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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

Related articles:

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

Dealing with Tinnitus

By Mike Spencer

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

Dealing with Tinnitus

According to the CDC, around 50 million people suffer with tinnitus in the US. That is 15% of the population. According to Science daily, one in seven worldwide suffer from tinnitus.

There are many causes of tinnitus, ranging from noise induced, infections, trauma (physical and psychological), drug side effects, diseases, age, TMJ, blood conditions and stress.

How tinnitus sounds and feels is unique to the individual but it varies between ringing, buzzing, clicking, humming, roaring, hissing and indescribable sounds. It can range from slightly annoying to absolutely tortuous.

In Meniere’s disease an increase in tinnitus can precede increases in ear pressure, dizziness and a full blown vertigo attack. Tinnitus can fluctuate greatly and increases can last minutes to days and weeks.

Why?

What causes this increase and what can you do about it? The same triggers that result in pressure build up inside the ear, dizziness and eventually vertigo are the same for tinnitus; increased inflammation and blood pressure.

So what can cause increased inflammation and blood pressure?

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Too much sodium
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Chemicals in processed food
  • Excess sugar consumption
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Extreme anger
  • Hunger
  • MSG
  • Aspartame
  • Lack of essential nutrients
  • Loud noise
  • Excess consumption of caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Stimulant drugs
Medications known to cause or worsen tinnitus include:
  • Antibiotics, including polymyxin B, erythromycin, vancomycin (Vancocin HCL, Firvanq) and neomycin
  • Cancer medications, including methotrexate (Trexall) and cisplatin
  • Water pills (diuretics), such as bumetanide (Bumex), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin) or furosemide (Lasix)
  • Quinine medications used for malaria or other health conditions
  • Certain antidepressants, which may worsen tinnitus
  • Aspirin taken in uncommonly high doses (usually 12 or more a day)

* Source: Mayo Clinic

Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure

A very modern cause of tinnitus and indeed Meniere’s disease, may be over exposure to electromagnetic fields. With the rapid saturation of EMFs all around us from wifi, cell phones and cell phone towers has also come an increase in prevalence of tinnitus in young people.

In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Neurology, ‘Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry’, it stated that 29 % of students between the ages of 11 and 17 had already developed chronic tinnitus!

Tinnitus shares pathophysiology with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. All things that use electricity generate EMFs, so that includes your computers, televisions, cell phones and household appliances etc.

Your body also uses electrical signals to transmit information. In your brain, neurons communicate with each other via minute electrical charges, and external EMFs can interfere with these signals.

According to the Environmental Health Center -Dallas, “The extent to which EMF affects human health varies depending on the physiological history and genetic predisposition of the person. But exposure to changes in the larger fields of the sun, moon and our planet can affect almost every part of our being from head to heart and from head to toe.

Man made electrical fields likewise affect our body. Their effect depends on the strength of the fields, the distance from the source, and the length of the exposure time. Electrical current passing through the body can injure tissue and damage nerve transmission.

Cell phones produce Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) in the ultra high frequency range or Radio Frequency (RF) range. The radiation emanating from these RF fields can be linked with increased risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma.”

Acoustic neuroma is something that is usually checked for with MRI when diagnosing Meniere’s disease.

As far back as 1994, the American Bar Association Journal reported that EMF cases were being filed at the rate of about one per month.

In 2009 study published on pubmed (Association of Tinnitus and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Hints for a Shared Pathophysiology?), it stated that, “Our data indicate that tinnitus is associated with subjective electromagnetic hypersensitivity. An individual vulnerability probably due to an overactivated cortical distress network seems to be responsible for both electromagnetic hypersensitivity and tinnitus.

A 2018 study published in Science direct (Tinnitus and cell phones: the role of electromagnetic radiofrequency radiation) concluded with, “There are already reasonable evidences to suggest caution for using mobile phones to prevent auditory damage and the onset or worsening of tinnitus.”

The first way to avoid Tinnitus from EMF is obviously to reduce your time in close proximity to cell phones and do an environmental check for your house and surrounding area.

There are various suggested treatments for “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity”, including detoxing heavy metals from your body.

