Can Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Relieve Meniere’s Symptoms?

Lymphatic system head and neckLymphatic Drainage for Meniere’s Disease

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Menieres-Help.Com

Researcher and author of Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free and The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

If you have been “diagnosed” with having Meniere’s, then you have probably heard the term “endolymphatic hydrops”.
 ‘Endolymph’ is the fluid that can be found in the labyrinth of the inner ear. In study’s done in 2001 it was concluded that the inner ear has a lymphatic drainage system connected to the lymph nodes close by in the neck.
The lymphatic system is the body’s drainage system.  It is a complex network of vessels throughout the body that is designed to drain fluid from the tissues of the body and return the fluid to the circulatory system. The lymphatic system is also an integral part of the immune system.
If there is a build up of fluid inside the ear causing hydrops (inflammation or swelling) then it would make perfect sense to assume taking action to help the fluid drain away would reduce or relieve the symptoms that result from this excess fluid. After all the whole concept of an endolymphatic shunt is ‘drain’ the excess fluid away.  Is it necessary to have such invasive surgery or can this fluid be drained into the lymphatic system as it should be through other means?
 In the ‘Compendium of Dr Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage’  Renato Kasseroller is quoted as saying in relation to Meniere’s Disease:
“Experience has shown that improving the rheology (the ability to flow or be deformed ) and Lymphatic drainage flow also improves the symptoms. These patients usually exhibit clearly discernable paravertebral muscle tension in the neck region.
Treatment always begins with draining the cervical Lymph nodes of the neck, beginning with the nape, and head. After that specialized therapeutic techniques are applied to the ear, inner ear along with internal oral drainage. The extensor musculature of the back is also treated. Treatment time is around 45 minutes, with daily sessions at first. After about two weeks 2-3 sessions per week are enough. The attacks will become less frequent and less severe.”
I have serious doubts over the claim, “After about two weeks 2-3 sessions per week are enough. The attacks will become less frequent and less severe.” I can find no studies showing this and more importantly in my eyes I have seen no evidence from the thousands of sufferers who have contacted Meniere’s Help in the past.
That said, MLD may have some very beneficial short term effects and provide temporary relief.
It is claimed that scientific studies have proven that the immune system is supported and even boosted as a result of receiving regular MLD treatments.  A sluggish lymphatic system increases the chance of chronic illness and disease.
In addition to helping relieve Meniere’s, It is also claimed that MLD treatments can relieve tinnitus and sinusitis . Tinnitus is one symptom of Meniere’s and the sinuses are an important factor in many sufferers.
Among over 9000 emails sent to Meniere’s help from sufferers over the past 13 years, I could only find one that mentions Lymphatic drainage therapy or MLD and in this person’s case it didn’t prove successful.
overcome Meniere's disease
So I went online to see if I could find anecdotal evidence from sufferers, either good or bad.
The first case I found  was a lady who claimed she had reversed the symptoms of Autoimmune Inner ear Disorder (AIED) including regaining her hearing. In addition to AIED she also had several other conditions and had this to say:
“I have systemic autoimmune problems affecting my joints, thyroid, digestive tract and I’ve been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome which is autoimmune and affects eyes, mouth etc. The lymphatic drainage therapy positively affected all of these to a lesser degree.

After one year, I returned for a hearing test. My left ear was completely normal. I could hear in my right ear at 25 decibels and could distinguish words at 98%. I continue to have mild tinnitus in the right ear.

At two years, I have maintained the improvement. The downside is that I find I must continue the lymphatic drainage therapy to maintain the improvement—although on a greatly reduced schedule. And, insurance won’t pay for it.”

I trawled the facebook Meniere’s groups to see if anyone was commenting about Manual Lymphatic drainage. I found a few posts but not many comments. The comments were mixed in terms of results:

One post showed a video regarding a self MLD technique (see video below). Some comments on this post were:

Just gave it a shot while I was watching it. First up, I did feel a relief of pressure in my ears. Prior to starting I had a lot of pressure but low level dizziness. The pressure seems to have reduced but dizziness has increased a lot.”

I tried it and it took a lot of pressure off my ears they don’t feel as full and my tinnitus has eased off a little And my head doesn’t feel as foggy.”

“I have, for the past year or so. I use it whenever my ears feel too full. It seems to help.”

FB Comments regarding MLD therapy on other posts:

“I already get MLD for a lymph condition I have in my arms and legs. No help for my MD.

“I tried it and had terrible headache might Ave just been a coincidence.”

From Menieres disease UK forum:

“About a month ago I entered the best vestibular health I have ever had (with Vitamin supplements, massage, osteopathy, low salt diet and manual lymphatic drainage)”

The Lymphatic system drains and filters lymph circulating around the body. Unwanted antigens are cleansed and clean fluid re-enters the blood stream. Primary lymphoid organs include the thymus, bone marrow and fetal liver.

Bone marrow and the thymus are very important for the immune system. Dysfunction in the thymus leads to problems with T-cell regulation. T-cell regulation has been linked to Meniere’s disease. Read more on T-cells and Meniere’s here.

If lymphatic fluid, lymph, is not drained and filtered properly it will re-enter the blood stream contaminated. Its primary re-entry point is in the base of the neck on the left.  If contaminants are not drained they will accumulate locally around the body and can cause disease states.

Could the endolymphatic sac be one of these accumulation points?

Could the constant elevated immune response to that accumulation of contaminants in the endolymphatic sac be what results in Meniere’s symptoms? Could the fluctuations in symptoms be a result of partial drainage at times and more accumulation and blockage at others? Could natural remission be a result of enough of these contaminants being drained properly at that time?

After all it is generally accepted that approximately one-third of Meniere’s disease cases seem to be of an autoimmune origin. It is generally accepted that blockage or over production of endolymph within the ear is the cause of hydrops. If, as studies show the inner ear has a drainage system to the lymph nodes then ‘drainage’, or the lack of it, would seem an obvious candidate for cause and treatment.

It would make a lot of sense, and something to consider despite the somewhat hypothetical nature of the questions.

You can look at all science and possibilities but the simple fact that if there is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the inner ear and manipulative massage can help drain that fluid away then pressure should reduce within the ear.

In theory and from the claims of therapists who practice MLD it would make perfect sense that this could help reduce symptoms. But there is very little evidence of this available in the way of first hand accounts from sufferers.

MLD is a specialized technique but you can also practice self lymphatic drainage massage. Watch the video below for self massage for the ear.

