Erase Meniere's Symptoms with a Lifestle Cleanse

(UPDATED AND EXPANDED FOR 2016)

Living with Meniere’s disease is not easy.

When the symptoms are at their worst, it’s debilitating. But even if you can get the vertigo under control, you still have to contend with the Tinnitus, brain fog, fatigue, and hearing loss.

And through it all, there’s the fear. When so much can go wrong at any moment, it’s impossible to avoid feeling anxious. I know how hard it can be.

But I also know that there is a path through the challenges ahead. You do not have to resign in defeat. The way forward is one of action, learning, and growth.

After years of trial and error, suffering and pain, I was able to improve my Meniere’s symptoms and rebuild the life I thought I left behind.

This post is an overview of the strategies and lifestyle changes that got me back on my feet.

As you set out on your journey I want you to know that there is so much hope and you are not alone. Meniere’s disease will not define you.

Find the Right Doctor:

Finding the right doctor is one of the most important things you can do when you have Meniere’s disease. Most doctors try to help, but I’ve found that the wrong doctor can make everything so much worse. My first doctor refused to answer my questions or even explain the diagnosis. He dropped the bomb and left me to fend for myself. The following weeks were difficult. I thought my life was over.

But my second doctor changed everything. He was optimistic, positive, and gave me hope. I had no idea there was hope. He painted a picture of a world where I could be okay, and as a result, I eventually was. Without question, he saved me.

The type of specialist you should see is called a Neurotologist. They are Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors who have subspecialized in treating balance and hearing disorders. They will typically have more experience treating Meniere’s disease and other vestibular disorders. You can find a highly rated local Neurotologist by searching on Health Grades,  a leading doctor rating website.

Mindset:

When I was first diagnosed, the prospect of living a life of continuous suffering was too much to bear. I was terrified, and my first doctor only fueled the fire. As soon as I got home, I spent hours on the computer Googling Meniere’s disease. But reading all the terrifying reports of suffering only made me feel worse.

There is not nearly enough positive information about Meniere’s disease available to those in need. If all you know is hopelessness and despair, you will never get a chance to recover.

Follow this simple rule: if whatever you’re reading doesn’t leave you with a sense of optimism, it’s possibly doing you more harm than good.

Face your Meniere’s with courage and make the decision to do what’s necessary to fight for your health.

Personal Support Network:

Before I go any further, I want to shine a light on what will most likely be a big factor in your recovery: everyone else. Having a strong support network will be crucial to your treatment. But it can get complicated.

For starters, most people have never heard of Meniere’s disease. By most estimates, it only affects about 0.2% of the US population. There is a good chance that the people closest to you have never heard of Meniere’s disease and could have a hard time understanding what you’re going through.

(If you find this to be the case, I encourage you to read and share this post I wrote to help explain Meniere’s disease to our friends and family)

People may also underestimate the severity of your symptoms. This can be incredibly frustrating. Having clear communication with your family, friends, and colleagues, is important, especially when you are suffering.

Expect to have to explain yourself to others more often than you would like, or should have to for that matter. But have patience with those closest to you. It’s worth the effort.

Lifestyle Management:

Make no mistake about it; change is hard, even on a temporary basis. But it’s not as hard as permanently changing everything all at once, which is what most patients believe is required. I certainly did. A temporary change is a much easier pill to swallow.

At this stage, the goal is to try to get your symptoms under control. Whether you realize it or not, your symptoms are often triggered by something external in your environment. The specific triggers can vary from person to person, though, some of them are quite common.

 “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” – Epictetus

You may not be able to change the fact that you have Meniere’s disease, but you are not powerless. Focus your efforts on the things you can change.

In my opinion, the best strategy is:

  • Remove all common Meniere’s disease triggers in a sweeping but temporary lifestyle cleanse.
  • Improve your general health to give your body the best possible chance at fighting Meniere’s disease. If you are unhealthy, your body’s resources will be used elsewhere.
  • Identify your personal, unique Meniere’s disease triggers, and avoid them.
  • Discover what makes you feel better, and add more of it into your life.

Temporary Lifestyle Cleanse:

Your first and top priority should be getting your symptoms to a more manageable level. Not only will you start to feel better, but I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to identify your triggers once your symptoms have improved. With this in mind, the best strategy is to temporarily eliminate all of the common triggers of Meniere’s disease. Once you get a better idea of your personal triggers, you can slowly reintroduce the the things that aren’t affecting you.

Also, keep in mind that your body and brain will adapt to the illness over time. You will find that your limitations will change. If you end up having to give up something you enjoy, there is no reason to assume it will be forever.

