Categories
General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome Meniere's Disease Triggers & Causes

Can Meniere’s Disease be caused by Autoimmunity?

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

Can Meniere’s Disease be caused by Autoimmunity?

Can Meniere’s Disease be caused by Autoimmunity? And if so what can you do about it?

In October 2014 a study paper on autoimmunity and Meniere’s was published from the University of South Florida: ‘Autoimmunity as a candidate for the epiopathogenesis of Meniere’s Disease’

The study concluded:

“The findings of this study suggest that autoimmunity could be one of the pathologic mechanisms behind Meniere’s disease. Multiple autoantibodies and antigens may be involved in the autoimmune reaction.

Specific antigens that caused immune reactions with patient’s serum in Protoarray analysis can be candidates for the diagnostic biomarkers of Meniere’s disease.

Further studies with mass screening using candidate antigen-antibody reactions are needed to identify future treatment modalities and to determine the true prevalence of autoimmune pathologic mechanisms underlying Meniere’s disease.”

For a long time autoimmunity was often overlooked as a possible cause of Meniere’s symptoms in some cases. That said, it seems in recent years there is more awareness both among treating doctors and many sufferers that this may be the case, at least in a significant number of people.

In a different study it has been claimed that 6% of patients with unilateral Meniere’s disease and 16% of patients with bilateral Meniere’s disease show signs of autoimmunity.

So, can Meniere’s disease be caused by autoimmunity?

It is certainly a possibility to consider for at least some sufferers.

Have you been checked for this possibility?

If not, ask your doctor for a “Functional Immune System Evaluation” . You can present the studies linked from this blog as evidence that you need to be checked.

You may think that if only 6 – 16% of sufferers show signs of autoimmunity this doesn’t prove it is the definitive cause of your symptoms. Herein lies one of the problems in finding the causes of idiopathic conditions such as Meniere’s.

Tests and studies may focus on trying to find the causative factors when we now know without doubt that there are several root causes and it can be very different in each case. Therefore such studies will always have inconclusive results. Nevertheless these findings prove useful in creating a list of possible root causes to tackle in your own particular case.

There is no one size fits all with Meniere’s and nothing is written in stone, but with knowledge and a process of elimination you can find your cause or causes and deal with them. Autoimmune factors should be on your list of possibilities to consider.

This may well lead you to other factors that are causing autoimmunity and therefore the symptoms of Meniere’s. These causes may seem to have no obvious link to Meniere’s unless you are aware of how everything is connected and how the knock on effect can mean the resulting symptoms may, at first glance, seem far removed from the initial problem.

If autoimmunity is a cause of Meniere’s disease, what causes autoimmunity?

Autoimmune diseases refer to problems with the acquired immune system’s reactions. In an autoimmune reaction, antibodies and immune cells target the body’s own healthy tissues by mistake and attack them. This is part of the reason irregular T-cell activity is also a suspected cause. In both cases, this has to be a result of something else triggering this response, something else at root cause making the immune system act in such a way.

When unwelcome material or an ‘intruder’ invades your body your immune system protects you. It tries to identify, kill and eliminate these unwelcome invaders . But sometimes problems with your immune system cause it to mistake your body’s own healthy cells as invaders and then repeatedly attacks them. This is called an autoimmune disease. (‘Autoimmune’ literally means immunity against the self.)

The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation  or swelling. How an autoimmune disease affects you depends on what part of the body is targeted. If your immune system is attacking your inner ear then the resulting swelling is causing the symptoms you feel.

For you the sufferer, it is a matter identifying the cause or causes in your individual case and correcting it or eliminating it from your life. (see below). It is generally accepted that it is unknown what causes autoimmune diseases.

In most cases, a combination of factors is probably at work. For example, you might have a genetic predisposition to develop a disease and then, under the right conditions, an outside invader like a virus might trigger it. Below you will read how the gut is the vital link to all of this and what you can do to correct it.

Regardless, you can re-balance your immune system naturally by getting to the root cause of the autoimmune response that is ultimately resulting in your Meniere’s symptoms. Drugs are aimed at suppressing your immune response and this can result in all kinds of side effects and more poor health.

