Republished with permission from annlouise.com.
Three Keys to Breathing Easy
Are you always clearing your throat due to a post nasal drip? Is your cough worse at night? Do you suffer from a persistent sore throat or ear pain and a lingering low-grade fever?
If so, join the crowd. You may have chronic sinusitis (inflamed sinuses) which is becoming an all too common culprit behind many untraceable and annoying conditions.
Over 32 million Americans experience chronic sinus inflammation from a persistent sinus infection, and according to the Mayo Clinic, fungi is most often to blame.
Additional noteworthy hallmarks of this condition include pain in the forehead, upper jaw, or teeth, or around your cheeks, eyes, or nose; bad breath, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, and even nausea that can come and go.
In our increasingly high-pollen, high-pollutant world, Seasonal allergies makes sinusitis much worse.
While antibiotics are commonly prescribed for sinus infections, they can turn temporary pain into a chronic problem. That’s because 80% of sinus infections stem from self-protective biofilms—slimy clumps of bacteria or fungi that are antibiotic resistant and quite challenging to eradicate. Antibiotics notoriously deplete your microbiome, which would normally protect against these types of pathogens, and allows the biofilm to grow unchallenged.
Because commonly prescribed antibiotics kill off both good and bad bacteria, they create an internal environment where Candida albicans, which is naturally present in the human body, quickly grows out of control. Candida albicans then morphs into a hard to eradicate fungal growth that I blame for 9 out of 10 cases of sinusitis among my clients.
One in three American women has symptoms of candidiasis, a chronic yeast infection. Besides vaginal problems, yeast infections can cause fatigue, indigestion, acne and skin rashes, sore or bleeding gums, thrush (white patches in the mouth or throat), and most sneaky—nasal congestion and sinus pain.
Candida overgrowth is prevalent in women who use antibiotics—whether to treat a sinus infection or acne—or who have been on estrogen (including birth control pills), have a high stress level, have had children, or consume a high-sugar diet. If your stools are “shiny” or “filmy,” chances are you need a candida cure!!
Beating the Fungal Growth
To eliminate the underlying cause of chronic sinusitis, we first need to weaken the fungal growth and begin killing off Candida. Enzymes can be powerful tools to do just that. I like Candex (found in most health food stores) for this purpose.
Diet also comes into play, which means at least two weeks of avoiding sugar in all forms—processed foods and beverages, alcohol, vinegar (except raw apple cider vinegar), starchy vegetables, all fruits, cheese, and especially high-glycemic carbs like wheat, corn, and peanuts that frequently contain mycotoxins from yeast and mold.
You must include more grass-fed and free range animal protein and omega-3 eggs. Pump up your consumption of vegetables, and increase your intake of essential and healthy fats from flaxseed oil, fish oil, olive oil, oil of oregano, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, grass-fed butter, macadamia nuts, almonds, and pumpkin, flax, chia, and hemp seeds.
Y-C Cleanse is my #1 solution when it comes to Candida. As a clinically proven homeopathic, very finely diluted potencies of Candida and its byproducts stimulate your body’s own immune response to kick yeast and fungus to the curb.
This formula will not wreak havoc on your liver as many prescription antifungals do. It can be used daily for three months or more, and once or twice weekly for maintenance thereafter. It can even be applied to the wrists and absorbed transdermally for children and sensitive individuals.
Having a strong and diverse microbiome is crucial to supporting sinus health. Good bacteria crowds out pathogenic bacteria and keeps systemic yeasts in check. To supply a daily dose of immune-supporting probiotics, I take Flora-Key, which provides 10 billion CFU per teaspoon. Although the CFUs may appear to be lower than some other high-powered probiotics on the market, many individuals experience an autoimmune response when taking large amounts of probiotics, so I like to go “low and slow”.
I typically recommend several teaspoons throughout the day to keep the friendly flora well populated. Flora Key also does triple duty as not only a probiotic, but also a sweetener and pre-biotic, with the most potent strains of beneficial bacteria for vaginal and gut health. Although resistant starch has become a buzz word for pre-biotics these days, I rely on just one teaspoon of Flora Key to feed and sustain the microbiome.
Caprylic acid, found in coconut oil, is my next favorite antifungal. This natural solution is as effective against yeast overgrowth as the drug nystatin, which may damage the liver. I also recommend olive leaf extract, a potent antimicrobial, to fight sinus inflaming fungi and yeasts as well as bacteria and viruses.
I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that there is a great deal of buzz lately regarding Fiji red mangrove bark extract, which is said to naturally enhance immune and respiratory health. It has been found in both clinical and anecdotal reports to work 48 hour wonders with chronic sinusitis.
Nourish Your Nose
More effective than antibiotics, salt may very well prevent sinus problems in the first place. Combine 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt (or ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon baking soda) in a cup of lukewarm water and use this mixture in a sterile eyedropper or neti pot.
Rinse your nasal passages twice a day until the infection clears—or whenever you feel sinus pain starting up again. If your throat is sore too, gargle with warm salt water.
Many aromatherapy oils—eucalyptus, oregano, tea tree, and thyme—are antifungal. Use one of these healing essential oils in a room diffuser or add a few drops to your bath water—the steam may just help keep your sinuses clear!
Do you struggle with Candida that affects your sinuses? Please comment below to share your experience!