Are you addicted to your steroid nasal spray?
Do you wonder if you’ll ever be able to breathe without it?
Yes, they are very effective at opening the nasal passages, but it comes as a cost.
A nasal spray like Flonase is a Band-Aid – a quick fix to a recurring problem.
There are natural ways to fight sinus issues by getting to the root cause.
Let’s put down the spray and focus on prevention for long lasting relief.
Risks of Overdoing Flonase
Flonase is so effective that it can be a double-edged sword for your body.
As an anti-inflammatory steroid, it blocks allergic reactions by halting the body’s inflammatory reaction.
Nasal sprays prevent your body from sending warning signals that something foreign has invaded.
It’s the body’s natural immune system response to send histamines to the area in order to flush out whatever it has recognized as bad.
This brings on the familiar symptoms of inflammation.
But what if you actually are exposed to a virus, fungus or bacteria?
Using nasal sprays every day leaves your immune system compromised.
With immune system responses blocked, a bad bug could wreak havoc on your body.
The Root of Sinus Issues is In the Gut
Every day our bodies are exposed to many variables that can affect the sinuses, such as food and environmental pollution.
Believe it or not, sinuses are a great indicator of gut health.
It’s important to understand that anything that irritates your gut will irritate your sinuses.
The Immune System Response
If you’re wondering how the gut could possibly be related to sinus issues, here’s the connection: mucosal tissue.
The mucus membranes in the nose, sinuses, mouth and throat are similar to those in the esophagus through the digestive system.
It’s all the same immune tissue, thus they share the same immune system response.
This is a big deal for both food allergies 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, it’s because your immune system has made antibodies to that foreign agent.
In the case of food, broken down food molecules have a unique fingerprint your body recognizes.
When the mucosal tissue sees something that shouldn’t be there, your body sees it as an invader and an immune system reaction ensues in the same way it would attack a virus.
If you have chronic sinus issues, the problem likely starts in the gut.
Specifically, the gut lining; and 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.
Leaky gut is a common condition, that’s commonly misdiagnosed as a food sensitivity.
Your gut has a unique microbiome, so what irritates you might not irritate someone else.
It all depends on the variety and balance of beneficial microbes we have on the mucus layer.
Whether it’s from a microbe invasion or heavily processed poor quality food, when bacteria and yeast die in your gut 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, just depending on the person’s chemical makeup.
Diet Does Matter!
Another danger that comes from LPS is leptin resistance.
Leptin is a hormone that signals your brain that you are full.
When leptin is not released the brain keeps you eating.
Overeating leads to increased weight and causes the cells to respond to insulin shuttling glucose for energy.
Your cells end up not taking in glucose floating around in the bloodstream and instead the glucose is stored as fat.
Increased fat due to decreased utilization of glucose is referred to leptin resistance.
In leptin resistance the brain thinks you are starving so it signals you to keep eating.
The excess food is stored and weight goes up.
Medical studies with 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.
When your aim is to prevent sinus issues naturally, clean eating is a must.
You want to avoid processed carbohydrates, hydrogenated or refined oils and other high immune system reactivity 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 if you reintroduce them, do so slowly.
Strengthen Your Mucosal Tissue
The more work you can do from the inside out to help your sinuses the better.
You can strengthen your mucosal lining by increasing Secretory IgA, an Immunoglobulin antibody, with vitamins and supplements.
Consider Using the Following:
– 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
Just as there are natural ways to help rebuild the mucosal tissue, there are herbs and supplements that aid in natural mucin production.
Mucin is produced by your gut lining naturally as a protective protein layer.
Your beneficial bacteria live on the mucin layer of your gut lining.
To boost mucin production and protect your gut lining there are amino acid powders and herbs available.
Look for powders you can mix with water or smoothies that contain colostrum, as well as threonine, serine, proline, and cysteine, which are the building blocks of a healthy mucosal barrier.
MegaMucosa by Microbiome Labs is a comprehensive formula specific for regenerating the mucin layer.
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 chew a licorice root tablet 20 minutes before each meal.
You Can Fight Allergies and Sinus Issues Without Steroids
Keep in mind that nasal congestion isn’t just caused by environmental and food allergies.
Having a leaky gut and the endotoxins produced by microbes dying on your gut lining due to irritation can cause sinus issues.
If you’ve been eating clean and taking care of your gut but still have allergic reactions then it’s a good idea to get an Alcat test, food sensitivity test, to see if you have developed an intolerance to something.
Steps to treating sinus issues naturally:
– Back off the Flonase
– Eat a diet with clean foods that are closest to their natural form
– Strengthen mucosal lining
– Increase mucin production
– Get allergy testing if 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 this natural guide instead and, the less endotoxins your gut bacteria are producing, the better you’ll feel.
If you enjoyed this blog post Dr. Jannine Krause has a podcast dedicated to this same subject. Click HERE to listen to her podcast.