Tag Archives: Nasal Polyps

What I Did for Sinus Misery

Updated and reposted on 6/8/2018.

CLIMATE CHANGE HAS LANDED US IN ANOTHER BAD ALLERGY SEASON AND I’M HEARING FROM MANY PEOPLE THAT THEY’RE IN MISERY AGAIN WITH SEVERE SINUS CONGESTION. SO I’M REPOSTING THIS PIECE DESCRIBING THE PROTOCOL I CAME UP WITH TWO YEARS AGO FOR CLEARING SINUS CONGESTION WITHOUT PHARMACEUTICALS.

I RARELY SUCCUMB TO VIRAL ILLNESSES BUT LAST WEEK, DURING A TIME OF GREATER THAN USUAL STRESS, WAS FELLED BY A NASTY HEAD COLD THAT FILLED MY SINUSES WITH GUNK SO I COULD BARELY BREATHE AND THEN PROGRESSED INTO MY LUNGS WITH A DEEP, WET COUGH.

THIS PROTOCOL WORKED AGAIN. I’VE USED BOTH PRODUCTS IN MY NETI POT THREE MORNINGS IN A ROW AND HAVE FELT INCREASINGLY BETTER EACH DAY. THIS TIME AROUND I MIXED BOTH SUPPLEMENTS TOGETHER:

  • ALLICIDIN – A POTENT GARLIC EXTRACT TO DEGRADE THE SLIMY BIOFILMS THAT HAD FORMED IN MY SINUSES
  • REPHRESH  – PROBIOTICS TO REBALANCE THE CLEARLY OUT OF BALANCE FUNGAL AND BACTERIAL FLORA IN MY SINUSES

THIS METHOD ACTUALLY FIXES THE PROBLEM RATHER THAN TEMPORARILY EASING THE SYMPTOMS OF THE PROBLEM. IT’S A LIFE SAVER FOR ME SINCE MY BODY REACTS VERY BADLY TO BOTH DECONGESTANTS AND ANTIHISTAMINES.

HERE’S A VIDEO EXPLAINING THE NUMEROUS  HEALTH BENEFITS OF PREMIER RESEARCH LABS’ NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT, ALLICIDIN:

 

I COULDN’T FIND AN INFORMATIONAL VIDEO ABOUT REPHRESH.

BOTH ALLICIDIN AND REPHRESH  ARE AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON.

 

 

ORIGINAL POST 10/9/2016

Source: www.entspecialistinbangalore.com
Source: www.entspecialistinbangalore.com

 

Those of you who know me personally or follow this blog know  my focus is on addressing the underlying cause(s) of a health problem rather than simply putting band aids on its symptoms – and also that I generally react badly to pharmaceuticals. So when my sinuses became horribly stuffed up during the second long period of very hot, wet weather this past summer (mercifully over now) and the congestion kept getting worse instead of going away, I knew I had to figure out what was causing this misery in my sinus microbiome and how to fix it.
After suffering through chronic sinus problems for decades, culminating in two surgeries to remove nasal polyps, and not wanting to live that way any more, I’d set myself the task of stopping my allergies and thought I’d succeeded once and for all. Yet, after many years of relatively easy breathing, this past summer’s extreme weather did me in.
My symptoms this time around were:
  • Intense pressure above and below my eyes – felt like polar bears were lodged in the sinuses behind my cheeks, pressing down on my upper teeth
  • A chronically dripping nose
  • Frequent, violent sneezing spells
  • A raw throat from the post nasal drip
  • Inability to breathe through my nose
  • Lack of energy
  • Molasses brain
  • Momentary temperature spikes
  • Feeling like Spanish moss was wrapped around my vocal cords
  • Occasional laryngitis
  • Coughing and need to clear my throat
  • Blocked up ears
  • Chronically dry mouth
  • Decreased sense of smell and taste
  • Gasping for air while eating
  • Interrupted sleep since lying down made everything much worse
  • Bad breath (not that I could smell it myself)
  • Generally feeling exhausted and disgusting
I was miserable but at least I didn’t develop a sinus infection or start growing nasal polyps again before figuring out what to do.

 

Here’s a 3-D Animation describing how the sinuses work, what can go wrong, and a medical procedure for blockage that I’d never want to have:

 

 

WHAT I TRIED

First I turned to my old standbys for sinusitis and various promising-sounding things other people suggested, each of which provided a modicum of relief for short times – 10 minutes to a few hours:
  • Washing my sinuses out with a mixture of sea salt and filtered water
  • Sinusin (a homeopathic nasal spray)
  • Aller-Max (a gluten free, non-drowsy supplement containing quercetin, bromelain, and Vitamin C)
  • XClear (a nasal spray containing xylitol)
  • Sinusalia (a homeopathic supplement)
  • Firmly pressing on acupressure points on my face and chest that impact the sinuses
  • Two homeopathic remedies, Drainage Tone and Aller Chord II
  • Coating the inside of my nostrils with castor oil
  • Dots of eucalyptus and tea tree oil below my nostrils
  • Using an electric steamer/inhaler to make my sinuses drain
  • A ThermalOn Dry Eye Compress (to put moist heat directly over my sinuses)
  • Avoiding dairy
  • Eating more fermented foods
  • Belly laughing to stimulate my vagus nerves
  • Himalayan Chandra Neti Wash Plus
Clearly this persistent sinus congestion was different from anything I’d experienced before. I felt frustrated and exhausted – pretty much like this but nowhere near as cute:

 

Source: www.sendscraps.com
Source: www.sendscraps.com
So I did some more research and learned about the formation of biofilms in the sinuses.

