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Sinusitis/Histamine Issues - S. Boulardii?

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  • Sinusitis/Histamine Issues - S. Boulardii?


    I'm a new member but I've been lurking for awhile. I have had bouts of sinusitis throughout my life that I always categorized as hayfever. I just completed allergy testing and all tests were negative except for a class 1 allergy to Alternaria that showed up on a blood test (but was negative after skin test). This latest bout of sinusitis has been going on for about two months and it is debilitating. I don't sleep and it is hard to function. The allergist refused to test for food issues or do subdermal testing and just referred me to the surgeon. The allergist refuses to consider local allergy rhinitis that would not show up on a skin or blood test (it's "controversial" and therefore is not real). I don't see the surgeon until next week.

    In addition to the rhinitis/sinusitis, I have developed asthma, which appears to be increasing in severity.

    The surgeon's office is sending me for a CT scan, but in the meantime, I am pretty miserable. I'm on Flonase now, which I've never been able to tolerate for more than a couple of weeks. We worked up to it by using Rhinocort first but I suspect I will reach my tolerance level soon. I have been wondering if I am histamine intolerant (I'm female and perimenopausal) or have a mast cell issue. I have started a low histamine diet protocol, but I also started taking S. Boulardii, which I suppose may be conflicting as Boulardii is a yeast. I started the Boulardii because I also wonder if I have a sensitivity to fungus or maybe even a fungus infection, as I understand a low level allergy result can indicate that, and I'm hoping the Boulardii will move out whatever that is. Overall, I'm at a loss. I quit grains for about a month without any change to the rhinitis/sinusitis but I continued with the fermented dairy. Now I'm stopping both and hoping for a change, but I'm not really sure where to go from here.

    Has anyone had any success with their rhinitis going away with probiotics and/or a low histamine protocol? Any thoughts on whether the Boulardii will help or harm? I feel like I've had a slight improvement in symptoms today, but I just started with it last night so it could be wishful thinking. Any success stories or anecdotes to give me hope? I'm starting to look like I've gone a few rounds in the ring with my shiners from lack of sleep and inflammation.

    As additional context, I have/had Graves Disease and I'm about years post RAI ablation (that I deeply regret). I had high neutrophils show up on a blood test a few months ago, which my doc did not find significant (they were in the 8+ range, which seems significant to me, but what do I know, right?).

    Thank you,
    Last edited by NaeShell; 04-21-2014, 01:27 PM. Reason: grammar

  • #2
    My only success after years of screwing around with every conceivable drug, herb & torture was simply to go Paleo/Primal with the removal of ALL grains, sugar and processed food. Tossed away the Flonase and other steroids. Took about a year for all the inflammation in the sinus to calm down. I consider it a total defeat of the evils of sinusitis. Lose the docs and heal thyself.


    • #3
      I don't know what is working, but something is. I suspect it's the low histamine diet. Has anyone else tried a low histamine diet, and do they have meal suggestions, especially for lunches/on the go snacks? Right now my diet is very limited, which is good for a short period, but I don't think I can maintain it and stay healthy or sane.

      My CT scan has still not been scheduled, but I see the surgeon on Monday. Now that some of the swelling is down, I can see that my face is asymmetrical over my sinuses, so I wonder if I have an infection on one side that is exacerbating everything. I have been on antibiotics for infection a few times this year, which I suspect has complicated things by killing off my gut flora. I believe I may have a fungal infection rather than bacterial. Does anyone have experience with these? What were your symptoms?

      The unexpected benefit of the diet is that I have lost about 3-1/2 lbs in a few days. I think it was due mostly to the edema and swelling that are resolving. I've also been having some muscle spasms and joint pain. Could this be Herx symptoms from S. Boulardii killing off bad bacteria?
      Last edited by NaeShell; 04-23-2014, 08:31 AM.


      • #4
        Can you do some nasal irrigation with a neti pot or a similar device? That would help you clear up any infection in the sinuses without having to impact your gut.

