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

Meniere’s Disease and Thyroid Dysfunction

How Thyroid Dysfunction may affect Meniere’s disease and what to do about it

Thyroid dysfunction, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism and Thyroid autoimmunity have all been linked to Meniere’s Disease.

Meniere's Disease and Thyroid Dysfunction - image of thyroid in throat

If you understand the importance of the immune system it makes complete sense for this to be the case in many people. It makes perfect sense when you consider the success so many people have had in ridding themselves of their symptoms over the past decade or so using quality dietary supplementation and/or change of diet.

When you starve disease states of toxins and antigens (the bad stuff) and feed the immune system all the nutrients it needs, and the body needs in general (the good stuff) then balance returns to hormonal systems and the immune response is strong enough to deal with inflammation, toxins and antigens.

Yet despite the numerous clinical studies and papers written giving evidence to this fact the link to Meniere’s disease remains relatively ignored.

Do you have Meniere’s disease and thyroid dysfunction?

Have you been tested?

It seems some within the medical community are unable to join the dots or seem unwilling to look at any possibility beyond their specific field of medicine. “Take the drugs, and learn to live with it, there is nothing more to be done” seems the mantra of far too many treating ENT doctors or general physicians. If you are a Meniere’s sufferer I am sure there is a very good chance you either have been or will  be faced with this demoralizing attitude at some point.

Learn to live with it? I have never known anyone who could possibly just learn to live with Meniere’s disease. I have known thousands who decided to learn without it, took action themselves and now live symptom free.

In our modern society, culture and in this case to be more specific the medical community, ‘compartmentalization’ often means one department has no clue what another department is doing. We have our specific role in our jobs and do not know what is happening in the office behind us, let alone in the organization we belong to as whole. This creates an inability to see the bigger picture, join the dots and an inability to come to any other conclusion except what we are ‘told’ to think by perceived authority.

Stick a white coat on somebody to make them look like a scientist or doctor and the general public will literally do anything they are told. This blind faith in perceived authority has actually been tested by psychologists with some shocking results on how far people will go against their own better judgement.

In all professions, some are great at what they do, while others are not. The medical profession is no different. We are all human after all.

During my research for the book The Need for Balance I had a conversation with a doctor in Japan who worked in immunology.  I asked her what she believed to be the most important aspect of the immune system. After pausing and looking a little uncomfortable she answered, “probably hemoglobin or bone marrow”. No surprise there, both are of course vital to the immune system.

When I asked her how important the Thyroid gland was and how was it connected to the immune system, she looked a bit surprised and told me the Thyroid is not connected to the immune system, it regulates hormones.

I suggested that surely the thyroid is connected, as everything is connected inside the body and a problem in one area can have a knock on effect and cause dysfunction elsewhere. People with thyroid dysfunctions have weakened immune systems.

So if the immune system were weak then the Thyroid could be affected and result in hormonal imbalances and that would in turn result in illness. The Thyroid regulates the Thymus and the thymus is responsible for T-Cells (white blood cells vital for immune protection) so the Thyroid must be important.

Alternatively if the body’s metabolism was out of sync then vital nutrients might not be getting to where they should, including the Thyroid. Either way, it has direct links to the immune system whether it be in a causal or effected manner. (read about the relevance of T-cells to Meniere;s here)

She tacitly agreed and said she would have to study the Thyroid more.

Her specific area of expertise was hematology  and was unable to join immune system and thyroid function. Unable to join the dots as a result of focusing all her time on blood work within her compartmentalized field of expertise.

According to PubMed.Com the US official government medical website, in a paper from 2006 titled, ‘The immune system as a regulator of thyroid hormone activity.’ It states, “thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) can be produced by many types of extra-pituitary cells–including T cells, B cells, splenic dendritic cells, bone marrow hematopoietic cells, intestinal epithelial cells, and lymphocytes”

It also states that “functional significance of those TSH pathways historically has been largely ignored

It goes on to state, “There is now, however, evidence linking cells of the immune system to the regulation of thyroid hormone activityand “the immune system may act to modulate neuroendocrine function during times of host stress”

It may be that the Thyroid is an under appreciated part of the puzzle in many illnesses and the number of people not diagnosed correctly as a result might be very large indeed.  The Thyroid is part of the endocrine system and among many other things secretes hormones that regulate metabolism.  Sometimes referred to as the “master gland or the ” heart” of the endocrine system.

As one of the largest endocrine glands, it manages important body processes, including protein creation, energy levels, regulation of body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure and secretes hormones that regulate metabolism.

