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Could my IBS-D, reflux and chronic sinusitis be connected?

ibs diarrhea reflux sinusitis post nasal drip gas bloating

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#1 mb83

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 03:09 PM

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It all started in late 2013. I was a 30yr old female, I smoked and drank and ate crappy food but I was pretty healthy. Rarely ever got sick, stayed around the same weight without much effort. And I'd always been regular when it came to the going #2.

 

Then one day I noticed that my schedule had changed. I was having to go more frequently and more urgently. I don't recall having diarrhea frequently, but the change was noticeable enough. Then I noticed some blood in my stool. Not a lot, but enough that I could clearly see it. I started freaking out. My anxiety which I had gotten under control years before came back with a vengeance. I went to see my GP, he told me to see a GI doc. Found one, I was scheduled for a colonoscopy, during which they found a rather large polyp in my colon. It wasn't cancerous, they took it out and I thought all would be well. No such luck!

 

After colonoscopy #1 in 2014, I started noticing a continued change in my #2 habits. I was still going frequently and urgently and having more frequent bouts of D. I also started developing reflux, which I had never really suffered from before. Doctor performed an endoscopy, didn't really find anything but diagnosed me with reflux. None of the pills I was given did anything to help. Bentyl and Librax were useless, if anything they made me feel worse. I thought maybe stress from work was a factor so I quit my high stress job and found one that was better suited. I stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine, started eating super boring bland foods and avoiding anything fried or high fat. The IBS-D persisted.

 

Later in 2014, another wonderful new issue arose. I started suffering from what I thought were seasonal allergies, something else I had never experienced in my 31 years. I started taking Zyrtec daily, did that for a year but saw no benefits from it. Same with Flonase and a bunch of other over the counter meds. As any of you with IBS probably know, a lot of medicines for allergy and sinus issues can upset your stomach, which I found out first hand. So basically I was trying to treat one issue while making another issue worse.

 

Had another colonoscopy in 2017, all clear. But the issues persisted and have gradually gotten worse over time. I've tried probiotics, none helped. One of them actually triggered an IBS flare up that lasted for several months. I basically can't survive without my Imodium. I take between 1 and 4 almost every day. Even then, sometimes I have days when the Imodium isn't enough. In June of 2017 I finally quit smoking, thinking at the very least that should help alleviate my sinus congestion/pressure/terrible post nasal drip. But no, my sinusitis has also gotten progressively worse over the years. The post nasal drip is so bad that it causes horrible reflux which then causes IBS flare ups. Having one of those days today and let me tell you, it sucks.

 

I've read some studies that suggest sinus issues, reflux and digestive issues might all be connected. I've scheduled a balloon sinuplasty procedure in a few weeks. They go in with these little balloons and fill them with water to enlarge the sinus openings. Then they clean out the sinus cavities. Supposedly the openings will stay open and start draining properly. I'm really really hoping that this procedure is a success and that I'll see improvements not only in my sinuses but with the reflux and IBS as well.

 

Just wondering if anyone else has had this procedure, or has had similar conditions that seem to be connected? I will definitely post an update after the procedure to share any changes, whether positive or negative.



#2 bushja1

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 12:00 PM

I have noticed then when I'm suffering the big D I also get a runny nose.   I do have allergies but it seems when I'm having a IBS flare up the allergy seems worse.  Well,  actually not worse,   because although my nose runs it does seem to clear easier.   Go figure.  In any case,  they do seem related.   Let us know how the sinuplasty goes.



#3 annie7

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 12:40 PM

i can't speak to the ibs part but yes, i have acid reflux and sinus problems as well as bad post nasal drip and i've read articles and studies online that say that reflux can affect and aggravate sinus problems.  it does seem to me that when my reflux gets worse, my sinus pain does too.

 

i had the ballon sinuplasty done for my maxillary sinuses last summer.  unfortunately, it really didn't seem to help.  hopefully you'll have better luck with it than  i did.  

 

good luck with your procedure!


these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#4 mb83

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 03:14 PM

i can't speak to the ibs part but yes, i have acid reflux and sinus problems as well as bad post nasal drip and i've read articles and studies online that say that reflux can affect and aggravate sinus problems.  it does seem to me that when my reflux gets worse, my sinus pain does too.

 

i had the ballon sinuplasty done for my maxillary sinuses last summer.  unfortunately, it really didn't seem to help.  hopefully you'll have better luck with it than  i did.  

 

good luck with your procedure!

