Nasal Polyps

What Is Nasal Polyps

Colds that don't seem to go away or nasal congestion that never seems to end may be attributed to Nasal Polyps, which are benign non-cancerous growths of the lining tissues in your nose.  They are painless growths that hang down like teardrops, and they can occur in either nasal passage, which obstructs proper air flow.  Nasal Polyps can affect anyone, although it is more common for adults to experience them.  It is possible that Nasal Polyps result from chronic inflammation in the lining of the nose, but they can also develop for no apparent reason.  They are usually harmless and you can shrink or eliminate them on your own, but sometimes people with large ones need to have surgery to remove them. 

Signs Of Nasal Polyps

Nasal Polyps are soft painless growths of the nasal mucosa within the nasal passages.  They commonly occur in the area where the upper sinuses drain into the nose (where the eyes and cheekbones meet).  People with Nasal Polyps often experience no symptoms, but if they grow large enough to block nasal passages, it is possible to experience the following symptoms. 

  • Nasal congestion
  • A sensation that your nose is blocked
  • Runny nose
  • Post Nasal Drip (when excess mucus runs down the back of the throat)
  • Snoring
  • Pain in upper teeth
  • Facial pain or headache
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Sleep Apnea
What Causes Nasal Polyps

Researchers don't fully understand the exact cause of Nasal Polyps, or why irritation or swelling can trigger the development of polyps in some people and not in others.  Preliminary evidence has shown that people who develop Nasal Polyps have different immune responses and different chemical markers in mucus membranes, when compared to those who don't develop polyps.  Nasal Polyps can develop anywhere in the nasal passages, but they almost always appear in the sinuses near your eyes, nose, and cheekbones drain through winding passages into the nose.  Some possible causes include:

  • Asthma
  • Allergic fungal sinusitis (allergy to airborne fungi)
  • Vitamin D deficiency 
  • Sensitivity to aspirin
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hay fever

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Using a neti pot, which helps to irrigate the nasal passages, can help alleviate the symptoms caused by Nasal Polyps.  If the polyps are caused by sinus infection or allergies, the use of a neti pot may help address and remedy these causes.  When using a neti pot, always use distilled water and do not use tap water.  The recommendation for a DIY solution is 16 ounces of distilled water mixed with one teaspoon of non-iodized salt. 
  • The fiber-dense core of a pineapple offers an anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting enzyme known as bromelain.  This enzyme has helped reduce swelling in the sinuses, and may assist with protecting the body against allergies.  Add pineapple core to your daily smoothies!
  • Steam inhalation can be an excellent natural remedy to help reduce common symptoms of Nasal Polyps.  Studies have shown that steam inhalation is greatly beneficial for reducing inflammation in the sinuses.  The best way to do this is to pour boiling water into a heat-safe bowl.  Drop a few drops of tea tree oil into the water because the scent can help clear the sinuses.  Place your face about six inches to one foot above the bowl, drape a towel over your head and the bowl to create a tent, and take deep breaths for about 5 minutes. 
  • Many nutrients can help decrease inflammation and assist with boosting the immune system.  To provide the body with immune support, it is optimal to consume foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, beta-carotene, quercetin, vitamin C, magnesium, and probiotics.  These foods include leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, chard, & collards), nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, various cabbages, fermented vegetables, peppers, and more.  You can always research an immune-boosting diet for more information about what foods to eat. 
  • A study that was published in the Journal of Allergy And Clinical Immunology: In Practice found that alcohol can irritate existing problems in the lungs and sinuses, including Nasal Polyps.  Additional research suggests that alcohol aggravates symptoms of rhinitis, so avoid alcohol if you have Nasal Polyps.
  • Not only do deep breathing exercises work to naturally reduce stress, but they also help to strengthen lung capacity and keep the nasal passages clear.  Evidence has shown that deep breathing exercises help improve symptoms of COPD.  There are so many breathing exercises available online, so experiment with different techniques and see which ones work best for you. 
  • Avoiding food allergens can help prevent the development of Nasal Polyps.  Common foods that trigger inflammation include eggs, wheat, dairy products, yeast, soy, and gluten.  Lessen your chance of inflammation by removing these foods from your diet.  If you are unaware of a food allergy or sensitivity, experiment with an elimination diet.  You can learn more about that by clicking here
Things you should eat
  • Leafy Greens (kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, chard, arugula, & collards)
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Fermented Vegetables
  • Kimchi
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Chia Seeds
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Ginger
  • Goldenseal
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