Allergies, Blood Pressure and Type 1

Just wondering if anyone else might have a solution to this. I'm a Type 1 diabetic (30 years), and have been fighting high blood pressure for the last 10 years or so. I also have been fighting some severe nasal allergies - severe post nasal drip that causes me cough consistently and sometimes so severely that I can't function - stop the car when I'm driving, leave the room for meetings, and such. I was tested for normal allergies and the tests all came back negative - but I find that dust, cleaning chemicals and other things like that really put me over the edge.

I have found one thing that helps - and that is Claritin D (or anything that is a decongestant). Of course, that's something I shouldn't take because of the high blood pressure problems. Regular allergy medicine doesn't seem to do the trick (I've tried everything!). Anyone know of an allergy medicine with a decongestant that works with blood pressure patients?

Have you tried Sudafed? Check with doc first.

Hi Torty, I feel your pain. I'm Type I for 25 years and also have severe nasal allergies. I do not have high blood pressure but my docs don't want me to take anything with a decongestant because they say research shows long term use causes high blood pressure. Several years ago I was suffering just like you and resorting to Claritin D because it was the only thing that helped - I knew it wasn't good for me but I had to be able to work.

I would suggest that you go to an ENT doc. There are different things they can give you to try safely. I ended up at an ENT when I had a severe sinus infection that would not clear after rounds of potent antibiotics. Long story short they had to do sinus surgery to clear the infection but since then I have seen the ENT regularly and been problem free using only the regular claritin (not the D) and a daily nasal spray prescribed by the ENT.

Also try using a neti pot or something similar to flush your sinuses - you can buy it at the pharmacy. The ENT told me to try this and as horrible as it sounds, it really does make you feel better. Make sure you use distilled water though, not tap water because there are amoebas in tap water that are safe to drink but not to flush your sinuses with.

I hope you find something to make you feel better. Please ask a doctor what to use though. The Claritin D isn't your best option with your blood pressure history. Take care.

I tested negative for allergies too, but the allergist told me that you can test negative and still actually have allergies. They just can't give you desensitization shots if they don't know what you're allergic to. Plus there is something called vasomotor rhinitis, which acts like allergies, but is actually a response to irritants, and doesn't involve the immune system. I'm currently taking Nasonex, which is a nasal steroid spray (doesn't go systemic and doesn't affect BGs), and Ipratropium, which is a drying agent for my nose. They help a LOT! Both are prescription. Neither one is a decongestant or antihistamine, because I can't take those either.

So it wouldn't hurt to discuss this possibility with your doc and give them a try?

I've had a lot of trouble with sinus problems over the years. I'm allergic to a lot of trees and grasses as well as molds. I find the post-nasal drip to be one of the most annoying things, but Nasacort, which is a prescription cortisone spray, works very well for me. I don't need it all year round, just in the spring and the fall, when the airborne allergens are at their worst.

My best method for relieving congestion is to take a gel pack (one of the ones that can be frozen or heated) and heat it in the microwave for 2.5 minutes, then wrap it in a tea towel and place it over my eyes while lying down. Leave it there for 20 minutes. Repeat if necessary. I never need to do this more than twice. The heat makes a huge difference for me!

The best thing I ever did for my sinuses was to give up smoking.

Hiya Torty5
I suffer from allergies and was advised by my consultant here in England to wash out my sinuses with salt water. I have been doing this twice a day for 4 months and it has made a dramatic difference. It did take a couple of weeks to start to work so stick with it. You can buy a nelimed bottle and solution to do this or you can use a cupped hand with your own solution. Have a google and see what you think. Let me know how you get on.

Sudafed *totally* cranks up your BP! I don't have the same problem with Claritin, which I prefer although for certain really nasty colds, I'll hit the sudafed.