 

 

I'm having both my maxillary and frontal sinuses done during my procedure. My main issue is the constant drainage. Did the procedure help at all with your post nasal drip? Do you have chronic sinusitis too?



#5 annie7

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 03:18 PM

no, unfortunately it didn't help me with the post nasal drip.  and yes, i do have chronic sinusitis.

 

hope you have better luck than i did. 


these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#6 wheretoturn

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 06:54 AM

Hello all...so glad to find this current forum!  All I keep finding are years, sometimes decades, old.  I have had post nasal drip for over 12 years.  I have had digestive issues off and on for about the same amount of time, but they have gotten progressively worse.  I have been to 2 ENT's with scope.  Thought I was a candidate for the balloon surgery but turns out after a CT scan, my sinuses were normal and unblocked.  What?  So on to trying to figure out what was creating this constant mucus behind my upper soft palate and nasal passage.  I had immuno-therapy allergy drops for over a year that did nothing.  I have had accupuncture from two practitioners.  I have been to allopathic docs, functional medicine docs, nurse practitioners, have tried every over the counter remedy there is.  So, without going into more of the tried and failed attempts, I also have thyroid issues...hashimotos.  I have no idea if all these things are related.  My naturopath says that I won't get rid of the sinus issue until the gut issue is fixed since they are the same tissue.  So I do believe there is a connection.  I am on a protocol of homeopathics and herbals and probiotics.  He says it will take some time to enhance my immune system enough to handle it.  I wake up every morning with gas and stomach pain.  Coffee actually soothes and helps get rid of it, thank goodness, because I really love my coffee.  Usually, I am ok after about an hour, but at times the pain can last for days.  I have different bowel movements every day and it doesn't seem to matter what I eat, I generally have some sort of gas, bloating, back pains, sometimes worse than others.  I don't eat wheat, just in case and it isn't good for hashi's anyway, and i eat very little dairy, but again, I can't pinpoint it to any particular food.  I eat a 95% organic diet, hardly any sugar, and I have unintentionally lost weight.  I am 5'4" and weigh about 90 right now.  I want to get back to my normal 105 but no matter how much I eat, I don't gain weight (altho I don't eat fattening foods - no junk, no sugar.  I do eat good fats like coconut oil and grass fed butter.) I wish it was obvious.  No one here (or any other forum I have run across for that matter) seems to have an answer to this.  So right now I am just another sufferer with no solutions.  I will not submit to colonoscopies and other such invasive procedures, as I have heard to many horror stories of accidental injuries and too many where it hasn't uncovered anything anyway.  I have begun to turn more inward to meditation (especially for the stress and fear that all this conjures) and it does help.  I hope someone with some answers will stumble across this discussion and help us all out.  Best to all!


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#7 mb83

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:43 AM

Hey WhereToTurn! I'm 5'4 and 180lbs, you can have some of mine :) I held pretty steady around 140lbs up until the IBS started. Even though I gave up a lot of the bad foods and beverages and was actively trying to be more healthy, I ended up putting on over 40 pounds in just a few years and can't seem to get rid of it. I've stopped weighing myself and accepted that being a woman over 30 sucks.

 

I had the balloon procedure a few weeks ago. Definitely not fun but so far my sinus issues have improved a bit. Less post nasal drip and reflux which is nice.

 

I've always wondered about my thyroid function but any time I ask my docs they say I'm in the normal range. I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's, he has a lot of the same health issues that I have but his are much worse.

 

I assume you use saline rinses and whatnot for your nose? Have you ever tried alkolol instead of just saline? It's a natural product, they sell it on Amazon and at a lot of drug stores in the US. It's very mentholated, there's a cool burn to it but it helps me more than just saline. I also got a Navage device for Christmas that I prefer to my other neti pots. It's around $100 and you have to buy pods but worth the money IMO.

 

This past week I've started intermittent fasting and I think it might be helping my IBS a bit. Like you my IBS tends to be worse in the mornings, though I don't usually have pain beyond some mild cramping. I usually have to go within an hour of waking up, then again at home or work. Usually at least three times between 7am and 10am, even with Imodium. What I'm trying now is not eating anything before 11am. I used to eat a light breakfast around 9am at the office. Last week I went over four days without needing my Imodium which is a big deal for me as I've been taking it almost daily for about 8 months. Might not help you but worth a try maybe!


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ibs, diarrhea, reflux, sinusitis, post nasal drip, gas, bloating


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