Conquer Meniere’s Disease with Supplements

Your body needs key nutrients to maintain optimal health. This is even more true while you’re healing. At a minimum, you need to take a daily multi vitamin to meet basic nutritional requirements. You need antioxidants along with basic vitamins and minerals.

There are also supplements you can take above and beyond basic vitamins. When used wisely, herbal supplements can be a key part of maintaining good health naturally. I use valerian root to help me sleep when travelling to different time zones. I also load up on astragulus and echinacea at the first signs of a cold to reduce its duration or eliminate it altogether. If I get a sunburn, I apply aloe vera to the burn for soothing relief. Herbs are something that I use regularly to maintain good health.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the regimen that John of Ohio posted to the internet was an important key in controlling my Meniere’s symptoms. John outlines a couple of principles on which his suggestions are based. The first is that Meniere’s disease symptoms are caused by decreased circulation in the inner ear. John’s posting pointed out three supplements that I started taking that had a dramatic effect on my health. Those three supplements were ginkgo biloba, vinpocetine, and lemon bioflavonoids.

While taking health supplements is quite popular, finding a reliable source of information about them and the supplements themselves can often prove challenging. Relying on the advice of a neighbor or random promotional web page is not the best strategy when managing important health issues.

The government has not done much to regulate the quality of health supplements. The Federal Drug Administration oversees drug companies closely to ensure the safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs. Companies that sell herbal supplements are not held to the same high standards. The end result is that there are plenty of pricey, ineffective products in that industry. Do some research before you go to the pharmacy or natural food store and you will meet with more success. Here are a few points to consider.

o Herbs come in different forms. Different forms produce different levels of effectiveness. The effectiveness of a supplement can be diminished by oxidation. Those forms that allow the least exposure to air typically lose their potency slower.

o Solid and Liquid extracts: These are a good choice as they are stable and preserve their potency for a long time.

o Tinctures: These are alcoholic extracts. They are usually prepared by adding them to a water-ethanol mixture and then letting it stand for a few weeks. They can be more effective with people that have digestive problems.

o Teas: These are brewed from dried herbs that can deteriorate quickly. Follow the expiration dates closely.

o Bulk herbs: these can deteriorate quickly. While they can be cheap and convenient, they are not recommended

o Powered herbs: These are ground dried herbs put into capsules. Grinding them up increases the surface area of the herb, thus increasing oxidation. They can lose their potency faster than other forms.

  • Buy from a reputable source. If you do not have your own trusted herbalist, buy from a large, reputable company.
  • Follow directions closely. Some people are of the opinion that if a little of something is good then a lot is much better, but you can still overdo it with supplements. Just as high amounts of vitamin A can be toxic, so can high amounts of supplements. Overdosing on Kava will cause liver damage. Treat your supplements with respect and do not take more than needed.
  • If you do have adverse reactions to something, stop taking it immediately. Start new supplements one at a time so it’s easier to isolate responses and reactions. If you started taking multiple supplements at once and you experience negative symptoms, stop taking all of them. Slowly reintroduce them into your body one at a time with a week or two between each new supplement.
  • Buy standardized products. Standardized products have been tested and proven to include the specified amount of ingredients claimed. It is not a complete guarantee of quality, but is your best bet at getting a product that is what it claims to be. Understand that the process of standardizing is done voluntarily by the manufacturer rather than by a third party. Therefore, I repeat my previous advice to buy from a reputable company.
  • When comparison-shopping, be wary of the lowest cost–especially if it is inordinately lower than the next closest competition. If the price is considerably lower and it is not part of some outrageous sale, it may not be the bargain you are looking for. The old adage “you get what you pay for” is never truer than when purchasing health supplements.
  • Make sure what you are about to buy is fresh. Always check expiration dates. This will be a key indicator of the supplement’s potency. Also, even if the supplement has not expired yet, project out as long as the bottle will take you. It if expires before all the capsules are used up, look for another bottle.
  • When comparison-shopping, take into account the dosage size. If the cost is low for a large number of capsules but the suggested dosage requires many capsules, you may not have a bargain. When comparing prices, compare the daily cost of each product.
  • If you have food allergies, make sure they are not present in what you are about to buy. Supplements may contain artificial preservatives or colorings, which may trigger allergic reactions.
  • Just like with vitamins, your body has a limit on just how much of a certain nutrient it can absorb within a specific amount of time. The more you can space out taking supplements through your day, the more each supplement will get absorbed.

Always remember the part that your physician plays in your role of getting better. Before starting out with a new regimen of supplements, you should consult your doctor.  While taking a specific supplement may be a good idea for the general public, it may not be a good ideas due to your own specific situation.



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