        Fungal infections in the gut tend to show up with digestive symptoms, like bloating, excess gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Unless you're referring to a fungal infection in your sinuses, in which case, regular nasal irrigation may still help.

        If the low histamine diet helps, then presumably your symptoms would be aided by taking anti-histamines as well. Have you tried any? It sounds like you've been focusing mostly on local treatment with the nasal sprays.
        Depression Lies


        • #5
          I am also taking anti-histamines daily. I take fenofexadine as it is the strongest that I can tolerate. I also take pseudoephedrine. I have done sinus rinses for years, but they don't have much effect. I can't say that they haven't helped, but even with those the symptoms were debilitating, so I'm now on to the next step.

          I do have digestive symptoms (chronic diarrhea and cramps), which makes me suspect some gut symbiosis. I described the symptoms to the allergist but he just told me I would have to figure it out with trial and error. In the past I had one doctor comment that I "probably have a little IBS."

          I don't expect it to affect my sinuses too much except that there are some studies that seem to indicate that probiotics may lessen allergy/high histamine symptoms. I'm not sure how I feel about the existence of yeast overgrowth, but I do have several of the symptoms that have been proposed, so I'm throwing in the Boulardii to see if it helps with those (and also because it seems to help with the chronic d). I'm not going to take the steps of adding probiotics to my nasal irrigation though. That seems like asking for trouble (not that I think you're proposing that). I'm expecting a spray with xylitol today, which is supposed to break down biofilm and I am hoping that will make the rinses more productive.


          • #6
            I have a long history with sinusitis, both myself and my son. My son's case is different because he has cystic fibrosis. He's had several sinus surgeries, but has been polyp free for about 5 yrs. He maintains his sinus health by doing daily sinus irrigation and using Flonase.

            I probably have polyps and would benefit from surgery but I can't afford it. Anyway I used to get sinus infections at least once a year and have constant year round allergies. I've tried everything from Chinese Medicine, worked well in my early 20s, but not so much as I've gotten older. I've tried oral allergy meds and Flonase with minimal relief. Primal/Paleo didn't help much either. I went through a period of eliminating foods and although it did seem to help a little, it made me feel very deprived. Nightshades and wine really seemed to trigger a sinus reaction so I cut them out, boy did I miss them.

            Now I'm trying something else which seems to be working. We are having extremely high pollen conditions and I'm doing very well, only having very slight reactions. I'm also able to drink wine and eat nightshades. I've been focusing on gut health, eating resistant starch and something else which is definitely unusual (even for paleo peeps):

            Allergies and helminthic therapy or worm therapy. Scientific evidence for Helminthic therapy (worm therapy) plus personal accounts: Evidence for the use of helminthic therapy or worm therapy using human hookworm or whipworm (related to TSO or trichur
            Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


            • #7
              If you suffer from diarrhea and cramps, absolutely keep using the s. boulardii. In my experience, mega dosing Florastor (five per day) can undo diarrhea in a day or two. Adding Culturelle every day may help you improve even more. Of course, this is advice based on my own experience, so it's not a guarantee. Also, I don't know what you eat, but in my experience I can prevent recurrent diarrhea by limiting foods high in fructose fibers (like very fibrous non-starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes and fruit).

              Your sinus issues might improve once you get your gut flora back in order. If not, I'm sure someone with more experience in that regard can help. Either way, it's good to get rid of diarrhea, at least.

              ^ And as mentioned up there, resistant starch can't hurt. I'd just recommend taking it following a probiotic.
              Last edited by Timthetaco; 04-23-2014, 09:19 AM.


              • #8
                Hi, Urban. I did think about your therapy, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that. Give me a couple more months of frustration.

                The low histamine diet cuts out fermented and aged foods. Since things have been so limited for me the past few days, I was able to notice a reaction to broccoli, so I think you're not far off, Tim. I'm not a fan of fruit, or vegetables really, so I'm OK with being pretty limited on those for a bit. Unfortunately, it means I'm not super primal right now. It's a lot of chicken and rice. I have chickens, so I will try to add eggs back in next week. I really miss my yogurt, but I have a feeling that's going to have to be a long-term change. Before this I ate primarily beef, vegetables, rice, potatoes, and fermented dairy. Lots of yogurt. Have I mentioned I love yogurt?


