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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Are Chronic Sinus Infections Associated With Celiac?
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15 posts in this topic

I'm not sure which category I fit in 'cause my bloodwork came back negative from my doctor. I had already been 2 weeks or more gluten free and I don't trust the results. I know I feel better when I don't eat gluten. I have been feeling bad for over a week and finally went to the doctor yesterday. I have a sinus infection and a middle ear infection. I get a sinus infection about every 6 months or so. I was recently tested for allergies food and air borne. They came up negative. The only foods I was allergic to was oats and a few spices. I don't see any other reason why I would get these so often. I've asked for years and there has never been a good explanation. I would just like to hear of others experiences. Thanks.

Ami

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Hi Ami, and welcome!

I've been gluten-free for about a year and a half now, and although I have a cold now, it's the first one I've had since going gluten-free! I seriously think that I got sick because of the added stress, not only of the holiday season, but anxiety about some other things that I have going on right now.

There are others, as well as myself, who have noticed fewer colds and sinus problems/infections since starting the gluten-free diet.

Since you had been gluten-free at the time of your blood tests, the results may have been skewed. And, since you feel better off gluten, I would keep at it and see how you feel in 6 months as far as the sinus problems are concerned. You may find that you are not getting the infections as often (or at all).

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I have an allergy to grasses, so eating wheat made my nasal passages swell. This caused bacteria to be trapped, and infections to grow. I haven't had a sinus infection since I went gluten-free, thank God!

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Ami,

I did read of others having chronic sinusitis associated with celiac disease/gluten intolerance. I had chronic sinusitis for a very long time. It didn't clear up when I went on the diet, but once I started getting allergy shots it disappeared. So I'm not sure if my sinusitis was associated with my celiac disease, but I have definitely heard of a correlation between the two.

-Brian

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Ami,

I did read of others having chronic sinusitis associated with celiac disease/gluten intolerance. I had chronic sinusitis for a very long time. It didn't clear up when I went on the diet, but once I started getting allergy shots it disappeared. So I'm not sure if my sinusitis was associated with my celiac disease, but I have definitely heard of a correlation between the two.

And, I am just the opposite, lol. Allergy shots didn't help mine at all even after 3 years, but as soon as I went gluten and casein free they went away. I have a sinus infection now, but this is the first one in 1 full year since going gluten/casein free and I think the reason I got this one was because I was very run down and ate some things I shouldn't have (not gluten or casein however).

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You didn't mention how you treat the infections. I hope you don't mind some unsolicited adice on how to. I used to get them all the time and the doctors kept giving me all sorts of antibiotics that really didn't agree with me. I tried going to an ear/nose throat specialist and that didn't help either. This all was pre-gluten free. I read about rinsing the nasal passages in Dr. Weil's book and rarely ever have to go in for meds. I know of many others who have had very good results with this too. Some allergy sufferers do this everyday but I do it when I start to feel one coming on or when allergy season is at it's worst. You take a 1/4 tsp. of regular salt and dissolve it in a cup of warm water, some add baking soda but I'm not sure of the amount. Some use a netti pot, others a contraption puchased at a pharmacy. I use a tea cup and plug one nostril while fully submerging the other. Then suck the water up. It will come out through your mouth. I've found this most effective right away after I wake up in the morning because that's when all the congestion is right there. It feels a little strange at first but doesn't hurt. It helps clear out the gunk as well as reduce the swelling. This time you may want to check with dr. before you try it just because of the ear infection.

Of course I don't know how this would correlate to gluten. I suspect mine are from dust, mold, pollen etc. Who knows. I just know this works.

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Allergy shots, regular nasal flushes, ENT, etc... None of it helped. I still had chronic sinus infections (literally 7 times a year) for about 3 years. I have not had one since going gluten free. It was a sudden and 100 percent turn around when I started the diet.

(I do still use a neti pot on a regular basis, because I have always had severe airborne allergies. And if you do a nasal rinse, I HIGHLY recommend a neti pot. I absolutely hated rinsing my nose with any other method, but the neti pot makes it easy.)

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I highly recommend the nasel wash. I know of others who eliminated sinus infections just by doing this - and have read from several here on this board who after going gluten-free never had another sinus infection (as have those who have posted in this thread).

I want to add one more thing. My husband had a lot of trouble with a stuffy head and sneezing (not chronic infections, though) - and thought it was hay fever. When he found out he was sensitive to milk products and eliminated this from his diet, the "hay fever" went away. The stuffy sinusus always return when he accidentally eats butter or whey.

