My Story

In 2003, I began a slow descent into deafness. But thanks to the efforts of my beloved family, Dr. Matthew Hanson of SUNY Medical Center and Terri Jackson of Temple University Hospital, among others, in 2004 I was properly diagnosed and today have my hearing and my life back.

My name is Christy Ellingsworth. I am a woman in my 30s, a wife and a mother. I have Meniere’s Disease, and although it does not define me, it is my constant companion.

For those of you unfamiliar with Meniere’s, it is a disease of the inner ear which affects the auditory and balance systems of the body. It is characterized by dizziness, hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear or ear noise), and a feeling of aural fullness. Meniere’s can cause incapacitating dizziness – known as vertigo – in many sufferers, and if left untreated, can lead to permanent deafness. Typically the disease affects a single ear, although it can affect both. Symptoms vary across sufferers, with some individuals experiencing pronounced dizziness without accompanying hearing loss (Vestibular Meniere’s), and others experiencing severe hearing loss without marked dizziness (Cochlear Meniere’s). These variations are regarded as two manifestations of a single syndrome. Unlike cancer or AIDS, Meniere’s Disease is a chronic illness and receives very little media or popular attention. The world-at-large knows little of our affliction, and although doctors continue studying the syndrome and have thankfully discovered means by which many can control their symptoms, there is no known cure.

My story begins after the birth of my younger daughter in October 2003. Within a few weeks of delivery, I began having problems with my right ear. Periodically I’d hear strange crackling noises, or felt like I had swimmer’s ear and would hear fluid moving deep inside my head. Occasionally when I would blow my nose, my ear would pop and stay popped for days at a time. All of this seemed odd and was mildly annoying, but at the time my family was suffering through cold season. My older daughter had just started preschool, and we were sick with something new nearly every week. I assumed the ear symptoms were part of one of the colds, and there was never any accompanying pain.

A couple of months passed, until one afternoon something extraordinary happened. I’d been resting in an armchair, and when I stood to get up it seemed as though my legs were an extra foot longer than normal. Looking down at my feet, I felt a frightening sort of disconnect. I tried walking, and with each subsequent step it seemed I might fall over, though I was planted firmly on the ground. I was terrified. That night I lay in bed wondering whether I’d be able to get up by myself when I woke. I had no idea what was wrong with me.

In the morning, I was still off-balance. It felt as though my body was raving drunk while my mind remained completely sober. I called the doctor. After a perfunctory physical exam and series of neurological tests, I was told I was fine. The hypothesis was that fluid in my inner ear was throwing off my balance, and the problem would quickly rectify itself. I was given a prescription for Meclizine and instructed to take it for the next few days until I felt better.

Meclizine is a medicine designed to treat motion sickness. It is also the medication of choice for Meniere’s patients who are plagued by episodic spells of vertigo. Meclizine is intended to act as an abortive drug; that is, when a patient feels an attack of vertigo coming on, the individual takes it to try to stop the attack. From what I have experienced, read and heard anecdotally from other Meniere’s patients, most find Meclizine pretty ineffective, and it certainly didn’t help me. I took it as prescribed and I sat on the couch, half comatose, trying my best to care for my infant daughter. On Day Four, I called the doctor. The nurse I spoke with was horrified. She told me to stop taking the Meclizine immediately and instead take Sudafed every four to six hours. That, she said, would dry the fluid in my ear and get me back to normal. I took Sudafed for a few days. It didn’t seem to be doing anything, but I took it all the same. In about a week I felt normal again.

My ear continued to bother me. Over the next few months, I occasionally heard the same crackling noises and felt fluid sloshing around inside my head. I noticed that my hearing seemed a little off but wasn’t alarmed by it, assuming I still had residual fluid that would clear itself out. One evening as I was getting into bed, I noticed a loud humming noise, like a truck idling in front of our house. I asked my husband to look out the window and see what it was. He pulled back the curtain and said nothing was there. I sat up in bed, startled. What? I went to the window and checked for myself. Nothing. I stood still and listened. No, the humming was definitely there, but this time it seemed to be coming from somewhere inside the house. I asked my husband, don’t you hear it? Don’t you hear that humming sound? He told me he most definitely did not. My husband’s extreme sensitivity to noise is legendary amongst family and friends, so I knew if he wasn’t hearing anything, something was seriously wrong. I went through the entire house, attic to basement, turning off every computer, electrical appliance, toy – you name it, every single object that could even remotely hum, buzz or hiss. And the noise remained. It was me. The noise was in my head.

I called the doctor in the morning. I was again told that I must have fluid in my ear and was advised to take Sudafed. The Sudafed didn’t seem to be doing anything, but I did as I was told. Days passed into weeks, and my hearing grew worse. The noise would fluctuate with no perceptible pattern. By the end of May, I was having difficulty hearing out of my right ear and the noise had grown to a steady SHHHHH. My daughters’ screams would pierce me to the core. It felt like I was going insane.

In June we took a vacation to the mountains of Vermont. Within days of our arrival, my hearing was so bad I was having difficulty distinguishing speech. The noise had grown even perceptibly louder, and it felt as though half my head was trapped in a paper bag. I called my physician, who told me it was probably just fluid but advised that I seek medical attention if I was really concerned. I went immediately to the local ER and was sitting in front of a nurse practitioner within an hour. The nurse listened to my complaints, looked in both of my ears and then administered a hearing test. I was almost half deaf. She said that my ear drum was bulging out with fluid and was unable to vibrate properly. Get rid of the fluid and my hearing would return to normal. She gave me some decongestant samples and said I would soon be well again.

Unfortunately, two days later I was back at the hospital. If anything, my ear had gotten worse. I saw the ER physician, and after an exam he told me I had what in layman’s terms is called “glue ear.” He explained that I had suffered a series of chronic and persistent ear infections which had turned the fluid inside my ear into a paste-like substance. He grabbed a sheet of paper and drew a picture of my inner ear, describing what he believed had happened to me over the course of the past months. He explained that the only way I could unclog it was to first take a nasal spray, like Afrin, which would open up my sinuses, and then take a second medicated spray to liquefy the gluey substance and get it moving again. He told me that Sudafed wouldn’t do anything, as it didn’t work on the ear canal. He said that Benadryl might help, but a super-strong oral decongestant like Drixoral would be even better.

What he had said made sense, and over the next few days I did as instructed. Unfortunately, my ear didn’t seem to be responding. Once again, I called my doctor’s office back in Philadelphia and asked for a referral to see a specialist when I returned home. I called and made the appointment immediately.

Two weeks later, the SHHHHH noise was louder than ever. When I arrived at the crowded doctor’s office, I was ushered into a soundproof booth for a series of hearing tests. I asked the technician several questions, and although pleasant, she was distinctly noncommittal. After the hearing tests, I was taken to an exam room and within minutes a nurse entered and began talking to me. I poured out my story to her, what I had been experiencing all the months before, what had happened in Vermont, everything up to the present. She was very attentive, and after I finished she said she’d heard stories of women having ear problems following pregnancy. I felt hopeful.

Ten minutes later, the doctor entered and immediately began rattling off facts about tinnitus – the medical term for the ear noise I’d been having for months. He explained that for reasons not understood, the tiny hair follicles inside the ear begin to shed in some people, causing noise – tinnitus – for which there is no cure. He described a patient who’d come to him complaining of tinnitus, who was eventually driven insane by the noise and began wearing tin foil on his head. He glanced over the results of my hearing tests, offering no explanation. Finally, he looked inside my ear. Twenty seconds later he asked me to tilt my head back. He then – without warning – inserted a long tube into my nostril, which he forced in until I cried out. He pulled the tube out, immediately threaded it into the other nostril and pushed until it was hanging down the back of my throat. I gagged.  He yanked it out. I sat there, temporarily stunned. He moved away, leaning casually back against a table before proceeding. “You have no fluid in your ear.” I sat puzzled for a moment and then responded that the physician in Vermont suggested I had something called glue ear. He looked at me blankly. “You don’t have anything of the kind. You have no fluid build-up.” I told him that for months doctors had been telling me I had fluid in my ear. If there was no fluid, then what could be causing the hearing loss? What was causing the noise? I wasn’t just imagining all of this. He said he didn’t know what was wrong, that he couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Before leaving he told me to come see him again in a month if I was still having problems. The nurse stood there for a second, sensing my frustration, then followed the doctor. She returned a minute later saying the doctor was going to give me nasal spray and a prescription for a 5-day steroid pack. She said he must think something is wrong to do that much.

I walked home, mulling over everything that had happened, searching for anything I might have missed. I decided to stop by my husband’s office and was almost too upset to speak. He tried his best to console me, then suggested I call my mom. I dialed her immediately.  My mother was insistent that I get another opinion. But what was the point? I’d seen three doctors already and none of them knew what was wrong with me. No one was going to help me. I would have to live like this forever. She assured me she would look into it and soon called with the name of an ENT at Temple University.

I went to my appointment with little to no enthusiasm. I was drained. My deafness seemed to grow with the days and the tinnitus was nearly intolerable.  After a short wait I was shown to an exam room and spoke briefly with a student doctor. Soon after, Dr. Hanson entered the room and listened while I related the details of my case. He seemed shaken by the visit I’d had with the previous doctor and asked me to proceed upstairs for a full array of hearing tests. I went to the third floor feeling the slightest bit hopeful. The initial visit had gone well, and Dr. Hanson seemed competent and concerned. I flipped through a weathered magazine until a voice called my name. The audiologist introduced herself as Terri and brought me into a small rectangular room. She adjusted earphones on my head, while asking a few questions. I found myself relaxing as she talked. She led me to a soundproof booth for the next series of tests. After they were over, she came back in and sat down. I went through a brief explanation of what I’d been experiencing. She immediately asked whether I’d had any dizziness. I said I had, but hadn’t thought much of it. Most mornings I would wake feeling dizzy and off-balance, but the dizziness seemed to pass after a little while.  Terri explained the test results and said I would have to wait for Dr. Hanson’s assessment, but that she believed I was suffering from Meniere’s Disease.

Downstairs, Dr. Hanson re-explained the test results and stated that he had three working hypotheses as to what was wrong. One: A past infection could have caused my hearing damage, in which case the deafness would be permanent, but the tinnitus would likely fade over time. Two: I might have something called Meniere’s Disease. Three: I might have a type of brain tumor. To make an accurate diagnosis, I’d have to have an MRI. He tried his best to reassure me, but I left the office with my stomach in knots.

The next morning I awoke feeling dizzy. The tinnitus was worse than ever, droning on in a steady amplified SHHHHH, and my ear felt inflated like a balloon. Every noise, however slight, seemed to reverberate inside my head. As I left to drive my older daughter to school, I began to feel slightly sweaty and sick. I made the school drop-off, then went to run an errand at the post office. As I walked down the sidewalk, the world began to shift sideways. I stopped still, and tried to catch my balance. The spinning continued. After several seconds, I turned around and carried my young daughter back to the car. I sat behind the wheel for a minute, trying to collect my thoughts. I was sick and unbelievably scared. What was happening to me??  I did not want to be out alone with my daughter. I drove home very slowly, with the road moving up at an angle.

I called Dr. Hanson as soon as I got in and described to him what was happening. He asked me if I’d ever experienced this type of sensation before. I confessed that I had. One night, a month or two earlier, I’d gone to bed and noticed the room spinning as though I was drunk, though I was completely sober. When I told my family about it the next day, we all thought it was strange, but I hadn’t thought more of it. Frankly, it had seemed so inconsequential, with my ear driving all else from my mind. Dr. Hanson said he was now almost certain I had Meniere’s Disease, but he’d still need the results of the MRI to be certain. As of that moment, he wanted me to go on a strict low sodium diet.  Salt was verboten.  I could no longer add it to any of my food and would have to be vigilant about how much sodium I was otherwise consuming. He stated that the average piece of white bread contains roughly 150 milligrams of sodium. I would have to keep my total consumption of sodium under 1500 milligrams per day.  I was perplexed, but assured him I’d do as instructed. The idea that sodium – or the lack thereof – could hold the magic key was at that point laughable. I already ate sensibly and kept fit.  But I would try anything. I spent the next few hours lying on my back, watching the wall shift. By late afternoon, I felt better.

Several days passed. I modified my diet to meet the sodium restriction and began noticing an immediate difference in my symptoms.  It was like a balloon was slowly deflating inside my head. My hearing was improving and the tinnitus seemed slightly less noticeable.  Soon I was going for the MRI. Though I am acutely claustrophobic, I went into the appointment feeling determined. A tremendous wave of relief flooded over me as the technician told me that my test results looked normal!  I was back at Temple within a week. Dr. Hanson explained the results of my MRI, which were fine, and then told me that I do indeed suffer from Meniere’s Disease.  Almost a year had passed between the onset of my symptoms and an accurate diagnosis.

Today my hearing has returned and the tinnitus which plagued me all those months has ebbed to an often inaudible hum. I still contend daily with the erratic symptoms of Meniere’s – and some days, particularly when the weather changes – are bad.  Over time I have learned to alter my behavior to compensate for some of this.  Living with Meniere’s is basically a learning process.  You do your best to identify triggers for your attacks, and then you avoid them.  Fortunately, the low sodium diet has worked miracles.  As much as I do miss eating regular food, I’d have gladly given up eating altogether to feel normal again.  Being healthy is worth all the salt in the world.

303 Responses to My Story

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  6. Dennis Hirschfelder says:

    I just stumbled onto this website in my quest to find a low sodium cocktail sauce. i was sure Gold’s made one but the company said it does not. I do all the food shopping/cooking in my household. My wife is on a restricted salt as well as a minimal sugar diet. I am always on the look out for relevant foods and recipes. Look forward to perusing what you have posted in the past and to future ones as well.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Dennis, Welcome! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope you find the website useful and enjoy the cocktail sauce!

      • Ria Vlok says:

        Christy,
        Since January 2013 I’ve been searching and floating around on the net for answers to my problem. I have the same symptoms, however don’t have such severe dizziness. Just now and then I feel somewhat unstable Oh my goodness this full sensation in my head is ridiculous! I find it hard to listen to conversations when there is back ground noise.
        According to the MRI I was diagnosed with fluid in my mastoids. Doctors told me it’ll take time but will eventually go away…hmmmmm I wonder? After thousands of $$ I still have no answer.
        Eliminating salt really helps!

        Thank you so much for you blog.
        Ria

        • Rachel Jeffs says:

          Hi Christy! Like so many others, I accidentally stumbled across your site looking for low sodium recipes, as I have recently been diagnosed with Meniers as well. As a busy wife and mother, I was devastated when my doctor gave me his diagnosis! I was out in the yard doing chores one afternoon, and I suddenly got quite dizzy..but it soon passed. Later that eveningafter I had put the children to bed, I was relaxing watching television, and that same dizziness hit me again, and once again, it soon passed…but I didnt feel very well. So I took myself off to bed, and woke up the next morning feeling a little nauseated, but got up to get the children ready for school. As the morning went on, I asked my eldest daughter if she could catch a ride to school with a friend, and asked my younger daughter to ring her grandfather and ask him if he could take her to school…I had become quite dizzy, and was too afraid to get behind the wheel! I took myself back to bed, and this dizziness hit me like a ton of bricks! The walls were spinning, and I felt soooo sick! I also started vomiting until there was nothing left to bring up. It was like a huge night on alcohol but nothing would stop the spinning! As soon as the clinic opened, I got an appointment for later that morning, and my father in law took me up. I was told I had just had an attack of vertigo, was given something to stop the vomiting, and was sent home on Serc. I was so unwell for days, and my in laws had to move in to take care of the children, as my husband had just gone back to work, and is away for 7 weeks at a time. I had also in this time lost the hearing in my left ear…completely!…Anything that comes from that direction is always some sort of distorted vibrations, and the tinitus that comes with it is unrelenting. After a month I went back to the doctor, as I’d had another couple of attacks…not as severe, I think because of the Serc….but my hearing still had not improved…I was sent home with a repeat for Serc and was told it was probably just a build up of fluid, that it would clear up in its own time. So in the meantime I had done some research on vertigo, and read that chiropractors can do a BPPV manoever that clears the vertigo up, so off I went to him. Upon discussing my symptoms with him, he seemed to think it wasnt vertigo…so back to the doctor again for a hearing test and a tuning fork test, which seemed to indicate the hearing loss was neuro, not conductive…therefore pointing to Menieres. So after a cry on my mums shoulder, and staying away from caffeine, trying to find low sodium recipes (which is what lead me to you) staying away from chocolate and alcohol..I havent had another attack yet, but I’m light headed and still deaf. But I’m so very lucky that its not a much worse diagnosis, and that this can be managed….its just wrapping your head around the fact that life is not what you once knew anymore, its a whole new chapter, learning new things, taking things alot more slowly, and appreciating what I have. It was so very frustrating waiting for someone to recognise what the problem was, and the attacks were debilitating to say the least…but I’m trying to begin a new healthier lifestyle, although walking too far is just out of the question at this point, so a gentle stroll to the corner shop is about all I’m game to attempt….but its all hopefully going to help me in the long run :) Thankyou soooooo much for this site! I was reading your story like it was my own, and it is so comforting to know that there are so many people out there with this condition. It would be great if they could find a cure for this, but till then, I’ll be living on you website for great recipes and stories from others like us.

          Kind Regards,

          Rachel :)

          • Christy says:

            Hi Rachel!

            You are so very welcome!! It’s awful what you’re going through, but I can attest that it will get better. Some days will be bad, but there are many blessed normal ones too. Hang in there. You’re in good company! XO

          • Liz says:

            All i can say is WOW!!! This story is so scary. I found your story because im at a loss with figuring out ear fullness and ear pain. Its been 4 months and doctors cant help me. I sympathize with you

        • Christy says:

          You’re so welcome, Ria! Stay positive and stay off the salt! It can only do you well. Wishing you all the best, Christy

      • Veronica Morua says:

        Can you please help me. Diagnosed with MD September 2016, surgery October 2016. My life have forever changed. I feel nauseous, dizzy, fatigued, head aches daily. I’ve developed anxiety and severe depression. Can you please help me
        Veronicayvasquez32@yahoo.com
        9095590783

        • Christy says:

          Hi Veronica,

          I am so very sorry to hear how badly you’re suffering. I can only offer this website in terms of assistance. If you haven’t tried a low-sodium diet yet I would urge you to do so! Cutting salt from my own diet has given me my life back. I do still suffer from periodic episodes of Meniere’s but it’s nothing like it used to be – and often, when the symptoms arise again, it’s directly related to how much processed food (junk food, etc.) I’ve been eating. Not always, but often. Anyway, I urge you to try a low-sodium diet if you haven’t already. It should help alleviates some of your symptoms.

          Wishing you all the very best,
          Christy

    • Donna says:

      Hi Christy. I’m grateful for your eloquently written story. Your story is very very close to my story. I’m very recently diagnosed with Menieres. I’m pretty devastated by the diagnosis as I live thousands of miles away from my family and the thought of not being able to fly makes me so very sad. I also have a 3 year old, so as you know, its not easy. I appreciate your story so much because it was so helpful in getting family members to understand what is happening to me. Thank you!

      • Christy says:

        You’re so welcome, Donna! If for no other reason, hopefully something good has come out of this horrible disease — I truly hope my story helps others in their darkest times. Wishing you all the very best, Christy

  7. JBell says:

    Thank you so much for making this site! I have Menieres too… I’m not much of a cook and have really struggled to find things to eat. Your website is helping me on my journey to become not only a cook–but a low sodium cook.

    Thanks again!

    • Christy says:

      You’re so welcome! It’s wonderful to hear you’re finding the site helpful. My apologies for my slow response – this book is taking over my life at present. Can’t wait to be done! Take care, my new friend. Wishing you much health & happiness. :)

  8. Lisa says:

    Hi. I just happened on your website and finished reading your story. Wow, I really get what you’re talking about as I had a weird dizziness and ‘off feeling’ in my head. After going for all sorts of tests and finding nothing wrong I finally went to a homeopathic doctor. She has been such a blessing to me! Her name is Kate. If you would like her number or email address I am happy to give them to you. I’m just amazed that she was able to ‘cure’ me of my dizziness when no one else could! Just thought I’d share with you… best wishes!
    Lisa

    • Christy says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Many people find relief through homeopathic remedies and I’m so glad it helped you, too. Thanks for your kind offer – I already have a doctor here in Portland to see when I need, but I really appreciate your consideration!

      Wishing you the best, Christy

    • Christine says:

      Lisa, I am interested in having the name and contact info of your homeopath. I sometimes have dizziness and would like to have a remedy for it that is natural. Thank you Christie for sharing your story and I’m so happy that you discovered what the problem is and how to deal with it!

    • Pauline Stevens says:

      Hi, I read with interest your homeopathic success for Menieres. My sister has the disease and it distresses me terribly to see how ill and depressed she has become since being diagnosed with MD 2 years ago. The dizziness, sickness and ‘fullness’ is driving her mad and she keeps getting conflicting advise about how to treat it. Would it be possible to have details of what medication you take and the contact info for your doctor please?

    • Joan Tripp says:

      Lisa
      I’d be very interested in knowing how homeopathic medicine helped. I am a believer and I’m scheduled to see onr soon The appointment however is still 2 months away. I’m following low salt for Menieres and it has helped. I feel strongly that Menieres is allergy related. But allergic to what? I’m very interested in your contact info to the doc. I know this is an old post but I’m hoping we can connect. Thanks so much. Joan

      • Sharon says:

        Christy, your story almost parallels my husband’s. I pushed hard for answers as his was so violent. He lost 40 pounds in about 6 weeks before we got a proper diagnosis of “atypical” Meniere’s. He was sent to every specialist in town, had MRIs and EKGs ..even sinus surgery that nearly killed him! I don’t understand why doctors – even ENTs don’t want to diagnose it. And we live in a huge medical center. We got lucky, when I insisted on starting over with the primary care who happened to be out of town. The doctor we saw in his place knew immediately what it was, and got him diagnosed. He still battles it 7 years later, but thanks to a wonderful Otologist we found, he is managing. It took time and he did end up on permanent disability. He has to rest EVERY day periodically. He is currently going through another pretty severe episode and has lost 21 pounds in about 3 weeks. He has had a shunt surgery that was successful for the last 2 years. This time we are trying steroids injected through the tubes in both ears. Using the Meniette device has helped tremendously with tubes in the ears. After the shunt surgery, he did not need the device until now. We don’t know yet where this episode will end.
        I do hope your story has a happier ending. We have faith that he will come through this without having to take drastic measures.
        Doctors, you need to study up and pay better attention to your patient’s suffering.

        • Byner says:

          My Meniere’s has been with me now for a decade and a half. There are good days, bad days, followed by bad days reloaded. The tinnitus varies in sounds and severity, but is always there. The dizziness never ceases to annoy with surprise appearances.