Medical doctor and New York best seller with her book ‘The Thyroid Connection’ Amy Myers, herself a ‘former‘ sufferer of autoimmune disease, generally agrees with the above statement. She says,

“There is a huge disconnect between what actually causes autoimmunity and how conventional medicine treats it. The first thing to understand about autoimmune diseases is that they are a disease of the immune system. No matter what part of your body is under siege, the culprit is your immune system. This means that in order to treat, prevent, and reverse autoimmune disease you’ll need to get your immune system back under control.

However, under our current medical system, autoimmune diseases are not recognized as diseases of the immune system as a whole. Instead they are treated as diseases of particular organs. If you have multiple autoimmune conditions, as many people do, you will see several different specialists, each of whom will likely prescribe a different medication. And, there is a good chance that none of these specialists will look at how to strengthen and support your immune system, which leads me to my next point.

In conventional medicine, the belief is that once you have an autoimmune condition, there’s nothing you can do to reverse it, only ways to manage the symptoms. While medications can be effective at reducing some of the symptoms of the disease, since they suppress the entire immune system.

In contrast, functional medicine sees the body as a whole and works on the principle that the health of one system impacts the health and function of the others. Instead of focusing on disease symptom management, we focus on supporting and strengthening the immune system by getting to the root of why the immune system went rogue in the first place.

I have been able to successfully help hundreds of patients lower and reverse antibodies, get off their harsh medications, and become symptom free.”

Doctor Myers believes there are 5 underlying causes of autoimmune disease. All five of which can be linked to Meniere’s disease and are written about elsewhere on this website and discussed at length in the book The Need for Balance – Dealing with Causes of Meniere’s

  1. Leaky Gut      80% of your immune system originates in the gut, and you can’t have a healthy immune system without a healthy gut.  See more on gut issues and Meniere’s disease here and here
  2. Gluten            Gluten contributes to autoimmune disease in three key ways:  it is the primary cause of leaky gut, it is highly inflammatory, meaning it stresses your immune system and the gluten protein has a similar chemical structure to some of your body’s tissues (specifically your thyroid). See more on gluten and Meniere’s from the two links above.
  3. Toxins            Toxic molds (mycotoxins) and heavy metals such as mercury are the two main toxins Dr Myers sees in those with autoimmune conditions.  You will see many articles on this blog and on the main website regarding toxins and Meniere’s. Read more on mercury and Meniere’s disease here and also in an article on thyroid and Meniere’s disease here.
  4. Infections      There are now a number of infections, including Epstein Barr, Herpes Simplex 1 and 2, E. coli, that have been linked to autoimmune diseases.
  5. Stress               Dr Myers says, “Levels of stress-related illnesses are on the rise, and stress, both of the emotional and the physical variety, has been shown to trigger and intensify autoimmune disorders. Stress disrupts immune function through several distinct pathways.  Stress is the body’s response to a threat–a wound, injury, or infection. Chronic stress (the kind we face in this day and age) leads to long term inflammation that never really shuts off, creating autoimmune disease. Once the autoimmune response is in place, immediate stress only exacerbates it.” The links between stress and Meniere’s are well known and well documented on this site and in the book ‘The Need for Balance’.

All of the above are correctable naturally.

Having spent many years hammering the fact on this website, in emails, conversations and having written two books on the subject, that getting to the root cause or causes of Meniere’s and correcting or eliminating that cause from your life can allow you to overcome this condition completely it is nice to have such a prominent health professional singing the same tune. It is all about “root causes“.

If you’re looking to calm down an overactive immune system that continually attacks healthy body tissue, then you must address the underlying causes for cellular inflammation. Ask your doctor about tests for hidden infections like yeast, viruses or Lyme disease. Have you been checked for any food allergies and heavy metal toxicity? You may be surprised at what you find.

As mentioned above when autoimmune factors are suspected, immune suppressing drugs are usually prescribed. Apart from the fact that suppressing the immune system can obviously lead to more poor health, many come with undesirable and even dangerous side effects.

The steroid Prednisone is often used in treating Meniere’s disease.

