At this point, nobody should be a stranger to the fact that Food Is Medicine. The fuel we use to recharge our bodies is vital to our overall health. And when it comes to a Meniere’s Disease Diet, what we choose NOT to put in our bodies is just as important as what we choose to consume.
To clarify, many doctors consider diet modifications as a first line of defense against Meniere’s symptoms. There are many generally accepted diet changes advised for Meniere’s patients. However, a Meniere’s Disease Diet is not a complete substitute for treatment.
The diet changes may eliminate your symptoms completely. It may help manage your symptoms a little. Or it may not do anything. Regardless, we suggest reaching out to an ENT or Vestibular Audiologist (such as us) for a more complete Meniere’s treatment plan.
Meniere’s Disease Diet
As we established in Meniere’s Disease Basics, Meniere’s symptoms come from abnormal fluctuations of fluid in the inner ear. This fluid (called endolymph) is vital for helping maintain balance. The abnormal fluctuations in endolymph cause vertigo and the feeling of ear fullness.
Therefore, managing your body’s fluid with the following suggestions is a great first step:
- Low-Sodium Diet: Adopting a low-salt diet (1,500–2,000 mg per day) is extremely important. The more salt you consume, the more water that your body retains. Evidence suggests that this high water retention correlates to aural fullness.
- Abundant Water Intake: Get your fluids through water instead of sugary drinks. Consume the recommended amount of water daily (~1 gallon for men, ~¾ gallon for women)
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is another symptom of Meniere’s Disease. Diet changes that help manage tinnitus include:
- Limiting Caffeine: Lessen the amount of coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate you consume. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and makes migraines and tinnitus worse. Healthy alternatives that provide energy include Vitamin B12 and ginseng.
- Limiting Alcohol and Tobacco: Similarly, alcohol and nicotine affects our central nervous system leading to increased tinnitus and migraines.
- Get An Allergy Test: Food allergies and sensitivities are known to cause acute migraines and even tinnitus.
Generally speaking, adopting an overall healthier diet goes a long way toward reducing your symptoms:
- Eat Whole Foods: Replace processed foods with whole, natural foods (preferably non-GMO and organic).
Ultimately, everyone’s body reacts differently to dietary choices. It’s important that you find what triggers your Meniere’s symptoms and design your diet accordingly. (Glenn at Mind Over Meniere’s has a free Trigger Tracking Tool you might find helpful)
But to get you started, we curated a few recommendations for designing your Meniere’s Disease Diet:
More Advice On Lifestyle Choices
Managing your Meniere’s symptoms doesn’t stop at your diet, either. Getting into better habits is not only good for your health but could have an impact on your Meniere’s symptoms. Some of these healthier lifestyle habits include:
- Mental Health and Stress Management: Chronic stress leads to many health problems down the road. Learning how to manage your stress is important, whether through mindfulness or meditation, self-fulfilling hobbies, exercise, or spending time with friends.
- Regular Exercise: It doesn’t have to be much. Find an activity that gets your body moving and your blood pumping. And do it daily!
- Better Sleep: This is your time for recovery, both from the day and your Meniere’s symptoms. So try your best to get in the same sleep routine. Avoid screens an hour before bed. Tie up any “loose ends” before bed that’ll keep you awake and thinking. And if need be, use a white noise machine to help drown out the tinnitus.
As we established at the beginning of this article, a Meniere’s Disease Diet and better lifestyle habits won’t necessarily solve your Meniere’s symptoms.
A full Meniere’s treatment plan includes dietary changes, VRT, steroid therapy, and sometimes surgery or medical intervention. (Meniere’s Treatment discussed in detail here)
If you’re tired of living with Meniere’s and are ready to seek treatment, then we advise you to reach out to our clinic, the Dizzy & Vertigo Institute of Los Angeles. We specialize in diagnosing and treating vestibular disorders and have a great track record of helping people get back to a dizzy-free life.
Please reach out to our care team by filling out our contact form or giving us a call at (310) 954-2207.
We are looking forward to helping you!