Tag Archives: probiotics

How to tell a sinus infection is gone.

This search question showed up this week. For some, just feeling better and having no more pain and symptoms will signal that a sinus infection is gone. For others, and this has happened to me, a sinus culture is required to make sure there are no more detectable bacteria left. I have finished an antibiotic thinking I might be better, days later feel horrible again, only to find that the infection we were treating was gone but a new one had emerged in its wake. It is possible that the first culture only showed one bacteria because it was the most prevalent and once it was gone the other became detected. The antibiotic may have only worked on the first bacteria and allowed the other one to continue growing. My advice is that if you are not sure if the infection is gone to have a sinus culture done to detect any bacteria and to have a sensitivity test done to see what antibiotic will kill off the bacteria present.

I hate antibiotics but with the horrible ordeal my sinuses have been through between strange bacteria that my ENT has never heard of before and the fungal infection, I have had my share of them. We are as cautious as we can be when deciding treatment. Sometimes a good cleaning of my sinus passages and copious amounts of saline irrigating can stop the infection from becoming so rampant that I have no choice but to take an antibiotic. The trick for me is to catch it as early as possible. I also have to remember that if an antibiotic is taken, I need a probiotic.

Bring on the probiotics!

Well today I saw my ENT.  This wonderful doctor has been treating me since the beginning of my ordeal.  He put me on thyroid medication despite my levels being in the normal range because nothing else was getting rid of the swelling and as he said, “How do we know that this number is your normal?” He is the only doctor who offered to give me the IV’s I need to help fight all that goes on in my body.  He is the only one who knows that I am not the “normal” patient and thus does not treat me like a “normal” patient.

And today despite knowing that antibiotics are not good for me or that I only have one truly safe one that I don’t react to, he truly felt that I needed to take one.  The only antibiotic that I haven’t reacted to is Omnicef.  It has been quite some time since I have needed one but here I am taking it.  Soooo – bring on the probiotics.  I don’t dare take this medication without plenty of probiotics even though I am on an antifungal.

I respect my doctor because he does not prescribe medications unless he feels there are no other options.  I have tried the silver, I have tried grapefruit seed extract and I irrigate.  I have immotile cillia and sometimes no matter how much I irrigate the infection just begins and takes over.  The mold exposure and fungal infection has left my sinuses very vulnerable.  My face feels like it has been hit by a MAC truck.  The trigeminal neuralgia on the left side of my face was so bad yesterday (and helped with acupuncture to reduce the severity) but still I had pain in my ear.  The magnesium, glutathione and Vitamin C IV helped with the neuralgia but my maxillary sinuses still hurt.

Dr. Spitzer (have permission to use his name in my book so I feel free to use it here) thank you for being my doctor and not ever for one minute thinking I am crazy and for thinking and working “outside the box” in treating me.  And thank you for fighting so hard for me in my battle to prove my work injury and fighting for me with the insurance carriers.



Probiotics and Antibiotics

I have been on a tremendous amount of antibiotics since becoming ill after a mold exposure.  I have had numerous rounds of oral antibiotics along with more than one six-week round of IV antibiotics (once a single antibiotic and once with two antibiotics intermittently fed through my PICC line).  In the beginning I was never told to take probiotics while taking the oral antibiotics.  When I had my first round of IV antibiotics my ENT prescribed probiotics and yogurt while on the treatment.  I was taking Primaxin which is a very strong antibiotic.   Since that time I regularly add probiotics to my everyday regimen but also make sure I take it daily during the course of antibiotic therapy and for a few weeks after.

Recently a friend told me a story about someone who had a severe tooth infection and was placed on two very strong antibiotics.  The infection cleared only to be followed by a severe intestinal infection because the antibiotics had killed off all the good bacteria in the gut.  I don’t know why doctors don’t automatically recommend to their patients that they should take some type of probiotic during antibiotic therapy to keep the good bacteria in the gut  at a safe level.

This is especially a problem when patients are given broad spectrum antibiotics.  Broad spectrum antibiotics act on a wide range of bacteria.  They also work on both gram negative and gram positive bacteria.  Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella typhimurium, neisseria menningitis, pseudomonas aeruginosa (have had this), and klebsiella pneumoniae (have had this) are among the gram-negative bacteria.  Streptococcus (have had this), staphylococcus (have had this), bacillus, clostridium and listeria are among bacteria classified as gram-positive.

Among broad spectrum antibiotics there is Amoxicillin (have taken), Impipenem (have taken this – also known as Primaxin), Levoflaxacin (have taken), Streptomycin and Chloramphenicol (have taken this).  My side effects to these various antibiotics and others varied from hives, to tightness in my throat and chest and extreme coughing, muscle pain, photosensitivity and trips to the ER for anaphylaxis (one of those by ambulance when I was home alone).  The first time I was given Zyvox for a staph infection that refused to go away, my tongue and teeth turned brown.  The doctor had never heard of this.  The pharmacist did some checking and found that something like one percent of those in the original test study developed this symptom. 

Whenever I hear of someone taking antibiotics, my first response to them is, “Are you taking any probiotics?”  Next time you are prescribed antibiotics check with your doctor about probiotics.