Naturopathic vs Allopathic Medicine for a Sinus Infection

Now and Then…

Yesterday I woke up in pain. Sinuses on the left side, my cheekbone, jawbone, gums, and left tonsil all hurt. Within an hour, I knew it was serious.

Sinus Infection

Inside my mouth, the pain and swelling was centered on the spot where my wisdom tooth used to be, but the gums around my molar hurt as well. As the day progressed, the pain increased. At first I could only chew on the right side. By the afternoon, I couldn’t chew at all without pain. And it hurt to touch my face.

I am embarrassed to admit, I knew exactly what caused it: sugar. In the previous few days I had eaten out several times and had eaten treats with conventional sugar as well as a few things with organic sugar. I gobbled down way more sugar than I usually consume in a month. I know sugar shuts down the immune system and it feeds bacteria, viruses, and yeast. For me, yeast is usually the culprit.

Fifteen years ago I would have hightailed it to the doctor and most likely would have been sent to the dentist as well. I would have been put on 1, 2, or 3 antibiotics because the first one would not have worked. I would have argued with the doctor, telling him his first choice (ampicillin) never worked for me. He would have insisted. No scratch that. That would have been true sixteen years ago. Fifteen years ago, I had already developed an allergy to all forms of penicillin. I do remember the last time an ENT gave me antibiotics. It was one of those exotic fifty-dollar-a-pill varieties. When that didn’t work, (which astonished him) he actually gave me 5 shots—in my sinuses. Want to talk about pain?

But I haven’t been to an MD for fifteen years. And unless I need a trauma surgeon, it is unlikely I will ever see one again.
Luckily, I had what I needed at home yesterday. The first thing I did was dose myself with Thorne Formula SF722. (It kills yeast.) Then I irrigated my sinuses with a saline solution (using boiled water), followed by hot and cold therapy: water as hot as I could stand followed by an ice pack for both my face and my gums. It was a little difficult to keep the ice pack off my teeth, but I managed. Then I added something I had never done before: oil-pulling. I swished olive oil around my mouth the first time, flax seed oil the second time. Unfortunately, I was out of organic apple cider vinegar. If I had had some, I would have gargled as well.

Yesterday on a scale of 1-10 I would have said the pain was 8.5 rising to a 9. This morning I would rate it a 2. This evening, less than 1. There is barely a trace of pain or infection. I’ve taken my supplements twice today and used flax seed oil again—that’s all. I do plan to irrigate my sinuses one more time.

This was a typical experience for me after living free of antibiotics for fifteen years. Back in the day, I would have been sick for two weeks or more with agonizing pain and I may have lost a tooth.

Regardless of this great outcome, I feel pretty stupid for getting sick in the first place. I know better. No more sugar!