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I went gluten free about 2 weeks ago and the sinus pain I had been having for months went way within 3 days! I also found I could breath really clearly through my nose. I actually had surgery on my nose once o correct the deviated septum so I could breath but it never made mch of a difference and now it is all clear as though it was swollen and now is not.

Marie

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I had sinus problems for almost 10 years prior to being diagnosed in October. For 4-5 months prior to my diagnosis, I mostly stopped eating wheat because I discovered that avoiding wheat allowed me to stop taking Claritin. I think this is one of the clues that prompted my Dr. to test for Celiac when I was suffering from chronic fatigue. Since going gluten free in October, my sinuses are slowly getting better. I do think there is quite a connection for me between my sinus problems and Celiac.

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Thanks for all the replies and advice. This time I am taking a round of antibiotics which I really dislike doing. But, I also have a netti pot which I will find and start using again. I used to use this, but without much luck. Maybe now that I'm gluten free it will be more helpful. I really think gluten has been what has caused me so many issues for so long. I really appreciate all of you here. I've learned a lot just from reading your wisdom and experiences over the past month or so.

Ami

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Ami - you're welcome...I didn't have much luck with the nasal rinsing either. I tried it for several months, but the sinus infections kept coming every six weeks or so. Talk about hating antibiotics, I was on them for nearly 3 years...every six weeks for 10 days or so. I'd get over the infection and have one maybe two good weeks, then I'd get another one.

The only time in the 3 years prior to going gluten/casein free that I was relatively healthy for any length of time was when I did a very strict low carb diet, with no processed foods--just fruits, veggies and meats, and which naturally didn't contain gluten--that time was about 3 months free of infections, and the infections came back when I started eating the low carb processed stuff which contains gluten. The second time was when my doctor had me do a low carb, rotation diet, which had no gluten--that time I did the diet for 6 months and didn't have any infections during that time.

In fact, at the end of that six months I went on a cruise and on the cruise (last few days) I started taking some bites of gluten stuff that wasn't on my diet, by the time I got home I was having full pieces of whole wheat toast, and guess what, I got REALLY sick with a horrible sinus infection. That incident is what lead me to discovering the gluten/casein connection for me and as I said above, it had been a whole year that I'd been sinus infection free, lol.

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I'm gluten intolerant and do not have Celiac Disease, but suffered with sinus infections and chronic bronchitis before going gluten free. Since making the switch, I'm proud to report that I haven't had one cold, sinus infection, etc. For just this reason, I highly recommend that you adhere to a gluten free diet--I'm amazed how much stronger my immune system is now. :rolleyes:

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Allergy shots, regular nasal flushes, ENT, etc... None of it helped. I still had chronic sinus infections (literally 7 times a year) for about 3 years. I have not had one since going gluten free. It was a sudden and 100 percent turn around when I started the diet.

(I do still use a neti pot on a regular basis, because I have always had severe airborne allergies. And if you do a nasal rinse, I HIGHLY recommend a neti pot. I absolutely hated rinsing my nose with any other method, but the neti pot makes it easy.)

Same here! My MAIN symptom was sinus infections. I finally had a full allergy checkup after about 2 years of getting at least one sinus infection every 4-8 weeks (and having to take antibiotics to clear them each time). The result came back as slightly allergic to wheat so I went on a gluten free diet. Today I have the first infection in 1.5 years (since I started the diet) and it's because I had a bit of gluten on about 4 different occasions last month. I have now learned my lesson.

BTW, I do the salt water rinse every night since I am allergic to several things and it helps. But if I don't eat gluten, colds don't become infections, if I do no matter what I do the only way to clear them is with antibiotics.

Hope this helps.

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Most likely what you are experienceing is from a weakened immune system. For instance when you get a cold you get alot of snot in your sinuses, etc. That is an open invitation for bacteria to have a hay day and cause an infection.

Your immune system is weakened due to the continual attacks on your body and it is hard for it to fight viral and bacterial infections. Going gluten free, your body is not fighting the attacks and your immune system is able to rebuild itself. Therefore it is more able to resist infections and viral attacks.

I myself have suffered from chronic sinus infections after going gluten free. gluten-free since 1988. I have been fighting an infection in the roots of my tooth/sinus. I had surgery 2 days ago to clean out the upper root part. Come to find out my root had grown really far into my sinus.

He had to drill into my jaw bone to get to the infection. When he sprayed water on the incision in my gum, water would go up my nose into my sinus cavity and down the back of my throat. Yuck! I hope it clears it up. I have to go see an ear/nose/throat specialist now.

-Laurie

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