Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

clogged sinus area after heavy drinking

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 34 Replies
  • Posted By: markph
  • October 8, 2008
  • 10:38 AM

Hi, does anyone know what i can take to treat a really congested sinus after heavy drinking of alcohol?
I am 50 yrs old and this problem has been getting worse over the last 5 odd years to the point where it prevents me from sleeping as i cannot stop sniffing and snorting.
If i have had a fair bit to drink over the weekend it goes something like this:
Monday, start to sniff and feel congested a bit.
Tues" gets worse as the day goes on, difficult to sleep,
Wed: it is almost unbearable, constant sniffing and congested (no phlegm at all though)
Thurs: starts to feel a bit better.
Fri: better again, Drink again on the weekend and it all starts again. If I dont drink much over he weekend it is not as bad, but is always still present.
I feel really down as well when this happens, could this be a stress or anxiety related issue that gets worse with alcohol use ? My family, work and social life are all great so i dont have any real reason to stress, although my job can put me under some pressure. (is my feeling of depression caused by my problem described here, or is my problem caused by alcohol induced depression?)
I am not drinking any more than i was 10 years ago so i cannot understand why it happens all the time now.
I am not even sure that it is a sinus problem, could it be a muscular disorder?

My GP does not have any answers to this.

Thanks

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34 Replies:

  • All alcohol is made from some type of grains. Corn,barley, rye, etc. Wines have sulfites, beer has hops. Plus some of this converts to a form of sugar in the body. Allergies/yeast or intolerance to alcohol, can develope at any time. The body changes every few years.""constant sniffing and congested (no phlegm at all though) "" Alcohol causes dehydration, the more a person drinks, the more deyhdrated they become. Dehydration can cause swelling and inflamation that would block the nasal/sinus throat area. And due to having to work, your probably not drinking enough water to rehydrate and flush the toxins out of your system. As your body gets caught up on moisture later in the week you feel better.Alcohol can damage the liver and play mind games. Yes alcohol can make a person depressed and anxious. It leaves toxins behind, which in turn cause other problems. Hope this helps~~JerseyLymie
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 8, 2008
    • 00:14 PM
    • 0
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  • Alcohol dilates the blood vessels in the nasal passges & sinuses. Sorry, but if it affects you that way, you need to stop drinking. I know of no other "cure" for your problem.
    aquila 1,263 Replies
    • October 8, 2008
    • 06:12 PM
    • 0
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  • Thanks to the 2 people who replied.I know that I probably drink a bit too much on weekends for a guy thats 50, I work hard all week and dont drink at all, but come weekends we have a very social life and really enjoy a drink with friends, the frustrating thing for me is that it is becoming worse and I have never heard of anyone having such a bad reaction to it, hangovers are nothing compared to the discomfort of this.I know abstination improves my situation but it never goes away completely which makes me wonder if it is more than just drinking too much that agrevates it.cheers, Mark
    markph 8 Replies
    • October 9, 2008
    • 09:31 AM
    • 0
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  • Yes, i have not drank on a weekend, it has been better, but it does not go away completely.it is definitely worse when I drink more.
    markph 8 Replies
    • October 11, 2008
    • 06:52 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi, does anyone know what i can take to treat a really congested sinus after heavy drinking of alcohol?I am 50 yrs old and this problem has been getting worse over the last 5 odd years to the point where it prevents me from sleeping as i cannot stop sniffing and snorting. If i have had a fair bit to drink over the weekend it goes something like this: Monday, start to sniff and feel congested a bit. Tues" gets worse as the day goes on, difficult to sleep, Wed: it is almost unbearable, constant sniffing and congested (no phlegm at all though) Thurs: starts to feel a bit better. Fri: better again, Drink again on the weekend and it all starts again. If I dont drink much over he weekend it is not as bad, but is always still present. I feel really down as well when this happens, could this be a stress or anxiety related issue that gets worse with alcohol use ? My family, work and social life are all great so i dont have any real reason to stress, although my job can put me under some pressure. (is my feeling of depression caused by my problem described here, or is my problem caused by alcohol induced depression?)I am not drinking any more than i was 10 years ago so i cannot understand why it happens all the time now.I am not even sure that it is a sinus problem, could it be a muscular disorder? My GP does not have any answers to this. ThanksThe reason you are having sinus problems after you do heavy drinking is alcohol is a histamine - have you heard of an antihistamine or histamine blocker? I'm sure you have, but you would take an antihistamine to get it to go away. The alcohol is what is causing your sinus problems, because it is naturally a histamine. That is what is causing your problems. Also, are you under any stress? If you are, then that can bring on sinus problems as well.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 6, 2009
    • 09:49 PM
    • 0
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  • I know this thread is a little old but I may have the solution to this. I am 30 and have had the same problem for the last few years and it seemed to just keep getting worse. I love to drink alchohol, especially beer so not drinking is just not an option. To those of you that say to just quit drinking, you are just plain no fun. Why not try to find a cure?Anyway, I figured out finally that it is a food allergy that I developed. Apparently when you're digestive track becomes irritated by whatever food you are allergic to it causes your sinuses to act up. If you notice it when you drink the most then my guess is you probably drink beer like me, which means you are probably allergic to wheat or other grains. Although it seems that the digestive track is related to the sinuses so any type of alchohol could upset it then cause sinus problems. My advice would be to eliminate all grains especially wheat from your diet for one week and see if that helps. This means no bread, pasta, flower tortillas, or anything with the most minute amount of flower or wheat in it. Just grill meat and veggies. Grains are for the poor anyway. We used to eat them back in the day as a filler because we didn't have enough meat and vegatables. I could have sworn it was impossible for me to be allergic to wheat since I have never had an allergy before in my life, but then my doctor told me that I probably developed it from drinking so much beer. Since I still gotta have my beer, I just brew my own now with oats instead of wheat. Now I can get drunk again without the consequences. Except for the hangover of course, but even that is lesser now. Life is good again!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I just have to say I love JHOG's solution. I think it rocks that you brew your own beer so you can keep drinking:) People are funny. I would think that the original poster probably could have an allergy. Alcohol does depress the immune system when you drink it in large amounts, which is why his body is probably reacting to the allergen(airborne or food) more strongly when he consumes large amounts of alcohol. He did mention that he always has some stuffiness. I would get checked for food, household and airborne allergies. If you figure out your allergies it might help you figure out what drink is for you...maybe cider instead of beer or unoaked wines??? not sure what you enjoy drinking...but perhaps a glass of water between drinks may keep you hydrated as well:) good luck my partying friend.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This has been happening to me for the past few years. Although the symptoms seem to be a histamine reaction, I do not believe it is an allergic reaction. The issue is not what I drink but how much. I've had severe sneezing reactions to wine, beer, sake, all types of hard liquor. The first time it happened I was drinking sake so I assumed it was an allergy to rice or mold but then it happened with a different alcohol, and then another. The trick is if I have one (or maybe two) of anything, I'm fine. It's when I've had too much of any alcohol I get extremely sneezy and stuffy. I would love a medical explanation beyond the over-simplified "allergy" response.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Since my last posting here, I had gone off all acohol for over 4 weeks and surprisingly my congested feeling did not go away, it was not as bad but only marginly better which makes me think that the real problem here is not alcohol. i am going to see my GP next week and ask for a referral to a neuroligist, i am starting to wonder if it is a stress related muscular disorder that is worsened by excessive drinking.I dont really feeled stressed, can your body feel stressed even though mentally you feel okay?i have googled a bit on muscular disorders and there seems to be a correlation between stress and muscular disorders of some types.
