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Sinus problems when I run in the morning
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Sinus problems when I run in the morning

I have sinus problems when I run, especially in the morning.  Lately, they have been so bad that I would repeatedly gag....and obviously others running with me ask what is wrong -- I sound terrible.  This gagging problem occurs in the morning and not at other parts of the day.  At other times when I run, I do have to spit mucus, but the coughing and gagging occur in the morning only.  My morning routine before running is to drink several cups of regular black coffee and eat Cheerios cereal and a carton of yogurt.  I take Advair 250 for asthma (the asthma started about 3 years ago, I am 62 years old), also have started taking Claritin in the evening and also take an albuterol inhaler prior to running.  I am wondering what I can do to prevent the coughing and gagging in the morning.
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You begin with the statement, “I have sinus problems ..”  I agree and suspect that the “coughing, mucous spitting and gagging” is the result of sinus drainage, accelerated by running.  Sure, it could be secondary to Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA), but that is less likely.  Still you might want to discuss with your doctor the options of a transient increase in your Advair dose or, if you are using only one A.M. dose, a switch to taking it at bedtime.

Another consideration.  There have, for a long time, been sporadic reports of individuals who experience increased mucous production in response to the ingestion of food.  You might want to try running, either before or a couple hours after eating.  With regard to eating, it is also possible that are having gastroesophageal reflux contributing to your respiratory symptoms and that that is increased while running on a “full stomach”.  I would add that running right after having ingested several cups of coffee, a bowl of cheerios and a carton of yogurt is not generally a good idea, given the preferential redistribution of blood to your intestinal tract and the simultaneous body need for blood flow to your muscles, including your heart muscle.

Good luck
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I feel compelled to account my problems with postnasal drip and all accompanying symptoms, misery, and now finally, a complete cure.  It is a long story, similar to the many I have read about on numerous websites, sans the cure part.  

It started about 10 years ago or so with an occasional itchy throat and occasional cough, sneeze, or throat clearing.  It continued to evolve through the years to get worse and worse, so that eventually it was debilitating, i.e., there was no normal life left.  In the past three years, my business took me to China on some dozen occasions and while the stress of the trip is always pretty bad regardless of how you try to mitigate it, my trips were particularly stressful since I would return home with very bad sinus symptoms and be insomniac for up to a week afterward; more than could be accounted for by jet lag alone.  In fact, eventually in the last couple of years, the symptoms were just plainly bad without regard for the trip to China.  

I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t sleep.  I was wheezing like I was asthmatic and was frequently sick with a cold or the flu.  The insomnia could only be relieved with a strong dose of diphenylhydramine and Advil.  I couldn’t lay on my left side for the wheezing and coughing.  I had frequent headaches and rare migraine with aching muscles and joints.  I developed a cardiac arrhythmia that lasted for several months before more or less magically disappearing.  I know now why.  I had to make a trip during all of this to a near sea level location, and since I live at an elevation of almost 6,000 ft, I was unable to clear my Eustachian tubes and lost my hearing for some time.  I now wear hearing aids with a permanent hearing loss that was partly, at least, due to that event.  In general, I have been a miserable human being and increasing felt unable to function.

I tried every known remedy.  I spent thousands of dollars in pursuit of relief.  I tried antibiotics, anti-fungals, antihistamines, immune builders, vitamins, nose sprays, oregano oil, you name it, I tried it.  No relief.  I changed my diet to exclude gluten, milk, and sugar, and unless you have tried that, you can’t imagine how little there is left to eat.  None of it gave me lasting relief.  And then one day. . .

I splurged and ate a little Bryers ice cream one evening.  I had already concluded that sugar and milk were having little impact on the symptoms, but I got increasing worse as the evening wore on.  I looked at the ingredient list and saw that it had little in it but milk, sugar, and carrageenan.  So I wondered what is carrageenan?  I looked it up and discovered that it was a thickening agent made from seaweed, and that it could contain up to 20% MSG???  So I wondered, is that the key problem with it??

This began a quest to uncover just what MSG, the substance we have all tried to avoid for years by reading labels, was really about.  Our discovery was profound!  MSG is now contained in as much as 90% of all commercially available food items.  It is in just about every mouth full of food we eat in this country.  I ate a pretty pure diet, but it didn’t matter.  I checked the symptoms of MSG sensitivity and poisoning, and there I was!

My wife and I (she also has symptoms of sensitivity) immediately threw out a 6 months supply of extra food (several thousand dollars worth) and we are now on a MSG free diet.  

My symptoms of MSG poisoning, every last one of them, along with my wife’s, disappeared in less than 24 hours!!!!!

I no longer have any of the problems that have plagued me for a long portion of my life.  I strongly suggest that anyone with this problem do a simple two or three day test to see if it doesn’t stop their problems as well.  It is not an easy transition to make and live with, but a hell of a lot easier than the continual life-robbing suffering.  

I am including a list of links that can be opened to better explain how this situation is so out of control in the US and abroad.  China is a hot-bed of MSG and undoubtedly contributed to my final three years of increasing misery.  PLEASE, for the sake of yourself and your family, read the list of ingredients that now secretly hide the fact that MSG is in everything you consume.

I well know I sound like a radical zealot who has an axe to grind.  I am not, but I never intend to allow the FDA, food companies, medical profession, health supplement companies and US government to destroy my health and life again.  Please take action for yourself.  I am a Pathologist (research and industrial) by education with a strong background in biochemistry and I know what I am talking about.  Please open the links below.  

http://agentlejoy.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/msg-hidden-and-not-so-hidden
http://www.truthinlabeling.org/ (a huge website)  
http://www.msgmyth.com/  (a book written by someone who found out like I did)
http://www.msgtruth.org/avoid.htm
http://poisonevercure.150m.com/monosodium_glutamate.htm

This is just a few of the hundreds of sites about this terrible problem.  

Skip Halterman
Navajo Dam, NM  


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