          I have given up on appointments with specialists. No more steroids in my ear. No Experimenting with chemical inner-ear surgery via gentamicin injections. My good fortune is my understanding and supportive spouse. Way down from 160/162 pounds, I’m now 139/140, having given up many foods my changed biology no longer tolerate.
          Given that I look comparatively “normal”, with few outward telltales of an ailing person, enough people volunteer their own diagnosis of this condition, that it isn’t an illness, more a need to “see someone” and get my head “cleared up of negative auto-suggestions”.

          Withdrawing, therefore, to be by just ourselves, is a great way of managing. I choose not having to deal with having to ever trying to manage myself around people, friends, acquaintances, who do not want to accept that I cannot be as hospitable and entertaining and up for whatever they have in mind.

          When I’m fine, my solitude is superb. On days when the the world turns into a different place I’d rather not encounter, solitude also works best. Given what abnormal days bring, I consider good days as rewards, good fortune well-deserved, and more so than back when nothing ever went wrong. Now I no longer wonder ‘why me?” I just ponder all I like to and plan to do on a good day.

          I wish multiples of good days to all for whom this is the fated path through life. Stay positive.

        • Veronica Morua says:

          What is helping your husband. I was diagnosed in September 2016 and had endolphatic shunt surgery in October 2016. My life has been a living hell since surgery. Any help will be appreciated
          Veronica
          909 5590783

    • veena says:

      Hi Lisa – please let me know homeopathic doc Kate’s email. I have been suffering from Tinnitus and being unstable since almost 2-3 years. I will really appreciate it.
      thank you

    • Susan says:

      Lisa, I just happened upon this website, and was so happy that I now know I am not crazy. People look at me oddly when I try to explain what I am feeling. I tripped while holding things in my arms, landing solely on my chin with all of my weight. I still swear I heard sloshing going back and forth in my head when I fell.
      Unfortunately I did not go to the ER so I do not know if I had a concussion, but the headache felt like I might. Being this happened at work I have been fighting with Workman’s Comp to send me for tests and doctors visits, but because I have had tinnitus for 20 years they claim the Vertigo, Meneires, balance issues, etc. are pre-existing. I am so frustrated. I have never experienced having little control of my body.
      I would appreciate your homeopathic doctor’s number and email. I am reaching out for help, as this is controlling my life. Thank you. Susan

    • Lucia says:

      Hello Lisa, I would be very grateful to know the e-mail and the telephone number of your homeopathic. I also suffer MCS making me able to take only natural medicines. I was diagnose with meniere’s disease two weeks ago, after a horrible vertigo that put me into an emergency room. I suffer dizziness and nausea and extreme fatigue every day. I am devastated. I am an amateur photographer and hiker and I cannot do anything now. Thanks so much for your kind help.
      Lucia

      • Lucia says:

        Hi Christy, I read your story and I was moved by the suffering that you experienced and I was diagnosed of Meniere 2 weeks ago, after a horrible vertigo that lasted 2 days. I was taken to the emergency room by my friends. Since then, I have nausea, dizziness, and total exhaustion, plus the hearing in my ear blurt vision. I am devastated, my life has changed over night. I am living far away from my loving family, I feel frightened since I realized that doctors wouldn’t help me since I have MCS a condition of deliver that allows me to take only natural products. I will appreciate it very much any advice that you will give me, or a homeopathic that I can contact. I am a photographer and before this desease, I was hiking everyday 5 miles. Now, I can hardly finish to walk one block. Thank you for your great kindness to trying to help others with the same illness.
        Sincerely, Lucia

        • Christy says:

          I’m so very sorry to hear how you’re suffering, Lucia. I wish I could offer more assistance. I don’t have a homeopath to recommend, but you could certainly post asking for assistance on The Daily Dish Facebook page. Hopefully another reader has the information you’re looking for. Please stay strong and try to keep your spirits up. Meniere’s can be brutal to live with, but the symptoms aren’t constant. If you haven’t started the low-sodium, salt-free diet, I urge you to do so. It could make all the difference for you. Wishing you all the best, Christy

        • gail crowder says:

          Find a Blair Chiropracter. He has helped me so much. The only symptom I still have is the clogged ear with some ringing,

    • Kara says:

      How and what did you use to help with it?

      • Christy says:

        Kara,

        I’ve never tried a homeopathic remedy for Meniere’s, but another reader just wrote to tell me about a supplement that’s really helped her. It’s called lipoflavanoid. She takes it daily and told me that it’s a vitamin made for Meniere’s and tinnitus. Hope this helps!

        Best wishes to you,
        Christy

    • I HAVE MINIERES AS WELL AND SUFFER ROOM SPINING ISAW A MEDICAL PROGRAMB THE OTHER NIGHT THE DOCTOR REMOVED THE BALANCE MACCANISEM FROM THE MIDDLE EAR I AM TRYING TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS

    • Kristy says:

      Hey!! Can u give me info on this lady u used please?! Thanks!!

  9. Lisa Matocq says:

    Christy – I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through, but encouraged by the partial relief of your symptoms from the low-sodium diet. Do you or did you take anything else that was also helpful? I’ve heard that diuretics are sometimes used to reduce any fluid buildup. I’m struck by the similarities in your story and mine. After nearly a year of constant aural fullness, dizziness, tinnitus, and noise sensitivity – and three ENTs, I am finally at a neurotology clinic where they specialize in balance disorders. I’ve only had my first visit but I feel confident that they will get to the bottom of my problem. Meniere’s was one of three initial hypotheses. If I have Meniere’s it was likely caused by a head injury/vascular event. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Christy says:

      Lisa, There’s nothing more frustrating than being at a stand still. I hope & pray you get an accurate diagnosis ASAP. So glad you found the story useful. Long winded as it is, I put it up w. the hope of helping others who might be similarly suffering. Your symptoms sound remarkably like mine. I’m not a doctor, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt you to cut out salt for a while and see if it helps. Many Meniere’s suffers do take a diuretic with success. I don’t and never have, but that’s a strictly personal choice and each of us must do what works best. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Christy

  10. Tim Boysen says:

    Christy,

    I have had MD for almost 20 years and after reading your story, I remembered the pain, frustration, helplessness, fear and anxiety that I felt when I first started dealing with the disease. Starting in 1992, I had a few years of intense problems in my right ear and for me, in that ear, a low salt diet didn’t help. Eventually, I had gentamicin injections, which stopped the dizziness attacks and lessened the tinnitus. Hearing loss has continued since then and now I’m almost deaf in my right ear. This February, I started getting symptoms in my left ear, which has been very scary. So I started with the low salt diet again and, like you in your right ear, it really seems to be helping.

    This evening as I was telling my wife I couldn’t ear her banana bread because the sodium would be too high, I decided to see if there were any low salt versions on-line and then I stumbled across your incredible site. You have a masterpiece of a site here. Thanks for putting this together. And, as I am a vegetarian (tough combination to pull off), it looks like you have a lot of recipes for that too. I feel like I hit the jackpot tonight. I can assure you I will be buying your book. Good luck and thanks again,

    Tim

    PS: I am also an amateur photographer and I really admire your food pics. Nice work.

    PPS: After I started having symptoms in my left ear, I went back to my ear doc, who is an expert in MD at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. He told me that his latest thinking is that rather than controlling your diet to a certain maximum level of salt per day, you should try to meter out your salt intake evenly as possible throughout the day. He said you could have 2500 mg per day or perhaps more as long as you have it spread out. His feeling is that an MD ear is unable to control its own fluid levels the way a normal ear does so we need to do the controlling for it. We need to have a steady and even level of fluids and electrolytes during the day because our sick ear won’t do it on its own. He also mentioned that it’s good to limit your diet to no more than one caffeinated beverage per day and one alcoholic drink max per day as both affect bodily fluid levels. I for one an both trying to meter my salt intake and keep it low FWIW. -TRB

    • Christy says:

      Tim, thanks so much for your comment. I’m so very sorry to hear about your second ear. I’ve heard about Meniere’s progressing, and whenever my left (good) ear acts up I get frightened that I’m going to lose it too. Hopefully the low sodium diet will help you now.

      Thank you for the compliments about the site and my photos. The Daily Dish has been a labor of love for so long, it’s so nice to hear from people who appreciate all of the work!

      Wishing you all the best, Christy

  11. Michele says:

    I was recently diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease also. For the longest time I didn’t know what was wrong with me. As I reached my 30s it got worse. I went to the doctor constantly as a child and as an adult. they would always tell me my ear was fine. I went to one ear specialist and they thought I was crazy and nothing came of it. So I finally went to Heathcare Midwest in Kalamazoo MI. They listened to what I had to say and didn’t think I was crazy. I did the MRI and went to the neurologist to have it read. She was concerned at first that I had an accident in my childhood but I didn’t. Then she finally told me I have Meniere’s Disease in my left ear b/c all the syptoms matched up. I cut the salt out in my diet for a while. Sometimes it helps and other times it doesn’t. I have periods when I’m fine and not fine while watching my salt. The hard part is finding recipes I like b/c I’ve always been a picky eater. Plus I still live at home and my parents aren’t very supportive of my ear problem. At first my mom was but it quickly went away. My dad is a diabetic who doesn’t take care of himself and doesn’t care about doctors and such. Sometimes I wish we could just trade places for a day or two. Or knew someone in my area who has it. It’s also hard living in a country who puts salt in everything imaginable even beverages. I don’t drink pop/soda anymore. I noticed when I did want a pop/soda the best to have were non name brands average was about 15 mg per can instead of 30 or more. I know the fda was supposed to put a limit on salt in foods but who knows how long that will take. I can’t wait to try some of your recipes and wish you the best of luck.

    • Christy says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Michele – I’m so glad you finally got a proper diagnosis. I know it’s hard, especially without a network of support, but I urge you to stay on the diet. My symptoms fluctuate too, regardless of diet – it’s just part of the beauty that is Meniere’s Disease. But I firmly believe that by maintaining the strict salt-free diet you can help ward off progression of the disease. I’ve also cut out soda completely, as well as caffeine, and it seems to help. I hope you find some recipes you enjoy and please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or just need to talk. Wishing you all the best. Christy

  12. Rachel says:

    Hi Christy. Thanks for your wonderful website. Your story is almost identical to mine. I was finally diagnosed with MD after one year of symptoms and about 10 different doctors. I am now finding that the low salt diet is also helping me a lot. Im finding there is not a lot of info about MD where I live (Australia) which has been very frustrating so thank God for the internet and I’m glad I stumbled upon your website. Cheers. Rachel

    • Christy says:

      Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a note. It’s so strange how similar stories can be, yet how long it often takes to reach a proper diagnosis. So glad you’ve gotten yours! Also glad you found the site – I hope it proves helpful on your journey back to health! Wishing you all the very best, Christy

  13. rose says:

    I am so relieved to hear other peoples stories as this disease can be so isolating at times. Your words are very positive and uplifting. I am 31 years old and have been recently diagnosed after four years. Vertigo is my most problematic symptom – my last acute attack was five months ago and I am now back on my feet but have had consistent dizziness since in varying degrees – I have had no relief! It is great to know I’m not alone. Fantastic blog! I look forward to reading your posts.

    • Christy says:

      Thanks so much, Rose! All of these comments help me so much too. I try my very best to maintain positivity, to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation instead of being scared. When an episode hits and I’m angry, frightened and frustrated, I remind myself over and over it will pass. I fight against giving into the sickness. It’s the only way I know to maintain perspective and keep living life fully. SO glad you found the site — I truly hope you find some recipes you enjoy!! Very best wishes, Christy

  14. Thomas says:

    Hi Christy, thanks for sharing your story. For the past month I have had similar symptoms, including a fullness in my right ear, rattling or distortion when I hear louder sounds or even when I talk loudly or yell, some pain, and the inability to equalize the pressure in my middle ear. I have been to two audiologists and did all the tests, both said I am fine. I went to my family doctor who said everything looks normal but prescribed me Nasonex which I have been using (even after reading all the horrible reviews of the drug). The symptoms have become worse, so I went to a walk in clinic today and the doctor said she can see a dullness in my right ear, which would mean there is fluid behind the tympanic membrane. I don’t know why my family doctor did not see this only two days before. She suggested Sudafed which I am tentative to take in conjunction with the Nasonex, and I have also read that Sudafed rarely makes any improvement. My diet is quite good, I am a vegetarian, I don’t drink coffee or have a high intake of sodium and I don’t smoke. Music is my life, I play drums, mix and record as my profession, and I have never been more concerned or distraught about a health condition. Although people learn how to improve their symptoms it doesn’t seem as if anyone has found a cure for this. I’m hoping to see an ENT soon and I wish everyone here the best of luck.

    • Christy says:

      Thomas, you’re so welcome. Your symptoms sound remarkably similar to mine. If you begin feeling dizzy or experience any sensations of vertigo, be sure to alert your ENT of those as well. I think it took me far longer to reach an accurate diagnosis because my dizziness wasn’t as pronounced early on; Meniere’s is often associated far more with vertigo than deafness, though both are an unfortunate part of the disease. Anyway, really hope you find the help you need and start to feel better soon! Best, Christy

      • Thomas says:

        Thanks for your kind words Christy. I am very excited to say, after researching constantly for nearly a week finding many (some dangerous and ludicrous) theories and home remedies for illnesses related to clogged ears, I found something that has so far been very beneficial for me. I don’t know if it will be any help to you or anyone who visits this great site, but I’d like to share in hopes that it might be. By applying vibration to the mastoid bone which is right behind the ear, I found that it has opened and helped drain my eustachian tubes. It’s only been 30 minutes since I began feeling the relief, and I hope it lasts, but either way it’s incredibly relieving. The pressure has diminished and my hearing has improved! There is a product designed specifically for this, but I won’t advertise it here without your consent. Anything that vibrates should do the trick. I really hope this is helpful to someone!

        • Christy says:

          Thomas, it’s great that you found this! I’d forgotten completely about it, but yes, my ENT instructed me to do the same early on. I found a hand-held vibrator at a store like Brookstone and used to place it behind my ear for ~5 minutes once or twice a day. I found it helped as well, though I haven’t done it in years. A great reminder for me and many others. Thanks so much!

        • Sandy says:

          I’d love to know of the product made specifically to massage the back ear if someone can email it to me.

          • Christy says:

            HI Sandy!

            Sorry to get this so late. I don’t know of a product marketed specifically for Meniere’s Disease (though there very well may be), but right after being diagnosed I bought a small handheld massager from a gadgets store, similar to Brookstone. I will not speculate what the massager was originally intended for (!!) but it did seem to work fine for my ear. I would place the head directly behind my ear, basically next to or just above my earlobe, and leave it pulsing for as much as 5 minutes at a time. It did seem to help a bit.

  15. Thomas says:

    Also, your recipes rock!

  16. Danielle says:

    Hello!!

    I am thrilled to have found your website!! For months I have been suffering from severe dizziness, nauseousness and pressure in my right ear. I went to my GP, who ran tests and said I was perfectly healthy. I did not put the ear issues together with the nauseousness until only recently. I went to my gyno and a GI doctor thinking the nauseousness was from my stomach. Again, I was perfectly healthy. Finally, I decided to get my ears looked at in a last ditch effort to get some relief. I have been so miserable, depressed and withdrawn during this time. The ENT originally thought it was BPPV, but last week he believes it to be MD and placed me on a water pill. I have an MRI scheduled for this Wednesday to rule out anything else. The water pill does seem to reduce the pressure in my ear, the first day I took it I could actually hear and feel the water draining!! It was so scary, but at the same time I was hopeful that I would find relief. It has definitely handled the pressure and reduced the dizziness somewhat, but not to make me feel “normal” again. It was great to read about so many other people who are suffering with this, it is nice to know I am not alone. I love your recipes!! Even before this whole issue I ate very little salt and it is great to find delicious recipes that are have low sodium and to be from someone who is suffering from the same illness as me. Thank you so much for creating this website!!

    You have given me hope and it is so nice to know I am not the only one suffering from these spells.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Danielle! WELCOME! I’m so happy you found my site and thank you for taking the time to comment. SO glad the diuretic is helping. Hopefully cutting salt out altogether will help too. HANG IN THERE! We know what you’re going through and you’re definitely not alone. Wishing you the very best of luck with the MRI. Be strong! Christy

  17. Darlene S says:

    I came here looking for support and advice. I’m a 43 year old wife and mother. Over 3 weeks ago I went to bed fine, woke up the next morning deaf in my right ear with occasional ringing and unable to stand or sit due to my world spinning out of control around me. and after having tests, found out I’ve lost 43% of my balance. The dr doesn’t feel it’s classic meniere’s because I have no breaks in the spinning or deafness like classic meniere’s. He said classic attacks are from 20 minutes to 24 hours. Mine has been constant for over 3 weeks. I went to shea clinic in memphis and had ear perfusion with dex done this past mon, tue and wed. As he said this was one and only hope of getting my balance back and he’s not sure if I’ll get any of my hearing back. He said it could take up to 3 months to know if this works. The spinning slows at times, but not much improvement. Still deaf in right ear. I’m so incredibly exhausted. Have to have help standing and walking. I’m on a low-sodum/salt diet, lasix, steroids, antivert, phenergan. My eyes stay dialted, I don’t feel like me at all. Is this what my life will always be like? What can I expect? I’d really appreciate any advice. I feel isolated. People around me just say things like ‘everybody has vertigo’ ‘it’s not that bad’. I’m at a loss here. Thanks for your time and help. Darlene

    • Christy says:

      Darlene, I am SO sorry to read this.

      Not everybody has vertigo – that’s just not true – and people cannot imagine how truly awful it is until they experience it firsthand. I can’t say what the future holds, but I cannot imagine your present state is permanent. Please, please don’t lose hope. When I’m having an episode I do NOT feel like myself. I’ve had many yrs to adjust however, and you having this thrust upon you overnight must be an unbelievable nightmare.

      There is a Vestibular Disorders Association in Boston dedicated to research and support. They deal with all sort of balance disorders, not just Meniere’s, and may be able to offer you additional advice.

      http://vestibular.org/
      https://www.facebook.com/vestibulardisorders?ref=pb

      I know it’s hard, but please stay strong. One day at a time is my mantra. Things will get better.

      Wishing you all the very best, Christy

  18. Ragnhild says:

    I feel I’ve struck gold this morning, thank you for your wonderful website and all those wonderful looking recipes fit for us MD sufferers. I was only given the definite diagnosis earlier this week along with a sheet listing dos and don’ts. I have not suffered as much as you did, but it has been an unpleasant, terrifying journey and I seem to have lost most of my hearing in my left ear. My worst episodes have been total loss of balance with not just nausea, but actually vomiting for Queen and country, these ‘episodes’ last for several hours and I’ve been a bit wobbly for a day or two after. Partial deafness, feeling of pressure in the ear and tinnitus are with me to varying degrees most of the time between ‘episodes’. I seem to find a link between stress, or rather end of a stressful period, and one of these severe ‘episodes’, so apart from no added salt am now trying to cut stress out of my life.
    (I’m 75 years young, was born in Sweden, married an Englishman and have lived in England since 1959, sometime in the 1940ies my dad had MD – he was lucky it cleared although he was always deaf in one ear)

    Thank you for your cheerful, encouraging site which is now a favorite and a pinned tab.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Ragnhild,

      WELCOME! So glad you found the site and I really hope it proves helpful to you. I find that stress exacerbates my symptoms as well, so I try to maintain a zen-like calm at all times (haahahah)

      Your story sounds fascinating. I’m so lucky to meet so many wonderful people through this site. Proof that even awful things have some silver lining. Think positive, right!

      Take care and stay in touch, my new friend! All the best, Christy

  19. Debra Basquez says:

    Thanks for your website. I just stumbled across it today as I was searching for no-salt baking for my cousin who has Meniere’s Disease. I have some baking recipes that I’ve developed but was looking for more than the 2 or 3 that I had. He’s living with us for a couple of weeks until he gets settled from his move from Florida. I will then have more opportunities to cook for him than I did previously. I found your Bakery muffin recipe and found the Hain Featherlight sodium-free baking powder. Was so excited about it being listed in our local Safeway store. I am heading there after work to pick some up. Main Dish meals aren’t an issue, just the baking. I’m going to book mark your page and continue to look through your recipes. Thanks for a great page. I’m excited about the many possibilities. Thank you again. :)

  20. Jerry says:

    My doctor thinks I have Meniere’s Disease based upon the symptoms I am describing to her. I was prescribed valium and several other medications to help. So far nothing helps except meclizine, which I was told to stop taking. I don’t know that I am strong enough emotionally to go with this, I feel like crying at this very moment. I must go on for my children and wife, if it weren’t for them I would end it right now. This is awful, I just want to feel good. For those of you that complain for no reason at all, for example I got a black iPhone and really wanted a white one, you need to sit down and rethink your life.

    • Christy says:

      Jerry, I am so sorry to read what you’re going through, and hope that by now things are looking up. It’s hard to explain to others how difficult it can be to live with Meniere’s. When it’s bad, it’s BAD. And often it takes a very long time to improve. Please have hope. Others may seem callous, but each of us has our own cross to bear. Be patient with yourself and your health. Wishing you all the best.

    • phil says:

      I would like to second your comments,completley ovet taken my life.

  21. Jamie says:

    Darlene, I know what you are going through and am so sorry. I too was sick like you, constantly, for a month. The problem was that I had dr’s telling me different things were wrong, ear infection, allergies etc. Before finally I saw an ENT who diagnosed me with menieres and gave me pretnizone. The pretnizone however took another two weeks to fully start clearing my ears and for me to start feeling better. There is hope even though it deosnt feel like it. Stay strong!

  22. Meredith K says:

    I was diagnosed with meniers last year. The first ent gave me a steroid pack and sent me on the way. The dizziness started about six months ago when I had one (1) cocktail and the next thing I knew, I was feeling drunk but completely sober. My husband had to help me walk home. Ater having to go to the emergency room twice because of the dizziness and nauseasness, I finally went to a new ENT who diagnosed Meniers. I have stopped driking any alchohol, (tough one) I adhere to a strict low sodium diet and take three vitamins (2000mg of C, a multi and an E-400) I have not had a single episode in over a month!! I’m feeling great and truly believe that if people followed this regiman they would have the same relief. Its the SODIUM and ASPARTAME!!! STAY AWAY…

    • Dave Pritchard says:

      Thanks for the tip on the Aspartame. I’ve been drinking diet pops and even though they might have low salt content I didn’t even think about the possibility of the sweetener bothering my ears. I had decided a few months ago to stop using Splenda out of fear that maybe it was having some strange reaction on the Meniere’s but I overlooked the sweetener in the pop. Thanks.

