This post may contain a little too much information about my personal life, however, it must be said in order to paint the entire picture of what is going on with my health. I also want to mention that I include a few affiliate links below so you can see the items I used to try and cure my sinus infection.
Last year, around this same exact time (Mother’s Day), I had an awful cold that turned into a roaring sinus infection. I was battling the sinus infection for nearly two weeks before I broke down and visited my doctor. The entire left side of my face was clogged – classic sinus infection. To knock out this nasty bug, my doctor gave me a powerful antibiotic (augmentin). I took the entire regiment of medicine and it took another week before I finally felt better. Relief at last!
But my health issues were far from over. That potent antibiotic killed all the good bacteria in my gut. Even though I had doubled up on my probiotics during the week-long dose, and I take probiotics religiously every day, I still got a yeast infection (which is common post-antibiotics). I had to take antifungal meds and it cleared up quickly.
However, a few weeks later, I had something else. It wasn’t a yeast infection though, so I went to my doctor and found out it was bacterial vaginosis. Crap, I had to go back on an antibiotic to clear it up. A few weeks later, my yeast infection was back. It was awful. Then, about a month later, I’m back at the doctor with a UTI, my first ever! I have never had such horrible luck with my lady parts – and the doctors all traced it back to the powerful antibiotics I took for that raging sinus infection in May.
The UTI was the last of my woes, thank goodness, and I’ve been feeling great for the past nine months. Back to normal – whew!
However, this May, I got a cold (exactly one year later). I think it has to do with the change in temperatures and start of allergy season. I had been juicing and taking such good care of myself… but in the weeks prior to my cold, I was feeling doomed. My husband had a sinus infection (and he is still battling a cough and congestion four weeks into it!). Both my kids had colds that turned into sinus infections. I was the last of my family to come down with the powerful cold… and there was nothing I could do to avoid it. It was all around me.
Determined not to go on antibiotics and have a repeat of last year’s itchy and painful fiasco, I decided I was going to try and fight this cold tooth and nail as naturally as possible. If I failed after 10 days, I would go to my doctor to seek medical assistance.
My first goal was to treat the symptoms right away with OTC medicines. I used Sudafed and a nasal spray during the day, and NyQuil at night.
My second goal was to prevent the infection from ever occurring. I drank 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1/2 cup of warm water three times per day. It tastes nasty, I’m not going to lie. However, I learned that apple cider vinegar is a natural antiviral and antibacterial tonic. I did the regimen throughout the entire duration of my cold, even when my symptoms were getting worse. (I used Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar – make sure you use a good brand!)
I then wanted to focus on clearing the mucus out of my system. I bought a Neti Pot for the first time ever. I actually bought this Neti Pot Starter Kit, which included a porcelain neti pot, along with Neti-Salt and Neti-Wash (essential oils). I boiled some water and let it cool, then added a scoop of the salt and a half dropper of the oil to about 1/2 cup of the water.
I’m not going to lie, washing your sinuses out is not fun, and it feels kinda awful – like when you go underwater and forget to hold your nose. After I braved the first rinse, it got easier and easier. I did the rinse twice a day during the duration of the cold (and as I could). Once I finished the rinse, I would blow my nose and watch tons and tons of mucus fall out of my nasal cavity. It actually gave me great pleasure to see the mucus coming out in droves!
Of course I drank plenty of hot lemon water, and used a humidifier every night to treat the symptoms.
By Day 6 of the cold, I could breathe again without the cold-like symptoms and no more fever. My nasal drip has lessened quite a bit, and I felt like I was on the recovery side of this cold. Yay!
But I got a little too excited too fast…
On Day 7 I could feel the mucus worsen in my nose. It was no longer clear and it smelled a bit. By Day 8, I had pain and pressure in my ear and couldn’t breath out of the right side of my nostril. By Day 10, it was clear that the natural remedies only helped me rid of the cold, but the sinus infection took hold and wouldn’t let go. An antibiotic (this time a five day Z-pack) was my last resort option.
So I tried to fight my cold and prevent a sinus infection naturally. It did not work.
I am not going to give up though. I did learn a lot about the process, and will continue to build my immune system so the next time I get sick, it doesn’t turn nasty on me so quickly.
Overall, when a cold hits, natural remedies and OTC medicines can help you manage your symptoms. Do your best.
I haven’t given up on the idea that I can come back from such nasty bugs without antibiotics. I am proud of myself for trying to heal using natural techniques, but it was nice to know western medicine was there if I couldn’t. I know with Celiac that I have a weaker immune system than the rest… and that means I have to turn to modern interventions from time to time.
The next time a cold strikes – I plan to try and treat it naturally again by doing the following:
- Treating symptoms regularly with OTC meds.
- Using a Neti Pot. It’s gross, but it works.
- Drinking the apple cider tonic three times a day.
- Using a humidifier.
- Getting plenty of rest.
- Not rushing to the doctor for antibiotics on the first few days of a cold. However, if symptoms persist for 10+ days, or worsen drastically, I will go to my doctor.
I hope you have better luck fighting off a sinus infection – naturally – than I did. If there are other techniques worth trying, please leave me a comment and let me know!
*This post is not to be construed as medical advice. I am simply offering my opinion on how I tried to naturally treat my own nasty sinus infection.