Lifestyle changes are the first line of defense for every Meniere’s disease patient.

Some people respond to these changes better than others, but everyone seems to improve to some degree, even if they don’t benefit as much as they had hoped they would.

In this 16 minute video, I outline some of the most important lifestyle changes that you can make to improve your Meniere’s disease symptoms.

Topics Include: Dietary changes, managing stress, physical fitness, improving sleep, treating allergies, and creating routines.

Links and resources mentioned in the video:

How to Find a Better Meniere’s Disease Specialist

How to Find your Meniere’s Disease Triggers

Strategies Tips and Tricks for a Low-Sodium Lifestyle 

Low-Sodium Snack Recommendations

More Low-Sodium Snack Recommendations

How to Fall Asleep with Tinnitus

Meditation Techniques:

All of the following techniques are taken from my book, Mind Over Meniere’s: How I Conquered Meniere’s Disease and Learned to Thrive:

Technique #1 – Stomach Breathing Meditation

Stomach breathing is a simple and powerful approach to meditation. For beginners, it’s a great way to get started. It can be done while sitting or lying down.Turn the lights off and get comfortable. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and turn your phone off or on silent to avoid distractions.

Close your eyes and start taking slow deep breaths into your diaphragm. Consciously relax your muscles, starting with your feet and working your way up to your head. As you continue to breathe, focus your mind on the physical sensations of your abdomen. Feel the movement of the muscles as they expand and contract. Continue until your timer goes off. If you catch your thoughts drifting away from your stomach, gently guide your focus back. You will find that this happens less and less over time.

Technique #2 – Counting Breath Meditation:

This is another great technique for beginners. It can be done sitting or lying down. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and make sure you will not be distracted. Turn the lights off and get comfortable. Again, consciously relax your muscles, starting with your feet and working your way up to your head.

With each inhale, hold your mind completely blank. As you exhale, count the breath (in your mind) throughout the whole exhale.

It goes like this: inhale (mind blank), exhale (ooooonnnnnnneeeeee), inhale (mind blank), exhale (tttttttwwwwwwooooooooo), inhale (mind blank), exhale (ttttthhhhhrrrrreeeeeee), and so on. Keep going until you count your 10th exhale, and then start over back at one. Repeat until your timer goes off. If you catch your mind drifting, gently bring it back to the exercise and start the count back at one.

Technique #3 – Mantra Meditation:

Mantra meditation has become very popular worldwide as a result of the Transcendental Meditation movement, also known as TM. TM is taught through a paid course, where an instructor gives a private mantra to the student. Many people report that having an instructor and having to pay for classes helps to keep them accountable, and as a result, the habit sticks.

It is not necessary, however, to pay for TM classes. Mantra meditation can be done on your own. First though, you have to select a mantra. You can use “Om” if you’d like, but really any word will do. Whatever word you choose, its purpose is to act as a point of focus for your mind.

Like the previous two techniques, it can be done sitting comfortably or lying down. Set a timer and make sure you will not be distracted. Close your eyes and consciously relax your muscles, starting with your feet and working your way up to your head. Start to breathe deeply into your diaphragm. After each breath, mentally repeat your mantra. Focus your attention on the mantra and hold your mind clear as you take each breath. If you find your thoughts drifting, that’s okay. Just gently bring your focus back to the mantra. Repeat this until your timer goes off.

  1. Patricia Eastwood

    As a seasoned Meniere’s sufferer, I can speak from 3+ decades if experience with this medical phenomena. I believe we have differing experiences, but of course the effects are the same….quality of life problems,to name just one!
    In 2014 the most violent of Meniere’s “attacks” threw me on the ground causing me to smash my head and break my ankle and a toe! I was vacationing in Sicily at that time and having to deal with the Italian healthcare system and a foreign language was a major task, not to mention the initial trauma. After this incident I sought out any form of treatment, which I felt was worth a try. That’s when I found my acupuncturist, with a speciality in Menieres. My doctor also found that I had sinus issues as well. I take a strong eucalyptus candy (which the Greeks make) to take care of that one.

    If anyone is interested in trying the acupunture, or learning about it..please do let me know. I only want to help and save others from this most debilitating malady.

    Kindest regards,


          • Patricia Eastwood

            Having worked with medical specialist most of my life, I got to know a great deal about each specialty. I found ENT (aka orolaryngologists, ear, nose and throat) docs were the ones who had a hard time clearly defining many of patient’s problems. The good ones I know of moved into base of skull diseases,,,,much more interesting, and definealble.
            I had may bad bouts of tonsillitis as a young person and I truly believe that the sinuses are, in some way attributable to the Meniere’s phenomenon. Only time, perhaps will tell. All I know is I take care of you sinuses and use eucalyptus to keep me symptom-free. We all react differently, but this works for me.

        • I was told about the sinus infection / upper respiratory infection twice in the ER. First time, I had mild vertigo and was given a Z pak. That was the first time I had even heard of the word ” vertigo. Second time, I had a sinus infection / upper respiratory infection was I was taken by ambulance to ER due to experiencing my first violent episode of vertigo. I was given a 21 day antibiotics for infections. All symptoms were gone for 23 days, then on my way to work while drinking a double shot of coffee I experienced my second violent episode of vertigo. I still had not been diagnosed nor told not to drink coffee yet. I was diagnosed with Menieres in September, tried one water pill that same evening. I was back in the ER with another episode of vertigo. Saw the ENT a few days after. He referred me to the best LA House for Menieres. Saw doctor on 10/17 and surgery was on 10/24, my life has never been the same after surgery.

