Post-nasal drip is the sensation of mucus accumulating or dripping in the back of your throat. Post-nasal drip can irritate your throat, causing a sore throat or cough. It can go along with a stuffy nose if you have a nasal allergy or a cold.
You may be suffering from post nasal drip if you suffer from the following symptoms:
- wheezing (a more common source of wheezing than asthma)
- constant swallowing
- rhinorrhea (running nose due to mucus flow)
- frequent spitting
- tickling in the throat
- rigid burning sensation at the back of the throat
- broken or cracking voice
- mucus feeling in the back of the throat
- difficulty in breathing
- congestion in the nasal and sinus passages
- chronic sore throat
- masses formed in the crypts of the tonsils (tonsil stones or tonsilloliths)
- halitosis (bad breath)
- snorting, to clear mucus from the nasal passage
- frontal/forehead cranial pressure
What causes it:
The mucus glands in your throat, nose, and sinuses are constantly making mucus. They can produce up to two quarts of mucus every day. Normally you swallow the mucus without even noticing it. Mucus is important because it cleans and moistens your upper airway and helps prevent infection. When the mucus is noticeable and annoying by becoming too thick or by irritating your throat, we call it post-nasal drip.
Most common causes are:
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux, heartburn
- sinusitis, sinus infection
- cold or flu viruses
- medications, especially those that cause dryness
- cold temperatures
- swallowing disorder (esophageal motility disorder)
- dairy products
- small objects stuck in the nose (usually in children)
What can I do about it:
The most important thing is to determine the cause of your post nasal drip. In mild cases, try the steps below. In such cases when post nasal drip is accompanied by symptoms such as persistent cough, severe stuffy nose, recurrent infections, blood tinged mucus, or voice changes, it’s important to work with a qualified health practitioner.
Steps to immediate relief are:
(1) Drink more water. Water can thin and help direct congestion and mucus drainage to elimination channels in your body. Commit to drinking 1/2 your weight in fluid ounces of water each day. Drinking sips of warmed water (not microwaved) can help support you with detoxifying the congestion in your lymphatic system. Eliminate all other caffeinated, sugary, mucus-producing, carbonated beverages (such as coffee, tea, dairy, and soda pop) during your allergy episode.
Commit to drinking 1/2 your weight in fluid ounces of water each day. Drinking sips of warmed water (not microwaved) can help support you with detoxifying the congestion in your intestinal tract and lymphatic system throughout your entire body. Eliminating all other caffeinated, sugary, mucus-producing, carbonated beverages (such as coffee, tea, dairy, and soda pop) is essential as they support digestive dysfunction, parasitic and yeast overgrowth, infections, and leaky gut.
(2) Determine whether your symptoms are related to an overgrowth of Candida, Parasites and/or Leaky Gut Syndrome as they often show up together with chronic infections and their symptoms overlap. With this information, you will be better informed to ask questions of your team of practitioners. We can teach you how to improve your diet, eliminate candida and parasites, and strengthen your immune system by repairing leaky gut through an elimination diet as your next step.
(3) Low stomach acid interferes with the first step of digestion and can be a factor in your health equation. Anytime a food is eaten and not completely digested it will only feed inflammation, gut dysbiosis, allergies/intolerances, infections, and leaky gut.
The HCI Challenge Test can help you determine if you have low stomach acid. If your HCl Challenge Test causes you to experience immediate reflux symptoms, confer with your doctor to rule out a possible H. pylori infection, ulcer, or other stomach issues. Repairing your stomach lining is essential.
(4) Because post nasal drip is caused by irritation, it’s really important for you to determine what is triggering it (like foods, chemicals, or pollens, dust, mold, etc.). Eighty percent of your immune system underlies your gut, so it’s important not to overlook food sensitivities as a possible underlying cause.
Eliminating the most common highly-reactive, inflammatory foods (dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, eggs, peanuts, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and corn) while you complete the required repair work to help you remove the triggers that may be causing your post nasal drip. Upgrading your building materials will help you to unburden your digestive system, remove the foods that feed unfriendly microorganisms, stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings, and support your body’s detoxification and elimination processes.