      • Christy says:

        I couldn’t agree more. I don’t use chemical sweeteners and try to keep my kids away from them too. Too often you find out (well after the fact) that these things do serious damage to your body. If its made in a lab, how can it possibly be called food??

        Soylent green is people. PEOPLE!!

        LOL

  23. Lannie Baylor says:

    Hi Christy. I am a sixty-one year old married man who has been challenged with Meniere’s Syndrome for over five years. I’m one of those ‘full blown’ cases that knowledgable ENTs love getting, since there is no confusion with benign positional vertigo or other disorders and no grief over a diagnosis. Like you, I experienced frustration finding a health care provider with experience in this field, but I did.
    I have had some awful and dramatic moments over the past five years (such as the time I had to leave WalMart in an ambulance after EMTs collected me off the floor) or being in potentially dangerous situations where lying down was impossible but like you, I’ve survived them.
    I can not agree with you more about the need for a balanced non-sodium diet. I say ‘non-sodium’ as opposed to ‘low-sodium’ because it’s virtually impossible to eat and not consume sodium, so I aim for the lowest numbers possible. If a package label says ‘low sodium’, I very often put a food item back on the shelf, muttering ‘Why do you have to add salt at all?’ But aside from that perhaps bizarre extreme, I’ve found moderation, common sense, fresh air and patience to be the best defense. Attacks are going to come- learning to handle them with grace is what will see you through.
    I’ve also found it invaluable to have a mate who understands the disorder, knows from watching me spontaneously wretching over the side of the bed how very real it is, and is willing to haul my sorry butt up a flight of stairs, arm over her shoulder like a sack of wobbly potatoes, dump me on the sofa and then pull off my shoes when an attack occurs. That alone is worth more than all the meclizine, Lasix and diazepam combined- even if I have to endure the inevitable talking-to about avoidable situations. What she doesn’t seem to remember, and I feel no need to remind her, is that I don’t hear out of the side she’s lecturing at anyway. :D

    • Christy says:

      Hahh! Lannie, you remind me that a good sense of humor is often the best antidote to Meniere’s Disease. Keeping perspective, optimism, and YES maintaining a healthy diet are all equally important, as is acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of loved ones on our behalf. I’m so glad you’re coping well. We’ve all been there and can understand exactly where you’re coming from. Thanks so much for taking the time to write! Wishing you all the best.

  24. Dave Pritchard ( West Virginia) says:

    Your website was recommended to me by Debbie at Gourmet Seasonings. I was inquiring about their seasonings that didn’t contain salt. I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease in June of 2011 after suffering a dizzy spell at work. I left to. Home and was walk down he sidewalk to my car as if I were drunk. Once on the interstate on my 33 mile drive home I noticed that I couldn’t turn my head swiftly I see traffic without the horizon shifting before my eyes. I had to look straight ahead and put 100% of my focus on getting home safely. Once I was 10 minutes from the house I started getting the cold sweats as if it were a reaction from low blood sugar. I pulled over and ate half of a glucose tablet I keep in my car just in case something like this happens. I almst finished my drive home but before I could get to he red light where I turn to gt to my house which is 1/4 mile from the light, I had to turn into a gas station parking lot, open the door and throw up a few times. I close. Door and made it the res of the way to my house. Once agin walking like a drunk up he sidewalk and up the front steps to he front door. Once inside I called for my wife and walked over to he kitchen ink and continued to throw up every couple seconds. Nothing was coming out except a little orangle liquid front the glucose tablet i had taken. My wife immediately called 911. The ambulance loaded me into the ambulance and while on our way I found tht I couldn’t focus on anything at all. My eyes couldnt stay put on anything. They kept moving. Once in the hospital I think I freaked the doctors out when by saw my eyes shifting back and forth from side to side uncontrolably. They gave me three medications to stop the growing up. Thank God one finally worked. I’m not sure what else thy gave me but my wife told me at a later time that I had an MRI. That I don’t recall at all, even now. They eventually put me on prednisone and Valium and kept me overnite in the hospital. The next day I went home, missed a week of work and had a follow up apt with my Otolaryngologist who proceeded to tell me I had Meniere’s Disease and here was no cure for it. All you can do is manage the symptoms. He put me on Maxide to help with the water retentation and also help in keeping the potassium levels up and also gav mea prescription for 20 Valium pills. The Valium was not to be taken when symptoms were severe. Needless to say the 20 pills are still not all used up even after a year.
    I LOVE to cook and the no cooking and this has been a huge transition. One I am still learning to deal with. But if I ignore this I suffer so I am diligent in striving to do my best.
    Thank you for sharing your story Christy. You went through a lot more then me.
    Please excuse spelling errors. I’m using my iPad and auto correct doesn’t always work correctly.
    Thank you also for the website. God bless you and guide you.
    Dave Pritchard

    • Christy says:

      Dave, thanks so much for taking the time to share your story.

      Reading your trial of getting home brought so much back for me. The last bout of vertigo I had was mid-May while I was finishing up the cookbook. I walked to the fridge to get out something, opened the door, and BAM!! out of nowhere, the entire fridge started tilting on its side. It wasn’t the fridge, of course, it was me, but the terror that vertigo induces cannot be described. I immediately sat down, panic stricken. I don’t take medication any longer, it just seems to whack me out. I’ve found the best way to cope is to sit as absolutely still as possible, NOT move my head, and try as I might to focus on a single point. I shut my eyes if need be. I remind myself over and over, “This will pass. This will pass.” and without fail I beg God to help me.

      So far, so good.

      I must tell you, I’ve not had a single attack of vertigo since I went vegan 4 months ago. In addition, I’ve contended less & less with dizziness and the other ear symptoms. I used to be plagued incessantly with my ear popping or feeling full, with fading hearing and increased tinnitus, it was so frequent I simply ignored it much of the time. Now it seems very different. The symptoms when they arise seem more like anomalies, not constant companions. I can only say that I TRULY believe in the power of this diet. Not just low sodium, but completely plant based, devoid of any animal products. After just 4 months, I know it can heal.

      • Dave Pritchard says:

        Christy I’m not sure I could go vegan especially since I’m not a huge vegetable fan and also because of not using salt on vegetables. That makes eating vegetables even less appealing. I know that sounds like a cop out but I’ve tried and its just hard to eat something that doesn’t taste good.
        I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it or not but I’m also hypoglycemic so I have to watch my sugar intake as well. I only mention that because some vegetables tend to be a bit tart and adding a bit of sugar as they cook will eliminate that tartness. I can’t do that too much though. I am learning to deal with it. Tonight I made a pot of chilli with no salt added at all. The beans I bought were low sodium and I used my own spices instead of buying a chilling mix. It came out great. I never thought I’d get used to eating without salt. I know that might not sound like a big deal but when your used to cooking freely without restrictions it a big deal. Soups are going to be a challenge this winter.

        • Christy says:

          Dave, I understand really – it’s not a cop-out. Veganism is not something to be taken lightly and will required a dedicated commitment – and yes, lots & lots & lots of veggies! LOL

          Rather than take an all or nothing approach, for you I’d suggest simply trying to eat more veggies each week. I will be posting more creative veggie recipes as the days go on; if you see one that looks good, go for it!

          Balancing sugar can be hard, but as long as you’re cooking for yourself you can control exactly what’s going into your food (and ultimately YOU!) You should feel great knowing you’re doing yourself such a world of good. The chili was just the start! :D

          • Christy says:

            PS: I’ve gotten great feedback on my Kick the Can book – all soups, all low sodium – no pressure! Hhahahah

          • Dave Pritchard says:

            Thanks for the encouragement, your right I do need to eat more vegetables. I’m hitting he sweets more now than ever and I know it’s bad for me especially since I’m pre-diabetic.
            I am getting used to the taste of food without salt though so thats a step in he right direction. Also, my bosses wife gave me a container of grated style soy cheese and I was amazed at how it tasted and smelled like real Parmesan cheese.
            I will look for your book and check it out and I don’t think your pressuring me. They’re good suggestions. Thanks for that.

  25. dave says:

    sounds familiar to me except I never went through all the doctor trouble you did. I lost a huge chunk of my hearing in my right ear when I was about 35. I woke up with the full feeling in my right ear and couldn’t walk, the room was spinning, my eyes twitched repeatedly (nystigmous..spelling?) vomiting, sweating….I had my wife take me to the ER. I was given meclizine through an IV and it calmed down after several hours. When I have severe episodes it goes away overnight and takes about a week or two to feel 100%.

    I am in the midst of recovery of an episode that I had 5 days ago. I was fine just watching tv in my chair and looking down at my ipad. I got the familiar dizzy thing going on..I walked over to my phone on the kitchen counter and it hit me. I dropped to the floor and just laid there. I didn’t want to move. The sweat pooled underneath my arms on the linoleum floor. As I laid still my entire head was sweating and it dripped continually down my face and neck. My back was sweaty and my shirt was sticking to my body. I attempted to crawl and fell over into the wall immediately. I just wanted to get upstairs to bed.

    I finally got a hold of my wife via texting and told her to get home immediately. I could not take care of my two year old if he woke up. I made a crawling, “run for it” to the upstairs bathroom and vomited about ten times. I just laid on the floor next to the toilet for about an hour. I managed to get my pants off and just laid on the cool floor as I continued to sweat and lie still. I managed to get into bed where I could just lie down for a few hours until the worst had passed.

    I have been very fortunate that these only hit me hard 1-2 times a year. People that have never had this happen to have no idea how incapacitating it is. The closest I can describe it is that when you drink a lot of alcohol and you start getting the spins and then you throw up..that is what it feels like except throwing up doesn’t make the spins go away and it takes a long time to feel normal again.

    I take meclizine but don’t know if it helps. I don’t pay particular attention to my diet either.

    • Christy says:

      Dave, thanks so much for sharing. Your symptoms are so familiar, it gives me the chills reading them. Please know we’ve all been there.

      Meclizine helps some, and if so, great. For me, meclizine is almost as bad as the attack. Whenever I’ve taken it in the past, I’ve simply passed out and woken up feeling groggier than ever. I’ve never been able to discern whether it’s been helpful because the after effects are so awful. I can appreciate when you say you can’t tell if it does anything for you, too.

      I urge you to start watching your diet. If there’s one thing you can do on a daily basis for yourself – without fear of negative repercussions – it’s that. Try giving up salt, do your best to limit your sodium, and just plain eat better. I cannot stress enough, since giving up meat, dairy and eggs, I have felt better than I have in YEARS. I know that my body is finally able to start the true healing process, without being inundated 3 x a day with crap. I’m not trying to preach, I just want people to know you have the power to help yourself. Truly.

      Wishing you the best!

  26. Sparklygirl89 says:

    Hi, i jst turned 32 & when i wz 23 i had my son. Soon after i began having terrifying “episodes” where i wld be fine one secound n the next i cld nt walk correctly bcz like u the entire romm wld begin to tilt sideways or it wld spin like i had been drunk bt hadnt drank anything except tea or water. When i explained it to my husband i tld him i felt like i was strapped to a merry-go-round n cldnt make it stop, tht i had to wait for it to stop. I wz horrified whn i began bumping my shoulder on doorframes when walkin in a doorway sometimes bcz i hd poor balance. It made me so dizzy i wz afraid. Ive heard the noises in my ear, yet hv obvious hearing loss. I thought it wz my bloodpressure dropping. So i chalked it up to alot of stress. Now last yr i wz diagnosed wth Hodgkins Lymphoma. So i of course had radiation n chemo for a year but th entire time i wz having issues wth horrible “episodes”! My oncologist kept sayin i had fluid in my rt ear. Take benadryl she sd. Did nothing to help. I hv bn in an ongoing argument wth her over these symptoms tht she wants to call vertigo. Honestly, i am so glad i came across your page bcz i too wz beginning to wonder if i wsnt losing it. How can i convince my dr tht she needs to know this is real? Shld i tell her to google it like i did? Any advice wld help

    • Christy says:

      WOW. How awful for you! I think it’s hard for anyone, physicians included, to appreciate what the episodes are like, unless they experience one firsthand. Please feel free to share with your doctor. I truly hope you’re getting the help you need – and if not, seeking a second opinion. Best of luck to you!

  27. Raymond says:

    Hi my name is Raymond last year I came out of the gym and it felt like the floor fell out from below my feet.then every day since then I been feeling light headed dizzy not vertigo just very dizzy.i got constant noise like swish like sea shell noise in my right ear and hearing loss but ear doctor say its conductive hearing loss not the same as menieres that’s sensory hearing loss.i took brain MRI mra sinus car scans lymes test all test come back normal.i also took a ecog test it shows I heave pressure in both ear even the good ear.i also keep getting bad head pressure mostly in sinus.Ear doctor says maybe menieres he ain’t to sure yet.Can anyone help its driving me crazy ruining my life..

    • Christy says:

      Raymond, I am so very sorry to read this. I can truly appreciate how terrible the symptoms are, and whatever is going on “officially,” it certainly sounds very similar to Meniere’s. Please know that a change in diet helps some people tremendously. I would recommend giving up salt and going on a strict low-sodium diet – at least for the time being. It cannot hurt you and it might help greatly. Best of luck!

  28. Dave Pritchard says:

    Christy,
    Do you or does anyone else that posts on your website have any experience with flying. My son is moving to Washington state next year due to his job. My wife and I will definitely want to visit him but I fear the pressure from the altitude will make the Menieres kick in. I was planning on consulting my physician but hearing fom other sufferers of this disease will probably be more helpful.

    Also, I have to say that eliminating all artificial sweeteners has made a huge impact on my ear pressure and fullness. The dizziness I felt the majority of the time is so minimal that I almost feel normal again. I still watch my salt intake but the elimination of the artificial sweetener has made a much bigger impact on my condition.

    I would appreciate any and all feedback on the flying issue.
    Thank you

    • Christy says:

      Hi Dave,

      My sincere apology for this late response.

      I know there are readers who do fly, often routinely, and without issue. Please, if anyone has experience with this, feel free to comment below.

      I must tell you, I have not flown since being diagnosed with Meniere’s, and because of the way my symptoms correspond directly to weather, specifically air/barometric pressure, I’ve made the decision never to fly again. Put simply: my ear plagues me on the ground when there are certain weather patterns, I cannot imagine how bad it would be in the air. Chicken? Perhaps. But until someone experiences the living hell that can be Meniere’s, they can’t really appreciate the lengths to which one may go to avoid an episode.

      I truly wish you all the very best, Dave. Keep us posted!

      • Christy says:

        PS: I do know they sell special ear plugs — not sure what they’re called, sorry!! — intended for people like us, those with ear pressure issues. Try googling and see what you can find. Hope this helps!

        • Dave Pritchard says:

          No problem with the late reply. Thanks for the information.
          There are a lot of hills where I live and when my wife and I travel on vacations we have to drive through mountains that cause a lot of pressure in my ears, constant cracking and popping. I mention tht because several people have told me that airplane cabins are pressurized but what does that mean to a Meniere’s sufferer.
          Also since i last posted here i had another ttack. It wa a week ago I was woken up at 11:00pm after sleeping for an hour with my entire body sweating, I was literally wet, dizzy and had an upset stomach. I got up, walked like a drunk to the bathroom and puked for 45 minutes before finally going to the ER for medication to stop the attack. I truly couldn’t think of why I had the attack. I watch my diet closely and it still it happened.
          I hope all is well with you and your family. Have a great Thanksgiving.

          • Christy says:

            UGH, Dave. Can’t say how sorry I was to read this. We’ve all been there, please know that even at your lowest, you’ve got company (lol) and try your best to laugh.. (way easier said than done). The most frustrating thing about MD – apart from the physical toll, is the NOT KNOWING WHEN IT WILL STRIKE NEXT. It’s like one big plate of randomness thrust in your lap. 8 years in, I simply try to do as much as I can on the good days and when the bad days come, roll with it, literally. It’s horrible, I know, boy do I know, but you/we can’t live life any other way. You can’t stress about it, it just makes symptoms worse. When you have an attack, do your best and then afterward, do exactly what you’re doing, try to identify triggers. Sometimes you can, other times, you just can’t. As for me, weather is the worst. I truly am a human barometer – and there’s simply nothing I can do about it. I hang on, I fight hard, and yes, sometimes I just sit and cry. I don’t like to feel sorry for myself, but we all do sometimes. It’s okay. You can let it out whenever you need to. But remember Winston Churchill’s famous quote (which hangs on my fridge for daily reminding) NEVER NEVER NEVER GIVE UP.

            Wishing you all the best! Hope you & your family had a great Thanksgiving too.

            Christy

            PS: Thanks for sharing the tip about the vegan parmesan cheese (above!) – if you haven’t yet tried it, I highly recommend nutritional yeast flakes as well. SO GOOD, so healthy and super duper low in sodium!! Add them to your favorite salt-free seasoning blend for a real “salty” taste w. zero salt!

  29. Tina McIntosh says:

    Thank you so much for your wealth of recipes. I too have menieres and have had the run around until finally diagnosed. My biggest problem is the tinnitus and deafness. some days I just carnt hear anything clearly and I guess I can usually relate it back to too much salt. Thanks again for your post

  30. Tamara Wharton says:

    Hello, Christy;

    I APPRECIATE YOU… for sharing your very personal story of tragedy and triumph.

    I am a returning film student at a local college in SLC, UT and a co-student has suffered tremendously from this encroaching disease. Yet, the good news is our Advanced Documentary Class has chosen to create an informative film to educate the public about Meniere’s, as well as to shed light on the many individual and community contributions needed to support research to minimize and, ultimately, eliminate this life-altering disease.
    WE PLAN TO INTERVIEW several people about their 1st-hand experiences… and I INVITE YOU TO PLEASE BE INTERVIEWED FOR OUR PRODUCTION ASAP!

    Although our goal may be lofty, we hope to serve as catalysts for change in the treatment and support for those now suffering. Please consider our request, and thank you, again, for coming forth with your brave story.

    Sincerely,
    Tamara

    • Christy says:

      WOW Tamara! I’m honored to be considered! Sorry for getting this so very late; please let me know how, and if, I can still be of assistance to you. Feel free to email me directly: christy @ thedailydish.us

      Wishing you all the best, Christy

  31. Kimberly says:

    I want to thank you for your post. I have suffered since I was 23 and I am now 41. I have been to some of the best ENT doctors in the country and no one has been able to explain my dizziness and ear problems fully.

    Maybe I can use your post to finally get someone to listen to me. I am so dizzy some days I don’t drive for days on end. I have some other health issues so I think because I am blonde, bubbly and prefer to look at the glass 1/2 full always, that they don’t think I am in severe pain.

    I have been told I have partial permanent hearing loss and I did have a severe very rare ear infection at 23 but really I am 41! Shouldn’t the dizziness and the sounds in my ears stop. I have so much sympathy for your story as I have heard all the same things. Amazing that some people are allowed to be doctors.

    So thankful you found the help you needed. God bless and thanks again for posting!

    • Christy says:

      Kimberly, I am so very sorry for your suffering and can truly appreciate how difficult is it to get a proper diagnosis. STAY STRONG!

      People have a tough time appreciating an “invisible” disease like this, but know that those coping alongside you do understand.

      I urge you to try the low sodium diet and see if it helps. Also try eliminating chemical sweeteners and caffeine from the equation (if you use them); it can only be good for your body. I truly believe it’s the overly-salted, processed, chemical foods that are killing us all.

  32. Sara says:

    I just stumbled onto your website in search of low sodium recipes. Your story could be my story. I can relate to everything you said. From the lack of undertanding by doctors, to the anxious wait for the MRI results, to the not wanting to be alone with your daughter, even thinking there was a truck idling outside my house! I had a procedure in May to kill the hair cells of my inner ear. That has stopped the spinning. Thank God! But, I notice, like you, my other symptoms are directly related to the sodium level in my diet. Thank you for this website. I can’t wait to dig into the recipes.

    • Christy says:

      Welcome, Sara! What a crazy ride it’s been, huh?!! (a little Meniere’s humor there… grooooan)
      SO glad you found the site; here’s hoping the diet helps you too! Wishing you all the best!

  33. Loretta says:

    I wasso surprised when I came across your story. I have been having episodes for the last three years, but no one can find anything wrong with me. I went to the chiropractor, for the squishing sound in the back of the head, he said it was just my neck being out, but it didn’t go away after seeing him. It has even gotton worse. I’ve have seen my regular doctor multiple times, and they just send me to ENT, which have checked for ear problems, maybe I need to mention the dizzy spells, the whole feeling kinda how do I word it, out of body feeling. Like you mentioned in your story, you felt like your legs were so much bigger, I had a couple episodes like that, felt as the whole world was in slow motion. I also experienced the sweats,dizzyness or vetigo, bouts of vomiting. That episode lasted a couple hours, I too thought it was from low sugar, so I consumed some oj, but only got better after laying down in a total dark room, pure silence. I was wondering if anyone had advice on getting a doctor to listen and piece all my symptoms together? thnks for shareing your story.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Loretta, So glad you found the site! and you’re so welcome. A big reason I wrote and shared this story was hoping it could help others reach a proper diagnosis.

      Your symptoms sound a great deal like Meniere’s. The whole sweaty/sick/vertigo/out of body thing isn’t unique to the disease certainly, but it’s definitely part of it. I would encourage you to continue seeking out a proper diagnosis, and definitely avoid any treatments that could cause further discomfort. I know some swear by chiropractic manipulation, but if it’s not working for you, GIVE IT UP!

      Hope you are feeling much, much better soon. :)

  34. Loretta says:

    Sorry I forgot to also ask in my last post if anyone also experience ear pain with their symptoms? Besides pressure?

    • Christy says:

      I don’t typically have any pain, but I do occasionally get a stabbing pain in one or both ears. Doesn’t seem related to the onset of symptoms, though – just comes (YOUCH!) and then goes as quickly. Anyone else?

      • Nannette says:

        I’ve suffered Ménière’s disease since ’95. Actually I’m on day 3 of an attack. ( Severe dizziness & vomiting) I used to have those stabbing knife pains in my affected ear. Terrible! Btw I had an inner ear perfusion 0ct. 2010 but it didn’t help. :( I do eat way too much salt! I’m about to change that with Gods help.

  35. Thomas O'Brien says:

    Hi,it blew me away when you said the doctor stated that she saw a dullness in the air as well as the fluid.I was just in to the ER last week because of my on-going problems with pressure in my head,ear popping,sensitive to the littlest noises,severe headaches,not totally there feeling,dizziness.The nurse said the same thing,fluid in my left ear and a dullness,they also did a cat scan of my head and didn’t see any thing bad.I have some days when I get spotty vision and I’ve noticed my eyesight has gotten bad as well.The ringing in my ears is constant.I have a little 1 year old girl as a first time dad and I get worried when I’m watching her and I have these symptoms going on.The nurse recommended an ear specialist but as of yet I have not set up an appointment.I hope your feeling better and appreciate being able to read up on what are a lot of the same symptoms I am experiencing,very scary,especially with a little one to look after.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for your comment; very scary stuff indeed. I’ve been there and understand exactly how you’re feeling – trying to cope with full blown symptoms while caring for my own infant daughter was NO FUN AT ALL. Do your best and if you cannot cope or are having a particularly bad day, do what I did/do and simply STAY HOME. Nothing worse than trying too much when it may harm you or those you love most.

