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

Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Meniere’s Help – Supporting Sufferers Since 2004

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

Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

The links between Meniere’s disease and hypoglycemia have been studied for decades.

Hypoglycemia as a cause of Meniere’s is debatable in that there are several possible root causes and many contributing factors to consider. Whether it is a root cause or not, it seems evident that there is a link in a significant number of cases. Bear in mind that what is relevant in one person who has the symptoms of Meniere’s might not be relevant in another.

There can be very different root causes that all have the same resulting symptoms that come under the label of “Meniere’s”.

The blood sugar and insulin factors in Meniere’s is something that should not be ignored and is worth investigating for the sufferer. By doing so, you can either rule out the relevance in your case or if it is relevant to you, understand what action you can take to help your body find balance.

Here the focus is mainly on non diabetic hypoglycemia, seizures and Meniere’s disease. Many sufferers report they have had a history at some point in their lives of experiencing hypoglycemic type symptoms and/or seizures.

ENT doctors may dismiss any connections with this and the symptoms of Meniere’s. However, research would suggest there is indeed a connection in a sizeable enough number of sufferers.

Moreover the connections are there to see in plenty of cited studies to back this up.

Insulin and blood sugar levels are relevant in Meniere’s disease. One hypothesis regarding Meniere’s is that when the pressure becomes too intense the endolymphatic sac bursts and two electrolytes, potassium and sodium that should be kept apart are mixed, causing vertigo.

This hypothesis may or may not be correct, however, it is a known fact that excess sodium retains fluid in the tissues. Excess fluid can manifest into the key factor in Meniere’s and almost all disease states and that key factor is inflammation.

Moreover, consuming too much sugar can be a very fast reacting trigger for increased pressure, tinnitus, dizziness or vertigo in some Meniere’s sufferers.

Where insulin may come into the picture is that insulin is very much part of the regulation of sodium and potassium within the kidneys. Studies on diabetes show that insulin plays a part in sodium retention.

Click here to read about Diabetes and Meniere’s disease

What is hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is a condition caused by low blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body. The condition is most common in people with diabetes who have issues with medicine, food, or exercise.

According to the center for advance medicine, Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is caused by an inconsistent oversupply of insulin or an under-supply of adrenaline, especially if you have been eating a diet high in sugar.

Sometimes people who don’t have diabetes can also get low blood glucose. There are two kinds of nondiabetic hypoglycemia:

  • Reactive hypoglycemia, which happens a few hours after you eat a meal
  • Fasting hypoglycemia, which might be linked to medicine or a disease. Fasting hypoglycemia often happens after the person goes without food for 8 hours or longer.

The symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

  • Hunger
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Pale skin
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Dizziness
  • Moodiness

In extreme cases it can cause: confusion, blurred vision and seizures.

Non-diabetic hypoglycemia is believed to be rare. Glucose (sugar) is the main source of energy for your body and brain. It comes from what we eat and drink.

Insulin, is a hormone that helps keep blood glucose at normal levels. Insulin’s job is to help glucose enter your cells where it’s used for energy. If your glucose level is too low, problems can occur.

What causes non-diabetic hypoglycemia?

In reactive hypoglycemia it is thought that being in a pre-diabetic state, someone who is considered at risk of diabetes, a result of stomach surgery and rare enzyme deficiencies can all be causes.

Causes of fasting hypoglycemia can include:

  • Medicines, such as salicylates (a type of pain reliever), sulfa drugs (an antibiotic), pentamidine (to treat a serious kind of pneumonia), quinine (to treat malaria).
  • Alcohol, especially with binge drinking.
  • Serious illnesses, such as those affecting the liver, heart, or kidneys.
  • Low levels of certain hormones, such as cortisol, growth hormone, glucagon, or epinephrine.
  • Tumors, such as a tumor in the pancreas that makes insulin or a tumor that makes a similar hormone called IGF-II

Source: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

There are a number of causes of hypoglycemia other than eating too much sugar and overstimulating the pancreas:

  • Fungus can contribute to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, by taking sugar that is needed by your cells.
  • As mentioned, there is a connection with adrenal health. Stress hormones can trigger the body’s tendency to release too much insulin.
  • Caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to increased insulin levels.
  • Hypoglycemia is often associated with food allergies.
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Source: The Center for Advanced Medicine.