Replace inflammatory foods with satisfying balanced meals (healthy, lean and clean proteins; low-glycemic and high fiber carbohydrates; lots and lots of dark leafy greens; and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, oils). Reintroducing each reactive food group separately will allow you to determine what foods are still a problem for you. At Essential Wellness, we have a specific coaching program designed to help you formulate a diet that will work best for you and teach you how to optimize your digestion.
(5) Exposure to toxic chemicals can be a possible trigger of your post nasal drip. Choose eco-friendly household cleaners and lawn-care products. Upgrade your personal care products to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals.
(6) If your triggers come from allergies to dust, mold, pollens and/or pet dander, implement proper hygiene and housekeeping habits. Wash hands frequently and clean and disinfect your countertops, phone receivers, and door knobs during allergy and cold/flu seasons.
Invest in a HEPA air filtration unit for your home and work environments to clean pollutants and particulates from the air. Change air filters in your home and have air ducts cleaned annually. Reduce your exposure to smoky environments. If you smoke, take steps to quit.
(7) Take steps to moisten your mucous membranes. Use a humidifier and/or vaporizer to keep the air moist, especially in the winter months. Take a long, hot shower or sit in an infrared sauna. This will help you thin mucus for easier drainage and support your body’s detoxification and elimination processes.
Steam inhalation is an excellent way to care for your entire respiratory tract, especially when you have trouble with mucus congestion. Boil water, add therapeutic-grade eucalyptus oil after you take hot water off the burner, use a towel to make a tent over your head and hot water container, and breathe in the steam.
(8) Nasal irrigation is an Ayurvedic technique that involves pouring salt water through each nostril to cleanse the membranes of your nose and sinuses and to flush out mucus. You will want to invest in a Neti pot. Warm purified water slightly (not in the microwave) and fill your Neti pot. Next, add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Then position the pour spout of your Neti pot in one nostril and tip your head until the water comes out the other nostril. Repeat the process on your opposite nostril.
(9) The use of essential oils can be beneficial to you. For immediate pain relief, apply 1-3 drops of essential oil (such as Panaway or Deep Relief) to 1 tsp of carrier oil (V6 or olive oil) and apply through self massage of area(s) where your discomfort lies, being careful to keep the oils away from your eyes. You can also massage the neurolymphatic points and foot reflex points that correlate to areas of the body that are troubling you. Layering multiple oils can create a synergistic effect. For post nasal drip, look at oils that will also support your digestive, respiratory and immune systems.
Young Living Essential Oils as they are safe, effective, and known for their therapeutic-grade qualities.For more help with choosing the right oils and application of specific points or meridians on your body, schedule an appointment with us at Essential Wellness.
(10) Determine and reduce excessive stress levels. Stress plays a big part in your digestive and immune functions. When you are stressed out, your body may not be producing the protective mucosal lining or secreting adequate levels of acid to sterilize and digest your foods. When this happens your pancreas and liver may not be receiving the correct messages to release digestive enzymes and bile – which can interfere with complete digestion. Finding stress-reduction techniques that work for you and using them regularly will help you diffuse your stress more effectively.
These techniques might include: exercise, relaxation therapy (such as meditation, visualization, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or tai chi), biofeedback, hypnosis, Eden Energy Medicine exercises, EFT, Mental-Emotional Stress Release, counseling or stress management training. We can teach you stress-reduction techniques and walk you through how to incorporate them into your everyday life.
Steps to long-term, permanent relief:
If you are experiencing chronic post nasal drip, your inner ecosystem is out of balance. It’s time for you to implement these additional steps:
(11) Choose your team of healthcare practitioners wisely. Your health condition and experience of discomfort may be the result of many imbalances in your body, requiring proper testing and an accurate diagnosis. Choosing practitioners with additional training in the areas nutrition, hormone testing/balancing, and detoxification processes will help you take a multi-faceted approach.