 

 

 

BIOFILMS: BACTERIA & FUNGI

“Biofilms are highly structured communities of microorganisms that attach to one another and to surfaces. The microorganisms group together and form a slimy, polysaccharide cover. This layer is highly protective for the organisms within it, and when new bacteria are produced they stay within the slimy layer. With the introduction of antibiotic-produced glycogen, the biofilms have an almost endless food source that can be used once antibiotic exposure has ended.” (Oak Crest Institute of Science, 2013)
Many types of bacteria clump together inside protective biofilms, making the bacteria inaccessible to pharmaceuticals and natural substances that would weaken or kill them – producing chronic misery when this happens inside our noses and sinuses.

Bacterial biofilm in a person with chronic sinusitis

Credit: Thiago Freire Pinto Bezerra et al, Braz. j. otorhinolaryngol. (Impr.) vol.75 no.6 São Paulo Nov./Dec. 2009
Credit: Thiago Freire Pinto Bezerra et al, Braz. j. otorhinolaryngol. (Impr.) vol.75 no.6 São Paulo Nov./Dec. 2009

And to make the sinus congestion situation worse, fungi (molds are types of fungi) have also been shown to form biofilms on the mucosal linings of the sinuses and nostrils. (Healy et al, 2008).
“You might be wondering why antibiotics and antifungal drugs are ineffective for chronic sinus infections.  It’s because of the Bio-Film formation.  Biofilms are colonies of microbes that form a mass which is resistant to drug therapy.
Chronic Sinusitis, nasal polyposis, asthma and eosinophilia are quite common and may co-exist as a syndrome.    Chronic bacterial or fungal sinus infection with Bio-Film formation has been implicated in this syndrome.  Many of these patients have been on multiple courses of antibiotics and/or antifungal drugs which are completely ineffective because of bio-film formation.    Many of these patients have undergone repeated nasal sinus surgeries, and are commonly steroid dependent from chronic use of prednisone.” (Dach, 2014)

 

 

 

A LINK BETWEEN ANTIOBIOTICS & BIOFILM FORMATION

Here’s more evidence for how antibiotics can be harmful: ‘Scientist Finds Link between Antibiotics and Bacterial Biofilm Formation Cause of Chronic Ear, Sinus, and Lung Infections’.
From the article:

“Researchers from the University of Southern California and the Oak Crest Institute of Science have discovered the link between antibiotics and bacterial biofilm formation leading to chronic lung, sinus and ear infections. The study results, published in the current issue of PLOS ONE, illustrate how bacterial biofilms can actually thrive, rather than decrease, when given low doses of antibiotics.

“’This research addresses the long standing issues surrounding chronic ear infections and why some children experience repeated ear infections even after antibiotic treatment,’ said Paul Webster, Ph.D., lead author, senior staff scientist at USC and senior faculty at the Oak Crest Institute of Science. ‘Once the biofilm forms, it becomes stronger with each treatment of antibiotics.’” (Oak Crest Institute of Science, 2013)

 

And from an article called ‘Antibiotic Use Increases Risk of Developing Chronic Sinusitis’:

“Yes, of course this makes sense!…. Many rounds of antibiotics have an effect not just in one area of the body, but kill off both good and bad bacteria in many areas of the human body. The researchers in this study found that taking antibiotics for a reason OTHER THAN SINUSITIS was associated with an increased risk of developing chronic sinusitis (as compared to those people not receiving antibiotics). Use of antibiotics more than doubles the odds of developing chronic sinusitis without nasal polyps. And this effect lasted for at least 2 years. Other research has already associated antibiotic use with “decreased microbial diversity” in our microbiome  and with “opportunistic infections” such as Candida albicans and Clostridium difficile. Diseases such as Crohn’s disease and diabetes are also linked to antibiotic use. In other words, when there is a disturbance in the microbiome (e.g.from antibiotics) and the community of microbes becomes “out of whack”, then pathogenic bacteria are “enriched” (increase) and can dominate.” (Silgailis, 2016)

Source: www.slideshare.net
Source: www.slideshare.net

 

WHAT WORKED TO BREAK DOWN THE BIOFILMS

This was helpful information. Now I knew I was probably dealing with biofilms that had started growing in my sinuses and nostrils to protect colonies of bacteria and molds. This certainly explained why nothing I’d tried was slowing down my ever increasing sinus congestion.
I remembered that a garlic supplement called Allicidin had been effective in breaking down the biofilm-covered spores  containing a nasty bacterium called Clostridium difficile  that had taken over my colon in 2010. I’d read that some people with sinus infections had found relief from washing their sinuses with probiotics so I decided to try the same with Allicidin. I emptied the contents of an Allicidin capsule into my neti pot, added filtered water, and irrigated my sinuses with the mixture.
This worked immediately! It was messy, involved a fairly intense burning sensation, and left a mild smell of garlic in my nose for a while afterwards – but I was able to breathe through my nose again for the first time in many weeks. If you’re going to try it, I suggest doing it in the shower.