The linked causes above can also be very relevant to Meniere’s disease. Click the links to read in a separate window.

Eating small regular meals throughout the day may be advised for people with fasting hypoglycemia. This type of dietary advice has also been shown to help some sufferers of Meniere’s disease.

Other dietary advice can include, eating a variety of foods, including protein (meat and nonmeat), dairy foods, and high-fiber foods such as whole-grain bread, fruit, and vegetables as well as limiting high sugar foods.

Some doctors recommend a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. That said, according to the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism this type of diet has not proven to help hypoglycemia.

However, we know all too well from our experience with Meniere’s, that even though something is not clinically proven, it doesn’t mean it cannot help.

Clinical links to hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

A 2015 study published in the International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology found that: “Auditory and vestibular symptoms usually occur prior to other manifestations of metabolic changes, leading to an early diagnosis of hyperinsulinemia, intestinal sugar malabsorption or diabetes.

Previously undiagnosed diabetes mellitus type II was found in 39 patients“*

* This was a retrospective study of  376 patients with inner ear symptoms suggestive of disturbances of carbohydrate metabolism.

A 2009 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology concluded that: “87.7% of the patients with dizziness and suspicion of peripheral vestibular disorder had glucose or insulin metabolism disorders.”

Their results showed the following:

  • Hypoglycemia was seen in 61.7% of the cases
  • hyperinsulinemia in 55.5%
  • hyperglycemia in 27.2%
  • glucose intolerance in 12.3%
  • hypoinsulinemia in 1.2%
  • Normal tests were seen in 12.3 % of the cases and altered fasting glucose in 23.5%

These results clearly suggest that irregularities in both glucose metabolism and insulin production can play a major role in vestibular disorders such as Meniere’s.

The British Medical journal published a study in 2019 that concluded, “The organ of Corti could be a target tissue for insulin action, and inner ear insulin resistance might contribute to the association between diabetes and inner ear dysfunction.”

The organ of corti is a structure in the cochlea of the inner ear which produces nerve impulses in response to sound vibrations.

The International Tinnitus Journal published a study in 2005: Glucose and Insulin Profiles and Their Correlations in Meniere’s Disease.

Their results showed, ” insulin curves for approximately 71.87% of the patients (n = 46) with Meniere’s disease revealed hyperinsulinemia, whereas GTT results compatible with impaired glucose tolerance were found for only 6.25% (4 patients), and changes in fasting glycemia or GTT (or both) suggesting NIDDM were seen for only 4.69% (3 patients).”

Hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia describes the condition and effects of low blood glucose caused by excessive insulin.

In the study Etiology and Treatment of FluidRetention (Hydrops)in Meniere’s Syndrome [Conrad A. Proctor, MD, Todd B. Proctor, M, Bruce Proctor, MD] it states:

“There is now much evidence that the hormone insulin promotes retention of sodium by the kidney . The end result of prolonged hyperinsulinemia also includes vasoconstriction and eventually arterial smooth muscle hypertrophy. Insulin production is stimulated by high-carbohydrate diets.

In this study, 58 of 75 Meniere’s patient s (seventy-seven percent) demonstrated abnormal insulin levels.

These patients were treated from 1980 to 1990 with a low carbohydrate, 6 to 8 feeding diet in addition to the usual no added -salt diet. Cholesterol was limited when indicated.
Ninety-one percent of these Meniere’s patients with abnormal insulin levels reported at least a ninety percent improvement in both severity and frequency of vertigo attacks for the entire ten year period.”

Seizures have been associated with hypoglycemia but a 2015 study published in Science Direct suggested, “In this study of a large number of patients with hypoglycemia, a notably low frequency of seizures was noticed. This indicates that the risk of seizures in association with low blood glucose levels seems to be low.

In the book, The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s, I explain the domino effect within our body that can eventually manifest the symptoms of Meniere’s disease. Seemingly unrelated health issues or injuries suffered sometimes years before can eventually result in Meniere’s.