The thyroid gland is located in the lower neck and secretes hormones into the blood, which are then carried into the body’s tissues. The thyroid gland mainly produces a hormone called thyroxine (T4), which is then converted by each of the body’s organs to the active form triiodothyronine (T3).  These hormones are vital for regulating all of the above mentioned functions in the body.

Blood flow, metabolism and endocrine have been linked in studies to Meniere’s.  Whatever is going on in the endolymphatic sac in the ear that is causing Meniere’s symptoms may be, at least in some cases, the end result in a line of different dysfunctions through the endocrine system and thyroid.

To emphasize how the knock on effect can be relevant, consider that Pituitary dysfunction can mean the pituitary gland cannot send a message to the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone when needed. Everything is connected and the need for balance in all areas is important.

A 2008 clinical study published on NIH ‘Possible association between thyroid autoimmunity and Menière’s disease’

It stated, “Overall, our data demonstrate a significant association between MD and thyroid autoimmunity, which suggests that an autoimmune factor is involved in the aetiopathogenesis of this disease.  38% of the MD patients had significant autoantibody levels.

Furthermore, 14% of the MD patients were hyperthyroid. In conclusion, our data show a significant association between thyroid autoimmunity and MD, confirming the possible immune pathogenesis of the latter disorder”

Prevalence of Thyroid Dysfunction in Patients With Meniere’s Disease’

The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) reported in 2004 on this clinical study that concluded,

Ménière’s disease is associated with corrected hypothyroidism.

Along the same lines, a 2014 study published on concluded that their findings suggests that circulating antithyroid autoantibodies may represent a risk factor for developing vestibular dysfunction.

It would seem clear that for at least some people there is a connection with Thyroid dysfunctions and Meniere’s Disease symptoms.

How to keep your Thyroid healthy through dietary considerations

Considering the possibility that your Meniere’s disease symptoms may be a result of endocrine and thyroid dysfunctions, it makes sense to keep your thyroid and immune system healthy and balanced.

Environmental and dietary toxins can be a major reason for Thyroid dysfunction. Toxins are present in our environment, and there’s not much we can do to eliminate all of them in the short term. They are here and we have to deal with it. We can, limit our exposure to toxic compounds, reducing the likelihood of experiencing issues with our thyroid.

The worst toxins for thyroid health

  1. Fluoride Almost 70 percent of the U.S. water supply is fluoridated to help prevent cavities.  However, what very few people know according to Journal of Clinical Endocrinology is that fluoride was actually prescribed as a remedy for an overactive thyroid during the first half of the 20th century. According to some reports, 2 to 5 mg of fluoride per day over a period of months was all it took to lower thyroid function; that’s about the same amount people drinking fluoridated water are exposed to daily. This would explain a LOT wouldn’t it?  A 2015 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in the UK concluded that locations with fluoridated water were 30 percent more likely to have high levels of hypothyroidism.
  2. PFCs The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reports that a higher level of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in the blood could affect thyroid function in women.  PFCs  are used in the manufacturing of lots of common things, from your mattress to fast food containers! Even though the use of the chemicals is being phased out in the U.S., imported products could still be a concern.
  3. Pesticide Thanks to ‘big Agra’ (no names mentioned) India has seen a rise in thyroid disorders , but there are measures in place to make sure much of the population has sufficient access to iodine, something essential for thyroid function. One recent study reported in the Times of India suggested this spike is due to pesticide and other chemical exposure, with experts noting almost 60 percent of cases aren’t connected to iodine-deficiency.  While the idea of pesticide exposure and thyroid problems is nothing new, maintaining iodine levels and avoiding pesticides could be the perfect combination according to The American Journal of Epidemiology.
  4. Perchlorate According to studies published in Pharmacology Review.. Any number of nasty toxins could be the cause of an unhealthy thyroid, perchlorate is a strong candidate. But while there are numerous studies linking it with thyroid problems, the FDA still approved it for use as an anti-static agent in food packaging, making avoiding it a lot more difficult.
  5. Bromine Studies in the Journal of Clinical Pathology confirm that Bromine is an endocrine disruptor and toxic to the thyroid, but you will find it in everything from pool cleaner to pasta, . Often, even healthy patients can have high levels of the flame-retardant substance in their bodies. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are even finding their way into the breast milk of American women according to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. One common source of bromine is brominated vegetable oil—which is still found in many drinks—so it would be wise to check labels.
  6. BPA BPA is an endocrine disruptor and can affect hormone levels and thyroid balance. There are many studies documenting BPA’s effects on the thyroid in adults and children.     One study published in Environmental Health Perspectives looked at newborn babies and their mothers. The study suggested higher levels of BPA cause a decrease in thyroid function in women. All of the baby boys, though, had an increase in thyroid function causing problems from the higher levels of BPA.