This process will take time, and the longer you wait to begin, the longer it will take to improve. It’s like a trip into the forest. The further in you’ve gone, the longer it takes to get out.

On a temporary basis, make the following changes until your symptoms start to improve:

  • Take all prescribed medication
  • Changes to your diet:
    • Reduce your sodium intake down to 1500-2000mg per day. Try to spread it out over the course of your day as well.
      • Read the FDA nutrition labels for sodium content on the back of products at the grocery store before you buy anything.
      • Avoid heavily processed foods and ingredients. Canned foods and frozen meals tend to have high sodium content.
      • For snack foods, go to premium grocery stores such as Wholefoods and find snacks that have 50mg or less of sodium. Fruits and vegetables are always good choices as well. Snacking was the hardest obstacle for me early on. Finding snacks that I could eat without worrying made a big difference.
      • At restaurants, ask the waiter if the chef can prepare your meal without salt. Be clear that you have a medical condition. Your choices may be restricted, but there should always be options. Salads are a good fall back choice but make sure to use olive oil and balsamic vinegar as the dressing.
    • Work towards eating healthy
      • When possible buy fresh organic fruits and vegetables.
      • Grass-fed beef, pastured pigs and pastured chickens (and eggs) are a much healthier choice for meats.
      • Local farmer’s markets and green markets are great places to find fresh and healthy foods.
      • Watch your sugar intake. It seems like food manufacturers are putting sugar in everything these days. It’s okay to indulge, just practice moderation.
      • Overeating causes stress to your body. Eat slowly, take smaller portions, and stop eating when you feel full. Make sure to eat a balanced diet.
  • Temporarily stop consuming the following substances:
    • Caffeine – You may come to find that you can tolerate a cup of coffee when your symptoms aren’t flaring up, but avoid it for now.
    • Alcohol
    • Tobacco and Nicotine – As a former smoker, I know how hard this is. I was able to quit with Nicotine gum. The gum gets rid of the cravings, but it’s hard to actually chew it when what you really want is a cigarette. Tell yourself that if the gum doesn’t help within 10 minutes, you will smoke. It always helps.
    • Recreational drugs
  • Mental Well-being and Stress:
    • Chronic stress has a profound negative effect on health. Make a conscious effort to eliminate highly stressful activities from your daily routine.
    • Start a simple daily meditation practice:
      • Meditation is the most powerful tool I know of for reducing stress and anxiety. Simply defined, meditation is a mental exercise that trains you to control your thoughts and quiet your mind.
      • If you are a beginner, try the following technique:
        • Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. You can increase the time once it becomes a habit.
        • Sit or lie down comfortably and close your eyes.
        • Breathe deeply and slowly into your diaphragm (your lower abdomen).
        • Focus your attention on your stomach. Feel the muscles move as you breathe in and out. When you catch your mind wandering, and it will gently bring your attention back to your stomach. Catching yourself and starting again is the actual practice. It’s not a sign of failure.
    • If possible, find a therapist or support group. Meniere’s disease can be quite traumatic. Having a therapist or support group to help you work through this can be immensely helpful. It was for me. Click here to learn more and see a list of online support groups.
  • Exercise:
    • Immediately start exercising daily. Even walking for 10-20 minutes each day is better than nothing. Exercising will have a powerful multiplying effect on the rest of your efforts. It will improve your sleep, reduce your stress, and increase your health and energy levels. Use stationary equipment, like a treadmill or stationary bike, when first starting out.
  • Sleep:
    • Getting good sleep is absolutely crucial to your recovery. Without it, your body will not have the energy and resources it needs to heal.
    • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
    • Avoid backlit screens (phones, TV, laptops, tablets) for at least 60 minutes before bedtime. Otherwise use a blue light filtering app or get a pair of blue light blocking glasses.
    • Make sure your bedroom is pitch back and a comfortable temperature. Research shows that we get the best sleep when we are warm under our covers with the room between 62 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Both will improve sleep quality.
    • Perform a mind dump – Before you lie down, take a minute to write down anything and everything on your mind. It will make it much easier to fall asleep.
    • Tinnitus can make it hard to fall asleep. Use a white noise machine or Bluetooth speaker connected to a white noise app on your cell phone to help drown out the ringing.
  • Allergies:
    • Allergies are a major trigger for Meniere’s symptoms. I’ve also found Meniere’s disease can make your allergies and sensitivities worse.
    • Whenever possible, avoid anything you are allergic to. If you are allergic to something in your environment that you can’t avoid, like pollen, a daytime antihistamine like Cetirizine (Zyrtec) can help.
    • Avoid even minor food allergies and sensitivities. I find that I get heavy brain fog and a runny nose when I don’t.