The possible known side effects of this drug is too extensive to list in this article. But among them are: dizziness, nauseavomiting, headache and pounding in the ears. All of which would be totally counter to what the Meniere’s patient would want. A decrease in urine, another side effect, would also be the opposite of what the Meniere’s patient needs.

Other listed possible side effects of Prednisone that could be directly damaging to a Meniere’s sufferer are:

  • Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance
  • Increased requirements for insulin
  • Potassium loss
  • Sodium retention with resulting edema
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergic reactions
  • Candidiasis
  • Sensory disturbance
  • Anxiety

Prednisone is also what is known as a glucocorticoid because of the effects on glucose metabolism.  Glucocorticoids  can cause increases in blood glucose. Long term use of these steroids can result in type 2 diabetes. See more on Meniere’s and diabetes here.

Dr Myers talks about leaky gut being one of the main root causes of autoimmune disease. In this scenario, there is inflammation of the lining of the gut. This leads to a malabsorption of nutrients such as zinc, Vitamin B12, iron and magnesium. The immune system is triggered into a response. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues and many food intolerances and then autoimmune disease.

In this scenario things like gluten, bad bacteria, undigested food particles and toxic waste can  leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your bloodstream causing an immune reaction.

If this were to ultimately lead to Meniere’s symptoms then it could be said that the cause would be the inflammation within the gut. But beyond that, the inflammation in the gut has a root cause and that could be stress, toxins, drugs, pathogens or other organ malfunction.

The  most common causes of leaky gut are thought to be poor diet, chronic stress, toxic overload and bacterial imbalance. All of which can be linked to Meniere’s disease.

To heal a leaky gut you would need to remove foods from your diet that damage the gut, replace them with healing foods and rebalance your gut bacteria with probiotics.

The immune system needs to be balanced and functioning as it should for you to be healthy and for it to deal with inflammation within your ear or anywhere else in your body. Detoxing, eating the correct food and supplementing with the appropriate quality supplements can strengthen and balance your immune system so it functions properly.

You may want to get your thyroid and endocrine system  checked. These are two factors that are also often overlooked. Toxins in foods, drinks, beauty and skin care products and the environment are often major endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimickers that can play havoc with the body’s hormone system thus leading to dysfunctions and resulting in an autoimmune response.

Iodine deficiency is also a chronic problem according to many studies. All of these problems can have a knock on effect, weaken and cause imbalances in the immune system as a whole.

In May 2017 the WHO reported that, Iodine deficiency is the world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, cause of brain damage. Universal salt iodization – the practice of adding iodine to salt – is the most cost effective way to tackle iodine deficiency disorders.”

There was a time when this iodine deficiency was recognized and iodine was added to table salt. Somewhere along the line iodine was inexplicably removed in the USA.

In countries such as Japan where iodine is plentiful naturally in the diet, they have much healthier citizens that enjoy the highest levels of longevity .

Iodine can be found in seaweed such as nori and kelp, pure natural unprocessed sea salt and in season, fresh organic cranberries. Supplementing with the purest form of Nascent Iodine has proved very beneficial to immune system function and overall health.

Autoimmunity is only one of several possible causes for you to get checked for and as stated above, can be a result in itself of a different root cause.

Among others, amalgam fillings that are leaking mercury into your body, TMJs, neck and spinal misaligments and metabolic problems are all things you should investigate and check off your list of possible causes.

All are fixable.

Just like Meniere’s itself, autoimmunity is another ‘health’ condition generally believed to have no known cause and no known cure. However, as you have read above this is not the case. Despite the fact that mainstream medicine is usually of this ‘opinion’, it is simply a case of awareness. The more you are aware, the more you know, the easier it becomes to seek out the right medical professionals and make the right lifestyle choices.

The book ‘Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free’ gives comprehensive details on how to suppress the symptoms through nutrition and allow your immune system to function as it should, how to avoid triggers and other factors that may be contributing to your condition. The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Cause of Meniere’s is a much more in depth look at all the possible root causes, how to identify them and eliminate them from your life, giving you the opportunity to overcome Meniere’s completely.

