Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Chronic Sinusitis Vs. Cheese

I’ve had chronic sinusitis for about a year now. I’ve visited two different ear nose and throat specialists with no improvement. Yesterday I had my second appointment with my second doctor. He told me:

The ringing in my ears (known as Tinnitus) is never going to go away and I might as well make friends with it.

The pressure in my head is ACTUALLY cause by my workspace and how I sit at work. He’s never seen me work, nor my workspace. Grasping…

The sinus infection isn’t that bad. The two drugs I’ve tried (antibiotic and steroid nose spray) haven’t done anything. The CT scan showed that it’s not bad enough for surgery. His solution: nothing. Come back in 6 months.

I realize that doctors are not gods. I realize that chronic sinusitis is very hard to treat when drugs don’t immediately fix the problem. I also can recognize when a doctor isn’t treating me properly and isn’t giving me any information. I literally left the office in tears of frustration. He merely walked out of the exam room, forgetting me immediately.

I talked to my roommates about it last night, getting worked up again and starting to cry. My brother said “It amazes me that you have this major, chronic disease (diabetes) that you rarely complain about or get down about, and then it’s this stupid sinus infection with a myriad of crap doctors ends up being the biggest drama.”

Anyway, I have done a bit of research on my own and am going to try some different changes in my lifestyle to try and cut down on the symptoms before I find yet another ENT specialist.

The most drastic thing I will be doing is cutting dairy out of my diet completely. I’ve read all over that casein, protein found in cow’s milk and other products, is not good for you. It causes all sort of things, one of them being ‘excess mucus’. Okay, so that’s gross. Anyway, I’ve read on a few sites that people dealing with chronic sinusitis who cut dairy out of their diet noticed dramatic improvements after 2 months.

Two months is a long time to go without cheese. But at this point, I’ll try just about anything. My dairy free days started last night. Here goes nothing.


At 12:05 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

I've had tinnitus and it does go away...at least it did for me. It took a few years, but it's gone.

It could be caused by your sinusitis since all of those parts are connected.

I would imagine that the reason why you don't get dramatic about your diabetes is because it is a fixed condition, and you can't do anything to make it go away. Whereas the sinusitis can be treated and eliminated, so the fact that the doctor isn't doing anything about it can be really frustrating.

That's my 2¢ psychology opinion for the day :)

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

I have had a return of my chronic sinusitis in the past few weeks after about a year of no symptoms. I was beginning to think it was truly connected to my hypothyroidism, but now I'm not so sure. (And although I was ready to consult with an ENT, I have not done so because of the lack of symptoms...now I might have to do it.)

I'll be watching and waiting how your no-dairy experiment goes, that's for sure.

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Sandra Miller said...


A couple of thoughts... have you seen an allergist? Reason I ask is that my husband was plagued with chronic sinisitis for almost 2 years. Ryan was put on several courses of antibiotics, with no improvement.

Eventually, he went to an allergist-- and tested positive for ragweed. But by then the damage had been done. A CT scan revealed that over 30% of his sinuses were blocked.

So, what did he do? Well, his doctor recommended a procedure to clear the blockages if the pain got to be too much.

In the meantime, he recommended an over-the-counter med called Mucinex (it's a slow-release tablet containing guaifenesin-- active ingredient in Robitussen) to thin the mucous. It did help somewhat for a while.

But then Ryan started using something called a neti pot (a nurse friend of mine swore by this)-- you basically pour salt water in one nostril and, believe it or not, the water goes through the sinuses and drains out the other nostril.

I know. Sounds really gross. But after doing the neti pot regularly for several weeks, pain and pressure were gone! Actually felt better after the first couple times doing it.

Now, if he has any symptoms (which is really rare) he just uses the neti pot a few times, and then he's fine.

Good Luck!

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Tekakwitha said...


I do have allergies (ragweed and cats) and was on a ton of medication this fall for it. The meds cleared up most of my allergy symptoms, but the other sinus stuff stayed which lead my doctors to believe it was a different sort of infection.

And I HAVE heard of a neti pot before. While it does gross me out, I will soon try almost anything! I'll look into where to find it. Thanks!


