Meniere’s and the Low Sodium Diet (part 2)

Low-sodium diets are often recommended by doctors to patients with Meniere’s disease. A  low-sodium diet was the first thing suggested to me during my first round with the disease. I was very diligent in consuming less than 1500 milligrams of sodium per day as my doctor suggested. The low-sodium diet did not seem to help alleviate any of the more serious symptoms of the disease, though I did notice that when I consumed a high-sodium food, the tinnitus in my ear increased. I could keep the ringing down by eating less sodium, but I could not eliminate the dizziness and vertigo. Still, the more I studied the benefits of a low-sodium diet, the more I was sold on its value. Although a low-sodium diet did little to help with Meniere’s disease during this first round.  I maintained that diet to improve my health in other areas.

The basic idea behind the low-sodium diet is that reducing sodium reduces the volume of endolymphatic fluid in the ear. This reduces endolymphatic hydrops and the symptoms associated with it. That hypothesis has not been fully proven, but the low-sodium diet does seem to help some Meniere’s disease sufferers.

High sodium intake leads to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major cause of stroke and heart disease. Since the 1970s, sodium consumption has increased greatly. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that the average sodium intake for Americans over the age of two is over 3400 milligrams per day. This is high, as I will show you a little later.

Lowering sodium intake is important even for those who do not have high blood pressure. The lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk for stroke and heart disease. That is the fact that really wins me over.  Everyone, not just those with Meniere’s disease, should commit to consuming lower amounts of sodium.

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