How to avoid increases in tinnitus

All of the above can result in poor blood flow, inflammation or lowering of the immune system.

In many cases blood flow may be a major issue with Meniere’s. There is already constant inflammation so anything that adds to that or decreases the ability of your immune system to deal with inflammation will result in increased symptoms, including tinnitus.

So it stands to reason that you should avoid anything that lowers your immune system, affects blood flow or increases the possibility of inflammation.

  • Reduce stress and anxiety through stress management
  • Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and stimulant drugs
  • Get regular exercise
  • Get enough sleep, with regular sleep patterns
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid too much sugar
  • Avoid too much sodium
  • Eat regular healthy meals
  • Strongly consider dietary supplements to strengthen immune system
  • Drink water regularly

Reducing tinnitus

Vitamin B12

Studies have shown that vitamin B12 deficiency can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.

A 1993 study, ‘Vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with chronic-tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss’ concluded that, “These observations suggest a relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and dysfunction of the auditory pathway. Some improvement in tinnitus and associated complaints were observed in 12 patients following vitamin B12 replacement therapy. The authors recommend that routine vitamin B12 serum levels be determined when evaluating patients for chronic tinnitus.”

A 2016 study, Therapeutic role of Vitamin B12 in patients of chronic tinnitus stated,  “This pilot study sheds light on the relationship of deficient B12 levels and tinnitus and its supplementation playing a therapeutic role in tinnitus.” 

Vitamin B12 is an ingredient of Lipoflavonoid Plus.

For a decade and a half we have seen success in reducing Meniere’s symptoms using a specific dietary supplementation regimen. One of the most stubborn symptoms has always been tinnitus. Often, when Lipoflavonoid Plus has been added to this regimen, where tinnitus was still an issue, it seems to be successful.

Click here to read more about Lipoflavonoid Plus

Glutamate and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)

Glutamate is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells. It is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate nervous system.

When there is too much glutamate it can become an excitotoxin and leads to seizures and the death of brain cells. This can lead to anxiety, stress, depression, and many neurodegenerative conditions, one of which is tinnitus.

Hypoglycemia can cause excessive glutamate concentrations around neurons, as blood sugars are the primary glutamate removal method. Hypoglycemia has also been linked to Meniere’s disease.

Read more about the links between hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease here: Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

Studies show that stress can activate glutamate and alter the balance of glutamate and GABA. Stress is a known trigger for Meniere’s disease and most sufferers know that stress will increase tinnitus, ear pressure and the likelihood of a vertigo attack.

Nutrients that can help balance glutamate include the amino acids taurine, GABA, and l-theanine; the anti-oxidants NAC and green tea; vitamins B6 and D; the minerals magnesium and zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.

GABA deficiency can cause increased glutamate.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acts as the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Glutamate and GABA work in a cycle. Increasing GABA may help inhibit too much glutamate production and has been shown in studies to reduce tinnitus.

Importantly, GABA plays a role in mediating sound receptors in your brain.

Click here to get GABA

Magnesium

Magnesium has been shown to be a very integral part of successful supplement regimens for Meniere’s and has been used in Mayo clinic studies for tinnitus.

According to clinicaltrial.gov, “Recent studies of both noise-induced hearing loss and idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss have suggested that Mg supplementation may lessen the severity of tinnitus in patients. Mg improved hearing recovery and lessened tinnitus in patients with idiopathic sudden hearing loss.”

In 2011 The International Tinnitus Journal published a study stating that, “patients with moderate to severe tinnitus achieved significant improvement when taking a daily dose of 532 milligrams of magnesium for three months.”

You can a read a more in depth article on Magnesium and Meniere’s disease by clicking the link below.

Magnesium links to Meniere’s disease

Click here to get Magnesium supplements

PYCNOGENOL

Studies have shown that supplementing with pycnogenol has helped reduce tinnitus in Meniere’s disease. A 2014 Japanese study conclude that, “Symptoms of Meniere’s disease, flow at cochlear level and tinnitus improved in Pycnogenol subjects in comparison with best management.”

