People with chronic sinus issues know misery. With chronic sinus issues, there are headaches, facial tenderness, pressure in the sinuses, teeth and ears, fevers, sore throats, coughing, that nasty nasal drip or, even worse, the dreaded stuffy nose accompanied by mouth breathing. Not a pretty picture.
So what causes sinus infection or sinusitis?
It turns out that the the problem isn’t the sinuses themselves. Your sinuses are just hollow air spaces within the bones between your eyes, behind your cheekbones, and in the forehead. They make mucus, which keep the inside of your nose moist and helps protect against dust, allergens, and pollutants. Sinus infections occur when the tissue in your nose is swollen from allergies, a cold, or something in the environment that block the sinus passages. The actual causes of sinus infections are numerous and encompass a wide variety of factors, such as a cold or flu, seasonal allergies, or even food sensitivities.
Carbohydrate sensitivity and sinus infection
“Typical” food allergy symptoms–scratchy throat, hives, swelling—are easily identified and you know if you have a food allergy, you must avoid contact with that particular allergen at all costs. But what about that brain fog, fatigue, and headaches you’ve been having? The truth is, most of us are sensitive to some of the foods we consume all of the time. Therefore, learning your particular food sensitivities is an important part of eliminating common ailments including sinusitis.
Carbohydrate is another name for sugar and can be broken down into two categories: simple and complex. In a nut shell, simple carbs are the sugars added to foods during processing. Added sugar appear on ingredient labels as corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, maltose, molasses, or syrup. These sugars are commonly added to white bread, crackers, sweets, and processed foods.
Complex carbs, on the other hand, are frequently referred to as dietary starch and are made of sugar molecules strung together like a chain and are rich in fiber. Complex carbohydrates are commonly found in whole plant foods and, therefore, provide a myriad of health benefits.
According to Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of “Beat Sugar Addiction Now!“, sinusitis is one possible side effect of simple carb or sugar sensitivity. Sugar weakens the immune system, which leads to a higher potential for sinus infections. When the immune system is weakened, it is more susceptible to bacteria, viruses, and allergies. So then, the answer to sinus relief for those with a carb sensitivity must be to eliminate or, at the very least, drastically limit the amount of carbs you are consuming, right?
It’s not quite that simple.
While eliminating carbs from your diet might provide you some relief from sinus problems, it could cause other and more serious health problems. A low carbohydrate diet can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, muscle weakness, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Instead of going low or no carb, nutrition experts advise that you substitute the simple carb foods you eat with more complex carb options.
Switching from simple to complex carbs
Complex carbs provide your body with more nutrition and longer-lasting energy than simple carbs do. Complex carbs can be found in fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, whole grain pasta, oats, beans, and brown rice. Simply put, for the carb-sensitive, eating more fresh, whole foods and limiting the amount of processed foods will have you breathing easier in no time.