Make Your Changes Stick with a Fixed Daily Routine:

Making all these changes at once, even temporarily, is overwhelming. The only way I was able to make it work was by following a daily routine. Having a routine automates many of the decisions you have to make on daily basis. It can also provide you with a much-needed sense of stability.

Structure each day as much as possible. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Eat your meals and snacks at the same time. Exercise, meditate, work, and relax at the same times every day. Incorporate all of the recurring parts of your day into your routine.

I can’t stress how powerful this is. The structure will help you keep moving forward in the right direction. By eliminating the need to make small decisions throughout the day, you will have more will power available to make bigger decisions. This practice was crucial to my recovery.

Journaling – Your Secret Weapon Against Meniere’s Disease:

Journaling is the final piece of the puzzle. It will help you identify the specific things that are triggering your symptoms. Remember, everyone experiences Meniere’s disease differently. There’s a good chance that some of the things that trigger other people, won’t trigger you at all, or vice-versa.

It’s also nearly impossible to figure it out without the right approach. If your symptoms flare up at 3 pm because of something you ate for breakfast, you aren’t automatically going to make that connection. And that’s just one example. This sort of missed association happens all the time. Most people are just not very good at making these connections naturally.

But when we have the right information in front of us, we’re actually very good at finding patterns. And keeping a daily journal will quickly give you the information you need to identify your triggers. So to make it easy for you, I created a free one-page journal tool to help you keep track of the right information. And all you have to do is fill one out each day.

To find your triggers, compare your notes on the days that your symptoms were at their worst. To identify what is helping you to feel better, compare the good days. It’s much easier to find the patterns when you have the right data in front of you!

I wish you the best of luck! Be patient with yourself, stay positive, and remember that there is so much hope. Meniere’s disease cannot and will not ever be bigger than your dreams.

For more information:

My official book: Mind Over Meniere’s – How I Conquered Meniere’s disease and Learned to Thrive

The Ultimate List of Meniere’s disease Links and Resources

  1. Great advice, especially the lifestyle changes. I have had Meniere’s Disease for a year and I started a complete cleanse a few months ago and found that cutting out caffeine and reducing sugar has had the most effect. Tiredness is something that seems to be a trigger for most Meniere’s sufferers.

  2. Thanks Fiona and I’m glad to hear you are having success with your symptoms! In a future post I plan to explore alternatives to caffeine for energy. Ive also been working on a post that covers some really effective techniques for dealing with brain fog.

  3. Good suggestions. I have been able to deal with my symptoms more since accepting this disease, but have not been able to control them or be symptom free. Even chewing can cause an episode. As a woman, hormonal changes play a huge role in my flares. It would be hard to address this here. Thanks for the tips.

  4. I’m new to this world of Meniere’s Disease (unfortunately!), having just started having the symptoms 7 months ago. Now that they’re coming more often, I’ve been doing a lot of googling and was glad to find your blog. In trying to find my triggers I have eliminated caffeine & most sodium; I already eat a healthy diet, mostly Paleo, no processed foods. One thing that seems to set up attacks is sounds–lots of talking in a small room, attending a musical performance (even when wearing an earplug), playing my folk harp (which rests right beside my bad ear.) It seems to be specific tones; the “banging” of dishes in my kitchen feels like it vibrates my whole head. Any experience or suggestions for this? Thanks for all your good info!

    • Hi Nancy, I’m sorry to hear you have Meniere’s disease but glad to hear how proactive you have been! Loud noise and noisy environments are not a trigger for me but when my symptoms are acting up I tend to get very sensitive to both. When it happens, it can be hard to focus and overwhelms me quickly. One thing to try is something called musicians ear plugs. They are ear plugs that lower the decibel volume of your environment but don’t muffle the sounds. You can find many different brands on Amazon.com but these are the ones I use. At the very least they should help you when playing your folk harp.

  5. I kind of take offense to the title of this article. Erase your Meniere’s Symptoms? Ummmm….I don’t think so.
    I do everything listed on this page. I still have very severe symptoms.
    I wouldn’t mind if you said that these may help erase some people’s symptoms, or ease symptoms…but Erase? no way.

