By Mike Spencer
Founder of Menieres-Help.Com – Supporting sufferers since 2004
Researcher & Author of Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free and The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s
Magnesium links to Meniere’s disease
Magnesium links to Meniere’s Disease whether it be deficiency or the benefits of supplementation are pretty well documented. It appears to be an important mineral for sufferers to consider
In 2015 a paper titled ‘Optimal Management of Meniere’s Disease’ was published in PubMed by ‘Therapeutics and clinical risk management’ in Auckland NZ.
It was stated:
“At our institution, Ménière’s disease is treated as a cerebrovascular [meaning of or relating to the brain and its blood vessels] disorder. Migraine prophylactic medications, magnesium supplementation, sodium restriction, migraine trigger elimination, diuretics, anticoagulants, and antihypertensives are among the treatments used”
The ENT department University of Milan stated in a 2004 paper that they included sulfate magnesium i.v to treat vertigo and dizziness for people with Meniere’s Disease and PPV.
A 2009 article in ‘Integrative Medicine Journal’ reported on a trial in which:
“a series of intravenous magnesium sulfate infusions appeared to be beneficial in 14 of 18 patients with Ménière’s disease.”
Magnesium and Nystagmus
In a study in the Netherlands in 1993, nystagmus was linked to hypomagnesemia (a deficiency of magnesium in the blood). In a paper published in 1981, ‘The manifestations of magnesium deficiency’ nystagmus was quoted as one symptom. Researchers in Switzerland in a paper for the journal ‘Neurology’ concluded that the nystagmus in a patient “may have resulted from severe hypomagnesemia, possibly associated with thiamine deficiency.
A study published in BMC Bioinformatics found that your body has 3,751 magnesium binding sites. This indicates that magnesium benefits are far greater than previously imagined. Because your body requires and uses magnesium for so many different functions, you can quickly become low in magnesium especially if you are not consuming enough high magnesium content foods.
Magnesium also plays a role in your body’s detoxification processes and therefore is important for helping to prevent damage from environmental chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins.
Given how common mercury from amalgam fillings is the probable root cause of Meniere’s, this makes magnesium even more valuable. One of the body’s most powerful antioxidants, glutathione, sometimes referred to as “the master antioxidant,” needs magnesium for its synthesis.
Magnesium and Vestibular Migraine
Many, though not all Meniere’s patients suffer from migraine. There seems much grey area between Meniere’s and vestibular migraine as they may be variants of the same thing. Both involve vertigo and other shared symptoms. Clinically, it may be that VM is considered a central problem, while MD a peripheral problem yet it is accepted that there is at least an association between the two.
In migraines themselves, Magnesium supplementation has been found to help relieve symptoms.
The American Migraine Foundation suggest taking a 400–500 milligram (mg) supplement of magnesium oxide daily to prevent migraines.
An Adelaide university study states that. “Research on magnesium has found it to be a potentially well-tolerated, safe and inexpensive option for migraine prevention, while it may also be effective as an acute treatment option for headaches including migraines, tension- type headaches and cluster headaches, particularly in certain patient subsets. Magnesium may be used for the treatment of acute migraines”
What are our readers experiences regarding magnesium links to Meniere’s disease?
