How Food Can Affect Your Sinuses

Food and sinusitis – believe it or not, sometimes there is a connection. In last week’s blog, we looked at how sinusitis can affect your weight. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how certain foods can affect your sinuses.

When you think of food allergies and intolerance, you probably think of digestive issues or even anaphylactic shock. But have you ever noticed that when you eat some things, you suddenly feel like you are having a sinus attack? You may have symptoms such as:

  • Congestion
  • Sinus pressure
  • Headache
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Post-nasal drip

Most food intolerances can present as sinus symptoms, and while annoying, they’re usually not dangerous.

Do these foods affect your sinuses?

Most people know that your nose will likely run when you eat spicy food, but did you know that these foods can create similar scenarios?

Alcohol: An alcohol intolerance is caused by a genetic condition in which the body lacks the specific enzyme necessary to break down alcohol, which then becomes toxic. Mayo Clinic explains that inflammation and mucus production also stem from sulfites or other preservatives; chemicals, grains or other ingredients; or histamine, a byproduct of fermentation or brewing.

Dairy, or more specifically milk: A milk intolerance is much more common than a milk allergy, which is good because the latter can be fatal. The intolerance is caused by not having enough of the enzyme used to break down the lactose in milk and that can cause congestion and runny nose among other uncomfortable conditions.

Refined sugar: Refined sugar is what is called a proinflammatory, which means that, like it sounds, too much of it can cause inflammation, including in the sinus cavity.

 

What should you do if you find certain foods lead to sinus discomfort?

Before you jump into a diet that totally eliminates everything you could possibly have a reaction to, talk to your doctor about what is going on. They may guide you through an elimination diet and/or suggest food allergy testing, which will pinpoint exactly what you’re allergic to.

However, if you think the problem is more in your sinuses than in your food intake, CT Sinus Center can help. When you come in, we’ll take the time to really talk to you about your diet, symptoms and medical history. Then after we get to the root of the problem, we’ll develop a treatment plan that is right for you. If you do have chronic sinusitis, you could be the perfect candidate for balloon sinuplasty, a non-invasive, in-office procedure that has few (if any) side effects and no downtime.

Call 860-BALLOON to make your appointment at one CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices – Kent, Litchfield, Shelton and Waterbury. After all, no one wants to diet if they don’t have to.

For additional information on sinus-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.