      I urge you to find a reputable ENT/Otolaryngologist in your area who can help diagnose what is going on with you. Not only will you be able to put a name and hopefully a solution to your problem, but hopefully halt further progression of any disease. I would also suggest you try a low sodium diet. It cannot hurt you and could help significantly. Either way a win-win.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Christy

      • Thomas O'Brien says:

        Christy,thanks so much,your a true warrior and I’m so glad your feeling better.I was so worried before I read this blog and was wondering if I would make it to walk my daughter down the isle some day,when all these symptoms started I was freaking out and my little one was just a newborn so I didn’t want to worry my wife about it,all I kept thinking was brain tumor but now I think I can get a handle on this with a low sodium diet. Thanks again,Thomas

        • Christy says:

          Thomas, you are so welcome!! You will be okay – I know on the bad days it’s truly hard to remember what feeling normal is like, but it will get better. Hope the low sodium diet is helping, and please do keep up the search for an “official” diagnosis. For the sake of you & your family, it’s important to know exactly what is going on. As much as I believe in diet as the be-all end-all, it’s vital to rule out every possibility. Wishing you all the very best! Christy

  36. Jo says:

    Hi, Christy,
    What a gem of a website you have here! My father has congestive heart failure, and has finally decided/realized (after the third hospitalization for CHF since May) that medication won’t help him as much as changing his diet will. When I brought him home from the hospital last Friday I went to buy some food for him, and it was a real eye opener for me to read food labels in the grocery store – salt is even added to frozen vegetables! I had no idea about this, but I decided immediately to work to reduce sodium in my own diet, too.
    Because I’m hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner, I was looking around on the internet for low-salt recipes and found your site. Your story and the life you have led since your MD diagnosis are inspirational, and I look forward to trying your recipes. Thanks so much!

    • Christy says:

      Aww thanks so much, Jo! You are so very welcome! The transition to a low-sodium diet is HARD and I know how stressful it can be, especially when you’re the “sick” one. You’re doing your family (and yourself) such a great service. Please know that many people understand and are here to help. Please feel free to email or comment any time with questions or if you just need an ear. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! Wishing you much health & happiness, Christy

  37. Kay says:

    What a marvelous website! I started experiencing MD symptoms in my right ear 3 months ago, shortly after having a cold, traveling by plane a few weeks later, and spending a few days in the mountains, at a higher elevation than I’m accustomed to. Whether there is any correlation between those events and the sudden onset of tinnitus and hearing loss is anyone’s guess. My ENT initially prescribed prednisone, which did a wonderful job of reducing the symptoms to barely detectable, and I flew again -in a plane…let me make that clear ;-) without exacerbation of the symptoms, but a month later, the tinnitus, “full ear” and partial hearing loss were back. Brain and ear MRIs were normal (which is reassuring, since there was a possibility of breast cancer mets),; another round of prednisone did practically nothing. The MD diagnosis is dependent on a process of elimination, and I’m convinced, as are the doctors, that it’s accurate in my case and I am dutifully reducing sodium and popping a diuretic each day. Some days, or hours, I’m symptom-free; at other times I am convinced I am picking up coded analog transmissions from the mothership. I am, nonetheless, very fortunate that the disease waited to develop until I was in my 60s, and that vertigo has not been a problem. Two weeks ago, my right ear began to improve, but the symptoms moved to the left side. Really? Was one side not enough? Every day is an adventure – which side will it be, what tune will my ears be playing that day, which side will I have to hold the phone on, and what does the mothership want me to do? Next week, the ENT will inject a prednisone solution into both ears, in hopes of halting or slowing the progression of the disease. Sounds like a fun way to spend a morning, no?

    Again, thank you for your website, and thanks to everyone who contributes their experiences here. The mothership told me say hello to all of you.

    • Christy says:

      Hah! Kay, had to lauuuuugh when you mentioned the mothership. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve thought the same thing or heard it anecdotally from other Meniere’s sufferers. Well pretty much anyone who deals with tinnitus probably has thought it at once time or another (or daily….) Sigh. Yes, MD keeps you on your toes, literally. I really hope you are feeling better and that the injections have helped. Please stay in touch. Wishing you all the best in this new year! Christy

  38. Dave Pritchard says:

    Thanks for your encouraging words. Its definitely hard getting people around me to realize that this isn’t allergy or just triggered by table salt. They just dont get it and it does help knowing that I’m not alone in feeling like this. My wife is a huge help. She’s always spotting things in foods that trigger episodes. If it werent for her id be a mess. We’re dscovering strange triggers like potassium pills id take for muscles pulling or Centrum Silver vitamins. Also potassiumchloride (salt substitute) in salt free products. I am getting to the point of rolling with it and trying not to stress. I used to eat and then wait for the dizziness to hit. Lol The more we discover, the better I’m feeling. This is definitely life changing. One thing I don’t understand is how you deal with your episodes without taking medicine. Mine just gets so severe I have to take something. The salt free seasons blends you’ve mentioned, are you talking about Mrs. Dash? What do you use as substitutes for salt?
    Thank you as always for responding. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Have a great holiday.
    Dave

    • Christy says:

      Hi Dave, Thanks so much for the Christmas wishes – hope you had a very lovely holiday too!

      I don’t know that I deal that gracefully, I just HATE MEDICATION. Antihistamines don’t do anything other than knock me out, anti-anxiety meds, the same, there’s really nothing that I’ve ever been prescribed that helps with the symptoms. They just mask the reality of what I’m dealing with, they don’t HELP otherwise, if you know what I mean. The only things that help me cope, truly, are a healthy diet and daily meditation. I pray for health. I plead for health. And I do the best I can to maintain the health I have through diet and exercise. I try to encourage others to do the same because the effects of healthy living have been so profound for me. When I’m having an episode, I try my best to keep calm, and keep perspective. It’s not forever. Even if the disease is w/me till I die, I am not sick every minute of every day. It’s not like losing a limb. Though I admit, you do lose a part of your freedom having to cope with a chronic disease that can be incapacitating at times. It’s all about perspective, acceptance, and coping mechanisms.

      PS: Triggers are so odd and varied, aren’t they?? I just posted about V8 Low Sodium Vegetable Juice – be sure not to try it if you have problems with potassium chloride, okay!

      Happy New Year!

  39. Dave Pritchard says:

    I forgot to tell you that I did buy some of the vegan Parmesan cheese you spoke of and you were right, it’s great. I also have some vegan pepper jack sliced and its great as well
    Thanks again, Dave

  40. chad says:

    Hi there. I havent been diagnosed with MD but have visited many doctors to no avail. I also had all my amalgam fillings removed after becoming convinced my problems were all due to mercury toxicity. This has not corrected the issues. Ive been reading through your posts. I wantex to ask if there is a specific weather that triggers your symptoms? Mine seem to be worse on cloudy days.

    Thanks for the great website! Have a Merry Christmas!!!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Chad! And thanks for the Christmas wishes!

      I’ve also heard about mercury poisoning as a possible cause of Meniere’s – I have a mouthful of fillings that has often led me to wonder about it too. I’ve not done anything to remove them. At this point I don’t even go to the dentist, b/c it triggers an episode!

      Weather can affect me terribly. It seems to be the barometric pressure changes, not the foul or fair weather itself. So when the pressure goes from low to high or high to low – especially quickly – it can bring on the dizziness, deafness, and tinnitus. The thing that’s so frustrating is how it can’t be predicted!! I can’t control the weather obviously, and there’s no rhyme or reason to the episodes either. Sometimes a storm will be coming, or come, and I am fine. Other times, the weather seems almost a non-issue, yet BAM! I’m down for the count. My mother and husband have long suggested we get a barometer so I can track patterns and come to a more scientific conclusion. But I don’t have the time and patience. I feel like I’m a walking barometer – I can sense weather patterns days before they arrive. Perhaps I missed my calling as a forecaster? LOL

      Happy New Year! Hope you are feeling better & soon.

  41. chad says:

    I just realized you were from Portland. I live in Lincoln, 30 minutes north of Bangor. Do you have any recommendations on any doctors in the Bangor area that are experienced and sensitive to MD?

  42. Patti TUMbleson says:

    Hello I read some of the responses you have recieved, and happy to respond with my story,,,,!!!!!first
    Iam here because my lovely grandaughter is so special and is trying very hard to help her grandmother take care of her grandfather who!!!!!!!!!on Halloween experienced conjestive heart failure .fluid in the lungs.while in the hospital… They discovered lung cancer….. Along with heart problems and cancer he is a diabetic… Sooooooo while they are helping us with diet 1500 mg of salt daily.they sent us to classes for salt and then thier were about 8 other patients with the same problems diabetic and heart . Every time the nurse told us what he could eat (salt). Wise he could not have because of diabetics so we would stop her along with the other people and she would respond with this is a salt class sooooooo upsetting.and almost no help soooooo here we are on our own trying to come up with what to eat that wont kill him… Our life style has always probly been unhealthy that is why we are at this point. We are retired 66 68 and its so hard to change doc told my husband . If it taste good you can’t have it !!!!! Not funny !!!! But true …. Iam not good any more with new challenges .new TECK stuff… Like right now iam up to my neck with this ipad. Going to the grocery store trying to read labels is so upsetting and time consuming couldn’t, I just have it mailed to my house lol ohhhh wait can’t afford that lol any ways I had to tell you this is so weird I was having some dizzy ness. They did all kinds of tests (money) you know how that goes. And meds(money) and so on …… Finally told me to wear ear plugs I worked everyday and showered and washed my hair and used a hair dryer and was drying my ear wax and caused my equipralibium to go off balance. —– dizziness …. Go figure that one buttttt iam doing that and am straight lmao no more dizziness …… enough of that iam so happy my grandaughter is of this high TECK generation and loves her grandfather and grandmother she found your site for me. Thank you jesus you are alive and at work with my family and sorry for your ear problems . Butttt thank god for you love grandma patti

    • Christy says:

      Hi Grandma Patti! Welcome! and THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am so glad you’re getting the help you need, please know you are among friends and if I can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to ask. Wishing you your healthiest, happiest new year yet! Christy

  43. Maria castillo says:

    Hello,
    I just stumbled across your blog and was so intrigued to continue reading that now I am late to work. No worries. I’ll get back to you, but just wanted to state that I am left in tears reading your experiences and relating to what I go through every day and try to not let it control my life but the ” Beast” lives within. It is very saddening at times, especially whe no one can relate to what you’re going through.
    Luckily I was blessed with being diagnosed quickly with the disease once I contacted a Dr.
    P. S. OH DID I FOEGET TO MENTION MY HUSBAND ALSO SUFFERS FROM MD years prior and I witnessed how symptoms
    Unfortunately, I also began to notice the similar symptoms, but chose to ignore it, thinking no way both of us could have it and just passed it on as getting older.
    I know we have tried several treatments, but no one has truly helped lessen. We are both looking into traveling out of state, but not hopeful due to the constant research do no cures. The only thing that has me intrigued is that we both have it. We are young 50 year olds and have been married for 30 years.
    ENVIRONMENTAL ? Hmmmmmm
    Get back to you later
    Sorry for sp check. Soooo late to work

    • Christy says:

      Maria, what an amazing (and CRAZY) coincidence! To have married a man and both have/get Meniere’s??! THAT is definitely investigation-worthy.

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I continue daily to be humbled and grateful for the people who come into my life via this website. The mutual support is one of the greatest gifts I can give or receive. I wish you all the very best – and hope all is very well w/ you and your husband. Also, hope you did NOT get in trouble at work for being late!! LOL Take care!

  44. Sandi says:

    Hi, I had a vertigo problem about 12 years ago that simply went away or rather had minor symptoms not realizing it was Md. About 2 weeks ago when I had just gotten my period , I noticed feeling like I was drunk , off balance, and ringing in ear. I was told I had a sinus infection to then md. I was given dyazide, mezclizine, nasonex, Allegra. I became so dehydrated aft 4 days needing to go into the hospital because I was so afraid to have anything salty as well as taking too much of the diuretic at the same time. I’m home now and am starting a new diuretic microzide. It’s making me feel weird just when dizziness was getting better I feel I’m going backwards. Does anyone know how long before I will be feeling like myself. I have to go back to work next week and am nervous to have another attack . I have been on a low salt diet for past week, was feeling better but the water pill is making me feel edgy once again. I would appreciate any input , thankyou sandi

    • Sandi says:

      Hi this is sandi again, I have a chiropractor friend that said he could help me. My neck as he says is out of sorts so he is going to adjust me for a few weeks and gave me great vitamins to try. I’m very happy that I may be on to something that may help. On low sodium diet now for a few weeks do feel better but still off balance causing it hard to work full time. I will respond in a few weeks to let you know how I am. Thanks, sandi

    • VC1 says:

      I used a diuretic for about 5 days. They told me to drink a lot of water. I didn’t. A blood test revealed kidney problems. I was also feeling nauseous. I went off the diuretic.

  45. Ian says:

    Hi:

    Thanks for the informative site. Some questions, though, about your experience and your solutions…

    I had a vertigo attack a couple of weeks ago, with some hearing loss in one ear and a bit of ringing in the other ear. The MRI came back normal, so that’s good. I have the VNG test coming up. Hopefully, it’s not Meniere’s, but I’m trying to be smart in the meantime, cutting back on alcohol, salt, chocolate, caffeine, etc., which I should probably do anyway for my health. My questions to you: you mentioed in your intro piece about yourself that you’ve stopped flying and going to the dentist. Why did you stop flying? As far as I understand it, flying doesn’t necessarily change anything so far as risk factors. Plus, I’m generally a stress-free flyer, and don’t get motion sickness when flying. One bit of advice I was given was to tell the flight attendant of the possible condition, and to keep the motion sickness bag nearby just in case. But I was more surprised by your reference to the dentist. Why do you avoid the dentist? Thanks.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Ian,

      Sorry to hear you’re having similar symptoms. Wise move you cutting back on salt and limiting things like alcohol and caffeine, at least for the time being. I hope you find that it helps.

      With regard to flying, some Meniere’s patients can fly without issue. Some cannot. After developing Meniere’s I made a conscious decision not to fly. It’s a very personal choice and stems from several things. 1) I used to suffer terrible bouts of ear pain while in flight and after. 2) I am very sensitive to changes in barometric pressure while planted firmly on the ground, and am not willing to subject myself to what could happen in air or after. 3) I do not HAVE to fly. I don’t suffer from motion sickness other than when I’m having an episode, so it’s not the motion sickness that concerns me – it’s the flight itself and its possible ramifications. Which brings me to dental work. I stopped visiting the dentist because the last visit I had years ago triggered a Meniere’s episode that lasted 2 weeks. Whether it was the vibration, chair positioning, or both, it was so severely unpleasant, I’ve stopped going. I take meticulous care of my teeth and haven’t had an issue since. Again, a very personal choice, and not necessarily one I would advise or recommend to others.

      Meniere’s affects people differently. My advice? Listen to your own body and respond accordingly. Do your best to limit stress, identify and avoid triggers, and adopt a healthy diet and exercise routine. All good things, whether you’re contending w/ Meniere’s or not.

      Wishing you the best!
      Christy

  46. sandi says:

    Hi Christy, I am 2 weeks into chiropractor and feeling better. First few visits I didn’t notice anything but he explained my neck was so out of place the fluid in my inner ear had no way to drain was blocked. He is helping me . I still have off balance feeling but said could take weeks to feel normal. Anyone out there with menieres get your ne k checked . It’s worth a shot. With vitamins, low sodium diet you will be on the rd to recovery

    • Christy says:

      Wonderful news, Sandi!! Thanks so much for keeping us posted on your progress. There IS light and hope at the end of the tunnel!

    • pat says:

      Sandi, I know you posted this a couple of years ago but I was hoping you could tell me if the chiropractor helped. I’ve been suffering with MD on and off for 18 months and have been in a bad cycle for 3 months. I just had my first chiropractic adjustment of the C1 (atlas bone), as this is out of alignment and the theory is that it is what’s causing nerve inflammation that I have (including the cranial nerves). I’m seeing someone who specializes in upper cervical care and he has told me that 60-70% of his patients who come in with vertigo problems have been helped. I hope I end up being one of those 60-70%. How are you today?

  47. Dawn says:

    Hi. I have no diagnosis yet, but very similar symptoms. I have been dealing with vertigo attacks about every other day, some more often, some less. Started once in awhile and progressed to this over the last three years. I, too, have almost constant crackling and pressure in my right ear. I have been to seven different doctors and none have helped me. I tried the low sodium diet, but it had no noticeable affect. I am being treated with hctz and diazepam currently. Hctz over a yr and I was on the diaz couple months, but I stopped the diaz on my own. Nothing is helping. All the testing I have done comes back normal. I am frustrated. I look for triggers, and some I have figured out. It happens so frequently that I am having trouble singleing the triggers out. Several of the drs I have seen believe I have MD and I am being treated for MD, obvioulsy. This is a very difficult syndrom for myself and my family. Do you have any advice for me?

    • Dawn says:

      Ps…I rarley drink caffeine, very limited alcohol, stay fit, try to eat balanced meals, and I have tried numerous supplements, per advice from my current dr. I am 42 yrs old. I am considering seeing an allergist. I seem to have other strange allergies, so….shot in the dark??

      • Christy says:

        Hi Dawn.

        Allergies could definitely be contributing, as flare ups would directly impact your sinus/ear cavities. I hope you’ve gotten some answers at this point and wish you best of luck.

        Christy

  48. Kim De says:

    Hello Christy

    Thank you for your website. I was dx with MD three weeks ago (pending the MRI which is next week). I went through a year of vertigo attacks, being told it was seasonal allergies, sinus troubles, allergies to my dogs and dust then finally I was sent to an ENT. I gave up caffeine cold turkey and have finally gotten used to that but the sodium thing – that has been hard. I go through bouts of feeling very optimistic to feeling very down at looking at a lifetime without some of my favorite foods to feeling guilty that I feel upset about something so minor when other people have cancer etc. …
    Anyway it feels comforting to “meet” others with MD and hear how they cope!

    • VC1 says:

      I am on my second week of low sodium diet. I feel optimistic.

      Things bite me from unexpected places though. Somebody brought donuts to work yesterday. “At least I don’t have to worry about salt” I said to myself and ate two. I thought of checking for sodium content afterwords and found that they were bad.

      I went to Old Spaghetti Factory today. I looked up sodium content before going. I always eat spaghetti with marinara sauce. It has about 580 mg of sodium. I got the sauce on the side and used only about 1/10 of it. Next time I probably won’t bother getting the sauce.

      Hang in there. Good luck to you.

      • Christy says:

        Hi Kim and VC – wishing you both the very best. It is frustrating living with a chronic disease, but it’s really a blessing. We have lives to look forward to, after all. When days are bad remind yourself of that. It’s HARD. I know it all too well, but hang in there. It does get better. And you will adapt. :)

  49. Laura Renauld says:

    Your recipes are delicious and helping making the transition to low-salt due to MD more bearable. Thank you for your upbeat and thorough site.

    Question: I put up a lot of pickles in the fall before my diagnosis and I know they are full of salt, but do you have any idea how much is ingested vs. how much is in the brine? I really hate to give up pickles entirely! The same goes for marinades. The typical per serving salt calculation doesn’t work here. Thanks for your advice.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Laura! You’re so welcome! So glad you’re finding the site useful.

      As for the pickles, I’d suggest placing them in a fine mesh sieve and rinsing them very, very thoroughly. This should remove at least some of the salt. I’d sample very carefully at first too. Maybe try a pickle or half a pickle one day, then wait. See if it affects you negatively. If so, ditch the pickles. Give them away! People always love homemade gifts. And if not, then ENJOY! :)

      Good luck!

  50. Heather says:

    Hi,
    I am just wondering if MD is what I have, The ENT did a hearing test and a vibration test and said that is it. No MRI or anything like that. I have had problems with my right ear for years. I had a sinus infection and fluid in my ears and it took a couple of tries to get it out. Now I have MD. I DO NOT have vertigo (not yet anyway and hope not to) It doesn’t come in “attacks” for me. I woke up on Feb. 14th with roaring in my ear. Every now and then it is quieter but it is always there, sometimes it is worse than others. I am on low sodium, taking in more water, took the steroids the doc gave me, cut out caffeine, no alcohol, taking a multivitamin…NOTHING IS WORKING!!! Could this be wrong diagnosis? I called my ENT and he pretty much said this is all he can do. I am so frustrated right now. I just dont know what else to do. I ordered some “ring stop” all natural pills but haven’t gotten then in yet. Have you ever heard of that?

    • Christy says:

      Hi Heather!

      How frustrating for you. I’m so sorry to hear it. I’ve never tried any natural supplements and haven’t heard of Ring Stop. I know some people swear by these things though. Unfortunately it’s sort of a “guinea pig” situation w/ Meniere’s. You kind of have to find what works for you and go with it. I would wholeheartedly say though stick w/ the low sodium diet. It cannot possibly hurt you and may help a great deal in the longer run.

      Good luck!

  51. VC1 says:

    I have made a few posts here. Here is an update. I have been on a low salt diet for about 4 weeks now. I haven’t had an episode since I started the diet. I am really grateful for this.

    My ENT doctor told me that 80% of folks can prevent Menier’s episodes on low salt diet alone and that, for the remaining 20%, an outpatient surgery has 70% effectiveness. I am thrilled to hear this.

    On the flip side, eating has been a hardship. I am cooking challenged, eat only (Asian) Indian food, and travel a lot. I have been told that one’s taste buds adjust. I am also finding stores and carryout places.

    Thanks for this site.

    • Christy says:

      Hey VC! GREAT news – so happy to hear you’re doing well!! I know what a royal pain the diet is. Cannot imagine having to travel and deal w/ low sodium all the time. Now that I’m vegan, it’s a near-impossibility. I do my best to cook most every meal at home, but YES. It gets old. Keep up the great work!

  52. Jason says:

    Reading through this was like reading a play by play of the past year of my life! Thank you for sharing; it is comforting knowing others are going through the same thing. Best regards and stay healthy!