While your family history can also play a role in endocrine problems, avoiding toxic exposure would appear to be a very wise move.

Looking after your thyroid and preventing thyroid conditions

Treat the Underlying Causes

Identify and treat the underlying causes of hypothyroidism, like food allergies, heavy metals, nutritional deficiencies, and stress. Eliminate the foods that cause you digestive distress, most commonly gluten and dairy.


The thyroid needs very specific nutrients to maintain proper function. First and foremost is iodine. Selenium, iron and zinc have also been recognized as important elements for thyroid function.

Try eating these foods to support your thyroid:

  1. Seaweeds Dulse seaweed, arame, kombu, nori, sea palm and wakame are all quality iodine and nutrient sources.  Dulse seaweed in particular has the most consistent and highest concentrations of iodine, is full of potassium and is an excellent source of protein.
  2. Fish Fish can be a great source of dietary iodine, plus omega-3 fatty acids which have been found to contribute to a healthy heart. Deep sea fish such as cod and haddock contain the highest densities of dietary iodine
  3.  Coconut Oil The oil from coconut is an age old healing food. Coconut oil contains essential fatty acids needed for proper metabolic function. These fatty acids are easily assimilated by the body and contribute to thyroid function, thyroid hormone production and regulating the metabolism.
  4. Beans Beans are a good source of zinc and iron. They also provide quality proteins and are an excellent source of B vitamins and vitamin C
  5. Eggs Eggs would be the best source for iodine from dairy food as they contain nearly 16% of the recommended daily value. Milk and yogurt also contains iodine but as some people suffer from digestive problems and intolerance from dairy food, organic eggs might be the way to go in these cases.
  6. Liver and Kidney Meat Although not appropriate for vegans or vegetarians, these organ meats, especially beef liver, provide iron, zinc and selenium as well as high-quality proteins. They also provide a more complete, nutrient-dense source of calcium, potassium, Vitamins A, C and D, and the B vitamins than most fruits and vegetables. Again, if you go this route, select products from organic, vegetarian-fed animals
  7. Almonds Almonds are a potent source of nutrients needed by the thyroid. Almonds contain iron, selenium and zinc with essential B vitamins and high protein content.
  8. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables Spinach, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, mustard or turnip greens are all a great source of iron, B vitamins (needed for hormone creation), Vitamins A, C and D, magnesium and their incredible antioxidants. These superfoods not only supply the nutrients the thyroid needs, they also help protect overall health.

To underscore the importance of what you have read above, the connections between the Thyroid gland, the immune system and Meniere’s, consider these two shocking facts;

According to studies released by Soma General Hospital and Tohoku University in Japan, in April 2015  following the Fukushima nuclear disaster the number of cases of Meniere’s Disease and vertigo has increased by up to a staggering 600%

Similar studies showed an increase of up to 69% in hearing disorders following the Chernobyl disaster and a 100% increase among workers at the power station.

What is the accepted truth that exposure to nuclear contamination results in? Thyroid dysfunction! This is why iodine is used to treat people who have been exposed.  It is all about joining the dots and understanding the need for overall balance inside our bodies. Low grade radiation also attacks the pituitary gland which is part of the endocrine system. The Thyroid is part of the endocrine system. Anything affecting the endocrine system is likely to affect the Thyroid. Read about the connections between Endocrine disorders and Meniere’s here.

What is the big deal with iodine?

Some thyroid imbalances stem from a genetic condition, such as autoimmune thyroid disease. But should the thyroid be deficient in iodine, then all the other above mentioned problems can occur. Given the possible knock on effect for Meniere’s disease sufferers it would be a good idea to make sure your thyroid is healthy.

Iodine is not only the most vital mineral for thyroid function but it is utilized by every cell in the body!

How big a problem is iodine deficiency?

A 1998 report from ‘The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism’ reported that rates of iodine deficiency had dramatically increased in the United States over the past 20 years. The number of U.S. residents with low intake of iodine increased four fold. It was suggested that lowered rates of iodine intake could be traced to dietary changes…..”burger and fries anyone?”

An even more staggering statistic from the World Health Organization estimates that around 1 billion people will suffer from some form of health issue due to a lack of iodine in the diet. Estimates on Latin American countries show up to 25% the population at risk for goiters due to faulty thyroid function from a lack of dietary iodine.