Read more on pycnogenol here: PYCNOGENOL for Meniere’s Disease

Gingko Biloba

The therapeutic values of gingko have been known for thousands of years. It is particularly well known for helping blood flow to the peripheral blood vessels of the body. Researchers believe that ginkgo improves cognitive function because it promotes good blood circulation in the brain and protects the brain from neuronal damage.

Supplementing with ginkgo has long been part of successful supplement regimens for Meniere’s disease.

Studies suggest it is useful for tinnitus. One such study in 2011, ‘Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of tinnitus a systematic review’ stated, “Of note, all trials using this extract consistently demonstrate its superiority over placebo.”

Click here to get Gingko Biloba

Masking Tinnitus

Resting and trying to sleep can be difficult with constant tinnitus. Masking the sound with background music, the sound of nature or other specific frequency sound therapy can help you relax and block out the noise in your ear.

The tinnitus masking music therapy below, at the time of writing, has the best reviews on youtube.

Massage to ease tinnitus and other Meniere’s symptoms

I personally found that often the correct massage helped ease pressure, dizziness and tinnitus. In my case, a Thai massage therapist in Japan would use a green balm. She would massage up from the neck, behind the affected ear over the top of the ear and down to the jaw, in long slow deep strokes.

It was an easy massage to replicate and I could do this myself and often ease pressure, and therefore the tinnitus quite quickly.**

Medical massage for tinnitus is available. Medical massage, targeting specific muscles of the neck, head, upper back, and jaw can release tension and reduce the intensity of tinnitus symptoms.

In the video below, this man uses a slightly different technique, but judging from the comments on youtube it may help a great deal.

**Note: I no longer suffer from Meniere’s disease or tinnitus. You can read my story below:

Click the image below to get the same type of Thai massage balm I used for tinnitus

Acupuncture for tinnitus

Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for both Meniere’s in general and in reducing tinnitus. Studies have shown this to be the case and I can personally vouch for this. It is not a cure and will mean regular visits, but I found it to be very beneficial in temporarily easing pressure, reducing tinnitus and stopping dizziness.

One 2018 study cited in the Caspian Journal of Internal Medicine concluded that, “acupuncture was more effective in reducing the loudness and severity of tinnitus based on VAS and TSI and can be used as a good treatment option for chronic non-pulsatile tinnitus.”

It should be noted that with both massage and acupuncture, it can very much depend on the skill and understanding of the individual therapist. As in all professions, some are great at what they do while others, not so good.

Help other sufferers.

What are your experiences with Meniere’s and relief from tinnitus? Let us know in the comments box below or email Mike at meniereshelp@gmail.com

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:

Further reading: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24988090/

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

Toxic Mold and Meniere’s

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

The hidden dangers of toxic mold and Meniere’s Disease

Mold and mycotoxins may be among the least spoken about serious threats to our health. The possible connections between mold and Meniere’s is not among the most commonly spoken about subjects when considering triggers and causes either.

Yet the possible connections have been known for many years. It is important to understand there can be many possible root causes and what is relevant to one Meniere’s sufferer may have little to no relevance in another.

According to Dr Mercola, “From a toxicity point of view, some mycotoxins (toxic substances produced by mold) are actually far more toxic than heavy metals, in terms of concentration. Mycotoxins also tend to affect more biological systems in your body than do pesticides or heavy metals, partly because fungi have the ability to dodge your immune system by rapidly mutating, while at the same time producing chemicals that suppress your immune system.”

He also says, “If your immune system is stressed in any way, or if you are extremely sensitive and have allergy-like reactions to a variety of agents then you may be even MORE sensitive to mold than the average person and have chronic symptoms directly related to mold in your environment. But even if you are generally healthy, mold can still pose a significant risk if you are caught off-guard.”

You need a healthy immune system to avoid Meniere’s symptoms, that’s a fact. We have seen for over a decade and a half that supporting your immune system with high quality supplements and a good diet has helped many people reduce their symptoms significantly regardless of their root cause.

However if your Meniere’s symptoms are a result of toxic molds, it may take specific nutrients in high enough levels to detox it from your body.

Molds have been associated with health problems that in themselves have been linked to Meniere’s such as sinus problems and autoimmune disease. Diagnostic tests for mold toxicity are very specific and one of those is a hearing test.

