Sinus Abnormalities in CFS?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sunnyslumber, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. sunnyslumber

    sunnyslumber New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I've noticed that many of the people who I've met with CFS have had some kind of sinus issues. For me shortly after I became ill I was told I had a polyp in one of my sinuses. I always have wondered if this was connected in any causitive way to the CFS, but since my symptoms of nasal troubles ceased shortly afterwards this was never investigated in any more detail. I wonder just how many of us have some kind of Sinus Abnormality? I also wonder if problems with the sinuses can cause the kind of symptoms such as CFS. Maybe there is a structural weakness that allows bacteria and other residents of the nasal system to leak into the brain?

    Anyways I would really appreciate it if people w/ CFS who know they do, or who know they don't (both are just as important!) have sinus issues post replies indicating which one and go into however much detail you feel like. I'd really like to know what % of CFS people have sinus abnormalities vs. % that are confirmed not too.

    Thanks All,

    john duncan
  2. loto

    loto Member

    Hi John. I haven't been diagnosed with CFS, but have with Fibromyalgia. When I had the MRI to rule out MS, a small retention cyst was found in my left sinus cavity. It doesn't cause any problems, so my doc told me it's a pretty "common" thing, and to "not worry about it". I've also read here somewhere, that allergy attacks are a symptom of Fibromyalgia. Don't know if this helps you or not, just thought I'd share!!


  3. emmally

    emmally New Member

    I was perfectly healthy until I started getting horrific sinus headaches EVERY SINGLE DAY about 2 years before I got sick. I had sinus xrays done and they were fine. I had no polyps but my sinuses were very inflamed.. So inflamed that I needed the xrays to see if I had polyps because they couldnt see up my nose. I than sought an allergist where I scored off the chart allergic to every item on the back scratch test and was told that my allergies were the cause of my constant sinus drainage and headaches. I tried every kind of sinus and allergy medicine (literally) and nothing worked. The sinus pain was so horrific that only stong pain killers could help. I than became extremely ill with mono hhv6. Since I started treatment (beta blockers) for SVT which is believed to have been cause from the hhv6, I no longer get sinus headaches (maybe 1 at month) but I still have a runny nose a lot of the time.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/16/2009]
  4. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter New Member

    Hi John -

    I have FM (which as you probably know has a significant overlap with CFS - with some theorizing they are one and the same), and I absolutely have sinus issues. They surfaced a few years before my FM diagnosis although my personal belief for my own situation is that life stress started to break down my immune system which first manifested itself as repeated sinus infections. My sinuses were so infected at that time that I had to have surgery to open up the various sinus cavities that are supposed to "cascade" from one to the other. Mine were clogged shut and needed to be "roto-rooted" open. Similar to the situation of another contributer to this topic, I had a nickel-sized cyst in one sinus which was removed during thee surgery. While the sinus infections stopped a few weeks after surgery, I moved onto other issues that I believe were symptoms of my immune system breakdown. The next phases included repeated step throat infections, candida, plantar warts, IBS, mono, and eventually I was simply left with FM.

    While other symptoms come and go, my sinus issues are nearly constant. I live on Advil Cold & Sinus. Every time the barometric pressure drops, my sinuses swell, my eyes ache, my teeth hurt and my head feels like it's going to explode. I don't actually have an infection, and allergy tests show that I'm allergic to absolutely nothing (polar opposite of another responder), but my sinuses react as if I am. They also react to certain smells (smoke, perfume, household cleaners, etc.).

    I haven't found any cure or treatment for the sinus issues, other than to simply deal with the pain and swelling with the Advil Cold & Sinus. Tylenol C&S doesn't seem to do the trick and neither does Advil on its own, or a decongestant on its own. Something about the combo. Tough on the stomach, though. I try to take the lowest dose possible and only when I can no longer deal with the pain and work effectively at the same time (whether at the office or at home).

    I'll be interested in following this thread. It's one I can absolutely relate to.

    Probably not important, but I did break my nose as a child. ENT confirmed that when I had the sinus surgery. Septum was deviated and cartilage still isn't exactly as it should be. Just thought I'd mention it as part of the information gathering you're undertaking.

    Good luck with the research. I'll be checking back to see what others have to say.

