L-lysine for Meniere’s Disease

This post was written by Mike on October 12, 2009
Posted Under: General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome,Meniere's Disease Triggers & Causes


Can L-lysine reduce the symptoms of Meniere’s Disease?

Anti-viral treatments and L-lysine for Meniere’s disease

Food that contains L-lysine for Meniere's Disease

One of the many possible root causes of Meniere’s disease is thought to be viral in origin.

Because of the relative success of various anti-viral treatments in some people this belief has held ground over many years.

If you have ever had a cold sore, the virus can show up in your blood test, so the study done in Hokkaido Japan showing that high numbers of Meniere’s sufferers have this present appears slightly flawed.

That said, viral infections are a possible cause to check for and rule out. It does have to be said that at least some people contact Meniere’s Help and say Valtrex has helped them reduce their symptoms.

The same cane be said of L-lysine.

L-Lysine Study: Recovery of Hearing in Meniere’s Disease after Antiviral Treatment

According to a study published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology published in 2014, ‘Recovery of Hearing in Meniere’s Disease after Antiviral Treatment,’ “Out of thirty one Meniere’s patients hearing was improved in twelve and not improved in nineteen of those patients.

Complete control of vertigo was achieved in those patients with improved hearing.  It may be important to note that the duration of Meniere’s in the group with hearing improvement was shorter (2.4 years) than the group with no improvement (5.5 years).”

There may be a viral link to the symptoms of Meniere's disease.

Valtrex (valacyclovir) -anti viral medicine

Valtrex (valacyclovir) is an antiviral drug. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus to help the body fight the infection. Valtrex will not cure herpes and will not prevent you from spreading the virus to other people. However, this medicine can lessen the symptoms of an infection.

Moreover, Valtrex may also harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines, including: antivirals, chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, injectable osteoporosis medication, and some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).

Valtrex or valacyclovir is what is known as purine nucleoside class of drug. Purine nucleosides are antiviral agents that have selective activity against herpes simplex virus types 1 (cold sores) and 2 (genital herpes) and varicella zoster virus (chicken pox).

The purine nucleoside molecule is converted to a monophosphate by viral thymidine kinases. The monophosphate is then converted to diphosphate and then into a triphosphate form by cellular enzymes.

The triphosphate form blocks the replication of viral DNA by inhibiting viral DNA polymerase and terminating the growing viral DNA chain.

Other drugs may interact with valacyclovir, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Possible side effects of Valtrex include:

  • confusion, aggression, feeling shaky or unsteady
  • hallucinations
  • problems with speech
  • a seizure (convulsions)
  • kidney problems–little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.
  • fever, pale skin;
  • unusual bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums)
  • red or pink urine, little or no urination
  • red spots on the skin (not related to herpes or chickenpox)
  • feeling weak or tired
  • stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting
  • swelling in your face, hands, or feet

More common side effects are:

  • nausea, stomach pain
  • headache
  • rash
  • tired feeling

Perhaps a much safer natural alternative to Valtrex and other synthetic anti-viral drugs, and one with little to no known side effects is L-Lysine.

Using L-lysine for Meniere’s Disease

L-Lysine is a natural essential amino acid that the body uses to build proteins, the same protein building block that helps treat cold sores and can also help fight cancer.

In fact L-Lysine also benefits the brain and gut. Gut issues are also linked to Meniere’s disease. Low lysine levels have been found in people with Parkinson’s, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, asthma, and depression.

L-lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning it is necessary for human health, but the body cannot make it. You have to get L-lysine from food or supplements.

Foods high in L-lysine include:

  • meats
  • sea food
  • eggs
  • yogurt
  • legumes
  • potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • beets
  • avocado

Spirulina also has high amounts of lysine.

Viruses need arginine – another amino acid – to reproduce, but several studies have found that l-lysine blocks arginine activity.  This can help prevent viruses spreading, or reduce the length of infections.

L-lysine is known to be particularly effective at tackling the virus that causes cold sores, herpes simplex 1, so could it also help with viral ear infections?

There’s an increasing amount of anecdotal evidence that taking l-lysine can help relieve the symptoms of Meniere’s disease such as vertigo, tinnitus, or pain and pressure in the inner ear.

The evidence may be “anecdotal” but do not let that discredit the possibility that it may help. Anything helping any health condition that is natural will always be labelled “anecdotal” because giant pharmaceutical companies will never pay for test or studies.

