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What is the permanent cure for nasal congestion and why is my face and neck blotchy after drinking wine?

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Practicing since : 2008
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Hello, I have been going through a string of frustrating doctor visits, with many medical bills to pay, but no answers to what is going on with me. Here is a run down of my situation: I have been battling with constant nasal congestion – I had never been tested for allergies, so I just assumed I had seasonal allergies of some kind. No over the counter medications have ever helped. My nose runs when it’s cold or I’m exercising, otherwise I am constantly congested or I have post nasal drip. I cough up mucus in the mornings. (This has been going on for the last 4-5 years) Immune issues – I get sick frequently. The common cold, cold sores on my mouth, and I get sinus infections about twice a year. (This has also been going on for the last 4-5 years, as far as I can tell) I went to the doctor after I started having some stomach issues – bloating, pain and irregular bowel movements. This has been an ongoing issue for several months. I was sent to an allergist who only tested me for seasonal/environmental allergies – found no allergies. I was then treated for chronic sinusitis and chronic rhinitis for my congestion issues – I had no improvements to either treatment. A CT scan was done to rule out nasal polyps – none. Everything looked fine. I was then sent to an ENT specialist – he could not find any reason for my constant nasal congestion, and he suggested a surgical procedure to make the internal nasal opening larger. I declined this. He then sent me to another allergy clinic to have my blood tested for food allergies, as this could possible cause nasal allergies. I apparently have several food items that showed up as high IgE reactions. Since I had so many things show up, they did additional blood work to rule out any immune-system related diseases or food intolerances – this came back negative. I was given no further advice on what to do, besides avoid the foods on my list. My iron level is on the low side, but I was told this is nothing to be concerned about (I have been told this by doctors in the past, as well – I faint occasionally, so they tested my iron levels when I was in high school. I was told I had low iron, but I am not considered anemic). In the last 6 months, I have started getting horizontal ridges in my fingernails. I have never had these in the past. I mentioned this to the food allergist nurse, but she did not seem concerned. Most recently, I had two instances on different days, where I had an allergic reaction of some kind, after drinking a glass of wine. I didn’t even finish the glass of wine on either occasion – the first time, I didn’t know what caused the reaction, so I didn’t correlate it to the wine (I thought it was from a necklace I was wearing). The second time, I realized that this had happened only after drinking wine. My chest and face got extremely blotchy and red, and my neck started itching. I felt like I was going to break out into hives, but it eventually cooled down and went away, after an hour or two. I have absolutely no idea if any of these things are related, or if this is just a list of random issues that my body is dealing with. However, I am definitely experiencing a lot of sudden changes, and it is causing me a lot of stress, trying to figure out what is going on.
Posted Thu, 23 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shruti Rijhwani 4 hours later
Brief Answer: Follows. Detailed Answer: Dear Madam, Thank you for posting your query on XXXXXXX Well looking in to the query I will like to tell you that all your features like skin involvement , stomach symptoms , rhinitis are related , all these are because of allergy and urticaria . Since you have already undergone allergy testing with raised IgE levels that further support the cause . I will like to tell you that it is not always possible to determine the exact cause of allergy because anything under sun can lead to this . It can continue for long times or subsides on its own which cannot be predicted . If you have a family history or get difficulty in breathing or swelling of face then complement levels like C2 & C4 levels , C1 esterase levels need to be tested . In this situation patient herself needs to find out what is leading to symptoms and avoid it as much as possible . You may require a dose of corticosteroids and fexofenadine for few days to calm down your system if your treating doctor feels so . Take care. Dr. Shruti
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