 

81emt6cvbul-_sy679_

 

This information about Allicidin is from Dr Johnson’s Premier Nutrition.

The Broad-Spectrum Anti-Infective Properties of Allicidin™

  • ANTIBACTERIAL – Various researchers have shown that garlic extracts exhibit a wide spectrum of antibacterial activity against gram-negative and gram-positve bacteria including species of Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Bacilus, Helicobacter pylori, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • ANTIFUNGAL – Garlic extracts have a strong antifungal effect and inhibit the formation of mycotoxins like the aflatoxin of Aspergillus parasiticus. Pure allicin was also found to have a high anti-candidal activity and was effective against various species of Candida, Cryptococcous, Trichophyton, Epidermphyton and Microsporum.
  • ANTIPARASITIC – Garlic extract has been used for centuries to treat people suffering from dysentery, intestinal worms and intestinal protozoan parasites such as Giardia, Leishmania major, Leptomonas colosama and Crithidia fasciculate.
  • ANTIVIRAL – Research shows that garlic extracts are effective against numerous viruses that cause colds and flu. Evidence points towards allicin and ajone as the main components responsible for the antiviral activitiy.
  • BIOFILM DEGREDATION – Biofilms are sticky slime that surround large clumps of bacteria. These biofilms protect pathogenic bacteria and helps them spread throughout the body. Stabilized allicin has been shown to have a powerful capacity for biofilm destruction, therefore rendering bacteria helpless.

 

Ideal for Supporting the Following Conditions:

  • Fungal (mold/candida) and Bacterial Infection
  • Acne support
  • Biofilm Overgrowth
  • Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Health
  • Bladder Infection and Frequent Nightly Urination
  • Sinus Infection and Congestion
  • Animals: Heartworm

 

Ingredients:

Allicin Organosulfur Complex™…………………………………………………………………………….350mg
Garlic (bulb) Extract (Allium Sativum), Bear Garlic (leaf) (Allium ursinum)

Botani-Pro Blend™ ……………………………………………………………….115mg
Organic Hyssop (leaf, stem) (Hussopus officinalis), Parsley (leaf)(Petroselinum crispum), Asparagus (Stalk) (Asparagus officinalis)

Allicin………………………………………………………………………………..1,890 mcg
(from Allicin OrganoSulfu Complex™)

Other Ingredients:

Vegetable Cellulose Capsules
100% solvent-free, excipient-free vegetable capsules.                                                                             No magnesium stearate (a toxic excipient), corn, milk, soy, salt, sugar, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, binders, glues or other toxic tagalongs as found in tablets and gelatin capsules.

 

WHAT WORKED TO KILL THE MOLDS AND BACTERIA

Now that the biofilms growing in my sinuses had been disrupted, exposing the molds and bacterial colonies proliferating in there, I set about finding a combination of probiotics to zap those bacteria and molds.
As a starting point, I turned to Chris Kresser’s excellent article Chronic Sinus Problems: Another Role for Probiotics? and also looked through the many readers’ comments to see what other sinus sufferers had found helpful.  I recommend this article to you.  (Kresser, 8/18/2015)
Based on a convincing recommendation by one of Kresser’s readers, I first emptied the contents of two capsules of Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic Multi-Strain Formula into my neti pot, added filtered water, and did a nasal irrigation with the mixture. This helped a lot – but only for a few hours.

 

81ahy-s2lkl-_sy679_

Bio-Kult contains these live bacteria cultures:

Bacillus subtilis PXN 21
Bifidobacterium bifidum PXN 23
Bifidobacterium breve PXN 25
Bifidobacterium infantis PXN 27
Bifidobacterium longum PXN 30
Lactobacillus acidophilus PXN 35
Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus PXN 39
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37
Lactobacillus plantarum PXN 47
Lactobacillus rhamnosus PXN 54
Lactobacillus helveticus PXN 45
Lactobacillus salivarius PXN 57
Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis PXN 63
Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66

 

So I went back to Kresser’s article to search more deeply and followed  some links to two articles by Silgailis, where, in her readers’ comments, I found information about the effectiveness of two probiotic bacteria,  lactobacillus reuteri and lactobacillus rhamnosus, for sinusitis. (Silgailis, 2015) & (Silgailis, 2016)
Bio-Kult contains some l. rhamnosus (but not a lot) and no l. reuteri. So I did another Google search for a supplement containing only these two particular strains of probiotic bacteria and found a product called RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Feminine Supplement that contains large amounts of l. rhamnosus GR-1 and l. reuteri RC-14. L. The box says, “Balances Yeast & Bacteria to Maintain Feminine Health”.
Yeasts, like molds, are fungi. So this probiotic combination looked promising for treating  my sinusitis. L. rhamnosus in particular is known to be effective against both fungi and pathological bacteria. (Kiefer, 2008)

