head (where scull meets neck) for months. My chiropractor used to be helpful, but not anymore. I also suffer from TMJ and have 2 wisdom teeth coming in, but that usually just makes my ears hurt and goes away with aspirin. Gah I just want to feel better

Thanks for all the tips and helpful comments!

 
Old 10-10-2007, 04:59 AM   #8
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenl2881 View Post
I started seeing him in July and he put me on antibiotics and set me up for surgery (severly deviated septum). The surgery was on August 9 and I still have a sinus infection. I have been on so many antibiotics that I stopped being able to name them (Augmentin was one). I get sick very easily and always feel ill. I'm always "tired." Headaches, cough, sneezing, burning/painful eyes, and bowel problems plague me.
Jen

The operation was only a few weeks so it could take a while to kick in. I had a sinus operation which included septum realignment back in March and things have only started to improve in the last few weeks.

Your symptoms sound similar to mine as was on antibiotics for a long time before and after my op so I really do understand your frustration.

Has your ENT taken a look inside your nose or done a scan since the operation? Have you been prescribed the Biaxin (Clarithromycin) antibiotic? For me this helped when the others like Augmentin had failed.

Last edited by thfc2006; 10-10-2007 at 04:59 AM.

 
Old 11-18-2007, 09:18 AM   #9
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Quote:
The operation was only a few weeks so it could take a while to kick in. I had a sinus operation which included septum realignment back in March and things have only started to improve in the last few weeks.

Your symptoms sound similar to mine as was on antibiotics for a long time before and after my op so I really do understand your frustration.

Has your ENT taken a look inside your nose or done a scan since the operation? Have you been prescribed the Biaxin (Clarithromycin) antibiotic? For me this helped when the others like Augmentin had failed.

I was put on a new antibiotic and it made me sick, along with a steroid to reduce swelling. I stopped taking both because they kept me from working and when I went back to him the infection had cleared some. He told me to take vitamin C and to continue without the antibiotics and it got a lot better. Today though my nose hurts and I am stuffed up. I think I'm getting some bug...

 
Old 11-22-2007, 04:20 PM   #10
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenl2881 View Post
I was put on a new antibiotic and it made me sick, along with a steroid to reduce swelling. I stopped taking both because they kept me from working and when I went back to him the infection had cleared some. He told me to take vitamin C and to continue without the antibiotics and it got a lot better. Today though my nose hurts and I am stuffed up. I think I'm getting some bug...
Wow your story is like a mirror to mine. The only diffrence I have is my tonsils are gone!!!

 
Old 11-28-2007, 06:44 PM   #11
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Re: Chronic Sinusitis

If celiac disease is indeed the cause of your problems, there are a number of cookbooks to help you cope. I think it would be worth trying to be gluten free and see what happens. The diagnosis of celiac disease is usually done by taking a sample of cells from the lining of your intestine, in an outpatient procedure.

For several years I had chronic sinusitis and "cured" it by going low-salt. Less salt, less water retention, reduced swelling, sinuses can drain normally. Most of us get too much salt anyway. I had to go down to about 350 mg per day, but it worked for several of my ailments.

Lots of luck to you.

 
Old 11-29-2007, 04:01 AM   #12
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

I don't know much about some of the non-sinus things you mention but there are a couple of basic allergy/sinus things you can do that make a big difference for a lot of people. The first one is to irrigate your sinuses with saline (salt water) using either a Sinus Rinse bottle (available at most drug stores) or Neti Pot (health food stores). It's a little weird at first but you'll get used to it in a day or two. The saline (which can be tap water or distilled water mixed with salt/baking soda - you can buy pre-mixed packets at the drug store) will simply rinse any mucous out of your sinuses, help keep them clear and help with the congestion. I'm really surprised that the doctor who operated on you hasn't mentioned this because most ENTs seem to be using this as part of their treatment for patients with chronic sinusitis.

Second, have you tried a steroid nasal spray like Rhinocort AQ, Flonase, etc? They have a lot fewer side effects than oral steroids and also help a lot with congestion and swelling (from allergies, etc.) in your sinuses - I've had great success with Rhinocort AQ (some of the sprays contain a preservative called Benzalkonium Chloride that can be irritating - Rhinocort AQ does not).

You mention that you're allergic to grass, mold, trees, and dust - just wondering if you're doing anything to treat the allergies. It's hard to avoid these kinds of allergens so lots of people have to resort to allergy shots to desensitize their body - antihistamines (claritin, etc.) can also help.

One of the biggest challenges for managing chronic sinusitis is treating the underlying cause - it could be your allergies so getting those under control would be a great place to start - it will help cut down the swelling and irritation in your sinuses and literally clear your head.

 
Old 11-29-2007, 07:23 AM   #13
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

My treatment:
1) 2-4 x daily rinsing with Pretz nasal Ph balanced Saline spray (OTC but pharmacies sometimes have to be asked to order it). Standard saline washes can make things worse for those with sensitive nasal membranes.
2) Morning and night - Ponaris nasal oil (helps protect and insulate dry and irritated sinus membranes). (OTC but pharmacies sometimes have to be asked to order it)

Also I did Nasonex which has the highest rating and largest allergy fighting subset of Flonase, Nasecort, Afrin, Rhinocort.. and the after taste and odor is not unpleasant.