Scientists agree that iodine deficiency is still a serious global health issue, and that insufficient levels of iodine in the thyroid is the most common cause of global brain damage. Estimates show that approximately 1.6 billion people are at risk for brain damage due to lack of iodine, and that these numbers fall heavily on unborn fetuses and children. Globally, a lack of iodine will effect around 50 million children.

Given this statistic, it is fair to say at least some people will grow from birth with a higher possibility of thyroid dysfunction through lack of iodine that will have the knock on effect in later life of developing Meniere’s disease.

There is a delicate relationship between the thyroid gland, iodine levels, and overall health. Without iodine, energy levels plummet, hormones can become imbalanced, and physical and emotional states can suffer.

If you have read this far then I am sure you are easily joining the dots and understanding why there is a need for balance throughout the body. Thyroid dysfunctions are related to Meniere’s in at least some of us and it could be simply a lack of iodine at the root cause.

A qualified doctor or nutritionist can detect current iodine levels through a simple urine test. A small percentage of people are iodine sensitive so in the case of iodine supplementation you should begin in small amounts to prevent a thyroid flare-up.

The best form of iodine to supplement with is nascent iodine or natural sea iodine It is much purer and biologically accepted by the body. Dr Edward Group of the Global Healing Center recommends everyone supplement with nascent iodine on a regular basis.

How does Nascent iodine help:

  • Keeps thyroid iodine levels in balance
  • Improves thyroid and endocrine system function
  • May improve emotional disorders by balancing glandular systems
  • Helps regulate hormone imbalances associated with weight gain
  • Works as a moisturizing expectorant for the respiratory tract
  • Helps protect the thyroid from absorbing radioactive isotopes
  • Assists in improving brain development
  • May assist in reducing or preventing goiters
  • Aids in the improvement of autistic children
  • Helps aid digestion, transit time and normal bowel function
  • Increased energy and stamina have been reported
  • Supports breast milk production and quality
  • Helps balance body odors (vaginal, foot, underarm, etc.)
  • Helps detoxify harmful halogens like bromides, fluoride, and chlorine

If you found this article useful Click here to support Meniere’s Help

By Mike Spencer
Founder of Menieres Help
Researcher and author of Managing Meniere’s Disease 
and The Need for Balance

Help others who suffer from Meniere’s disease

What are your experiences with thyroid/endocrine issues and Meniere’s? Tell us all about it in the comments box below or email Mike at

Further reading/references: Hypothyroidism is an independent risk factor for Menière’s disease: A population-based cohort study

Meniere's Disease and Nutrition

Low Salt Diet for Meniere’s Disease

Low Salt Diet to reduce the symptoms of Meniere’s Disease

The apparent importance of a low salt or low sodium diet for Meniere’s sufferers is well known and well documented. More sodium can mean more fluid retention in your body.

One of the first things your treating doctor will usually advise when you are diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease is to keep your intake of salt low.  In today’s world of processed foods, junk foods and snacks or even eating out and just cooking fresh food at home, it may feel very difficult to stick to a diet as low as 1500 mg of sodium per day.

Is a low salt diet for Meniere’s disease really that difficult? Is it that important and what are the alternatives?

On February 29th Huffington Post Australia reported on a Meniere’s patient named Emily George and how a low salt diet enabled her to live free of her symptoms.

Emily was diagnosed with Meniere’s in 2011. After suffering one too many vertigo attacks, she was of course advised to change her diet.

She told Huff post,

“My neurologist recommended a low sodium diet to help manage the symptoms,”

“I stopped using salt immediately and within weeks I was vertigo free.”

But it wasn’t only Emily’s symptoms of vertigo and dizziness that disappeared.

“My blood pressure has also come down, I am less bloated and now my family and I eat a lot less processed foods,” she said.

When sufferers are first told to stop drinking alcohol and reduce salt intake many wonder how they will cope with such a big change in their life. Wont life be boring and food flavorless without any salt?

In my own case, it was easy to quit alcohol and after a very short time food actually tasted better without added table salt. I could taste the true natural flavor of vegetables and it was easy to substitute salt with other flavorings in the kitchen.

Many years later. after recovering from Meniere’s I noticed an important observation in hindsight. Shortly after my worst year with vertigo I went into remission for around 6 to 8 months. At the time I didn’t care why and never gave it a thought. I was just ecstatic to have my life back again albeit temporary.

When later analyzing why, I could put it down to two things despite the fact I hadn’t been watching my salt intake at all and drank occasionally at that time. So what was different?