 

51jqdlfaitl

 

The Product Description on Amazon:
  • RepHresh Pro-B is a probiotic feminine supplement taken orally once daily to balance yeast and bacteria.
  • Lactobacillus, yeast, and other bacteria are all naturally present in your body and optimum feminine health occurs when there is a healthy balance of these elements to support feminine health.
  • RepHresh Pro-B feminine supplement contains patented and clinically tested strains of probiotic lactobacillus that have been shown to work with your body to balance yeast and bacteria.
  • RepHresh Pro-B supplement lets you take control of your feminine health every day by helping to maintain flora in a normal range.*
  • RepHresh Pro-B is a natural supplement and comes in an easy-to-swallow capsule.
  • RepHresh Pro-B is the #1 feminine probiotic supplement in the US in the latest 52 weeks ending 16 March 2016 according to The Nielsen Company data.

 

Ingredients;
L. rhamnosus GR-1, L. reuteri RC-14, Dextrose Anhydrate, Gelatin, Potato Starch, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Stearate, Titanium Dioxide

So, when this probiotic supplement containing large amounts of lactobacillus reuteri and lactobacillus rhamnosus arrived from Amazon, I emptied the contents of two capsules into my neti pot, added filtered water, and did a thorough nasal irrigation with the mixture. As with the Allicidin mixture, this burned a bit but was very much worth it!

Source: allergycorpgroup.com
Source: allergycorpgroup.com
Since it’s a good idea to switch up your probiotics periodically,  I’m now taking the Bio-Kult probiotics supplement by mouth and RepHresh Pro-B on alternating days to maximize the variety of helpful probiotics supporting my gut microbiome.

 

Source: www.probiotics-for-health.com
Source: www.probiotics-for-health.com

 

 

A Note on Vaginal Infections:
Vaginal infections are most often caused by an overrun of a yeast called Candida albicans. If your gut microbiome is out of balance or you use feminine hygiene products that destroy the balance in your vaginal microbiome, you’re likely to get at least one  – if not many more – vaginal  infections in your lifetime. See ‘Warding Off Chronic Yeast and Bacterial Infections’ to learn how to use probiotics to prevent both chronic bacterial and yeast infections.  (Kiefer, 2008)

 

Source: ufhealth.org
Source: ufhealth.org

 

 

USING A NETI POT

This video shows how to use a neti pot for sinus irrigation:

 

In the morning, I use my neti pot in the shower where it doesn’t matter how messy the process becomes. I’ve also installed a small, chlorine-removing water filter (available on Amazon, easy to install) so fill the pot directly with warm, filtered water from the shower head. The filter is a Rainshow’r CQ-1000-NH Dechlorinating Shower Filter. And, when I’m not using any of the supplements described above,  I put some inexpensive La Baleine Fine Sea Salt in my neti pot in lieu of the salt packets the woman in the video uses. 

imgres

In the evenings before bedtime, I use the neti pot over the bathroom sink.

 

 

HIMALAYAN CHANDRA NETI WASH PLUS

Over the years, I’ve found it helpful to add this neti pot wash made by Himalayan Chandra occasionally when I use my neti pot in the shower. And now that those nasty sinus biofilms have been degraded, this wash has become effective again.

71ympe-sutl-_sy679_

 

The wash is available on Amazon.

“Neti Wash Plus contains zinc and herbal extracts that add anti-microbial and anti-viral support to your nasal wash. Zinc helps to tone and astringe the nasal passages reducing excess mucus and promoting clear, healthy sinuses. Studies show that Zinc reduces the duration and symptoms of the common cold, slowing the replication of rhinoviruses which typically cause colds. Neti Wash Plus contains Zinc Acetate –a form of Zinc shown to be more effective in shortening the duration of the common cold. Neti Wash Plus also contains extracts of Grapefruit Seed and Goldenseal Root, found by scientists to inhibit the growth of hundreds of strains of pathogens. Grapefruit Seed Extract has been used by the natural foods industry for over 20 years as an antibiotic, disinfectant, and antiseptic. Perfect for use with the Himalayan Institute Neti Pot.*

“Ingredients:   Zinc acetate, Goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis), Phellodendron bark (Phellodendron amurense), Coptis root (Coptis chinensis), Barberry root bark (Berberis vulgaris), Grapefruit seed extract, vegetable glycerin and distilled, purified water.”

