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Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

By Mike Spencer

Founder of Meniere’s Help – Supporting Sufferers Since 2004

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

Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease

The links between Meniere’s disease and hypoglycemia have been studied for decades.

Hypoglycemia as a cause of Meniere’s is debatable in that there are several possible root causes and many contributing factors to consider. Whether it is a root cause or not, it seems evident that there is a link in a significant number of cases. Bear in mind that what is relevant in one person who has the symptoms of Meniere’s might not be relevant in another.

There can be very different root causes that all have the same resulting symptoms that come under the label of “Meniere’s”.

The blood sugar and insulin factors in Meniere’s is something that should not be ignored and is worth investigating for the sufferer. By doing so, you can either rule out the relevance in your case or if it is relevant to you, understand what action you can take to help your body find balance.

Here the focus is mainly on non diabetic hypoglycemia, seizures and Meniere’s disease. Many sufferers report they have had a history at some point in their lives of experiencing hypoglycemic type symptoms and/or seizures.

ENT doctors may dismiss any connections with this and the symptoms of Meniere’s. However, research would suggest there is indeed a connection in a sizeable enough number of sufferers.

Moreover the connections are there to see in plenty of cited studies to back this up.

Insulin and blood sugar levels are relevant in Meniere’s disease. One hypothesis regarding Meniere’s is that when the pressure becomes too intense the endolymphatic sac bursts and two electrolytes, potassium and sodium that should be kept apart are mixed, causing vertigo.

This hypothesis may or may not be correct, however, it is a known fact that excess sodium retains fluid in the tissues. Excess fluid can manifest into the key factor in Meniere’s and almost all disease states and that key factor is inflammation.

Moreover, consuming too much sugar can be a very fast reacting trigger for increased pressure, tinnitus, dizziness or vertigo in some Meniere’s sufferers.

Where insulin may come into the picture is that insulin is very much part of the regulation of sodium and potassium within the kidneys. Studies on diabetes show that insulin plays a part in sodium retention.

Click here to read about Diabetes and Meniere’s disease

What is hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is a condition caused by low blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body. The condition is most common in people with diabetes who have issues with medicine, food, or exercise.

According to the center for advance medicine, Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is caused by an inconsistent oversupply of insulin or an under-supply of adrenaline, especially if you have been eating a diet high in sugar.

Sometimes people who don’t have diabetes can also get low blood glucose. There are two kinds of nondiabetic hypoglycemia:

  • Reactive hypoglycemia, which happens a few hours after you eat a meal
  • Fasting hypoglycemia, which might be linked to medicine or a disease. Fasting hypoglycemia often happens after the person goes without food for 8 hours or longer.

The symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

  • Hunger
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Pale skin
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Dizziness
  • Moodiness

In extreme cases it can cause: confusion, blurred vision and seizures.

Non-diabetic hypoglycemia is believed to be rare. Glucose (sugar) is the main source of energy for your body and brain. It comes from what we eat and drink.

Insulin, is a hormone that helps keep blood glucose at normal levels. Insulin’s job is to help glucose enter your cells where it’s used for energy. If your glucose level is too low, problems can occur.

What causes non-diabetic hypoglycemia?

In reactive hypoglycemia it is thought that being in a pre-diabetic state, someone who is considered at risk of diabetes, a result of stomach surgery and rare enzyme deficiencies can all be causes.

Causes of fasting hypoglycemia can include:

  • Medicines, such as salicylates (a type of pain reliever), sulfa drugs (an antibiotic), pentamidine (to treat a serious kind of pneumonia), quinine (to treat malaria).
  • Alcohol, especially with binge drinking.
  • Serious illnesses, such as those affecting the liver, heart, or kidneys.
  • Low levels of certain hormones, such as cortisol, growth hormone, glucagon, or epinephrine.
  • Tumors, such as a tumor in the pancreas that makes insulin or a tumor that makes a similar hormone called IGF-II

Source: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

There are a number of causes of hypoglycemia other than eating too much sugar and overstimulating the pancreas:

  • Fungus can contribute to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, by taking sugar that is needed by your cells.
  • As mentioned, there is a connection with adrenal health. Stress hormones can trigger the body’s tendency to release too much insulin.
  • Caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to increased insulin levels.
  • Hypoglycemia is often associated with food allergies.
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Source: The Center for Advanced Medicine.

The linked causes above can also be very relevant to Meniere’s disease. Click the links to read their relevance to the symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus in a separate window.