  5. justdifferent

    justdifferent New Member

    I developed polyps a year or so after initial infection with mono (EBV). I've struggled with sinus issues for years and been through several surgeries. I do have extensive environmental allergies and have done since I was a very young child. If they get out of control, then almost nothing stops them short of travelling to a very different geography.
  6. nerdieduckie

    nerdieduckie New Member

    I have had chronic sinusitis since I was 12. If I go a winter without sinus infections, I usually check to make sure I still have a pulse. It's not unusual for me to have 5 sinus infections within any given winter season.
  7. equanimous

    equanimous New Member

    I think I have what might be considered mild sinusitis. I've basically had a stuffy nose since the CFS got bad. When I'm not lazy, I use a neti pot, which offers some relief.

  8. Heyygirl

    Heyygirl New Member

    I just basically catch every upper respiratory virus that is out there. A few move into seecondary bacterial infections but most just hang on as virus infections for weeks at a time. From September to February I am lucky to have a total of 5 weeks without an active URI. But then I work in public schools...all day with 20 7 year a portable classroom.

  9. sunnyslumber

    sunnyslumber New Member

    Hi again. Thanks everyone for making this such an excellent thread. I have to admit my experiences are very similar to most of you in some ways, but there is a strange difference.

    BEFORE I got ill with CFS I always used to have problems with nasal drainage and with sinusitis etc. Then when I got sick it got worse at first (first 6 months), and then the symptoms more or less went away.

    I'm not really sure what to make of this. I mean I am glad to not have both and am so sorry for those of you who do have both (CFS/FM) and severe sinus problems. I've always wondered if the cyst became capable of draining into a more crucial system? Maybe that is why I don't get any drainage in the back of my throat like I used to? The sinuses are pretty close to the brain, so maybe it's leaking in there somehow? Well, I really have no idea so I'd love to here any comments or guesses you guys have!


    john duncan
  10. hi all,

    i have CFS and always used to get a rancid taste in my mouth just once a month.i couldn,t find out why this happened,and my dentist says that my gums are healthy.

    anyway to cut a long story short..

    this last three month when i go to wash myself in the morning, and last thing at night,at the sink.the first thing i will do is put my hands in the warm water that has soap in it,and using the longest finger of each hand (finger closest to the thumb).ill put the fingers into each nostril a couple of times,like actually washing just inside of the nose.then ill blown my nose into some tissue.

    in doing this simple thing,i no longer get that rancid mouth taste once a month,that used to drip down the back of my throat,then go into my usually get the CFS flu like illness with fatigue,afer that event.

    well i dont get it id definately say that enviromental pollutants do play a part in CFS,and its the actual sinus drainage that goes into our stomach, that is probably setting off the CFS syndrome.

    i have felt some extra strength, coming into my body over these last few months of doing the above things to my nasal passages,and ive noticed how easier it is for me to now bike ride in a different gear,which is very usefull to me.i get to work quicker.

    my mum had fibro,and i believe CFS.looking back i can tell she had it.and i know she used to have a white crusty discharge around her nasal passage,and complained of having sore throats,and a horrid taste in her mouth.

    she used to get migraines and vomiting too.

    i believe its all about pollutants,and as regards our guts,,,artificial colourings and preservatives in food too.basically our bodies are sensitive to man made things in the enviroment and food chain.

    thats my own opinion on living with CFS and fibro for too many years now.but i am just about coping with my conditions at present.

    take care all,love fran
  11. Nanie46

    Nanie46 Moderator


    I have read some interesting information recently that mentioned sinus problems. I urge you to read them.

    The first is a column written by Dr Jacob Teitelbaum in Sept 2008 titled, "Chronic Sinusitis-Actually a Yeast Infection". If you Google "Teitelbaum Chronic Sinusitis" and click on the 3rd result you should find it.

    Also, Dr John Bleiweiss wrote an extremely eye opening essay titled "When to Suspect Lyme". About half way down the essay he states, "LD can cause or worsen pre-exisitng sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, otitis, mastoiditis."

    His essay can be found at:

    I have been doing alot of research on lyme and the symtpoms are exactly that of CFS or FM.
  12. ETN

    ETN New Member

    I had severe sinus issues in the early 90's. Probably had it as a child but got severe in the 90's.
    I have had 2 sinus surgeries. One in 95 where literally everything that could have gone wrong was wrong.
    I had a deviated septum, polyps in both sides, and all sinus cavities just jammed pack full of crap. I had the worst sinus headaches on a daily basis before that it was just awful.

    After that surgery I was a lot better but then things acted up again. So surgery again in 97 and this time it wasn't as extensive thank god, this time they put in what they basically called were windows, to help drain the sinuses. I have always joked that it was the time Windows 98 came out.

    Anyway I think there is a connection somehow. I have fibro and cfs and the list goes on unfortunately!

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