 

 

TWO HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES FOR ALLERGIES AND SINUS CONGESTION

Before Allicidin succeeded in disrupting the biofilms, I’d started taking two homeopathic remedies my chiropractor had recommended for this summer sinus misery but then stopped when the congestion just kept getting worse. Now that the molds and bacteria living inside those biofilms have been exposed and destroyed, I’ve started taking these remedies again and am finding them helpful.
ALLER-CHORD F – a homeopathic remedy for food allergens

aller-chord-f-2oz-r0714

DRAINAGE-TONE – a homeopathic remedy for swollen glands, sinus congestion, and skin eruptions

drainage_tone_2oz_r0116__20790-1460662495-1280-1280

Both are made by energetix.

 

 

SOME ADDITIONAL IDEAS

While researching this post, I came across this interesting idea for breaking down biofilms in the nose and sinus cavities:
“New sinus therapeutics, including baby shampoo sinus irrigation and probiotic sinus rinses, can lessen symptoms and ward off sinus infections, according to doctors at Baylor College of Medicine.
“These new therapies are targeting the bacteria in ways that haven’t been utilized in the past,” said Dr. Mas Takashima, director of the Sinus Center at Baylor. “These techniques are helping those with chronic and acute sinusitis. Whenever I tell my patients about the new therapeutic protocols they’re very surprised, but they get the results they want and need.
“He said the concept behind baby shampoo irrigation is cleansing the naval cavity with a surfactant. By doing this, the biofilms, or oily layers that bad bacteria create to protect itself from irrigation, are broken down.” (Parsons, 2015)

 

00381370037248_cf_

I haven’t tried the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo technique myself (and don’t think I will because of the product’s toxic ingredients*), but here’s a report from someone who did and found it tremendously helpful. (Mertes, 12/4/2013)
 * Ingredients in Johnson’s Baby Shampoo:
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-10, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Acrylates Copolymer, Yellow 6, Yellow 10, Parfum.
At least it doesn’t contain carcinogenic parabens.
Perhaps there’s a  baby shampoo that’s free of toxic ingredients and still acts as a surfactant to break down biofilms. Please let me know if you come across one.

 

Source: www.forbes.com
Source: www.forbes.com

 

Another suggestion from my chiropractor, Denice Hilty Siedzik:
“You may want to consider emptying a probiotic capsule in a little water and swishing it in your mouth and swallowing just before bed. Be sure to not drink anything after. This may also help healthy bacteria migrate to your sinuses.” (Siedzik, 2016)

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE AND MOLDS: LOOKING AHEAD

 

Source: www.climate-change-guide.com
Source: www.climate-change-guide.com
Unless you’re in steadfast denial, it’s obvious that climate change is real and that here in the Northeast US we’re likely in for warmer winters with fewer or no hard freezes plus longer, hotter, and wetter summers – ideal conditions for molds to proliferate. I know that Lower Manhattan, where I live, receives waves of pollens (which I’ve never been allergic to) blowing in from the west in the spring and fall so it eventually occurred to me that greatly increased numbers of mold spores were probably also blowing in now.  I’ve been reactive to molds for as long as I can remember.
And if this wet, warming trend continues, it will be increasingly difficult to cope with molds in future years. So I was highly motivated to figure out how to improve my ability to deal with these minuscule airborne fungi and keep my airways open.

 

Source: iomfoe.org
Source: iomfoe.org

 

 

 

BETTER EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THIS ASPECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE

After breaking down the biofilms in my sinuses and nose with Allicidin and then zapping the molds and bacteria with the probiotics in RepHresh, the things and techniques listed in the WHAT I TRIED section above now help again to reduce sinus inflammation and keep me breathing through my nose.
Now that it’s October, the hot, humid weather has mercifully stopped, but I know my sinuses are still being exposed to an increased level of molds in the air. Since the initial irrigations with Allicidin and RepHresh in September, I needed to repeat the two-step treatment once last week when we had a return of some warm, humid days and the mold levels were high again.
Having these tools in my ongoing battle with nasal allergies, I now feel better equipped to deal with the hot, rainy summers in our future.

 

Source: www.silentjourney.com
Source: www.silentjourney.com
This is my earlier post on Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection. (Hardin, 9/16/2014) in case you want to read more about sinuses and the gut microbiome.
And here’s a link to my 2011 article Successful holistic treatment of Clostridium difficile gut infection: case study in case you’re interested in how I vanquished C. diff without resorting to any antibiotics – which had degraded by gut microbiome over the years and set the stage for my colon’s being colonized by that nasty bacterium in the first place.

