By Mike Spencer
Founder of Menieres-Help.Com – Supporting sufferers since 2004
Researcher and author or Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free and The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s
T Cells Relevance to Meniere’s Disease
A healthy immune system can deal with inflammation that would otherwise manifest into disease states such as Meniere’s. The best ways to strengthen and maintain a healthy, strong immune system is through diet and exercise. What we eat and do not eat makes all the difference and even moderate exercise such as walking promotes immune boosting blood flow.
Many of the foods we eat can contain contaminants and toxins that can actually destroy our immune system or throw it out of sync through the endocrine system. Water and other fluids we drink are no different.
Clean water and balanced healthy whole food diet (organic whenever possible) backed up by quality supplementation can keep your immune system strong and effective, keeping you free of Meniere’s symptoms.
One specific area within the immune system that has been linked to Meniere’s is T-Cells. T-cells are essential for human immunity.
Immature T cells (termed T-stem cells) migrate to the thymus gland, where they mature and differentiate into various types of mature T cells and become active within the immune system in response to a hormone called thymosin and other factors. T-cells that are potentially activated against the body’s own tissues are normally killed or changed (down-regulated) while maturing in the thymus. The thymus depends on hormonal regulation from the thyroid and the thyroid depends on a healthy endocrine system. Metabolism is also relevant. This whole chain of interdependent functions depend on the fuel (food) we give our bodies.
T Cells Relevance to Meniere’s Disease
The connection between T-cells and Meniere’s has been discussed and studied for many years. In recent years a vaccine/drug was produced in Australia to help the body regulate T-Cells as part of a Meniere’s ‘treatment’.
Two or three years ago I had a long “interesting” conversation with the man claiming responsibility for formulating the vaccine. His initial comment was “Meniere’s is caused by T-cells. It is treatable“
In this youtube comments conversation, he at first seemed cordial if somewhat arrogant. The conversation at first appeared constructive until it seemed obvious to me (in my opinion at the time) that the man was nothing more than a corporate shill probably marketing some biotech corporation’s vaccine.
He insisted the likes of Dr Burcon “were finished” (Dr Burcon is a Chiropractic doctor who is a world renowned speaker at Meniere’s symposiums and has helped many sufferers, whose root cause was cervical spine in nature, regain their health – some of which have come through Meniere’s Help.)
The conversation went further downhill when he referred to those promoting the health of the immune system through dietary means for Meniere’s in a demeaning manner as, “the vitamin crowd“.
I pointed out that the whole concept of diet and supplementation is to build a healthy immune system naturally, to enable it to tackle inflammation sufficiently to deal with the symptoms of Meniere’s. I also pointed out that in some people the root cause was neck/spine related, myself included.*
(*As a result of identifying this root cause in my own individual case and correcting it, I am completely free of Meniere’s and have been since 2012 – there are several root causes and everyone is different – hence there being no ‘definitive‘ cure.) Click here to read my own story
He continued to attempt to discredit anyone involved in helping Meniere’s sufferers except himself it seemed, if indeed that is his real motive.
When asked to list the ingredients of his vaccine he skirted the issue and continued to bash others who have been involved in successfully helping Meniere’s sufferers for many years. He was asked several times and never responded with a direct answer.
Why would that be?
He insisted on making the assumption that the diet/supplementation we speak of on Meniere’s Help was some form of “treatment“, even though I continually corrected him and reminded him it was all about supporting the immune system naturally and letting the body take care of itself.
It is NOT a treatment; just plain old common sense.
As there are several possible root causes and many contributing factors with Meniere’s, giving the body the fuel it needs and starving the ‘disease’ enables the body itself to be the best doctor. This is a simple yet fundamental concept based on natural human biology. Not a ‘treatment’ at all. Click here to read more on this concept.
He refused to comment on if he would be financially gaining from the use of the vaccine and could not (or would not) get his head around the fact that if there were a dysfunction in T-cells then that in itself is another result in a chain of events that follow from the initial root cause.
The conversation became rather too negative for my liking and his constant unjustified vilifying of the likes of Dr Burcon suggested to me that he was merely trolling youtube videos to throw doubt on all other methods of helping stop Meniere’s symptoms while promoting his own ‘business venture’.