Eating small regular meals throughout the day may be advised for people with fasting hypoglycemia. This type of dietary advice has also been shown to help some sufferers of Meniere’s disease.

Other dietary advice can include, eating a variety of foods, including protein (meat and nonmeat), dairy foods, and high-fiber foods such as whole-grain bread, fruit, and vegetables as well as limiting high sugar foods.

Some doctors recommend a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. That said, according to the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism this type of diet has not proven to help hypoglycemia.

However, we know all too well from our experience with Meniere’s, that even though something is not clinically proven, it doesn’t mean it cannot help.

A 2015 study published in the International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology found that: “Auditory and vestibular symptoms usually occur prior to other manifestations of metabolic changes, leading to an early diagnosis of hyperinsulinemia, intestinal sugar malabsorption or diabetes.

Previously undiagnosed diabetes mellitus type II was found in 39 patients“*

* This was a retrospective study of  376 patients with inner ear symptoms suggestive of disturbances of carbohydrate metabolism.

A 2009 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology concluded that: “87.7% of the patients with dizziness and suspicion of peripheral vestibular disorder had glucose or insulin metabolism disorders.”

Their results showed the following:

  • Hypoglycemia was seen in 61.7% of the cases
  • hyperinsulinemia in 55.5%
  • hyperglycemia in 27.2%
  • glucose intolerance in 12.3%
  • hypoinsulinemia in 1.2%
  • Normal tests were seen in 12.3 % of the cases and altered fasting glucose in 23.5%

These results clearly suggest that irregularities in both glucose metabolism and insulin production can play a major role in vestibular disorders such as Meniere’s.

The British Medical journal published a study in 2019 that concluded, “The organ of Corti could be a target tissue for insulin action, and inner ear insulin resistance might contribute to the association between diabetes and inner ear dysfunction.”

The organ of corti is a structure in the cochlea of the inner ear which produces nerve impulses in response to sound vibrations.

The International Tinnitus Journal published a study in 2005: Glucose and Insulin Profiles and Their Correlations in Meniere’s Disease.

Their results showed, ” insulin curves for approximately 71.87% of the patients (n = 46) with Meniere’s disease revealed hyperinsulinemia, whereas GTT results compatible with impaired glucose tolerance were found for only 6.25% (4 patients), and changes in fasting glycemia or GTT (or both) suggesting NIDDM were seen for only 4.69% (3 patients).”

Hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia describes the condition and effects of low blood glucose caused by excessive insulin.

In the study Etiology and Treatment of FluidRetention (Hydrops)in Meniere’s Syndrome [Conrad A. Proctor, MD, Todd B. Proctor, M, Bruce Proctor, MD] it states:

“There is now much evidence that the hormone insulin promotes retention of sodium by the kidney . The end result of prolonged hyperinsulinemia also includes vasoconstriction and eventually arterial smooth muscle hypertrophy. Insulin production is stimulated by high-carbohydrate diets.

In this study, 58 of 75 Meniere’s patient s (seventy-seven percent) demonstrated abnormal insulin levels.

These patients were treated from 1980 to 1990 with a low carbohydrate, 6 to 8 feeding diet in addition to the usual no added -salt diet. Cholesterol was limited when indicated.
Ninety-one percent of these Meniere’s patients with abnormal insulin levels reported at least a ninety percent improvement in both severity and frequency of vertigo attacks for the entire ten year period.”

Seizures have been associated with hypoglycemia but a 2015 study published in Science Direct suggested, “In this study of a large number of patients with hypoglycemia, a notably low frequency of seizures was noticed. This indicates that the risk of seizures in association with low blood glucose levels seems to be low.

In the book, The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s, I explain the domino effect within our body that can eventually manifest the symptoms of Meniere’s disease. Seemingly unrelated health issues or injuries suffered sometimes years before can eventually result in Meniere’s.

Is there a possibility that someone who has experienced seizures, low blood sugar episodes, insulin irregularities or hypoglycemia at some point in their life becomes more susceptible to the symptoms of Meniere’s manifesting.

I recently posted this question in several Meniere’s related social media groups; “Did anyone experience any kind of seizures or hypoglycemia anytime in your life BEFORE your Meniere’s symptoms started?”

Of the 210 responses received, 90 said yes to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. 26 said yes to some type of seizures.

As with all suspected root causes and secondary causes of Meniere’s symptoms the numbers are not conclusive but significantly high enough to suggest a correlation in some sufferers.

What to do about Hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease?

There are several possible root causes of Meniere’s disease and many contributing factors. As stated at the beginning of this article, what is relevant for one sufferer may have little to no relevance in another. You may have more than one root problem contributing to your symptoms.