I had become very physically fit, going to the gym several times a week and the real surprise was I had been using natural sea salt crystals rather than common table salt. At the time, salt was salt to me; just the crystals that my wife was buying seemed more fancy sitting on the dinner table.

You might say, well sodium is sodium right? And although your body needs a certain amount of sodium to function properly we all know about how it supposedly raises blood pressure and causes the body to retain fluid if over consumed. So what’s the difference?

The difference is, while common table salt has been heavily processed to the point where it is virtually robbed of all its original nutrient value, is totally unbalanced and is ‘just sodium’ plus some additives. Something like Himalayan salt crystals is completely natural and its minerals are balanced so there much less possibility of an overload with sodium.  The minerals work in synergy with other nutrients inside the body in a beneficial way.

Himalayan salt crystals have been deep in the earth for over 250 million years and are toxin free. Containing all the natural minerals that are vital to the human body, it’s safe and more beneficial than any other processed salt.

Natural sea salt is a great source of iodine.  Though little attention is given to it, iodine deficiency is a major problem in the western world and contributes to Thyroid problems which have been linked to Meniere’s possibly because of the effect that has on weakening the immune system.

It also balances the body’s pH. It has been shown that disease states such as Meniere’s and cancer are unable to manifest in alkalized human cells. Some cancer research suggests our bodies can become too acidic.

Much of nature’s best medicine in plants helps keep our body’s cells pH well balanced through their alkalizing effect.   (The pH Miracle is well worth reading to learn how you can take care of your pH levels and avoid disease)

In the bible the term “salt of the earth” was first used and there is good reason for that. It was a prized mineral and was even used as a form of ‘money’ in ancient times. Sadly, in recent times the blind acceptance of over processing for mass production, distribution and profit of every food source has become the norm at the obvious expense of our health.

These days, at a time I value non toxic organic food more than anything, I wouldn’t use processed table salt if you paid me. I only use pure sea salts.

If you sticking to processed table salt are and attempting a low salt diet Emily George promises that it is possible — in fact, it’s actually better, she says.

“The first two-to-three weeks were pretty hard — food tasted bland,” Emily said.

“But once I got past that point, everything tasted better than it had previously — there was so much more flavor in food that I couldn’t taste before as it always had salt added.”

“Now if I have a taste of something which has been salted, I can taste it instantly and it is often unpalatable to me,”

(I feel exactly the same as Emily with my food)

Aside from helping her manage her Meniere’s disease, following a low sodium diet has also improved her cooking skills.

“It also made me a better cook because I couldn’t just rely on throwing in some salt for flavor any more,” Emily added. “Now I use lots of fresh herbs and spices and different cooking methods to make food taste great.”

As outlined in her new  book, ‘The No Salt Cookbook’, there are a number of ways to add flavor without the need for salt.

Emily told Huff Post “Fresh herbs, spices, lemon juice and vinegar are all excellent sources of flavor,” .

“A dash of red wine in a beef casserole is delicious.”

She also recommends trying alternate methods of cooking to bring out different flavors in food, such as poaching, roasting or barbecuing.

“Marinating meats overnight instead of just an hour or so can really intensify the flavor,”

If you are suffering with Meniere’s Disease and in particular vertigo. Consider using Himalayan Salt Crystals and/or try Emily’s recipes  from The No Salt Cookbook. (check some of her mouth watering recipes in the Huffington Post article)

Low salt diet for Meniere’s disease explained

Sodium is an essential electrolyte for life. It helps maintain the balance of water in and around your cells. It’s important for proper muscle and nerve function. It also helps maintain stable blood pressure levels.

Insufficient sodium in your blood is also known as hyponatremia. Some of the symptoms of hyponatremia can include altered personality, lethargy and confusion. Severe hyponatremia can cause seizures, coma and even death.

Lethargy, or lack of energy is something many Meniere’s sufferers experience. Confusion could be interpreted as brain fog, another symptom of Meniere’s. Moreover, there may some gray area between a drop attack suffered by some Meniere’s patients and seizures.

Clearly salt, or sodium, has significance for Meniere’s sufferers but quite how may be a little misunderstood. There are studies suggesting that too little sodium can cause vertigo, yet another symptom of Meniere’s.

Too much or too little sodium is clearly a health risk. If you ate a normal healthy fresh food diet and added table salt in moderation, in normal circumstances it would be unlikely to cause any problem. 

Both sodium and potassium, two essential electrolytes are both regulated by insulin. Blood sugar irregularities such as diabetes and hypoglycemia can affect insulin production.

A significant number of Meniere’s sufferers have also experienced hypoglycemia or blood sugar level irregularities. Click on the link above to read more on this.