    I’ve had Meniere’s for years and years. It was unilateral for a long time…suddenly it went bilateral in 2008, in 2012 I was getting my first cochlear implant, the next year I got my second. My doctor at Duke was shocked it had progressed so fast. I still have vertigo, often. I will have, what I call, times of remission; then I will have weeks or months of daily attacks. They used to stop these attacks with prednisone. Other doctors also gave me steroids to help with conditions (migraines spells and asthma) I got Avascular Necrosis in my hip…that means my bone was dying, and I had to have my hip replaced in April, at 51.
    My cochlear implants don’t help with the hearing fluctuations. My audiologist just wrote a paper on this about how some people who still have recurring vertigo from Meniere’s still have this problem.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think all of your suggestions can be very helpful. But to say they will Erase your symptoms is giving false information.

    I admit I have other Chronic Illnesses but none that affect me like Meniere’s does.

    Since I have gone bilateral, I have also developed BPPV that crops up now and then. I also have vestibular migraines.

    I hope you understand why I feel the way I do about the title of this article.

    • Hi Wendy, I completely understand where you are coming from and I’m sorry to have offended you with the title. This was one of the very first articles I wrote for the blog. I didn’t mean for it to come across as being the end all be all for treating Meniere’s. It was intended to be a basic primer on the lifestyle changes that can be helpful. I wasn’t trying to suggest if you do these things it will all go away. Using the word “erase” was probably the wrong choice. But I think a lot of these changes can be helpful for a lot of people, and I think my thought process at the time was to make a more compelling title to be able to possibly reach more people. I definitely wasn’t trying to offend anyone, but you aren’t the first person to express this sentiment either. I hope my answer makes sense. I changed the way I choose titles and my approach to writing after this article. Your point is well taken.

      • Thank you Glenn for you acknowledgement and explanation.
        It is a good primer on the lifestyle changes that can help.
        You did a very good job in the article with that in mind.

        again, thanks for explaining, and your sensitivity to the matter.

    • I agree Wendy. I have had menieres for 15 years. Nothing could help or prevent an attack. Seems like the attacks had to “run their course”. I am completely deaf in the right ear and profound HOH if the left. Will get a cochlear implant in October. Best wishes to all.

    • Patricia Eastwood

      Totally understand Wendy. Menieres is a phenomena, which shows up in different ways for most of us. I have been off caffeine, sugar, etc. for years. These, to name just a few, cause many physical maladies. I am a seasoned so-called Meniere’s sufferer. This is what I found worked for me (even though the nature of the symptoms, for me, has changed drastically over the years). Acupuncture was a major breakthrough for me. It’s costly, but worked. During the sessions, we discovered I also had sinus issues and BPV (benign positional vertigo). The last symptom, I recognized myself while lying in bed watching TV). Now, I keep myself physically fit, with daily walks, good posture, and a clean diet, (little or no starch, sugar of “chemically-contaminated” grocery store foods). P.S.: I turned 70 yo this year! Good luck everyone! DO take-up a good meditation regimen, it works for all life’s “ills”…I guarantee you! I’ve been doing this since the 1980s (when it wasn’t en vogue). It has changed my life, in other ways, always.

      • Thanks for the tips Patricia! And I couldnt agree more about meditation. It changed my life for the better more than any other one thing I’ve ever come across. I used to have terrible anxiety and panic attacks. Meditation completely reversed my anxiety.

      • Patricia, like you I don’t eat caffeine, sugar…ect. I have a clean diet that I monitor closely. I exercise as much as I can. I do my vestibular rehab exercises regularly. I have a meditation program and try to live each day as mindfully as possible. Yes, these things help my life, but I still have very severe symptoms from Meniere’s. I’ve completely lost my hearing and have cochlear implants. I still have vertigo on a very regular basis. I’m not saying the things won’t help most people, but for some, like me, we are in that very rare percentile that do not respond to treatments. My only problem with this is making it sound like if you do these things you will get better. Not necessarily. By wording it this way it makes people who don’t get better feel it is their fault. If I only watched my diet more, or exercised more….then I wouldn’t be like this. That is simply not true. I’m glad things are working for you.

        • Hi Wendy, I appreciate your reply. When I had first published this post over a year ago, it was one of the very first things I had written. I know the title is worded strongly and not the best choice. I don’t know if you reread the post, but I recently updated it and tried to tone down the language. I made the decision not to change the title, but only because it would cause some issues in the page ranking of the post, but I still may do that. My goal in writing this was only to provide a primer on the lifestyle changes that are known to help with Meniere’s symptoms. Never in a million years would I want to make someone feel as though this illness is their fault. I think (I hope) that my writing (and title choosing) has improved since publishing this post over a year ago, at least in this regard. I’m sorry to hear you are still struggling so much Wend, but keep up the great work with your blog!