(see comments from FB above regarding this video)

Some comments on youtube under this video:

“this worked great!!! i first boiled a pot of water and let the steam cover my face and ear for 5 min allowing the steam to open things up a bit then followed massage techniques on this video, (doing 2 rounds of the massages in one evening).. My ear was feeling full and had tinnitus.. ALL has cleared up!! AND tinnitus gone!!! Thanks so much for posting this video :))”

“Absolutely amazing! I was able to clear my clogged ear by following your instructions.”

“It worked for me! I get tinnitus because of stress and tension in the neck area, and this definitely helped a lot with that.”

“This worked for me! I can hear much better now. Thanks!”

“Thanks, now I’m not dizzy anymore. My ear was bothering me because of my allergies. Now, if I can only stop my ears from buzzing.”

There are many more comments, many positive, some negative and some moronic. None actually mention ‘Meniere’s‘, but several mention sinuses and tinnitus.

The video below is not directly related to the lymphatic system, but claims this technique can help reduce tinnitus headache, vertigo and sinus congestion. Perhaps by combining the two techniques in these videos you can find some quick relief from your symptoms in times of increased pressure.

NOTE: It would be well worth reading the comments under this video on youtube for advice and perspective and some less positive remarks. It seems technique is important.  You could make things worse if you pull too hard, but below is a small selection of the many positive comments.

Not a cure for Meniere’s and very doubtful a permanent fix for tinnitus related to Meniere’s. However, if this can give relief when allergies and sinuses are increasing your symptoms, it is well worth trying. Strangely enough, there is certainly more positive feedback found regarding this odd little trick than for MLD.

“absolutely brilliant. Suffering with Migraines and vertigo for yrs and now I feel much better.”

“My ear crackled or popped, it did not hurt at all. Immediately my sinus’ started draining! I always have thick drainage in my throat, constantly clearing it… NOTHING is hanging back there for me to clear! This is freaking incredible.”

“Vertigo is the worst thing ever! Used the techniques and stopped it!”

“I haven’t been able to really breathe through my left nostril for years. My sinuses are terrible. It worked almost instantly! Thank you!”

“I’m a truck driver and have had tinnitus for some time. I tried this technique and it calmed the tinnitus in my right ear almost immediately. Thank you”

“I have suffered with Ménière’s disease for years. I’ll try anything. I did feel a pressure release and something draining. Hopefully this is what I needed.”

“It worked for me! Thank you”

“Holy crap it works!”

“I tried this and the tinnitus volume immediately lowered. That’s quite amazing.”

“Dr. Mendel thank you this has helped get rid of my vertigo. Wow!”

One final note that may give some credence theoretically to the benefits of manual lymphatic drainage, the importance of the lymphatic system, the fact that there may be a blockage and also the relevance of the sinuses. Below is a short excerpt from my own Meniere’s story. (Click the tab at the top of the page ‘Mike’s Meniere’s Story’ or the link below to read how I overcome Meniere’s).  I had been almost symptom free for several years, almost because I still had hearing loss at that time but then this happened:

“While playing football I broke my cheek bone and eye socket in a clash of heads. It was on the same side as my affected ear and after the initial stunning blow and minutes of intensely heavy  pain, blood started pouring down through my left sinus and out of my nose.  The blow severed nerves between my eye socket and cheek bone and that left my teeth numb. I was very lucky that the nerves somehow fixed themselves.

The shock was that only minutes after the clash of heads my sinuses felt clearer than I could remember and all my hearing returned! I was so happily surprised that I almost forgot about the painful injury.

For four or five years I had believed, ever since my endolymphatic shunt implant that the hearing in my left ear had been damaged permanently.  The hearing only lasted for a few weeks but it had me asking more and more questions. I had been hearing of so many others regaining their hearing while on the supplements and knew it was possible but in my case, after years with the worst symptoms it had fluctuated then abruptly after the shunt operation it seemed doomed to a permanent low level. Had the blow moved some skeletal alignment, had it unblocked some tubes, what was going on?”

The blood that was pouring out of my nose was mixed with a clear fluid – lymph

Click Here to Get Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free
Click Here to Get The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

Related articles:

How to Overcome Meniere’s Disease

Preventing Deafness and Restoring Hearing

Mike’s Meniere’s Story

 

Help other sufferers. We have no first hand accounts that any of this helps so if you have experience with MLD or either of these techniques, tell us all about it in the comments boxes below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com.

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Preventing Deafness and Restoring Hearing

Preventing Deafness and Restoring Hearing

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Menieres-Help.Com

Researcher and Author of Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free and The Need for Balance -Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

hearing_loss_menieres Stopping tinnitus and regaining hearing often seem the two most difficult things to achieve for some Meniere’s sufferers. But it can be done.

Audiologists are now accepting that prevention is possible through the correct diet but restoring hearing is a whole different matter. I was told by ENT doctors and audiologists that restoration of my hearing was impossible. I was told with each vertigo attack the nerve endings inside the ear were being destroyed and I would have to accept the fact I would be deaf. How deaf would depend on the level of hearing at the “burn out stage” of Meniere’s.

There is only a ‘burn out’ stage if the symptoms of Meniere’s are allowed to continue long term and even then there is no guarantee it will actually burn itself out. In fact I received an email days ago from a lady who had been suffering for 5 decades! Most of what I was told in the early days of my Meniere’s has been contradicted since or been simply proven to be wrong.

Sufferers who contact Meniere’s Help almost always tell of similar gloom and doom prophesies from their treating medical professionals.

However, before we go into the science and evidence in medical studies that contradict these passively accepted ‘beliefs’, I have to point out that many success stories tell of sufferers regaining their hearing and completely freeing themselves of Meniere’s, period. (Click here to learn more)

In my own case, the return of my hearing was a long time coming and full of contradictions. For the first 5 years of my Meniere’s ‘experience’ my hearing had fluctuated greatly from terrible to almost perfect as pressure, dizziness and tinnitus increased and subsided and full blown vertigo attacks came and went.  I then made the mistake of having an endolymphatic shunt implant. It was not only ultimately unsuccessful (and expensive at around $10,000) but following the surgery my hearing no longer fluctuated but remained at a very low level.

I like many other people found relief from the vertigo and dizziness through dietary changes and the use of a quality supplement regimen. I was free of all the symptoms of Meniere’s except a very slight tinnitus. My hearing was better but nowhere near the levels on good days prior to the shunt implant. This was the case for ten years.

Other people using the same supplement regimen regularly contacted me with their success stories (some of which you can read on this blog) and many would tell stories of how their hearing had returned. I was excited for them but rather envious too. I cursed the day I had decided to have that shunt implant. Knowing that so many others were regaining their hearing on the same regimen I was using and knowing how my hearing worsened following the implant, I was certain I was doomed to a life of deafness in my left ear.