At 6:29 PM, Anonymous christine said...

i had suffered from crazy sinus infections my whole life. recently went vegan and,viola, i'm cured. i used to love cheese, but its snot worth it (har har)

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous sharon said...

I have seen your site it was very good and it is useful to sinusitis problem people like me. So i thank you for giving such a good site like our people who r suffering recently i have seen a site that was good which is providing similar pages

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the mucus membranes or lining of the Para nasal sinuses. Acute sinusitis is common and is often associated with a viral or bacterial nasal infection that spreads to the sinuses. When the sinuses become blocked, they become filled with fluid producing pain and pressure. Other symptoms of sinusitis are fever, fatigue, and postnasal drainage.


At 12:18 PM, Blogger hel said...

hi all,

wonder if you could help me out.. i was diagnosed with sinusitis.. apparently all 3 parts of my nose are inflammed badly depriving my brain of 25% of oxygen. Ive been going to doctors for about 4 years since i am always tired, feel detached from the world around me, feel like my vision is failing and have no energy to do anything. Most doctors put it down to stress. Now my ENT claims that these are symptoms of sinusitis.. can any of you help me pls? Im fed up of being called a hypochondriac. thanks... Hel

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Meerabel said...

I suffer from sinusitis, triggered by any number of things. It's particularly bad at high altitudes, so on flights I know to expect it. More or less, I've learnt to grin and bear it. (OK, to whine and suffer while it lasts.)

On a recent cheese binge, I felt that familiar pain. Surely a coincidence, I thought. Today I noticed the same again, so I googled it. And here I am.

Can it be true? And is it really worth giving up cheese..?

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Meerabel said...

I suffer from sinusitis, triggered by any number of things. It's particularly bad at high altitudes, so on flights I know to expect it. More or less, I've learnt to grin and bear it. (OK, to whine and suffer while it lasts.)

On a recent cheese binge, I felt that familiar pain. Surely a coincidence, I thought. Today I noticed the same again, so I googled it. And here I am.

Can it be true? And is it really worth giving up cheese..?

At 5:13 AM, Blogger Nickie said...

I too suffer from Chronic Sinusitis and gave up dairy after reading "How to Eat right for your blood type" It would appear that blood group A'S cannot process dairy properly. However once you have eliminated dairy from your diet, you must be so careful as even the slightest amount of milk product can trigger even worse bouts of chronic sinusitis now. Check all labels very carefully, you will be suprised how many things contain milk products! Lindt dark orange chocolate doesn't!!! I saw an ENT and was told there was nothing they could do, I now have an appt with an Immunologist.

At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have found that Italian cheeses are the worst, although most dairy gives me sinus pain. Since the meno I have had "dry" sinuses becasue the mucus membraines dry out when deprived of oestrogen. It does seem to make sense to "wash" them occasionally, which would lubricate and cleanse them. I think I will try the suggestion - presumably the saline is not supposed be too salty!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Linda said...

Infection.org is a purely informational site dedicated to the general Public. It provides a focal point on the Internet for Infection information. I am contacting you in order to inquire if you could add a link to Infection.org. We also have a section where we could post qualified resource links on Infection.org. If you have any questions feel free to email me. And hopefully you can add a link on your site to Infection.org.If you want more information on that please email me back with the subject line as your URL

Thanks for your Time and Have a Wonderful Holiday Season.

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Simpig said...

I had regular and recurring sinus/throat issues every spring and fall for years. The coughing was so bad at times that I honestly believed that it would be the cause of my death when I got older. Talked to my doctor, walk-in clinic people, and specialists, and nothing really helpful - then I surfed the web....dairy....

I have significantly reduced my dairy intake and have noticed a huge improvement. Cream in my coffee is enough to set me off - and I had ~2 cups double-double a day. switched to 1 milk and much better immediately.

What I have found is that the dairy seems to cause the flow to start, which is not so bad. but when the flow gets plugged and stuffed up, then follows the sinus infection, which spreads to the throat and into the lungs - and gets really bad. So basically I reduce dairy always, but don't stop completely. If I feel my sinuses getting stuffy I stop immediately.

