Sinusitis, more commonly called a sinus infection, is an infection of the sinus cavities around the nose and eyes. It causes pain in the face, headaches, along with a persistent nasal discharge and potentially cough and sore throat too. It is an unpleasant condition that can become chronic and reoccur over-and-over again. The most common treatment is antibiotics, but they provide relatively little help both in clearing the infection and in preventing reoccurrences of it. It is not easy to clear sinusitis for chronic sufferers.

In this excerpt from the Book Real Cause Real Cure authors Jacob Teitelbaum, MD and Bill Gottlieb, CHC explain how to clear sinusitis with natural solutions.


Real Causes

  • Poor Diet. Fungal overgrowth is the main underlying cause of sinusitis—and high-sugar diets feed the fungus.
  • Digestive Difficulties. Dysbiosis—an overgrowth of candida (a yeast) that starts in the digestive system—is the main cause of chronic sinusitis.
  • Prescription Medications. The antibiotics used to treat acute sinusitis or other bacterial infections kill the good bacteria that keep candida in check.

Sinusitis is an infection in the air-filled cavities located behind and around the nose and the eyes. The infection causes your nasal passages to swell shut, triggering symptoms such as headache, facial pain, and fatigue. The swollen, blocked sinuses can develop a secondary bacterial infection, generating a lot of yellow-green mucus.

There are two types of sinusitis. Acute sinusitis is a sudden-onset and often “postcold” infection, afflicting millions of Americans yearly. Chronic sinusitis is an ongoing, low-grade sinus infection, with runny nose, postnasal drip, and repeated flare-ups of acute sinusitis. About 30 million Americans have this problem. In all, 10 percent of Americans make a yearly visit to the doctor for sinusitis.

If you show up at your doctor’s office with either acute or chronic sinusitis, you’re likely to get a prescription for antibiotics—nine out of 10 patients with acute sinusitis are prescribed the drugs. (In fact, 15 to 20 percent of all outpatient, nonhospital antibiotic prescriptions are for acute sinusitis.) But it is dawning among doctors that antibiotics don’t work for acute sinusitis.

For example, in a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, acute sinusitis was treated with either (1) an antibiotic, (2) a nasal spray of a corticosteroid (an anti-inflammatory drug), (3) both drugs, or (4) neither drug. None of those treatments—including no treatment— was better than any other in lessening the symptoms of acute sinusitis or shortening the infection. And a Finnish study involving more than 15,000 people showed that people with acute sinusitis typically recover in two weeks—whether or not they take antibiotics. “Clinicians need to weigh the small benefits of antibiotic treatment against the potential for adverse effects for both individuals and the general population,” they concluded.

The “adverse effects” those researchers are talking about: antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics don’t slay 100 percent of bacteria. And those that survive quickly evolve into new generations of bacteria that can resist antibiotics. One example of those bacteria is the “multiple-resistant” bacteria called MRSA, which causes unstoppable staph infections of the skin and is now a major problem in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Worldwide, bacteria that cause many types of infections—from tuberculosis to bladder infections—are becoming antibiotic resistant.

I think there’s another side effect that’s overlooked when people talk about the failure of antibiotics to treat acute sinusitis: the fact that antibiotics actually cause chronic sinusitis. Here’s what happens. Antibiotics don’t specialize in bad bacteria. They target all the bacteria in your body, including the friendly bacteria that live in your colon, aiding digestion, manufacturing vitamins, disarming toxins, and lending the immune system a helping hand. When those friendly bacteria are decimated, the fungus (yeast) Candida albicans—normally a well-behaved denizen of your digestive tract—can multiply. And that overgrowth of candida doesn’t confine itself to your intestines. It also ends up in your sinuses, causing chronic sinusitis and the bacterial infections that go with it.

Antibiotic-sparked fungal overgrowth is the main (but little-recognized) cause of the tens of millions of chronic sinus infections in the United States. It’s also the reason why there are more and more of these infections, as the rampant use of antibiotics remains mostly uncontrolled.

I think it’s important to note that I’m not alone in this perspective. A study on chronic sinusitis in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings reported that, although in the past “fungus…was thought to be involved in less than 10 percent of cases,” their research showed that an inflammatory reaction to fungal overgrowth “is likely the cause of nearly all of these [sinusitis] problems.” Unfortunately, it took a type of specialized testing available only in research labs to find the candida. There’s an easier way.

Real Cure Regimen

If you have chronic sinusitis, assume you have fungal overgrowth and start curing your sinusitis today—by clearing up both the fungal overgrowth and the bacterial infection. The key treatments for acute sinusitis are the nasal rinses and sprays that I’m about to describe. For chronic sinusitis, adding in an antifungal medication for six weeks is an important part of clearing up the underlying problem. Here is what I recommend for my patients. For more on resolving candida overgrowth, see Candida Overgrowth.

Treating Acute Sinusitis

When you’re in pain from acute sinusitis, you probably don’t care much about the long-term problem. You just want the pain and swelling to go away! Here’s the first and most important step.

•Use this saltwater nasal rinse. Why let your immune system face cell-to-cell combat with billions of bacterial invaders, when you can rinse 90 percent of them away? Here’s how to do just that: Dissolve 1 ⁄2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water. (Some folks use just the lukewarm water, to make the rinse even simpler.) If you find this solution irritating to your nasal linings, make it gentler by adding a pinch of baking soda.