 

 

Source: www.pinterest.com
Source: www.pinterest.com

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Dach, J. (12/30/2014). BioFilms in Chronic Rhino Sinusitis. See: http://jeffreydachmd.com/2014/12/biofilms-chronic-rhino-sinusitis/

Dr Johnson’s Premier Nutrition.  (2016). Allicidin. See: http://www.drjsupplements.com/allicidin/

Hardin, J.R. (2011). Successful holistic treatment of Clostridium difficile gut infection: case study. Oriental Medicine Journal, 19:4, 24-37. See http://issuu.com/davidmiller4/docs/c._difficile_omj_article_lo_res

Hardin, J.R. (9.14.2014). Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/09/18/probiotics-sinusitis-sinus-infection/

Healy, D.Y. et al. (2008). Biofilms with fungi in chronic rhinosinusitis. Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, 138:5, 641-647. See: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0194599808001058

Kiefer, D. (2008). Warding Off Chronic Yeast and Bacterial Infections. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2008/3/warding-off-chronic-yeast-and-bacterial-infections/page-01

Kresser, C. (8/18/2015). Chronic Sinus Problems: Another Role for Probiotics? See: https://chriskresser.com/chronic-sinus-problems-another-role-for-probiotics/

Mertes, M. (12/4/2013). How I beat my sinusitis by snorting baby shampoo. See: http://www.omaha.com/livewellnebraska/how-i-beat-my-sinusitis-by-snorting-baby-shampoo/article_f5086ea0-b9a6-5a9c-9fc3-f96090a4ac1e.html

Oak Crest Institute of Science. (2013). Scientist Finds Link between Antibiotics and Bacterial Biofilm Formation Cause of Chronic Ear, Sinus, and Lung Infections. See: http://www.oak-crest.org/oakcrest-news/scientist-finds-link-between-antibiotics-and-bacterial-biofilm-formation-cause-of-chronic-ear-sinus-and-lung-infections/

Parsons, J. (4/6/2015). New ways to flush out sinus infections. See: https://www.bcm.edu/news/head-and-neck/new-ways-to-flush-sinus-infection

Siedzik, D.H. (2016). Personal communication.

Silgailis, M. (2015). The One Probiotic That Treats Sinusitis. See: http://lactobacto.com/2015/01/12/the-one-probiotic-that-cures-sinusitis/

Silgailis, M. (2016). Antibiotic Use Increases Risk of Developing Chronic Sinusitis. See: http://lactobacto.com/2016/08/30/any-antibiotic-use-increases-risk-of-developing-chronic-sinusitis/

 

© Copyright 2016. & 2018 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Probiotics for Spring (and Other) Allergies

Updated on 4/4/2016. Last updated on 4/15/2016.

 

(Source: blog.thewellnessuniverse.com)
(Source: blog.thewellnessuniverse.com)
A recent article called The Surprising Way to Beat Spring Allergies by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, ROHP, one of my favorite writers on probiotics and the gut microbiome, caught my eye and I want to share its information with those of you who suffer from allergies, seasonal or otherwise.
Her article starts out this way:

“Before you grab that decongestant to subdue your sinus congestion or antihistamine to stop the sneezing linked to spring allergies, you might want to give your gut some attention. More and more research shows that probiotics can reduce allergy symptoms and may even prevent allergic conditions altogether if they are started early in life. But not just any probiotic will do; with thousands of probiotic strains available, it’s important to choose the ones that have an anti-allergy effect. The right probiotic strains can heal the intestinal walls and reduce low-grade inflammation in the gut, but also prevent or reduce allergies.” (Cook, 3/17/2016)

 

(Source: www.internetbillboards.net)
(Source: www.internetbillboards.net)

 

The most common symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis are inflammation in the nose, sinuses and eyes. You inhale some pollen or other allergen and your nose and sinuses become congested or blocked. Maybe your eyes itch, burn, tear up or become red. Maybe your eyes become hypersensitive to light. Your nose may itch and discharge watery mucus. Your ear canals may get irritated. You sneeze a lot, feel physically depressed and generally miserable.

 

 

1192bc66146b1640928751a11eaaec94

 

 

ALLERGIES & ME

In my case, decades of year round chronic allergies resulted in the growth of nasal polyps in my sinuses that dropped down into my nose every time I inhaled, causing me to have to breathe only through my mouth. I was exhausted all the time, had frequent sinus infections, a tenderness in the bridge of my nose that made wearing glasses painful, and such swollen nasal and sinus tissue that I could never blow my noise. And I had to wear tinted glasses even indoors to deal with light sensitivity.
The chronic inflammation and difficulty breathing made me physically depressed and, as a result, I also believed I was emotionally depressed. Basically, I was and felt like an inflamed mess – and the number of things I was allergic to kept growing: cat dander, dust, cigarette smoke, foods, scents.
I went to allergy doctors who prescribed decongestants (they made my heart race) and antihistamines (most of them severally sapped the little energy I had). I remember lying on our living room couch once after taking a prescription pill containing both a decongestant and antihistamine, my sinuses so dried up I could hardly breathe and my heart beating so rapidly I thought I was going to die, unable to lift my head or get up to call for help … long before cell phones.
I told my ENT doc, after the second surgery to remove nasal polyps (the chronic inflammation caused them to grow back), that I was going to find a non-pharmaceutical/ non-surgical way to fix both my allergies and sinuses. He was a good guy and asked me to please let him know when I’d found the information I was seeking.

 

(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)
(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)

 

Thankfully, I’ve been tenacious over several decades in seeking that information and choosing helpful health care providers to work with, never grew another nasal polyp, and am no longer done in by upper respiratory allergies.
This website, Allergies And your Gut, is a by product of that determined quest to feel well.