    • Veronica— I just had my first violent attack of vertigo last Tuesday. I went to Cedars Sinai hospital ER where I was admitted, and all other grave conditions ruled out via testing. The problem is the inner ear, and Cedars would do nothing for it other than to throw some Meclazine pills at me, Zofran for nausea and a walker, and urge me to see an ENT this week. I am interested in the endolyphatic shunt surgery you mentioned. House Ear Clinic is well known.
      Would love to know when you had your surgery, what you tried before to mitigate symptoms of Meniere’s. And how the surgery has affected your life?
      I still have kids in school and cannot afford to be incapacitated as I was for 3 days this last week.

  2. Sodium on its own, is not always or necessarily a trigger. But, like he said, avoid big loads of too much. All but home made pizza is out. In the U.S., avoiding sodium at high levels is nearly impossible because it is hidden in so much processed food. 27 years ago, when it began for me, it was hard. Now, they pump more sodium into processed foods more then ever. Forget about ALL fast food.
    Caffeine is a big trigger. Chocolate is a big trigger. Just, drop them both. Forever! I have to assume, you don’t smoke, like most people but, avoid even second hand smoke.
    Tyramine, found in leftovers and fermented foods, is a trigger. (Yes, most people do not know this yet.) Avoid all cheese except farmers (fresh) cheese! Avoid fermented foods like kimchee, tap beer, red wine (or all wine), and all the many other fermented foods. Meat left over in the fridge also has tyramine. Best to eat it all at once and do not store it long. There is tyramine in some vegetables but, for the most part, it is so low, you can ignore it.
    There is one thing you cannot ever avoid: pressure changes due to seasonal changes in the weather. Fall tends to be the worst. Spring can also be pretty bad. Mid winter is a toss up. Summer (except for the heat and humidity) is usually the best but STAY HYDRATED. Indeed, be sure to drink water. Not to excess but, have glass in the morning, one at lunch, one at dinner, and maybe 2-4 more during the day, depending on how much water you loose (heat, dryness of winter, exercise).
    The low sleep temp is also great advice! Also keep your thermostat at 69 or lower (67/66) during winter (put on a sweater! drink decafe tea [warning: it has caffeine in it! if you have any sensitivity to caffeine, you may have to give that up too!]) and then, you can cool it in summer at 72 or higher (versus 78+, which can be a trigger). Also use a humidifier during dry months. Keep your sinuses and middle ear happy. It helps.
    Wash your face before bed and splash with cold water to remove pollutants.
    Bath at least ever 2-3 days. Bathing every day might be too much and drys you out. Use moisturizer on your skin. Cetaphyl is non comedogenic (no zits). Worth the extra cost. Use the lotion.
    Take a vitamin D supplement in winter months. 400-1000 IU. However, have your GP do a vitamin D test. They might want to hit you with a big dose (x2) to get it back up if really low. Which, for most of us in winter, trapped in our homes sick, it is!
    OK, that is not all of it but, that is a quick 27 years of living with it has taught me. Be sure to go to a research and teaching university medical center ENT or otolaygology clinic for a definitive diagnosis. Also see a neurologist there too. Almost for sure, MD is also vestibular migraine or tightly interacting. There are a number of drug options for that. Verapamil is most common but also some other serotonin inhibitors and other options your neurologist can help you with.
    The absolute best time to try out a new drug is when you are not in a period of attacks. A new drug can cause things to be worse. But, going on a low low dose of something when not feeling so bad, often will result in much better results.
    BTW: you absolutely do not need to have a scan of your head. This is a bad ENT or other doctor covering all the bases. But it is costly and most of the time, shows nothing. Using proper skill and diagnostic methods, a skilled ENT and neurologist, can tell what you have. A GP and younger doctors with less experience, cannot. So go to that research and teaching hospital!
    Acupuncture, special diets, snake oil pills, all the rest, has show in peer reviewed research studies to do nothing or so very little, it is either placebo or just random success.

  3. The biggest difference for me was when I began to take Betahistine, it really works for me. Have you tried it?

    • Luckily, I haven’t needed Betahistine, but if my symptoms became unmanageable, it would be the very first thing I would try. I know so many people who find it beneficial!

    • I started taking SERC a week ago, started with 4 mg every 8 hours. Now I’m up to 8 mg every 8 hours. I’ve noticed the extreme headaches, sense of feeling out of it at a ultimate high, and my stomach hurts. SERC ?

      • I’m on higher doses than that and thank goodness haven’t had any of those symptoms. I believe you are supposed to take it with food. I’m sorry to hear that it isn’t working for you.

        • I started Serc, 16mg 3x a day, 4 days ago. I was diagnosed with MD 4 days ago also! Big shock as I haven’t had any vertigo, only constant tinnitus, ear fullness, headaches and a slight sensation of tipping over to the side of effected ear. I didn’t realise you could have MD without vertigo. I have also had a difficult 7 years with Crohn’s Disease, so this is the cherry on the cake. What symptoms did the SERC work on for you and how long did it take to kick in? I also immediately started on low sodium diet.

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