  53. Karen Whitmore says:

    Wow! I am soooo glad I found your site. I suffered for 3 yrs with irretractable vertigo almost constantly before I got a diagnosis. I would keep room spinning vertigo…the kind where you can’t even pick your head up off the pillow for days and sometimes weeks at the time without a break. Before i could recover from one attack id have another. My husband would have to take me to the potty and do the unthinkable of cleaning me and he’d have to hold my head over a bowl in the bed so I could vomit because I could not use my arms or pick my head up. Family members would have to come babysit me and our three young children so he could go to work. This went on and literally kicked my butt for four years straight. I dont remember much of my life during this time other than the spinning bedroom and constant puking. One time my vision was completely inverted for two days straight. When I’d open my eyes everything was perfectly upside down. Wierd right? Ive lost most of my hearing in my right ear and the tinnitus has not stopped for one second since the first day I got hit with this mess. Like everyone else, I went to several doctors who ran all the tests, one even hospitalized me for three days to run every test under the sun just to say I was perfectly healthy and needed Cymbalta for depression! It took me traveling four hours to a specialist in Atlanta to get a diagnosis. I applied for SSI disability shortly thereafter and recieved it automatically. Ménière’s disease is on the list of automatically qualifying illnesses so long as you have positive results for all of the tests they require and your episodes are frequent and incapacitating. Now then, I went into remission in March of 2007 and had six years without vertigo until this past Sunday morning I awoke to the room spinning and have had trouble and episodes each day since. What caused it? Who knows. Like you, I hate meds and refuse to take them for the most part. I don’t take water pills or meclizine or anything on a daily basis. I tried restricted salt during the first four year run to no avail. Nothing helped. For six years though I’ve ate and drank anything I wanted and I’ve basically been symptom free other than the occasional room rock or running into door frames etc. I’ve had much milder symptoms since Sunday…still enough to make me vomit, but not the violent spinning. Hoping it stays this way. I have found over the past few days that a small dose of Valium (diazepam) seems to lessen or even stop the spinning sensation although it makes me sleepy. I’d rather sleep than spin. I don’t want to experience these symptoms. And I took zofran instead of phenergan for vomiting and it is wonderful. It doesn’t make you sleepy. It works almost instantly and you’re not left feeling hung over for days like with phenergan. I have been hoping I was done with Menieres…that my ear had burnt itself out. Guess not. How depressing. And to boot, my other ear keeps making noises now too so I’m scared I’ll get it in that ear as well. Oh yes, I’d like to add I was in a bad car wreck at the age of 17, was thrown through the windshield and hit the back of my head so hard upon landing that my hair didn’t grow back for two years in that spot and its still tender to this day at age 39. I also have severe tmjd on the same side as my Menieres ear from the accident. Needless to say, in my case head trauma could definitely be the cause although it took 13 years to show up.
    Anyway, I’ve made up my mind to change my diet whether it helps or not. It can’t hurt and the overall benefits will be worth it. I’ve become a sloppy eater, partially for comfort from the devastation of this disease. My husband needs to lose a lot of weight and he’s ready to change too so we are going to do this together. I know how to eat healthy but not without salt and I’m not much into cooking. I have no idea where to start so I’m hoping I’ve come to the right place. I’m just thrilled to find others who understand what I deal with. It is very frightening and it has robbed a huge part of my life as I was a ballet dancer and instructor who ended up closing my school because of this disease. I managed to beat the odds from my wreck and return to dancing just to have my dreams shattered by Meniere a decade later. I went from perfect balance with the ability to pirouette like a spinning top across the stage to tripping over my own feet, running into things, and never wanting to spin again. I’m trying to find the silver lining in all of this or what I can learn from this that could help others. It’s not happening for me. I can’t. And I’m a pretty positive person over all.

  54. Karen Whitmore says:

    Forgot to say this…. Saw folks talking about using a vibrator behind the ear. I used asmall one inside my ear for years with some relief. But there is something much better. I have been fortunate that my insurance company helped pay for a machine developed specifically for Ménière’s disease. It’s called the Miniett Pulse Generator made by Medtronic. It looks pretty simple but it comes with a high price tag- $3,000. It is pretty tiny. Comes in a black zip case with strap and will fit in your shoulder bag or brief case. The closest resemblance I can describe it with is a fish tank air pump. It’s literally a pump with a long piece of clear tubing with an ear plug on the end. You place the plug in your ear, turn the machine on, it measures the pressure in your ear and then it goes through three rounds of multiple air blasts into the ear, sucking the air out after each blast. The entire process lasts 5 minutes and you do it 3 times a day…more if you’re attacking. The purpose is to knock the fluid out of your inner ear. It took several times of sending the request through my insurance to get them to approve it but they did. By the time I finally got it, my violent attacks had stopped so I can’t attest to the effects of this device in that situation but maybe the use of this machine is what has kept them away? I quit using it about a year ago altogether bc I didn’t need it. However, as stated in my previous post, I started having attacks again 6 days ago. I didn’t even think about my Miniett until day three- I know- stupid. But I used it that night before bed and each day since and I’ve had no vertigo at all. Here is a link
    http://www.medtronic.com/for-healthcare-professionals/products-therapies/ear-nose-throat/menieres-disease-product/meniett-device-for-menieres-disease/index.htm

    • Karen Whitmore says:

      Ps- you have to have a tube placed in your ear so that the air can blast into your middle ear and hit the inner ear.

      • Christy says:

        Hi Karen! Thanks for your story. I agree – knowing you’re not alone is such a comfort. I’m so glad people are able to share here freely and find hope.

        I have heard of the pulse generator, but have no personal knowledge of it. SO glad to hear it’s helped you. Keep using it! :)

  55. Liz says:

    I just stumbled upon your page as I am doing some research on Meniere’s. I just was diagnosed this morning, and while my initial symptoms don’t seem as severe as yours started out to be, I am terrified! One thing in your story that caught my attention was that you started having symptoms weeks after giving birth to your daughter….Has anyone ever linked the birth of your child to the onset of symptoms? I just had a baby January of this year and my “attacks” began approximately 3 weeks after the birth of my daughter. Just wondering! Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Liz!

      Yes, I have heard similar stories, which leads me to believe it’s not just me & you. Perhaps hormone changes could contribute? I don’t know. As I wrote above, we’d been suffering through cold after cold because of my older daughter beginning preschool. I have no idea how much that affected me as well, though I suspect it must have had a pretty big effect.

      Regardless, hope you are feeling well and enjoying your daughter! Take care, Christy

  56. Maggie Kinal says:

    Good morning. I was sitting here feel VERY sorry for myself when I happened on your website. I’ve recently been diagnosed with Ménière’s Disease. I have to get myself in the right mental place to deal with the fact that I am probably going to have this pressure and noise in my head for the rest of my life!!! I keep telling myself that it could be worse – I could be losing my sight or other terrible afflictions. I’ve been going to a chiropractor and for many days it seemed to really improve and them whammo, back to square one. I’m currently on histamines and diuretics. The symptoms really cleared up after just one day of taking these two things, and then the pressure is back again. At this time I do not have vertigo, but thinking back to last year I remember having a few bouts of what I would call “dizzy days.” Now after reading all of the input from various Ménière’s sufferers, I think my “dizzy days” were just a warning of what was to come. I want to be brave and to be able to think past the noise and pressure but I just feel like a big baby right now. All I want to do is cry, cry, cry.

    I’m going to check out your recipes and stop the salt. I will start looking for triggers. So glad to read all of the posts because the ENT really doesn’t say much.

    Thank you,

    • Christy says:

      Hi Maggie!

      HANG IN THERE. Please do your best to identify triggers – and then avoid them like the plague! Even more so though, I would advise you to stay off of salt. Ditch the processed food as much as you possibly can and cook your meals at home, from scratch. Truly, the more you can lower your daily sodium intake, the better off you will feel. Also try to drink as much water as possible. It will flush out your system, as well as help regulate your inner ear fluid. It’s hard, and frustrating, but soooo much better than feeling like crap.

      GOOD LUCK TO YOU! Stay strong.

  57. Jenny says:

    Hi,
    I stumbled on this site. I’m over 30 and literally a week and a half ago was in the middle

  58. Jenny says:

    Ugh.. Anyways teaching a fitness class.
    At some point during my ears just kind of got foggy. The next day my right ear was plugged and white noise and ringing fairly loud sounding. I actually asked my husband to listen to see if he could hear.
    After seeing reg. Dr. they said possibly from herpes virus. I have dealt with numerous lip and nose sores. I had a lot that week on my lip. My gen Dr put me on prednisone and valtrex. That’s weekend I was so confused, dizzy, nauseous and the prednisone made me go fairly emotional?? The Dr had me stop them. Monday my dad drove in to drive me around and help with my 6 year old…mornings are worst. I was able to see an ENT Dr. He ordered hearing test. Results were shocking. I had severe nerve damage and profound hearing loss to my right ear. He then ordered MRI next day I got that. I was fortunate that I live by good Dr.’s. so I got results and MRI clear. He then suggested steroid shot in right ear. I got that Thursday and
    I went from being elated that I didn’t have a brain tumor to the realization that I am def in right ear with small chance of recovering. I have gone on Bioflavonoids a supplement which increases ear circulation lots of Lysine good multi vit.
    Now I’m going to try the low salt diet. I am or thought I was fairly healthy. Workout teach classes 4-6 times a week.
    Eat lots of fresh and home made meals-
    Water no soda. I do love my coffee though. I am trying not to lose it but I am worried about my other ear and also how friends mean well but just don’t understand that losing 1side of hearing is a big deal. In super tired and driving is not really good right now. My life is on hold. I’m trying to read and figure this out. Your site is helpful. It is helpful to read about others and the weird feelings and symptoms…. I loved the comment “Some days, or hours, I’m symptom-free; at other times I am convinced I am picking up coded analog transmissions from the mothership”. I totally relate!!
    I feel like fighting I’m just not sure how!
    I can’t wait to explore the recipes and also have more hope that my hearing may return. Thanks for sharing your story and for giving others a place to go for encouragement at such a scary time in life!!’
    Thanks so much
    Jenny

    • Christy says:

      Hi Jenny!

      Sorry for the very delayed response. I hope you’re feeling better these days. I have heard people suggest herpes as a possibility before, at least in the literature. It seems there are so many “possible” causes to Meniere’s – it’s hard to truly know what to think.

      What I would suggest is twofold. 1) if you can, limit caffeine. It may be hard, but from personal experience I know it made my symptoms WAY WORSE. 2) Kick the salt habit. It sounds like you’re already cooking a lot at home – wonderful! Try to keep your sodium intake under ~1000-1500 mg per day. I know it will help.

      Take care!

  59. Susan says:

    Hi Christy,

    I’m not actually even certain how I stumbled upon your website, but I’m certainly glad I did … not only for the WONDERFUL recipes, but for the fact that it’s always helpful to meet others managing with Meniere’s Disease My diagnosis is actually Endolymphatic Hydrops, since I only suffer from 3 of the 4 symptoms (I’ve never suffered any hearing loss to date).

    I blogged a bit about it in the past here – http://www.catapultfitness.blogspot.com/search?q=Endolymphatic

    I’m very much looking forward to whipping up your recipes!

    Feel well :)

    Susan

    • Christy says:

      Hi Susan!

      Thanks and welcome to the Daily Dish! Hope you’ve found some recipes to enjoy. I will definitely check out your blog. Hope you are feeling healthy and well.

      Best wishes, Christy

  60. Nick Drozda says:

    Christy,
    Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! I first read your story in January during a particularly dark period. I had been doing the doctor recommended less than 2000mg Na/day, which I thought was incredibly restrictive, for about six weeks without any relief from the recurring vertigo and nearly profound hearing loss. I have a congenital hearing loss in my non-Meniere’s ear so communication was very difficult and frustrating. With the combination of depression over my condition, anxiety that I may not improve, and the diuretic waking me up at night to pee, the only time was getting any restful sleep was following vertigo attacks. Isn’t that a cruel joke! Your story (which brought me to tears several times) and recipes helped me relsove to drop the sodium to less than 1500mg and after about 3 weeks I was virtually vertigo free and my hearing improved to almost pre-Meniere’s levels. And I am still going strong after three months. I don’t know if I am out of the woods or if I ever will be, but I feel I have a weapon that can help me fight and give me some some semblance of control.

    Low sodium is still hard, but I love the recipes on the website. It may sound weird, but while I use recipes from other sources I trust you more because we share an affliction. I love your writing style, the positive attitude of the posts and the photos are wonderful. The one in the breaded pork chop recipe of you daughter and dog begging for a the last bite was simply inspired. I’ll have to try that one this week.

    Again many thanks and best wishes to you and yours! I’m sure you have helped more people than you know.
    Nick

    • Christy says:

      Awww.. Nick. Thank you. I cannot say how much your comment means to me. Knowing I was – and still am – able to help you turn your life around, wow. That’s the greatest.

      Keep up the wonderful low-sodium work!! Hope you’re feeling fantastic. :D

  61. Lacey says:

    I am so happy to have come across your site. I have suffered from Menieres since I was 15. I had a few attacks when I was younger and it scared me so bad but then it lay dormant for years. I figured it was just a fluke. But when I hit my early 20′s I was completed devastated that my symptoms showed up again. It was an ongoing battle. I couldn’t even go a week without having an attack which would vary from a short 20 minute burst or a tedious long and upsetting 4 hours of throwing up and the ultimate dizziness. I started losing my hearing probably about 3 years ago and I figured it was only temporary. Unfortunately, by the time my boyfriend urged me to go to the ENT, my hearing loss had become permanent. I was diagnosed officially November 2011 and had lost 45% of my hearing in my left ear and there was nothing I could do to get it back. My ENT specialist, who did me more bad than good, prescribed me a medical diuretic which hospitalized me 2 weeks later with hypokalema. I decided that I was going to do research to see what I could do. I immediately changed my diet and started doing a low sodium diet, I joined the gym and exercised regularly, and the discovered the biggest trigger for me…. Caffeine. I had to give up coffee all together. I have my Menieres mostly under control without the use of prescriptive drugs and although I still battle with the tinnitus every day and the hearing loss, my attacks are few and far between and I can finally live a semi-normal life with Menieres.

    But your story is an inspiration! I’m so happy that you were able to find ways to help cope with Menieres. :)

    • Christy says:

      Hey Lacey! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I find caffeine to be terrible too — thankfully I only started drinking coffee as an adult, and not really liking the taste anyway, was able to eliminate it fairly easily. I don’t drink cola and other caffeinated beverages, and rarely drink soda otherwise. Surely my teeth are rejoicing! Hah! Anyway, hope you are feeling well. Wishing you all the best.

  62. Deb McLeod says:

    Hi Christy,
    I have Meniere’s Disease. I was diagnosed after I gave birth to my daughter in 1993. I began to get dizzy and they found it right away. I think all Meniere’s sufferers need to find what works for them. After almost twenty years I have finally found what works for me. I did try low salt and that didn’t work. Believe me, I tried everything, including keeping a dizzy diary to record everything I ate and drank, etc.

    I have had all types of dizzy spells from my eyes beating back and forth and the room spinning for more than 18 hours to nausea and throwing up for hours straight. I have floaty dizzies and spinny dizzies and a full head. I have fallen, had to walk at work with the back of my hand on the wall so it wouldn’t look like I was drunk. And I have tried everything.

    When I was at my lowest, just about a month ago, I discovered a blog post from a fellow sufferer who goes to a doctor in Portland. This doctor is advising his Meniere’s patients to use the Zone diet (with modifications) to control symptoms. Rather than the 3 meals and 2 snacks, he advises to split daily food evenly over six small meals.

    I was in the middle of a dizzy phase when I found it. Lately, for me that looks like this: Get dizzy, throw up for an hour or so, full head, take meds, lay down. Then every day it gets a little better until a few weeks later it’s gone.

    When I found the blog post, I immediately got on The Zone website and downloaded their food lists, then I figured out how many blocks of food I should eat per day and divided it by six. Six is the number of times I need to eat in a day to keep my glucose levels level. Now I eat a small meal that is perfectly balanced in carbs, proteins and fat every three hours. And I especially eat right before bed. And within one hour of waking up – not getting up, but waking up.

    The difference was clear in only a half a day. I started at noon and my fading dizzy spell was completely gone when I woke up the next morning. My head did not feel full. I didn’t even have the floaty dizzy feeling and I didn’t have to hold onto the wall to get to the bathroom. After 20 years I know my patterns and that dizzy spell would likely have gone on for at least a week more. But it was gone. And has been gone, except for one day that I experimented and didn’t eat at the right times. I believe now that Meniere’s might have something to do with insulin resistance and the effect that bottoming out has on your system when you don’t eat. Or don’t balance your food and the times that you eat.

    Here is the website I found if you’re interested. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CD8QFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.toastyfrog.net%2F2009%2F04%2F27%2Feating-in-the-zone-my-new-menieres-diet%2F&ei=diiVUY-jNYjw8ASemYDYDg&usg=AFQjCNG_k5YMNIsPBqFFthMkrpAPEX4OfQ

    Everyone has to find what works for them. If this helps anyone else, I’m glad. Twenty years was too long to go with this disease.
    Best to you all,
    Deb

    • Christy says:

      Hey Deb!

      Thanks so much for sharing! I know, we all need to find what works for us as individuals, but I so appreciate your taking the time to offer what’s worked for you. Knowledge is power!

      Take care. Wishing you all the very best, Christy

  63. Jennifer says:

    Wow. Well after a year of suffering intermittent vertigo spells, tinnitus, hearing loss, and head congestion, i feel like i have found kindred spitits here. I was ‘diagnosed’ with Menieres Disease by one physician but another thinks i actually have allergies causing the issues i have been having. The ENT came up with nothing. I just began taking Reactine and Nasonex and using a Neti Pot, and have had some success with those, although the pressure in my ear is still there. I suspect it is related to the weather. I saw a Chinese doctor who has been doing acupuncture to relieve the headaches and neck pain, but the vertigo still happens, and usually it is sudden onset where i hear a ‘crack’ noise, and spin for about a second then i am back to normal. This happens about once a month, just enough to keep me on edge.

    The lifestyle impacts have been the worst for me; i used to feel no hesitation at jumping in the car Friday after work and driving 4 hours to the cottage; now, not so much. I am taking my first solo road trip today to start beefing up my confidence. I don’t want to lose another summer to this!

  64. Brittany says:

    I am 21 and I have been suffering from vertigo attacks for almost a year now. It hit me out of the blue one morning. I was going to work and all of a sudden I experienced a great dizziness and I felt really sick, almost like I had had too much to drink. Since then, I have experienced it at least once a month. I have not been diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease but after reading your story, I see a lot of common side effects. I can feel a difference in my hearing level. I feel ridiculous when someone is standing right in front of me saying something and I have to say “huh?” because I have no idea what they just said. I had my latest episode yesterday and I was throwing up all day. Although it sucks that I will probably live with this the rest of my life, I feel better knowing there are so many more people that know what it feels like. I always dread any kind of change in the weather and when my ears start hurting, I become very aware of what is going on. When an attack is coming on I always lose my appetite for at least a day, if not more.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Brittany,

      It does sound similar. If you haven’t tried cutting salt from your diet, I highly recommend it. The less processed food too, the better. See if low sodium works for you. I really think it might help eliminate your symptoms.

      Good luck!

  65. Cara says:

    Wow, I could have written the same story! It’s so frustrating not to know why you can’t hear, why people voice are distorted, that aching low hum in your ear, fullness that won’t go away and the spinning that will make you vomit. Even more frustrating is trying to explain it to others. I was fortunate to have an excellent ENT who picked up on it right away, but the attacks are still difficult. Looking forward to going through your site and recipes.

  66. Laura says:

    I have been suffering from something unknown for 3 months now. It started with fluid in my ears, ringing in left ear, pressure in ear/head and a little off balance but not much. I went to a few Drs, my family Dr said it was an underlying viral infection and gave me prednisone and it would clear up, it didnt. Another Dr said its untreated allergies and itll go away with nasonea and Allegra D. I got worse and saw an ENT who told me my hearing was fine and that I wouldnt need an MRI because there is no concern. I started going to an neurological based adjustment chiropractor, after the 1st adjustment I had true vertigo (not just a little off balanced this time) for about 2-3 seconds 3 times the next morning. I went for the 2nd and 3rd adjustments, I had vertigo again 2 more times for about 2-3 seconds. After that, I had no more vertigo, but I have a constant feeling of being off balance, (it may be worse because of lack of sleep and high anxiety). I still have good hearing, but also still have the ringing in my left ear. I was now suffering from being off balance all the time and high anxiety, along with a high heart rate. I still continue my adjustments along with auriculotherapy for equilibrium 3x a week. I was so nervous about it being an acoustic neuroma tumor that I requested an MRI. My results came out good and nothing was wrong, except I have sinus problems (and either polyps or retention cysts in my maxillary sinuses). Im still at a loss for whats going on in my ear. I have no hearing loss, but the pressure still comes and goes in my ears/head and sometimes my left eye (eye exam was all normal and I have 20/20 vision), tinnitus is still there and I am constantly off balance (although this is improving with my therapy). Tests show my nervous system is greatly improving through my neurological chiropractic care and Ive only been going 1 month, so I have alot of hope. I have heard testimonies at how good this chiropractic care is, there are people who have been known to be cured from Menieres along with many other diseases like depression, thyroid problems, heart disease, even cancer etc. Im determined that God sent me here to be healed! Im not getting any answers, but I do know He is with me and will heal me. See if you can find a neurological based chiro, there is hope in this kind of treatment. It is so scary to know things are going wrong in our bodies and not getting answers, and when we do get answers, we dont always know where to go with them. I pray God will heal you and you will be free!!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Laura!

      I truly think a low sodium diet could help you. Your symptoms are so familiar. Please, if possible, start TODAY! And GOOD LUCK!!

      Best wishes,
      Christy

  67. naveed aftab says:

    Hi everyone, am 40 year old man, am really depressed despite being a Urologist myself,over the last few months i am having tinnitus in both ears + Left ear fullness(2 weeks) with prior few weeks of the feeling that some fluid is stuck in my left year, and hearing loss ,no dizzy spells or vertigo etc,its very upsetting and ENT is not my specialty but i have searched alot in the last two weeks over my symptoms! and i have some deep gut feeling i am having either Meniere!s disease or Acoustic neuroma?.I managed to book myself MRI in near future and a bit scared deep inside my heart and mind.

