Chronic Sinus Headaches
About 10 years ago, I began getting sinus headaches. It was during an intense passage of life, and I was not managing stress very well. I noticed that the flare-ups would follow almost immediately on the heels of being stressed out. I also noticed that sugar and alcohol were triggers for the inflammation. I went and got a CT scan, which showed now physical problems or blockages. A PA diagnosed it as Vasomotor Rhinitis and told me to stay away from my triggers (listed below). I have avoided triggers, but I'm still having multiple days a week where the headaches bring on general nausea and make it very difficult to work and go about interacting with others. I'm hoping that I might find someone on here who has had similar symptoms and found some solutions.
What concerns me most right now is that I'm waking up in pain most mornings, even when avoiding almost all my triggers. And it seems to have become more sensitive.
Here's my overview:
Symptoms: Dull headache in the sinus area, behind eyes, and often mainly on one side/sinus. Nausea is usually mild but makes my thinking blurry. If I have had a bunch of sugar or say a high-sugar alcoholic drink (margarita-just one), then nausea and headache are debilitating and can cause me to vomit. I avoid triggers, so that doesn't happen often.
The strangest symptom, and perhaps a key to figuring this out is that when I have a high level of nausea, I begin burping these deep from my stomach burps. Basically, the worse it gets, or more trigger foods I've had, the more frequent the burping.
-Stress: It used to be that when I got anxious I could literally feel the swelling happen over the course of about 15-30 minutes. This is now rarely an issue because I've found good ways to handle stress.
- Alcohol - red wine and sugary stuff is the worst
- Sugar: high-glycemic stuff like pineapple is as bad as a candy bar. If were to eat a snickers bar, I'd have the headache in a few hours
- Spicy Foods and red meat
- Sleep: I wake now mildly congested. After a hot shower and blowing my nose (clear mucus), the headache I have goes from nausea producing to manageable.
- Too much caffeine: I can have 2 cups a day but more than that will cause headaches
What has not helped:
- Saline rinses are awesome when I'm truly sick, but they do nothing to help with this. They would help by flushing the wake-up mucus, but I use a hot shower for helping with that.
- Flonase/Fluconase has no impact at all
What has helped:
-Pseudoephedrine has helped a bit, but seems to be helping less
-Good sleep, staying hydrated. Dehydration makes me more sensitive to my triggers.
-Reduced sugar diet, gluen-free diet, avoiding triggers
I'd appreciate any of your thoughts. I'm part of a health system that shall go unnamed, and they have a propensity to pass people around from doctor to doctor within their network whenever they find that someone has something strange like this.