The stories of others regaining their hearing didn’t really surprise me. Shortly after my audiologist in London had told me my hearing would never return, I went into remission naturally and suffered no symptoms at all for about 9 months. My hearing returned completely at that time.

Several years later I suffered a head injury playing football. I broke my eye socket and cheek bone on the side of the affected ear. Within minutes of the injury, blood and clear fluid poured down through my sinus and out of my nose. Very quickly I noticed my sinus and my ear felt clearer than I could ever remember and suddenly I noticed I could hear very clearly through my affected ear. It was strange moment; in agony from the broken bones but elated because I could hear again.

The hearing slid back down again over the following weeks but this experience threw up many questions, the answers to which both challenged and contradicted conventional ‘beliefs’ among the mainstream medical community regarding Meniere’s. Answers that eventually resulted in the understanding as to why there is such widespread passive acceptance by ENT doctors and Meniere’s ‘specialists’ that there was no known cause of Meniere’s and no known cure.

It is important to understand that there is no known ‘definitive’ cause and therefore no known ‘definitive’ cure.  The reasons for this are simple. There are several root causes and therefore several routes to finding your individual cure. Although the resulting symptoms are the mostly the same, the roots of these symptoms can be very different in each individual case. So the answers for each case will be different. (Click here to learn how to find and deal with your own root cause)

So then, regarding the prevention and yes, the restoration of your hearing – it can be done, has been done and is being done all the time; just as sufferers can free themselves of Meniere’s completely, have done and are dong so all the time.

In my case, after living free of all other symptoms for 10 years through dietary means, it wasn’t until I was worked on by an excellent chiropractor in Japan in 2012 that my hearing returned to normal and I could say with full confidence that I no longer had ‘Meniere’s Disease”. I no longer need that expensive supplementation, though I do eat healthily and help run an organic fruit farm.

If your treating doctor has told you, ‘there is nothing more to be done, take the drugs and lean to live with it‘ then it is down to  you to get proactive, informed, and take the appropriate action needed in your individual case. This could be something you do yourself or by seeking out the appropriate health professional depending on your own individual case. Often, the roots of your symptoms can be where you least expect it and not in the realms of consideration or knowledge of ENT doctors.

After years of supporting sufferers and preaching the benefits of diet, my focus for the past 8 years of research and writing has been almost totally on root causes.

I have over 20 years association with this condition.  7 years of suffering, 13 years of support work and now nearly 8 years of research and writing about solutions for Meniere’s sufferers. I formally studied clinical nutrition for 4 years prior to starting serious research, corresponded with and spoke to health professionals and thousands of other sufferers who were able to live symptom free through lifestyle changes and dietary changes, including supplementation. So I know the importance and significance of what we eat and drink.

The studies and information cited below regarding prevention of hearing loss, restoration of hearing and ear health in general underscore the importance of what you eat.

When asking yourself if it is indeed even possible to restore hearing, apart from the success stories that prove it is, consider the study of epigenetics.  Long before the focus became on modification, epigenetics showed us that DNA can repair itself naturally. Just as in the study of cellular biology shows us that cells regenerate either healthily or unhealthily depending on their environment. Both of these factors are influenced by what we eat. In fact they rely on it.  The DNA and cells in your ear are no different in this respect. You can restore your hearing, provided no destructive surgery has taken place.

overcome Meniere's disease

Restoring Hearing

In 2014 PubMed.gov published the findings of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2002 in the USA regarding ear health.  In the paper titled: ‘Healthy Diets, Healthy Hearing’ It was established that “a significant relationship between dietary nutrient intake and susceptibility to acquired hearing loss is emerging.”

The results of the survey showed, “we found a significant negative relationship between dietary quality and thresholds at higher frequencies, where higher dietary quality was associated with lower hearing thresholds.”

It concluded that, “The current findings support an association between healthier eating and lower high frequency thresholds in adults.”

Nutritional imbalances are increasingly thought to be a causative factor in hearing loss, tinnitus and in many cases Meniere’s in general. Nutrients found to be especially beneficial for protecting and improving hearing are astaxanthin, vitamin A, folate, zinc and magnesium.

The nutrients listed above support hearing health by, among other things:

  • Protecting against oxidative stress in the cochlea
  • Preventing free radical damage
  • Improving blood flow, thereby reducing cochlear damage related to a compromised vascular system
  • Improving homocysteine metabolism

Vitamin A and E

In 1984 a European study reported a 5 to 15 decibel improvement in patients with age-related hearing loss when given vitamins A and E. Other research concluded that vitamin A deficiency results in a decline in the number of sensory cells in the nose, tongue and inner ear.

In 2009, Japanese researchers found that adults with the highest blood serum levels of vitamin A and carotenoids have the lowest risk for hearing loss.

In 2014, researchers determined that vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy, especially during the early stages of fetal development ‘may predispose offspring to inner ear malformations and sensorial hearing loss.

Zinc

Research has shown zinc may be useful for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Although this is not considered Meniere’s of course, the interesting thing is, SSNHL is thought to be viral in origin, and over half of SSNHL sufferers regain their hearing.

Zinc has anti-viral properties, and studies have shown it can prevent common cold viruses from replicating or attaching to your nasal membranes. Zinc also has immune-boosting properties, allowing your body to mount a stronger first response at the onset of a viral infection.

A study published in Laryngoscope and on PubMed in 2011 had this to say about zinc:

“There was a significant correlation between serum zinc level changes and post treatment hearing thresholds by correlation analysis, as well as between changes of serum zinc levels and percentage of recovery in the zinc group.

Zinc supplementation may enhance the hearing recovery of SSNHL patients. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may help reduce the oxidative stress of the cochlea in SSNHL, implying a new direction in the treatment of this disease.”

This is significant for its relevance to the ear in general but also in that the root cause of Meniere’s in some people may be viral related.

Excess zinc can cause problems, so it should be obtained through a well balanced diet and/or the use of quality, balanced  supplementation in the form of multi vitamin/mineral. Indiscriminately taking zinc supplements can lead to nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, increase the chances of prostrate cancer in men and interfere with your body’s ability to absorb other minerals, which may lead to anemia.

Some good dietary sources of zinc are:  pumpkin seeds, ground sesame seeds, cashews, almonds, crimini mushrooms, spinach, sea vegetables and cheddar cheese.

Magnesium

Magnesium can be a very significant mineral for ear health, Meniere’s and tinnitus. You can read about the importance of Magnesium for Meniere’s here.

Medical News Today reported in 2014 that a study showed:

48 percent of SSNHL patients achieved recovery after receiving intravenous magnesium in combination with carbogen inhalation (a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen gas). Another 27 percent experienced significant improvement.”