  68. Danielle says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I have been having “vertigo” since 2000-2001. In 2002, I was diagnosed with BPPV and they did the epley maneuver. I was worse for a couple of years after that [they said it's a coincidence], then it leveled out and I just had to adjust to it. They re-tested me a few years ago because, as they stated, BPPV shouldn’t effect me longterm this way. All the tests for BPPV came back normal, but my neurologist [my ENT had given up] said I obviously had issues with my inner ear, but they couldn’t tell me anymore. Since then, I have noticed other symptoms [tinnitus, a "fullness" in the ear, which sometimes feels like someone is pulling down on my earlobes and either difficulty hearing or comprehending what I'm hearing--sometimes it's hard to tell!]. I’ve always been VERY sensitive to when the weather changes [ie., storm fronts, snowstorms, rain, etc.], but chalked it up to a coincidence. Initially Meniere’s Disease was suggested for me, but because I have vertigo and general dizziness day in and day out, I disregarded it. Now I am starting to wonder. The idea of going on a low sodium diet is very daunting, particularly as I have problems with my digestion after having my gallbladder removed. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to reading your blog and seeing if there are recipes on here I can digest. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and pass along the recipes!!
    On another note, can you take decongestants, like sudafed? I often get severe pain in my eustachian tubes when I take that, or when I try and use the netti pot [some very well meaning friends suggested it]. I was just curious if you had any adverse reactions. I guess it’s back to the ENT dr for me. Maybe now he will have some more concrete answers for me!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Danielle!

      I do not take any decongestants, and rarely any medicine. But – as my mother often says – I’m “Natural Christy” – note, she doesn’t say that in a “good way” either. LOL

      You just have to find what does or doesn’t work for you and go w/ it (or not!)

      The low sodium diet is very daunting – uuugh – but truly has given me my life back. Please try it. It can’t hurt and might be just what the doctor ordered! (or not!) hahah

      Wishing you all the very best.

  69. Lyn says:

    Wondering how long it took on the low sodium diet till you noticed improvement?

    • Nick Drozda says:

      Hi Lyn, Like most things to do with Meniere’s I think it has to do with the individual. My doctor recommended 2000mg per day, which he said helped most of his Meniere’s patients (some doctors say less, around 1200-1500mg). After 6 weeks of that and then 2 weeks of 2 doses of hydrochlorothiazide he suggested it might be time to do the gentamicin injections (sometimes called a chemical labyrinth-ectomy). I really didn’t want to do this due to the potential for severe hearing loss. So I redoubled my efforts and dropped my sodium intake to 1000-1500mg per day. Shortly thereafter, I stopped having vertigo attacks and my hearing improved quite a bit. It has been relatively smooth sailing for about 4 months now (throws pinch of salt over shoulder.)

      • Christy says:

        Hi Lyn!

        I agree w/ Nick. The lower you can get your sodium intake, the faster you’re likely to see and feel improvements. It’s HARD, but truly worth it.

        Good luck!

  70. Helen says:

    Dear Christy,
    I was very fortunate to find your website yesterday. Your story was so very helpful as well as everyone’s postings in sharing their experiences. For the first time I had hope and felt comfort in trying to understand this. I am 46 and have had issues with my right ear since I was 25. 1st & 2nd general doctor said there was nothing wrong with my ear, its normal. 3rd doctor (ear/throat) specialist said the same thing, nothing wrong with my ear after putting a tube down my nose and looking around. The 3rd doctor said if I have symptoms of getting def to contact him. I do have an appointment with him next week for follow-up. I have always had horrible pressure in my ear that will not go away, my ear pops when I blow my nose, constant ringing, I get dizzy here and there & have problems hearing conversations in a crowded room with other voices. My symptoms have gotten worse. I have worked 18 years now with a headset on at the same place of employment. This probably contributes. Anyway, I had a cold over this past weekend, it seemed to have triggered all the symptoms worse and for the first time I had to call into work this past Monday & Tuesday because I was so dizzy, but the cold was gone. I was afraid to drive. I hope when I see the doctor next week and share with him more valuable information, that I learned from your website, he will pay more attention to my issue. I am still dizzy today, it wont go away. Thank you sooooo much!

  71. Nicolle says:

    HI Christy,

    I feel like I have hit pay dirt in finding this site. I have read most of the responses to your story and I am completely blown away by how many people suffer from MD. I’m in the process of being diagnosed literally last week was the first time that I saw the ENT and now I’m having all these tests done but your story and the stories of so many others are very simular to mine. I spent 3 years being treated like a hypochondriac because of my left ear. I have only started suffering from Hay fever in the last five years but 3 years ago my left ear would just feel blocked and swimmy. It has progressed to the point of me not talking on the phone in that ear as everyone sounded hollow and any static would have me climbing the walls. After many years of the doctors telling me there is nothing wrong in may I had an attack. My ear was so full and amplified, I was lightheaded then BAM, full dizzy all the pores in my body opened and was sweating, eyes dilated, fast heart rate I felt so nauseous and all I could do is sit on the floor. This lasted for 4 hours then I was fine exhausted but fine. I thought I had a blood sugar episode. After my 3rd one the doctors finally took me seriously ( admittedly I drove to the surgery while having the attack, just so he could see how bad I was ) but it still took 2 months to get a specialist appointment. I have felt so cut off from people as I just wanted to make it home at night without an attack. The doctor told me straight away to cut my sodium so its now been a week of me keeping a food diary and really cutting the sodium foods out of my life. I found this site trying to find some recipes for food as I’m sick of carrots and celery, and I have to be careful with fruit. I work very long hours 60 per week and work every Saturday so im trying to find a way of making meals in advance that still taste nice. Your site looks fab and I am so grateful that there are other People who understand how im feeling, Australia doesn’t really talk about this disease at all and every one thinks im just over worked or tired. Looking forward to trying your recipes!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Nicolle! WELCOME – and you’re welcome! ;)

      I truly hope you find some recipes you enjoy. And (as importantly) I hope you find the low-sodium diet truly helpful. There’s nothing more important than good health and happiness!

      Wishing you the best.

  72. Carrie says:

    Hello Christy,

    I just found out today that my MRI was normal although my EEG was not. Neurologist is suggesting Meclizine, which is how I found you. Your problems are so similar to mine. I started having hearing loss and vertigo as a small child. I am 51 so that was a long time ago. By the time I was 12 the vertigo was scary severe, spinning room, unable to walk. My doctor sent me to Mayo Clinic where they ran all kinds of weird tests (MRI was not available then). The group of doctors concluded Meniers but the last doc said I was female and too young, so they sent me home without a diagnosis.

    Somewhere along the way I had learned about the salt effect and eliminated it myself. I was fairly symptom free for many years. I also have gluten issues, so I have had to be careful with diet. My own thoughts are that my problems with gluten may have kept my Meniers under control. Food just went straight thru me if I ate wheat which is in just about everything. Maybe this kept my system flushed of excess salt. About 10 years ago I figured out the gluten intollerance and basically eliminated wheat. I was able to gain weight and felt a lot better and no bouts of diarrhea anymore. Then in the last year, I have developed primary Burning Mouth Syndrome, severe clogged right ear, can’t breath thru right nostril and much more noticable tinnitus and more hearing loss. Very frustrating!

    I have seen all kinds of docs. Like you I always know what the barametric pressure is. I cannot fly. I have always had problems with descending. One time I rode the tram down from Pikes Peak and couldn’t hear anything for 3 days. It wasn’t as painful as landing in airplane, but the emergency room said I could not fly for 2 weeks because my eardrum was about to burst. They gave me Sudafed and I slept.

    I do not have allergies and am not prone to congestion of any typical kind. My hearing is getting worse and the ringing is increasing. I am having some panic attacks. I have started taking time-release Ginkgo Biloba, and that helps my brain fog and alertness a lot, but has not lessened the clogged ear or anything else. My attitude is better tho. I have not been to my chiro for awhile, so I will do that. And I am going to look at my salt intake more closely. I will give the Meclizine a shot also. I spent so much money on the tests, I need to get something out of it.

    I know everyone in the world has their own issues, and I am an overly sensitive person who sympathizes with everyone. But I see that there are a lot of people here that know this particular discomfort, and I hope some day something helps. I will continue to research this for myself. Maybe we can solve this problem by sharing info in this way. Thank you Christy for your site!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Carrie! You are so welcome. Thank YOU for sharing your story. It sounds like you’re very in tune w/ your body – I find the more in tune you are, the better. So good for you. I so hope you find your way – and quickly – back to health. Wishing you all the best!

  73. Pauline Stevens says:

    Hi Christy, I am asking this question because I am desperately trying to help my sister who has MD. The spinning and vomiting is making her life a real misery. The deafness she can cope with but her life is dominated by terrible feeling of ‘fullness’, loss of balance and every few weeks frantic spinning which knocks her to the ground. She was always fit and loved swimming and between episodes she has continued to swim in the sea. I have tried to research if this is a bad thing (does water in the ear cause a problem) but more to the point, is it possible to absorb salt through the skin? Having read how important it is to have a very low sodium intake, whilst I don’t want to suggest she gives up this last pleasure, does anyone know if it has the potential to cause problems. Many thanks for any help.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Pauline.

      I do not swim that often anymore. For a while, my family and I were swimming weekly at a community pool, but I’ve pretty much stopped. The reason I stopped was far more because of the coldness of the water causing me pain in my bad ear, than any Meniere’s symptoms, though. And I did find that a certain type of swimcap (snug fitting, rubbery – not the stretchy cloth) helped minimize the effect.

      Your sister may want to limit swimming until she gets her symptoms under control. It’s not forever. She can resume swimming daily, weekly, with far more pleasure if she’s feeling better too. I do not think the body can absorb water (we’d all blow up!) but getting water into her ears may be a bad thing. I would advise ear plugs and/or a cap strongly, and see how it goes. Life is hard enough w/ Meniere’s. We all need some healthy pleasures!

      Good luck to you both! :)

      • Pauline Stevens says:

        Hi Christy, thanks for responding so quickly. My concern regarding my sister swimming in the sea was more about whether it is possible to absorb salt through the skin. From what I’m gathering from reading the comments, salt intake is a huge problem so even minimal amounts could make a difference. Maybe I could ask my chemist, he may know about absorption. Once again, many thanks.

        • Christy says:

          Hi again Pauline!

          I’m not a chemist, but from a layman’s viewpoint I’d say she’s safe. She might get salt on her skin, but unless she’s ingesting the water (very unlikely) she won’t be taking it in. People take baths with Epsom salt or bath salts without issue. Sea salt should be the same.

          Best of luck!!

  74. Peggy says:

    Thank you so much for this compilation of recipes. I have Meniere’s, and am also a vegetarian. This is the best group of recipes I’ve found for myself and my family!

  75. Sam says:

    I have a lot of your symptoms and was told by a Neurologist I have BPPV. My ENT thinks I probably have MD. (Nothing like conflicting diagnoses to make things even more puzzling!)
    If you will address my questions I will be so grateful:
    Do you have violent bouts of nausea/vomiting with your vertigo attacks? I do.
    My “crackling” sounds appear to be coming from my neck. Do you feel yours were definitely coming from your ears?
    With your MD diagnosis did you have to have the ECOG ear test where a probe is passed deep through the ear canal past the ear drum to measure fluid level in the inner ear? I’m afraid of that one, and wonder if it is necessary to get an accurate diagnosis?
    Also you mentioned giving up dental work as part of the things you now stay away from. If you don’t mind sharing, would you tell me why and how you feel that affected you adversely? I’m collecting all the info I can. : )

    • Christy says:

      Hi Sam. First, my sincere apologies for this very delayed response. I’ve been on hiatus from the Daily Dish website and am now finally back posting (Jan.2014).

      I am happy to answer your questions.

      I do get very nauseous from vertigo but rarely throw up.
      The only crackling I’ve ever had definitely has come from my bad (right) ear. Never from the neck.
      I don’t believe I had an ECOG test. I have had the type of test where something is inserted in my ear pretty far, but cannot imagine it went past my ear drum, only up to it.
      I gave up dental work maaaaany years ago because the last time I was at the dentist it triggered an episode that lasted 2 full weeks. I take care of my teeth now with an almost-religious fervor, and will not be going back to a dentist again unless it is absolutely necessary.

      Really hope this helps!

  76. Meghan says:

    Came across your blog as I was searching the internet for information about Meniere’s. After reading your diagnosis story..i can relate…mine was pretty much the same. I’d say a lot more people actually suffer from this problem considering how difficult it is to get an accurate diagnosis.

  77. Jennie says:

    After months and months of dealing with the ear pressure, pain, dizziness etc… 2 drs and decongestants….I was sent to an ENT that my friend works for and said he can dran the fluid out, so it made an appointment and he said there is no fluid it’s pressure. He put me on prednisone and I see an audiologist next week for the hearing test and will see the ENT again right after. I am also waiting for my neurology appointment. At this point I just want answers. His first thought and after doing little tests was Menieres so we shall find out. Hate that you went through this ordeal but seeing that others have it helps. I have felt like a crazy person this summer.

  78. Kai says:

    Christy!

    Thanks so much for this lovely website. I have learned a lot from your recipes and am comforted that you have found such success with a low-sodium diet (and now, with going vegan). I am wondering, after you began with the low sodium diet in 2003, do you have any permanent hearing loss and has it progressed at all since then? I am only 31, been diagnosed with Cochlear Hydrops 5 years ago already (though it went into remission mostly) until a few months ago. Since then, my hearing has fluctuated wildly. I have been practicing low sodium (no more than 2000 mg per day recommended by doctor) but it has still fluctuated, though I do feel better overall. I am just wondering what your hearing situation has been like in the long run.

    P.S- I lived in Portland for 4 years in my mid-20′s and I LOVE that city and state! We are kindreds :)

    • Christy says:

      Hi Kai! Great to hear from you!

      I’ve been very fortunate in not suffering permanent hearing loss, though I was told I could have had I not been diagnosed quickly enough. From what the drs have explained, Meniere’s, if left untreated, eventually “burs out” the affected ear, and worse, typically then moves onto the next, doing the same. My hearing only fluctuates with the episodes. Bad enough, but far far easier to cope with than permanent deafness.

      I truly hope you are feeling better each day. All the best, Christy

  79. Lois says:

    Hello, I am starting to wonder if I have Meniere’s disease for the past two months I have been nausea and dizzy and went to the ENT couldn’t find anything had a CT scan still couldn’t find anything this last Monday I got so bad at work I thought I was dying was throwing up went to the MD got a shot of Phenergan and it helped to stop throwing up but have been so sick on my stomach and my head feels so funny I do have some ringing in my ears and some pain that goes through my right ear, just had my MRI and they called and said it came back normal I just don’t know what to do anymore does it sound like Meniere’s to you?

    • Christy says:

      Hi Lois. The symptoms sound familiar, but could also mirror several other vestibular disorders. I hope by now you’ve reached an accurate diagnosis. Best of luck to you!

  80. Anne Noraine Tambasen says:

    i can see myself on your shoe except about the tinnitus and the deafness because im still suffering in these symptoms and i cant find the right physician that could help me; im suffering this for two years.. :( i will follow your diet and i hope i could find an angel like dr. hanson

    • Christy says:

      Hi Anne. Not sure where you live, but there are Meniere’s specialists throughout the country. If you are having difficulty finding an accurate diagnosis, I urge you to keep up the search. If your ENT isn’t helpful, go to another, and another, until you’re satisfied. I am so grateful that my mom made me do so. If not, I’d likely at this point be deaf in both ears, permanently.

      Best of luck to you.

  81. Toni Salerno says:

    After having my 5th daughter 9 months ago, things started going terribly wrong. First I got extreme anxiety followed by feeling disconnected to my body and lightheaded. I had this perpetual feeling of not being “there” very surreal and weird feeling. Then one night it felt like my right ear was going to pulsate out of my head and the pain was unbearable. Next morning I woke up dizzy, head pressure, allergy symptoms and like being on a rocky boat constantly… I
    was terrified and saw every doctor I could in Idaho only to be told it was post partum depression and or I just had allergies and needed to take everything from antibiotics, to Xanax to prednisone,
    which I declined. In the depths of my
    despair I took my kids and moved to
    Florida to have my parents be with me
    while I try and find a solution. After 2
    MRIs, CAT SCAN, ECOG, VNG, and
    ROTARY CHAIR TEST, it is
    confirmed I have 46% weakness in right
    ear with pressure and/ or fluid. I am told
    to follow a strict low salt diet, which I
    thought I was since I have eliminated many many foods from my diet because of taking the ALCAT TEST. They say it’s a form of Menieres, called endo lymphatic hydrops, which they want me to take a water pill but I am leery of taking it because I am naturally going to cure this… I am looking into homeopathic and NAET treatments along with anything else that might help, like juicing greens, laser therapy etc.. This has literally robbed me of my first year with my daughter and I can understand why Van Gogh cut his ear off. If I knew it would help I would consider shitting mine down. My question is do the doctors really know what this is that we are experiencing because we all seem to have similarities but not a textbook case. And did the vegan diet really help you as no symptoms, no dizziness?

    • Christy says:

      Toni, I am so very sorry to read your story. It sounds like an absolute nightmare. I urge you to try everything at your disposal. I totally understand about wanting to solve your problems as naturally as possible, but if you are not getting relief from diet alone, you may seriously want to consider the diuretic or more. That said, I have had almost miraculous results simply from a change in diet. NOT that going salt free and vegan isn’t extreme! It’s been very hard. But I cannot say enough about how amazing I feel now versus 10 years ago. Truly night and day. I would never ever go back.

      Bets wishes to you.

  82. Sherry says:

    Christy,
    I’m so glad I found your site, tho I am sorry for all that you had to go thru before getting some answers.
    My situation is similar in a lot ways. I woke up 2 weeks ago, on a Wednesday to go to work and the room seem to be spinning and it seemed for a moment that my eyes had lost focus. I attempted to get out bed and could tell right away my balance was off.. I felt as tho I was drunk. I stumbled bumping into the walls to wake the kids for school and I felt an overwhelming nausea. Needlessly to say, I ended up taking the day off work. I had something similar a year prior to this incident and was diagnosed with BPV. I ended up in physical therapy, then for 7 days did the head exercises on my on and my symptoms subsided. So, I figured the same thing returned. I tried the exercises, but was frustrated as I had this horrible pressure in both ears and the top of my head. I have a blood pressure machine so I checked my bp and it was elevated. I spent the rest of the day sleeping, and was just miserable. The dizziness remained. The next two days I went to work, but I admit it was rough and I’m sure I was not as productive. I felt sick and if I moved my head certain ways, bent down, or got up I immediately was dizzy. I continued to monitor bp and it was elevated. Finally on Friday the bp was high, so I left work to go to the ER. I was diagnosed with abnormally high bp and put on a blood pressure/diuretic med, along with meclizine, and a steroid for inflammation. I was told to follow up with my regular doctor on Monday. I did. He took me off 2 of the medicines, said bp isn’t high as they no longer worry about the bottom number and he told me to go buy sudafed and gave me another script for the meclizine and diagnosed me with vertigo and sinusitis. I was told to take the one meclizine in the morning, at 3pm, and then 2 at bedtime and take the Sudafed every 4 hours. I went to work every day this past week, still dizzy but better than before and also feel comatose from the meclizine. My bp is still elevated, which could be from the vertigo my doctor says. I asked how long I have to keep taking the meds, and I’m told until symptoms subside. I haven’t lost hearing, but at times my eyes are blurry when I wake in the mornng and don’t seem to resume clarity for a few hours. I have reduced my salt intake and I pray every day for healing. I’m hanging in there, and it’s comforting to know there are so many with similar symptoms, tho I pray we all get better. Thank you for your insight and my symptoms get better I will definitely post to you.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Sherry. Thanks so much for your comment. I hope you’re feeling much, much better now. I would suggest trying a strict low-sodium diet – that will definitely help bring down your blood pressure and could very well right the other problems (dizziness, pressure, etc.) as well. Wishing you all the best.

  83. Emma says:

    Christie,
    I’m 21 years old, and for the past 4 summers have had internships in NYC. Last summer I was starting to experience vertigo. It started with just discomfort when waiting for the elevator in massive buildings, but rapidly turned into a terrifying and uncontrollable feeling as if I was in an earthquake… I could literally feel the pressure of the elevator moving up and down past the floor I was waiting for it on, and the hallway would just spin. I would ask my friends if they could feel the elevator coming up or down from floors away, but unfortunately I was the only weirdo that can feel like I’m on the elevator before it even reaches our floor. Oddly, the feeling would go away (for the most part) as soon as I was actually on the elevator and moving with it. For about 3 weeks, each day of waiting by elevators would continuously get so intense to the point where I couldn’t even stand near one without my head rolling back. I believe, somehow, that waiting by elevators so often actually triggered my vertigo to the point where a bus driving past me would throw off my balance and stability- I felt permanently drunk for about 2 weeks, but I was never nauseous- it felt more like I was high or something, but was enough for me to know something was wrong when I got home for the weekend. I went to the ER on a Sunday where they gave me a prescription of meclizine and hooked me up to an IV for fluids for an hour or two.
    A few days later, I went to an ENT in Manhattan, specializing in vertigo. I received a CT scan that came out normal, hearing tests that showed my right ear was slightly harder of hearing than normal, and eye testing. They determined that I had BPPV on my right side. At that point, I never had any ear pain, popping, etc. The doctor told me to go on a low-to-no sodium diet and take a prescribed water pill each day, and give him a call if it didn’t get better in a month.
    Heading into my senior year of college and living in NYC for the summer, the last thing I was going to worry about was tracking my sodium intake, so I didn’t…and surprisingly my episodes of vertigo I had been experiencing for just a few weeks was gone. I returned back to college and except for after drinking (I’ve realized alcohol has been the only trigger since returning to school in August) I really haven’t had any issues…until I flew home and back to school for Thanksgiving.
    I’d never before felt such a strong, shooting pain in my right ear before. Flying home for the past 4 years for breaks has always been a breeze, but this past trip I was in severe pain both times the plane was descending. It’s been a week and a half since landing back at school, and now I’m in finals drinking more diet coke than usual and tons of caffeine to get me through the week.
    Yesterday I felt pain in my right ear and pressure, but today both ears feel full, achy, and sore…it’s like I’m sitting at the bottom of a 10 foot swimming pool. What ultimately led me to your page from a google search was when just a few hours ago I had the loudest ringing in my right ear and actually felt it close out all outside noises, like my right ear just went temporarily deaf but was screaming all at the same time. It was one of the most terrifying sensations I’ve ever felt, and although it stopped pretty quickly, my ears are now popping and crackling and almost feel separate from my head!
    I would so appreciate to get your take on this (before I scare my parents even more) and find out if this is something that could be resolved similar to your case by finally agreeing to monitor my sodium intake and quit the diet coke, or if i should be going back to the ENT to make sure there isn’t anything else I need to be concerned about.
    After reading your story, I have a feeling that i was misdiagnosed with BPPV because I hadn’t been suffering from tinnitus or any other ear issues over the summer. Also, if anyone else reading this has experienced similar feelings while waiting for elevators, I’d love hear because even the ENT thought I was nuts!