However, the real problem perhaps lies in our overall eating habits. Processed foods, sauces and in particular fast foods can be packed full of sodium (in addition to potentially harmful chemicals). 

For example, a serving of fresh asparagus, cooked would average 1mg of sodium, while the same serving of canned asparagus would be 236mg.

A serving of regular roasted Peanuts would average 5mg, salted peanuts 418mgs and peanut butter 607mg.

Consider this; the usual medical advice for a Meniere’s sufferer would be to follow a low sodium diet, usually in the range of 1500-2000 mg per day. But is this in fact a low sodium diet?

According to the US CDC, the guidelines for everyone is to consume less than 2,300 mg per day. So that seems pretty much similar to a “low salt diet”. Now balance that with the fact that the average American consumes 3400 mg per day. (See list of sodium in common foods below)

If you are eating fast food regularly, then your sodium intake may be much higher than that even.

No consider that it may not be just the amount of sodium consumed daily but the sudden spike in sodium after eating fast foods. It could be this sudden fluctuation in sodium that will increase the fluid retention in the tissues of your affected ear. 

A constant bombardment of sodium may be continually upsetting the sodium/potassium balance in addition to continually swelling (inflaming) the tissues in the affected ear.

The bottom line is, we may be consuming too much sodium in the first place, meaning a low sodium diet for Meniere’s is rather what should perhaps be a regular diet – if we ate sensibly in the first place.

If you have spent much time on our main website, Meneieres-Help.Com, you will know how relevant inflammation is to this condition and most other common diseases. If you cook yourself or are cooking for a Meniere’s sufferer The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook:The Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy’ by Amanda Haas and Dr. Bradly Jacobs is a great book to have in your kitchen. It is the #1 best seller in Cancer cookbooks on Amazon.

Meniere’s Help received this message from Murry in Australia regarding sodium:

“I need to write my story as well – just to give other people encouragement and strength to push through it, for me the biggest relief was to limit  salt / sodium.

I finally found a specialist who said cut the intake of foods to those that have less than 120mg / 100g. We thought we ate well (carefully) but when went home and cleaned out the pantry we were shocked by the amount of stuff (>120mg/100g) we threw out.

Vertigo / vomiting stopped almost over night

RHS ear still very buggered, LHS not the best and every day is different i.e. Shall I wear the hearing aids today?  But the appreciation of music has recovered and I no longer have the vertigo

Regards from

Murray Hunt”

Low Salt Diets

For those watching their measures of sodium. The University of Washington has a list of Sodium Content of Common Foods:

The information below is provided to assist patients maintain a low-sodium diet by: Alec N. Salt, Ph.D.,
Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory, Washington University, St. Louis

Dietary Salt (sodium) Intake

Physicians may initially suggest a partially reduced salt level, in the range of 1000 – 2000 mg/day, to see if symptoms can be alleviated. Maintaining a sodium intake below 2000 mg/day requires considerable effort. Eating in restaurants causes difficulty as the majority of restaurant food is salted. To maintain a low sodium diet, you need to scrutinize the “Nutritional Information” boxes on food cartons. The amount of salt is listed as “sodium”.

Choose those products which would give you the least sodium, based on the amount of product you eat. Note that many “high salt” products (ketchup, salad dressing, corn chips) show relatively low sodium values based on very small serving portions (who eats only 12 corn chips at a sitting??). What is important is the total amount of sodium you are eating each day. As shown in the list below, fresh fruits and vegetables have low sodium content, but avoid adding salt to vegetables during preparation. The following advice may help maintain a low salt intake.

  • Do not use salt at the table
  • Reduce the salt used in food preparation. Try 1/2 teaspoon when recipes call for 1 teaspoon. Many cakes and desserts can be prepared without adding salt.
  • Use herbs and spices for flavoring meats and vegetables instead of salt.
  • Avoid salty foods such as processed meat and fish, pickles, soy sauce, salted nuts, chips and other snack foods.
  • Check every “Nutritional Information” label before you buy or use a product. Note sodium and portion size information.

A cautionary note: The body possesses exquisite systems which accurately regulate body sodium. The goal of a low sodium diet is to “push” this regulation system toward one end of its range, without pushing it to the limit when body sodium starts falling. Although a low-salt diet if difficult to achieve, be aware that the low-salt diet can be “overdone” with possible adverse consequences.