Is there a possibility that someone who has experienced seizures, low blood sugar episodes, insulin irregularities or hypoglycemia at some point in their life becomes more susceptible to the symptoms of Meniere’s manifesting.

I recently posted this question in several Meniere’s related social media groups; “Did anyone experience any kind of seizures or hypoglycemia anytime in your life BEFORE your Meniere’s symptoms started?”

Of the 210 responses received, 90 said yes to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. 26 said yes to some type of seizures.

As with all suspected root causes and secondary causes of Meniere’s symptoms the numbers are not conclusive but significantly high enough to suggest a correlation in some sufferers.

What to do about Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease?

There are several possible root causes of Meniere’s disease and many contributing factors. As stated at the beginning of this article, what is relevant for one sufferer may have little to no relevance in another. You may have more than one root problem contributing to your symptoms.

Almost certainly, all of them result in inflammation.

You can deal with inflammation by eating foods high in anti-inflammatory nutrients, avoiding foods that cause inflammation and avoiding foods high in sodium.

You can support your immune system with nutrient rich foods, high in anti-oxidants and using quality dietary supplements.

Control of hypoglycemia is almost exclusively dietary. Although hypoglycemia is in some ways the opposite of diabetes, the dietary recommendations are essentially the same since in both cases the goal is to stabilize insulin and sugar levels.

According to the center for advanced medicine,  you should eat complex carbohydrates and fiber along with protein, and avoid sweets and refined foods. Frequent small, high protein meals help modulate insulin swings and control hypoglycemia

Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most significant mineral nutrients for the body to function and deficiency may be common among the general population. You can read more about its importance for Meniere’s sufferers here: Magnesium links to Meniere’s disease

Regarding hypoglycemia, low blood sugar and insulin, magnesium plays an important role in helping your body convert glucose from your food into fuel. If you don’t have enough magnesium in your body, your cells can become less effective at using insulin.

A 2013 study at the Medical School of Yangzhou University, China, concluded that “Increasing dietary magnesium to meet the RDA has a protective effect on insulin resistance.”

A 1982 study at Brigham Young University ‘Reactive hypoglycemia and magnesium’ states that, “Mg [Magnesium]supplementation appeared to prevent nadirs in plasma glucose that were significantly below fasting levels. This suggested that the hypoglycemia of reactive hypoglycemia would be a sign of a complex disorder and not the cause.

It is suggested that reactive hypoglycemia is related to a disturbed Mg balance. Mg-Ca [Magnesium – Calcium] interactions also appear to be important but the mechanisms are not clear.

Subjective complaints, such as fatigue, and the disturbed blood sugar control would be symptoms and signs of this syndrome.”

A 1994 study published in the French journal, Therapie states, “The interrelationships between magnesium and carbohydrate metabolism have regained considerable interest over the last few years. Insulin secretion requires magnesium: magnesium deficiency results in impaired insulin secretion while magnesium replacement restores insulin secretion.”

Nature.com published a study in 2016 ‘Mg supplementation appears to have a beneficial role and improves glucose parameters in people with diabetes and also improves insulin-sensitivity parameters in those at high risk of diabetes.’

There are many factors to consider regarding dietary magnesium and it would be worth clicking the link above ‘Magnesium links to Meniere’s disease‘ to learn more.

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, nuts, brown rice, dairy products and wholegrain foods are good sources of magnesium. The super food, Moringa is one of the best sources of dietary magnesium.

Calcium

Calcium works in synergy with magnesium, too much or too little of one can have an effect on how the other works inside the body.

Calcium is not just about healthy bones and teeth, it is essential for life. A 1981 study in Hormone and metabolic research, ‘Effect of calcium infusion on post-reactive hypoglycemia’ found that: “In normal subjects, this infusion did not affect insulin secretion and OGTT, contrary to all patients with reactive hypoglycemia in whom calcium infusion produced significant increase in plasma glucose. Simultaneously the symptoms of hypoglycemia disappeared. Continuous infusion of calcium suppressed reactive hypoglycemia.”

Dietary sources of calcium include: diary products, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, the bones in sardines and fortified cereals.