It has to be noted in this study it was stated that the effectiveness of the treatment was reduced in patients who had vertigo. The article linked to above explains why magnesium can be so important for Meniere’s none the less.

Folate

Folate (Vitamin B9) has been shown to lower tinnitus. Folate also lowers your homocysteine, and having a high blood level of homocysteine has been linked to ‘age-related’ hearing loss.

Dr Mercola explains,

“There is good reason to consider getting your folate from food rather than folic acid supplements. In order for folic acid to be of use to your body, it must first be activated into its biologically active form — L-5-MTHF. This is the form that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

It’s been estimated that nearly half of all adults have difficulty converting folic acid into the bioactive form because of a genetic reduction in enzyme activity. For this reason, if you take a B-vitamin supplement, make sure it contains natural folate rather than synthetic folic acid.”

Good sources of folate are: Asparagus, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, beans and lentils.

Christopher Spankovich, who has been studying the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2002 mentioned above states that,

“Some work that I did (Spankovich et al., 2011) demonstrated a relationship between vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and lycopene with better auditory function and higher cholesterol and fat with poorer auditory function. Gopinath et al. (2011b) found a significant relationship between increased odds of hearing loss with higher dietary cholesterol intake. There also is research data showing increased odds of hearing loss with higher carbohydrate and sugar intake (Gopinath et al., 2010).”

Spankovich was also quoted in 2013 in the International Journal of Audiology as stating:

“a significant relationship between dietary nutrient intake and susceptibility to acquired hearing loss is emerging.”

An Australian study published in the International Journal of Nutrition in 2010 showed that diets high in sugar and carbohydrates detrimentally impacts hearing.

Research reported in the December 2010 issue of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery indicates that deficiencies in folic acid and B12 impinge on hearing by harming the nervous and vascular systems and perhaps even damaging the coating over the cochlear nerve.

Studies have shown that resveratrol found in grapes and wine dramatically lowered the amount of COX-2 in the inner ears of rats after exposure to 24 hours of noise. COX-2 is a protein that causes inflammation and may contribute to hearing loss. This may be one reason why Meniere’s sufferers have such positive results with grape seed extract.

The American Journal of Otolaryngolgy published a study in 1993 suggesting Vitamin B12  deficiency can result in tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

The results of the study showed, Patients with tinnitus and NIHL exhibited vitamin B12 deficiency in 47% of cases. This was significantly more compared with NIHL and normal subjects who exhibited vitamin B12 deficiency in 27% and 19%, respectively.

The author concluded that:

“These observations suggest a relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and dysfunction of the auditory pathway. “

In 2008, researchers at the University of Michigan reported that a study showed the use of Vitamins A,C and E improved hearing loss by 80%.

A 2010 paper from the University of Western Ontario,‘The effects of magnesium supplementation on sensorineural hearing damage’ concluded that magnesium supplementation is generally associated with a reduction in hearing damage caused by noise exposure and/or idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss in adults.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013 by doctor Yoon-Hyeong Choi and others, they reported that

there was a lower degree of hearing loss in the American population among those who took Magnesium and Antioxidant Vitamins. Though Dr Choi studied hearing loss, his results also apply to tinnitus.”

A 1993 study reported in ‘Science’ found that vitamin A can stimulate the regeneration of mammalian auditory hair cells.

Neurotrophin-3 (NT3)

Medical News Today reported in 2014 that the protein Neurotrophin-3 (NT3) was used to restore hearing in mice.

It was explained:

“This allows researchers to activate genes in particular cells by administering a drug that prompts the cells to ‘read’ additional copies of a gene that have been inserted into them. For this study, the team used the technique to activate additional NT3 genes that had been introduced to the supporting cells of the inner ear in mice that had been partially deafened by loud noise.

The drug tamoxifen was introduced to the supporting cells in the inner ear, which prompted them to produce extra NT3 protein … The researchers found the mice that had experienced boosted NT3 production regained their hearing over a 2-week period, compared with mice that had not had additional NT3 production …

[T]hey now plan to … identify drugs that produce the same effect as the protein, offering the potential to restore hearing loss in humans. The researchers note that the gene therapy technique used in this study has the potential to work in humans, but that a drug-based method would be ‘simpler’ and a drug could be repeatedly administered for as long as it takes for hearing to be restored.”

However, a Chinese study cited in 2012 in The African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology showed that the nutrient astaxanthin raises NT3 expression meaning the need for drugs is not necessary.

The two main sources of natural astaxanthin are the microalgae that produce it, and the sea creatures that consume the algae, such as salmon, shellfish and krill.

One study shows that supplementing with 1,200 mg of NAC per day for two weeks significantly decreased noise-related hearing loss of the subjects.

Another study found that taking a NAC supplement did not completely prevent hearing loss, but it did significantly reduce it after prolonged exposure to noise.

Since NAC does not naturally occur in foods, it would appear that you have to take this  as a supplement if you want to help your hearing. But if you eat poultry or yogurt, you can get a good amount of cysteine your body can use to make NAC.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in 2010 that suggested that increased intake of Omega-3 fatty acids could reduce age related hearing loss.

What do all these studies have in common?

Virtually all the studies above have three things in common:

  • The growing understanding of the importance of nutrition in ear health
  • How these nutrients promote blood flow
  • How antioxidants tackle the vastly under reported problem of free radicals in inflammation and therefore in disease states.

The fact that so many people regained their hearing while using the supplement regimen I used is therefore not so surprising after all. The regimen is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that promote blood flow and cardiovascular health.

Such a regimen may compensate somewhat for poor lifestyle choices and poor diets but cannot replace a healthy balanced (preferably organic whole food) diet.  The clue is in the word ‘supplementation‘. This form of nutrition is supposed to be used to ‘supplement‘ your diet, not to replace it but rather support it and work in synergy with real whole foods.

The ‘placebo’ effect, at least in my own case and many others is highly unlikely, in fact I believe impossible. Like many, back in 2002 when I first tried supplementation, I did so purely out of desperation, believing I had exhausted all other avenues for relief. I knew nothing of what I know now and frankly didn’t trust or believe in the idea at all. I was so desperate that I would have drunk kitchen bleach if there was a chance it might help.

Ultimately, as I wrote above, it wasn’t until I corrected the root cause of Meniere’s in my case that I regained my hearing. That was not the case for many others though, who regained their hearing purely through the application of nutrition.