                • #9
                  I've done the low histamine diet and it works but it is a biatch to maintain due to always having to cook proteins fresh (no leftovers allowed)
                  When I can stick to low histamine, freshly prepared proteins, veggies, low grain and limited fruit (I am fine with mango and apple) my sinuses are clear, my skin no longer constantly flushed and the constipation is minimized. Unfortunately it doesn't take much to mess up the low histamine diet.

                  Success has also been paired with Quercetin supplement rather than an anti-histamine and I am also doing resistant starch (potato only), probiotics and soil based probiotics (AOR-3 has had the greatest impact). I do have kombucha a few times per week but only 1/2 c or less as I am trying to heal and introduce ferments into the diet slowly.

                  I can't have kraut without a bad reaction but I can take L-plantarum and have no reaction.

                  my suggestion is if you haven't already go over to and search there. she has a list of tolerated probiotics and many, many suggestions on food. the only caveat is that she is a Furhman follower so her meals are largely vegetarian but they do adapt to a paleo/primal diet.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NaeShell View Post
                    Before this I ate primarily beef, vegetables, rice, potatoes...
                    Meat and potatoes (and legumes, if you can tolerate them) along with probiotics makes for a good gut healing diet, in my experience. I'd be surprised if you didn't improve eating like that.


                    • #11
                      maile, I've been looking into Quercetin. Which supplement do you use?

                      I have a bottle of the Garden of Life Primal Defense, but it looks like opinions on that are mixed and I'm a little afraid of SBOs until things are healed up a little more. Did you start off with them or introduce them after starting with the more "baby" probiotics?

                      I like meat, but it seems like vegetarian may be easier to maintain while out because of the no leftovers thing. I can eat my big meat meals at home. I'm foregoing beef for awhile because of the aging process, but I'm going to try to bring it back in in a few weeks. I don't like chicken very much, and I don't do seafood at all.


                      • #12
                        Kind of off topic but I'm just going to throw it in for the lulz.

                        I've been trying a xylitol nasal spray for a few days and I think it could be helping? Also have been a bit more consistent with the neti pot, so I figure one or both of them which may or may not be helping. :riddlerface:


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wtfgod View Post
                          Kind of off topic but I'm just going to throw it in for the lulz.

                          I've been trying a xylitol nasal spray for a few days and I think it could be helping? Also have been a bit more consistent with the neti pot, so I figure one or both of them which may or may not be helping. :riddlerface:
                          It's not that off topic because I just tried the xylitol spray moments ago. I had an immediate rush of foul taste in my throat, so I think it is flushing things out. However, I now have a little headache, so I'll have to see how it works long term. I'm a little worried about using it because the site says it stimulates histamine.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NaeShell View Post
                            It's not that off topic because I just tried the xylitol spray moments ago. I had an immediate rush of foul taste in my throat, so I think it is flushing things out. However, I now have a little headache, so I'll have to see how it works long term. I'm a little worried about using it because the site says it stimulates histamine.
                            That doesn't sound good, mine doesn't taste like anything...I don't have taste buds in my nose or throat.

                            If you don't die let me know how it works for you after a few days.


                            • #15
                              The immediate effect of the spray is pretty gross. I'm pretty sure there's an infection there. However, after using it a couple of times last night I woke up feeling much much better. So far, it seems to have had the most immediate impact, and I plan to continue using it.

                              I'm not sure about the S. Boulardii. I seem to be developing some lady trouble. I'm not sure if that's a normal Herx thing but I'm afraid I'm going to have to deal with it by traditional means. It does seem to be helping with the abdominal issues so I will probably keep using it and just hope that it's not the thing responsible. It apparently clears from your system pretty quickly so I can just stop using it if the problem recurs.