Nature cannot be patented so there is no chance on monopolizing the market. The big money for studies, trials and tests will only go to pharmaceuticals that can be patented. This is the way the medical “industry” works.

If either valtrex and other anti viral medications or L-lysine work in a Meniere’s patient then that would suggest that indeed, in this particular case a virus is persistently present.

This would mean the regular use of either valtrex or L-lysine would be needed. Chose wisely which one you would use.

Bottom line, it is an elimination process when trying to find your individual root cause and dealing with it. When considering possible causes of your Meniere’s symptoms herpes should be one of the several possible root causes checked for.

If you found this article and site useful Click here to support Meniere’s Help paypal.me/menieres

Help other sufferers. Do you have experience with L-lysine for Meniere’s disease?

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

References/Further reading/references:


Reader Comments

85% to 90% of cases respond to a viral treatment with total elimination of vertigo, please address the clinical studies bellow, if you have other proof that shows this is not the case, please kindly state your sources. thank you!

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School,
Morphological and clinical evidence supports a viral neuropathy in Ménière’s disease (MD). Quantitative examination with transmission electron microscopy of vestibular ganglion cells excised from a patient with MD revealed viral particles enclosed in transport vesicles. Antiviral treatment controlled vertigo in 32 of 35 patients with MD (91%). PMID:? 19142031 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

“Effectiveness? of Acyclovir on Meniere’s Syndrome III Observation of Clinical Symptoms in 301 cases,” Mitsuo Shichinohe, M.D., Ph.D., The Sapporo Medical Journal, Vol. 68, No. 4-6, Cases of 301 MD patients treated with antiviral meds The results were: In 82.5% of cases diagnosed as Meniere’s Disease, 85% of cases diagnosed as Meniere’s Syndrome, and 89.1% of cases diagnosed as vestibular dysfunction, vertigo disappeared, and tinnitus and hearing were improved.

Written By Wu Mengsan on October 15th, 2009 @ 4:54 am

Acupuncture is a great stress reliever on me. it is also great for headaches “

Written By Adrian Morgan on August 11th, 2010 @ 5:53 am

acupuncture seems to be a good alternative medicine *’.

Written By Emma Johnson on September 30th, 2010 @ 6:37 am

Thanks Emma, yes I know from experience that given a good practitioner, acupuncture can help ‘relieve’ the symptoms a lot, but shouldn’t be seen as a ‘cure’

Written By admin on October 27th, 2010 @ 3:58 am

Thanks Wu, I am very aware that many studies support the ‘theory’ that meniere’s is brought on by the herpes virus. BUt for every 10 studies that support this, 5 studies discount it??!………..
……..one of the reasons it is discounted is because the hepres virus can be present in all of us in a dormant state and that presence doesn’t prove anything when it comes to Meniere’s. Also, even the studies that suggets there might be a connection, often state that treatment with ani-viral medicines may only be effective in the early stages of infection/meniere’s symptoms..

…..it is surely debate that will go on but worth investigating for each of us.

Written By admin on October 27th, 2010 @ 4:51 am

Desperate to help my husband with his Meniere’s disease I went online to find answers and in that search found the information on the viral component and Valtrex treatment. We work with a psychiatrist that has a fabulous bio-pharmaceutical background and forwarded him the information that we found. He gave my husband a blood test and the herpes virus was NOT found. He agreed to prescribe the Valtrex and I can report it has worked!! The severe attacks have gone and know we have a mild one from time to time, still have the fullness in the ear, but much, much better than it was.

Written By Laura on December 13th, 2010 @ 5:20 am

That is wonderful news Laura, 🙂 long may it continue…..can I ask you……how long has your husband been sick with Meniere’s? I read that valtrex can only help in the early stages and if the virus has been there a long time, then not so successful. However, you are saying they didn’t even find the virus but valtrex helped him. This is very interesting …..thanks for the comments

Written By admin on January 13th, 2011 @ 11:11 pm


Just thought I may be of help here. I do believe there is a connection with meniere’s and hsv 1 (cold sores).

