Are you hooked on steroid nasal sprays like Flonase?
Yes, they are very effective and easy to use for opening the nasal passages, but they come at a cost.
Continuous use of steroidal nasal sprays lower your immune system’s ability to fight true invaders such as viruses, bacteria and fungus.
There are natural ways to fight sinus issues by getting to the root cause of the sinus congestion.
Flonase is a Band-Aid – a quick fix to a recurring problem.
It’s time to put down the spray and focus on prevention for long-term relief.
Risks of Overdoing Flonase
As an anti-inflammatory steroid, nasal sprays block allergic reactions.
They prevent your body from sending warning signals that something foreign has invaded.
The body’s natural immune system response is to send histamines to the sinus in order to flush out whatever it has recognized as an invader.
This natural immune response provokes the symptoms you know so well: itching, increased mucus, increased stuffiness or runny nose.
But what if you actually get sick?
Using steroidal nasal sprays leaves your immune system compromised if you are exposed to a harmful virus or bacteria.
With immune system responses blocked, a bad bug has the potential to cause more severe or prolonged illnesses.
Because of the potential to compromise your immune system, it’s important to limit nasal spray use and focus instead on working internally to strengthen your immunity while you regulate the body’s natural histamine response.
Get to the Root of the Issue!
Everyday your body is exposed to variables that can affect the sinuses, such as food and environmental pollution.
Sinuses are a great indicator of gut health.
Anything that irritates your gut will irritate your sinuses.
The connection between leaky gut and sinus issues is especially relevant to you if your sinus issues are worse in the morning.
The Immune System Response
How is the gut related to sinus issues? The common connection is the mucosal tissue.
Mucus membranes in the noses, sinuses, mouth and throat go all the way down the esophagus through the digestive system.
It’s all the same immune tissue, so it’s the same immune system response.
This applies to both food, environmental and seasonal allergies.
Immune tissue is very reactive and it’s always working to recognize everything the body comes in contact with.
When your body recognizes something as harmful and goes on attack, it’s because your immune system has made antibodies to that organism previously.
In the case of food, tiny sugar and carbohydrate molecules have a unique fingerprint your body recognizes.
When the mucosal tissue sees something that shouldn’t be there, it’s seen as an invader and you get an get immune reaction in the same way your body would attack a virus.
For most dealing with chronic sinus issues, the problem starts in the gut.
Specifically, the gut lining; your over-worked, under-appreciated mucosal tissue.
This mucosal tissue layer acts as a protective barrier lining the entire digestive system.
When cells in the gut lining are damaged, there can be microscopic rips and tears that allow foreign bodies into the bloodstream.
It’s possible that 8 out of 10 people are experiencing leaky gut and misdiagnosing themselves with food allergies.
Everyone’s gut has a unique set of gut bugs that work to maintain the lining balance, so what irritates one person might not irritate another.
When bacteria and yeast living on the gut lining die they release endotoxins.
Endotoxins are toxic materials that cause damage to the gut lining.
The most common is called lipopolysaccharide, a sugar, also known as LPS.
This sugar triggers inflammatory reactions in the blood which could bring on rashes, hives, joint pain, sinus issues, brain fog, mood changes, and more, depending on your chemical makeup.
Diet Does Matter!
Another danger that comes from LPS is leptin resistance.
Leptin is a hormone that tells our brains that we’re full from eating, so there are connections to mor severe problems like insulin resistance.
Medical studies using rodents have shown that low doses of LPS increase endotoxins in 4 weeks and by 6 weeks the rodents had leptin resistance when paired with a high fat diet.
That means that LPS introduced into the guts of the rodents caused the rodents to not process sugars well after 6 weeks.
Imagine if you ate processed high fat and carb foods for 6 weeks straight – you could set yourself up for gaining weight and developing diabetes?
On the other hand a high fruit and veggie diet does not induce LPS release.
Diets rich in Omega 3 fatty acids decreased the level of LPS toxicity.
When your aim is to prevent sinus issues naturally, clean eating is a must.
You want to avoid hydrogenated or refined oils – especially coconut oil – and other high-reaction foods such as:
– Processed foods
Everyone is different, so pay attention to what you’re eating when you get nasal congestion.
Keep a food journal to see if you can spot any patterns.
If you can isolate your triggers, keep them out of your diet for a good 3-6 months to reboot your system and reintroduce them one at a time every 72 hours.
If you get sinus congestion avoid the item for another month and retest again.
Strengthen Your Mucosal Tissue
The more work you can do from the inside out to help your sinuses the better.
If you have sinus congestion you have mucosal tissue irritation and possible damage that needs TLC.
You can strengthen the mucosal lining by increasing Secretory IgA, an Immunoglobulin antibody, with vitamins and supplements like:
– Glutathione – 6-9 grams a day in 8 oz of water
– L-Glutamine – 3-6 grams a day in 8 oz of water
– Glycine – 3 grams 2 hours before bed in 8 oz of water (add glutamine for a healthy night cap)
– Vitamin C – 1,000 mg 3x a day
– Zinc – 15mg a day
Increase Mucin Production
As there are natural ways to help rebuild the mucosal tissue, there are supplements that help aid in natural mucin production which is vital for healthy gut lining.
Look for powders you can mix with water or smoothies that contain colostrum, as well as threonine, serine, and cysteine, the building blocks of a healthy mucosal barrier.
Other natural helpers for mucin production are marshmallow root and licorice root.
1 tsp of marshmallow root powder can be mixed in a smoothie or tea every day or take a licorice root capsule, such as Douglas Lab’s Licorice Root V – 20 minutes before each meal.
Fight Allergies and Sinus Issues Without Steroids
Keep in mind that nasal congestion isn’t just caused by environmental and food allergies.
Acid reflux, leaky gut and endotoxins produced on your gut lining can also be to blame for your sinus issues.
If you’ve been following my guide for a clean diet and taking care of your gut but still have sinus congestion then it’s a good idea to get a food sensitivity test (Alcat test) to determine if there are foods, preservatives or molds causing your issues.
1. Steps to treating sinus issues naturally:
2. Back off the Flonase
3. Clean up your diet
4. Strengthen mucosal lining
5. Increase mucin production
6. Get allergy testing if you are still struggling
Remember, repeated use of Flonase could be doing more harm than good as it compromises your immune system by blocking the body’s natural responses to foreign invaders.
Follow the steps I’ve outlined in the post as the less endotoxins your gut bacteria are producing, the better you’ll feel.
The more you allow your immune system to function on it’s own the better you will be at fighting off invaders while resisting over-reactions to non-harmful substances such as foods and pollens.
If you enjoyed this blog post – there’s a podcast dedicated to this subject – click HERE to listen to Dr. Krause right now!