Other things that help: Drixoral or other nose sprays, and a neti pot (gross but works). Stay away from things like Tylenol Sinus. they work, but they work by drying things out. This is good for temporary relief but it also keeps everything up in there which can create an environment for infection. If I start to get stuffed, I use Drixoral or Tylenol sinus to slow things down, then the neti pot to rince things out.

Anyway - good luck. I know how bad it can be and hope the above helps.

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dairy causes mucus, it's a well known fact. So if you suffer from respiratory problems, it's best to give up the dairy. Cows milk is intended for baby cows, not human adults anyways.

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tinnitus went away completely for me. Buy a small bottle of 'Powers Irish whiskey' it has medical properties in it. get an ear dropper, fill with the whiskey and till ur ear, put a few drops in each ear add cotton wool to stop liquid from running out. do this every night for 2/3 weeks leaving in ears overnight. I suffered from sinusitis for Years.. i stopped dairy products and it went away, recently i started eating cheese, and probiotic yogurt and it returned. so yes dairy products cause sinusitis.
it seem to me Doctors only treat symptoms, not root causes. To the person who's doctor told to make it ur friend, please ignore his/her comment, and seek to be cured. if any of what i shared works for u, please let others know, so they too can be cured. good luck.:)

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe some Doctors are looking at sinus problems and indeed many other disease or illness in the wrong way.

I consider most problems to be diet related. I see a few of you have mentioned cheese but if you have a healthy gut perhaps cheese wouldn't make any (negative) difference.

I think those who have such problems should look at everything they have been eating, and everything they do eat on a daily basis and for the last few years.

I used to suffer from such nose problems but don't anymore. Back when I suffered most, it was no coincidence that my diet was also poor, rich in refined sugars and processed foods.

If you ask a Doctor for help, they will probably look for a pill or steroid spray but what you really need to do is look at your GUT / GI tract.

How much processed foods do you eat? How many portions of vegetables and greens do you have a day? Are you addicted to sugar? What does your skin look like and what is your oral health like?

I think if our GI tract doesn't have enough levels of beneficial bacteria and our diet is not alkali or rich in pre/ pro biotics then our first line of defense is weak.

This potentially allows foreign items or food into the blood stream where a 'faulty' immune response occurs so next time we eat the same food, the immune systems 'memory' produces histamines resulting in inflammation, allergies etc (swelling).

Much of this is merely my own theory and some of it has been discussed by other communities but I am just an ex sufferer so I could be wrong.

If nose sprays work perhaps it is because it counteracts the inflammation but since you haven't discovered the root cause, it will never do you much good.

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am suffering just like you i had a sinus srape many years ago and that did the trick but now it has came back with a vengance i have seen two consultants now one said operation other said allergy test which i had done yesterday today ears ringing badly constant catarh running down my throat and massive pain in my face see consultant in another month had same symptoms now for 7 months very depressed hope it gets sorted soon.michael

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you can find some relief with a diet change. I had a friend who did this change and it went completely away. Then I had a friend who tried by ended up having to go to an ENT Specialists that helped her with a sinusitis treatment pa that required some surgery. This was the only way she could be helped. Good Luck.

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At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me it was experimentation. Cheese is the main culprit for me. All I have to do is have a small piece of cheese and the sinus pain starts within hours. I am not a big fan of dairy any more. Try it. You want try get your life back or you want cheese and dairy, no competition. Big pharma is not going to tell you this othersise they cant sell all their useless drugs. Be smart, be aware and say goodbye to dairy

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out this video about Dairy and Gluten: Wow - The Danger of Milk Products and Gluten Sensitivity
and also
www.knowthecause.com with Doug Kaufmann - he studies mold and the Mayo Clinic has done studies showing that the vast majority of sinus patients are dealing with fungal issues, not bacterial issues. I notice a huge difference being gluten- and dairy-free!

At 5:12 AM, Anonymous Sinus Specialist Doctor said...

Well said!!

At 4:26 AM, Blogger caldwell fisher said...

had sinus probs for years.. herd about cheese conection, stoped eating it, no more sinus probs .tried cheese for a while well after "cured" and the sinus prob returned so yea definitely cheese .it may not work for everyone and it takes a while, but surly worth a try.

At 5:26 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

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