T Nation

Sinus Infection and Medication


I have a sinus infection (I think), and all the doctors want to do is shove anti biotics down my neck.

I dont believe in pills, what other alternatives do I have, anyone else experienced this?


Why I put this in the nutrition section is because good nutrition is a lifestyle! Pills are not good for you.


Sinus infections suck. Take the antibiotics. There's no magic vitamin or food that's going to heal this up. In fact, it very well could develop into pneumonia or something else if you let it go.

edit: you could probably request an rx for liquid antibiotics if you don't want pills.


I am falling out of an airplane and someone has dived down and offered me a parachute, but I don't believe in parachutes. What else can I do? Can I take a supplement?

The main reason why average life expectancy was so much shorter before the advent of antibiotics is people dying of bacterial infections that now are easily treatable.

But, suit yourself.


Neither are generalized, unfounded, idiotic statements.


Is your sinus infection bacterial based or viral based? Antibiotics won't do a damn thing for viral infections.

Personally, I will take the antibiotics only after I let the mucus run for a day or two. Apparently they've found that nasal mucus has it's own antibacterial and antiviral properties. The catch is that if you take decongestants, then the mucus is eliminated and you don't get the benefits. In fact, decongestants are believed by some people to cause sinus infections because the mucus doesn't get a chance to do it's job. Your nose runs for a reason!

The other thing to consider is that oral antibiotics are pretty broad in scope. Supposedly they will kill off your intestinal bacteria just as easily as your sinus bacteria. That's pretty easy to counteract by taking a probiotic during and after your antibiotic treatment.

So my process is to get a shitload of Kleenex, let the nose run for a while, and then take the antibiotics and some intestinal pro-biotics during the same time.


Well... there might be some truth to that, but on the other hand, if you're just suffering from allergies and you let all that gunk build up in your sinus cavities, you're providing a great environment for bacteria (moist and warm) and this can make you more vulnerable. Also, the mucus can run down your throat and cause infection in your throat and even lungs. Simply put: Allergies->take decongestants Colds/infections->stay away from decongestants for the most part


da hell, you one those freak johovies who dont believe in medicine


Pills are never the answer, not for something small like a sinus infection. Everyone now a days wants a pill for everything, 'oh i have a little headache lets shove a pill down my neck'.


There's a balance. I don't think over prescribing antibiotics is helping you, or society as a whole. But, if the infection is bad enough, and your body isn't able to fight it alone in a timely way, the added stress the infection places on your body over time is maybe more detrimental than taking the antibiotic and healing faster.


A headache and a sinus infection are not the same thing. GL healing up naturally.

And what exactly about a pill is so bad? If we told you that there was a magic food to cure sinus infections... it would probably already come in pill form.


I'm not saying all pills are bad. Just that people are too quick to jump for them when they are ill.

I will take one if I need to.


I have to wonder about that. The whole point of the running nose / mucus is to flush out the foreign bodies, right? The allergy is a localized histamine reaction to a foreign protein. Histamine changes the permeability of the blood vessels to allow fluid to accumulate and increase secretions. So the increased mucus flow is probably an evolutionary adaptation to help flush out the foreign bodies. Decongestants with allergies might be a bad idea.

I guess you could assist the mucus by washing out the allergens with one of those nasal flushing kits.


I see where you are going with the evolutionary argument, but those with seasonal allergies are not in harms way. They simply have the unfortunate situation of having their mast cells primed with immunoglubins sensitive to (often times) common antigens.

Telling one of these suffers to just let the secretions carry the antigens away when there is BILLIONS of pollen, dust, whatever particles around them in the air is kind of torture without a point...the antigens are just going to go right back up there.


Blanket statements like "pills are NEVER the answer" take it too far. Some people have high cholesterol and high blood pressure no matter what they do (healthy foods, low weight, exercise...), what would you do at that point? Should people with cancer not take their pills and just hit the gym and eat veggies?

Likewise, the body can be well primed the be healthy and fight off infection, but sometimes the infections can be too much (look up how many die of the flu every year, or how many people used to die before we started vaccinating against diseases). There are certain cases where gasp a medication can be useful.

Part of a healthy lifestyle is knowing when you need a little assistance from science in addition to taking the preventative steps yourself.

Sinus infections, while often mild and usually clear up in about a week or so, have the potential to become more dangerous. If you find yourself not getting better after an extended time with the infection, you may want to reconsider your stance on antibiotics.

Taking a pill to get over a potentially dangerous illness does not automatically turn you into a mentally weak, chubby, western-lifestyle, nancy-boy dependent on the pharmaceutical companies.


I had one recently and tried everything naturally from scouring the net. Eventually went on the biotics and cleared it up pretty quick in two days with no side effects. They are quick to throw the pills at you because they work!


Bare in mind that a histamine reaction to something that in reality is harmless is a maladaptive response. Even from an evolutionary standpoint, I could only see this as bad. For example, say someone in a caveman clan has severe allergies. They would be less productive in their clan (lower on the social ladder) and more prone to infections (more likely to die and/or less productive), thus they become less likely to reproduce. Not every adaptation a person has is positive (histamine reactions to harmless foreign bodies in this case). Luckily, modern medicine has provided ways to at least somewhat alleviate the symptoms for this sort of thing.

Oh, those nasal flushing kits can work well... but sometimes even after using one of those the mucus still keeps flowing like water out of a faucet.


Indeed, I'll concede the point that some allergies can be maladaptive responses, in which case decongestants and antihistamines can be worthwhile. I'll agree with Lonnie who said;


As someone who has had a million sinus infections, including chronic ones that lasted months, and severe ones that put me in bed with a high fever, as well as a lot of colds, I can say that decongestants DO NOT harm the healing process and they DO help.

The congestion is not your friend when you have a sinus infection. For me, it CAUSES the sinus infection in the way described in an earlier post. The mucus is the breeding ground for the bacteria.

The only problem with decongestants is that the undesired side effects are usually much stronger than the desired effect. If someone would only invent a decent one. . .

I've suffered with colds letting nature take its wonderful course, OR with taking meds to relieve the symptoms, and it does not matter. If you don't take the meds, you feel crappy and get better in a week. If you take the meds, you feel much less crappy and get better in a week.

If a get a sinus infection, I decongest as much as I can stand the meds because less congestion equals less infection. Flushing with saline does help some, especially if the problem is mild.

There is no health or quality of life advantage in letting your body do its natural allergy thing. In fact, chronic allergy response permanently damages the lungs and can lead to asthma.


take the pills, sinus infections will not get better quickly or easily with out them,

If i feel a head cold coming on i will use steam inhalations with water and oils. if it gets to the point that a doc has described antibiotics after this hasnt worked, then take the antibiotics and continue with the inhalations.