Toxic mold exposure has also been linked to neurological damage causing memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, trouble concentrating, confusion. headaches, fatigue, nasal irritation and nausea.

Mold has also been linked to, dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus, ear infections, hearing loss, autoimmune inner ear disease and Meniere’s disease itself.

Video: Meniere’s disease – Airborne allergies and Mold

In a study published in the journal Nature, ‘Proinflammatory cytokines and response to molds in mononuclear cells of patients with Meniere disease’ it was concluded that “Aspergillus and Penicillium trigger the release of TNF-? in MD patients and this could initiate or exacerbate the inflammatory response in the inner ear.”

Aspergillus and Penicillium are types of mold. There are hundreds of types of aspergillus molds and mildews that can be inhaled.

Penicillium is a fungus that grows on spoiled foods and can be ingested.

Video: Meniere’s, Tinnitus, Ringing of the Ears driven by Mold?

I personally suffered for 7 years with Meniere’s symptoms [ I am now completely free of Meniere’s disease ]. During the absolute worst period of suffering I searched for mold in my house. It was the rainy season in Japan where I lived and at that time of year the moisture is incredible.

I found a huge patch of mold behind a set of drawers very near where my head would be while I slept. I immediately set about cleaning the mold and as a result very quickly brought on a violent vertigo attack.

It would be advisable to get a professional in to clear the mold because it may be all over your home without you knowing. If a professional is out of the question, then at least get someone else to clean it for you.

According to American mold expert Dr. Jack Thrasher, as many as 40 percent of American schools and 25 percent of homes have mold infestations, unbeknownst to the people occupying those buildings.

He says, “It follows that adverse health effects of mold may be reaching pandemic levels.”

Regarding humidity and mold Dr. Thrasher says,  anything above 60 percent is going to lead to growth of mold and bacteria… People have to be very careful about this situation. That’s why I call it a pandemic

If your home is prone to mold it would be advisable to (after clearing the mold) use an air purifier during the damp periods and make sure your house is well aired naturally in dryer periods.

Click here for air purifiers

Glutathione 

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant produced in cells. Research suggests that mycotoxins in mold can decrease the formation of glutathione due to decreased gene expression of the enzymes needed to form glutathione.

Mycotoxin-related compromise of glutathione production can result in an excess of oxidative stress that leads to tissue damage and systemic illness.

Glutathione  is needed to detox mold from your body. Your liver is your body’s main detox organ. This is where glutathione plays a major role in detoxifying your mold mycotoxins.

When there is not enough glutathione to eliminate the toxins they start to stack up in the liver and cause mitochondrial damage – your cells’ energy powerhouse – affecting glutathione production.

Glutathione has been shown to improve protein, enzyme, and bilirubin levels in the blood of individuals with alcoholic and nonalcoholic chronic fatty liver disease. A study reported that glutathione was most effective when given to people with fatty liver disease intravenously, in high doses.

Glutathione can be found in foods such as: asparagus, avocado, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, garlic, chives, tomatoes, cucumber, almonds, and walnuts.

However, dietary glutathione is poorly absorbed by the human body. Additionally, cooking and storage conditions can decrease the amount found in food. So if you have been exposed to mold mycotoxins it is worth supplementing pro-glutathione nutrients.

Milk thistle, N-acetyl cysteine and superoxide dismutase supplements can activate glutathione production naturally in the liver.

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

Do you have experience with toxic mold and Meniere’s ?

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

Related articles:

Further reading: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/6/2/608

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

Overcoming 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

Meniere’s disease – Can you overcome it?

The official line on Meniere’s disease is that it is treatable to an extent but there is no known cause and no known cure for Meniere’s. This is what the vast majority of sufferers are told and of course most believe; why wouldn’t they? Tell a patient who has been suffering for many years and believes they have tried everything that actually there are known causes and therefore known solutions and you could be met with disbelief, disdain and even anger.

This is understandable considering what the sufferer has had to live through and the fact they have constantly been told there absolutely is no cure by health ‘professionals’. All the literature and online medical websites agree, there is no known cause and no know cure, so it must be true right?

