My sister has been sick since...forever!

theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
my sister has always had allergies and asthma. over the pass few years it has gotten worse. for about a year she hasnt been able to really breath out of her nose, she is always stopped up and nose runs like water. sometimes its so bad she cant leave the house. she has been on antibiotics twice for about two weeks. the first time, for about a month she could breath, taste food, no allergy or asthma issues. after about a month it was back to not being able to breath out of her nose. the second time she was on the antibiotics (about a year later) it didnt improve at all. Its like she has a constant mild cold with no relief. at times the cold gets horrible, like when she comes on her period. she takes muxinex, allegra and her asthma pumps everyday. she has no fever and her mucus is clear so we dont think its an infection. here is some of the things we have tried:

neti pot
every tea known to man
vitamins to help with immune system
vicks vapor rub
sinus meds
cold meds
hot peppers (cleared her up for a few hours)
strong alcohol (cleared her up for the entire night)

she has been to several doctors and we want her to see a specialist of some kind but she doesnt have insurance and cant afford to just spend money until we find someone to help. does anyone have any suggests that can may help lead us in the right direction so we dont have to go through a million doctors before we find the right one? she plans to get a carecredit card to help, but we dont what to go into debt trying to help her get relief.



  • murrrcatmurrrcat Posts: 9,596Registered Users
    sounds like me!

    I have no answers, I go to an ENT, he recommended surgery because I don't remember what part of my nose but it's too small because its swollen closed? I don't remember the details lol. But he gave me some prescription nasal sprays as an alternative, they help for about 5 minutes and make me sneeze.

    I have to go back. :/
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    thats like my sis! the doc gave her this nose spray but she has to use it every 15 mins or so to breath. we felt it was pointless. i also thought she may have a devaite septum or something.
  • macluanmacluan Posts: 326Registered Users
    If it was me, I would look at diet and environment. I would eliminate all dairy and probably wheat too. Gosh if it was me I would eliminate dairy, wheat, soy, corn and any other food that I seemed to react to after eating. I would start making and drinking water kefir. Water kefir is fairly inexpensive to make and provides a great probiotic. With as many times as your sister has taken antibiotics her system needs serious support. See water kefir information at Milk kefir is great too and can usually be tolerated by everyone but if it was me I would stay away from cow dairy for a while completely so if she wanted to make milk kefir see if goat milk is available. I buy goat milk from a local farmer directly.

    I would make or buy an elderberry sryup. Here's a very easy recipe:
    Herbal Cold Remedies: Elderberry Syrup

    Another good way to heal an immune system is with slippery elm. You can buy slippery elm powder from any good health food store. Mix about a tablespoon of powder with 16 oz of clear clean water and refrigerate for at least eight hours. I mix mine in a mason jar. It turns into a gelatinous liquid that is kind of weird until you get used to it. Drink one 16 oz jar a day.

    For environment, I would look at possibly getting two things: an air cleaner and a humidifier depending on the type of heat she has. If she has a heat pump with forced air it can create a very dry air that is bad for sinuses. Does she have pet?
  • KilajoKilajo Posts: 786Registered Users
    I had sinus surgery in 2009 for very similar issues. I was all closed up up in there. Anyway, after the surgery I could breathe, I mean really breathe for the first time in probably 15 years! Other than that I don't have any suggestions.
  • CurlyCurliesCurlyCurlies Posts: 1,641Registered Users
    Sounds like me, too! Right down to feeling like it was some sort of miracle when I could go for a few weeks without any congestion or sniffling at all.

    Unfortunately, I also have no quick fixes. I've narrowed it down to a couple of things...

    1. Dust. I had an allergy skin test done a little while ago and I found out that I was highly allergic to it. I try to vacuum regularly and I use mattress and pillow covers on my bed. I can't eliminate it all, though, so I'm usually always sniffling.

