Sinusitis simply means inflammation of the sinuses, but this gives little indication of the misery and pain this condition can cause. Chronic sinusitis, sinusitis that persists for at least 3 weeks, affects an estimated 32 million people in the United States and Americans spend millions of dollars each year for medications that promise relief from their sinus symptoms.
Symptoms of sinusitis can include fever, weakness and tiredness, a cough that may be more severe at night, and runny nose or nasal congestion. In addition, drainage of mucus from the sinuses down the back of the throat (postnasal drip) can cause a sore throat.
However, by introducing a few of the superfoods from certain vitamin groups, we can lessen our chances of becoming afflicted with this painful and bothersome malady.
Citrus fruits, red berries, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red and green bell peppers, cabbage, and spinach are all excellent dietary sources of vitamin C, which helps promote a healthy immune system.
The B-complex vitamins are actually a group of eight vitamins, which include thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and folic acid (B9), and are essential for a healthy nervous system, processing carbohydrates for energy, and the creation of red blood cells. Organ meats, beans, whole grain cereals, oatmeal, potatoes, salmon, bananas, and spinach are only a few of the many food members of the vitamin B group with high levels of this group of nutrients.
Vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals are common food sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant that acts to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of energy metabolism. Free radicals can damage cells and may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Vitamin E has also been shown to play a positive role in immune function.
Inhaling steam from a vaporizer or a hot cup of water can soothe inflamed sinus cavities. Another treatment is saline nasal spray, which can be purchased in a pharmacy. A hot water bottle; hot, wet compresses; or an electric heating pad applied over the inflamed area also can be comforting.
A person susceptible to sinus disorders, particularly one who also is allergic, should avoid cigarette smoke and other air pollutants. Inflammation in the nose caused by allergies predisposes a patient to a strong reaction to all irritants. Drinking alcohol also causes the nasal-sinus membranes to swell. Try to avoid dairy products, as they stimulate your body to produce more mucous.