  6. Patricia Eastwoood

    Hi all! I’m an oldie, long-time sufferer of Meniere’s. I gave up some of my ambitions and studies because it affected my life so much, and in so many ways. These days (69 yo) I try to manage a small bit of work at home, which pays peanuts, and try to manage a property I rent out in Italy. Sounds glamorous, or that I am extremely rich – not so, I got a little inheritance when I was 60. My life before this was struggling to raise 2 children on my own. As I said, I lost many opportunities due to my Meniere’s (including total loss of hearing on the right). When my brain fog sets in, I try to carry on, by my thoughts, my memory is affected. I forget important things (no it ain’t Alzheimer’s etc) and so make mistakes. Last year, I tried acupuncture with a Chinese doctor. We decided that, yes, I also now have BPV (benign positional vertigo) as well, and sinuses issues, so yes, I am probably allergic to seasonal allergens (that seemed the least of my worries, so I never really addressed that). In retrospect, I believe I have been in hiding since I became a 35-year-old sole parent without child support. I just HAD to get on with things, and I believe I did so, in some ways, to hide the fact that I had Meniere’s. Few people ever understood why it happened to me, and it was infuriating when good friend, or acquaintances suggested I was “stressed” or that the weather was probably affecting me. Yes, the latter is likely true, but it’s still hard when no one seems to be there for you, or can be at those time, and no one knows or understands why you feel isolated and fearful. I always thrived on stress, never backed away from it. It is something in me. In summary, I have gone through all the changes of this awkward disease. For a couple of years, it seemed to go “on holiday”, It returned with a vengeance, like a sneaky predator, with a different modus operandi – it was as though a WWW wrestler just picked me up and slammed me on the ground! This happened to me in Sicily last year. As I was floating through the air, as if in a dream, I could do nothing to protect myself, and thought “this is the end”. Well, I did survive, after all. My face had smashed on the ancient ground of Agrigento and my forehead was spouting blood everywhere. I could not get up (though spectators expect me to, wanting to help). As usual with MD, I just wanted to “stay put” until the episode passed. They didn’t understand. And, what I didn’t realize was that I had actually broken my ankle in 2 places as well. I, by no means want to scare anyone here, only to share my experience, in a hope that it will help, or educate. It is good to see that, finally, medical science is taking a greater interest in Meniere’s (there is a symposium in Rome in October 2015 on the topic). In the meantime, I am going to give the SPC flakes a try, see how it works. I will report back!

    • Hi Patricia, thank you for sharing your experience and definitely report back after you try the SPC Flakes! I hope they help you. I know how hard it can be when no one understands, especially our friends and family. I hope you are feeling somewhat better now then you have in the past. Stay in touch!

  7. Thank you so much for this blog Glenn. I also just ordered your book. It is great to have a place to go that gives me hope. I was diagnosed with MD, but I have yet to experience any vertigo. Very grateful for this and trying everything possible to avoid it. I have has24/7 tinnitus and fullness for almost a year. With very up and down levels of annoyance. I also have hearing loss and get slightly dizzy, sort of drunk feeling at times. Trying to pinpoint the triggers is a bit frustrating, but I’m going to keep it up! One thing that definitely effects me is my stress level. If I get stressed I can here the noise in my ears get louder on the spot. Thanks again for helping to keep me positive. Can’t wait for your book to arrive.

  8. 2000mg of sodium is near the max recommended for a healthy person, for many people with MD it is crucial to have less than 1000 mg, or for some less than 500mg. For a majority of people Drs see that is all that is needed to be done to get good control.

    • Hi Doug, While 2000mg a day is near the recommended daily max for a healthy person, most people tend to consume FAR more than this on a daily basis. It can be hard to drop lower than that all at once, so just getting down to 1500-2000mg is enough to make a difference especially if you space it evenly throughout the day and drink plenty of water to keep the concentrations low. Also less than 500mg daily sodium would be a dangerously low amount. We need some sodium to stay alive. While it may be less than 500mg that we actually need for life, it’s a dangerously low amount. I agree that some people may need closer to 1000mg or less but I would not feel comfortable recommending such a thing. If your doctor recommends it thats one thing, but I felt it was better to recommend a slightly higher amount as a starting point. I hope that makes sense.