Taking ownership of your health equation can be one of the most empowering steps you can take and you can do this by: becoming more informed, listening to your inner wisdom, focusing on your “ideal experience” of health, and partnering with your healthcare and wellness practitioners to effect the best possible outcome. Essential Wellness would be honored to be a part of your wellness team.
(12) Making your dietary improvements permanent might be exactly what you need to feel better. When you do not provide your body with key nutrients all aspects of digestion, absorption, detoxification and elimination become impaired. Your body can only mirror the quality of the building materials you provide it through your diet.
The place where most people fail is falling back into old habits that slowly recreate their imbalances and symptoms. Eating healthy 95% of the time and indulging only 5% of the time supports your optimal well-being. If you are struggling with how to integrate these changes on your own, an Essential Wellness practitioner skilled in the areas of nutrition, digestion and detoxification can help you.
(13) ALCAT allergy testing can easily determine what’s triggering you. It will tell you what foods, chemicals, and other environmental triggers (like pet dander, mold, fungi, grasses) are triggers for you. This testing determines the severity of your intolerance and gives you recommendations of how long to remove it from your environment while you repair your digestive system.
If it’s determined that you have food, chemical or environmental sensitivities, receiving NAET Desensitization Therapy might be part of your allergies answer. This desensitization therapy works in combination with cleaning up your diet, strengthening your ability to digest your food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating toxins. It helps reduce the over-triggering of your immune system.
(14) Detoxification is another very important component in promoting the health of your immune system and addressing other factors related to your post nasal drip. Because of the barrage of toxins you are exposed to through your diet, lifestyle and environment, it makes sense that you’d want to take steps to prevent exposure and remove accumulated toxins from your body by implementing a detoxification protocol (dietary improvements, herbal cleanse regimen, and/or detoxification therapies).
It’s very important for your elimination channels to be open and moving optimally before you begin, otherwise you may suffer from a Herxheimer Reaction. At Essential Wellness, we know the ins and outs of the cleansing and detoxification process and we can help you minimize your discomfort as you detoxify your body.
How can Essential Wellness help:
At Essential Wellness, we believe repair and recovery is based on many factors. Although we cannot diagnose, prescribe, treat or claim to cure any medical condition you may have, our focus is on helping you reduce the many levels of stress that are playing into your current health experience.
If you are experiencing post nasal drip symptoms, the therapies you’ve tried are not giving you relief, and you need more assistance in putting it all together, Essential Wellness can help you in the following ways:
- Nutrition & Wellness Plan is one of our coaching programs that will help you get clear about what your wellness goals are (based on your individual needs), teach you how to decipher and make sense of all the dietary information available to you, and help you formulate your own wellness plan with accountability. The foundation of your wellness plan will be structured around habits that only you have the power to control and change.
- Based on our knowledge and experience, most health disorders including post nasal drip are connected to some physiological dysfunction that causes accumulated toxicity in the body and vice versa. We offer the detoxification therapies of Colonics, Core Lymphatic, and IonCleanse Foot Detox to help reduce stress on your digestive, detoxification and elimination channels. Colonics in combination with herbal support will compliment your dietary foundation and can be especially helpful to you if you are not eliminating at least once per day.
- For structural imbalances and pain relief of post nasal drip symptoms, we have Core Synchronism, Eden Energy Medicine exercises, and Vibrational Raindrop Technique to assist you in balancing your physical body. Bottom line, when your body feels out of balance you feel stress. This is usually due to blocked or congested energy that has settled in your physical body. We can add Essential Oils to compliment the therapy you receive.
- Toxic emotions can block the flow of your energy channels and become stuck in your physical body. The emotional component of post nasal drip is related to a past experience of being victimized or from an experience where it wasn’t safe or appropriate for you to cry or grieve. If any of these descriptions match what you are experiencing, Mental-Emotional Stress Release techniques can help you understand and integrate these experiences and diffuse the stress they cause you. Flower Remedies can compliment the therapy you receive.
- With post nasal drip you are most likely experiencing multiple symptoms. We offer RAE Radionics Hair Analysis as another tool to help you understand any stress that is present in your energy system.