“Dear Mike,Thank you for your very informative book. I am a Meniere’s sufferer. My symptoms began in 2010. A biochemist friend suggested I take a magnesium supplement and the attacks of vertigo stopped altogether for about a month. But after a month, dizzy spells minus the vertigo started and continue. Though disturbing, these incidents are far less violent and are shorter in duration than before taking the magnesium.After reading your book, I made an appointment to see a chiropractor in our area who specializes in chiropractic neurology because I know I have neck issues and perhaps spine issues (I broke my femur 4 months ago and a patched together with a rod, bolt and screw. The bone has healed.).The chiropractor I will see is the President of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. He and his team utilize chiropractic neurology, nutrition, Erchonia low level light laser therapy, and detoxification programs. They are familiar with the supplements to help improve immune response.Thank you for your encouraging book. RegardsJanet”
“Hello Mike,The Dr went over every page with her. She was so deficient in magnesium she should have had a heart attack. She was deficient in almost every vitamin and mineral, her mitochondria were very damaged and the life (energy) within them was fading. Her omega 3’s and 6’s were all messed up. Trans fats were extremely high and the toxins (mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium, aluminum) were off the chart.She told her to get off of ALL processed food and trans fats. After a week of the supplements all the symptoms disappeared. She did have one little issue when she took some antibiotics.[antibiotics deplete magnesium – see below]She started having attacks every other day again. She threw away the antibiotics, the attacks stopped and the next day her ears were completely clear again. No ringing, fullness or anything. Interesting!
So there it is,, we have our lives back. Thank you for contacting me (2014)
Update 2016:Hello Mike,Yes, Crystal is doing great. She hasn’t had an attack in about 1 1/2 years. Her progress was slow as far as the fullness and ringing goes but the attacks stopped completely in about 3 months. I think she had a total of 3 more attacks over a 3 month period after starting the supplements.She also had chronic fatigue and didn’t even realize it since she was so sick with menieres.She is still taking the supplements but is taking many of them every other day and still does fine. The only problem she seems to have is trouble absorbing magnesium. She can tell when her magnesium gets low because her hands start hurting and in a day or two her ears will start ringing and she will go mostly deaf for about a day. She is fine after that as long as she gets her magnesium up. We really don’t understand that part.Another fun part of this is after a year she went back to the dr who had told her she would be disabled the rest of her life. Crystal walked in her office mostly well. The dr was so surprised she listened to Crystal’s story and couldn’t deny the results. She said she didn’t understand but that Crystal was obviously helped by the supplements.Thank you for asking about her. I’m sure she would be very happy to share her story with others on your blog.Thank you,Becky”
Thanks for your email. At the moment the symptoms have all but gone away (just a bit of ‘brain fog’ from time to time, no dizziness).
I have been taking a Ginkgo supplement twice daily, plus an array of vitamins and minerals, based on the hair analysis results and the recommendations from the lab.
I have also been to yoga once a week, and seeing an osteopath, as it was found I had a lot of tension, and not much mobility in the neck.
I have attached the hair analysis results, feel free to share this information with anyone who may be able to use it. The lab recommended I take B6 , Chromium and Manganese, and zinc, iron,magnesium, Vit C, Vit E.
Hopefully the dizzies will stay away!
Why would someone be deficient in Magnesium and what should you do and not do to make sure you are getting adequate amounts?
According to the WHO (World Health Organization) in 2009, an estimated 75% of Americans have daily magnesium intakes less than the RDA, with similar figures estimated for most industrialized nations. ( It is important to note that RDAs are a ‘MINIMUM’ recommendation)
You can raise your Magnesium levels by eating more magnesium rich foods ( see below ), using magnesium salt baths, magnesium oils and magnesium supplements.
The story doesn’t end there though. Understanding how magnesium is absorbed and excreted is important. Magnesium can be eliminated as waste through the gastrointestinal “GI” tract (the stomach, intestines and colon) and is excreted through the kidneys.
To maintain homeostasis (balance), several systems of the body work together like an internal thermostat. In healthy individuals, two kidneys filter all of the blood in the human body. All of the contents of the blood, including nutrients, ultimately pass through the kidneys’ filters and can be excreted out of the body at any time.
If we don’t take magnesium “in” we obviously can’t use it, but in a similar way, if we send it “out” after we take it in, we still can’t use it! Problems arise when not enough magnesium is absorbed by the GI Tract, or too much of a nutrient is filtered out of the blood.
Certain disorders and medications such as diuretics and antibiotics can disrupt the healthy functioning of the kidneys. Under such influences, a nutrient such as magnesium is excreted rather than reabsorbed.
