How to Manage Meniere's Disease Naturally
Although the condition known as Meniere's disease (sometimes spelled Ménière's or Menière's disease) was first diagnosed by its namesake in the mid-19th century, there is still no known cure for it and the cause of the condition in the first place is similarly inscrutable. What we do know is that the symptoms which occur due to the disease can be managed and those who are affected by it may still live a vital life with minimal side effects. Unfortunately, if untreated, the symptoms can be quite exasperating. This is why his oneHOWTO article explains how to manage meniere's disease naturally and will even consider what treatments should be undertaken if these have proved too limited.
What is Meniere's Disease?
While there are different diseases which affect the ear and may cause similar sypmtoms, Meniere's disease is one where there are specific combined symptoms which lead to the problem persisting. To describe what it is will be best done by telling you what happens if you have Meniere's disease. The four main characteristics are:
- hearing loss
- tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ears)
- vertigo (dizziness and spinning sensation)
- fullness in the ear (sensation of the ear being blocked or clogged)
You cannot have one episode and achieve a diagnosis as there are too many similarities to other ear conditions which may have led to some or all of these symptoms, not all of which are permanent or disease causing. To be diagnosed with Meniere's disease you will have to have 2 or more attacks which last between 20 minutes and 12 hours, hearing loss in the affected ear which has been recorded during or just after a potential attack, fluctuating symptoms of the ear and an incompatibility with other potential ear problem diagnoses.
Some symptoms present in a similar way to strokes or severe migraines which is one of the reasons the diagnosis needs to be thorough. The symptoms can also be varied as they are not necessarily directly related to Meniere's disease, but to the symptoms of the disease. If vertigo is experienced, then nausea and vomiting may present themselves. So can falls without fainting which are known as drop attacks. Losing balance and feeling dizziness can be very disorientating and one of the biggest problems can be due to mental stress and anxiety provoked by them, especially in people who suffer from longer spells. The disease usually presents itself later in life, with the majority of cases diagnosed in people in their 6th decade. Obesity may be a contributing factor.
Natural Treatments for Meniere's Disease - Diet
As there are still some unanswered questions about Meniere's disease, the treatments will likely differ from person to person and there may be a trial and error period which you'll need to undergo to find what works best for you. As always, if you are finding it difficult to know what to do or are unsure of anything related to your symptoms, seeking a physician's advice is imperative.
As one of the possible causes of Meniere's disease is a build up of fluid in the ear which can potentially be controlled by diet. One piece of advice often given is to reduce sodium in your diet by eating less salted products or salt enriched foods. This is to reduce fluid retention which is advised in many cases due to its benefit for overall health. Avoiding excessive (or any) intake of caffeine is also advised for people with Meniere's disease as it can exacerbate symptoms, so reduce or cut out tea, coffee and cola drinks. Avoiding alcohol will also be beneficial and the links to tobacco use and Meniere's has been well documented, so it's time to give up smoking if you have been diagnosed with Meniere's disease.
Natural Treatments for Meniere's Disease - Water
Although Meniere's disease is potentially caused by the build up of fluid in the ear, increasing your intake of water might help you in this case as it will act as a diuretic. A diuretic is something which increases the amount of urine produced by the body. How it can be helpful is to flush out toxins and the hazardous build ups which may be causing Meniere's disease or the similar symptoms of a related condition.
You should also ensure to have a better balance of carbohydrates and protein as well as avoid inflammation-causing foods such as sugar, artificial sweeteners, fried foods, saturated fats, trans fats and additives. Drinking plenty of water can help counter balance these effects, but controlling your diet and partaking in regular exercise will be much better for you in the long run.
Natural Treatments for Meniere's Disease - During an Attack
If you are having severe symptoms of Meniere's disease, you will need to consider your home environment as the falls which it may precipitate can be dangerous. Try to make sure you have lots of clear space and no clutter in your home. If you have a lot of low sitting furniture with potentially dangerous edges, like glass coffee tables or tripod footstools, you should find ways to keep them from being hazardous.
If you are feeling the effects of vertigo which can be caused by Meniere's disease, then you should lie down immediately and try to ride it out. Avoid bright lights and even moving images such as those on a TV screen. Do not partake in an activity which may be dangerous if suffering from vertigo (like driving or using heavy equipment) and ensure to rest up, not only during, but after attacks also. Physical therapy might help you deal with the symptoms during an attack and is advisable for people with low mobility who may struggle to exercise.
Natural Treatments for Meniere's Disease - Mental Health
One of the main side effects of Meniere's disease is the effect it can have on a person's mental health. This is mainly due to the symptoms of vertigo as the dizzy spells and imbalance are very disorientating. As Meniere's disease sufferers who have been diagnosed will attest, the minimum length of an attack is 20 minutes. While 20 minutes in such a disorientated state can seem like hours, those who are particularly unfortunate might experience the symptoms for hours on end which, in turn, can seem like days. The stress and trauma these can cause may be acute and, with no known cure, managing the symptoms, naturally or otherwise, will need to happen to improve quality of life.
Talking to friends who are able to support you, seeking advice from a mental health professional and being vigilant to find ways to maintain a good level of mental health are all important. Using mindfulness techniques such as meditation or regulated breathing can also be of great help. If you want to treat Meniere's disease naturally, the worst you can do is ignore your mental state as it can exacerbate the cause and lead more severe problems along the way.
Other Ways to Manage Meniere's Disease
If you are unsure whether or not the symptoms you are experiencing are indeed due to Meniere's disease, you should seek the advice of a doctor immediately. Other than treatng the Meniere's naturally, they may prescribe medicine which could alleviate the symptoms, but they will not cure the disease completely. There is some belief, although it is inconclusive, that allergies may be the cause of the disease, so you may be prescribed antihistamines to help. Natural remedies such as ginkgo biloba and vitamin C supplements might be beneficial as they will help increase antibodies and blood systems which help the symptoms caused my Meniere's disease.
If the problem persists, especially if it spreads to the other ear, then surgery may be a course of action. The fluid which builds up in the ear does so in something called the endolymphatic sac, so surgery might help to drain fluid from this area. This could involve inserting a shunt or even full removal of the sac.
If hearing loss persists, then it may lead to the use of a hearing aid. Again, if your symptoms are reaching this stage and you haven't sought professional advice, you will need to do so immediately.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO doe not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis.We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you'd like to read similar articles to How to Manage Meniere's Disease Naturally, we recommend you browse around our Diseases & secondary effects category.