A few weeks ago, I was experiencing some serious sinus issues. I woke up with a headache that was driving me crazy. The pressure on my eyelids and around my eyebrows made me feel tired, irritable and depleted. To overcome the problem, I went to see my integrative doctor. He advised strong drops to clear up the congestion, but as a nutritionist, I knew I had to tackle the issue from a holistic point of view. I started experimenting with some different practices in order to determine what would work. With winter in full swing, it’s common for many people to experience some form of congestion. The next time you feel yourself becoming congested, take note of these holistic tips.
My sinus-healing protocol:
- Cut out dairy: When I studied nutrition, I discovered that dairy is mucus-forming and can worsen congestion. To heal my congestion, I cut out dairy for one month. Unfortunately, this meant ending my love affair with Greek yoghurt and limiting that sprinkle of Parmesan over my zucchini pasta. Of course, I re-introduced these foods when my sinus cleared up.
- Use a saline rinse: You can buy them at most pharmacies. I use this rinse up my nose twice a day when I’m experiencing congestion.
- Drink more water: It’s an obvious one, but staying hydrated helps to flush toxins out of the body. If you’re finding it difficult to consume enough water during winter, try drinking herbal tea. I also like to fill a stainless steel bottle with warm water and apple cider vinegar, and sipping on that throughout the day.
- Stop eating histamine-producing foods: Histamines are a natural substance produced by the body and are found in foods such as fermented foods, shellfish, cured meats, dried fruits, nuts and fermented alcohol, just to name a few. Common symptoms of histamine intolerance includes itchiness, headaches, fatigue, sneezing and mucus production. For me, the big one was red wine. After having a glass or two on the weekends, I noticed that my sinus pain would return. I cut out the red wine and swapped to for white wine or prosecco. I recommend removing histamine-producing foods from your diet for a trial period of one month and slowly re-introducing them to see how your body reacts.
- Avoid sugar: As usual, I avoid refined sugar and processed snacks. If you’re looking to combat your sugar cravings, you can check out my top tips here.
- Take care of stress levels: I simply can’t express how detrimental stress is to our overall health. To combat stress, try practising yoga, entering the JSHealth stress-free zone and try to get eight hours of sleep. For tips on getting a better night’s sleep, click here.
- Consider Chinese herbs: I recommend exploring traditional Chinese medicine and herbology under the guidance of a medical practitioner.
- Try ArmaForce and Andro NK: They’re available in most health food stores and they really help to boost your immune system.
- Explore the condition from a spiritual perspective: Sometimes, emotional pressure can manifest to physical pressure in your head or sinus. Let it go, and know that you’re doing enough.
I offer plenty more health, nutrition and lifestyle tips in my 8-week Program.