Meniere’s disease (MD) is a problem of the inner ear that is known for the following symptoms:
- A spinning sensation (vertigo)
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Hearing loss
- A feeling of congestion in the affected ear
- Abnormal headache
- Nausea and vomiting
Drop attacks are also among the list of symptoms, when a person suddenly falls to the ground but does not lose consciousness. MD often only affects one ear initially. As time goes on, the other ear may also have the same problem. A Meniere’s disease attack could last from 20 minutes to 3 hours, and the duration of time between episodes varies. One alarming aspect of MD is that tinnitus and hearing loss could become permanent if not treated. People who are 40 to 60 years old are the most affected, though it is not limited to these age groups. One in every 1,000 people have MD, and the majority of them are female.
Why Is It Called Meniere’s?
In the early 1800s, Dr. Prosper Meniere discovered that the symptoms connected with this condition originated from the inner ear and not the brain as was popularly believed at that time. He also distinguished that MD was a single disorder, and recognized what symptoms it included. Eventually, his theory became commonly accepted, and the name Meniere’s disease was attributed to his discoveries.
Why Does Meniere’s Disease Happen?
Meniere’s disease is still somewhat mysterious for those in the medical community. They are unsure why why it happens, and it is frequently suggested that environmental factors and genetics play a role. Many theories exist as to why it occurs:
- Blood vessel constriction
- Viral infections
- Autoimmune reactions
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo download our complimentary e-book How to Naturally Relieve Vertigo without Drugs by clicking the image below.
About 10% of cases connect it to heredity. The symptoms are related to an unusual amount of fluid building up in the labyrinth and inner ear. Doctors will usually make a diagnosis after a discussion of symptoms and a hearing test. A few conditions having similar symptoms are vestibular migraines and transient ischemic attack.
Treating Meniere’s Disease
Usually the way MD is treated is by focusing on symptom relief. Medications get prescribed to help with the nausea and anxiety. As of now, there are not any care options that prevent attacks from occurring. Some suggestions for relieving the severity of symptoms are as follows:
- A low salt diet
- Diuretics to reduce fluid retention
- Physical therapy to help with balance
- Counseling to help with anxiety
Occasionally injections in the ear are suggested, and even a surgical procedure, when nothing seems to be working. These are usually last resort options because of the risks involved. Here are a few of these risky treatments:
- Surgery to decompress the endolymphatic sac, which involves inserting a shunt and taking out the sac. This could reduce vertigo. The problem is that sometimes the shunts can get dislodged, so it is recommended only to use this as a last resort in care options.
- When severe hearing loss and vertigo are occurring symptoms, a chemical labyrinthectomy may be done. This is when a drug is injected into the ear and destroys part or most of the vestibular apparatus.
- Approximately 30 percent of Meniere’s disease sufferers have eustachian tube dysfunction. A study done in 2005 showed very little evidence that implanting of tympanostomy tubes in the ears was beneficial. In fact, in 2014 a review stated that they were no longer a supported form of treatment for Meniere’s.
- Damaging surgeries are sometimes recommended, such as a labyrinthectomy. Unfortunately, many times, these cases result in permanent hearing loss in the affected ear.
- A vestibular neurectomy is another invasive surgery that involves cutting the nerve connected to part of the the inner ear that controls balance. Hearing is preserved in this procedure; however, the problem is that the lining of the brain is being cut open. This means a few days in the hospital is required after the procedure in order to monitor progress.
Are There Natural Treatments for Meniere’s Disease?
There are a few at-home care options that are suggested for treating Meniere’s disease symptoms.
- A low sodium diet: The balance of salt in the body plays a key role in inflammation – a major contributor when it comes to MD onset. Lowering salt intake will reduce fluid retention.
- Balancing carbs and proteins: Insulin levels rise in the bloodstream as carbohydrates get broken down into simple sugars. However, protein helps the body release glucagon, which regulates the amount of insulin.
- Drinking lots of water: It may seem strange to recommend drinking large amounts of water while battling excess fluid in the body. However, if a virus, bacteria, or other pathogen is causing the fluid build-up to occur, this helps clear the body of these unwanted guests, and brings balance to the water contained within.
- Avoiding inflammatory foods, sugar substitutes, and MSG: Any consumable items that are hard to digest or can cause inflammation can lead to problems. Aspartame and MSG have been seen to cause MD flare ups.
- Avoiding caffeine and nicotine
- Reducing the amount of stress in your life
Reducing Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease with Proper Spinal Alignment
If the top bones of the neck – the C1 and C2 vertebrae – are misaligned, it could be the root cause of Meniere’s. When misalignment occurs here, it puts pressure on the brainstem, causing it to send improper signals to the brain. Included in this disruption are the nerves that connect the ear to the brain. This could account for the fluid build-up leading to the onset of Meniere’s.
There was a study done on 139 Meniere’s patients before and after they received care from an upper cervical chiropractor. Each individual had a history of trauma to their head or neck, ranging from whiplash to a trip and fall. Every patient experienced dramatic improvement in their symptoms once neck bones were realigned.
Here at Turning Point Spinal Care in Stow, Ohio, we use a very gentle method that does not require us to pop or crack the spine. Instead we encourage the bones to realign naturally. Our vertigo and Meniere’s patients have reported similar results as those in the previous study.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with the Besso clinic call (330) 689-1234 or just click the button below.
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if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.