Gluten, Dairy, And Your Sinuses—Oh My!

dairy gluten sinuses

Allergies? Sinus infections? Post nasal drip? It could be as simple as what's on your plate. Let's take a look at how dairy and gluten may cause these problems…


Wheat and dairy allergies are actually two of the most common allergies people suffer from starting in childhood. Three percent of the population have a wheat allergy from childhood. Eighty percent of these will also have a milk allergy, fifty percent will have asthma, sixty-five percent will have an egg allergy, and forty percent will have a peanut allergy. Ten percent of the children that develop a wheat allergy will live with it their whole lives. With so many connections to allergies with sinus impact, it’s no surprise that gluten and dairy are the culprits of a multitude of chronic sinus problems.


While there have not been many specific studies on the correlation between dairy and gluten and the sinuses, there are many independent sources that should not be disregarded. Doctors have witnessed improvement in their patient’s sinus issues by suggesting the removal of gluten and/or dairy; and people who have cut one or both out on their own have reported great results as well! These include reduced to eliminated rhinitis, seasonal allergies, and even chronic sinus infections!


The reason dairy and gluten can be so rough on the sinuses can come from a few of their common and usually subtle side effects…


Dairy: While many people believe that dairy products can increase mucus production, that isn’t the case. What dairy products actually do is THICKEN the mucus that is naturally produced. This, as well as the protein known as casein, can contribute to congestion in the sinuses. Thickened mucus takes longer to be replaced, and can end up collecting more pathogens; leading to increased risk of infection. People that have asthma are especially susceptible to these issues, even though it can affect anyone at any time. Post nasal drip, sinus irritation, and allergies of all levels can be exacerbated by dairy consumption.


Gluten: Even the most slight gluten intolerance can contribute to sinus problems. You don’t necessarily need to have celiac disease to find that your sinus problems are linked to gluten intolerance. While a severe reaction that blocks the airways and restricts breathing isn’t common, gluten can trigger an immune response that releases histamine. Histamine can cause a runny nose, inflammation of the nasal passage and/or sinuses, and even sinus headaches.

Every body is different, and there is no one size fits all approach to health, but if you suffer from allergies, sinus infections, headaches or allergies, consider giving up gluten and dairy for a month and see how you feel! You can try cutting out one or both at the same time—it’s up to you. 


If you are ready to get to the root of your symptoms and discover EXACTLY what works for your unique body, check out my offerings for adults here and children here


To your health and happiness,

Nicole Ritter



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