Using high end, quality supplements is not cheap and something that usually needs to continue for sufferers to stay symptom free, at least at some level. There are those who would say that is a wise thing because it will help keep you generally healthy, disease free, and full of energy.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the money to even try these supplements in the first place, let alone continue with them long term. It would be very frustrating for me in years gone by when I would get mails from people such as single mothers on welfare suffering so badly with no hope at all of affording such supplements.

When I knew the regimen was helping so many others and yet far more people were either unable to afford them or just didn’t believe in them, something had to done to help these people. This was one of the many reasons 8 years ago I decided to research full time and  make it my life’s work to identify root causes and ways to deal with these causes. Helping sufferers free themselves of Meniere’s disease, regain their hearing and regain their life should not be so selective. Everyone deserves the chance and should lreceive all the help they can get. I believe and the evidence from readers suggests it is so, that although my research never ends, I achieved my goal somewhat when I published my second book, The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s .

You can read success stories elsewhere on this blog but below are a selection of email extracts from people who have overcome Meniere’s and specifically regained their hearing. You can do the same, and don’t let anyone tell you “there is nothing more to be done, learn to live with Meniere’s.”  I say, learn to live without it.

“After 3 days my attacks went from one per day to none, after 2 weeks my hearing was back and after 4 weeks my tinnitus could only be heard barely at night.”

“Approximately 8 months  I have had no symptons  –  have hearing test results that show my hearing loss has improved

“For the first time in years I can be in loud places, train hard, play Candy Crush and so forth, two tinnitus tones are gone and my hearing improved.”

“Thanks Mike. I’ve been symptom free for 3 years now. So far so good

“I bought your 1st book and learned a lot from it. Symptom free for about a year and a half.

“The “fog” I was living with has subsided and my tinnitus has decreased as well.  Earlier this year my hearing was so bad that I was unable to hear the fan that is placed right next to my head at night.  For years I have not been able to speak on the phone with my right ear and now I am able to.”

“My husband is now living symptom free.

“My mother has been very lucky, her Menieres has been cured.

Thank you Mike. All of my symptoms have gone away.

“The pressure did indeed back off which resulted in more low range hearing coming back.

“I turned to locally grown herbs which are cheaper and I came across morning herb. Using it made a big improvement helping me regain my balance, a good percentage of hearing and no vertigo but slight tinnitus.”

“Duane has noticed that his hearing fluctuates (occasionally) but has improved greatly.

“By the way, something I did not expect was the fact that I have regained some of my lost hearing. It has been four years since I was able to listen to a telephone conversation in my left ear. I had a conversation with my wife several weeks ago and at the end of the conversation I told my wife I listened to her with my left ear, she could not believe it. I am scheduled for another hearing test and I am excited about the upcoming results. I was not a candidate in the past for a hearing aid, I hope I don’t even need one now.”
“Within one week i had a massive remission of the deafness in my right ear”

All emails used with permission.

Click Here to Get Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free
Click Here to Get The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

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How to Overcome Meniere’s Disease

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Help other Meniere’s sufferers. Do you have experience of your hearing returning? Tell us all about it in the comments boxes below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com

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Fasting with Meniere’s Disease

How does fasting affect your condition when you suffer with Meniere’s Disease?

Is it a good idea? Can it help or can it make things worse?

What you eat and do not eat, the regularity and size of your meals can make a difference both positively and negatively if you are a Meniere’s sufferer.

Dietary considerations are important for the Meniere’s sufferer and there are many posts and articles on this blog and the main site (Menieres-Help.Com) related to this. (see bottom of page for links)

I recently received two emails that both mentioned fasting, one suggesting it produced good results while the other suggested it might have affected her condition in a negative way.

Positive:

Hey Michael,
I’m doing pretty good. I’m taking more of the grape seed extract to stop dizziness. And thankfully it does help me. I have cut salt out of diet even with prepared foods. Sodium is so my enemy. I fasted for 3 days recently and had no dizziness at all. So I know it is food. I continue to be careful. God I miss potato chips.
I recently realized that I may be harboring candida yeast in my body–saliva test positive…….
Thanks very much for asking after me. I do appreciate your emails.

Negative:

Mike,

Thanks for answering. I kept telling the doctor this thing started out in my digestive system. I had very minor symptoms at the time in regards to hearing, and then the vertigo was so slight as to be interesting is all. But the GI system was definitely an issue, but I tended to dismiss it in hopes it would pass.
I noticed the diet link from the outset, and remember telling the doctor I felt fine when I fasted and/or went longer periods in between meals. Unfortunately that has changed a bit now, and fasting became a bit of a problem in that it induces the menieres. that nausea and such was he precursor to any vertigo/dizziness, and not the result of it. I had neck tension that accompanied it, and at one point the tension and vertigo hit simultaneously or in concert, and the tension so powerful that it virtually strangled blood supply to the back of the head. You could tell by when it wore off, the tingling of circulation resuming. that cycle has stopped for now, but I’ve noticed a hint of it again, and the associated GI issues are popping up again. I’ve been keeping a log of sorts as to my diet and symptoms for a little short of 6 weeks now. Although I’ve detected some interesting information, I still haven’t got a definitive culprit yet.

On the one hand, if toxicity were an issue, gut problems or food allergies were present it would seem logical that fasting could help detox and as a result help the symptoms of Meniere’s. On the other hand, it is recommended that Meniere’s sufferers keep to regular eating times and not overindulge.

In terms of clinical studies I only found one listed that was any way related to fasting and Meniere’s on PubMed.gov dated 2006:

‘The effect on health of alternate day calorie restriction: eating less and more than needed on alternate days prolongs life.’

In the study it was stated that,

“Restricting caloric intake to 60-70% of normal adult weight maintenance requirement prolongs lifespan 30-50% and confers near perfect health across a broad range of species.”

It went on to state,

Since May 2003 we have experimented with alternate day calorie restriction, one day consuming 20-50% of estimated daily caloric requirement and the next day ad lib eating, and have observed health benefits starting in as little as two weeks, in insulin resistance, asthma, seasonal allergies, infectious diseases of viral, bacterial and fungal origin (viral URI, recurrent bacterial tonsillitis, chronic sinusitis, periodontal disease), autoimmune disorder (rheumatoid arthritis), osteoarthritis, symptoms due to CNS inflammatory lesions (Tourette’s, Meniere’s) cardiac arrhythmias (PVCs, atrial fibrillation), menopause related hot flashes.

This may be of greater significance than realized at first glance as, although Meniere’s is mentioned directly, it also mentions conditions that have been linked to Meniere’s: seasonal allergies, viral, fungal and bacterial infections, sinusitis and autoimmune disorders.

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Regular fasting in general is believed to be very beneficial to human health.