Finally, I saw no benefit for any reader in what was being said and deleted the whole conversation.
I later discovered his thread on Menieres.org had also been deleted after he was accused of “trolling” its members there. (Their impression, not mine)
His constant degrading talk of other good people involved in helping Meniere’s sufferers and the demonizing of all other methods but his own stank of someone only interested in the money he might make from his vaccine. I had never heard such talk from doctors or other health professionals regardless of their own opinions of these methods and I have spoken to many health professionals.
This man was no doctor nor scientist.
The Daily Mail ran a story in May 2015 about Michelle Leathem from the UK who was so sick with Meniere’s she was allegedly having vertigo attacks for up to 8 hours a day. She was having to do fundraisers to try and gather the approximate US $19,000 for this man’s ‘treatment‘.
I will leave you the reader to come to your own conclusions there!
My own personal view is I think it is outrageously taking advantage of people he knows full well are desperate and will do anything to rid themselves of their symptoms. When we know this can be successfully dealt with naturally, through several different approaches and this has been possible for many years now, I find this outrageous yet unsurprising given the man’s arrogance and insistence on trying his best to discredit every other known possibility for sufferers.
Had he come along and said “look I have another avenue to go down to treat Meniere’s” maybe I would view things differently. That is not what happened. It was hard sell rhetoric, insulting to people who have spent years and lots of money and effort helping Meniere’s sufferers and illegitimately discrediting towards concepts he obviously had no understanding of.
I trust my gut instinct, and it didn’t take much to realize what a profiteering opportunist I was talking to.
Having allegedly suffered from Meniere’s himself it astounds me that he can hold the patent to this ‘drug’ and profit from such extortionate charges. I guess with millions around the world desperate with this condition he may well become a very rich man for something that will never become a definitive cure, but rather just another one of many long running ‘treatments’ with varying results.
If you are reading Stephen, (as you have been known to visit this site before) then feel free to comment below and I will continue to prove you wrong and expose you for what you are. How many people can afford the kind of money you are demanding?
As I said to you before, if your vaccine helps some sufferers then great, but we would like to know what the vaccine is made up of completely, every ingredient and what are the possible side effects?
As for T-cells being the root cause, you are simply wrong. It may or may not be that your drug turns out to be more effective than others but at the end of the day it is another ‘drug’ for ‘treating’ a resulting effect rather than tackling one of the several known root causes.
Getting to these root causes and dealing with them, almost always naturally is not only possible, but has been done by countless sufferers and is being done all the time. All the money and tricks you throw at marketing your drug can not change this fact.
Just as inflammation is a causative factor, T-cell irregularities may be a causative factor but regardless, both must be a result of something else at the ‘root‘ cause. Irregularities in the formation and regulation of T-cells must be another domino falling along the route to the symptoms of Meniere’s manifesting.
If T-cells mature in the thymus gland and the Thyroid modulates thymic endocrine activity then a healthy endocrine system and therefore thyroid is needed to maintain healthy T-cells.
As discussed in two previous articles, “Thyroid Dysfunction Connections to Meniere’s Disease” and “Endocrine Disorders Connected to Meniere’s” it is all connected to the immune system and if anything within these systems is out of sync then the immune system will be affected and vice versa.
When considering a healthy thyroid and endocrine system, diet must be the first and most important factor. What you eat or do not eat, the nutritional value of what you eat or any toxic contamination of what you eat is vitally important.
How can healthy T-cells be produced if the thyroid is malfunctioning. Thyroid disfunction can be corrected with nutrition to allow the thyroid to produce and send out the correct hormonal responses needed for T-Cell function.
To just back these facts up, consider the study published from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 1986 that concluded, “thyroid status modulates thymic endocrine function in humans.”
In a study published in 1992 in ‘Thyroid’, the official Journal of the American Thyroid Association regarding “T cells and human autoimmune thyroid disease” it stated, “There is compelling evidence that the thyroid cell itself, by expressing HLA molecules, and presenting antigen directly to the T cells, may initiate disease, perhaps after an external insult.”
In other words, something affecting the thyroid can result in the thyroid affecting T cells.