Chromium

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that can improve insulin sensitivity and enhance protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism. It is a metallic element that people need very small quantities of. Processing foods such as polishing rice can rob the cereal of its chromium, increasing the possibility of blood sugar irregularities. Read The Case for Organic Food

In a 1987 clinical trial published on pubmed, ‘Effects of supplemental chromium on patients with symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia’ it was found that: “Chromium supplementation alleviated the hypoglycemic symptoms and significantly raised the minimum serum glucose values observed two to four hours following a glucose load.

Insulin binding to red blood cells and insulin receptor number also improved significantly during Cr supplementation. These data suggest that impaired Cr nutrition and/or metabolism may be a factor in the etiology of hypoglycemia.”

*According to the US National Institute of Health, “The FNB has not evaluated chromium since 2001. However, in 2014, the European Food Safety Authority Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies concluded that no convincing evidence shows that chromium is an essential nutrient and, therefore, setting chromium intake recommendations would be inappropriate.”

Eating a fully balanced diet of fresh (organic where possible) produce and avoiding processed and fast food is a wise choice for anyone, but for people suffering with Meniere’s disease and compromised by hypoglycemia it would seem particularly prudent.

We know from the experience of supporting sufferers since 2004, that a healthy diet, lifestyle and using high quality full spectrum supplementation can help a great deal in either reducing or even eliminating the symptoms of Meniere’s.

Click here to read about supplements for Meniere’s

Spirulina

Spirulina is nutrient packed superfood that may have many possible benefits for Meniere’s sufferers (read more here). Spirulina also has value for those suffering from hypoglycemia.

The Journal of medicinal food published a study in 2001. Extract:

“Spirulina, with its high concentration of functional nutrients, is emerging as an important therapeutic food. This study aimed to evaluate the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic role of Spirulina. Twenty-five subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomly assigned to receive Spirulina (study group) or to form the control group.

 These findings suggest the beneficial effect of Spirulina supplementation in controlling blood glucose levels and in improving the lipid profile of subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

For general dietary advice for hypoglycemia click the link below

https://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/nutrition/396.pdf

For more information related to hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease read also: Diabetes and Meniere’s Disease

Help other sufferers. What is your experience with Meniere’s and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels?

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

Your input and perspective is always appreciated.

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

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

Vitamin D and Meniere’s Disease

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Meniere’s Help

Researcher and writer of Managing Meniere’s Disease and The Need for Balance

Vitamin D and Meniere’s Disease

While all vitamins and minerals are important for a healthy functioning, balanced body, some vitamins are better known for their value to the immune system and some vitamins are known to help suppress the symptoms of Meniere’s disease.

Vitamin C, B12 and Magnesium are relatively well known for their benefits to ear function and Meniere’s but what about Vitamin D and Meniere’s disease?

According to studies cited on Mercola.com there is a robust and rapidly growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention, in part due to the fact that it influences about 10 percent of all your genes.

Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D upregulates is your ability to fight infections and chronic inflammation. The whole concept behind using quality dietary supplements for Meniere’s disease is to support the immune system enough for it to deal with the inflammation causing Meniere’s symptoms.

So vitamin D would appear to be an important part of that.

It also produces over 200 anti-microbial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Vitamin D is more than just one vitamin. It’s actually a family of nutrients that share similarities in chemical structure.

In your diet, the most commonly found members are vitamin D2 and D3. The difference between D2 and D3 is, Vitamin D3 is found in food from animals while Vitamin D2 comes from plant derived foods. The best sources of Vitamin D3 is exposure to sunlight.

So if you are a vegan or living in areas that have little sunlight in winter you run a risk of vitamin D3 deficiency.

Sources of Vitamin D3:

Sources of Vitamin D2

Focus on Vitamin D has only really taken off in the last 20 years. In this time, newer and more accessible technology has shown that Vitamin D deficiency is widespread.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 32% of children and adults throughout the US were vitamin D deficient
  • The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 50% of children aged one to five years old, and 70% of children between the ages of 6 and 11, are deficient or insufficient in vitamin D
  • Researcher Dr. Holick estimates that 50% of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency
  • In 2015 the WHO reported that Vitamin D deficiency is thought to be a widespread public health problem globally

A strong, healthy immune system means less inflammation and less inflammation means less chance of the symptoms of Meniere’s disease.

