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HELP, recurring sinus infection in 3 year old!

by (5)
Updated about 5 hours ago
Created April 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM

My three year old is experiencing recurring sinus infections. They often turn into conjunctivisis (eye infection) and have to be treated with antibiotics. (no lectures on antibiotics please, you don't mess around with eye infections). The antibiotics are effective, but the sinusitus returns after a couple of weeks. Has anybody had success with treating chronic sinusitus? I have her taking 600iu of vitamin D a day, we also do the little noses saline drops, which seem to help a small amount. I am considering the following things:

-Xyletol nose spray (reccomended by Chris Kresser in a podcast) -Manuka honey?

Anybody have any experience with either of these or any other things that can help (dietary or otherwise?

Thanks!

P.S. We are of course seeing her doctor.

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26182 · March 18, 2013 at 1:31 AM

Not at all paleo, but I used astelin nasal sprays which cured both my asthma and my chronic sinus infections. I do not use it every day, but when I feel something coming, I use the spray -- it's like magic!

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334 · April 13, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Sorry, I meant spray rather than inhaler

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334 · April 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I'm now using the xylitol instead of a steroid inhaler and it is just as effective. It doesn't sting at all. At first, I found I had quite a bit of post nasal drip (which the steroid inhaler prevents) but that soon settled down.

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383 · April 11, 2012 at 8:45 PM

`dripped into her mouth AT BEDTIME` Sorry, not sure how I missed that.

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383 · April 11, 2012 at 8:44 PM

I'm wary of colloidal silver, but oil of oregano or cinnamon (add to yogurt with manuka honey?) are good. Possibly also check out liquid probiotics dripped in her mouth to migrate towards sinus and ear passages as reinforcements in the bug war. Can her eyes be treated directly, rather than systemically? I think there's a cream. I had a sinus infection while breastfeeding and was prescribed hot compresses, mint oil, and Sinupret (may not be available outside of Europe).

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496 · April 11, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Naturopath told me to eliminate dairy,wheat and citrus.I'd give probiotic supplements instead of kefir and yogurt.I know the former are best,but in your situation I'd avoid them.You can avoid the antibiotic drops and use colloidal silver as drops,it kills bacteria.Also oil of oregano applied on the feet works wonders

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8933 · April 11, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Oh! What kind of cheese and fruit is it though? Ray Peat's diet is not as simple as that. I get bloated from apples and prunes, for example. And cheeses are sometimes prepared with yeast to create a stronger taste (-> lactic acid). Don't get issues from grapes and oranges. Hope she gets well soon!!!

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5 · April 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Do you think the xyletol has been effective? Does is sting?

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5 · April 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

My daughter eats mostly cheese and fruit, so she is basically on the Ray Peat diet!

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5 · April 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Thanks! Yes, I am very curious about the D3, may have to check it myself with a home kit if Doc doesn't want to. We do lots of probiotic yougrt and kefir, she is a picky eater who gets most of her protein from cheese, so dairy may be a hard one, gluten free we could try. (I'm paleo, the rest of my family is not!)

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10 Answers

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11557 · April 11, 2012 at 7:38 PM

I would ask for a referral to an ear, nose, and throat specialist to eliminate the possibility of any structural problems with the sinuses. My sinuses didn't develop properly, and I was getting lots of headaches and infections when I was little- turns out that as I grew my sinuses had basically closed up on one whole side, so there was no drainage and it was pretty much just festering as a perfect environment for bacteria. I got stints put in while I was a kid, and had them checked as an adult and everything seems ship shape now! I use a sinus rinse every day still, just some distilled water with salt dissolved in it, and haven't had any issues for years. I'm glad my mom pushed the doctor to get a referral, because it can be a relatively easy fix for the persistent problem of reinfection. Might be a good point that can be eliminated as you continue with the dietary changes.

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32518 · April 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Her gut health is important.

Our immune system is completely connected to our gut health, so every time she takes antibiotics, she is wiping out her good gut flora and it is important to repopulate her gut with fermented foods (and probiotics, if needed.) Kombucha tea and water kefir are helpful.

Is she eating gluten regularly? Several of my friends with kids have completely dropped the gluten & noticed that all sorts of ear & sinus infections are a thing of the past. Gluten can irritate the gut lining and impact gut health.

Sometimes dropping dairy is also useful for a time, quite often it can be added back when gut integrity is restored.

Also, probably worth checking her 25(OH)D blood level and see if she needs slightly more D3. The Vitamin D Council recommends 1,000 IUs of D per 25 lbs of body weight. D seems to get used up when there is an infection in the body, so when I am getting sick, I take 5 times as much D as usual for a few days.

(My husband had chronic sinusitis and it has gone away since supplementing with D and going gluten-free.)

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5 · April 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Thanks! Yes, I am very curious about the D3, may have to check it myself with a home kit if Doc doesn't want to. We do lots of probiotic yougrt and kefir, she is a picky eater who gets most of her protein from cheese, so dairy may be a hard one, gluten free we could try. (I'm paleo, the rest of my family is not!)

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19120 · April 11, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Glad to hear you are working on this with your doctor.

My nephew had chronic/returning sinus infections when he was young. Amazing ('cause it wasn't completely obvious to my sister or my parents), he was constantly mildy dehydrated. Upping water, milk, and juice seemed to help over time. He's 6ish years out from that now, and it no longer occurs.