    2. Chronic sinus infections. I've actually been able to pinpoint when it starts -right after a real cold or a bad allergy attack. Basically, anytime that mucous is allowed to collect and sit in my sinuses. I'm usually back to normal after a few months (!). (The antibiotics never worked for me and that's all that the doctor wanted to prescribe, that and prednisone.)

    So, basically, I use 1 or more of the following as needed....

    Sudafed (or more accurately the CVS generic version)
    Saline sprays
    Cough drops
    Lots and lots of tea (I especially like it spicy when I'm totally stuffed up, so I may use ginger, horseradish, or cayenne pepper for a little kick...)

    Like I said, every once in a while, I'm granted a few blessed weeks of normalcy....then I catch a cold and the cycle begins again.
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    She really doesnt have any systems after eating anything in particular. On avg, she's always the same. in teh winter it sometimes gets worse because of the weather. she doesnt drink any cow milk and hasnt in years, but she does eat regular yogurt every day. i bought her an humidifier a few years ago when her syptoms started getting worse. before that she would have bad colds or get really sick a few times a year. or her asthma would get bad so she would do a steroid regime for a short time. she use to live in a house with central heat. since sept when we all moved together its been gas radiator heat. we do have three cats, but her symptoms havent gotten worse or improved. she has always been around some animals her whole life.

    i will most diffenerntly look into the elderberry syrup. i dont want her to have to be drugged up all the time to get relief.

    i hope she wont need surgery, no way we could afford that. :-(
  • murrrcatmurrrcat Posts: 9,596Registered Users
    btw I've been on allergy shots for 6 years.

    I've tested through skin tests for EVERYTHING.

    When I decided to go to an ENT, because the shots weren't really doing much for me, I got blood work done (they can see what you're allergic to that way also) and it turned out I wasn't really allergic to anything anymore. WEIRD.

    Yet I still have the symptons as always.

    Sometimes I just settle with doomed.

    The nielmed spray "netti" pot is what I use and it helps sometimes, I'd say it'd be the best out of medicine, prescription nasal sprays, etc.

    And Afrin, afrin is my bff.
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    i do want her to get an allergy test. so we can know what she is allergic to. i try to dust or vacuum daily.

    she has never had to deal with sinus infections, which is a shock! sudafed and bendarly does nothing for her. i make her ginger honey tea everyday.

    my sis does get to the point where she doesnt even notice she cant breath from her nose, then she would had a time where it is really bad. like now. she tells me she usually has no bodyaches but sometimes feels weak and tired.
  • CurlyCurliesCurlyCurlies Posts: 1,641Registered Users
    You have to be careful with Afrin, though, because it can cause rebound congestion.

    /home/leaving?" class="Popup

    I think on the box it says don't take for more than 3 days at a time. That's one of the reasons that I decided to go with sudafed instead.

    ETA: One of the ways that chronic sinusitis differs from the acute version is that the symptoms are usually milder, especially in regards to pain/body aches.

    Chronic sinusitis: Infection present for eight weeks or more, and similar to that of subacute sinusitis, symptoms may be mild and consist of nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, mild headaches, chronic cough and fatigue. Some people may be misdiagnosed as having allergies when, in fact, they have a chronic sinus infection.
  • murrrcatmurrrcat Posts: 9,596Registered Users
    You have to be careful with Afrin, though, because it can cause rebound congestion.

    Rhinitis medicamentosa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I think on the box it says don't take for more than 3 days at a time. That's one of the reasons that I decide to go with sudafed instead.

    Yea I already know.

    I actually found that out myself, because after a couple of days I realize it didn't work.

    I sometimes feel like I use so much crap that I'm just gonna kill over.

    I try to not take over the counter medicine because I take so much crap already.

    So I just deal and suffer.

