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Congestion and dairy

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My son has always had nasal/sinus congestion for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it's better than others and a few years ago I noticed it getting much worse along with sneezing and itchy eyes in the spring so I assumed spring allergies. Which I do think he has going on but the congestion seems mostly year round. I've cut out dairy before to see if that is the issue and I still think it could be but I am wondering how the "recovery" might go. What usually happens is I cut out dairy and he seems to get better...for the first week. But in the second week the sneezing/congestion comes back and by the end of the 2nd week I figure dairy can't be it since he's back to being as bad as before. But maybe this is normal and it would take even longer for the full effects to show? (I also think that if dairy was an issue for him he'd be having stomach issues but he does not seem to.)



post #2 of 15

Are you cutting out hidden dairy as well?  http://www.kellymom.com/store/freehandouts/hidden-dairy01.pdf that can be a biggie since he is most likely allergic to it.


Otherwise maybe check environmental issues, mold in the house? Invest in a good air filter. Things like that.

post #3 of 15

Dust mites are year-round and could be part of the trouble.  Are you washing all the bedding in how water (followed by hot dryer.  Sneak in any unwashable lovies into the dryer, too) at least every two weeks?  Do you have pets in the house (they need to be at least out of the bedroom)?  Couches are bad, too.  DD used to jump around on the couch, then read stories there just before bed, and she always had troubles.  Carpets are dust mite highways.

     Molds and mildews?  These have seasons as well, but are also year-round.

     This might be old news to you, but I offer it up in case it's not.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info! I find this really frustrating as it comes and goes. Last week he was very congested but the last few days have been better. Why? I have no idea! I haven't really done anything different.


I explored dust mites before - doing a very good clean of bedding and rooms and it didn't seem to make a difference. We also use down duvets and pillows and I've removed those for weeks at a time and that didn't make a difference. We did have a cat until ds was 4 (I had her for many years before ds was born) and I had thought that might be an issue. When I had allergy tests done myself when I was 12 or so cats showed up. But she's been gone 5 years now. I also had sinus/nasal congestion while I was growing up and in my teens my ears started to really bother me with popping and feeling blocked a lot of the time. DS complains about that now too. But no one I've seen has ever been able to help that (family doctor - an ENT - naturopath etc.) I tried decongestants and such but they didn't make a difference.


Lately my own ears and sinuses have been better which I think is at least partly because of my regular use of a neti pot which I've been doing for a year. I do sometimes still feel fullness in my ears so I guess I still have some allergy thing going on but it is not as bad as it used to be. The other thing now as an adult I simply blow my nose much more on a regular basis than I used to as a child. DS will do it when I remind him but otherwise he almost never actually blows his nose. And I know most of the time when he does nothing comes out but I can still tell he is congested. This would happen to me a lot too.


I've been following the post about the child with fluid build up and that is what it sounds like we have going on except to a lesser degree. It would be nice if I could figure out why though. lol

post #5 of 15

My ears plug up as well.  I use a neti pot, bottles have too much pressure.  I find that my tonsils are plugged up with little white chunks (eeew! sorry, no warning there) that can be eased out with a qtip or something.  I get some effective drainage then, but my right ear is always plugged.  They are from the tonsils doing their job, and if you have allergies they are on constant allert.  (That won't help your boy, though, with his congestion.)

post #6 of 15

Have you tried a chiropractor?

post #7 of 15

Casein allergy is less likely to cause stomach issues, IME.  Tummy troubles are more from lactose intolerance.  Can you try raw dairy?  What about goat milk?  When you elim, do you also cut out hidden dairy?  What about soy? 

post #8 of 15

Wheat is a very common allergen that will cause congestion too. I get severe congestion/sinus symptoms/wheezing for a week or more if I consume any amount of it. It also caused me to have eczema that covered more than 30% of my body at one point in time, so now I avoid it at all costs, I cannot even use soy sauce to marinade my meat anymore.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Sweetsilver am I understanding correctly that enlarged tonsils can cause the ear blocking? It's not necessarily actual fluid in the head/sinuses but the tonsils causing the ear issues?


I haven't tried cutting anything else out of our diet yet as I was concentrating on the dairy. I was wondering how long it would take to notice a difference but it seems that 2 weeks should be enough time (I was cutting out hidden dairy too).


I did take him to a chiropractor a couple of years ago but was scared off by the place which seemed to act like an assembly line and seemed almost cult-ish. It was weird. I know they aren't all like that - I have gone to one myself who I really liked but I just never pursued it again with my son.


Thanks for all the info!

post #10 of 15

I just starting coming to this site,and have been having issues with allergies as well.  It's a total bummer!! In terms of eliminating dairy,everything I have read seems to indicate that it can take up to a month before it is completely out of your system, and that it can cause an increase in mucus/congestion as a side effect of the body getting rid of the proteins.  That's not to say that I've read a whole lot about it yet, but it does seem to come up.  I have just started cutting dairy out, and we have been miserable in terms of congestion.  I really can't tell if it's seasonal allergies, getting rid of the dairy...or some combination of both.  I would say that if you think that dairy is a contender then try sticking with it for a full month and see what happens.  Good Luck!

post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by katiecat View Post

Sweetsilver am I understanding correctly that enlarged tonsils can cause the ear blocking? It's not necessarily actual fluid in the head/sinuses but the tonsils causing the ear issues?


            I don't think my advice covers the extent of the drainage issues you are seeing, not by a long shot.  I do know, just from my own personal experience, that badly blocked tonsils can prevent fluid draining.  I can never remember how the tube that runs adjacent to the tonsils in the mouth (eustacian tube? or something) connects with the ears.  I just know that the drainage I experience helps unblock that cloggy-feeling in my ears.

            Sorry, I am sooooooo not a medical professional!  Tonsil "stones" can clog up the end of the tube where it exits into your mouth, plus you might see some sticking out of small exit holes on the tonsil itself.

            This doesn't affect sinus drainage, though.  this is my experience when i use a neti pot:  I feel like the rinse doesn't drain all the way, so I massage first my brow, from the inside-center to each side of the nose, then I massage my tear ducts.  This lets quite a bit more run out the back of my throat.  I wonder if some facial massage could ease the symptoms while you are looking for a cause?


post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

When I was looking up enlarged tonsils I found more info on enlarged adenoids and it sounds like that can cause the ear issues my son and I get. I do get the tonsil "stone" things too but rarely and that usually coincides with my being sick. It is not fun!


Babysmurf (so funny - my son is currently into watching episodes of the Smurfs!) that's the thing I was wondering about. Is it a it gets better before it gets worse type of thing. Thanks for that info! It makes sense.

post #13 of 15

Is he a snorer?

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kjbrown92 View Post

Is he a snorer?

No actually he doesn't snore.

post #15 of 15

I want to bump this up and see if there are any updates??


We are somewhat dealing with the same thing. The only issue we're having are head congestion in my 6 month old. And only when he nurses, really. Sometimes it's better than other times, he rubs his face alot. He is also teething. I hardly eat dairy at all, but have been consuming soy and wheat pretty regularly (at least once a week.) But hearing how dairy sticks in your system so long.....I wonder if those cheese enchiladas I like to eat every month or so could be the culpritwink1.gif


I am so lost....it's hard when my babe is struggling to nurse and breathe. I haven't noticed him getting any better, but he is also cutting four teeth, am I possibly blowing all of it out of proportion?

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