I would talk to the doctor about dietary advice related to sinus issues, or environmental possibilities. There's a lot of things that can trigger a sinus infection. And once you get one, they are so difficult to get rid of.

As an aside, I avoid dairy not just because of lactose intolerance, but because I eventually get so much mucus build up from dairy that I often got sinus infections (gross, I know). I gave up milk when I was youngish (to the chagrin of my parents), and I no longer expectorated like a smoker once or twice a day to clean out my throat (I didn't give up cheese until lactose intolerance forced me to do so with age).

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8140 · March 18, 2013 at 4:27 AM

My kids had plugged tear ducts and often got eye "infections". Most eye infections are viral, not bacterial, and clear up on their own. I did have to keep them out of school/nursery for a day, but warm wet compresses worked just as well as antibiotics for getting rid of the eye infections and were much better tolerated by the kids.

So if they continue to want to prescribe antibiotics for the eye infections, ask them to test to make sure they're really bacterial in nature. Sometimes I swear doctors give antibiotics more to appease moms than to treat kids and we are learning more and more how harmful that is to a child's long term health. Antibiotics have their place, but they are too often over-prescribed.

And be sure to replenish your child's good gut bacteria when there has been antibiotic treatment--lots of probiotics. Make yogurt and kefir smoothies, or water kefir if avoiding dairy altogether. A lot of kids like sauerkraut and pickles.

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3280 · March 18, 2013 at 1:26 AM

Is it possible She has pushed something into her sinuses? A guy I worked with had chronic sinus issues his whole life, until it was finally discovered he had a piece of balled-up, rotten string in his sinuses. He apparently stuffed it up his nose when he was a kid.

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0 · March 18, 2013 at 12:32 AM

My four year old is just getting over his second sinus infection. He was sick for a few days then better and then a few days later a really high fever, upto 104.7. He always has post nasal drip. His previous doctor told me that he couldn't have allergies yet and that his sinuses have not yet developed. Come to find out children do have some sinuses and could have allergies. He is on antibiotics for the second time in his life and doesn't drink regular milk. He drinks almond milk. It does not contain the enzyme that causes the mucus. Only good if the child is not allergic to peanuts I suppose. It was recently suggested to me that my son should be on Flonase and a daily dose of Claritin. Haven't check with his pediatrician yet but that might be my next step.

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3794 · April 26, 2012 at 5:14 PM

I had recurring sinusitis caused by chronic nasal inflammation and used a steroid nasal spray, but I was able to quit using the spray after adding fish oil (4 grams).

At least, I was able to quit using the spray after adding fish oil. I can't know for certain if one caused the other.

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0 · April 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I also have the same troubles with my 1 year old; he's had chronic sinus troubles for 4 months now. He is mostly paleo (small amounts of a rice cereal - about once a week). I still give him milk though; mostly goat's milk but occasional dairy milk. I'll take the reccomendation and get him to ear, throat and nose specialist. He's on probiotics and colostrum now and I'll up his dose of vitamin D. Great advice! But what about removing his source of calcium? I hesitate on removing all dairy on someone so young.

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8933 · April 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

My sinus issues were better on a paleo diet, but going too low sugar was making it worse. I noticed mental stress made it worse, so decided to listen to Ray Peat. Aspirin, calcium from egg shells, vitamin D3 and sugar (pure sugar) all help. Only when I work for too long on a computer I get issues (sidenote : using F.lux helped a lot).

I am aware you're probably not gonna apply this since it looks pretty crazy, but egg shell calcium is paleo, vitamin D3 seems to be fine for everyon (2K UI should be fine) and fruit is paleo too.

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8933 · April 11, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Oh! What kind of cheese and fruit is it though? Ray Peat's diet is not as simple as that. I get bloated from apples and prunes, for example. And cheeses are sometimes prepared with yeast to create a stronger taste (-> lactic acid). Don't get issues from grapes and oranges. Hope she gets well soon!!!

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5 · April 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

My daughter eats mostly cheese and fruit, so she is basically on the Ray Peat diet!

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334 · April 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I've suffered from chronic sinus problems for years (although not as a child). Amongst other things, I'm supplementing with vitamin D3, have switched from a steroidal nasal spray to a xylitol based spray and have also begun supplementing iodine.

A week or so after staring supplementing iodine I had a massive flare-up or about 2 full weeks of constant sinus pain and headaches.

However, in the last few weeks I've had only one day where I had a minor sinus headeache. This is a major turn-up when normally I spend at least 2-3 days every week with sinus headaches and painful sinuses.

So, I'm not sure whether it is one of these, or a combination of all, but I'm hoping my sinus problems are a thing of the past. Quite early for me to be sure though.

Incidentally, I gave up dairy for a couple of months and have been gradually re-introducing it in small amounts without any issues.

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5 · April 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Do you think the xyletol has been effective? Does is sting?

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334 · April 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I'm now using the xylitol instead of a steroid inhaler and it is just as effective. It doesn't sting at all. At first, I found I had quite a bit of post nasal drip (which the steroid inhaler prevents) but that soon settled down.

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334 · April 13, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Sorry, I meant spray rather than inhaler

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