Almost certainly, all of them result in inflammation.

You can deal with inflammation by eating foods high in anti-inflammatory nutrients, avoiding foods that cause inflammation and avoiding foods high in sodium.

You can support your immune system with nutrient rich foods, high in anti-oxidants and using quality dietary supplements.

Control of hypoglycemia is almost exclusively dietary. Although hypoglycemia is in some ways the opposite of diabetes, the dietary recommendations are essentially the same since in both cases the goal is to stabilize insulin and sugar levels.

According to the center for advanced medicine,  you should eat complex carbohydrates and fiber along with protein, and avoid sweets and refined foods. Frequent small, high protein meals help modulate insulin swings and control hypoglycemia


Magnesium is one of the most significant mineral nutrients for the body to function and deficiency may be common among the general population. You can read more about its importance for Meniere’s sufferers here: Magnesium links to Meniere’s disease

Regarding hypoglycemia, low blood sugar and insulin, magnesium plays an important role in helping your body convert glucose from your food into fuel. If you don’t have enough magnesium in your body, your cells can become less effective at using insulin.

A 2013 study at the Medical School of Yangzhou University, China, concluded that “Increasing dietary magnesium to meet the RDA has a protective effect on insulin resistance.”

A 1982 study at Brigham Young University ‘Reactive hypoglycemia and magnesium’ states that, “Mg [Magnesium]supplementation appeared to prevent nadirs in plasma glucose that were significantly below fasting levels. This suggested that the hypoglycemia of reactive hypoglycemia would be a sign of a complex disorder and not the cause.

It is suggested that reactive hypoglycemia is related to a disturbed Mg balance. Mg-Ca [Magnesium – Calcium] interactions also appear to be important but the mechanisms are not clear.

Subjective complaints, such as fatigue, and the disturbed blood sugar control would be symptoms and signs of this syndrome.”

A 1994 study published in the French journal, Therapie states, “The interrelationships between magnesium and carbohydrate metabolism have regained considerable interest over the last few years. Insulin secretion requires magnesium: magnesium deficiency results in impaired insulin secretion while magnesium replacement restores insulin secretion.” published a study in 2016 ‘Mg supplementation appears to have a beneficial role and improves glucose parameters in people with diabetes and also improves insulin-sensitivity parameters in those at high risk of diabetes.’

There are many factors to consider regarding dietary magnesium and it would be worth clicking the link above ‘Magnesium links to Meniere’s disease‘ to learn more.

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, nuts, brown rice, dairy products and wholegrain foods are good sources of magnesium. The super food, Moringa is one of the best sources of dietary magnesium.


Calcium works in synergy with magnesium, too much or too little of one can have an effect on how the other works inside the body.

Calcium is not just about healthy bones and teeth, it is essential for life. A 1981 study in Hormone and metabolic research, ‘Effect of calcium infusion on post-reactive hypoglycemia’ found that: “In normal subjects, this infusion did not affect insulin secretion and OGTT, contrary to all patients with reactive hypoglycemia in whom calcium infusion produced significant increase in plasma glucose. Simultaneously the symptoms of hypoglycemia disappeared. Continuous infusion of calcium suppressed reactive hypoglycemia.”

Dietary sources of calcium include: diary products, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, the bones in sardines and fortified cereals.


Chromium is an essential trace mineral that can improve insulin sensitivity and enhance protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism. It is a metallic element that people need very small quantities of. Processing foods such as polishing rice can rob the cereal of its chromium, increasing the possibility of blood sugar irregularities.

In a 1987 clinical trial published on pubmed, ‘Effects of supplemental chromium on patients with symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia’ it was found that: “Chromium supplementation alleviated the hypoglycemic symptoms and significantly raised the minimum serum glucose values observed two to four hours following a glucose load.

Insulin binding to red blood cells and insulin receptor number also improved significantly during Cr supplementation. These data suggest that impaired Cr nutrition and/or metabolism may be a factor in the etiology of hypoglycemia.”

*According to the US National Institute of Health, “The FNB has not evaluated chromium since 2001. However, in 2014, the European Food Safety Authority Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies concluded that no convincing evidence shows that chromium is an essential nutrient and, therefore, setting chromium intake recommendations would be inappropriate.”

Eating a fully balanced diet of fresh (organic where possible) produce and avoiding processed and fast food is a wise choice for anyone, but for people suffering with Meniere’s disease and compromised by hypoglycemia it would seem particularly prudent.