I have both lovely diseases and I have also had the luck of having tmj, allergies and recently was diagnosed with tonsillitis. My tmj symptoms have gone away over the years, although I’m sure that stress can bring them back. Finally after years of agony from meniere’s (ear fullness, caffeine induced headaches, plugged ears, loss of hearing, etc…) I sought the help on an ent Dr. about a month ago. The only reason I even thought I needed to go to an ENT Dr. was because my balance was off. I started getting vertigo, nausea and vomiting. Mind you, I had known something was wrong for years. My Family practice Dr. Kept throwing antibiotics at me which, Drs. please grab a clue, don’t help menieres at all. So, today I had a tonsillectomy, yay. I feel 10 times better already and I’m not even healed yet. To anyone considering a tonsillectomy, keep plenty of sucrets on hand. They are life savers. I virtually have no pain along with the
codeine I’m taking.

Back to the interim where I was diagnosed with Meniere’s and before my tonsillectomy. I had read several articles about how valtrex helps meniere’s. I just happened to have some available for the first sign of a cold sore. I took it for Meniere’s to give it a whirl and it did seem to help tremendously. I have been taking Maxide for the meniere’s but I’m going to ask my ENT Dr. for a daily dose of valtrex and that might kill 2 birds with one stone. Anyone who suffers from any of these ailments, I’m sorry, I have complete empathy for you. Stop @ nothing to heal yourselves. Remember always that we are the teachersm. Drs. Need to listen better and learn from us. A phd doesn’t mean crap when your patients know more than you do. Anyway, I hope that helps. Hang in there meniere’s sufferers, there is hope!

Written By lisa on June 1st, 2011 @ 6:55 am

i learned acupuncture from my dad and it can really help ease away minor pains and discomfort..               

Written By biotin side effects on July 7th, 2011 @ 4:33 am

Lisa- I too have TMJ. I am guessing the TMJ caused my meneires considering they both started the same time. My question for you is, what was the purpose of the tonsillectomy? Did it help alleviate the menieres symptoms?

Written By Michelle Brown on February 5th, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

I have been on valtrex for 5 months. I still have meniere’s disease. I’ve only had one bad day in that time, although I still have the ringing and vertigo and ear fullness and blocking. I am just hoping the valtrex keeps the meniere’s from getting worse, but I guess only time will tell.

Written By donna on February 12th, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

I use valtrex with success in treating my menieres. Stress seems to be the agent that sets it off. I also use acupuncture for my tmj.i have been using oil of oregano orally. It has been proven to be very strong anti viral anti bacterial .during an episode i use 3 drops orally every hr as well as applying it to my spinal cord where the virus lives. For the fullness in my ears i use vics vapor rub on a q tip heated over a candle to melt the vics and release the vapor, then l allow it to cool and touch it to my earlobe to test it making sure its not too hot but still plenty warm then apply it internally to each ear. Hope this helps guys.

Written By scott on June 26th, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

we live in England,can you buy Valtrex over the counter?

Written By Maureen Wilson on January 23rd, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