Inhale some of the solution, about one to three inches up each nostril, one nostril at a time. Do this by either using a baby nose bulb (also called a nasal bulb syringe) or sniffing the solution out of the palm of your hand while standing by a sink. Then gently blow your nose, being careful not to hurt your ears by blowing too hard. Continue to repeat with each nostril—left, right, left, right—until the nose is clear. Do this at least twice a day until the infection improves.

You can also use the premixed sinus rinses available in most drug and health food stores, such as NeilMed. Follow their directions for use. Or use a neti pot—the mother of all nasal rinse aids—a device from Ayurveda, the ancient system of natural healing from India.

Whatever method you use, each rinsing washes away about 90 percent of the infection, making it much easier for your body to heal itself. This is much more effective than an antibiotic, in most cases. After giving your nose a few minutes to dry, use the additional nasal sprays I’m about to describe, which address both acute and chronic sinusitis.

•Use Sinusitis Nose Spray. The bacteria that live in sinuses form what microbiologists call a biofilm: a sturdy, hard-to-destroy layer of organisms. Oral antibiotics can’t break up that biofilm. You need to kill it with a special nasal spray and also wash out the infection.

I recommend a unique compounded nasal spray (made by a compounding pharmacy, which customizes medications on-site). The Sinusitis Nose Spray contains five key ingredients: (1) the topical antibiotic mupirocin (Bactroban); (2) the natural molecule xylitol, which kills bacteria and fights biofilm infections; (3) low-dose cortisol to shrink the swelling; (4) tiny amounts of the mineral bismuth to break up the biofilm; and (5) an antifungal.

I recommend patients use one or two sprays in each nostril, twice a day, for six to 12 weeks, while on Diflucan (which I’ll mention in a moment). This combination is often enough to knock out the sinusitis, although some of my patients stay on the spray long term or use it intermittently for recurrent infections.

The spray is available by mail, with a prescription, from ITC Pharmacy. Simply have your physician ask for the Sinusitis Nose Spray.

•Spray with colloidal silver. Another treatment to consider is the over-the-counter silver-containing nose spray Argentyn 23. In low doses, silver is anti-infectious, killing both bacteria and viruses. You can also safely and repeatedly take oral liquid silver for chronic sinusitis (and other difficult-to-treat chronic infections). As with the compounded spray, you can use it intermittently or long term.

I’ve found that the Sinusitis Nose Spray and the silver spray are a wonderful combination. During sinus infections, use one to two sprays of the colloidal silver spray in each nostril. You can use it at the same time as the Sinusitis Nose Spray.

The use of colloidal silver is controversial, but that’s more a matter of medical politics than medical science or sanity. Because it’s cheap and can’t be patented, colloidal silver hasn’t been (and can’t be) put through the FDA approval process, so conventional doctors take potshots at it, just as they do at most “unproven” natural remedies. Ignore the politics and try the remedy. (And like most natural remedies, there’s science to support it, with a study out of Australia showing a colloidal silver spray reduced a biofilm in the sinuses by 99 percent.) Many of my patients have found it very helpful. Used in the proper dosing (as described here), it’s also very safe.

Remedies to Take at the First Sign of a Cold

These sprays and rinses are often enough to help your body recover more quickly. Here are a few more tips that may help you prevent sinusitis if you take them for a day or two at the first sign of a cold.

•Take ProBoost. You can boost infection-fighting immunity by energizing your thymus gland, which plays a key role in early-life production of immune system cells. Try ProBoost, an all-natural thymus-supporting supplement. Dissolve one packet under your tongue, three times a day, until the infection is gone. (This remedy speeds healing of most infections and should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet.)

•Take vitamin C: 1,000 milligrams to 8,000 milligrams daily. Vitamin C helps you fight off the bacterial infection. I recommend taking enough powdered vitamin C to cause (harmless) diarrhea (an indication that the body has all it needs to fight the infection) and then cutting back to a comfortable level.

Treating Chronic Sinusitis

Once you’ve dealt with acute sinusitis, it’s time to go after the root causes of acute and chronic sinusitis so it stays gone. The key to eliminating chronic sinusitis is eliminating the underlying candida infection. Continue using the rinses and sprays, as described beginning on page 317, and add:

•Lufenuron. You can read all about this unique, little-known, but very effective fungal killing drug in Candida Overgrowth.

•Fluconazole (Diflucan). This is a very effective and important antifungal medication. Take 200 milligrams daily, for six to 12 weeks, to clear up the underlying problem of candida overgrowth. It’s a medication well worth taking. The other two treatments below that help restore healthy bowel bacteria in the long term are natural.

•Pearls Elite. This product from Nature’s Way contains an effectively high amount of friendly bacteria (probiotics) that the Pearl coating protects from destruction by stomach acid. This remedy will restore a healthy balance of bacteria to your digestive tract, helping to keep candida at bay. Take one Pearls Elite a day.

If symptoms persist despite these treatments, consider allergy desensitization with NAET. For more ways to fix root causes of common health problems, purchase Real Cause, Real Cure from

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