    • Christy says:

      Emma, I am so very sorry for the lateness of this response. I’ve been on hiatus from the website and am now just catching up on emails, comments, etc. First of all, I don’t think you’re weird. I have an extreme sensitivity to elevators and NEVER take them, unless I absolute have to. Seriously, I’ll happily walk 50 flights! As for your current state. I would suggest trying a massive change in diet. Give up salt altogether and try to go as low sodium as you can. GIVE UP THE DIET SODA. The chemical sweeteners and caffeine are TERRIBLE!!!! This is doubly so for someone with vestibular issues. NO stimulants! If drinking alcohol triggers you too, definitely just say no to that too, at least for the present. I used to have ungodly pain in my ears when flying as a child. It seemed to go away after adolescence. So I can appreciate your description of your last flight. Uggh. I’m just so sorry to read this. I truly hope things are getting better for you. If not, I urge you to keep seeking an accurate diagnosis, and try the dietary measures. Best of luck to you.

  84. Jamie Donaldson says:

    So glad to find this website, I am new to having MD–had vertigo in July and haven’t been well for a full day since, had 2 more episodes since Thanksgiving. Going through crying spells, depression, which is hard for a positive person like me. Praying to GOD constantly for healing and answers!! Just started the caffeine free and lower salt–hoping for relief. Thank you for your website and for your recipes.

  85. Karla says:

    Hi Christy,
    I’m looking forward to trying your recipes–they look fantastic. I am 42 and a mom of 4 ages 3, 5, 7, and 9. I don’t know for sure if I have MD currently going through tests–had an MRI waiting the results next week I have a hearing test and ecog. I saw two ENT’s the second one ordering the MRI/hearing test. This started in mid-Jan when I was given amoxicillin for a supposed sinus infection (which I believe now to have just been a tension headache). A few days after taking it I felt a huge pop in my left ear leaving me with sudden sensitivity to noise. That same day I was on the couch and my right ear started ringing and then it sort of closed up…a fullness now in both ears which…at the time I attributed it to be sinus related. Several days later in the ER because I had severe pressure and fullness in my ears, the doc said my ears were under negative pressure with my eardrums pulsating. Was given prednisone and naproxen on the spot. Seemed to work but I have pretty much constant fullness and the pressure comes and goes–sometime painful sometimes not. CT scan was done and my sinuses were clear so that worried be a bit. Noises (birds chirping, kids voices, water running, paper rustling, etc) are loud to me. The only fluctuation in hearing is that it might clear but then the noises seem louder and then less than an hour later the fullness returns. I haven’t really experienced vertigo, but I do feel dizzy at times and I can hear myself talk and chew. I sometimes get a roaring/echoing sounds in my ears and I have high pitched ringing. It has been difficult with 3 kids in school and 1 at hone but I push through. I feel like I’m under water a lot and my entire head feels full. Every time I swallow my ears crackle–the left one even crackles sometimes when I don’t. I’m not sure if I do have MD but doing some research on it in order to be prepared. I had ear infections as a child as well as earaches and ended up having a tonsillectomy at 5. My mom in her 30′s was diagnosed with hydrops which her doc prescribed a water pill which worked and she still takes them sometimes. For as long as I can remember I have to pop my ears when flying and the same when driving into the mountains to higher altitudes as I get the pressure in the ears. So this has been going on for 2 months and no real changes in hearing. I try to remain upbeat but some days it is hard especially when having to go out in public because the voices etc, make me feel dizzy etc. Just taking it one day at a time and trying to find some answers…

    • Christy says:

      Karla, so sorry to read your story. My sincere wishes for a speedy diagnosis and start on road to recovery. I understand what you’re going through as do many others reading this. Please hang in there. Thinking of you. Christy

  86. David says:

    Hi Christy,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a 28 year old male living in California and I am experiencing some similar troubles, as well.
    Mine started about a year ago. I had a bad cold and started to feel fatigue. I didn’t think anything of it because fatigue and cold go in hand in hand. But, as months went by, I continued to feel even more fatigued. There were days when I would have to sit down or lay down because I thought I would pass out. Unfortunately, I didn’t have insurance.
    With the fatigue came an off balance feeling. I feel/felt as though I couldn’t walk straight and that I was constantly tipsy.
    I finally got an HMO plan via obamacare at the beginning of February. I started seeing doctors and they first sent me to a neurologoist where they were able to rule out anything in the brain. I also had all blood work done and everything came back normal. I am now waiting for a referral to an ENT. If you have any knowledge about hmo plans, you have to get an authorization first and sometimes it takes weeks.
    My doctor said that it sounds like I have vertigo and gave me meclizine. The problem is that I can’t function on meclizine and I am in bed all day. It also isn’t helping with my symptoms of being off balance.
    Do you think I could possibly have Menieres Disease? Also, I’m surrounded by people who love and care for me but I also feel so alone because I don’t think that anyone really understands what I’m going through. I’m a healthy looking 28 year old guy who usually loves life…
    Again, thanks for sharing your story and I would love any feedback.
    Cheers to a happy and healthy future!
    D

    • Christy says:

      Hi David. I’m familiar w the ins and outs (ups and downs) of HMOs. I too had to get referrals, etc. when getting diagnosed, make and wait for appointments, all that fun jazz. As frustrating as it can be, at least you’ve got health insurance now! Thank goodness. I hope you’re getting some answers as you progress along through the system. It sounds like you’re having vestibular issues, which could be Meniere’s, but the fatigue isn’t something I’m familiar with. My advice is to keep searching until you know for certain what’s going on. If you aren’t getting help from one specialist, consult another – and another – until you’re satisfied. It’s not just important but vital for your long term health, especially at such a young age. Best of luck to you! Christy

  87. Angela says:

    I am so grateful for your website. I had and have many of the symptoms related to Menieres Disease. Severe ringing and whooshing in my right ear, vertigo, nausea, pressure on the side of my head around my ear. I started off at the ENT (who sent me for an MRI which looked normal) who visually could find nothing wrong with my ear. He sent me home with steroids which I couldn’t finish because of the side affects. In my desperation to make the ringing in my ear and the vertigo stop, I started looking for help in the internet. I found your site and realized salt could be the problem. I started right away watching my salt intake and my symptoms have gotten to a tolerable level. It did take several days like you said it would. I also have atrial fibrillation which I developed during my last pregnancy a year and a half ago. I have to say, since I started watching my salt intake, my heart issues have gotten much better. My maternal grandmother has been on a low salt diet my whole life. I know she had heart issues that were caused by the salt in her diet. This problem I have could possibly be genetic. I know most of what I am saying is speculation, but I know I feel better without salt. I am also trying to cut sugar out as well, which is proving to be extremely difficult, but I am trying!
    Thanks for your site, I am so grateful. Best wishes to you.

    • Christy says:

      Wow, Angela!! It’s comments like this that make all the hard work worthwhile. I am so, so happy that the low-sodium diet is helping you. Keep it up! I know what a pain it can be to maintain, but when you see encouraging progress – better yet, when you FEEL it – there’s no denying the truth. Wishing you all the very best, Christy

  88. Cathy Knapp says:

    Hi Christy: So happy you regained your hearing, esp. when you have little ones. It is awful what we go through to get an accurate diagnosis. I too was finally diagnosed with Meniere’s after similar runarounds. However, I had severe bilateral Meniere’s and became totally irreversibly deaf in only 8 months in both ears. My tinnitus is a very bad opera singer in one ear!! I was lucky enough to become a patient of a wonderful ENT specialist who proceeded to preform a cochlear implant surgery on my left cochlear so that I have now been able to return to work, although hearing is still a great challenge.
    Your story brings to light how terrible it is that so many in the medical profession make us feel like we are just uselessly complaining. I almost cried reading the treatment you received from the dr. with the tube! Take care.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Cathy.

      So sorry to read all you’ve been through too, though it’s wonderful you’ve been able to return to work. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to cope with the deafness and constant tinnitus in a professional setting. Keep up the great work (literally!) Thinking of you and wishing you all the very best.

      Christy

  89. Cathy Knapp says:

    Oh, I also wanted to mention something about the salt, no one ever said anything to me about it and during that same time I was very sick with low B12 thus, craving SALT!! I practically turned everything I ate white with salt due to the awful cravings. With reading your site, makes me wonder if my “aggressive” Meniere’s, and going completely deaf so fast, was in part due to all that salt……..scary, since I cannot do anything about that now, but perhaps someone else can benefit from my mistake.
    Cathy

    • Christy says:

      Wow, I wonder about that too. Such a sad thought.. Yet another reason to keep going with this website! Hopefully we can get the word out to others before it’s too late. Take care, Cathy! Stay strong. :)

  90. Kate moore says:

    THANK YOU!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. For the last 7 months I’ve been struggling, feeling like a terrible mother to my young girls, 1&3, because someone else was raising them while I’ve been in bed vomiting, dizzy and unable to walk or function. Feeling like a terrible mum because the sounds of their squeals or crys would make my head almost explode, even tho I couldn’t hear them properly. Feeling terrible because I’ve been so stressed and feeling like I was going insane, and should be “coping” better then I am with my new found “issues”
    It’s so comforting to hear that others feel the same, I feel as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Maybe I’m doing ok after all!!
    I look forward to trying out some of your recipes
    Kate

    • Christy says:

      Kate, you are NOT doing anything wrong – and you certainly aren’t a bad mother because you’re suffering and trying to do your best! Please hang in there. I know exactly what you’re going through right now. It does get easier. Stick to the salt-free diet. It can work wonders. Just be honest with yourself and your family about what’s going on, and they will understand – because they love you. Thinking of you. Wishing you a speedy return to full health. Christy

  91. carol shaffer says:

    Hi Christy,

    I am so glad I found your blog. I have been suffering with aural fullness, hearing like I am underwater, and roaring tinnitus since January. I was told for months I had eustachian tube dysfunction. I finally went to an ENT. An audiogram revealed a low frequency hearing loss (unilateral). I had an MRI, which showed no abnormalities. The ENT gave me a steroid shot in the ear to try to restore my hearing. (that was 2 weeks ago and nothings changed). My ENT doesn’t seem to be interested in finding out what the problem is. So I have been doing some research and have come up with the possibility of cochlear hydrops, which is form of Meniere’s. It is not episodic and there is no vertigo. My questions to you are the following; Was your hearing loss sensorineural? Were you given steroids to help restore it? Did your Meniere’s show up on your MRI? I am afraid that I have permanent damage to my hearing because so much time has passed, but it sounds like you suffered with hearing loss for months and were still able to recover. And for the record it’s not the hearing loss that bothers me as much as it is the tinnitus. Thanks so much for your help.

    Carol

    • Christy says:

      Hi Carol! So glad you found me too! Let me answer your questions in order.

      I’m not sure if my hearing loss was “sensorineural” – I’ve never heard that phrase before. They don’t know why I began having symptoms, it’s never been established. And I’m not sure if the damage was to my nerves. Perhaps if you could explain what you mean by that, I could answer more precisely.

      As for steroids. Yes, I was given a steroid pack by one ENT – an oral remedy – NOT injections into my ear. The steroids didn’t do anything for me.

      My Meniere’s didn’t show up on my MRI. The only reason they did the MRI was to rule out a possible brain tumor as cause for my symptoms. No tumor!

      The Meniere’s diagnosis was established after the MRI ruled out a tumor by the pattern of my hearing tests, and my symptoms. I began having vertigo late in the game. I’m certain that’s why it took as long as it did for me to get an accurate diagnosis. So many doctors associate Meniere’s strictly w/ vertigo (vestibular) rather than hearing impairment (cochlear). My case was far more hearing-related, at least initially.

      I would keep on it, Carol. If your ENT doesn’t seem to care one way or the other, I urge you to find someone else. If I hadn’t found Dr. Hanson (thanks be to GOD) I would likely be deaf now permanently. Don’t give up!!

  92. carol shaffer says:

    Thanks Christy! Sensorineural hearing loss is nerve damage and it has to do with the inner ear. Meneiere’s is usually associated with a low frequency sensorineural hearing loss. I was just wondering what yours was because they say shl has to be treated within a few weeks or you suffer permanent damage. I didn’t know if maybe Meneiere’s has a different outcome in terms of restoring hearing. Did they mention if your loss was in low frequencies? It is frustrating that once my doc. ruled out a tumor he seems unconcerned about what caused this in the first place. He says sometimes this happens and we never know why. I would love to hear from anyone out there that has cochlear hydrops. I really think that is what I have. In the end it is treated the same way Meneire’s is.

    • Christy says:

      Carol, thank you. I understand much better now. Yes, I do have low frequency hearing loss – thankfully it is episodic now, but before I was diagnosed and put on the low-sodium diet it was pretty much constant. The tinnitus was driving me insane – as much as the deafness itself – so I completely understand your suffering. If the doctor hasn’t suggested it already, I would advise you to eliminate salt from your diet and see if that helps. The difference for me – before and after salt – was so remarkable! I never would have believed something dietary could have such a profound effect. Hang in there. Wishing you all the very best.

  93. carol shaffer says:

    Christy,

    Thanks so much for the advice. I have been trying to cut back on salt, but I’m afraid I haven’t been as diligent as you probably need to be. I just have one more question.(well maybe two). When your hearing was it bad did it sound kind of like speakers blown out? (like muffled or in a tunnel) And also you said you still have bouts of hearing loss. How often? Your story gives me such hope, thanks again!

    • Christy says:

      You’re so welcome, Carol. Try to cut back as much as possible w the salt (it is hard) and see. It’s worth all the effort to feel normal again. The more vigilant you are too, the faster the response may be. If you can get below 1500 mg per day, do! As for the hearing loss, yes absolutely. When I’m having an episode, it sounds like the whole world is muffled, yet noises – particularly loud noises- are amplified. It’s like I’m hearing down the looooong end of a tube, almost like an ear horn w a cork in it. It’s crazy. I still contend w Meniere’s episodes but since going vegan (on top of low sodium) two years ago, they’ve been fewer and farther between. I haven’t had full blown vertigo since last year. This morning I woke up w my ear crackling, but it’s due to the weather (rainy today). Nothing I can control. You should definitely have hope!!

  94. alex says:

    Hi Christy,

    Thank you so much for your blog, inspirational testimony and recipes.

    To follow up on Carol’s post, I also suffer from a low frequency hearing loss since February. I had a sudden feeling of plugged ear on my left side but did not realize then that I had a hearing loss. I had no vertigo. I went to my generalist doctor who simply prescribed some nasal spray. It is only weeks later as the symptoms subsided that I went to see some specialists who told me that I had a sudden deafness. I must mention that seven years ago I had already the symptoms of ear fullness and some form of dizziness. At that time, I went to see a specialist who said that I had Menière’s decease. However, my audiogram then was normal. I went to see him again lately to show him my audiogram and he said that this was just confirming his earlier diagnosis of Menière. I do not know what to believe, whether my current hearing loss is a manifestation of Menière or whether it is “just” a sudden hearing loss. I am also trying on clinging on the idea that my hearing will recover. However it’s been four months now, nearly five… So my question to you is how long (weeks, months?) did you suffer from hearing loss before starting on the low sodium diet?
    Thank you very much in advance for your response!
    Alex

    • Christy says:

      Hi Alex. So sorry to hear of your deafness and difficulty. I can appreciate how difficult it can be getting definitive answers to your questions and truly wish you all the best. It took me almost a year from the onset of
      my symptoms to receive an official diagnosis of Ménière’s disease (from early Oct. 2003 till Sept. 2004). From that point on I’ve been following a low sodium diet and my hearing has returned. I’d strongly suggest trying the salt free diet and seeing if it helps restore your hearing. Can’t hurt and definitely might help! Good luck!!

  95. alex says:

    Thank you for your quick response Christy. I will definitely try to put your good advice in practice!
    Thank you for sharing your positivity!

  96. alex says:

    Dear Christy,

    Just a quick additional question regarding the low sodium diet. I also happened to notice on your blog that you are a wine amateur (as I am!). When you put in practice your low sodium diet which helped you to recover your hearing, did you also cut off wine altogether?

    Thank you in advance for your response.
    Alex

    • Christy says:

      Hi Alex! Nice to know you’re a fellow wine enthusiast! No, I have not given up wine. Many people w Meniere’s do stop drinking if it seems to exacerbate or even bring on symptoms. It’s never been an issue for me (thankfully!) I don’t drink any caffeine though, as that reaaaally seems to whack me out. like all things, it’s what does or doesn’t work for you. Stay strong!! :D

  97. David Pillinger says:

    Hi Christy,
    I am a 72 yr old single,active guy who lives in the UK, I developed Menieres when I was 65 after a life literally without any serious illness. Like yourself I have scoured the world looking for sodium free products, and over the years I have learned to live with the condition, one product which friends on holiday noticed and kindly brought home from Malta their, was a sodium free salt substitute which I found excellent for flavouring my foods, and also for cooking with.
    The name of the product is Nu-Salt manufactured in the USA by Cumberland packing corp: Brooklyn
    NY 11205. (they also manufacture Sweet’N'low,) I have been using the Nu-Salt for several years and I find it a tremendous product which enhances the taste of my foods.
    There are many sufferers of Meniere’s in the UK, for there is a society for sufferer’s called spin, which
    we subscribe too, and members are sent quarterly magazines packed with information from specialist’s etc regarding Meniere’s, the magazine also has a section for members which allows for members letters.
    Please forgive this rather long winded letter, but I am delighted to help any fellow sufferer’s.
    Best wishes
    David P

  98. Carol says:

    Hi Christy,

    I posted this under your recipe blog by mistake. If you see it forgive me for posting twice. I was just wondering if you or anyone out there notices an environmental or allergy related component to this. It seems as though sodium intake isn’t as much of a culprit as the winter and spring months are. That seems to be when my hearing really acts up. Maybe being exposed to certain seasonal allergens make me more vulnerable to attacks? Just wondering if anyone had the same experience. Thanks so much for your website it is a real spirit lifter!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Carol,

      Great question. I haven’t noticed a huge difference in symptoms due to season, but I don’t suffer from allergies. It makes sense though, given the effect allergens have on the sinuses. **If anyone else has noticed something similar, please speak up!**

      You’re so welcome for the site. I’m so glad it’s been helping.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Christy

  99. laura says:

    thank you for the hope.

  100. Nancy says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog while searching for a low-sodium for baking soda! What an amazing surprise to read that you have MD. I haven’t officially been diagnosed with it, but everything has been pointing to it for the last 6 months. I’m 58. I have learned almost everything I know about MD from websites & blogs. I have appts with a neurologist & an ENT at Hopkins in the next 6 weeks, so hopefully I’ll get more help.
    I have been trying to figure out my triggers and one seems to be loud sounds (not sudden but continuous), which seems to cause my whole head to vibrate. Attending a musical production, playing handbells, playing my folk harp, even lots of talking in a small room have set off my vertigo.
    Over the past 4-6 weeks I have quit caffeine & cut back on sodium as much as I can, am taking a diuretic (except when my BP goes too low, which has been often), but have still have had several vertigo attacks most weeks, plus lots of ear fullness. Tinnitus isn’t a major problem right now, thank God. I use some essential oils, supplements, and Dramamine, but sometimes nothing seems to help stop the vertigo & vomiting.
    I am so glad I found your blog, will be continuing to read it & try your recipes. Thank you is much for sharing your story & info.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Your symptoms certainly sound similar. I truly hope you get a definitive diagnosis – and soon!

      Hang in there. Wishing you all the very best,
      Christy

  101. Jill G says:

    Hi Christy,

    I have been suffering from the exact same symptoms for 13 years now. It all started night after my husband and I had returned from a 3 days cruise. I was violently awoken in my sleep grabbing on to the covers because I was sure I would fly off the bed. I was terrified. My husband wanted to take me to the ER but I was scared to death to even move. We both eventually went back to sleep and he took me to the doctor first thing in the morning. I still had the dizziness but not not as bad I could walk holding onto my husband. I told the doctor what had happened and he prescribed me Meclezine and told me it was vertigo and sent me home. I spent the next several years struggling with ringing and dizziness but nothing as severe as the attack I had. Then it hit me again in my sleep. We had gone to California and while we were there my hearing went completely muffled in one ear. It was such a crazy feeling to have it just suddenly go out like that. It came back within a matter of a few minutes, but then it went out in the other ear. It took it a couple of hours before it partially came back. The night we arrived home I had another violent attack – Sweating, tingling, spinning, vomiting. I even thought I was going to mess myself. Thank God I didn’t. My husband took me to the ER this time but once again we were told the same exact thing. You have vertigo, take meclazine. I cried. I felt like no one can help me and my life was over. Again it happened and this time was the worst of them all, and my husband looked up a doctor in the phone book and called them and told them what was happening. There was a raging storm outside and I could barely walk. The doctors office staff was staying late for me waiting for me to arrive in the hurricane weather. After listening to my story Dr. Sellner told me he thought it was Meniers. I had never heard of Meniers until then. He gave me instructions to take meclazine, steroids and no salt and to come back in 1 week. This doctor was the only one who really seemed to care and listen to me. I received a phone call the day before my return appointment from the doctors office stating that my doctor had left the practice and moved to another state. I have since had more horrifying attacks and seen many doctors. None of whom will give me any answers. My most recent appointment was today. When I told this doctor (#6) that my symptoms all pointed to Menier’s he said we don’t like to use the “M” word and that not all of my symptoms pointed to it. I asked him which symptoms were they and he had the nerve to say, and I quote, “I don’t think we should get into that now”. I want to wait to see all of your previous records.
    I know this is such a long story but I feel like I am at my wits end. I can’t work anymore because of this and financially we can’t afford for me to keep going to a specialist even with our health insurance I am desperate!!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Jill,

      Can’t say how sorry I was to read this. I wish I had answers for you; I can only urge you to keep seeking a proper diagnosis. It’s worth any cost (even when money is beyond tight). Your health is truly priceless.

      You aren’t alone here. So many of us have gone through similar tribulations. Hang in there.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Christy

  102. lesley says:

    thank you for no salt

  103. ann says:

    what about caffeine? my doctor told me to cut back to one cup a day. and drink 8 glasses of fluid a day too. i have the type of meniers that displays as aural fullness and dizziness. started with a bppv episode two months ago.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Ann. It really varies by individual, but many people say caffeine exacerbates their symptoms. I limit my caffeine, drinking no more than a cup of coffee per day, if I have any. And the water will definitely help. We should all be drinking at least 64 oz. per day for best health!

  104. Chris says:

    I was healed for ovee 5 years and i just had an attack… breathi g in peppermint oil.. putting a drop behind each ear..and sipping all day 1/8 teaspoon ginger muxed in a cup of water has given me relief with vertigo/dizziness and vomiting. I do this on and off ALL DAY.