It is widely thought that vitamin D plays an important role in the modulation of the inflammation system by regulating the production of inflammatory cytokines and immune cells, which are crucial for the pathogenesis of many immune-related diseases.

In a study published in The Journal of Immunology in 2012 ‘How vitamin D inhibits inflammation‘ it wrote:

“Vitamin D has long been known to contribute to bone health by promoting the absorption of calcium. In recent years, much attention has been paid to its possible immune and inflammatory benefits. Low vitamin D levels have been associated with several diseases including asthma, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.

This study goes beyond previous associations of vitamin D with various health outcomes. It outlines a clear chain of cellular events, from the binding of DNA, through a specific signaling pathway, to the reduction of proteins known to trigger inflammation. Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, arthritis and prostate cancer, who are vitamin D deficient, may benefit from vitamin D supplementation to get their serum vitamin D levels above 30 nanograms/milliliter”

Vitamin D also help control immune responses though cellular communication. Receptors for vitamin D are found on most types of immune cells. When vitamin D binds to cellular receptors, it sends messages to help support many different natural responses that can help keep you healthy. Sometimes, those responses can include turning on production of even more active vitamin D to increase levels right where and when it’s needed.

Vitamin D is fat-soluble—meaning that the fat in your body is how you collect and store it. So, if you’re overweight, it may mean you need more of it.

According to a 2011 study in the Journal of Investigative Medicine: “It is now clear that vitamin D has important roles in addition to its classic effects on calcium and bone homeostasis. As the vitamin D receptor is expressed on immune cells (B cells, T cells and antigen presenting cells) and these immunologic cells are all are capable of synthesizing the active vitamin D metabolite, vitamin D has the capability of acting in an autocrine manner in a local immunologic milieu.

Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection. As immune cells in autoimmune diseases are responsive to the ameliorative effects of vitamin D, the beneficial effects of supplementing vitamin D deficient individuals with autoimmune disease may extend beyond the effects on bone and calcium homeostasis.

Vitamin D and Meniere’s Disease

A 2018 paper published on NIH, ‘Vitamin D supplementation may improve symptoms in Meniere’s disease’ states: “In the last 4 years the authors observed a trend that correcting vitamin D deficiency in newly diagnosed cases of Meniere’s disease decreased the necessity of the ablative therapy with intratympanic gentamicin. According to their hypothesis, vitamin D supplementation may indeed have a beneficial effect in Meniere’s disease if the symptoms are caused by a local postviral autoimmune reaction. Vitamin D has a strong immunomodulatory role, one of which is the regulation of the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators”

According to study published in August 2020 in ‘Neurology’ “Taking vitamin D and calcium twice a day may reduce your chances of getting vertigo”

A 2016 case study in the Caspian Journal of internal Medicine stated that, “This study indicates that the normalization of serum vitamin D significantly reduces BPPV recurrences.”

In 1983 The Journal of Laryngology and Otology published a study: ‘Vitamin D deficiency–a new cause of cochlear deafness’. It stated, “Ten patients are reported with bilateral cochlear deafness which was associated with vitamin D deficiency. The features of these cases are discussed following an overview of the clinical aspects and diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency.

The most likely pathogenesis is localized demineralization of the cochlea resulting in secondary morphological changes. Replacement therapy resulted in unilateral hearing improvement in two of the four patients in whom the response to treatment could be assessed.

This suggests a previously unrecognized causal correlation between vitamin D deficiency and cochlear deafness. Impaired vitamin D activity may be important in the aetiology of otosclerosis, presbyacusis and the deafness associated with chronic renal failure. Vitamin D deficiency should be considered in the differential diagnosis of unexplained bilateral cochlear deafness. It is important, as this ‘new’ metabolic type of sensorineural deafness may be reversible, and may also lead to the diagnosis of early osteomalacia before more serious generalized skeletal symptoms can occur.”