 

 

 

 

BACK TO MICHELLE SCHOFFRO COOK’S ARTICLE

“The ideal time to be introduced to beneficial allergy-preventing strains of bacteria is actually before birth. Research in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that when a pregnant woman consumes probiotic-rich milk or yogurt during pregnancy, an infant or child is less likely to suffer from allergic conditions such as eczema or rhinoconjunctivitis.” (Cook, 3/17/2016)

Of course, we’re not able to go back and make sure we got sufficient beneficial microbes during our fetal development but we can provide ourselves now with pertinent probiotics  to prevent or reverse our allergy symptoms and conditions.
The milk and yogurt products used in this study  contained three types of probiotic bacteria:
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Cook reports on work done by scientists at the Osaka University School of Medicine that found ingestion of another probiotic,  Lactobacillus casei (L. casei), delayed the occurrence of allergy symptoms and reduced allergic nasal and sinus congestion. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study results were published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology.

 

 

BREWER’S YEAST (DRIED, FERMENTED SACCHAROMYCES CEREVISIAE)

And finally, Cook cites 2009 research results from a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial published in the medical journal Advanced Therapeutics demonstrating the benefits of consuming a dried, fermented probiotic yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Study participants consisted of 96 healthy people with a recent, clinically documented history of seasonal allergies. The researchers  were testing the efficacy of 500 mg of a fermented, dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae product during the highest recorded concentrations of total pollen counts for the Midwest area where the study was conducted and found it reduced allergy symptoms, especially nasal congestion. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is also known as ‘brewer’s yeast’.

 

Dried, fermented Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer’s yeast)
yeast-flakes
Dried yeast fermentate helps balance your immune system by:
  • boosting the strength of your skin and mucus membranes
  • stimulating immune cells
  • supporting the production of T-cell and B-cell immune factors
In case you want to read more on dried, fermented Saccharomyces cerevisiae, here’s a useful article about it.  (Day, 2014)
If you’re inclined to want your information from a strictly Western Medicine source, here’s information on Brewer’s Yeast from WebMD. (WebMD, 2016).
 Note added on 4/4/2016:
See Sorting Out Yeast: Nutritional and Brewer’s for a comparison of nutritional yeast vs brewer’s yeast. (Mercola, 4/4/2016)

4/15/2016

Following up on Scott Moshen’s helpful COMMENT below, I found Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning for a reasonable price at my local health food store. It’s also available from Amazon.com. Bragg is also the long time maker of other raw, organic products that many health conscious people swear by, including an Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar  that’s unfiltered and contains the ‘mother’.

 

91ZCglJQH8L._SY679_

 

 

PROBIOTICS VS DRUGS FOR ALLERGIES

If you’re like me, you prefer consuming foods and natural substances to taking pharmaceutical drugs whenever possible to prevent inflammatory, autoimmune problems – or to treat them if they have already developed.
The authors of the 2009 Advanced Therapeutics article described above noted:

“Allergic rhinitis (AR) impacts around 25% of the worldwide population. However, cost, safety, and a high dissatisfaction rate with numerous conventional medications continues to be an issue in the largest patient surveys, due primarily to a lack of efficacy on nasal congestion.” (Moyad et al, 2009)

And Cook has this to say on the subject:

“Unlike drug products, antihistamines and decongestants you take when symptoms are severe, the probiotic-based approach works differently. Probiotics are best taken on a daily basis (follow package instructions of the specific product(s) you select) before and during allergy season. Select products that contain the specific probiotic strains mentioned in this article, as others have not been tested for effectiveness against seasonal allergies.” (Cook, 3/17/2016)

For more information on the benefits of consuming fermented foods and how to do it, check out Cook’s article, 25 Ways to Get More Fermented Foods in Your Diet. (Cook, 3/10/2016)

 

(Source: www.amazon.com)
(Source: www.amazon.com)
I also recommend Dr Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook‘s book The Probiotic Promise: Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out to you. Here’s a list of its chapters:
  • Chapter 1: The Health Secret We’ve All Been Waiting For
  • Chapter 2: The Surprising Worlds Within Your Body
  • Chapter 3: From the Common Cold to Superbugs: Probiotics to the Rescue
  • Chapter 4: New Hope for Serious Illnesses
  • Chapter 5: How to Select Probiotic Supplements
  • Chapter 6: Fall in Love with Fermented Foods
  • Chapter 7: Easy, Delicious, Probiotic-Rich Recipes
(Source: nerdygirlnutrition.com)
(Source: nerdygirlnutrition.com)

 

 

 

 

MICRO-ORGANISMS FOR PEOPLE AND PLANTS

 

 

VB montgomery bikle

 