    markph 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • Please update ? like to know if you ever found out the cause ?Maybe also look at diet, even though you notice after a drinking session, could be an allergy to one particular ingredient ? Samanthahttp://www.undiagnosedillness.org
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 27, 2009
    • 09:46 PM
    • 0
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  • Hello,You may want to try this nasal spray. It's safe to use everyday and doesn't leave that heavy medicine head feeling. It also kills all the germs and airborne pathegons in your nasal cavities without any harsh chemicals. It may help you clear your sinuses and continue to drink ;)You can go to Google and type in Sinofreshstore to look it up for more info.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 30, 2009
    • 11:45 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • In response to recent query on status of my problem, no, i have not got to find the root cause of it. it is still just as bad if not worse, even if i am drinking less. As previously mentioned, i was going to ask him for a referral to a neuroligist, he didnt think this would help and discouraged me from that line of thought.he arranged for me to see a psychologist to see if he could help, i went and saw him and he asked me my life story just about and concluded that i seemed a pretty normal person and his solution was for me to just try and stop sniffing! fat help that was!I am not really even sure if it is my sinus, it feels like it is further down towards my mouth, you know the feeling when you are really full up with phlegm and try to bring it up into your mouth to spit it out. it feels like that even though i can not bring up any phlegm. I wonder if its worth seeing an allergist again to do more extensive test than what was previously done. I am running out of options!
    markph 8 Replies
    • September 2, 2009
    • 10:17 AM
    • 0
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  • Unfortunately, drinking kills and you are experiencing a detox, probably. Congrats at making right choices for health but it also means your friends need to support you and if they are drinking away...well...it will be difficult...there is a product that is guaranteed to help sinus. I just picked it up and it's pretty good for that problem. Find a health food store or order online: from Baraka--rejuvination oil--keep your receipt because they will refund money if it doesn't work...to help your detox, there is a "cold sheet" treatment that would help if you can do the process:http://healingtools.tripod.com/thn10.html
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies
    • September 2, 2009
    • 07:31 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • In response to recent query on status of my problem, no, i have not got to find the root cause of it. it is still just as bad if not worse, even if i am drinking less. As previously mentioned, i was going to ask him for a referral to a neuroligist, he didnt think this would help and discouraged me from that line of thought.he arranged for me to see a psychologist to see if he could help, i went and saw him and he asked me my life story just about and concluded that i seemed a pretty normal person and his solution was for me to just try and stop sniffing! fat help that was!I am not really even sure if it is my sinus, it feels like it is further down towards my mouth, you know the feeling when you are really full up with phlegm and try to bring it up into your mouth to spit it out. it feels like that even though i can not bring up any phlegm. I wonder if its worth seeing an allergist again to do more extensive test than what was previously done. I am running out of options!That sucks; I am the one that mentioned it could be a food allergy to wheat and that I have started brewing my own beer. However, I have to admit that it only helped the problem and did not totally eliminate it. I too am still searching for a cure to this extremely irritating problem. I did however find something else that has helped a whole lot more than avoiding wheat but still not completely. I highly recommend trying this as it does make a difference. I have the same exact problem as you. The flem is in the exact same area and everything. Anyhow, I cut out anything with Corn Syrup or High Fructose Corn Syrup. That means you cannot eat or drink allot of stuff, but trust me, it helps a **** load. Almost all BBQ sauce, ketchup, canned tomato sauce, salad dressing, soft drinks, juices, and almost all beers made in America or Mexico have High Fructose Corn Syrup. Whiskey, GIN, Vodka are all made with corn syrup. Even Tequilas unless they are high end like Patron and say 100% Agave which is the sugar they use instead of corn syrup all have corn syrup. RUM uses only real sugar. The good news is that all German beers have no corn products whatsoever thanks to the Bavarian Purity Law. So all German beer is safe. So all I drink now is either home brew, German beer if I'm feeling like some wheat or RUM and Natural coke that does not have garbage in it. Do a Google search on High Fructose Corn Syrup and you will not believe how many things that stuff is in and how bad it is for you. Do some research on this and other weird preservatives and crap that is in everything you eat and it will make you realize that you may be one of the people like me who will start eating completely organic not because it's the new trend but because you have to to feel normal. Like I said it has not cured me 100% but has helped tremendously.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 12, 2009
    • 00:42 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Markph, in my experience there is a definite correlation between drinking and aggravating a sinus condition. For me, the day after a heavy session I often feel quite clear in the sinus area which I attribute to dehydration - a general drying out and also absence of mucous. However, the next couple of days I notice the reappearance of mucous, initially very thick and sticky and I think this slow moving thick stuff is what gets infected. After a few days I seem to get back into equilibrium again - but intensive workouts can also dehydrate me and produce similar although weaker effects.Not sure if it's possible to eliminate the initial dried out phase which seems to be the precursor to the infected stage. Real attempts at keeping hydration levels - lots of water after your drinking session and the next day may help.A course of antibiotics treating anaerobic bacteria following a tonsil complaint, seemed to improve my sinuses too - my bad days are less frequent following that course.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 3, 2009