For this reason, if your vestibular symptoms persist, do not keep decreasing your salt intake. The level of sodium intake should be decided in consultation with your physician or nutritionist. Lower levels require more rigorous monitoring by your physician. You should also be aware that your body can lose sodium by a number of routes other than in the urine. Sweating, vomiting and diarrhea can all produce significant sodium loss. In addition, other diseases, such as those which impair kidney function, may result in greater than normal sodium losses. In the event of adverse symptoms, you should contact your physician.

Sodium Content of Common Foods

All values are given in mg of sodium for a 100 g (3.5 oz) food portion. These values are a guide. More accurate values are given in the Nutritional Information on the package of most products, in the form of mg of sodium per serving.

  • Apple, raw unpeeled 1
  • Apple juice, bottled 1
  • Applesauce, sweetened 2
  • Asparagus, cooked 1 (regular canned 236)
  • Avocado 4
  • Bacon, cooked 1021
  • Bacon, Canadian 2500
  • Baking powder 11,000
  • Banana 1
  • Barly, pearled 3
  • Beans, Lima 1 (regular canned 236)
  • Beans, snap green, cooked 4 (regular canned 236)
  • Beans, white common, cooked 7
  • Beans, canned with pork and tomato sauce 463
  • Bean sprouts, cooked 4
  • Beef, roasted broiled or stewed 60
  • Beef, corned 1,740
  • Beef hash, canned 540
  • Beef, dried 4,300
  • beef hamburger 47
  • Beef pie or stew, commercial 400
  • Beets, cooked 43 (regular canned 236)
  • Beverages, beer 7
  • Beverages, liquor 1 (avoid margueritas with salt!)
  • Beverages, wine 5
  • Beverage, soda 0 to 100 (check can)
  • Beverage, fruit drink 0
  • Beverage, water 0
  • Biscuits 630
  • Blackberries 1
  • Bluefish, cooked 104
  • Bouillon cubes 24,000
  • Bread 300 to 500
  • Broccoli, cooked 10
  • Brussel sprouts, cooked 10
  • Butter, salted 826 (unsalted – less than 10)
  • Cabbage 20
  • Cakes 100 to 300
  • Candy, caramels, fudge 200
  • Candy, hard, marshmallow, peanut brittle 30
  • Cantaloupe 12
  • Carrots 40 (regular canned 236)
  • Cashews, unsalted 15
  • Cauliflower 10
  • Celery, raw 126 (cooked 88)
  • Cereals bran, wheat, crude 9
  • Cereals, commercial 700 to 1100
  • Cereal, Corn grits 1
  • Cereal, Cornmeal 1
  • Cereal, Farina, dry 2 (cooked salted or instant 160)
  • Cereal, Oatmeal, dry 2 (cooked salted 218)
  • Cereal, Rice flakes 987
  • Cereal, wheat flakes 1000
  • Cereal, wheat, puffed 4
  • Cereal, wheat, shredded 3
  • Cheese, cheddar 620
  • Cheese, processed 1189
  • Cheese, cottage 406
  • Cheese, cream 296
  • Cheese, Mozzarella 373
  • Cheese, Parmesan 1,862
  • Cheese, Swiss 260
  • Cherries, Raw 2
  • Chicken, cooked, without skin 60 to 80
  • Chicken pot pie, commercial 411
  • Chickpeas, dry 8
  • Chicory 7
  • Chili con carne, canned with beans 531
  • Chili powder with seasonings 1574
  • Chocolate, plain 4
  • Chocolate syrup 52
  • Clams, raw soft 36
  • Clams, hard, round 205
  • Cocoa, dry 6
  • Cocoa, processed 717
  • Coconut, fresh 23
  • Coffee, instant, dry 72
  • Coffee, beverage, 1
  • Collards, cooked 25
  • Cookies, Fig bars 252
  • Cookies, oatmeal 170
  • Cookies , plain 365
  • Corn, sweet, cooked 0 (regular canned 236)
  • Cowpeas, dry, cooked 8
  • Crabmeat, canned 1000
  • Crackers, Graham 670
  • Crackers, saltines 1,100
  • Cranberry juice or sauce 1
  • Cream 40
  • Cucumber 6
  • Dates 1
  • Doughnuts 500
  • Duck 74
  • Eggplant, cooked 1
  • Egg, whole, raw 74 (whites 152, yolk 49)
  • Endive, curly 14
  • Figs 2
  • Flounder 78
  • Flour 2
  • Fruit cocktail 5
  • Gelatin, dry 0 (sweetened, ready-to eat 51)
  • Grapefruit, fresh, canned or juice 1
  • Grapes 3
  • Haddock, raw 61 (battered 177)
  • Heart, beef 86
  • Herring 74
