Nasal polyps are small grape-like sacks that grow in the sinus cavity. There is no confirmed cause and there is no cure.
Symptoms are similar to hay fever and the common cold. When the polyps multiply, breathing becomes laboured. Some people suffer from sleep apnea and even lose all sense of smell.
Because there is no cure, the symptoms are generally suppressed by steroidal nasal sprays and prescription medication. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
I developed nasal polyps in 1994 but was misdiagnosed for a year. More than a year after that, I had my first surgery.
From 1996-2007, I struggled with these pesty growths, and asthma, trying several different western and eastern medications and lifestyle changes but with little relief. By 2006, I lost my sense of smell and taste for good.
In 2008, I had my second surgery. Within two months, the polyps were re-growing and my ENT would remove them in his office. After ten months of bi-monthly visits, he gave me the all clear to yearly check-ups.
Yearly checks were a mistake because come my first one, I was full up with polyps again. Once again, surgery was recommended.
He also recommended that I try a restricted diet and that maybe candida was an issue. I must say, I never had a big problem with thrush or other common candida issues. But alas, I gave it a go.
My doctor’s version of this anti-candida diet was not very strict, although I did think so at the time. He did not even restrict fruit!! I have to restrain for all the other culprits: gluten, dairy, all fermented food and drink (esp. alcohol), SUGAR, caffeine, nuts, dried fruit…..the list seemingly goes on and on.
I did feel much better; no more bloat or constipation. I did sleep better but my polyps remained.
On & on it went, until I started to cheat. Then I went on holiday to Asia and damn the diet. All food was back on the menu and I started drinking beer again. I was on again off again from July 2010 until August 2011.
Then on August 15, I had my third surgery.
A week after, I started a very strict anti-candida diet, this time add to the resticted list: all fruit, all starchy or sweet vegetables. I did well for two weeks and felt great. I was over the moon when my sense of smell returned four days into the regime. Then my life changed and kept changing throughout September.
When I reintroduced potatoes, the sweet vegetables and apples I felt ok. But within two weeks, I was stuffy and congested and miserable.
Misery loves to eat so I started having the occasional hot chocolate with rice milk, then I was craving lamington cake. I must report that I was going through a very tough emotional time: I had just had a major lifestyle change and a death in the family. I ate cake…..and I cried. And this went on for…..actually it’s still going on. A piece of mud cake is taunting me right now.
On October 10, the local GP confirmed that indeed, the polyps are returning. So, true to my personality, I will go full force on all the naughties until I can convince myself to do another detox and restricted diet. At least I’m not drinking beer again. Too cold in NZ anyway!!!
Gotta go now. I have to murder a piece of cake.
Wanna read more about my journey? Check out my post on the I’m not fussy website :