It is a message we repeat ad nauseam on Menieres Help: “It can be done, has been done by thousands  and is being done all time.”  Unfortunately, it may take a quantum shift in attitudes towards Meniere’s among treating health professionals and patients alike before we see overcoming Meniere’s as the norm. For now I will have to keep hammering away and making baby steps with the undeniable truth, and that is:

You CAN overcome Meniere’s and get your life back – fact.

Click here to read Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free

Click here to read The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

Help other Meniere’s sufferers. Have you been told your Meniere’s is due to autoimmune disorder?  email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com or tell us all about it in the comment boxes below

Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s Disease and Thyroid Dysfunction

Meniere’s Disease – Amalgam and Mercury

Further reading:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28784462/

Categories
General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome Meniere's Disease and Nutrition Meniere's Disease Triggers & Causes

Diabetes and Meniere’s Disease

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

Diabetes and Meniere’s Disease

What are the links between diabetes and Meniere’s disease?

Are the two connected at all, is it all coincidence or are the two a result of the same root cause in some people?

A sizable number of Meniere’s sufferers who contact Meniere’s Help also suffer from Diabetes. Glucose metabolism, and insulin irregularities have both been linked to Meniere’s in some way or another.

The biggest problem with trying to link diabetes and Meniere’s is that the huge number of people suffering from diabetes means that by law of averages there will naturally be a sizable number of people suffering from both conditions.

According to the WHO:  422 million adults worldwide have diabetes. That is 1 person in 11. While type 1 is thought of as genetic, 90% of sufferers are actually type 2.  These statistics are predicted to double over the next 2 years. Since 1980 the number of adults living with diabetes has almost quadrupled.

In the USA 2012 figures show us that at least 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes. 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; this was up from 79 million in 2010. These statistics are staggering; clearly this is not going away soon.

Although the main focus on the tackling of this rise of diabetes is aimed at the obesity epidemic, and rightly so, it has to be taken into account that diabetes is on the rise in places like Asia where obesity isn’t so prevalent. The rise of forced farming practices in recent years practically runs parallel with the increase of diabetes and many other avoidable diseases.

In the 2016 WHO ‘Global Report on Diabetes’ the director general of the WHO points out that diabetes is, “No longer a disease of predominantly rich nations, the prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing everywhere, most markedly in the world’s middle-income countries.”

The globalization of fast food chains, growing global demand for wheat grown on soils depleted of its mineral content through the overuse of NPK artificial fertilizers and the demand for overly polished rice must all play its part.

White bread can turn to glucose inside the body faster than sugar! White, polished rice can turn to glucose very quickly also if not balanced with fats or proteins. Add to this the empty carbohydrates being proudly stuffed down kids throats throughout Asia where it is a sign of wealth to go to the most unhealthy fast food chains simply because they symbolize the monetary richness of the west.

Sugary sodas, alcohol, candies and the prevalence of processed foods are all contributing greatly to this problem. This bombardment of sugars strains the pancreas so much that it cannot keep up with the demand for insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

There are several aspects that link all of this to Meniere’s without looking at the diabetes connection itself. Firstly the pancreas is part of the endocrine system. Endocrine dysfunctions have been linked to Meniere’s. The thyroid is part of the endocrine system and has been linked to Meniere’s. T-cell regulation has been linked to Meniere’s. T-cells are regulated by the thymus which in turn is regulated by the thyroid. metabolism has been linked to Meniere’s. High triglyceride and cholesterol levels have been linked to Meniere’s.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

Diabetes and Meniere’s Disease

A multitude of studies can be found on each of the individual links stated above but not enough focus on the obvious solution to most of this. Diet. It really is that simple.

What you eat and do not eat makes all the difference in every case, and of course the same is true of diabetes.

Both hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) have been linked to and investigated in Meniere’s and vestibular diseases. This suggests that any alterations in insulin can cause issues. Insulin regulates both sodium and potassium retention, something very relevant in the functioning of the inner ear.

A 2009 study in the Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology, ‘Blood glucose and insulin levels in patients with peripheral vestibular disease‘  found that:

“The four-hour glucose-insulin index showed 87.7% of patients with dizziness and suspicion of peripheral vestibular dysfunction having glucose and insulin metabolism alterations.”

