Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stress triggers my Meniere's Disease

I was reading an article last week about Kristen Chenoweth, a Broadway actress and singer who also is a Meniere’s disease sufferer. Amazingly she is still able to perform despite living with the side effects of meniere's. The way she controls Meniere's is through a low salt diet, lots of rest and avoiding stress. If you have read my blog in the past you know that I don't think much about a low salt diet, but avoiding stress and getting plenty of rest makes sense to me. Especially the avoiding stress part because stress, at least to me, triggers Meniere’s disease.

Stress is a part of everybody's life, no matter who you are. For some folks handling stress is easy and it doesn't affect them in the least. They hold their emotions in check and work through any problem that comes their way. As for the rest of us stress is always a challenge, even if the stress is about things that we have experienced before. We let our fears and emotions get the best of us resulting in the usual physical side effects that come with stress, sweaty hands, nervousness, anxiety, headaches and other things that upset you. Of course with Meniere’s disease stress can cause the dreaded meniere's attack.
What do you do about stress?

I heard of some people having good results with yoga (I never tried it myself) and exercise like walking or running can be very helpful. Meditation and self hypnosis might be beneficial; it would certainly be worth a try. Personally I like to walk because it seems to pick my spirits up and clears my mind to see problems and situations in a better light.

Finding a way to deal with stress is in everybody’s best interest especially those with Meniere’s disease.

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  1. Stress is always a challenge.

    What do I do about stress?

    One of my favorite things to do is to listen to gentle sounds of Tibetan bells and singing bowls. My two favorite CD’s are Deuter’s Nada Himalaya 1 and 2. Incredibly peaceful!

  2. When I eat to much salt, when I read, when I spend too much time on the computer, it effects my vertigo, so much effects it, I don't know how much stress effects it. It's a wonder that we can find anything to help it us at all. But recently because I was taking Mucinex for something else, I have found it is the only thing that will keep me from having an attack. It helps the tinnitis and the fullness in my ear. But the doctor says he cannot understand why it does. And there are not a lot of side effects.

  3. That's interesting about the Mucinex, I really haven't heard of that before.
    I think that being on the computer too long is a problem for me sometimes.

  4. "Learning to fall" is another way of dealing with stress.

    “We all have suffered, and will suffer, our own falls, the fall from youthful ideals, the waning of physical strength, the failure of a cherished hope, the loss of our near and dear, the fall into injury or sickness, and late or soon, the fall to our certain ends, falling into the knowledge of pain, grief, and loss,” writes Phillip Simmons in Learning To Fall, The Blessings of an Imperfect Life. “We have no choice but to fall, and little say as to the time or the means.”

    “Perhaps, however, we do have some say in the manner of our falling. That is, perhaps we have a say in matters of style. In the way of our falling we have the opportunity to express our essential humanity…Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery. Each of us finds his or her own way to mystery. At one time or another, each of us confronts an experience so powerful, bewildering, joyous, or terrifying that all our efforts to see it as a ‘problem’ are futile. Each of us is brought to the cliff’s edge. At such moments we can either back away in bitterness and confusion, or leap forward into the mystery. And what does mystery ask of us? Only that we be in its presence, that we fully, consciously, hand ourselves over. That is all, and that is everything. We can participate in mystery only by letting go of solutions. This letting go is the first lesson of falling, and the hardest.”

    “We are all – all of us- falling. We are all, now, this moment in the midst of that descent, fallen from heights that may now seem only a dimly remembered dream, falling toward a depth we can only imagine…And so let us pray that if we are falling from grace, dear God let us also fall with grace, to grace. If we are falling toward pain and weakness, let us also fall toward sweetness and strength. If we are falling toward death, let us also fall toward life.”

    “In falling we somehow gain what means most. In falling, we are given back our lives even as we lose them.”

    "Dropped and falling from such heights for so long that maybe I will have enough time to learn flying,” while learning to fall.

  5. Wonderful and what an inspiration to us all!
    Thanks Denis

  6. Thank you Denis. I hadn't heard of the book but I definitely recognise the sentiment and I think it's very important. My life used to be all about work but now I'm not that bothered if I never work again. Looking at what I can do, not what I can't, I've rediscovered a resourcefulness within myself and the pleasures of being at home.

    Admittedly there are things about my situation that have made this easier - no dependents, for example - but I would hope that anyone finding their life restricted in some way might be able to find another area they could open up.

  7. I have started meditation classes about a year and a half ago. After a while it has certainly helped me to be less effected by problems or stress.
    It helps because you learn to look at what happens from a distance and understand why you feel the way you feel. At first I was amazed at the amount of unnecessary pressure that you get from people around you and from yourself (!). Things usually feel less intense now.
    Also I feel I am usually not panicking anymore during attacks. It is just something that happens.

    During meditation I can feel it when I am less stable, sometimes days before I have an actual attack. I think I have been able to prevent some of the attacks that way, by finding time to rest or avoid stressful situations when I felt to be unstable.

    Even if it doesn't help you with your meniere, it is certainly a good method in reducing stress levels. It won't harm, so give it a try :-).

  8. I can imagine that meditation would probably be a great help to those with or without meniere's disease. Stress plays such a big part of this disorder so it would seem natural to do something like meditation.

    thanks for the comment and stay in touch

  9. Since I am moving from NJ to CT, with all the stress that goes with selling one house, buying another, figuring out what to do with our cats during the move, and worrying about my mother (whose health is the reason why we are moving up there to be near her), my stress levels are through the roof.

    I went to see my ENT specialist yesterday, and she suggested I go back on the diuretic to control pressure and any pain in the affected ear, and she gave me a prescription for Xanax for the stress. It's just enough to get me through the next month, and I will use it very sparingly. But it's good to know I have a little bit of an emotional safety net. She also recommended I try yoga and t'ai chi once my stability is a little better again and my sprained ankle has fully healed.

    I really hope I have a better grip on this now.But we will see what happens. I've been having a few Meniere's symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, and disorientation. Knock wood, maybe the diuretic will make that stop. Or at least slow down.

  10. So, here I am in CT about a year-and-a-half later, and now I'm dealing with the stress of having just lost my Mom. She passed away on Oct. 11, and we've just come out the other side of all the travel and funeral arrangements. Now my brother and I need to deal with probate and fixing/selling her house. None of that even takes into account the fact that I'm heartbroken at the loss.

    I have come SO close to a full vertigo attack several times lately that I'm terrified I might actually go bilateral as a result of all this stress. Plus, I am fighting a case of bronchitis, with congestion going into my ears.

    *sigh* There's just no end to stressors, so what the hell do people DO about this???