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    Nasal congestion related to digestive problems
    swamime posted:
    Since my ulcer operation, years ago, I have experienced slow digestion accompanied by nasal sinus congestion...sneezing, runny nose, itching eyes...all of the symptoms of hay fever. The link is clear, since relieving bowels eliminates or greatly reduces the symptoms. This is a great mystery and I'm wondering if anyone else knows of such a problem. Doctors I've spoken with don't have a clue.
    marieshopz responded:
    I'm going through something very similar right now. About 6 months ago, it started with a super stuffy nose and difficulty breathing in through my mouth. Several specialists later (ENT, Pulminary, Allergist, etc.) and no one could figure what was wrong. I did not have asthma. I did have a terrible sinus infection, but even after that was resolved, I still had the stuffiness and lung issue. I also had a series of allergy testing done and discovered I have no allergies.

    Frightened and unsure what to do next, I decided to see an integrative medical doctor (M.D. who also practices homeopathic medicine). After pushing around on my stomach it was discovered that my digestive system was bloated and very painful (I knew my stomach was bloated but didn't experience any pain until he started pushing on it... something I wouldn't normally do).

    He suspected a bacterial infection so I had a simple blood test done. It was confirmed... I have a H. pylori bacteria that took up residency in my stomach.

    The way it was explained to me is that this bacteria has been linked to one of the main causes of ulcers, stomach cancer, and stomach inflammation. Your system goes on the defensive creating more stomach acid and histamine. Because of this, your body can become ultra sensitive causing allergic reactions when you had none before (i.e., food, sinusitis, etc.). Also, the increase in stomach acid can cause issues with your esophagus and lungs just like GERD.

    I am working closely with my doctor to erradicate this bacteria taking several courses of antibiotics (yuck), high dose of probiotics (taken 2-3 hours after the antibiotics), proteolytic digestive enzymes with each meal and as well as fiber. I did notice that increasing my fiber (slowly) helped with the nasal stuffiness, though if I am unable to "eliminate" regularly, my nasal stuffiness comes back (I have slow digestion, too - I had my gallbladder out about 6 years ago). One thing that helps me is an Osmotic laxative that I do about every 10-14 days. This laxative is non-habiting forming.

    I may still have to see a gastroenterologist. Hope this helps.
    swamime replied to marieshopz's response:
    Many thanks for your detailed and articulate reply, Marie! Your info is interesting and may prove to be helpful. Next doctor visit I will ask about the H. pylori!
    For me, the problem has been almost thirty years in length, and so has given me lots of time to experiment. The most useful approach has been dietary awareness. A long-time vegetarian (nearly 40 years), I have learned to be careful and observant re my diet. So I avoid or limit products that seem to exacerbate the problem, giving me some degree of control, tho I sometimes eat without enough forethought! I also use Garden of Life "Omega-Zyme Ultra", a very helpful product which I always carry when eating away from home! In short, I've learned to keep my symptoms pretty much at bay. I've also learned to spot the problem arising, especially at night, and have observed that timely use of an antihistamine (Benadryl works well and is inexpensive) stops the cyle, and allows me to sleep instead of sneeze/blow, etc., all night.
    Again thanks for your reply and best wishes! BTW: must ask about the "shopz" after your name, as it sounds like you may be a fellow mystery shopper. That is something I do to keep my mind from getting too fat, as well as bringing in a little extra money.

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