    At the ENT they have a machine that will clear your nose out, it's crazy, it also makes your nose numb, I don't know what it is but I could smell for like a whole day, it was like I had a whole new nose. ahahahha
  • goldygoldy Posts: 5,455Registered Users
    Without having insurance I would suggest:
    Take 1tsp daily of locally harvested honey (recently made, therefore containing the current pollens & not heated. You can google for a local apiary or check out your local farmers market)
    Claritin or Zyrtec daily. Generics are fine.
    Eliminate dairy from her diet completely, at the very least cows milk
    If possible, eliminate all carpeting, curtains/drapery, any stuffed animals, etc
    Put allergy covers on her mattress & pillows
    Green tea is very helpful for thinning secretions & a cup a day could be beneficial

    I hope some or all of these suggestions are of help :)

    Is she in the process of trying to obtain health insurance?
    Poodlehead wrote:
    Ah, it all makes sense now. Goldy is the puppet master! :lol:
  • LayaliLayali Posts: 561Registered Users
    I feel for your sister. A HEPA air purifier might be helpful for some relief when she's home.
    naturally 3b/3c

    Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. ~ Rumi
  • pinksugarpinksugar Posts: 2,346Registered Users
    Sounds exactly like my son. He has seen a specialist & they recommended allergy shots. He's allergic to pollen. I'm sorry I don't have any advice. I feel bad for your sister :(
  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    Sounds like it could be allergens. It could be food or environment related. I was like that for a while when we had a cat in the house and I realized that's what I was allergic to. I had a blood test done. I am also highly allergic to dust and other types of mold. If it's an older house it could be dust or some thing in the walls or vents. The other thing to try is to eliminate the typical trouble foods. Has she stayed at a another place to see if it's environmental?
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    Claritin does nothing for the poor kid. She lives on local honey. We also have raw honey, and international honey. She drinks green tea everyday. I looked up some prices for insurance and its no way she could swing it even with my dad's and my help. For the pass few years no matter where she goes its always the same story, which is why we don't think it environmental. In the pass 10 years, she has lived in maybe 8 different houses and its just gotten worse. She even lived in a house one of those air purifier things. The only thing I can even think of is getting an allergy test for her. I also don't get why she seems to feel worse when she comes on her period.

    I have to say its kind of a relief that it seems that so many others experience this. She was so afraid she had some sort of rare disorder since the doctors were really no help.
  • Like.AustraliaLike.Australia Posts: 2,544Registered Users
    You said it gets worse when her period starts? That, to me, sounds like she has a hormone issue (perhaps combined with something else that's making it so bad). When I was pregnant, I was congested pretty much the whole time. There's something called pregnancy rhinitis that is basically just stuffy nose of pregnancy. It went away pretty much as soon as I gave birth. Your sister isn't pregnant (I don't think), but it could be similar in that it's caused by some type of endocrine problem. Does she have any other things that might point to hormonal issues? Acne? Oily hair? Headaches? Anything like that?
  • murrrcatmurrrcat Posts: 9,596Registered Users
    Can I just say good honey is expensive. I bought the tiniest amount for six bucks SO TINY it must have gold flecks in it...but dang it's tasty.
  • crimsonshedemoncrimsonshedemon Posts: 2,098Registered Users
    Has she tried an elimination diet? I would eliminate gluten, dairy, casein, etc. Gluten alone could be the underlying cause.

    Mold? Dust mites?
    Does using a HEPA filter help?

    Fish oil and probiotics to help decrease inflammation.

    I would look for a functional medicine dr/integrative medicine dr who will get to the root of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms.
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    She does get bad headaches some times. Usually a few advil will help. She doesn't have oily skin at all. She does have horrible dry scalp. Like use flakes as if your scalp is shedding its skin. She has very mild breakouts. She use to have it worse. She was on differin gel when she was in high school. The house we live in now was just inspected for mold so I'm sure we are could there. We have been planning to get some more vitamins at the vitamin shop we can get some fish oil and probotics. I can also look into a HEPA air purifier. Cutting out some food is easy, but gluten... yikes! That would be hard. We most def want to find out and treat the cause. We have been treating the symptoms for so long we have a mini pharmacy in the house.