Digestive factors unique to the individual can also influence the amount of magnesium absorbed in the GI tract. These include the ability to breakdown magnesium containing foods in the stomach, and the ability to absorb magnesium in the small intestine. Aging, disease, stress, and illness can also reduce magnesium absorption.
Some conditions known to impact magnesium availability include:
- Individual variations in amount of stomach acid, commonly reduced in older adults
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Crohn’s disease, celiac sprue, and any disorder of the digestive or intestinal function
- Kidney disorders
- Genetic magnesium absorption disorders
- Stress, surgery, and chronic disorders such as diabetes
- Diarrhea and vomiting
Vomiting with constant vertigo is a regular fact of life with the worst symptoms of Meniere’s. Stress and alcohol are known Meniere’s triggers. Food allergies and in particular gluten intolerance affect the digestive and intestinal functions and are linked to Meniere’s Disease in some people.
*Medications that deplete magnesium:
- Anti-inflammatories (including Prednisone, commonly used for Meniere’s)
- Antibiotics (including gentamicin, commonly used for Meniere’s)
- Birth control medications ( see endocrine disorders and Meniere’s)
- Cardiovascular medications
- Diuretics (including Hydrochlorothiazide, commonly used for Meniere’s)
*Source: University of Maryland Medical Center
One of the biggest culprits in the depletion of magnesium is phosphates found in sodas. Researchers in the The Journal of Nutrition have noted that high intake of sodas have placed many members of the population at risk for magnesium deficiencies. Consuming these beverages with food, as well as common drinks such as coffee and tea, ultimately reduces the amount of magnesium available to the body.
Add the sugars or worse, the toxic artificial sugars in diet sodas to the above information, consider the amount of sodas consumed all over the world and you get a good example of the bigger picture of what the modern diet is doing to human health.
As seen above magnesium plays a vitally important role in so many of the body’s processes, it is important that you know where you stand when it comes to getting enough of this mineral on a daily basis.
If you are not getting enough, finding a high-quality supplement, particularly one that is combined with calcium may be a wise move. These two nutrients work together synergistically to benefit the entire body. It has to be the correct type of calcium and the balance needs to be correct as calcium can also compete with magnesium.
If you suspect you are low in magnesium one of the best ways to consume this mineral is through organically bound magnesium, found in whole foods. Green leafy vegetables and especially chlorella are rich in chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll, which enables plants to capture solar energy and convert it into metabolic energy, has a magnesium atom at its center. Without magnesium, in fact, plants could not utilize the sun’s light energy.
Chlorophyll is like a plant’s version of human hemoglobin as it shares a similar structure but has magnesium plugged in the middle rather than iron ( as in hemoglobin ).
Green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard are excellent sources of magnesium, as are some beans, nuts and seeds, like almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
Avocados are also a good source. Juicing your vegetables is an excellent option to ensure you’re getting enough in your diet. (see superfoods for more on chlorophyll, chlorella benefits for Meniere’s and green juicing)
Other foods that are also high in magnesium include: salmon, coriander, cashews, goat cheese and artichokes.
Drinking water can be an important source of magnesium, especially ‘hard water’.
The ‘superfood’ Moringa is packed with Magnesium. According to Dr Oz, adding 3 tablespoons of Moringa Powder to your daily diet will provide 37% of your daily Magnesium needs. Moringa is also rich in B vitamins that help magnesium absorption.
We constantly state throughout the Meniere’s Help website that avoiding heavily refined, processed foods and junk foods is essential. This is confirmed in terms of magnesium deficiency in the 2003 Clinical Biochemist Review article ‘Magnesium Metabolism and its Disorders’ that states:
“Refining or processing of food may deplete magnesium content by nearly 85%“. Importantly, it goes on to state that “cooking, especially boiling of magnesium-rich foods, will result in significant loss of magnesium.”
Help other Meniere’s sufferers. What are your experiences with Meniere’s and magnesium? Tell us all about it in the comments box below or email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org