  9. Yes, Glen we need some sodium to stay alive, but if you eat meat and dairy products, you should get enough sodium from what is naturally in food. If you have are healthy properly functioning regulation system you don’t need added salt in food and you will have aldosterone levels at what nature intended and what the body evolved to have over millions or years. The Body doesn’t need more 300mg of sodium, more than that is excreted. Aldosterone levels dictate how much sodium is absorbed not the amount of salt you ingest, the less sodium you eat, the more is absorbed because more aldosterone is produced which enables sodium to be absorbed. It was discussed on a forum where many of us who reduced sodium intake below 500mg found our blood sodium levels went from being low to mid range of normal. Also studies have been done on some tribes of people on why they where so very healthy and strong at old age, what they found was they had a diet of less than 300mg/day of sodium. I think you should feel uncomfortable suggesting intakes of sodium, 2 or 3 times what Drs recommend for MD patients, and what is recognized as the most important, effective and successful management strategy. Sorry, Glen but it has to be said that I think suggesting that much sodium is irresponsible because of the detrimental, debilitating and massive negative affect on some peoples quality of life it can have. Besides when you eat that much sodium it is hard to discern how much sodium is in food and it is hard to tell if the food you are eating has too much salt and wether you should be eating it. 460 mg is considered an adequate sodium intake. https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/sodium

    • Doug, I understand what you are saying, but I kindly disagree. First and foremost, some of the most respected Neurotologists in the US make a similar recommendation to mine. Dr. Timothy Hain at the Chicago Dizziness and Hearing institute recommends 2000mg a day to patients as part of his hydrops diet for Meniere’s disease (http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/menieres/menieres.html#Hydrops). He stresses the importance of consistency and explains that it’s fluctuations in daily intake that often cause problems. Also keep in mind, your level of hydration plays a role as well. Concentration is important. If you are drinking a lot of water, you will have a lower concentration. As far as your recommendation, you are making the assumption that everyone will eat meat and dairy products which is absolutely not the case. I eat meat but very few dairy products. Many of my readers are vegans or vegetarians as well.

      • Have you got anywhere with Dr Hain my mom is going to him and we are going in circles. She doesn’t leave her bed.

  10. Thank you so much for these posts. Recently diagnosed, about 5 months ago. Been pretty tough and after getting more and more depressed with all the things I read online, it’s a breath of fresh air to read something with a positive outlook. Some great tips and practical advice here. I recently started my cleanse and I’m using your tracking tool, so hopefully I can start seeing a pattern somewhere in all the madness. Even if not, at least I’ll be healthier in general so win-win. 🙂 Again, thanks for the encouragement and keep up the good work.

  11. Hi Glenn,
    I am so glad I found your blog. If anything it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my suffering. I have suffered with severe vertigo, nausea and lightheadedness for 6 years now. I tried unsuccessfully in the beginning to get a diagnosis but here in Australia we are behind the US when it comes knowledge of the brain and these types of problems. It’s only recently after a bad vertigo attack when my son was admitted to ICU I realised I needed to get a diagnosis so I could control my symptoms. My quality of life for the last 4 months has pretty much been nil but I haven’t given up. Unfortunately I suffer many chronic illnesses which is making it difficult for my Dr to treat me. I have started Hygroton to help reduce fluid build up and also Serc but for some reason it seems to make my vertigo and brain fog worse. I downloaded your free tool and am hoping I find a trigger. So far the only triggers I have found are being stressed and too much sensory input. Just a question is feeling dizzy on and off all day due to menieres? I seem to have full blown attacks but in the following months I’m left with dizziness, brain fog, nausea and a feeling of imbalance especially if I’ve had to go shopping or spend time around family where lots of talking is going on. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  12. My Menieres started when I was 18 & I am now 70. At first the Drs. could not identify this desease. Over the years I suffered many violent attacks. Through the years I would get months of no attacks but it would always come back leaving me very ill & defeated. My doctor did several genimisin treatments which has taken all my hearing in my right ear. Unfortunately , I have bilateral Ménière’s disease. I try to stay positive but as I write this I am suffering with an attack. Hopefully, more research will be done as this silent disease is recognized .

    • Hi Veronica. 52 years is such a long time to suffer with this terrible disease. But there is new researching happening all the time now. Next week, I will be publishing an article on one such new research effort that needs the help of the Meniere’s community!

  13. Hi I’m 57 and have suffered from md with no vertigo for the Last 15 years. I have severe tinnitus and hyperacissis in my right ear and deaf in my left ear from childhood. I have followed every single suggestion in this article and still have no relief.

    From 2013 to 2014 I had a very bad tinnitus/hyperacusis attack that lasted 10 months. My mother had a stroke and I was taking care of her at the hospital during that time. Doing my research I found supplements for tinnitus that helped together with a diuretic . I went into a kind of remission from Oct 2014 through January 2016. I am now going through a very tough time. It has come back with a vengeance. The noises have subsided somewhat but the hyperacusis is awful and hearing is muffled and pressure in the ear is unbareable.