    Thanks so much! These suggestions are awesome. We will try them all until when can get to the doctor.
  • XyzXyz Posts: 685Registered Users
    You can tell her to try an Apple Cider Vinegar tonic once a day. 6 tblsps water and 2tblsps Apple cider vinegar. Then heat in up like tea in the microwave. She can add honey to sweeten it, but it's just plain gross so she will have to gulp it down no matter what. It works and there are no dangerous side effects. Does your sister have really bad periods?

    I want to second the suggestion that it is a hormonal/immune system issue. She might need to clean out her digestive tract. I suggest Green Vibrance. You can get it at But of course she really needs to get a primary doctor who can test her ph, blood levels, etc.

    Sent from my PC36100 using CurlTalk App
  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Posts: 5,132Registered Users
    It's common for allergies and asthma to worsen during menstruation. Hormones do play a role.
    3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
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  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    It's common for allergies and asthma to worsen during menstruation. Hormones do play a role.

    that is something I never knew. That's good to know.

    My sister was denied a care card because she doesn't have a credit history. So we plan to do the things y'all suggested. Hopefully she will be able to get some kind of insurance soon.
  • Ml001Ml001 Posts: 354Registered Users
    Elimination diet. I think everyone should do it - definitely anyone will any physical issues. Dairy is notorious for causing the type of thing you describe. And it's not always as apparent as "I drank milk and got sick/worse." A food intolerance can cause seemingly unrelated symptoms up to a day or two later. For smartphone users, a great food/symptom tracker is Food Allergy Detective by dev EvilTimmy. I am not affiliated in any way - I just found it to be an invaluable tool.
    remember, with all advice or suggestions for your hair, YMMV!! :read2:
    My hair:
    2b wavy, medium texture, low porosity, med-high density. Protein finicky.
    My routine:
    Cleansing: DCNP, every 4-5 days (occasionally use CJ cleansers).
    RO: CJSC, occasionally use JCDC
    LI: KCKT or CJSL
    Gel: KCCC, CJCIAB for 2nd day hair (sometimes third)

    Heat is my friend: warm water rinses, steam caps, and diffuse dry. I love CLU cloths and my Denman.
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    my sister is starting to eliminate dairy form her diet. its going to be hard, but its for the best until we can get her to the doctor. we cant really afford the gluten free diet becuase theat would mean going out and restocking our own kitchen with gluten free products, we wouldnt even have room to it.

    a friend of mine gave her a bottle of fish oil pills and she started taking them this weekend. i'm going to try to find her soem reasoningble prices proabotics bacause she far the only ones i have come across are crazy expensive. If in a month we still havent been able to get her to a doctor or we see no improvement, we will begin the gluten free diet. teh plan for that would be to replace the things we run out of with gluten free products. these things tend to be more expensive but i am sure it is cheaper if it can prevent us from having to pay out of pocket for teh over the counter drugs we have to keep buying her.

    once again, thanks for all the help and suggestions, we were at our wits end trying to make my sis feel better.
  • murrrcatmurrrcat Posts: 9,596Registered Users
    yea I'm eliminating dairy. cause I can't sing, it's what all singers do.

    LOL. I swear I'm a singer, but when I drink dairy like in coffee or eat cheese, it inhibits me from singing in the car, cause then my voice is all awful.

    I'm a pretty good the car.
  • macluanmacluan Posts: 326Registered Users
    You don't have to buy pre-packaged expensive gluten free products to eat gluten free. Brown rice is gluten free and one of the most allergen free foods. A simple diet of Quinoa(another gluten free grain), rice, lentils and steamed veggies for a month could make your Sister feel like a new person. I suggested water kefir in my post on page 1 because it is inexpensive and easy to make and the number of probiotics she'll be getting will be better than using the pills.