  105. Elizabeth says:

    Hello,

    I found your blog entry while looking up Meniere’s disease and aural fullness. My symptoms started with tinnitus maybe 4 months ago. At first, the tinnitus came and went, which I didn’t pay attention to. Then 2 months later, I felt like my ears were clogged, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get them to pop. Then, while on vacation, I had a sudden vertigo episode (and the loudest ringing I’ve ever heard) right before I was about to ride a horse. It was probably one of the scariest moments of my life because I could have really gotten hurt. So I decided when I got home I’d go straight to my general practitioner only to be told (after a battery of blood/orthostatics/neurological tests) that for the most part, everything was normal. He told me to ask my family if there was a history of Thyroid problems, and he told me if my symptoms didn’t get better (and the thyroid test came back normal) I should go see an ENT.

    Then it started to get harder to hear –especially lower frquencies. Men/people with soft voices/ or people who mumble are hard to hear/understand.

    I went to see the ENT who ran blood tests (again) and sent me to have a hearing test/vng. The audiologist didn’t say much about my hearing test, but said my left ear didn’t react appropriately to the inner ear stimulus. I see the ENT again soon so he can decide if he wants to run more tests or give me a diagnosis.

    I found out when I ask my grandparents about any thyroid problems, one of my grandmother’s told me her mother was profoundly deaf by 40 and her brothers were also very, very hard of hearing. She said what I’m going through sounded a lot like what her mother used to talk about.

    I’m just sort of at a loss right now. I just want to know what’s wrong because some people in my family, or at my work say I’m overreacting or faking (because the symptoms fluctuate) but how can you fake a vng/caloric test. (easy: you can’t)

    I’m sorry for rambling on your blog. But thank you for your insight.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Elizabeth, I’m so sorry to about your symptoms! How terrifying! I totally understand the agony of trying to find a proper diagnosis – especially when symptoms fluctuate. Please hang in there. If you aren’t getting help from your ENT, and the symptoms are persisting – even if they’re off and on – keep trying. Your hearing is WAY too precious to lose. Wishing you the very best of luck. Christy

  106. John says:

    I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease eight years ago. Although I do still have occasionally severe episodes, I still fly across the country every chance I get. I have only had one episode during an actual flight. I just make sure I have Meclizine and Lorazepam nearby and take them immediately upon having an episode. It seems to shorten the duration of the episodes, even if they are initially as severe. Best wishes to all who experience this challenge!

  107. Christina says:

    I am right now in the process of being diagnosed with MD after battling these symptoms for many years. It i good to finally find an EMT who will listen to me about my experiences and not treat me like I am crazy. It’s so sad to be afraid to seek help because of unhelpful doctors. I went to an ENT three years ago and left in tears only to return to a different ENT now. I will be going in for balance testing in the future as ordered by my new ENT. I am hopeful now and know I will get a treatment plan to help me in the future. He thinks I have a rare form of MD because my hearing is still good, but loud noises really bother my ears.

    • Christy says:

      I feel your pain, Christina. Hopefully the new doctor helps! Wishing you a positive experience. Best of luck to you, Christy

    • Christina Smith says:

      I stopped drinking coffee about two months ago and it has helped tremendously. Also, I am trying to be more aware of limiting salt and avoiding msg. I found a really helpful list of msg type ingredients and how other ingredients that aren’t precisely msg can trigger flare ups. If anyone wants a copy, please let me know and I can post it.

  108. Rachelle says:

    Hi, I had the surgery 27 years ago.
    Everything had been great except this Summer was very bad with the humidity and allergies.
    I went to my ENT and had the ears cleaned, figuring it would help, as up till then I was still doing alright.
    This doctor uses the vacuum system to clean the wax out.
    Two weeks later I started getting a stabbing pain in the right ear, on and off.
    Then I began feeling fluid in that ear as well as the left and my vision was out of whack.
    I went to a walk-in clinic and was told I had pus in the right ear and fluid in the left..
    Was given the terrible Z-Pak
    That was a terrible antibiotic even 10 days after finishing.
    So after still feeling like poo,, I made an appointment with the ENT surgeon that did the surgery with placing the shunt, I go tomorrow.
    Now I am reading that the shunts only last 8 years and should be replaced because the mastoid bone can grown around the tube and close it off.
    I’m not too happy, I think I should have been told by this doctor this would need to be replaced after a certain amount of time.
    Not looking forward to another surgery but can’t walk around like this.
    I am just wondering if by having the vacuum cleaning might have messed things up inside..
    We shall see……………………………….

  109. Nanci says:

    Thank you so much for your story. I wept when, after looking at your awesome recipes, I decided to check out your “about me” page and realized you have Ménière’s. I am so sorry you had to go through so much before a diagnosis. I now realize how much more fortunate I’ve been in my journey thus far. Six weeks ago, I was at work when I started feeling a little dizzy and just not quite right. I came home, and the dizziness just got worse. I went to bed, thinking it was just a cold or something. Waking up the next morning, it was still there. This went on for a few days until my husband pretty much made me go to the doctor. My doctor did an exam and said it was probably an inner ear virus that wouldn’t last too long, prescribed the Meclizine and sent me home. After another week, all the symptoms were just about gone. I was even able to go back to work (I’m a fencing coach). This lasted for about 2 1/2 weeks and then one morning when I awoke, I felt like a truck had rolled over me- I had a horrendous buzzing in my ears, nausea, dizziness, pressure in my head and a migraine. This lasted off and on for about a week. I went back to my doctor who examined me again and upon hearing all of my symptoms, gave me the MD diagnosis. She’s prescribed Hydroclhorothiazide to try to lessen the fluid & did a referral to the ENT in town. I haven’t had my appt. with the the ENT yet, but I know they know all about MD which I’m glad to know.
    For now, I’ve also started the low sodium eating thing plus no caffeine. It seems to help as I don’t feel nearly as sick as I did before, even though I’m still having the symptoms. All of this to say, I am super grateful to have found your website. Yes, for the recipes, but mostly it felt like I had someone who has gone through the same sort of thing I have. It’s hard to share with people- even those who love you- because as much as they want, they just can’t get it. Thank you again, and I am looking forward to keeping up with what’s going on in the daily dish!

    • Christy says:

      Nanci, I’m absolutely thrilled to hear about your speedy diagnosis! YAY! Best of luck w. the ENT visit. Sounds like they’re very knowledgable and it should go swimmingly. It can take time to get back to a normal equilibrium, but w the low sodium diet, hopefully it’ll be speedy. So glad you found the site – I really hope it helps. Wishing you all the very best! Christy

  110. Christina says:

    I am just following up to my earlier comments. I went through a series of tests last week for balance, hearing, etc. After all the testing, the ENT stated he is positive that I have Vestibular Migraines with Vertigo and NOT Meniere’s Disease because I have no loss of hearing. Has anyone else been diagnosed with this instead of MD? I guess the symptoms are almost identical.

    • Kelly says:

      I’ve been experiencing symptoms for about four months. My ENT hasn’t made a firm diagnosis yet, but he says his gut is 50-50 between Meniere’s and vestibular migraine. Dr. Google tells me that onset of vestibular migraine often coincides with approaching menopause. I’m a 43-year-old woman with perimenopause symptoms, so I’m hoping that it might be vestibular migraine for me too.

  111. Elizabeth says:

    Hello! I am so glad to see your blog. I have been suffering from balance issues for a while and I knew it had to do with my ears. Three ENT later they all said my ears are fine, could be allergies and my family doctor thinks is ETD dysfunction. I have had two VNG test done and nothing came up as well as MRI of brain and cervical. My ears popping and clogged started more than year ago and I had few dizziness episodes, my ears started ringing since last June and sometimes during the day they get too loud. I haven’t been diagnose with MD but my fam doctor thinks I might have it after seeing me last week with bad vertigo first time I had ever experienced it. She prescribed antivert and it helped. I will see her tomorrow to tell her about your story. I will cut my caffeine for sure and watch for salt intake. I am so glad to have found your story.

  112. Evann says:

    Hi Christy. I literally cried reading your story. I was diagnosed with Meniere’s about 6 months ago and like you, most days are ok, but some are very difficult and depressing. Most of my friends/family/coworkers had never heard of Meniere’s disease and they’re learning right along with me. When my doctor first told me to keep my sodium intake below 1500mg per day, I thought …no sweat! Wow! Was I wrong! Little did I know how much sodium I was consuming on a daily basis. Like you, I’ve had to rethink everything I eat. I’m constantly on the look out for low sodium recipes (since I make almost everything from scratch now) and I’m thrilled to discover your website. Thank you for sharing your story – I feel like I have a kindred spirit out there :)

    • Christy says:

      Hey Evann! So glad you found the site! It always makes my day to get comments, especially from kindred spirits. I hope the site and recipes help w your transition. Sometimes just knowing there are other people who understand can get you through the craptastic times. So feel free to vent! Wishing you much health and happiness always, Christy

  113. Jaime says:

    Hi there! Thank you for your story. I am 30 years old and been experiencing a lot of the symptoms described in M disease. I have seen every specialist and my ent now wants to test me for Meniers. I do have one question. Can you please describe your dizziness? The neurologist says what I am describing is not Menetis because I don’t feel a spinning sensation. I have collapsed three times now each episode spread out by one month. I have taken two ambulance rides and even after the attack I feel symptoms for days after but not nearly as bad. Just today I noticed a little fullness in my ear but no major hearing loss. When you say vertigo… Is is the spins? What I am experiencing is more out of body and the room seems to be moving almost like an earthquake. It terrifies me and makes me fall to the ground. Thank you so much.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Jaime! I’m so sorry to hear about your condition and really hope you get an accurate diagnosis soon.

      When I get vertigo it can be one or the other – spinning OR a sensation of terrible dizziness and disconnectedness. I’ve had both. There have been times when I’ve had full-blown vertigo – “the spins” – but often it’s more mild dizziness and disorientation. I feel out of it and off balance. I’ve had bad episodes where it feels like I’m falling backwards for days. Or could fall over. I’ve had times when the whole world starts shifting upwards at an angle – one time the refrigerator I was standing in front of started shifting sideways. Talk about crazy. It’s terrifying.

      I also sometimes get this feeling of “fogginess” or sensory overload and I just have to sit down and close my eyes or focus on a single spot straight ahead. Eventually it passes.

      I hope this helps. I’m truly sorry you’re going through this and wish you all the very best. Christy

  114. Jennifer says:

    Hi Christy,

    I came across your recipes and I am very eager to try them. I was just recently diagnosed with Meniere’s and am trying to find ways to enjoy food again. Thank you for the many options. :)

    Your story is an inspiration that while we may live with this “constant companion”, it does not control us.
    Going through my first episode (that’s what I call it when I wake from a sound sleep and the vertigo is so bad that I can’t walk, then the sickness for hours after) was terrifying. I am learning how to get on with life again. The meds have helped. Still fighting with my insurance company for the approval for an MRI.

    It is great, and sad, to see so many comments here from people living with the same issues. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you, Christy.

    • Christy says:

      You’re so welcome, Jennifer, and thank you for taking the time to comment. Wishing you much luck w your insurance company and many healthy, happy tomorrows. Best to you, Christy

  115. KarenD says:

    Christy,

    Thank you so much for posting your story. After reading it I am quite sure I have Meniere’s and have probably suffered from it for at least 30 years. I was recently diagnosed with Vestibular Neuritis but that was because of extreme vertigo and a fullness feeling in my right ear I recently experienced after a virus. I quit going to doctors for my ear problem about 25 years ago because they all told me the same thing. Take Sudafed, Antivert, etc. Nothing really helped much. On my own I realized I couldn’t fly anymore (my family doesn’t understand why I won’t fly and I am ridiculed for it) because I was so off balance and dizzy for many weeks after. I couldn’t work and take care of my young children feeling that way. I’ve had popping and tinnitus in my ear for so many years that I never even thought to tell the new ENT about it. What really got to me in your story was the noises you heard that you thought sounded like a truck outside. It really hit home. I’ll often wake up and hear a humming or what sounds like a muffled radio broadcast. It never dawned on me that it was because of my ear issues. Also, changes in the weather affect me also. I get very dizzy and “off” before a low pressure system. I thought it was related to my ears and now reading that other’s with Meniere’s are affected the same way confirms it. Years ago the doctors attributed my dizziness and “ear fullness feeling” with TMJ and I assumed that’s what it was. I think I was misdiagnosed and I plan on scheduling another appointment with the ENT to diagnose or rule out Meniere’s. Thank you so much for making us not feel so isolated and allowing us to express ourselves on your website. You have given me a great gift today. Peace and Good Health to you!

    • Christy says:

      Dear KarenD – you are SO welcome! I’m thrilled you’re seeking a second opinion and wish you all the very best w the doctor. Here’s to a speedy return to full health! Best wishes to you, Christy

  116. Liz Snyder says:

    Christy…thank you SO much for sharing your story! I am going for my test for Meniere’s next week with a fantastic ENT whom I love! I came across your story while researching as much as I can about it. I can’t believe how many of my symptoms parallel yours – my dizziness lasted for weeks (almost 4). It’s much better, now, but my ear still pops and feels clogged. She first sent me for a cat scan of my sinuses and when she said “there is no fluid in your ear” I literally stood up out of my chair and said “you have got to be kidding me…” Although it has gotten better, you do not feel nauseous from dizziness and unable to funtion for almost a month with your ear ringing as if you’ve been to a heavy metal concert, from allergies. Although I do not necessarily “want” this diagnosis, I do want some answers and want to be able to figure out how to handle this moving forward. I am sorry it took so long to get your diagnosis, it’s only been a few months for me and that has been frustrating!
    Thank you, again, for sharing.

    • Christy says:

      Hey Liz! I hope everything goes wonderfully next week w your ENT. And you’re so welcome! I’m so glad to help others by sharing my story. Thank you for brightening my day w your comment :) Wishing you all the very best! Christy

  117. Stephanie says:

    Hi! I read your story and it’s very similar to mine in that it happened after I had my second child. With mine though I had a lot of head fullness, like sinus pressure but it wasn’t my sinuses.
    Anyways I was wondering if you had an epidural. My ENT has found a connection between woman who get epidural and having issues with Ménière’s disease.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Stephanie! I didn’t have an epidural with any of my births – all were just standard/natural. Very curious to hear of the causal connection your ENT has found though. So strange! Hope you’re feeling much better now (or soon!)
      Best wishes to you, Christy

  118. Chris Murphy says:

    My dad had it, so I have it. Now my daughter is talking about ringing in her left ear. It seems to run in the family. I take Sudafed to reduce fluid, and I am a low salt kinda guy. I still hear roaring every day, and my left ear has about a 60% loss on in-coming sound. Alcohol can intensify the roaring and the dizziness…so.

    • Christy says:

      Sorry to hear this, Chris. It’s definitely a challenge living with Meniere’s. Hope that you and your daughter are coping well. Wishing you both the best, Christy

    • Suzanne says:

      Chris, sorry, I really had to respond to this. Sudafed is not an antihistamine. It is a decongestant that works by constricting the blood vessels and allow you to breathe more freely. But it isn’t just the the blood vessels in your sinuses, but all over. This is why it increases blood pressure. It will CAN and WILL cause tinnitus (ringing in your ears) due to the constricted blood vessels. However, tinnitus caused by “stuffiness” due to colds or seasonal allergic rhinitis can be helped by things like Sudafed. (of course, as with everything YMMV)
      If you need to reduce fluid, you need to use an antihistamine or a diuretic. If you aren’t on a diuretic (and don’t have kidney disease) increase your potassium as it helps rid your body of sodium.
      Lastly, (you didn’t say if you have seen an ENT) don’t just presume that because your father had Meniere’s that you have it as well. Meniere’s has only a 10% chance of being familial. Although familial predisposition for hearing loss is higher, it doesn’t mean that the hearing loss is always from the same cause…it just means that you have a greater chance – from all causes – of suffering hearing loss. It would be best for both you and your daughter to see an ENT to determine the cause, so that they might (hopefully) be able to correct the problem before it gets worse.

  119. Nina Hallett says:

    I’m in the process of being diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. At one point I was starting hyperbaric treatment but the pressure in y good ear was terrible. So tubes were inserted into both ears. I can travel by air. For those of you saying you cannot fly, have your doctors talked about the possibility of inserting tubes in the ears? Usually they do this for infants and small children, but it an done in adults also. It’s worth asking about.

  120. Richard says:

    I have Meniere’s, even eating a banana gives me a buzz. Long gone are the days of eating processed ham, such a IHOP omelletes or chili cheese dogs, hormel chili. Sometimes eating at social events, such as church suppers, I am caught off guard by the salt percentage. Anything over 800 mgs of sodium in one serving is a no no. At least it isn’t sugar, as I have always had a sweet tooth. I usually can tell the salt percentage in the first few bites but sometimes it is sneaky and I have to cut my self off from that food. I went to the doctor after I couldn’t hold down anything for three weeks and had to wear a belt on my 29″ pants. Turning to the left or right while lying in bed would set off the vomitting episodes, it was awful.

  121. Alicia Harmon says:

    I am wondering if the giant Himalayan Salt Lamp on my desk is giving off sodium into the air?
    I have suffered from vertigo and ear problems now for years and very much appreciate this article.

    Alicia

    • Christy says:

      Hi Alicia,

      So glad you found my story. I’m not sure about the salt lamp – it might release charged ions into the room, but I have no idea what effect they might have on your vertigo. Anyone have any knowledge of this?? Please feel free to contribute.

      Wishing you all the best,
      Christy

  122. Caren says:

    Hi Christy,

    I found your blog today and it is definitely comforting. Just like you, I am a young mother of 2 girls and still trying to make sense of what is happening. I had the first episode in 2014 but it went into remission until the birth of my second daughter 4 months ago. Have you tried any antiviral or anti fungal treatment to see if it helps in your MD? What are the kind of treatment which help to stabilise your condition?

    Best wishes from Singapore.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Caren!

      SO glad you found the site! I’m so sorry to hear that your MD has come back. I’ve found since the onset of my symptoms that hormones definitely play a part too – not only did my MD start up after my daughter’s birth, but my monthly periods also influence my symptoms. So strange! As for your question, I’ve never tried antiviral or anti fugal meds to seek relief. But if you do, please let me know how they work for you!

      Wishing you all the very best,
      Christy

  123. Kate says:

    Hi Christy,
    I was diagnosed with Menieres (cochlear hydrops) last year, and it’s been rough! I’m adjusting much better now, but had trouble finding sufficient information/support in the beginning and wish I’d known about your site–I teared up reading your story (and many of the comments here), realizing I’m not as alone as I may feel sometimes.
    I’m not much of a cook, but, the wealth of information and recipes you share here is inspiring me already. Thank you so much!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Kate! You are so very welcome – and WELCOME! haha So glad you found the site and really hope it offers some help w the diet. Also hope you’re feeling better each and very day! Strength in numbers! WOOT. Wishing you a great weekend, Christy

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  125. ted bodnat says:

    Hi Christy
    My name is Ted Bodnar and live in Atlanta. I’ve been using your site off and on for 2 months. Been meaning to touch base with you. I used to live in Maine and still have family on Lake Messalonski, outside of Augusta.
    I’ve been doing 1000 mg. a day for a year, now. Over that time, I have followed Dick Logue and Jessica Goldman, and a few others.
    I have a question. I noticed yesterday, that Dick’s site is gone. Do you know anything about that? Would hate to loose all that information.
    PS
    I made your chicken Vindaloo, recently, and of course the waffles. ( I did make them cornbread waffles) Was also thrilled to find the no salt mustard at Whole Foods
    Thanks
    Ted

    • Christy says:

      Hi Ted!

      Nice to get your message. Cool coincidence – the Maine/Atlanta connection! Haha I’m glad to hear this site has been useful and hope it continues to help w your diet. As for Dick’s site, I haven’t been in touch w him for many years, but he is the nicest man. I’d suggest perhaps sending him a message through his FB fan page? It hasn’t been updated since 2011, so not sure how active he still is online, but it’s worth a try. I went to LowSodiumCooking.com and saw the domain has expired. Perhaps he simply got tired of maintaining the site? If you want to still access his site directly, there is an archive available HERE. Or, you can buy one of his many cookbooks! Hope this helps.

      Best wishes to you, Christy

      • ted bodnat says:

        Hey thanks, Christy.
        That archive thing looks like it will work for me.
        PS – Made the spinach and potato soup yesterday. Made it really hot. Had it for lunch, today.
        Enjoyed it
        Ted

  126. Lisa Dellinger says:

    I was diagnosed with MD 18 years ago. Mine started with losing my voice for days or weeks and what seemed to be “colds”, “bronchitis ” or respiratory infections. This continued until my initial violent attack. Since then I have been very functional except..I will get what seems to be a cold but my eyes will run and swell (sometimes one will swell shut) and my nose will run like a faucet. My voice is affected as well. I’m not contagious because no one around me has ever gotten sick. And I don’t have allergies. I have so much pressure in my head and if I bend over I get nauseous and dizzy. Have you or anyone else experienced similar symptoms?

    • Christy says:

      That sounds absolutely awful, Lisa. I’m so sorry to read this. I don’t get “cold” symptoms but do get intense pressure when I’m having an episode. I also experience what I describe as visual overstimulation. Like a sensory overload and often need to close my eyes and rest until it passes – typically quickly, thank goodness.

      Anyone else experience cold symptoms, like Lisa, or voice changes?

  127. Tammy says:

    just diagnosed with Meniers. life has come to a halt. I recently had a two week period of dizziness and vomiting that put and kept me in the bed experienced a brain fog that was terrifying. I couldn’t even pay bills I was so confused. Valium and water pulls did not help. I have lost some hearing. The vertigo gets so bad. After my husband drive me to an eye appointment (which just killed me) and bouncing off the walls like a drunk and feeling so sick I thought I would have to leave .. I came home and cried my eyes out. Feel so robbed, old and depressed. I have quit going out of the house except to church and get groceries. I see a specialist I Memphis, Tn. in October. I pray he can help me. I’m used to being independent, taking care if my house and paying the bills…I am totally depressed and withdrawn. I’m 51 and I feel like I’m 90 all the sudden. My doc got me a handicap parking tag to help me on my worst days. I’m thankful but feel like I aged overnight. I did walk 2 miless a day and work out 3 times a week at the gym. Good to read the other stories abd not feel so isolated, misunderstood and crazy. My husband has been so understanding. Thank God I have him.. Thankful I came across your story!

    • Christy says:

      Hi Tammy,

      I’m so so sorry to read how badly you’re struggling, but it’s a relief to hear you have a specialist visit coming up soon. I truly hope the low sodium diet helps you as much as it’s helped me. I totally understand what you’re going through – so many of us have experienced the same thing and know how devastating it can be. HANG IN THERE. I truly hope you find relief ASAP. Thinking of you and wishing you much health and happiness.

      Best wishes,
      Christy

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