    I’m very depressed and going through major anxiety. Haven’t been going to work because impossible to function this way.

    Please need help or any advise on relief

  14. My mom was recently diagnosed and has found no relief. She is not able to do anything except stay in bed. The attacks are every day. They have her on a few meds but all that they are doing is putting her to sleep. She can not leave her house, stay sitting up long enough for a meal and bang another attack. She is on a very low sodium diet

  15. Hi Glenn and Debbie.
    My husband has suffered since March 21st this year and was diagnosed just three days ago with all the test results. He was also having attacks everyday. He is very depressed. Hasn’t worked in two months. It has taken a toll on the whole family. He is such a happy, fun loving guy and it has been so debilitating and so hard to watch him go through this, it’s like he’s being tortured! Such a strong energetic guy. He’s been sleeping in the basement and needs darkness and lots of blankets. The attacks are everyday. He can’t move and we’ve had to feed him a few times. Gravol is his best friend. Need I go on?
    His last attack was Saturday. I’m just waiting now to see when the next one will be. He is in construction which makes it even worse. If he had a desk job or, can work from home, things would be different!! It is his own company and he does have men working for him but, it’s not enough. He needs to be there and needs to work as well. Only thing grateful for is it hasn’t been that busy the last few months but, work is picking up again. My son has driven him a few days this week and he managed a few days. He comes home and says he is just dizzy for now. He has tinnitus which he only developed last year. Through this whole thing the last few months, the one big trigger he’s noticed is when the tinnitus gets really loud, that’s when he has an episode/attack.
    Btw he has cut down on salt, caffeine and alcohol from day one, when I researched and diagnosed it myself.

    The doctor gave him a diuretic for now. We will see how that works. Won’t know for a few weeks he said though.
    We all need a miracle!!

  16. Glenn,
    I also heard it goes in stages. The beginning is worse. Can go into remission and gets better. Is this true? Is there really hope?

    • Hi Norine, I’m so sorry to hear how much your husband has been struggling! I can relate entirely. As far as stages, that’s true, but it doesn’t seem to be that way for everyone. A lot of people find ways to cope and manage their symptoms. When I was first diagnosed, my Neurotologist told me there was no reason to expect that I would not be able to improve my symptoms, or lose my hearing. I encourage you to have your husband read this article and start trying some of these lifestyle changes. It’s difficult but a lot of people do see improvements. It takes time, especially if his symptoms are really bad, but he should still stick with it. The healthier he can be the better. And while it can go into remission, it hasn’t for me, though I also haven’t had a vertigo attack in years. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to manage my symptoms, but most of the time I feel pretty good! At the very least have him download my free symptom trigger tool (http://www.mindovermenieres.com/a-free-tool-to-identify-your-menieres-disease-triggers/) and start filling one out each day. It will help him figure out what his triggers are. I’m not sure he’s right about Tinnitus being a trigger. Tinnitus is a symptom and will get worse when his other symptoms flare up. So when he has a vertigo attack, the Tinnitus spike and ear fullness are a part of it, rather than the trigger of it.

      I hope some of these suggestions can help your husband! I encourage the two of you to read through some of the old posts I’ve written, and possibly even my book as well. And if you ever have any questions, feel free to email me at glenn@mindovermenieres.com.

  17. I’m listening to Sam Harris’ “Waking Up” which contains a lengthy entry on how to mindfully meditate. His podcast of the same name starts with two meditation episodes. Worth a listen if you find value in meditation.

    I used to put myself in a mediative state while drafting, without realizing what I was doing.

    • It’s actually been on my reading list for a while now. Definitely plan to read it. I’ll have to check out his podcast as well. Dan Harris’s book 10% Happier is really good too. I read it recently.

  18. Hi I can relate to all these comments I have been living with this condition for 8years . After a period of nine months I thought my life was over I struggled with Dr’s,ENT Specialist, I was given Gentermicin Injection where for three months I could not walk and could not move my head and sitting in a car was hell. After many hospital visits, one day I decided that I was not going to be defined by my illness, I was going to do everything possible to get my life back I did the rounds of Specialist again ( I live in Mackay Qld , and had to go to Brisbane I found a Dr who prescribed Cinnarizne, you can only buy it from America and NZ . That helped me to get back to work and releave symptons. Unfortunately I developed an allergic reaction and had to come off it. Then two days before a planned holiday a year and half ago it came back with a vengeance. I now, with great sorrow I had to give up work, but since I made that decision feel so much pressure has been taken off me stress , I found was a big trigger for me. I have started Yoga reduced salt, sugar diet. I now have given myself permission to focus on my health , I have learnt to say no, and try and not make to many plans. I have a supportive Partner and I have a daughter with a disability, she needs me to be well. I have been taking Serc, Diauretics, Ended, now I have just stared SPC flakes. I am not giving up.