We know from the experience of supporting sufferers since 2004, that a healthy diet, lifestyle and using high quality full spectrum supplementation can help a great deal in either reducing or even eliminating the symptoms of Meniere’s.

Click here to read about supplements for Meniere’s


Spirulina is nutrient packed superfood that may have many possible benefits for Meniere’s sufferers (read more here). Spirulina also has value for those suffering from hypoglycemia.

The Journal of medicinal food published a study in 2001. Extract:

“Spirulina, with its high concentration of functional nutrients, is emerging as an important therapeutic food. This study aimed to evaluate the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic role of Spirulina. Twenty-five subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomly assigned to receive Spirulina (study group) or to form the control group.

 These findings suggest the beneficial effect of Spirulina supplementation in controlling blood glucose levels and in improving the lipid profile of subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

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For more information related to hypoglycemia and Meniere’s disease read also: Diabetes and Meniere’s Disease

Help other sufferers. What is your experience with Meniere’s and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels? Tell us all about it in the comments box below or email Mike at Your input and perspective is always appreciated.

References/further reading: Hypoglycemia in Meniere’s Disease

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

Magnesium Links to Meniere’s Disease

Why Magnesium is important when you suffer with the symptoms of 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

Below we look at just how important magnesium is for cellular and internal balance and most importantly how important a factor it is for those suffering with Meniere’s.

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

Nystagmus, the flickering of the eyes or eyesight is a common symptom of ‘late stage’ Meniere’s. There are several studies linking magnesium deficiency to this.

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.

Several other studies can be found on cited on NIH ( as can the above)  all suggesting the same thing.
Not everyone with Meniere’s suffers from Nystagmus and not everyone with Nystagmus suffers from Meniere’s disease. Given that one cause of magnesium deficiency is diuretics, especially the long term use of diuretics, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to hypothesize that Nystagmus, in at least some Meniere’s sufferers, is a direct result of magnesium depletion caused by the very medication used to combat Meniere’s symptoms.
Between January 2004 and October 2012, there was only one case reported to the FDA of diuretics directly causing nystagmus, out 3146 cases caused by other drugs.  So ‘officially’ this is an unlikely scenario. The focus on studies or papers discussing this subject is on ‘ototoxicity‘, meaning something toxic to the ear.
The dots are not being joined to the extent where magnesium depletion as a result of diuretic use is considered. I think that says it all when the medical community deals with Meniere’s. It seems the bigger picture is rarely taken into account.
If you are a long term Meniere’s sufferer, a long term user of diuretics and a sufferer of Nystagmus, some light bulbs must surely be flashing in your head with this information. Even more so if you have reduced or eliminated your symptoms through diet and supplementation.
Magnesium has been used for tinnitus treatment. In a 2011 study published in the International Tinnitus Journal, ‘Study examining magnesium-dependent tinnitus.’ It concluded that magnesium could lessen the severity of tinnitus. suggesting deficiency may be a contributing cause.
The many functions of magnesium include: important in neuromuscular contractions/relaxations, regulates acid/alkaline balance, helps regulate body temperature, activates enzymes needed for metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids, needed for lipid and protein metabolism, cofactor for many enzymes in energy metabolism. ( Read Metabolism and Meniere’s Disease here and Gluten links to Meniere’s here.
Over 300 enzymatic reactions rely on magnesium to happen.

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.

Clearly Magnesium is not a mineral that should be ignored or taken too lightly. It is vitally important for human health.

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”


Meniere’s Help readers experiences with magnesium and Meniere’s disease?

 What are our readers experiences with magnesium and Meniere’s?  Below are some extracts from Meniere’s sufferers’ emails to Meniere’s Help (used with permission ) :
“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. Regards
“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,
One of the most powerful components of the supplement regimen that has been so successful in keeping sufferers symptom free over the past 12 year is a grape seed extract with flavonoids, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

“Hi Mike,

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!

Be well,


Magnesium deficiency

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:

  1. Antacids
  2. Anti-inflammatories (including Prednisone, commonly used for Meniere’s)
  3. Antibiotics (including gentamicin, commonly used for Meniere’s)
  4. Birth control medications ( see endocrine disorders and Meniere’s)
  5. Cardiovascular medications
  6. 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 thatcooking, especially boiling of magnesium-rich foods, will result in significant loss of magnesium.

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By Mike Spencer
Founder of Menieres-Help.Com – Supporting sufferers since 2004
Researcher & Author 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 Meniere’s and magnesium? Tell us all about it in the comments box below or email Mike at

References/Further reading:

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