The International Tinnitus Journal published a study in 2005, ‘Glucose and insulin profiles and their correlations in Ménière’s disease.’ It stated that:

“Changes in carbohydrate metabolism, admittedly one of the most prevalent etiologies of Ménière’s syndrome, can be diagnosed early by 5-hour glucose and insulin curves with a 100-g glucose load, a test more sensitive than those traditionally used in investigating impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus. This study investigated carbohydrate metabolism characteristics in 64 patients with typical Ménière’s disease. We demonstrated that 72% of them had some variable degree of hyperinsulinemia as shown by their plasma insulin curves, whereas alterations on the glucose curve (reactive hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia) were found for only 21%.”

It concluded that:

“These findings confirm the need to include 5-hour glucose and insulin curves in the diagnostic routine when investigating Ménière’s disease. In that way, an early diagnosis of hyperinsulinemia, the metabolic change most often involved in the pathogenesis of cochleovestibular disorders, can be made.”

An earlier study published in Acta Otolaryngologica in 1984, ‘Blood levels of glucose and insulin in Meniere’s disease‘ stated the following:

“It has been reported that a very commonly overlooked cause of vertigo is disorder of glucose metabolism. This may not be reflected in the glucose tolerance test alone, but becomes obvious when the insulin levels in blood are evaluated simultaneously.

Thirty-one patients with Meniere’s disease underwent a 5-hour glucose tolerance test with radioimmune assay of insulin. It was found that 67.7% of our patients showed some abnormality in the relationship between the blood levels of glucose and insulin.”

The studies above, in addition to several others connecting insulin and glucose to Meniere’s are all cited on PubMed.

More specific to diabetes is the 2013 study published on Science Direct from the Journal of Otology, ‘Effects of Diabetes on Hearing and Cochlear Structures’.

“Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic systemic disease characterized by hyperglycemia, with various pathogenic mechanisms. From absolute or relative insulin deficiency, patients with DM often demonstrate various levels of metabolic disorders. Major clinical manifestations of DM include metabolic disorders, vascular lesions, circulatory disturbances and neurologic complications. Along with advances in DM research, reports of DM related tinnitus and hearing impairment have increased continuously.

DM is closely linked to hearing damage. Both large and microscopic size blood vessels are affected in DM. Metabolic disorders, atherosclerotic changes and micro vessel diseases result in ischemia and hypoxia in neural tissues, leading to nerve damage. When such pathological changes involve the cochlea and auditory nerve, cochlear and/or neural hearing loss follows.”

Although this study does not mention ‘Meniere’s disease’ it shows us how blood flow, insulin and metabolic disorders can affect ear function.

It is a fact that Meniere’s help has received many emails from people who suffer from both Meniere’s disease and diabetes. In some cases diabetes preceded the symptoms of Meniere’s, while with others it was the other way round. So proving a link between Meniere’s and diabetes itself is hard to do. However, several of the factors that lead to diabetes can also be linked to Meniere’s.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you eat and do not eat. If the onset of Meniere’s is related to metabolism, endocrine disorders or thyroid dysfunction for example then the same reasons these problems occur could be the same reasons at root cause that Meniere’s symptoms manifest. Poor diet and lifestyle causes dysfunctions throughout the body that can lead to various conditions including both Meniere’s and diabetes.

We have received updates from Meniere’s sufferers in the past where, when they changed their diet, lifestyle and in many cases used a specific supplement regimen (discussed here) they not only reduced or eliminated their Meniere’s symptoms but also improved their condition related to diabetes.

This underscores the importance of the right nutrition. No remedy or drug can compensate for a poor diet. However a good healthy whole food (organic where possible) diet supported by quality supplementation can reduce the symptoms of, reverse or eliminate many conditions, Meniere’s and diabetes among them.

