A reader writes:
I’m now 30 years old. For the past ten years or so, I’ve had constant post-nasal drip and stuffed sinuses, frequently coughing out phlegm. In addition, I’ve had fairly intense fatigue, moderate but consistent depression, and occasional but intense tendinitis (from typing). I tried nasal pharma sprays and many alternative therapies, feeling most intellectually compelled by neti pot style nasal washes with solutions that mimic salt balances of the body. However, none of my efforts did much good. So I reluctantly agreed to have sinus surgery, even though it seemed to be a blunt force approach to a sensitive tissue. I have since become convinced that treating the sinuses as anything other than an expression of overall health is preposterous. The surgery, with full anesthesia, improved things very slightly while being somewhat traumatic and certainly not worth the ordeal.
About 5 years ago, when I was 25, I discovered that I have a very under-active thyroid. Taking thyroid replacement was the biggest health change I’ve had in the past ten years, giving me much more energy, improving my overall health, and significantly reducing (but not eliminating) my sinus condition.
I didn’t start reading your blog regularly until a few months ago. Your writing on bacteria and flax oils led me to start taking probiotic pills every day (Trader Joes brand and then kyodophilus), eat more yogurt and kimchee, and take flax seed oil pills and try to incorporate flax oil into foods. Within a month of starting this, my sinus congestion was reduced by about 90%. I don’t need to constantly have tissues on hand and I can breathe easier every day. Thank you! I’m hoping to finally start making my own kombucha this week.
I suspect it was the bacteria rather than the flaxseed oil that helped his nose. Like him, I used to need to carry a handkerchief at all times and I went through a whole box of Kleenex in a few months. This didn’t stop when I started drinking lots of flaxseed oil. After I started drinking lots of fermented foods, however, my nose became a lot clearer and my Kleenex consumption went way down.