It would appear that Vitamin D is an important nutrient related to ear health, vertigo, deafness and tinnitus.

It is important to note that if you supplement vitamin D, you also need to take vitamin K2. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the correct areas in your body. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues.

Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the consequences similar to vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. The reason for this is because when you take vitamin D, your body creates more vitamin K2-dependent proteins that move calcium around in your body.

Without vitamin K2, those proteins remain inactivated, so the benefits of those proteins remain unrealized. So remember, if you take supplemental vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2.

This may have added significance for Vitamin D and Meniere’s disease as it has been suggested that excess vitamin D without K can cause tinnitus. Click here to get Vitamin D/Vitamin K supplements

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. What are your experiences with Vitamin D and Meniere’s disease? Tell us all about it in the comments box below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail .com

Further reading:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29857909/

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 very few 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
Meniere's Disease Triggers & Causes Meniere's Disease and Nutrition

Cholesterol and Meniere’s Disease

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Menieres 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

Cholesterol and Meniere’s Disease

If you eat a high fat, high carbohydrate and/or a sugary diet cholesterol could be depositing plaque on your blood vessel walls. If this is the case, then your blood flow could be restricted. Poor blood flow in and around the ear is the very opposite to what you want. The ear needs a smooth flow of blood in and out of the ear or complications can occur. If you suffer from Meniere’s disease, then high cholesterol could be making things a lot worse for you.

Triglycerides

High triglyceride counts may be significant for the same reason. Large numbers of people suffering from Meniere’s are found to have elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  The deeper significance of this as a causal factor may be misleading in that the average diet and lifestyle in most industrialized countries now produces a population that will often have these elevated levels but not everyone suffers from Meniere’s.

In addition to this, most Meniere’s patients will be on diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide. One side effect of these drugs can be an increase in triglycerides and low density lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol.

On the other hand, as you will read in the last section of this article, high triglycerides may be a sign of other dysfunctions within the body that can indeed impact on the condition of a Meniere’s sufferer.

For 50 years doctors have been telling patients that eggs increased cholesterol, but an extensive study published in JAMA ( Journal for the American medical association) in 2014 showed that it turns out that advice was wrong and that excess sugar in fact is much worse for cholesterol. The study highlighted soda as one of the biggest culprits.

Regardless, plaque buildup can affect blood flow. Blood flow is very important. While build up of cholesterol can also trigger the immune system into an inflammatory response. Inflammation is a major reason for Meniere’s symptoms. See more on why inflammation is an important factor here.

The right nutrition to help the immune system fight inflammation and promote blood flow has produced the best results in reducing symptoms of Meniere’s that we have seen. We have constantly seen all the evidence of this for 13 years. While the two most recent drugs to be lauded as treatments for Meniere’s, OTO-104 and SPI-1005  are aimed at ‘reducing inflammation.’

In addition to this, researchers at the University of Colorado claim they may have a plan to “disable” Meniere’s Disease through ‘improving blood flow.

So you have the choice of reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow naturally or by using drugs. Either way, whether you have Meniere’s or not, it is acknowledged by almost everyone now that reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol is a wise choice for your general health.

Cholesterol and Meniere’s Disease

PLAQUE

Plaque is a collection of excess cholesterol covered by a scar that is deposited on artery walls. In most cases, this buildup results after years of having high cholesterol. The largest buildups are most likely to cause angina. Small buildups of this substance are thought to be unstable and more likely to rupture, releasing their contents into the bloodstream, possibly causing a blood clot that may trigger a heart attack.

What Is Plaque?
When talking about cholesterol, it is helpful to understand plaque. The effect of plaque buildup in the arteries is the main cause of heart disease, heart attacks in people with high cholesterol and many other ‘health’ conditions.

How Does It Develop?

Cholesterol is a major ingredient in the plaque that builds up in the arteries.