Dr  Ed Group of the Global Healing Center explains the benefits of fasting for health in general, while some points can be directly related to Meniere’s. (see the emboldened below)

 

“Therapeutic fasting dates back to Hippocrates, who prescribed it for many ailments. At the time, it was the only successful way to reduce seizures in epileptic children and remained so until the 20th century.

Many people find that fasting sharpens their mind and provides mental clarity. Interestingly, many of the benefits of fasting don’t result directly from fasting itself, but from the effects of reduced calorie intake, decreased fat composition, better sleep, less diet-related inflammation, and lower intake of salt.

Blood pressure tends to fall during the fasting state, primarily during the first week of fasting. This effect seems to result from a lower salt intake and a detoxification of accumulated salt through the urine. Since excess sodium causes your body to retain water, lower sodium levels lead to better fluid balance in your tissues.

Fasting and calorie restriction inhibits the production of free radicals and irritating proteins like inflammatory cytokines.

Fasting triggers the recycling of old white blood cells—the cells that comprise much of your immune system. Recycling these immune cells leads to a more competent immune system. It works by triggering the regeneration of the stem cells that become your platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells when you begin eating again.

Researchers found that the effects of fasting on blood sugar and insulin levels also improves the brain’s response to mental stress and protects it from stress-related damage.”

 

Fasting is not starvation and there are many types of fasting depending your required results or reason for doing so.

The obvious problem for some with Meniere’s may be the need to eat at regular intervals. I did not find much in terms of fasting from the 9000 odd emails to Meniere’s Help from sufferers, so I posed a simple question in three online Meniere’s groups on FB.

The responses were an interesting mix of positive and negative experiences with some somewhat neutral, though not all were from experiences of what you might call true fasting, and not fasting related to Meniere’s, they were revealing none the less:

Question posted: “Has anybody tried fasting? What were your experiences, positive or negative?”

Positive comments:

“I don’t eat a lot as it is and I have never had a problem with fasting.”

“It definitely helps me, however I haven’t found any food triggers. It’s mainly stress and poor sleep that affect me.”

“If the MD in you has an autoimmune component, it should help. If it helps, then when you reintroduce the trigger foods, the MD will rear its ugly head again. Keep a food dairy. That will help you identify the food triggers.”

“I only eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and meat. Mostly chicken and turkey. I do not eat processed foods, fast foods, carbs, sugar and limit sodium intake and caffeine. I drink a gallon and a half of water every day. I exercise riding a stationary bike and lifting weights. With this and the meds I am taking…I am attack and dizzy free now for going on 3 weeks. Was having 1-2 attacks everyday for a month.”

“I do an intermittent fast once in a while. About 500 calories for the day. However, I try to maintain my sodium levels throughout the day for consistency. I drink an electrolyte drink to help with this. I’m doing well with it!”

“I do a fasting diet and it is ok if I’m careful and plan my food and day well. If I take some time off the diet I struggle for the first week back on it so have to do it gradually, e.g. instead of going straight back to a 500 calories day I’ll do some 800 calories days first

(It’s the 5:2 diet, 500 calories 2 days a week and eat normally the rest of the time)”

“I had to fast last week for a medical procedure. Clear liquid diet for 24 hours. I got a headache but no other problems at all.”

“I do fast with MD. Key is to Drink lots of water with electrolytes. If you are going to fast for more than 24 hours, break your fast every 12 with a snack. It’s not recommended to fast more than three days for even a healthy person. This is a true fast. I do this once a month for religious purposes. Of course, there are times, when it’s just not possible.”

“I have an attack… I cut way back on my foot intake only eating very low sodium and next to nothing in general. This seems to make my hearing and symptoms better.”

Negative Comments:

“If I don’t eat something, it seems to make my Menieres worse”

“I used to fast but since menieres do not anymore. Body just doesn’t cope I get very dizzy etc”

“I would be extremely sick were I to fast.”

“I get dizzy if I miss lunch x”

“I wouldn’t try it x”

“I have bad eating habits. Low blood sugar triggered me.”

“I used to be able to fast when I was initially diagnosed about 8 years ago but in the last 3 years or so I can’t fast. I take Serc three times daily and found that I must keep hydrated and eat timelously otherwise my symptoms increase e.g. Pressure in my ears”.

“I can’t fast,I get so dizzy and nausea”

“Very bad”

“I eat as soon as I get up, & take my meds. Or I will……”

“I have to eat regularly, otherwise I feel quite poorly”

“I can’t. If I go too long between meals I will get a vertigo attack.”

reply to above: “Same for me”

“I have to do this on Thursday…. I am concerned. I always get the spins from not eating”

“I have tried twice to have a colonoscopy, but the prep from it – liquids only – made me so sick with vertigo that I won’t be able to have it done. I, too, start feeling off if I haven’t eaten for a long time.”

Neutral Comments:

“I haven’t fasted since MD started.”

“No haven’t tried fasting. Like food too much, but what I eat affects me and if I eat too much with indigestion I become off balance and very sick with lots of burping and then I pee a lot. Body trying to eliminate. Probably need a diuretic bit I feel totally drained and exhausted when I take them bit when I get attack I pee every 5 minutes. It’s the body’s way of telling me you have excess fluid.”

“I am on a very low calorie diet and sometimes I get quite dizzy.”

“I had to when the doctors where trying to figure out why I was so fatigued. It didn’t really effect me. The only problem I had was migraines from detoxing from caffeine. If you do it under doctor’s order it should effect you but everyone is different.”

“It affects all of us differently. If you choose to fast take it easy, increase water intake and decrease sodium.”

“I tried fasting to see if food made me feel worse in the afternoons. It didn’t affect my symptoms one way or the other. But it was only one day.”

“Patients are recommended to eat small meals several times per day. I think blood sugar levels can bring on attacks.”

“I have to eat rite away fasting is done otherwise I’m not in good shape”

“Several small meals seems to be the best for me. Not eating frequently enough is a trigger and heavy meals make me very tired. I have been tested numerous times for diabetes including testing at home but blood sugar is OK.”

 

What can taken away from this?

Well it is known already that diet can be vitally important with Meniere’s and gut issues and food allergies can play a role in some people. We have long established that everyone is different, with differing general health states, fitness levels, contributing conditions, environments and mental states. Hence the mixed bag of comments above.

Fasting as a means of improving your condition would depend on many other aspects in your life, not just the fact you have Meniere’s.  The possibility should be considered that if true fasting were to take place over a 3 day period for example, it may be that symptoms could get worse before getting better.

I think it is safe to say that always keeping hydrated is very important.

The advice given in one comment above is sound, and that is it should be done under professional supervision or with at least a good knowledge of what you are doing.

There are several types of fasting.

