The Meniere’s Disease Diet

With many health disorders, there is an associated diet.  With Meniere’s disease, the most common eating guideline is to lower your sodium intake.  I’ve spent a lot of time here talking about lowering your sodium. I’ve also touched on avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco–which is often also suggested by doctors.

In your quest to manage Meniere’s disease, there are other diet considerations.

  • Something often cited as a trigger to vertigo attacks with Meniere’s disease sufferers is allergies.  For this reason, it is a good idea to get tested for allergies to know if you are allergic to certain foods.  The Food Allergy and Anaphlaxis Network states that eight different foods account for 90% of all allergic reactions.  The eight foods are egg, milk, peanuts, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, soy and wheat.
  • Other things that have been cited as causing vertigo attacks among those with Meniere’s disease include sugar, chocolate, MSG, and aspirin products.
  • There was an article published in the August 2006 issue of The Laryngoscope titled Water May Cure Patients with Meniere’s Disease.  The study had 18 people with Meniere’s disease drink 35 mL/kg per day.  At the end of two years, they had lessened symptoms of vertigo and improved hearing.

One thing I have learned over the years is that you can be your own best doctor.  You are in charge of what works best for you.  As you ponder some of these concepts, you need to assess if avoiding some of the foods mentioned improve your health or if increasing your water intake lessens your Meniere’s symptoms.   These kind of things take time to determine.  Don’t be too hasty in your assessment.  This will take some time.  You will need to be objective over a long period. If your new food strategy reduces your attacks, it is reasonable to maintain that strategy.  However, an attack that occurs immediately after eating a specific food should not be attributed to that food unless, it occurs several times.

Bon appetit!


Managing Meniere’s Disease: CATS and SPADE

When I was first diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, my doctor told me to avoid CATS.  This is common advice to Meniere’s sufferers.  CATS stands for caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and stress.  I felt pretty good about this advice because I could monitor and eliminate the input of the first three things on the list and I incorrectly assumed that stress was not a problem in my life.  It wasn’t until a good doctor had a serious discussion with me about stress that I realized that I had a lot of stress in my life and that started me on my journey towards understanding how to manage my Meniere’s disease symptoms.   I feel that controlling your stress is important in handling any illness.  I have written plenty on that subject.

While reading the book, “Tinnitus, Turning the Volume Down,” I learned of another acronym.  That is SPADE and it stands for Stress, Panic disorder, Anxiety, Depression, and Emotional challenges.  In the book, Kevin Hogan the author, states that research into tinnitus suffering shows that the “ingredients” of SPADE tend to predispose people to tinnitus.

Since my initial diagnosis of Meniere’s disease, I have heard of CATS being defined another way: caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and sodium.  I like this definition better especially when used together with the SPADE acronym defined above.  You can think of this definition of CATS as guidelines covering what to not take into your body and of SPADE as the emotional states to avoid.

Together, CATS and SPADE, provide simple yet sound guidelines in helping to manage your Meniere’s disease symptoms.