At precisely the same time I was writing this article The Express news paper online published a report, ‘Removing bread and pasta from diets ‘can reverse Type 2 diabetes’

Diabetes.co.uk, the world’s largest community of sufferers revealed that 7,000 Type 2 patients using a low refined carbohydrate dietary program saved £6.9 million on medication in a year. They claimed that,

“Slashing consumption of rice, potatoes and sugar has the potential to halt one of Britain’s biggest health epidemics. Switching to a healthier lifestyle could save the cash-strapped NHS £10 billion a year – the amount spent treating the condition – and change people’s lives in just 12 months.”

Co-author of the book this study is published in, Dr Aseem Malhotra said,

“The good news is it’s entirely preventable – but also reversible – and simple dietary changes through cutting refined carbohydrates can at the very least help patients come off medications. Simple diet changes have rapid and substantial benefits not just for patients with Type 2 but for high blood pressure and heart disease too.”

Charlotte Summers, of Diabetes.co.uk said,

“We are seeing phenomenal results from people taking a lifestyle first approach on the low carb program which is saving NHS budgets and lives.”

Type in “diabetes diet” or something similar into your search engine and you will find a plethora of diet plans online for diabetics.

Can type 2 diabetes be reversed?

In a simple 12-minute presentation to the U.K. Parliament, Zoe Harcombe, Ph.D., who spent years researching dietary guidelines as they relate to nutrition and obesity, succinctly demonstrates how bad science supports rising rates of diabetes and other nutritionally triggered diseases.

For Meniere’s the right diet and supplementation can help the immune system deal with the inflammation causing the symptoms. Dealing with the cause of the inflammation on the other hand often needs more than simply the correct diet. This depends on the root of the problem and there are several for you to consider.

Finding the root cause or causes of Meniere’s in your own individual case can be done though. If you find your root cause, you have found the key to your cure or solution, whichever words you choose to use. Eliminate or correct the root cause and you can overcome Meniere’s completely. This is something we have constantly seen among sufferers over the past 13 years of support work.

Finally, it is important that if you are both a diabetic and have Meniere’s you should be careful using steroids as a treatment for your Meniere’s.  Increases in blood glucose are common among people taking prednisone and other steroids. These steroids are referred to as ‘glucocorticoids’. Perhaps of even more significance is the fact that long term use of these steroids can produce “Steroid induced diabetes” and a host of other very serious conditions.

According to a study  ‘Steroid-induced diabetes‘ cited on PubMed.gov in 2014,  “Glucocorticoids have various common metabolic side effects including hypertension, osteoporosis and diabetes. As the therapeutic benefits of glucocorticoids continue to expand across medical specialties, the incidence of steroid-induced or steroid-exacerbated diabetes will continue to rise.”

There are plenty of ways to reduce inflammation naturally to tackle your Meniere’s symptoms. If you have the choice of steroids or the right foods, which will you choose?

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

Help other Meniere’s sufferers. Do have experience with Meniere’s and diabetes? Tell us all about it in the comments boxes below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com

Related articles:

Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

Metabolism and Meniere’s Disease

Cholesterol and Meniere’s Disease

Further reading:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30661384/

Categories
General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome Meniere's Disease Success Stories Meniere's Disease Triggers & Causes

Can Chiropractics cure Meniere’s disease?

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

Can chiropractics cure Meniere’s disease?

Can chiropractics cure Meniere’s disease?  For many Meniere’s sufferers it does seem to be a solution. 

After being told by three separate doctors that she had Meniere’s disease and being given the usual mix of diuretics and Serc (betahistine), nobody mentioned to Ana how she could actually free herself of Meniere’s completely, only treat it. Which of course they very rarely do.

Options such as Chiropractics, that can actually help you overcome Meniere’s completely, are not usually on the radar of the average ENT’s or audiologist. And not all chiropractors are able to help the symptoms of dizziness/vertigo, deafness and tinnitus. 

Each individual case of Meniere’s disease may be slightly different, sometimes very different in its overall pathology or root cause. The need soon becomes very apparent for the sufferer to identify their own cause and deal with it accordingly.

If you have been told, “There is nothing more to be done, take the drugs and learn to live with it” then of course it is down to you to take things into your own hands.

Learn how to do this by reading: The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

In Ana’s case, she was lucky enough to find her root cause within months and now says she feels cured.