Diagnostic Fast: On the advice of a doctor before surgery or blood test etc.

Dry Fast: dry fasting involves not eating or drinking anything during the fasting period. Considering the need to stay hydrated for the Meniere’s sufferer, this would seem not advisable.

Liquid Fast or Water Fast: only drink fluids and avoid eating solid foods.

Juice Fast: Juice cleansing, is a type of liquid fast lasting 3-5 days. It’s usually conducted with detoxification or weight loss in mind. Juice fasts include organic, cleansing fruit and vegetable juices.

Partial Fast: The two kinds of partial fasting are: 1. similar to liquid fasting except you may eat small amounts of solid food. 2. excludes certain foods for an extended period. Many people give up carbohydrates, alcohol, or red meat during this fast.

Intermittent Fast: Alternating periods of fasting and eating. There are many ways to conduct an intermittent fast.

Alternate-day Fast: fast for at least 24 hours. Some people choose to extend alternate-day fasts up to 36 hours. Make sure to drink plenty of water or healthy fluids in an alternate-day fast.

Extended Fasting: Extended fasts are usually 48 hours without eating, but they can last up to a week or longer.

Ketogenic Fast: Ketogenic fasts push your body into the fat burning state known as ketosis. A ketogenic fast is similar to a partial fast in that it includes a small amount of food. The two differ in the types of food consumed. On a ketogenic fast, you only consume fatty foods to shift your body into ketosis.

Click Here to Get Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free
Click Here to Get The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

Other articles on this blog related to gut health, metabolism and diet:

How to Overcome Meniere’s Disease

Food Allergies and Meniere’s Disease

Candida Albicans & Meniere’s Disease

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Menieres-Help.Com

Researcher and author of Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free and The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

Help Other Meniere’s sufferers. Do you have experience with fasting and Meniere’s disease? Tell us all about it in the comments box below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com

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Can Salovum or SPC-Flakes Stop Vertigo in Meniere’s Sufferers?

SPC- Flakes to stop Vertigo

On May 7th 2017 an article was published by The Express newspaper online with the headline,”Ménière’s disease sufferer: Getting my life back

Salovum and SPC Flakes for Meniere's DiseaseIn the article a British Meniere’s sufferer explained mainly how her positive attitude has helped her.

The mind can be very powerful as we can see from a positive point of view in the placebo effect with many illnesses and conversely how stress, worry and anxiety can increase the symptoms of Meniere’s.

In the Express article Kelly Boyson described how the drugs given to her did not help and how she became like prisoner in her own home for eight months.

Kelly said, “I have left-side Méniere’s rather than in both ears so for me, the first indication is losing pressure in that ear, similar to when you’re landing in a plane. Next, I can’t hear anything and then tinnitus starts. By then, my head’s spinning, I’m feeling sick, I can’t stand up, my coordination goes and I lose control of my body.

I get about two minutes’ warning before the full attack occurs. There is nothing I can do to prevent it.

I just have to let it run its course, which can be up to three hours.

There is no cure for Ménière’s, just treatments you can try to ease symptoms. After my diagnosis, I was treated with steroid injections and in November 2015, I had a grommet placed in my ear to help reduce pressure. That worked for a while until it dropped out. But nothing’s worked particularly well so I don’t take medication now.

I’ve changed the way I eat, as a low-salt diet can help reduce the amount of attacks. I also take Salovum, which is concentrated egg yolk powder, to help reduce inflammation and it seems to be working. Although I still get tinnitus, I haven’t had a severe attack for months. It’s brilliant because I feel like I’m getting my life back on track.”

Tackling the inflammation that is causing the symptoms is something discussed at length on the main Meniere’s Help site (http://www.menieres-help.com/inflammatoryprocess.php)

Identifying the root cause of that inflammation and Meniere’s symptoms in general then how to deal with it is the main focus of the book The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

The use of Salovum and its partner product spc-flakes are made by a Swedish company. The claims are that it is a treatment for patients who suffer from various inflammatory conditions and are presumed to have a low amount of AF, therefore normalizing fluid flow.

This is of clinical significance for Mèniéres, Vertigo and Migraine. It has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect which was seen in studies of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) like Colitis Ulcerosa and Crohn’s disease.

What is “AF” and why is this significant to the Meniere’s sufferer?

A 2010 clinical study published in Acta Otolaryngol and listed on PubMed.gov came to the conclusion:

“Intake of antisecretory factor (AF)-inducing SPC-flakes significantly reduced vertigo in patients suffering from Ménière’s disease (MD). The positive effect may be due to a modulation of the transport of water and ions in the endolymphatic space.”

Whenever I do research into any possible cause or solution for Meniere’s (and there are several of both: see here ) I always check how many of the 9000 or so emails I have from sufferers over the past 13 years mention them. In this case only one email discussed SPC-Flakes. That said it is a very useful email. Howard who lives in Japan wrote this in 2015:

Dear Menieres Help.com,

My main complaint now with Menieres is distorted visual signals. Damaged oculomotor reflex due to distension of the inner ear labryinth by endolymphatic hydrops.  Oscillopsia.  Dizziness when I move the head.  Visual objects move to the right when I move the head to the left.

At first I thought that the previous attacks of rotational vertigo had depleted the population of vestibular hair cells
to the point where I am no longer able to regain a proper oculomotor reflex. But since I sometimes seem to have some degree of improvement, and then I lose it again, this cannot be a permanent cellular defecit.  I think it is better explained by a fluctuating endolymphatic volume.

It would appear that the No. 1 thing to do to prevent total loss of vestibular function when “burnout” eventually
comes along, i.e., to prevent total destruction of the membranous labyrinth due to swelling of the canals, is to collapse the labyrinth back to its normal size and shape by doing either one, or both, of 2 things.

1) remove excess endolymph by attempting to reabsorb the excess fluid,

2) stop over-production of endolymph.

I think we’re more interested in 2), stopping the overproduction of endolymph. If it could be done permanently, that would have to be far, far more effective in restoring the balance.

As you know, in Sweden, it was found that when Menieres patients consumed SPC flakes for 2 or 3 months, the hydrops temporarily resolved in about half of the patients. When they stopped consuming, the symptoms returned a few weeks later, but further consumption for a few days brought things back to normal again.

Since SPC flakes up-regulates anti-secretory factor (AF) in the blood, it is clear as crystal that up-regulation of AF must be our primary therapeutic target.But not temporarily. Permanently.
Further Internet research reveals that the hormone vasopressin retains water in the semicircular canals by acting via aquaporins. It is evident that if production of AF were to stop, there would be no brake on vasopressin and so the canals are bound to distend and swell. Both vasopressin and AF are apparently produced by the pituitary gland.

