When it comes to Meniere’s disease, many of the injectable and surgical options have a low success rate and are ridden with side effects. Some may even cause permanent hearing loss. Before you agree to one of these invasive procedures, you should exhaust every other option you have. Here are a few natural ways that others have been able to successfully manage Meniere’s so as to avoid taking such drastic measures.
There are a number of things you can do with your diet to attempt to control Meniere’s symptoms. Several of these include:
- Reducing salt intake – Sodium retains water in the body. Since one of the underlying factors with Meniere’s is excess fluid in one or both of the ears, reducing salt intake has been able to help some patients to experience fewer or less severe attacks. It’s not a Meniere’s cure, but it can make the condition easier to live with.
- Reduce caffeine intake – Many Meniere’s patients complain that tinnitus grows worse when they have caffeine. If you enjoy beverages like coffee or tea, you may want to keep track of whether these worsen your symptoms. If so, reducing caffeine intake may benefit you.
- Avoid foods you have a sensitivity to – Food sensitivities result in congestion, and an increase in fluid due to an allergic reaction can be felt strongly in the ears, especially if one or both of your ears has difficulty draining as is often the case for Meniere’s patients.
- Reduce sugar intake – Sugar can increase fluid levels in the body and lead to worsening Meniere’s symptoms.
- Eliminate artificial sweeteners – These are even worse for causing fluid increase than sugar, so you will want to eliminate artificial sweeteners entirely.
Just by changing a few of your habits, you may be able to eliminate some of the factors that will make Meniere’s attacks worse. Some of these lifestyle changes could include:
- Reduce alcohol intake – You’re not going to want to drink alcohol with any sort of regularity if you have Meniere’s. Some patients can save drinking for special occasions and in moderation. Others find that it simply isn’t worth the adverse effects.
- Eliminate tobacco use – Tobacco use causes the blood vessels of the ears to constrict due to the nicotine content. This makes an already bad situation even worse. If you smoke or use tobacco in other ways, it is time to kick the habit. If you’ve never used tobacco, you definitely don’t want to start now.
- Drink more water – We’re including water intake under lifestyle rather than diet because increasing your water intake really is a lifestyle change. Whether you need to get a one-quart bottle and drink a full one twice per day or you want to get an app to track your water intake, getting half a gallon of water intake daily is a must. Three quarts won’t hurt you, so don’t be afraid to drink more than the recommended amount.
Manage Your Allergies
We already mentioned the effect food sensitivities could have on Meniere’s by increasing fluid levels. Allergic reactions will have the same effect. Try your best to eliminate anything that you are allergic to from your life. While some choose to control allergies with medication, other seek natural methods such as small daily doses of raw local honey that can help you build resistance to seasonal allergies.
While we’re on the topic of allergies, one thing that has helped some reduce fluid in the body is drinking dandelion tea. However, you can have a serious allergic reaction if any of the following are on your list of allergies:
Speak with a physician before you start any kind of supplement, even if it is an herbal tea that you have concerns about.
High amounts of stress can trigger a Meniere’s attack or make symptoms worse. While you can’t eliminate all stress – and we can sometimes become stressed out about good things (if you’ve ever planned a wedding, you know what we’re talking about) – it is important to have good stress coping techniques. As you have already seen from our list, alcohol and tobacco are just going to make things worse. Try using stress relieving methods such as:
- Support groups – Since Meniere’s is experienced by under 1% of the population, sometimes it can help just to have a conversation with other people who are going through the same things as you so that you know you are not alone.
- Take up a relaxing hobby – Try a new form of art, learn a musical instrument, or find a good book to read.
- Explore your spirituality – Whether you want to call it prayer, meditation on positive thoughts, or just deep breathing exercises, delving into your spiritual side may lead to relaxed feelings.
- Sound and music therapy – There is actually some scientific evidence that pleasing background sounds such as rain, streams, or waterfalls can reduce the frequency and severity of tinnitus. At the very least, it is relaxing.
- Massage – Whether you have a loved one who is talented with massage or you see a massage therapist, the goal is to relieve stress and tension from the body.
Natural Meniere’s Relief Is Within Reach
Upper cervical chiropractic care is another form of natural relief that more and more Meniere’s patients are seeking. This precise and gentle subspecialty of chiropractic focuses on the top bones of the spine and can help to improve the ability of the ears to drain properly as well as increasing blood flow to the head and thus the ears. To learn more about how this has helped patients with vertigo and other Meniere’s symptoms, contact a practitioner near you today.