Here below is her first email (used with permission):

In Ana’s case she found her cause to be related to neck issues. Excerpt from Ana’s mail:

“I want to share my experience. I am a Mexican 40 years old mother of two kids. I was diagnosed with Menieres early April, I had a very strong vertigo episode, lost 30% of hearing and had this noise on my left ear. I was with the medicine for almost three months (Serc, and a diuretic), of course no sodium, no alcohol, very little caffeine.

I read your page in April and saw all the alternative medicine but I am a University teacher so I had to wait until the semester was over to have some time and go visit the chiropractic. And as soon as I went to the first visit I felt the change, I stop taking the medicines and I eat normal, no sodium restriction, I have not exaggerated but eat normal food and feel great.

My ears are perfect, I am back to me.

I would not had visited the chiropractic if it wasn’t for your information so Thank you very very much! You guys gave me back my life. I wish more people would know about this, because I visited three doctors and they didn’t tell me anything about this possibility and I know they didn’t know because two of them were my relatives.

Thanks a lot!”

I asked Ana if I could use her story on this blog to encourage other sufferers. Below is her response:

“Hi Mike,

Sure please do so. And send a huge hug to the person that wrote about the chiropractic….I didn’t find it anywhere else.
I have a PhD in biotechnology so I am used to read scientific literature, but when it is about myself it is kind of depressing read stuff about Meniere, so I was reading slowly to try no to be overwhelmed. I still can’t believe that none of the three doctors that I visited (and gave me the same Meniere diagnosis) told me about the possibility of having a problem in the cervical vertebrae and that it was possible to fix it. One told me it was probably because I ate too much salt, the other because of too much stress, and the other one it was probably autoimmune, and I believed that it was probably caused because of a medicine (domperidone) that I took and there are two cases that relate it to menieres in the FDA . But I read you article which was straight to the point and started to do a check list on the alternative medicines. Not just mentioning “life style modifications” which I found in other articles and wonder…. WHAT life style modifications. So thank you thank you!

I wish more people knew about the chiropractic and find that solution. Probably that is not the case for all… but it is worth to try it, and of course to go with someone that knows how to treat it, probably not all chiropractics would know how to treat it but this guy is very good.

Million thanks!

Ana Leal”

The point of posting Ana’s story is to encourage you the sufferer to understand Meniere’s is not as hopeless as you may have been led to believe. On the contrary, you CAN overcome this condition completely.

Cervical spine misalignment may or may not be relative to your own condition. If it is, it is important that you get checked by a reputable cervical certified chiropractor or osteopath. This can be fixed. Ana’s story is not uncommon. In fact it is one of the more common themes we have come across over many years. We often get mails from sufferers who have found this to be their root cause, fixed it and overcome Meniere’s.

Kelly from Michigan in the US emailed Meniere’s Help with a similar story a few months ago.

Kelly read both of my books Managing Meniere’s Disease and The Need for Balance and we had also corresponded before I received an email from her with her story:

 

During our correspondence it was clear that Kelly was aware she had both allergies and neck issues.  Kelly dealt both with her allergies and neck issues to free herself of Meniere’s symptoms. She wrote,

“I did some research on Meniere’s & found you (Thank God). I made an appointment with an Allergist & an Atlas Orthogonist. They have both helped me tremendously. I found out I am allergic to dust mites, feathers, cats, dogs, ragweed, weeds, grass pollen, cockroach, molds, tree pollen and pine. The Dr put me on allergy medicine and a nasal spray. I haven’t felt dizzy or had a headache since

In regards to her neck issues, she was shown on her MRI where the nerve was being pinched & the blood flow was being cut off.  She went on to say,

“When I went to the back doctor she discovered I have C1/C2 misalignment, loss of cervical curve, herniated discs in cervical spine. In her words, “You’re one twisted girl”. My x-rays show how tilted my head is. It’s leaning to the right. You can also see on my MRI where the nerve is being pinched & the blood flow is being cut off. I’m on a 3 month treatment plan which includes cervical decompression & cold laser therapy. So far so good. This is the best I’ve felt in a year. Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction.”

