By Deepa B Dhavjekar
One of my patients was an 8-year-old who complained of breathlessness. A thorough examination and study of the child’s medical history I learnt that, for the last three years, the child had been on steroids prescribed for asthma. A physical examination showed a deviated septum and this is what had increased the child’s susceptibility to sinusitis and occasional breathlessness, which I realised was a result of improper lifestyle and food habits. There were no indications that he was asthmatic, but he had been put on steroids and after 3 years was getting addicted to them.
In another case, a female patient of mine suffering from chronic sinusitis that was bridging towards Asthama had come to me after being put on steroids of six years, all to no avail.
It is extremely important to arrive to a conclusion of sinusitis that diagnostic tests that include Sinus X-Ray test be carried out. Often, those with a simple cold jump to the conclusion that they are suffering from sinusitis. It has become something of a fashion statement, one could say. No conclusion can be arrived at without conclusive tests. On the other hand there are those who ignore a common cold and often help bridge the gap between common cold and asthma through the sinusitis route, ie a common cold treated casually over a prolonged can lead to sinusitis and in turn asthma.
Of utmost importance in either case timely and proper diagnoses and a right approach in treating the problem.
While allopathic line of treatment may be followed for the treatment of sinusitis in which antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs like steroids are used there is a more holistic approach to the treatment of the condition – one that is natural.
The best favour that you can do yourself is to stop abusing your body with a wrong life style and junk food habits and by staying in tune with your body and giving it what it requires in the right quantity.
Listed below are some of natural ways to control sinusitis:
• Correct faulty diet; ensure it is balanced.
• Most persons with sinusitis condition also suffer from acidity and therefore their diet should veer to the alkaline side.
• Intake of salt should be reduced to minimum as salt leads to accumulation of water in tissues and expels calcium, which has a marked effect in overcoming inflammation of tissues.
• Those suffering from sinusitis should completely avoid fried and starchy foods, white sugar, white flour, rice, macaroni, pies, cakes and candies. They should also avoid strong spices, meat and meat products. Butter and ghee should be used sparingly. Honey should be used for sweetening. Food should be freshly prepared for each meal. Vegetables should be eaten in liberal quantities as it contains calcium, which has a marked effect in overcoming inflammation of tissues.
• A diet rich in Vitamin A is the best insurance against cold and sinus trouble. Vitamin A is the “membrane conditioner” as it helps build a healthy mucus membrane in head and throat. Some valuable food sources of this vitamin include whole milk, pumpkin, carrot, leafy vegetables, tomatoes, oranges, mangoes and papayas.
However, when the condition is in acute stages the following is advised:
• In acute stage of the diseases, when fever is present, the patient should abstain from all solids and only drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices diluted with water (50:50). After the fever subsides a low calorie diet comprising of raw fruit and vegetable and plenty of raw juices should be followed.
• One acute symptoms have passed one may gradually commence a well-balanced diet comprising of three basic food groups, namely seeds, nuts and grain, vegetables and fruits.
• In persistent chronic conditions repeated short juice fasts may be undertaken for a week or so at intervals of two months.
Troubled by the humble sinuses?
By Deepa B Dhavjekar