In another study published on PubMed.Gov 1994 (Ohashi H, Itoh M.), it was shown in hyperthyroidism that: “These results suggested that thyroid hormone suppressed the immune response and that a deficiency of this hormone was associated with an increase of activated T cells.”
A study published in ‘Biological Psychiatry’ in 2009 concluded that, “These results show for the first time that thyroid hormones are important neuroendocrine regulators of tumor evolution, most probably acting through the modulation of T-cell mediated immunity affected by chronic stress”
This study is of particular importance to Meniere’s sufferers as the subject of the study was ‘Involvement of thyroid hormones in the alterations of T-cell immunity and tumor progression induced by chronic stress.‘
Stress has long been a highly debated cause of Meniere’s symptoms. There is no debate for most sufferers who know all too well that stress can bring on a vertigo attack or at the very least an increase in pressure inside the ear. The debate in most cases is whether stress is a root cause or a contributing trigger. This study would suggest that in at least some cases it could be a root cause.
The study states that, “Stress alters the neuroendocrine system and immunity”
Stress – endocrine – immunity – ALL have been linked to Meniere’s in separate ways. We can see here by joining the dots and considering the domino effect root causes can have on our health, how stress might be a root cause in some cases.
The study goes on to state, “Thyroid hormones have been related to stress” and “Chronic restraint stress* impairs T-cell mediated immunity”
*Restraint stress is a specific type of stress used in studies and experiments to cause enough psychological trauma and produce a desired effect*
You can read an in depth article on how stress can affect the thyroid and as a result the immune system (including T-cells) here.
When you consider that strengthening the immune system through nutrition has helped so many people live free of Meniere’s symptoms, even if the root cause were stress, then it is obvious that the right nutrition can help greatly.
Whatever the reasons, T-cell irregularities has been linked with Meniere’s Disease in some people at least.
Increases in T-cell, and what are called helper cells have been recorded during acute Meniere’s attacks. This suggests autoimmunity as a contributing cause.
To help Stephen understand the importance of nutrition to the immune system, the thymus gland and T-cells here is some information from the “vitamin crowd“- the US National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health:
1984 study ‘Cell-mediated immunity in nutritional deficiency.‘
- Dietary deficiencies of specific nutrients profoundly alter cell-mediated immune responses.
- Both moderate and severe deficiencies are associated with significant changes in immunocompetence
- Diets with inadequate levels of protein, calories, vitamin A, pyridoxine, biotin and zinc result in loss of thymic cellularity
- The production of thymic hormones critical for the differentiation of T lymphocytes is reduced, especially in protein-calorie malnutrition and zinc deficiency
- Confirmation of a T cell maturational defect in nutritional deprivation comes from the observations of decreased total (T3 and rosette-forming)
- Loss of cutaneous hypersensitivity to mitogens and antigens is a consistent sequela of dietary deficiencies of protein, vitamins A and C, pyridoxine, iron and zinc.
- Cell-mediated immunity directed against allogeneic histocompatibility antigens may actually be enhanced by experimental protein and polyunsaturated fat deficiencies
2010 Study: ‘Nutritional imbalances and infections affect the thymus: consequences on T-cell-mediated immune responses’
- The thymus gland, where T lymphocyte development occurs, is targeted in malnutrition secondary to protein energy deficiency.
- Profound changes in the thymus can also be seen in deficiencies of vitamins and trace elements
- In zinc deficiency, there is a substantial thymic atrophy
- Importantly, marginal Zinc deficiency in AIDS subjects, children with diarrhoea and elderly persons, significantly impairs the host’s immunity, resulting in an increased risk of opportunistic infections and mortality; effects that are reversed by Zinc supplementation.
I could go on forever quoting from other studies such as:
‘The thymus is a common target in malnutrition and infection’
‘The thymus gland is a target in malnutrition.‘
‘Cell-mediated immunity in nutritional deficiency.’
‘Serum thymic factor activity in deficiencies of calories, zinc, vitamin A and pyridoxine.’
…and so on.
Search on the net for ‘nutrition and immune system‘ and you will see the studies are legion. It is not rocket science, the immune system, as with the rest of the body, needs water, air and nutrition just as a car needs fuel, oil and lubricants. Never a truer word was spoken when the phrase “We are what we eat” was coined.