Not exactly!

How do I know? Well read on below, but for starters…..

At the time of writing, I have had a 21 year association with Meniere’s.

  • I suffered the worst Meniere’s has to offer for 7 years and thought I had tried everything, including very costly and unsuccessful surgery.
  • For 10 years I lived 95% symptom free through dietary and lifestyle changes.
  • Since 2012 I have been completely free of Meniere’s.
  • For 13 years I have been supporting other sufferers.
  • For 7 years I have been a full time independent researcher and writer on Meniere’s. In that time I have corresponded and spoken to thousands of sufferers, doctors, scientists and other health professionals in regards to Meniere’s.
  • Most importantly I have watched thousands of sufferers regain their life, either by reducing or eliminating their symptoms or actually eliminating Meniere’s from their life completely. Many  of these people had been suffering for many years and most of these people had been told there was nothing more to be done.

So I humbly state that I think I may know a thing or two about Meniere’s by now and I state more strongly that you CAN overcome it, one way or another.

True, there is no ‘miracle cure’, ‘magical super drug’ or any one ‘silver bullet’ that can cure you of Meniere’s but I can confidently say that you absolutely can overcome it.

While nothing is written in stone with this condition and there is no one size fits all, there are some universal truths that apply to all sufferers. You need to gain a true understanding about what you are really dealing with, correlate this with your own individual circumstances, then take the appropriate action and this often needs diligence.

If there were some magical miracle cure I wouldn’t have had to spend so many years researching, communicating with so many sufferers and health professionals or write two books totaling 475 pages to help people overcome this.

In addition to the two self help books published since 2013 , I have been running Meniere’s Help for 13 years, the website (Menieres-Help.Com) has over 20 pages and this blog over 100 articles and posts. The aim of Meniere’s Help is to help sufferers recover from this horrendous condition or to put it in terms most sufferers understand most, help them get their life back.

The sheer numbers of people who have contacted Meniere’s Help alone who have overcome Meniere’s successfully stand as testimony that this can be done, not to mention my own personal case which you might find interesting to read about.

Click here to read Mike’s Meniere’s Story

In the past 4 or 5 years, the vast majority of sufferers who have contacted Meniere’s Help, beaten this condition and regained their lives have read both books. Prior to my writing these books, it was often the sufferers themselves who were the greatest sources of helpful information, through both their successful experiences and their problems. Some of their stories are in the books. I correlate their experiences with scientific medical studies, data and statistics to back everything up and prove it is never a case of simply hearsay much less placebo effect.

You could say that to even call Meniere’s  a disease is slightly misleading and to say there is no known cure is also misleading. To say there is no known cause is even more misleading. That comes down to definitions.

It can sometimes need a quantum shift in perception and attitude towards Meniere’s in some people before this becomes obvious.

  • The first two steps in overcoming Meniere’s is to change your perception of what you are dealing with and refuse to accept the entrenched dogma of drugs to ‘treat symptoms’, surgery and the all too often spouted “learn to live with it“.
  • The next step is to manage your condition, stabilizing your symptoms so you can at least function normally again.
  • The final step is to identify and eliminate or correct your own individual root cause(s) so you never have to worry about the symptoms returning.

You need to educate yourself, take that knowledge, correlate it with your own particular case then take action, be that something you need to do yourself or take the information to an appropriate health professional to get checked and/or treated.

If you strip away the label ‘Meniere’s‘, see this idiopathic condition for what it is, simply a set of symptoms, then investigate the pathology of these symptoms you soon find both the root causes and more importantly solutions are indeed known. It may be surprising to some that all of these possible root causes are actually documented in scientific peer reviewed medical studies, data and statistics. Which begs the question then why do treating health professionals not see this?

Some do.

It just depends on which health professional you ask. On average, an ENT doctor or a so called  “Meniere’s specialist” will be very compartmentalized and concentrate only on a narrow area of expertise surrounding the ear, nose and throat.

Very few will have comprehensive knowledge of and understand the implications of gut issues, a misaligned musculoskeletal frame, immune system disorders, dental and jaw issues, toxicity or allergies. Fewer still will have any real in depth knowledge of nutrition.