    • 04:54 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I know this thread is a little old but I may have the solution to this. I am 30 and have had the same problem for the last few years and it seemed to just keep getting worse. I love to drink alchohol, especially beer so not drinking is just not an option. To those of you that say to just quit drinking, you are just plain no fun. Why not try to find a cure?Anyway, I figured out finally that it is a food allergy that I developed. Apparently when you're digestive track becomes irritated by whatever food you are allergic to it causes your sinuses to act up. If you notice it when you drink the most then my guess is you probably drink beer like me, which means you are probably allergic to wheat or other grains. Although it seems that the digestive track is related to the sinuses so any type of alchohol could upset it then cause sinus problems. My advice would be to eliminate all grains especially wheat from your diet for one week and see if that helps. This means no bread, pasta, flower tortillas, or anything with the most minute amount of flower or wheat in it. Just grill meat and veggies. Grains are for the poor anyway. We used to eat them back in the day as a filler because we didn't have enough meat and vegatables. I could have sworn it was impossible for me to be allergic to wheat since I have never had an allergy before in my life, but then my doctor told me that I probably developed it from drinking so much beer. Since I still gotta have my beer, I just brew my own now with oats instead of wheat. Now I can get drunk again without the consequences. Except for the hangover of course, but even that is lesser now. Life is good again!instead of making your own beer just drink beers like budweiser etc without wheat in them. i think corona is also one without wheat.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 8, 2009
    • 05:13 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Since my last posting here, I had gone off all acohol for over 4 weeks and surprisingly my congested feeling did not go away, it was not as bad but only marginly better which makes me think that the real problem here is not alcohol. i am going to see my GP next week and ask for a referral to a neuroligist, i am starting to wonder if it is a stress related muscular disorder that is worsened by excessive drinking.I dont really feeled stressed, can your body feel stressed even though mentally you feel okay?i have googled a bit on muscular disorders and there seems to be a correlation between stress and muscular disorders of some types.I have this problem, also. I have allergies and take zyrtec daily at night for that, and sudafed when really congested and my ears get blocked, but still it got worse when I drank. Turns out I have acid reflux, which causes fluid to build up in my sinuses. Try taking some zantac or a prilosec before you drink to see if it is reflux, or try taking a zyrtec or benadryl before you drink to see if it is allergies. I cannot drink many beers and wine because of the histamines in them, but vodka doesn't bother my allergis, so I usually drink that or Michelob Ultra, but I still get congested, so I either take a zantac or sudafed or sometimes both for that. Now that I take a daily prilosec, though, it is much better. Good luck. I think you might benefit from going to an allergist to get skin tested for allergies, and maybe a gastroenterologist if the reflux meds help. Maalox is also great for reflux, and comes in chewables form.Debbie
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 12, 2009
    • 11:12 PM
    • 0
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  • instead of making your own beer just drink beers like budweiser etc without wheat in them. i think corona is also one without wheat.Actually I have found that those beers are the worst for me. I seem to have more of a sinus reaction to beers brewd with corn syrup than beers with wheat. Budweiser, coors, miller and so on are cheap low quality beers that use corn syrup because it's cheap. Micro brew or German beers will give you the least allergy side effects due to there purity. Corona is expensive but not really that great of quality beer, and it's brewed with corn hence the name Corona. If you doubt me on the corn then you should read the book Omnivours Dilemma or watch the movie Food Inc.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 24, 2009
    • 10:05 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi there AllMy wife kindly found this web site/pages as I have been driving her up the wall with my constant complaining about constantly having a blocked nose.About a year ago I attempted to give up smoking and hadn't had a cigarette for a few weeks. We were in the middle of moving house and I was packing some old clothes away when I had a severe sneezing session and my nose started streaming. Since then I have had what seems to be like a semi-blocked nose and frequently sneeze. I had put this down to the fact that I had stopped smoking and my nasal passges were clearing/cleaning and were probably not used to the sensation of normal things like house dust etc.Since then I have started smoking again, albeit only 3 or 4 a day, and I still have the constant semi-blocked nose. Some days it's not too bad and some days it's quite unbearable to the extent that I am so congested that it makes my voice sound funny (as if I'm pinching my nose etc).Now, here's the funny thing - about the same time as we moved house and stopping smoking I started drinking Guinness (which is a stout), prior to this I had just drank regular lager etc. I really love Guinness and can drink quite a lot of it. For instance, last night I went out and drank about 10 pints of the stuff, only for this morning to have woken up with my serious nasal congestion problem. It is worse after I have been out and my life is pretty similar to the patterns described above i.e. do not really drink during the week and then on a Friday go a bit mad - binge drinking really.I wonder if my problem is an allergy to an ingredient in Guinness? I don't really recall having this problem before I started drinking Guinness!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 7, 2009
    • 04:12 PM
    • 0
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  • Mark, I seem to have something similar to what you described. I'm 27 so I go out every weekend and drink. I would feel just as you did Mon-Thur and then Friday I would feel better and drink some more. But one week it never got better. I stopped drinking just as you did and it still never went away. I am still trying to get better to this day, its been 5 weeks now. I am almost certain for me it is Sinusitis which can cause extreme headache/pressure, depression, fatigue and just plain awfulness. It kinda feels like a cross between a hangover and a head cold. I'm convinced that its all related to my sinuses and am being treated for "Sinusitis". I never thought it was a Sinusitis cause I never had any heavy discolored mucous and my nose was never really clogged completely. Now I've had sinus infecitons before and they also displayed heavy sinus mucous, congestion and all the obvious symptoms, which is why I didn't think it could be my sinuses. I've done tons of research on Sinusitis and it can be a terrible thing to try and get over.Do a google search on Sinusitis. Also read these two threads on the condition:http://ehealthforum.com/health/treating-chronic-sinusitis-t187241.html
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 16, 2010
    • 05:40 PM
    • 0
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