The pituitary gland is the part of the human body damaged most easily by background, low level radiation.  So it comes as no surprise to learn that there has been a 600% increase in Ménière’s disease in Fukushima Prefecture here in Japan in the 3 years following the nuclear disaster:

I believe that this indirectly gives us a pointer to the way in which we should try to permanently resolve this insidious condition.  Namely, permanently restore serum levels of AF by permanently re-balancing pituitary hormone secretions.”

Howard makes good points about the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is part of the endocrine system and both the endocrine system in general and particularly the thyroid gland (also affected by radiation) have been linked to Meniere’s, see here and here respectively.

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I cannot state with any authority whether Salovum and SPC Flakes have helped or can help Meniere’s symptoms or not. I never personally used either during the 7 years I suffered ( I have been free of Meniere’s since 2012 – read my story here ) and from 13 years of correspondence with sufferers I have not received any reports, either positive or negative.

Salovum is now available in the UK on prescription and SK Flakes can be purchased on Amazon in the USA (here).

Whether this treatment is legit or not, whether the results are real or placebo, as suggested by some, the fact is it is a ‘treatment’. If this treatment can eliminate vertigo then it should be taken seriously and must be worth trying.

On the other hand getting to the root cause of why the ear is producing all the symptoms of Meniere’s and correcting that cause can be done without anything genetically modified or synthetic entering the body.

Click Here to Get Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free
Click Here to Get The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

Related articles:

How to Overcome Meniere’s Disease

Can This Help Stop Your Vertigo Attacks?

Can Lipo-Flavonoid Really Help Tinnitus and Meniere’s Symptoms?

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Meniere’s Help

Researcher and author of Managing Meniere;s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free and The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

Help other Meniere’s sufferers. Have you had any experience with Salovum or SK Flakes? Tell us all about it in the comments box below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com

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Are Your Meniere’s Symptoms From Chiari Malformation?

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Menieres-Help.Com. Researcher and author of Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free, The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s and The Meniere’s Help Reports Ten Part Series

Meniere’s Disease or Chiari malformation?

In my books I cover at length the idiopathic nature of MD and the fact that ‘Meniere’s’ is simply a label for a set of Meniere's Disease or Chiria malformationsymptoms, the root cause of which can vary from person to person. Identifying the root cause or causes in your individual case and correcting or eliminating these from your life can free you from Meniere’s completely.

I recently received an email from the husband of a long term Meniere’s sufferer looking for answers. His wife had recently had a drop attack and ended up in hospital where she was diagnosed with ‘Type 1 Chiari Malformation’.

In a four year study of 364 Chiari patients (http://asap.org/index.php/medical-articles/four-year-study-of-chiari-i-malformation/) it was found that 74% patients had “Meniere’s like syndrome “: dizziness, disequilibrium pressure in ears, tinnitus, decreased hearing, true vertigo and nystagmus.

This would perhaps be of particular interest to Meniere’s sufferers who also suffer from Migraines as Chiari often results in headaches.

Muskuloskeletal imbalances in the back, neck or jaw are commonly found root causes of Meniere’s symptoms. After correction or treatment in most cases symptoms are reduced or eliminated altogether. The reason that in some cases symptoms are not 100% eliminated may be that there is more than one root cause present in addition to long term damage to hearing nerves. As I point out in The Need for Balance and back up with scientific medical data, statistics and the experiences of sufferers, there may be more than one cause in each individual case. So it is important to cover all possibilities and deal with them accordingly.

The connection to Meniere’s and mukuloskeletal imbalances such as in the spine is often dismissed by mainstream medicine however the data proves otherwise. In the four year study of Chiari it was found that, in all 364 patients the most common and reliable finding was compression of the CSF spaces posterior and lateral the cerebellum.

Chiari patients are often not aware of the problem. Meniere’s sufferers are often not aware they have neck or spine issues. When chiropractic manipulation is not successful in reducing Meniere’s symptoms in those aware of neck problems, it may be prudent to get checked for Chiari.

According to Mayo clinic Chiari malformation type I occurs when the section of your skull containing a part of your brain (cerebellum) is too small or is deformed, thus putting pressure on and crowding your brain. The lower part, or tonsils, of the cerebellum are displaced into your upper spinal canal.

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Dr. Thomas Milhorat, Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery University of NY, Brooklyn explains things slightly differently:

“CSF [Cerebrospinal fluid] that is compressed has to go somewhere. In man, under normal conditions, we secrete spinal fluid. We can increase that secretion but we cannot decrease it. It happens at .37 cc every minute of our lives. When we’re upright, sleeping, running, resting. We produce 500 cc a day. It’s formed in the ventricles, circulates down through the 3rd ventricle into the aqueduct of Sylvius, into the 4th ventricle. It exits and then it surrounds all the structures of the nervous system. There is a watery bath between brain, spinal cord, cerebellum and the inner table of the skull. In Chiari patients there is reduced volume. Where does it go? Some of it is distributed up into the head, squeezed up and some is squeezed down and this may very well contribute to the formation of SM in some patients. We believe this displacement of spinal fluid into the cranial cavity may be a suitable explanation for the typical Chiari Symptoms. Distribution of CSF out of the posterior fossa into the semi-circular canals can produce in some a sea-sickness syndrome- dizziness, disequilibrium, pressure in the ears, tinnitus, and so forth. It appears to all begin with a too small posterior fossa that compresses the spinal fluid at the back of the head.

Direct bony pressure can also produce complaints. If the compression of the skull is too great, if the retroflexed odontoid (basilar impression) is too great you can have direct compression of cranial nerves or even brainstem. That can produce problems with swallowing, sleep apnea, hoarseness, tremors, and palpitations. Symptoms of Chiari I appear to be due to two basic phenomena that share in common a small back of the skull, a bony dysplagia of the base of the skull and cervical-medullary junction. These are increase of CSF pressure both in the head and in the spinal canal and direct compression of nervous structures. It is not a malformation of the brain itself.”

You can take three things from this article. One, that Chiari should be on your list of possible root causes to investigate. Two, musculoskeletal imbalances are a very real possibility for you to consider despite the ignorance and dismissive attitude of some within the ENT community and three, the list of various root cause of Meniere’s are very real and can be dealt with.

Click Here to Get Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free
Click Here to Get The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

Related articles:

How to Overcome Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s sufferer ‘Feels Cured’

Meniere’s disease – The Spine and TMJs

Help other Meniere’s sufferers. Do you have experience with neck/spine issues and Meniere’s or Chiari? Tell us all about it in the comment boxes below or email meniereshelp@gmail.com

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