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Allergies or Post Nasal Drip or Sinusities?


Posted by MSM

Background:I'm a 30yr old Indian born male living in London from past 6yrs.I’m a 69kg fit person and I workout a lot (probably 5-6 times a week) with no medical conditions. (Although I’ve had a sinus operation about 15 years ago, not sure if that is relevant). I don’t smoke and have never smoked. I very rarely drink a glass of wine. History:Since last 1.5 years (from May/June-2010) I have had hacking cough and skin urticaria (dermatographism).June/July-2010: Following were some symptoms I had:- Bad taste early morning.- Choking and wheezing after having dinner.- Slight pain in the chest.- Running made everything worse.- Cold made things worse too.- Skin dermatographism (urticaria).Initially, my concern was to get rid of the cough so I tried different cough syrups some on my initiative and some suggested by GP like Buttercup, Benylin Chesty Coughs, Boots Nirole x Chesty Cough Relief, Boots Nirolex Chesty Cough & Congestion Relief Linctus, Meltus Chesty Coughs, Actifed Chesty Coughs, Sudeafed Chesty Coughs and Boots Pholcodine Linctus B.P etc. but nothing could kill the coughing.Then GP’s thought it could be GERD so they gave me antacids will help neutralize the acid; but this didn’t help at all either.Oct/Nov-2010: After a while GP’s referred me to a chest specialist who started a string of tests which included the following: - Blood tests: Normal, which ruled out any serious conditions.- Chest x-ray: Normal, which ruled out chest infection.- Peak Flow Meter Readings: Normal for 2 weeks.- Lung Function Tests: Normal, both of these ruled out the possibility of asthma.(NOTE: NHS docs did not X-rayed or scanned my skull)Eventually NHS doctors couldn’t find anything else to pin the blame on and thus “diagnosed” the problem as "sarcoidosis" which I think is not the case!Dec-2010: I went to Delhi (Apollo Hospital, one of the best private places). They also did number of tests (differnet number of blood tests, chest x-rays, lung function tests) but they also did a skull x-ray and said I was suffering from allergic-rhinitis and sinusitis.They give me good medications (which included flexonase nasal spray, antihistamines and some other medicines) and everything was honky dory in 2 weeks (apart from skin urticaria).Jan-2011: I returned to London and the symptoms started to come back slowly and in a month I was back to square one!Feb-Mar-2011; I gave up and just accepted that I’ll have to live with the conditions. I started doing yoga and breathing exercises in the morning instead of my regular 500 abs crunches. Then time and again I tried to Google it and get to the bottom of it; but it seems like I’m swimming in Atlantic (no visible bottom and I keep drowning rather than identifying the cause).April-2011: I started looking at the allergies from food and since April-2011.I have figured out that I’m NOT allergic to following:1. Coffee.2. Whey protein shakes.3. Eggs.4. Carrots.5. Cucumber.6. All types of Nuts.Apart from above, the rest of my diet is mainly wheat, rich, peas and beans and dairy products.May-2011: I took a personal initiative and got an allergy test (skin prick test) done Boots. The results were not specific but highlighted that I’m allergic to:- House Dust Mite (4/5)- Mould (4/5)- Dog Hair (3/5)- Car Hair (3/5)- Early Tree Pollen (2/5)- Mid Tree Pollen (2/5)- Late Tree Pollen (2/5)I can strongly criticize the result because all along I have been suffering from Dermatographism which means even a small “skin prick” will come up as a false-positive! Anyhow, to test the theory, I moved out of my house and started renting a new place where there was no possibility of dust (hardwood flooring) and mould (all new furniture)!!!! None of this has taken the issues away.June-2011: I also have bought two best air purifiers for my room and flat:1. Vicks HEPA-type air purifier (cheap alternative £50)2. Honeywell TRUE-HEPA air purifier (expensive £150 and the best in the market)They clean the air and my house is squeaky clean; it is so clean that I think if I don’t have allergies, I might develop allergies because of lack of exposure! Anyhow, the point is that none of the air purifiers have helped me either.Aug-2011: Recently, I tried to understand from Mr Google and "chronic coughs due to post nasal drip" is the one that makes the most logical sense of underlying cause of my painful 1.5 years. Over the last 3 months I’ve started doing nasal irrigation (doing Neti using Salt and baking soda powder), and started applying vicks vaporub on my chest before sleeping every night (been doing that for almost 2 months). Some of these things help like Neti and acrivastine antihistamine but not for long; after 2-3hrs I feel the nasal drip at the back of my throat! Vaporub helps me breathe well when I’m sleeping without which I’ll get up in the middle of the night and cough like a mad dog.  Current State of Affairs (Sept-2011): Everything is same as it was in June-2010 when it all started, it is clear from the following symptoms I still have:- Feeling of something dripping at the back of my throat ALL THE TIME.- If I snort it and spit it out, it is yellowish green in colour.- Early morning my chest feels clogged with this drip.- Early morning chest pains.- Skin Dermatographism is exactly the same as it started.- I can’t go for my 5km runs, because it makes nasal dripping worse and makes me cough a lot.From 21st Sept 2011, I have stopped taking any gluten and dairy products. This will be a hard one; sticking to gluten and dairy free diet is one of the hardest thing to do. But very soon, I will find out if gluten and diary have anything to do with my 1.5year long pain! What are your thoughts after reading this? Is this due to allergies? Is this due to something I eat? Does this problem have a name? Or is this simply hay-fever and I just have to live with it? Any help will be appriciated. MSM
 
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