I want to add to all the above what Professor of Geomorphology David R. Montgomery and Biologist and Environmental Planner Anne Biklé have to say about why allergies have become so prevalent. They are husband and wife – and the authors of an engaging and timely new book called The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health.
Their book began with a desire to create a garden in the yard of their house in Seattle. They soon discovered the soil had become barren, depleted of nutrients, dead – so they started feeding it a steady diet of organic matter (coffee grounds, wood chips, leaves, home-brewed compost – lots and lots of it). Soon the soil  was teeming with microbial life and supporting a lush garden supplying them with nutrient-rich organic plants.
As scientists, they were fascinated by this experiment. Then Anne was diagnosed with cancer and they turned their attention to the question of what supports health in the body. They began to move away from the view of microbes as mostly pathogenic and toward understanding that the vast arrays of invisible micro-organisms (pounds of them) that live in and on us are actually what maintain our health – or make us ill if they’re not well nurtured.
They’d seen this interaction at work in the relationship between the soil in their miraculous garden and the plants that grew in it. Now they were able to start understanding that the same relationship exists between the health of the micro-organisms in the various human microbiomes and the health of the host’s body.
Here’s part of what they have to say about gut micro-organisms and allergies:

“Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, neither of us can recall classmates or friends with severe enough allergies and asthma that it required hypervigilant parents and teachers to help them avoid near-death experiences. We also don’t recall today’s prevalence of common gut dysfunctions like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

“In the past fifty years researchers have seen not just an uptick in the incidence of gut dysfunctions, but a fortyfold increase…. While our genes may make us more or less susceptible to such ailments, changes in our gut microbiome are increasingly implicated as well.

“Gut dysfunctions and autoimmune diseases like asthma and allergies are turning out to be, at least in part, consequences of an immune system gone alarmingly awry. The hallmark symptom of all these diseases is an over-the-top immune response that damages our own cells and tissues.

“How does our own immune system turn against us? Increasingly, it seems that a major contributing factor is a severe case of atrophy for our efficient and evolutionarily honed immune system. Without a challenging workout and the help of beneficial microbes, our specialized immune cells and tissue grow lazy, or one might say, hazy. It is the day in, day out saturation of the inside and outside of our bodies with microbes that tones and sharpens the various feedback loops that drive our immune system to learn and recognize microbial friends from foes. A too-clean environment, ultrasanitized food and water, repeated doses of antibiotics, and minimal contact with soil and nature all work against us. These factors interfere with communication between microbes and our immune system. And this throws off the balancing act of meting out inflammation that our immune system evolved to do.” (Montgomery & Biklé, 2016, 189-190)

I highly recommend this book to you. Some comments from reviewers:

“I love this book! It’s genial, erudite, and wise. Using their personal story, historical fact, and cutting-edge science, Montgomery and Biklé have given us a great gift – a deep understanding and appreciation of our relationship with the microbial world.”

The Hidden Half of Nature reads like a fast-paced novel but tells the true story of the workings of soils, and even our own bodies.”

“I wish I had learned this in medical school.”

The Hidden Half of Nature draws a straight line from the microbes that live in healthy soil to those that live in healthy guts, skillfully blending the personal and the scientific. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with their own health.”

 

 

(Source: farmviability.wordpress.com)
(Source: farmviability.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Bertelsen, R.J. et al. (2014). Probiotic milk consumption in pregnancy and infancy and subsequent childhood allergic diseases. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 133:1, 165-71. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24034345

Cook, M.S. (3/10/2016). 25 Easy Ways to Get More Fermented Foods in Your Diet. See: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/25-easy-ways-to-get-more-fermented-foods-in-your-diet.html

Cook, M.S. (3/17/2016). The Surprising Way to Beat Spring Allergies. See: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-surprising-way-to-beat-spring-allergies.html

Cook, M.S. (2015). The Probiotic Promise: Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out. See: http://www.amazon.com/Probiotic-Promise-Simple-Steps-Inside/dp/0738217956/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458929224&sr=1-1&keywords=probiotic+promise

Day, K. (8/17/2014). Nutrient Spotlight—Dried Yeast Fermentate. See: http://www.wholehealthinsider.com/newsletter/nutrient-spotlight-dried-yeast-fermentate/

Mercola, R. (4/4/2016). Sorting Out Yeast: Nutritional and Brewer’s. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/04/04/nutritional-yeast.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20160404Z1&et_cid=DM102154&et_rid=1427794112

Montgomery, D.R. & Biklé, A. (2016). The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health. See: http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Half-Nature-Microbial-Health/dp/0393244407/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458929335&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Hidden+Half+of+Nature%3A+The+Microbial+Roots+of+Life+and+Health

Moyad, M.A. et al. (2009). Immunogenic yeast-based fermentation product reduces allergic rhinitis-induced nasal congestion: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Advanced Therapeutics, 26:8, 795-804. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19672568

Tamura, M. et al. (2007). Effects of probiotics on allergic rhinitis induced by Japanese cedar pollen: randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, 143:1, 75-82. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17199093

WebMD. (2016). Brewer’s Yeast. See: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-715-brewer’s%20yeast.aspx?activeingredientid=715&activeingredientname=brewer%27s%20yeast

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.