The most common cause of post nasal drip is allergic in nature. Environmental vs. food allergies is the next question. If the symptoms are secondary to allergies and the allergens are not removed, the symptoms may not improve with over the counter medications. There are a few things you can try.
These suggestions can be difficult but they are doable. It takes a little bit of time and energy but may help significantly. Ready?
1) Avoid all artificial ingredients. This includes artificial colors (yellow #5 - tartrazine, red, blue, etc), artificial sweeteners (splenda - sucralose, saccharin, aspartame - nutrasweet, acesulfame K), and artificial preservatives (sulfites, nitrites, BHT). This requires reading the labels and asking alot of questions when buying food. If you stick to whole foods - fruits, vegetables, meats (not processed), and whole grains, this is much easier to accomplish.
2) Water - drink at least 2 cups of water per day.
3) Food sensitivity testing. I have found much success in my practice after running a specific type of food allergy testing. Often people are experiencing food sensitivities and do not realize it. Even if you have made dietary changes you may still be eating foods that cause you a problem. You can find more information about this type of testing here: http://www.betterhealthusa.com/ This is a different type of allergy testing that is often overlooked by medical doctors. THIS IS NOT IgE TESTING. It is IgG. This is an important difference! I highly encourage you to visit this website and talk about this testing with your doctor. I am not promising that this is the answer for you, but I believe it is worth investigating.
4)Probiotics (good bacteria) may also help as they are essential for proper function. Lactobacillus acidophilus is the main bacteria along with bifidobacteria. I often suggest my patients take 9-20 billion colonies per day.
1) Remove dairy products from your diet. Products made from cow's milk (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc) are mucus forming foods and are also considered highly allergenic foods. It may be worth a trial of eliminating these foods and watch for improvement.
2) Nasal irrigation. Washing your sinuses with warm water and salt solution may help improve drainage and improve symptoms. You can use a neti-lota pot or bulb syringe. You can find more information here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nasal-lavage/MM00552
3) Decrease sugar in your diet. Sugar is also mucus forming and also lowers immune function.
4) Dry pillows and bedding on high heat for 20 minutes 1 time per week (or more frequently if you like). This kills dust mites which are a common allergen and also cleans the pillow pretty well (do not throw temperature sensitive pillows into the dryer such as Tempurpedic pillows).
5) OTC medicines such as mucinex and sudafed may be options but need to be discusse with your soctor prior to trying.
It is important to discuss testing as well as treatment options with your doctor. Natural medicines are still medicine and need to be discussed with your doctor before beginning.
If you develop fever, difficulty breathing, or if the symptoms worsen, see your doctor for further testing.
I hope you find this information helpful.
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