Have you ever experienced a lingering cold that just won’t seem to disappear? If so, you might be dealing with chronic rhinosinusitis, a troublesome inflammatory condition affecting the nasal cavity and its lining. Chronic rhinosinusitis disrupts sinus drainage, causing swelling, inflammation, and infection, leading to a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Learn more about this condition and effective treatments for it:

Section 1: The Role of Allergies in Chronic Rhinosinusitis

When nasal tissues become inflamed, it triggers an increase in immune system cells that regulate inflammation, including T helper type 2 cells, cytokines, interleukin-5, and interleukin-13. Additionally, there are often elevated levels of histamines and increased allergic sensitivity to Staphylococcus aureus (Staph). While Staph is a normal component of the human nares, in chronic rhinosinusitis, the body treats it as a foreign invader, causing inflammation and related symptoms.

Section 2: Addressing Chronic Rhinosinusitis

To effectively manage chronic rhinosinusitis, it’s crucial to obtain a proper diagnosis from your healthcare provider and tackle the underlying cause, often inflammation. Additionally, focusing on gut health can help reduce the overall inflammatory burden. Incorporate more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber into your diet. These foods are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that aid in the body’s recovery and healing process. Fiber assists in binding with toxins and facilitating their elimination. Adequate sleep, with 8 to 10 hours each night, is also essential during this period.

Section 3: Nutraceuticals, Pharmaceuticals, and Natural Treatments

Once you’ve addressed the basics of health, consider using specific nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals as needed. An effective natural treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis is contrast hydrotherapy, involving warm compresses followed by cool washcloths. You can perform this procedure two to three times a day. Steam inhalation with essential oils like thyme, followed by nasal irrigation using a Neti pot, nasal irrigation syringe, or squeeze bottle, can help break up bacterial biofilms and eliminate them from the body.

Individualized Herbal Medicine and Homeopathy

Individualized herbal medicine and homeopathy can be valuable in managing chronic rhinosinusitis. Discuss these options with your naturopathic provider, who can guide the right form and dosage of medicine.

When to Seek Professional Help

If at-home treatments prove ineffective, your symptoms worsen, or your individual needs are not met, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider at Peninsula Integrative Medicine. They can assist you in developing a personalized treatment plan that suits your specific needs.

What does the gut have to do with cancer?

Dr. John Bastyr, a legend in the naturopathic field, taught that treating the gut was the foundation for preventing and addressing cancer. Flash-forward more than 30 years and the research shows that the gut relationship with cancer and immunity, once considered heresy, is a well-demonstrated function of human physiology.

The bacteria in one’s gut can affect it’s host’s immunity and this growing body of knowledge continues to underscore the importance of the gut biome, immune system function, and cancer. i,ii


The evidence is mature enough to suggest that managing gut flora and function should translate to value for cancer survivors as well, but no silver bullet has been identified. Probiotics have been shown to be effective in maintaining gut flora and should be used with caution since some have been found to contain pathogens and have resulted in documented deaths in immune-compromised patients. We always run laboratory microbial testing for patients to ensure the probiotics we recommend fit their needs.

Generally speaking, the approach of integrative oncology is to restore gut function to as normal as possible. Given the negative effects of stress, anxiety, and some treatments on the gut function of cancer patients, we approach this with a comprehensive review of your whole health. We then address the issues that can affect the gut biome such as gas, bloating, burping, indigestion, reflux/GERD, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, etc. We also evaluate how well you absorb nutrients and how your elimination is working.


We address these with botanical remedies, carefully selected digestive enzymes, and other targeted therapies that help to decrease inflammation in the gut, bolster the microbiome and improve overall function. We also frequently help with nutrition, diet, and stress management, including mind-body approaches and therapy, to ensure we achieve the best results possible.

As the research continues to evolve, so will the specific treatments we use in integrative oncology, and we’ll be ready to assist you on your journey.

Morgan Schuster, ND

i. Jin, Y., Dong, H., Xia, L., Yang, Y., Zhu, Y., Shen, Y., . . . Lu, S. (2019). The diversity of gut microbiome is associated with favorable responses to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in Chinese non-small cell lung cancer patients. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. doi:10.1016/j.jtho.2019.04.007 ii Bai, J., Behera, M., & Bruner, D. W. (2017).

ii. The gut microbiome, symptoms, and targeted interventions in children with cancer: A systematic review. Supportive Care in Cancer,26(2), 427-439. doi:10.1007/s00520-017-3982-3