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Thread: Paleo Diet and Sinusitis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Paleo Diet and Sinusitis

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    I am an ear, nose & throat doctor and I am looking into a possible link between diet and sinus symptoms. If you have suffered from chronic sinus symptoms, please fill out this survey. I plan to use the results to design a study to look for a link. Thank you.

    Paleo Sinusitis Survey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    High Desert
    Hi there,

    I am sorry I have not seen this thread earlier.
    I hope you come back here regularly and see my reply.
    Here it goes:

    I was born to a mother who couldn't breastfeed me. I had chronic sinus infections my entire life! As a young child my snot was hanging off my sleeves on both arms, because I often ran out of tissue during school hours.
    As a teenager, the chronic sinus infections continued, often 2x a year and 'sniffles' inbetween. My doctors gave me anti-biotics every year.
    As an adult (age 23) I moved to a new continent (from europe to america) and the sinus infections continued, except now I had no access to anti-biotics.
    I was on ALL anti-histamines, over the counter, prescriptions, nasal sprays, steroids, you name it, I took it, nothing helped.

    Then, 1 day (age 36) I went to a SMART doctor who referred me to a specialist for allergies.
    This guy took blood and said I had 0 anti-bodies to anything. So I started allergy shots for all the things flying around where I lived. It worked but only partially. I still had the sniffles throughout the year (but no actual infection anymore because I was told to flush my sinus regularly). I still sneezed, still didn't feel well enough and had mucous build up in throat and sinus...and was still taking over the counter nasal spray to open my nose. I called them multiple times asking if they forgot to put something int he shots that I'm allergic to.

    I switched to a primal/paleo diet (age 38) and within a week my throat stopped producing mucous, my sinus took a little longer.
    My sinus took about 3 months to clear up. Also my rheumatoid arthritis went away.

    Then, the light bulb moment.
    I overlooked my allergy test papers again and saw that I am HIGH allergic to grass. Hmmm...isn't grass the relative of grains?
    Would me eating grains cause me to have allergic reactions? I ate grains my entire life, as a baby I was given grains (oatmeal, rye cookies).
    Grains also raise omega inflammatory response fatty acid that triggers a reation to things I'm not supposed to eat...well darn it...BINGO.
    The second light bulb moment was when I read somewhere that we are not adapted to ingesting DEAD bacteria, but only live ones.
    So would pasteurization and especially ultra-heated milk (which has friendly bacteria) cause a reation from my immune system?
    You betcha it did. The dead bacteria in heated milk mimic a virus that your body then tries to rid of with the build up of mucous.
    So mucous from dead milk + grains + high lvls of omega6 = sinus infections, bronchitis (with no fever)

    So here I am, chronic sinus infection sufferer since childhood that could've had an easier life going through school and college if I had only known all this...and that is now completely free of any sinus infections, mucous build up, sniffles, colds, etc...
    I don't even feel the season anymore. I don't dread fall anymore.
    I am off ALL meds, I take nothing for my sinus. My sinus is open and clear and very easy to clean if I ever collect a tiny bugger.
    I just turned 40 years of age and am at the healthiest state of my entire life.

  3. #3
    Paleobird's Avatar
    Paleobird Guest
    While my symptoms were nowhere near as dramatic, I did have a chronic low level "stuffed up" feeling in my sinuses that was particularly apparent at night. Dropping all dairy cleared this up beautifully. I would like to second what was said above about raw dairy however. I have added it back to my diet recently with absolutely no sinus problems at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I will ask my hubby to look at your survey. Speaking anecdotally on his behalf, I can say this:

    We went low carb about 18 months ago in an effort for me to lose weight (hubby didn't have much weight to lose) and for us both to be as optimally healthy as possible. About a year ago, our low-carb (like Atkins) evolved to Primal when I discovered the Primal Blueprint.

    Since eliminating most grains (especially wheat) along with processed sugar and dairy (except for occasional cheese and daily cream in coffee), my hubby has drastically reduced his sinus problems.

    Previously, he was constantly snotty & snuffly and took allergy meds pretty much year round. He would often keep me awake at night with snoring because he just couldn't breathe well. He suffered from frequent sinus headaches. Because of his job, he is frequently exposed to cold viruses and he would catch them often. In the old days, his colds would almost always evolve into a sinus infection and he would be on antibiotics and then have stomache troubles because of it.

    Since making the dietary changes I outlined above, his sinus issues have improved tremendously! He's off his allergy meds except when grass pollen is really high. He's not snuffly and stuffed up all the time. He doesn't snore much any more, and his sinus headaches are far less frequent. He got a cold about a month ago, and it ran its course and disappeared without becoming a sinus infection.

    This is huge for him and has really improved his quality of life.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Upstate of SC
    dairy clogs up my sinuses. Not so much raw or fermented dairy, but if I take in enough over a short period of time that'll clog up my head too.
    Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Thanks everyone for replying. Data looks good so far. I could use more replies if you haven't done the survey yet.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Nashville, TN
    How timely! My husband, who eats a Primal diet along with me, just commented the other day that, for years, he used to get a sinus infection every time he got a cold and he recently realized that he never gets them anymore and hasn't had one in years (he rarely gets colds, either).

  8. #8
    dado's Avatar
    dado Guest
    when i go primal i don't snore, when i am gaining with a gallon of milk a day, i snore.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Prior to starting eating this way I could not remember the last time I could breathe freely through my nostrils. It had been years and years. Eliminating grains did the trick for me. I can now breathe without restriction. The only problem I had was when I ate corn. My sinuses slammed shut. COULD NOT BREATHE nasally and the pressure was incredible.
    No more grains or corn for me. I like breathing too much.

  10. #10
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    Me too - a chronic sniffler-sneezer, drippy, stopped up, post-nasal drip, had to switch from side to side when sleeping because one side would stop up, woke up like that and with crusty bits in the nose to boot, mouth breather, red itchy eyes, etc. I just believed I had chronic allergies, hay fever or whatever. Since going Primal in January, all that is now in the past. Just like that. It's getting embarrassing talking to folks about all the things Primal fixed for me. It sounds so preposterous. But it's real. I'll look at the survey.

    Edited to say that I still do dairy and it's okay for me.
    Positively Radical Pigeonholes are for Pigeons!

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