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I believe I developed sinusitis after a very heavy cold, during which I traveled on the Paris to London train under the English Channel. The effect of the pressure was to block both ears completely for several days.
It was several months after this that I started experiencing a group of symptoms which included severe sinus headaches lasting 24 hours or more, post nasal drip, earache, stomach upset, bloating, and extreme fatigue.
I was mystified as to what was causing these recurrent bouts, and tried all kinds of remedies and avoidance strategies. I avoided eating hot foods, drinking red wine, traveling in heavy fume-laden traffic, going to smoky pubs. I went to my doctor frequently, who prescribed antibiotics to clear up the increasingly prolonged headaches. The antibiotics would work for a week or so, and then the symptoms would return.
Several years later, I had a septoplasty to correct my narrowed nasal passages. This certainly improved matters, and reduced the breathing difficulties and post-nasal drip. However, the headaches persisted.
During this period I had also noticed that drinking beer gave rise to immediate breakout of vaginal thrush, so I stopped drinking beer.
I also went on the Atkins diet for a brief period, and noticed the bloating and stomach upsets disappeared, until I started reintroducing bread into my diet. I immediately eliminated wheat products from my diet, and this improved matters. However, I still had recurrent bout of all the original symptoms, now more frequent, and interspersed with increasingly heavy and prolonged doses of antibiotics.
When I started getting itching and thrush as further symptoms, and a friend mentioned the link between antibiotics and thrush, I swept the internet to try and find out if there were any connections between antibiotics, thrush, and sinusitis. Sure enough, there is a huge amount of information and testimony from people who have suffered antibiotic induced Candida. All the symptoms, including sinusitis, are listed many times over, as symptoms of Candida. The treatment? Eliminate yeast from the diet, avoid antibiotics, and boost the probiotics to restore balance to the system.
The best news is that having followed a strict yeast free diet for 6 months, avoided antibiotics as best I can, and taken probiotics in the form of acidophilus pills, and grapefruit seed oil, I am almost 100% sinusitis free. I still have some pressure around the ears, and occasional itching of the scalp. And if I fall off the wagon, and eat anything with yeast, I have almost immediate reactions, and the symptoms return.
I initially experienced what is called the Herxheimer effect, whereby the symptoms greatly increased for a period of 3 days (withdrawal symptoms in a way). It was this experience, of going through all the symptoms, and indeed much more severe sinus pain than I had ever had before, that convinced me something significant was happening. After those painful three days, I have been a much healthier person, my energy levels have increase, I sleep better, and the dreaded sinusitis is in abeyance.
An additional benefit, is that finally I understand what is wrong with me, and I am free from the seemingly arbitrary attacks that laid me low for so long.
I cannot say which came first – the sinusitis, or the candida, but certainly in the end, it was a vicious cycle of antibiotics and sinusitis, fed by the yeast infection, that kept this whole thing going. Breaking out of that cycle has been wonderful.
I hope this helps someone else who may be suffering from similar cause and effect.
~ H. Heenan
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