Balance your endocrine system, support your thyroid and immune system, all of which is done through nutrition and in most cases the body will take care of itself in idiopathic conditions such as Meniere’s.
In other cases, musculoskeletal adjustments may be needed or toxic sources may need to be removed. Stephen’s extortionately priced drug treatment doesn’t begin to cover the whole picture and is certainly no definitive cure.
Following the 2015 Daily Mail article mentioned above, Professor Bill Gibson, Secretary of the Meniere’s Research Fund Inc. at Sydney University issued a statement addressing his relationship with Stephen Spring and his thoughts on his “treatment”. Below are some extracts:
“Stephen Spring was vice president of the Meniere’s Research Fund Inc. He has no medical qualifications and works in his own law related company. He has spent years researching the literature and he has hypothesized a plausible theory for the causation of Meniere’s disease.
His theory remains unvalidated and there is a concern that it could even be a placebo event. Ideally we would have liked to have had his theory assessed at the University of Sydney.
But there was a major problem as Stephen applied for a patent of his concept and is charging fees to undertake the treatment. He has developed a course of medication which he calls ‘Menivac’ which he believes controls the disease and will not disclose the nature of ‘Menivac’. The funds of the Meniere’s Research Fund are held and controlled by The University of Sydney and they will not give approval for a clinical trial of Menivac for the following reasons:
Stephen’s treatment has stated that the exact nature of the ‘Menivac’ cannot be disclosed to the recipients. The University cannot provide insurance against untoward events without disclosing the exact nature of the drug(s) and treatment being used to each recipient.
The University would not expend trust funds on a theory developed and remains untested by a person who does not hold any scientific qualification in the relevant field.
The University would expect that the Fund would receive some payment from Stephen Spring in return for expending the trust funds to validate his theory if the validation was likely to financially benefit Stephen Spring.
Unless a properly conducted trial of Menivac and the concept is undertaken, the treatment will remain in the realms of other untested treatments such as acupuncture, homeopathy, etc.
IN CONCLUSION Stephen Spring has developed a therapy for Meniere’s disease which he has made available to Meniere’s sufferers for a fee. The treatment has not been validated and there are obstacles which prevent a proper trial occurring.”
The full statement can be viewed at Meniere’s Disease UK.
I have read that Stephen’s treatment can take up to 2 years. Indeed, at the time of writing, Michelle’s (from the Daily Mail article mentioned above) own fundraising website states she is looking at “two years of treatment” and “tens of thousands of pounds“, for something that has not been validated, not been through clinical trials and is patented by a private individual with no medical or scientific background who will profit from that patent.
I genuinely hope this treatment is successful for Michelle, of course, and anyone else choosing to go this route. At present, with the fees so extortionate there are unlikely to be many testimonials, simply because the vast majority of sufferers would never be able to afford it.
If you have spent much time on Menieres Help you will know that sufferers can get results in months, weeks and even days through appropriate nutrient application to support the immune system naturally, no synthetic drugs with undisclosed ingredients such as “menivac” needed and at a tiny fraction of the cost of this treatment. Moreover, you will also know that you can find your own root cause, correct or eliminate it and in the process you will have found the key to your own individual solution. There are no profit generating patents on these facts.
Update: Shortly after this article was posted, I came across Stephen Spring again. I had posted a very well received and much shared article in a Meniere’s Facebook group regarding the connections to Meniere’s and the Thyroid. Among the many comments, up popped Stephen with irrelevant comments about this article suggesting I had been ‘unfair and inaccurate’.
Another lengthy debate ensued and when it was very clear that he was doing a great job of distracting the group’s readers from the Thyroid article I suggested we take it to a private conversation and invited him once again to comment on this post.
Following a private conversation Stephen did comment below. Scroll down to the comments box below to read his opinions and see my reply.
Bottom line, T-Cells are relevant in the domino effect that can create the symptoms of Meniere’s in at least some people. The Thyroid and endocrine system are more relevant in that they are responsible for regulation of T-Cells. Cut endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimicers from your life, balance your endocrine system and Thyroid through the correct nutrition and lifestyle and if this is all relevant in your individual case you will stop the first domino falling. There is your cure.
Help other Meniere’s sufferers. Tell us what you think in the comments box below or email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org