A Natural Way to Treat Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s Disease is a condition of the inner ear that is believed to develop due to excess fluid buildup in the inner ear. It happens most often to people between 20 and 50 years of age, with symptoms that can come on suddenly such as:
- Disabling vertigo attacks
- Fluctuating hearing loss
- Ringing in the affected ear (tinnitus)
- A sensation of fullness in the ear
The symptoms can last from 1 to 6 hours, with the attack sometimes preceded by a full feeling in the ear. Tinnitus may start or get worse before the vertigo begins. The vertigo attacks can be disabling, and due to the severity of them, they can even cause nausea, vomiting, and loss of balance.
Why Does Meniere’s Disease Happen?
The specific cause of Meniere’s disease remains mostly a mystery. Some evidence points to an abnormal level of fluid in the inner ear. Within the inner ear, fluid is continuously secreted and reabsorbed to maintain a constant fluid level. There are two possible ways that can lead to abnormal quantity of fluid buildup – either an excess amount of fluid is being produced or there is a decrease in fluid reabsorption. Other risk factors may include a family history of the condition, allergies, recent illness, and certain prescription medications.
Natural Ways to Cope with Meniere’s Disease
The good news is that there are drug-free, non-invasive options that could potentially reduce the frequency and/or severity of episodes. Many of these natural ways of managing Meniere’s disease focus on maintaining a healthy fluid balance in the body:
- Low-sodium diet – salt causes fluid retention in the body, so it makes sense that by reducing the dietary sodium intake, Meniere’s disease sufferers may be able to limit the buildup of excess fluid in the inner ear by helping the body maintain a normal fluid balance. Too much salt intake can cause an increase in fluid retention and make symptoms worse.
- Avoid alcohol – alcohol is able to affect the quantity and composition of the fluid in the inner ear. With only one drink, you could experience adverse effects. Avoiding alcohol completely or limiting it to infrequent, special occasions is helpful.
- Eliminate caffeine – consuming caffeine can worsen ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, that is associated with Meniere’s disease.
- Quit smoking – along with the more obvious negative health effects related to smoking tobacco, nicotine constricts the blood vessels in your body, which can easily be a trigger for Meniere’s disease symptoms.
- Manage stress levels – dealing with constant, high stress can put people at risk for developing Meniere’s disease or cause those already affected to feel even worse. A few techniques for lowering stress are meditation, music therapy, walking, individual or group therapy, and yoga.
- Drink plenty of water – being intentional about your water intake by ensuring that you get enough throughout the day (and not all in one sitting) may help promote more stable inner ear fluid levels.
The Connection Between Meniere’s Disease and Vertigo
Most Meniere’s sufferers consider vertigo to be their most debilitating symptom. The reason for this is due to the suddenness and severity of the vertigo attacks associated with Meniere’s disease. Your brain is reliant upon signals sent by your body’s vestibular system to be able to effectively maintain a sense of balance. When there is too much fluid built up in the inner ear, it can disrupt the signals informing your brain about how your body is positioned in space relative to gravity, resulting in a vertigo episode.
Correcting Balance Systems Dysfunction with Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
Upper cervical chiropractic care has been growing in popularity among Meniere’s disease sufferers who have been searching for answers and lasting relief. This specific type of chiropractic care primarily focuses on the uppermost vertebrae in the spine and their positioning that has a major influence on the vestibular system. A study that was done recently, of 300 Meniere’s disease patients who received a course of upper cervical chiropractic care provided some incredible results:
- All 300 patients had a history of whiplash trauma due to car accidents, sports injuries, or serious falls. Some injuries were mild, others severe.
- All 300 patients were found to have a misalignment in their upper cervical spine.
- 97% of the patients reported dramatic improvements to such an extent that they were able to return to their normal day-to-day activities (driving a car, going to work, having a normal social life, etc.)
An interesting detail to take into consideration is that it took an average of 15 years from the time of the head or neck trauma before Meniere’s disease symptoms developed.
The vertebrae of the upper cervical spine, the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) are located at the base of the skull where they could easily disrupt normal nerve function, blood flow, and fluid drainage if a subluxation were to occur. Correcting misalignments here could potentially, as shown in the study above, result in relief of Meniere’s disease symptoms.
Due to the precision of upper cervical chiropractic adjustments, they are very gentle and require very limited force. If you have experienced a head or neck injury and have any of the symptoms of Meniere’s disease (tinnitus can be an early warning sign of the condition), then getting your neck examined by an upper cervical chiropractor could be the first step toward relief. Give us a call for a free consultation to see how we can help you and your specific needs.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Perkins call 248-478-6203 or just click the button below:
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.