I am a 32 year old who has been suffering with vertigo and every sign of menieres for about 12 years(possibly longer). I have gone to Doctors repeatedly over the years describing my symptoms and nothing ever came of it. Talk about frustrating! Only recently have I even heard of menieres. Everytime I went to the Doctor, I explained the fluctuating pain ,stuffiness, pressure, ringing, vertigo, everything. They examined my ear, stated nothing appeared to be wrong, no infection, ect. and then sent me on my way. What a long and lonely process. Your living through hell, knowing nobody truly understands what you’re going through, and tired of hearing yourself complain. You stop sharing with family and friends because you don’t want to be a burden with complaining and spreading negative energy. It has been a trying and isolating experience. It was getting to the point where I thought I might be crazy. These Doctors kept telling me nothing was wrong and didn’t look any deeper other than a hearing test that did indicate a dip in hearing, but nothing significant enough for them to be concerned. I’m shocked to learn that the symptoms and experiences I’d been explaining for 12 years! described menieres to a T. I don’t understand how it was not mentioned even once! After suffering from worsening attacks for 12 years I decided to bring to the attention of a Doctor once again. Again, he said he couldn’t make sense of my symptoms,told me what I described as vertigo wasn’t what vertigo was, which I described cleary and with detail.A few of my personal experiences I shared were that immediately upon running or jumping I experience vertigo/dizziness,that I can’t focus on any given point during these times, and that sometimes it’s worse than others. I told him I couldn’t watch 3-d movies because I experience vertigo and have even vomitted as a result.I also explained that sometimes just walking through a parking lot to a store for example, I feel, and stagger as though I’m drunk, my surroundings are spinning and it’s difficult to focus on any onepoint or spot. I was told this didn’t make sense , that it wasn’t vertigo.(This is a ear nose and throat specialist here)His exam entailed looking down my throat using a tongue depresser and that was it. He didn’t even look at let alone touch the problem ear. He made it appear as though he didn’t believe me and was sending me on my way. I was in complete shock. Fortunately I am not that shy little girl anymore, having developed a back bone over the years and I wasn’t going to be sent away with no resolve again! I got a little bit upset and told the doctor that I’m tired of my quality of life being affected from these attacks and that I have two young children I have to care for.I told him that I can’t even run, jump, or play with them on the trampoline. My physical interactions were greatly limited, let alone feeling this way during down time as well. And that on top of that my 5 year old is blind and completely dependent so I need to be at my best to be able to take care of him, as well as being worn thin having to deal with vertigo and care for my special needs child. I’m sure more was said but that is the jist of it. It was at that point that his young assistant suggested he send me for a specific test. It was clear who’s side she was on. So thanks to that young assistant referring me for further testing it was proven that my ear function is at 70%,and the tests confirming I do infact suffer from vertigo. The tech. that performed the tests was the first to mention to me that I exhibit all the signs and symptoms of menieres. When I returned to the “specialist” He reported the findings that confirmed the impaired ear function. I told him what the tech. had suggested, the possibility of menieres, and he replied with a quick, short no and immediateley disregarded that possibility. He sent me for a hearing test in his office. His own tech. while looking over the report before starting the test stated to me on her own accord that “Do you realize you have all the symptoms of menieres” Thats where I lost it and just started crying. I told her she was the second person in the profession to make that statement. I told her that I had also just mentioned that to the doctor and he completely disregarded it. She dissapeared for a short time after the test. When I returned to the Doctor he seemed to almost have his tail between his legs, but still not admitting to any wrong doing. He said that he will be sending me for further testing specifically related to Menieres.Thank God! and thank you technicians! They are more knowledeable and have better bedside manners than the doctors and helped me get to this point after 12 long years! After learning of menieres, I did some research and was shocked to realize I truly couldn’t have described it better to the Doctors , I don’t understand their lack of knowledge or action over the years.I am happy to realize I am not crazy! Even though not officially diagnosed yet, I’m positive this is it. I’ll share more of my experiences down the road. Thank all of you for your comments, It’s nice to realize there are people out there who truly get what you’re going through. Take care y’all!!

Written By Alyson on January 24th, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

@alyson I feel your pain. Do not give up. Keep researching.

Written By Julie on February 11th, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

Thank for the supportive message Julie. People suffering from Meniere’s disease need all the support they/we can get

Written By admin on May 8th, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

I was dx’d with Menieres this past Feb. I was put on HCTZ, Potassium, and lorazepam. I had read online the possible connection with herpes and Menieres, mentioned it to my ENT and he totally blew me off. I have Herpes 1&2. He said that no it was a different kind of herpes? Whatever! It was time for my annual well womans exam last friday and I told her I would like to try a daily antiviral to suppress outbreaks, she had no problem prescribing for me. (I dont know how anyone with out insurance could afford it though..cash price $600 for a 90 day supply). It has been 7 days since I started the antil viral and I have no tinnitus!! This is huge:) I am so happy that I went with my gut instict to at least try this treatment. SO I went from 3 pills that really werent helping to 1 pill a day that is

Written By Shannon on May 11th, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

This is great news for you Shannon. You have just proved what we have been saying for years. You have to open your mind to ALL the possibilities and not be fobbed off with the standard meds and be told to live with these horrible symptoms. “Meniere’s disease” is just a label they put on a set of symptoms they don’t know the origin of. That is why we have to get proactive and look and think outside the very small box of only “attempting” usually unsuccessful and very limited options of treating the symptoms only. We have to find the cause and then do something about it. There would seem to be MANY causes and it can be very different in each individual. The herpes viral link is something that should be taken seriously and investigated in each and every case. We can then either strike it off the list or if like in your case you find it is a possible cause, take action. Well done! and here is wishing you a symptom free life 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

Written By admin on May 20th, 2013 @ 10:49 am

I’ve been taking Valtrex for Meniere’s for almost 4 years now (and yes, I have herpes too). My insurance no longer wants to pay for the brand name Valtrex and wants me to switch to generic. I’m wondering if any of you taking Valtrex are taking the generic, and if it works ok for you? Thanks!

Written By Glenna Ganster on June 27th, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

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