Does diet really matter? Meniere´s disease

Meniere’s disease diet strategies include eating less salt, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and avoiding allergens. 

If you suffer from Meniere’s disease, you know how debilitating, frustrating, and worrisome the condition can be. But you don’t have to suffer, and you don’t have to take medications with unpleasant side effects or get surgery to find relief. A variety of dietary strategies can help you reduce your symptoms

The proper Meniere’s disease diet will follow these important guidelines:

1. Limit salt intake. Salt levels regulate fluid balance, and it is believed that lowering salt intake can lower pressure in the inner ear, helping to relieve symptoms.

2. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. People who follow through with recommendations to restrict caffeine have significantly fewer Meniere’s disease spells and report higher levels of functioning compared to people who don’t limit their caffeine.

3. Avoiding migraine triggers including foods that contain the amino acid tyramine. Examples of such foods include red wine, chicken liver, smoked meats, yogurt, chocolate, bananas, citrus fruits, figs, ripened cheeses (e.g., cheddar and Brie), and nuts.

4. Drinking adequate amounts of fluid daily. If possible, fluid loss from exercise or heat should be anticipated, and extra fluids consumed before and during exercise and in hot weather.

5. Identify and address allergies. Researchers believe that symptoms of Meniere’s disease, which seem to be partly inflammatory in nature, may be related to allergic reactions in many cases. In fact, some researchers estimate that allergic inflammation may be the root cause of symptoms in about one-third of patients.

6. Avoid aspirin and medications that contain aspirin. Aspirin can cause tinnitus (abnormal noise in the ear). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen or naproxen should also be avoided when practical.

7. Avoid caffeine-containing medications. Caffeine can increase tinnitus as well as have the problems mentioned above under foods.

8. Pay attention to the content of all over-the-counter medications as well as drugs prescribed by other physicians. Some medications may increase your symptoms.

Many patients with Meniere’s disease also have confirmed allergies. Addressing allergies, through avoidance of the allergen itself or through immunotherapy, can help improve symptoms.

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