  • Honey 5
  • Honeydew melon 12
  • Ice cream, vanilla 87
  • Jams and preserves 12
  • Jellies 17
  • Kale, cooked 43
  • Lamb, lean 70
  • Lard 0
  • Lasagna 490
  • Lemon, juice or fresh 1
  • Lettuce 9
  • Lime, fresh or juice 1
  • Liver, beef 184
  • Liver, pork 111
  • Lobster 210
  • Macaroni, dry 2 (commercial with cheese 543)
  • Margarine 987
  • Milk 50
  • Milk, buttermilk 130
  • Milk, evaporated 106
  • Milk, dried 549
  • Molasses, light 15 (Dark 96)
  • Muffins, plain 441
  • Mushrooms 14 (canned 400)
  • Mustard, prepared yellow 1,252
  • Mustard greens 18
  • Nectarine 6
  • Noodles, dry 5
  • Nuts, in shell 1 (processed nuts may contain high amounts of salt)
  • Oil, corn 0
  • Okra, 2
  • Olives, green 2,400
  • Onions, green 5 (mature 10)
  • Orange peeled, juice, canned or juice 1
  • Oysters, raw 73
  • Pancakes 425
  • Papayas, raw 3
  • Parsley 45
  • Parsnips, cooked 8
  • Peaches 2
  • Peanuts, roasted 5 (salted 418)
  • Peanut butter 607
  • Pears 2
  • Peas, cooked 2 (regular canned 236)
  • Peas, dried 40
  • Pecans, shelled 0
  • Peppers, green 13
  • Perch 79
  • Pickles, dill 1,428
  • Pickles, relish, sweet 712
  • Pie 250 to 450
  • Pie crust, baked 617
  • Pike, walleye 51
  • Pineapple, raw or canned 1
  • Pizza, cheese 702
  • Plums 2
  • Popcorn, salted with oil 1,940
  • Pork 65
  • Pork, cured ham 930
  • Pork canned ham 1,100
  • Potatoes, baked, boiled or french fried 2 to 6
  • Potatoes, mashed salted 331
  • Potato chips, up to 1000
  • Pretzels 1680
  • Prunes 4
  • Pumpkin, canned 2
  • Radishes 18
  • Raisins, dried 27
  • Raspberries 1
  • Rhubarb 2
  • Rice, dry 5 (cooked salted 374)
  • Rolls, bread or sweet 400 to 550
  • Rutabagas 4
  • Rye wafers 882
  • Salad dressing 700 to 1300
  • Salmon 64 (canned 387)
  • Sardines, canned 400
  • Sauerkraut 747
  • Sausage, pork 958
  • Sausage, Frankfurter 1,100
  • Sausage, Bologna 1,300
  • Scallops, 265
  • Shrimp 150
  • Soup, canned 350 to 450
  • Spaghetti, dry 2
  • Spaghetti with meatballs, canned 488
  • Spinach, raw 71 (cooked 50)
  • Squash 1
  • Strawberries 1
  • Sugar, white 1 (brown 30)
  • Sunflower seeds 30
  • Sweet  potatoes 12
  • Syrup 68
  • Tapioca, dry 3
  • Tomato 3 (canned 130)
  • Tomato ketchup 1,042
  • Tomato juice, canned 200
  • Tongue, beef 61
  • Tuna in oil 800
  • Turkey, 82
  • Turnips 34
  • Veal 80
  • Vinegar 1
  • Waffles 475
  • Walnuts 3
  • Watermelon 1
  • Wheat germ 827
  • Yeast, compressed 16 (dry , active 52)
  • Yoghurt 46

A final word – Something for you to contemplate

I spent 10 years 95% free of symptoms through good nutrition before fully ridding myself of Meniere’s in 2012 (Click here to read my story). About two years into this period of being symptom free I visited my old home in Hawaii. I was living in Japan and eating normally (not counting my sodium intake). 

Within two days of being in Hawaii and eating Burger Kings and the like, I suddenly felt dizzy again. That sudden spike in sodium (and whatever else was in that junk food) and the resulting dizziness took several days to subside.

Moral of the story? While you are living with Meniere’s, eat fresh whole foods, avoid processed foods and junk. Eat what natures makes not what man makes.

If you found this article useful Click here to support Meniere’s Help

Related articles:

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Meniere’s Help – Supporting sufferers since 2004

Researcher and writer of Managing Meniere’s Disease and The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

Help other Meniere’s Sufferers:

What are your experiences with salt, Himalayan salt and Meniere’s? Do you have any advise for low salt cooking? Tell us all about it in the comments box below or email Mike at

References/Further reading:

Exit mobile version