Neck and spinal issues are very common in Meniere’s sufferers, especially C1 and C2 but often further down the spine too. Kelly’s atlas bone being out of alignment and her shoulder being pulled down was very similar to my own case. Although I had lived for 10 years 95% symptom free through dietary changes and supplementation ( I still had slight tinnitus and deafness), it wasn’t until I saw an excellent chiropractor in Japan in 2012 and had my neck misalignment corrected that I was totally freed of Meniere’s and finally regained much of my hearing. 

Kelly’ most recent email to me read:

“Mike, I would love for you to share my story. If it can help just one person that would be awesome. I still cannot believe how great I feel. I feel like my old self again. Which I thought that person was gone forever. I just can’t thank you enough. (My husband thanks you too). So yes, you have my permission to share my story.”

Cervical spine issues may or may not be relevant to your own individual Meniere’s case. If this is not the case with you then there are several other possibilities for you to consider, make a check list and get checked for.

Once you have identified what is relevant to you, you have the keys to your ‘solution’. Knowledge is useless though unless you, yourself, take the appropriate action.

Click here to read The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s 

Do not let lack of knowledge or lack of belief cause you to suffer one day more. You too can soon be saying “I am back to me and feel great” or ” I feel like my old self“.

So can Chiropractics cure Meniere’s disease?

It certainly seems a solution for many sufferers. Cervical spine issues can lead to tinnitus, deafness and vertigo/dizziness, so the neck and spine are very relevant to many with Meniere’s disease. 

Help other Meniere’s sufferers: Have you successfully overcome Meniere’s or do you have experience with Meniere’s and cervical spine? Tell us all about it in the comments boxes below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com

Chiropractics for Meniere’s disease

Mike’s Meniere’s Story

Meniere’s Disease and Cervical Spine

Further reading:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21629395/

Categories
General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome

Can Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Relieve Meniere’s Symptoms?

Can Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Relieve Meniere’s Symptoms?

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Menieres-Help.Com Supporting sufferers since 2004

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

 
 
Can Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Relieve Meniere’s Symptoms?
 
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 personal 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, if I  have learnt one thing in my years of support work and research it is to not discount anything off hand. Just because nobody is talking about it, just because I cannot find studies, it doesn’t mean it is not a valid treatment option. There are plenty of solutions to Meniere’s disease that we spoke of and were laughed at, discounted or attacked in the early years of Meniere’s Help. Now I see them spoken of commonly in online support groups and even by medical professionals.
 
So with that said, MLD may have some very beneficial  effects and provide relief to  the sufferer.
 
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 the 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.
 
 
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 FB 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 contaminants 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 vital to 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 states of dis-ease.

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 believed 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 as yet we have 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 highly unlikely to be 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 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.  I had been almost symptom free for several years. I say 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 fluidlymph!

Click here to read my full story of recovery from Meniere’s disease

So, Can Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Relieve Meniere’s Symptoms?

I believe it is worth considering as a valid treatment option. As always with any treatment or therapy, it can depend very much on the practitioner as to whether you get results or not. So second and third opinions are always worth it.

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

 

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, email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com or tell us all about it in the comments box below.

Related articles:

Can Meniere’s Disease be caused by Autoimmunity?

Dealing with Tinnitus

Sinuses and Meniere’s Disease

Further reading: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7167932/

Categories
General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome Meniere's Disease and Nutrition Meniere's Disease Success Stories

Preventing Deafness and Restoring Hearing in Meniere’s disease

Preventing Deafness and Restoring Hearing in 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

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 disease.

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.

In my own case, the return of my hearing was a long time coming, full of contradictions and paradoxes. 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 elsewhere 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 (after the surgery) 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 doing 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 and how to correct them.

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.

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.

Note: 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/minerals. 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. Click here to read about the importance of Magnesium for Meniere’s.

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 receive 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 symptoms  –  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.

So, is preventing deafness and restoring hearing in Meniere’s disease possible?

From the experiences of many Meniere’s Help readers and my own personal experience, I have to say yes.

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

Related articles:

Mike’s Meniere’s Story

Overcoming Meniere’s Disease

 

Dealing with Tinnitus

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

Further reading:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16374064/

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