  19. This is a very informative and positive article so thank you for providing me with some hope. I have been suffering since July 2016 (so nearly 5 months) and have just had my case finally classified as Meniere’s. All I have been told about and read about is all the things I need to give up or reduce i.e. salt, alcohol, caffeine. Basically a lot of stuff I like! Anyway I am trying hard to get my head around this but what I was lacking was a sense of it getting better, i.e. the brighter side of life.

    • Hey David, I’m sorry to hear you’re diagnosis has been confirmed, but getting the diagnosis is definitely half the battle. And while many of the things you have to give up are things you like, you may discover that you can tolerate some of it in small amounts perfectly well later on. It’s a good idea to do a sweeping lifestyle change on a temporary basis, to eliminate as many common triggers as possible, but later on you can try reintroducing some of it with controlled tests. For example, I can tolerate a cup of coffee in the morning perfectly fine on most days. More than that and I’m risking trouble, but thats the kind of thing you can find out. I recommend grabbing a copy of my Symptom Trigger Tool if you haven’t already, and start keeping track of your diet/lifestyle/environment: http://mindovermenieres.com/journal

      It will help you figure out what specifically is triggering you!

      Best of luck David!

  20. all very good thoughts to help avoid total panic , fear, and breakdown.
    i had a endolymohatic sac decompression three years ago this month. it helped control vertigo along with salt reduction to 1000mg.
    i now feel more edgy and fear it is coming back . how long does the surgery last for? does it ever burn out? does acupuncture work?
    Thanks for the forum.

    • I’m not sure about the long term effects of the surgery Terry, but the disease can change over the years. Could the edginess you feel be stress related? Most people find increase in stress correlates to an increase in symptoms. Maybe someone else will comment on the long term effects of the surgery.

      • thanks , it could be partly due to increase stress . it is really hard to balance low sodium diet too and eat very few foods now . add early CHF and i don’t know which is causing symptoms. when you feel good it is wonderful but all this rain and snow this winter was hard on menieres people . magnesium seems to help .

  21. Terry,
    I had endolyphatic shunt surgery on 10/24/2016 after a month of being diagnosed.
    The surgery changed my life for the worse. What were your effects you had after the surgery ?
    Ive tried the Menieres diet, migraine diet, the life style change and I continue to have minute, hourly and daily symptoms of Menieres. I have not returned to work, I dont drive and lost 40 lbs from nausea stomach etc. Any suggestions from Mind Over Menieres reader would be helpful. I started prednisone today. Im open to suggestions – veronicayvasquez32@yahoo.com

    Glen,
    Any suggestions would be a blessing..

    • Have you tried Intratympanic steroid shots? Many people find them extremely beneficial and it’s a relatively low risk procedure. The only downside is that the relief doesn’t last as long as many would hope. Thats why companies like Otonomy are working to create a longer acting slow release injectable steroid for meniere;s patients.

      • Glenn
        I haven’t tried the steroid injections as of yet. Hopefully, that’s the next step of preventing treatment from my Dr at the House Clinic in LA. It’s been a challenging 5 months.

  22. I have bilateral Ménière’s disease, autoimmune inner ear disease, and Patulous Eustachian Tue dysfunction. I have been dealing with the debilitating affects for nearly 20 years.

    It has been a challenge at best. I have symptoms 24×7. It never goes away. I have the roaring tinnitus, pain and pressure in both of my ears–the left being the worst.

    I am in a constant state of dizziness and being off balance. It’s like when I move–everything moves.

    I do have periods that are better than others. Spring is the absolute worst with all of the allergies.

    If I watch my diet, I’m better. I haven’t had alcohol since I was first diagnosed as my ears are so bad. I also watch my salt. No products with msg or other preservatives, no products with vinegar, no processed meats, definitely watch my salt. No caffeine. Keep moving as much as possible. I know the thingyou want to do is sit or lie still, but moving helps the brain and eyes to try and keep up with the ears are doing.

    I have found that chiropractic care and massage therapy help. It’s s full time job that is for sure.

    Lastly…I remain in faith. God has been so good to me even through such debilitating disease.

    Stay the course everyone. Blessings

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