    As far as the dairy, she has to stop completely, not just cut back to get the benefit. I used to get debilitating migraines twice weekly and over twenty years ago I stopped dairy. Within two weeks my headaches were gone. Now I might get them twice a year and it's almost always an environmental cause. I can eat dairy now but don't because I've learned how it gunks up our system and I don't want anything to do with it.
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    she's a very picky eating which is why the gluten free would be so hard for her. she doesnt like brown rice and most beans. i do all the cooking because she cant (as in the food she makes 9/10 is just nasty). i dont want anyone to think my sister is an invalid or anything and cant take care of herself, but my parents babied her so much she is just doing things i have done since i was 16 or 17. if i dont do it for her, it wont get done. i'm looking for dairy free and gluten free recipes, and some of them require things i am in no way going to buy. i love the kid but i am not buying special flour so she can have homemade cookies (the only way she will eat them) when I just bought 20 lbs of white flour. We are on a fixed budget so i cant go out and rebuy when i just got a 20 lb bag of flour, 15 lb bag of white rice and 25 pound of sugar (which i just read she should cut out if on a gluten-free diet :confused2:)

    i did find a dairy free dessert for her I will make this weekend:

    Whipped Coconut Cream Chocolate Mousse | Baking Chic... plus a little more

    I am also going to work on getting the kefir to make the water for her, because as i said before if i dont do it, it wont get done. i just have to find the time to order it and get it started. i guess she could hold off until then.
  • Ml001Ml001 Posts: 354Registered Users
    There are plenty of naturally gluten free foods available and even mainstream foods that are naturally gf. (potato buds, chex cereal, and some ore Ida fries to name just a few). Frankly, I found going gf much easier than going dairy free.
    remember, with all advice or suggestions for your hair, YMMV!! :read2:
    My hair:
    2b wavy, medium texture, low porosity, med-high density. Protein finicky.
    My routine:
    Cleansing: DCNP, every 4-5 days (occasionally use CJ cleansers).
    RO: CJSC, occasionally use JCDC
    LI: KCKT or CJSL
    Gel: KCCC, CJCIAB for 2nd day hair (sometimes third)

    Heat is my friend: warm water rinses, steam caps, and diffuse dry. I love CLU cloths and my Denman.
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    Ml001 wrote: »
    There are plenty of naturally gluten free foods available and even mainstream foods that are naturally gf. (potato buds, chex cereal, and some ore Ida fries to name just a few). Frankly, I found going gf much easier than going dairy free.

    potatoe buds? you mean the instant potatoes in a box?? Oh no. No!! those things will not be coming into my house!!! keep it moving potatoe buds!

    i also usually make french fries myself, we buy giant bags of potatoes. its cheaper that way.

    i had thought going gluten free would be easier as well, we love dairy in my house. we live on cheese and butter! but then when i went through our pantry i realized she would starve because there was nothing for her to eat. :sad: its easier for me to cut out the dairy then gluten. i made a potatoe and brocolli soup yesterday that usually had chedder, cream, and butter in it. i cut all that out and to thicken it I added flour and blended it a little. it wasnt as yummy but was still good.
  • scrillsscrills Posts: 6,700Registered Users
    I'm happy I'm not the only weirdo who has sinus problems closer to my period. I thought it was just me.

    I was sick for a long time. many doctors and 18 months later, we figured out that I am allergic to natural red food color (and something yet to be determined).

    I know allergy seems off to you, but who would have thought that my sore throat was really my throat swelling. If 8 houses later she is still super sick, it really may be allergies.

    Can you start with something simple? for example, eat the same thing (chicken and rice, maybe some veggies) for a week.

    Allergies can take some time to kick in. today my throat hurts like hell for something I drank yesterday. No immediate reaction, it happened yesterday. this why it was hard for me to figure it out. I was always looking at what I ate last, not last night.

    I feel your sister's pain. I hope you find an answer because I have some of the same issues. For some reason, it always hits me from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I remember looking back at my childhood thinking that I always got so excited about the holidays that I got sick. Looking back with fresh eyes and a greater sense of my symptoms, I am usually on my period both holidays with a horrible sinus infections that extended from Turkey day to Christmas.

    She should also track the timing of her symptoms