Zyrtec and two rounds of allergy shots for two different states.

This still didn't relieve things so next step was the ENT.
1) Bilateral turbo plasty 30% reduction of sinus membranes. Went from 12 mo to 9 mo a year sinus infections.
2) Tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and complete endoscopic sinus roto rootering : Complete window insertion and removal of the ethnoid and rear sinus membranes, addition 30% reduction of sinus and maxillary membranes, sinus passage widening.. you get the idea.

Well now.. I have had one sinus/bronchitis infection in the last year since my surgery. However.. I still get all the flus and colds my son brings home to share.. but I am not guaranteed to have a sinus infection after each of them now.

Try the allergy treatment route and cleaning first. Then consult an ENT, just incase you have structural issues. Once those are ruled out.. then look for the rarer stuff like thyroid, celiac and the like.

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:02 PM   #14
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcsmithjr View Post
I don't know much about some of the non-sinus things you mention but there are a couple of basic allergy/sinus things you can do that make a big difference for a lot of people. The first one is to irrigate your sinuses with saline (salt water) using either a Sinus Rinse bottle (available at most drug stores) or Neti Pot (health food stores). It's a little weird at first but you'll get used to it in a day or two. The saline (which can be tap water or distilled water mixed with salt/baking soda - you can buy pre-mixed packets at the drug store) will simply rinse any mucous out of your sinuses, help keep them clear and help with the congestion. I'm really surprised that the doctor who operated on you hasn't mentioned this because most ENTs seem to be using this as part of their treatment for patients with chronic sinusitis.

Second, have you tried a steroid nasal spray like Rhinocort AQ, Flonase, etc? They have a lot fewer side effects than oral steroids and also help a lot with congestion and swelling (from allergies, etc.) in your sinuses - I've had great success with Rhinocort AQ (some of the sprays contain a preservative called Benzalkonium Chloride that can be irritating - Rhinocort AQ does not).

You mention that you're allergic to grass, mold, trees, and dust - just wondering if you're doing anything to treat the allergies. It's hard to avoid these kinds of allergens so lots of people have to resort to allergy shots to desensitize their body - antihistamines (claritin, etc.) can also help.

One of the biggest challenges for managing chronic sinusitis is treating the underlying cause - it could be your allergies so getting those under control would be a great place to start - it will help cut down the swelling and irritation in your sinuses and literally clear your head.
I have been on saline spray. I also have Sino Fresh which is like spraying mouth wash up my nose. The doctor gave me Flonase, but it makes my sinuses raw and gives me nose bleeds.

I get allergy shots once a week.

Last edited by jenl2881; 11-29-2007 at 12:05 PM.

 
Old 11-29-2007, 01:40 PM   #15
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Re: Chronic Sinusitis

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenl2881 View Post
I have been on saline spray. I also have Sino Fresh which is like spraying mouth wash up my nose. The doctor gave me Flonase, but it makes my sinuses raw and gives me nose bleeds.

I get allergy shots once a week.
The allergy shots are a great place to start. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "saline spray" but would really encourage you to consider irrigation which uses a lot more saline to help flush out the stuff in your sinuses that may be contributing to the infection.

Here's some information from the Mayo Clinic on irrigation:
To alleviate irritating nasal problems, your doctor may recommend nasal irrigation (nasal lavage). This involves flushing out thickened mucus and irritants from your nose. Nasal irrigation is appropriate for children and adults, and can be done in the privacy of your own home.

Your nose serves as your body's main filtering, warming and humidifying system. It can produce more than a quart of mucus a day, which is your body's way to trap particles such as harmful bacteria, viruses, dust, allergens and mold. Often they wash down the back of your throat. But sometimes these allergens and irritants become stuck in the lining of your nose. This can cause an allergic reaction and can lead to a sinus infection.

An allergic reaction results in inflammation, hindering the ability of your nasal lining to flush toxins from your nose. This is just one example of when nasal irrigation is useful.
Another thing you might consider - both SinoFresh and Flonase contain a preservative called Benzalkonium Chloride (as do most saline sprays, you might check the one you use). I had used Rhinocort AQ for years with no problems but my insurance company switched me to Flonase when a generic version became available and it made my sinuses raw and gave me nosebleeds as well - I switched back to Rhinocort AQ (which is the only steroid nasal spray that doesn't contain BK) and the problem went away. It seems crazy that a preservative would make things worse but this is from ****pedia:
Benzalkonium chloride is an allergen and several studies have cast doubt on its reputation for safety. Some products have been reformulated in light of this research, but it is still widely used in eyewashes, hand and face washes, mouthwashes, spermicidal creams, and in various other cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants. There has also been concern that long-term use of benzalkonium as a preservative in nose sprays may cause swelling of mucosa and lead to Rhinitis medicamentosa. Some manufacturers have put 3-day limits on safe use of such nose sprays.
Hope some of this is helpful.

 
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