Yet any one of these areas could be where the root cause for Meniere’s symptoms begin in any one individual. This is documented fact in studies cited in many articles on this blog and the evidence of testimonials from sufferers who have contacted Meniere’s Help over the past 13 years, you could say are further proof of this.

The simple fact is that everything within the body is connected and once something becomes out of balance or dysfunctional it can lead to a domino effect or knock on effect and result in dysfunctions and conditions that at first glance may seem totally unconnected.

Health professionals who understand this and take a more holistic approach are still relatively rare but the numbers are certainly growing. It surely must be the obvious common sense approach and how medicine should be practiced. Prevention and correcting root causes rather than the perpetual writing of prescriptions for drugs to simply try to treat resulting symptoms.

The problem with this condition is, simply because of the general perception of “Meniere’s” and the definition of “idiopathic” it means if you do find your root cause, correct or eliminate it and no longer suffer from any symptoms then you will be told you didn’t have “true Meniere’s“. It would seem simple semantics stops any real progress in “official” understanding and acceptance of causes and known solutions.

There can never be a definitive cure because there is no definitive cause.  So then what is needed is to find your own cause, or causes (there can be more than one) in your own particular case. Do that and you have found the key to your own particular cure. The question is, do you stubbornly stick with the official line and continue to suffer or do you take things into your own hands and free yourself from this horrendous set of symptoms?

You might ask, “but where do I start once I have changed my perception?”

This is one of several reasons why I spent 7 years researching and writing books on the subject. There are too many variants and differences in each sufferer to do anything else. If there weren’t we could be shouting “we have the cure” and write it in one blog post. That is not the case though.

Meniere’s Disease has several possible root causes, many triggers and contributing factors in each individual case. Find your cause and you have in effect found the key to your solution, cure, answer or what ever words you want to use to describe eliminating these symptoms from your life.

Make no mistake, this can be done, it has been done and is being done all the time. Thousands have done this to my knowledge alone, including myself of course.

The need for Balance is not only true for the inner ear but everywhere in your body, from micro cellular level to musculoskeletal level.

When something is out of sync elsewhere inside the body, this can lead to a knock on effect, or domino effect that ultimately can result in inner ear dysfunction. This is in fact must be true for many disorders and diseases. You do not have to dig that deep to discover this is a simple biological fact.

The problem both doctors and patients face is that modern medical culture is geared almost exclusively to treating the end results, treating the symptoms; never looking for the cause.

Dr Amy Myers, New York best seller with her book ‘The Thyroid connection‘ explains this very well regarding how autoimmune disease is treated. You can read her comments in the article: Can Meniere’s disease be caused by Autoimmunity?

To paraphrase her: autoimmune disease attacks different organs. The sufferer will be sent to a doctor or specialist connected to that specific organ. Treatments will then be administered to stop the symptoms. These drugs will often have side effects in other parts of the body and then the sufferer will go through the same process again. Yet the root problem is what is causing the autoimmune response. Autoimmune disease is a dysfunction of the actual immune system, not the targeted organ. So if the sufferer wants to free themselves from the symptoms completely, the immune system in general is what should be concentrated upon.

The same goes for Meniere’s. The ear is the targeted organ, or the dysfunction of the inner ear is the end result. You need to find what the root cause of that is in your particular case. And it may be rare that it is in or around the actual ear.

From the endocrine system, metabolism and thyroid, the gut, blood flow, the back, the neck, the jaw, dental issues and importantly the immune system in general. Any one of these and more, if dysfunctional or out of balance, may lead to the symptoms of Meniere’s eventually manifesting. Balance in your lifestyle and diet is also important. Poor diet can lead to many dysfunctions and disorders, while prolonged stress can manifest poor health in many different ways, including Meniere’s.

When you have Meniere’s disease, you lose balance in inner ear equilibrium but, as stated above, this loss of balance can be a result of imbalances elsewhere within your body or even your life. Learn how to bring your body and lifestyle back into balance, regain homeostasis and you can stop the symptoms of Meniere’s.

Given the right conditions, the human body can be the best hospital possible. It needs you to create the right conditions and be the best doctor.