Excess cholesterol is deposited on the artery walls as it travels through the bloodstream. Then, special cells in the artery wall gobble up this excess cholesterol, creating a “bump” in the artery wall. This cholesterol-rich “bump” then is covered by a scar that produces a hard coat or shell over the cholesterol and cell mixture. It is this collection of cholesterol covered by a scar that is called plaque. The buildup of plaque is known as atherosclerosis

Impact of Plaque

The plaque buildup narrows the space in the coronary arteries through which blood can flow, decreasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. If not enough oxygen-carrying blood can pass through the narrowed arteries to reach the heart muscle, the heart may respond with a pain called angina. The pain is often felt during exercise, when the heart needs more oxygen. It is typically felt in the chest or sometimes in other places, like the left arm and shoulder. This same inadequate blood supply, however, may cause no symptoms.

This plaque buildup does not occur over days, weeks, or months. Plaque buildup, in most cases, occurs over many years. If the heart is not receiving oxygen and nutrients, therefore not functioning as it should, then blood flow throughout the body will not be as it should. If there is a constriction in the veins and capillaries in and around the ear for some other reason then the added burden of plaque both in the coronary arteries and elsewhere will only compound the problem.

Reducing Plaque Buildup

Lowering cholesterol levels can slow, stop, or even reverse the buildup of plaque. This can reduce your risk of a heart attack by lowering the cholesterol content in unstable plaque, making it more stable and less prone to rupture. This is why lowering your LDL cholesterol is such an important part of reducing your risk of a heart attack. In the bigger picture, the same may go for reducing the risk of increased Menieres symptoms or even eliminating your symptoms, depending on your root cause.

Reducing triglycerides

To reduce your triglyceride levels, limit high starch foods, reduce or cut bad fats, reduce sugar intake, limit alcohol intake, limit fructose, eat omega 3 rich foods such as fish and nuts and limit refined carbohydrates such as white bread.

In fact one of the most commonly overlooked causes of high triglyceride levels is too many carbohydrates, especially in heavily refined foods. If your triglyceride levels are elevated, it can likely represents a severe abnormality of insulin balance in your body.

This is important in more ways than one. It is known that insulin in diabetics creates a sodium retaining effect. Insulin is involved in the regulation of both sodium and potassium. Both relevant to inner ear function.

So this takes us way beyond simply worrying about cholesterol. Now we are concerned with metabolism, glucose and insulin. A study published in The International Tinnitus Journal and PubMed in 2005 ‘Glucose and insulin profiles and their correlations in Ménière’s disease.’  highlighted this fact.

Quote:

“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%. More advanced hyperinsulinemic conditions (i.e., glucose intolerance or diabetes mellitus) were usually associated with changes in lipid profiles and with a central pattern of fat distribution and systemic hypertension.”

In an earlier study it was found that:

67.7% of our patients showed some abnormality in the relationship between the blood levels of glucose and insulin.”

You can read about Metabolism and Meniere’s here

Sugars not metabolized into energy within the body are stored as fats. Unused fats are stored as fats. Carbohydrates turn to sugars, the sugar not used is stored as fat. Highly refined carbohydrates give a sugar rush to the body and cause insulin irregularities. Insulin irregularities can cause sodium and potassium level irregularities.

You can see how everything is connected within the body and how seemingly unrelated issues may either result in Meniere’s symptoms or at least influence in some way what is happening within your ear.

Good blood flow is important to prevent Meniere’s symptoms. Anything affecting this is most likely affecting your Meniere’s condition. Anything that triggers inflammation is most likely affecting your Meniere’s condition and anything that is causing imbalances in the regulation of the electrolytes sodium and potassium and metabolism is most likely affecting your Meniere’s condition.

The root causes and triggers of any health condition can often be found not in the actual organ affected but rather elsewhere in the body.

What can you take away from this? Quite simply a good balanced diet, high in nutritious whole foods and very low on health damaging processed foods is not just some fanciful idea or a passing fad. It is essential for both overall health and to the Meniere’s sufferer specifically.

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. Tell us all about your experiences with cholesterol and Meniere’s. Use the comments boxes below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com

Related articles:

Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

Diabetes and Meniere’s Disease

Mike’s Meniere’s Story

Further reading:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/5943955/

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.

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 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. “

Click here to get Folate with Vitamin B12

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 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? Tell us all about it in the comments boxes below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com

Further reading:

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