Headaches are one of the most common reasons patients visit my clinic. A headache can ruin your day, and frequent headaches can significantly impair your life.

If you wake in the morning with a headache, you start off the day miserable, and if you have to take pain killers then you may feel tired from the side effects. The patients I see have usually seen a neurologist and had an MRI scan of their brain to exclude a sinister cause. The patient is often told they have migraines, sinus headaches or tension headaches, but the treatment prescribed does not always cure them.

I always physically examine the patient and this includes pressing on the forehead, and at the inner upper bone around the eye and the cheeks, and they often wince with pain. This tells me they have sinus inflammation and/or infection and it is chronic.

Undiagnosed chronic sinusitis is a very common cause of frequent headaches with which the patient often awakens in the morning. To eradicate these headaches we must treat the cause. The use of antibiotics and steroids and decongestants does not provide a long term solution and indeed, often causes the persistence of unhealthy bacteria in the gut and sinuses. Steroid sprays can cause fungal infections in the throat and sinuses, which worsen the inflammation.

How do we treat the cause of chronic sinusitis?

We must improve the gut flora, which means the types of bacteria in the gut. These gut bugs are warriors that can fight the bad bacteria causing the infection in the sinuses. You need to have a healthy gut lining (mucous membrane) if you want the lining of your sinuses to be healthy.

I usually recommend bone broth. The minerals and gelatin in bone broth are easy to digest and soothing to the lining of your intestines. To heal the gut lining you can also do my Dr Cabot 15-Day Cleanse, which improves liver, gut and immune health. You can also take my Ultimate Gut Health powder as a maintenance product after the 15 day Dr Cabot Cleanse. This will heal a leaky gut and promote healthy bacteria in the gut, as it contains a probiotic as well as glutamine, aloe vera, slippery elm, and pectin.

You can also eat fermented foods to inoculate the gut with good bacteria. Fermented foods are commercially available in the refrigeration section in health food stores, e.g. sauerkraut, kefir or kim chi. If those foods are not to your liking or unavailable where you live, you can take a probiotic supplement.

Avoid the foods which promote unhealthy bacterial growth and mucus formation, such as sugar and dairy products. You may also find a gluten free diet helps to reduce headaches. Additionally, any food you have an allergy or sensitivity to can irritate your immune system and promote chronic inflammation. If you suspect you have hidden food sensitivities it’s best to see a healthcare practitioner to help you identify them.

Raw juicing can reduce inflammation – use ginger, lime, carrots, cabbage, mint and spinach. See my book, Raw Juices Can save Your Life. If you don’t always have time to include plenty of fresh vegetables in your diet, a vitamin C supplement can provide what you may be lacking. While you are fighting an infection your body has a much higher requirement for vitamin C.

Eat foods that act as natural antibiotics – namely garlic, radish, rosemary, oregano and thyme. If you are congested and clogged up with mucus, a supplement of N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) in a dose of one or two 600 mg capsules twice daily is invaluable. It can make the mucus thinner, allowing it to be cleared more easily.

Selenium and iodine are both minerals that help to strengthen your immune system and reduce the risk of infections. Selenium levels are very low in the soils of many parts of the world; therefore, a lot of people don’t get enough in their diet. Iodine is abundant in the oceans; however, many people are deficient in iodine. An excellent supplement to provide selenium and iodine is Selenomune Designer Energy capsules.

I have found these strategies to be very effective in my patients who suffer with chronic headaches and sinus troubles.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.