Can you really reduce or stop your symptoms? Moreover, can you free yourself from Meniere’s completely?

The evidence from thousands Meniere’s Help has supported over the past 13 years shows us without doubt that yes, absolutely you can.

The answer to this in your own case, can very much depend on you. As stated above, it may take a quantum shift in perception and attitude to what you are dealing with, so then the next question is……..

Do you think you are ready or prepared to do whatever it is you need to overcome Meniere’s?

What value do you really put on regaining your health and your life? Are you willing to actually do what it takes? You may be thinking to yourself, “of course I am ready, why wouldn’t I be?”

Consider the fact that a huge percentage of smokers, when told they have lung cancer continue to smoke. Why is that? We really can be our own worst enemies sometimes, and I do not exclude myself when saying that.

When readers of my books, ‘Managing Meniere’s’ and ‘The Need for Balance’ email Meniere’s Help and say things like, “You saved my life” this is something money cannot buy.

To me such words are priceless. Not the somewhat over the top flattery of these words but the fact that yet another sufferer has beaten this condition. I suffered horribly for 7 years, I know how you feel if you are a sufferer and I would not wish Meniere’s on my worst enemy.

I rarely publish these types of emails on Meniere’s Help for fear of giving the impression of hype and sensationalism. Trust and integrity is very important in what I do. After all, this is a condition where most fear they are stuck with Meniere’s and often get told they have to learn to live with it, there is nothing more to be done.

The fact is, nothing could be further from the truth.

These flattering messages are slightly embarrassing for me and not really true; it was the sufferer who refused to accept they would just have to ‘learn to live with it”, they got proactive, took the appropriate action in their individual case and got themselves healed . They just needed the right information and pointers in the right direction.

You can read some messages from readers I actually do publish here and here.

If you are suffering from Meniere’s, I know you feel like you would do anything to get your life back; to feel normal again, right? There came a time when I would have drunk kitchen bleach if I thought it would have helped; I was that desperate. I also know how you feel if you are somewhat skeptical or your BS detector is flashing. I was once in the same mindset as you and I have seen a lot of nonsense so called ‘cures‘ come and go on the internet over the years.  Healthy skepticism is good but a closed mind will never free you of Meniere’s either.

Simply put, you need to know the how and why, then the what you can do about it. This is what Managing Meniere’s and The Need for Balance is there for. Ultimately to give you the information you need to free yourself of Meniere’s.

It may sound like a strange question, but are you really, honestly, ready to do whatever is needed in your case, to live symptom free or even overcome Meniere’s completely, despite all the negativity and naysayers surrounding this condition?

Many sufferers are convinced overcoming “true Meniere’s” is simply not possible. This is what they have been told, what they have read. So the very first hurdle to overcome is this understandable, yet wrongly held belief.

How about you?

Albert Einstein allegedly once said, “The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one that walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.

If you simply accept the commonly held belief that there is no known cause or cure and that there is no getting over Meniere’s then that is exactly where you will remain, stuck in a cycle of vertigo attacks, brain fog, tinnitus and everything else that comes with this condition. You will be stuck with too many other sufferers going round in circles dependent on drugs that at best give negligible levels of relief and possible side effects, or worse, you will end up gambling with intrusive or destructive surgery as I once foolishly did. You will be entrenched in hopelessness.  In short, you will be stuck with Meniere’s ‘disease’.

If you are ready to stop accepting the little to no hope dogma of treat the symptoms with drugs, “nothing more to be done” and “learn to live with it“. If you are ready to educate yourself and take the appropriate action needed in your own case. If you are ready to take your life back, read these two books, keep in contact with Meniere’s Help for support but most importantly, TAKE ACTION based on what you learn.

If your treating health professionals have told you there is nothing more to be done, then it is down to YOU to get proactive. As stated above overcoming Meniere’s completely can be done, has been done and is being done all the time.

Are you ready to start getting your life back?

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 you have a success story to tell? Have you reduced, managed or completely freed yourself of Meniere’s symptoms? Tell us all about it in the comments boxes below or email Mike at: meniereshelp@gmail.com

Related articles:

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

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/