Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Meniere’s disease and Vinpocetine

Alternative remedies for illnesses and disorders are very popular today, although they may not be popular with the medical industry they are certainly popular with a lot of people. I have written in the past about supplements that I take and continue to take like niacin, and Bioflavonoids and I have also had posts about vertigo heel which I haven’t taken. One natural supplement that I haven’t mentioned is Vinpocetine.


Vinpocetine is a synthetic compound derived from vincamine, which comes from the periwinkle plant (vinca minor). The health benefits from Vinpocetine are supposed to be increased blood circulation in the brain. Some also suggest that it helps the brain’s use of oxygen. Two possible uses for this supplement are for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, although no studies have been done to prove that they are effective against them.

As far as whether it helps with Meniere’s disease, I read in the John of Ohio website that it is used in other parts of the world to fight off vertigo and he also says that it is helpful for tinnitus.

I can’t say one way or the other whether it is helpful. I’m sure that you can buy a supplement that contains it and other natural products that help with Meniere’s disease.  But you need to also talk to your doctor about any possible negative reactions that Vinpocetine may have with other drugs.

I take a supplement every day I believe that it helps along with the other medicine that I take. Keep an open mind when it comes to Meniere’s disease and ways to find relief from it.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Meniere’s disease and your health

Meniere’s disease can literally put your world upside down. It changes you; it makes you cautious about certain activities that might bring on attacks. It wears you down, saps your energy and often makes you wonder if life is worth all the trouble that comes with meniere’s. And what if you have exercised and stayed in great shape before becoming sick, are you still exercising. In my case I had other problems with my health before the meniere’s even started.



I have read past comments and articles that many meniere’s sufferers have still exercise maybe not as much as before but they still exercise. One particular post I found especially inspirational. I am sure that they have to take special care because you don’t want to be running somewhere and have an attack or if you are lifting weights the last thing you need is to have your head spinning. I used to run before I got sick but I don’t even consider it now. Walking seems to be safer for me now (although I don’t do as much as I should). I used to like to swim but as I have written before the fear of water in my ear has limited that activity. Of course as others have pointed out to me swimming shouldn’t be a problem for meniere’s sufferers.


As for my diet, it definitely could be better but I do watch how much salt I take in. too much sodium is bad for you whether you believe it has any effect on your meniere’s or not.

I would love to hear any comments about your health before Meniere’s disease and after.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Meniere’s disease and Chlorthalidone

I recently received a comment to one of my posts from October of last year. The post was dealing with Meniere’s disease. Rick, who wrote the comment, brought up a lot of good points and he talked about a medication that I hadn’t heard of before, at least I don’t remember if I heard of it before (brain fog!). Chlorthalidone is a diuretic that is used primarily for high blood pressure. AS for its connection with meniere’s it is considered by some to be effective in controlling the vertigo.


Rick said...

I have had meniere's for about six years now and had been seeing a specialist (until he retired). It took a painfully long time to diagnose and a few years of different medications to see what would work. Having meniere's is very stressful and I urge anyone who has it not to give up. The last medication i tried was Chlorthalidone 50 mg, and actually started out on 25 mg. I as told by the specialist to try playing around with the medications and see if something would work for me. When i was first diagnosed, I was having episodes up to three times a day and lasting for about two to three hours followed by a one to two hour nap, which made it very difficult to carry on with just about anything, including work. I had been taking the Chlorthalidone for about one year at this point, and then started trying different things with it. I was convinced that this not the drug for me because although it had greatly reduced the episodes to about three times a week from three times a day, I still felt it wasn't doing enough, as even three times a week was too much. I was taking the medication in the mornings(after breakfast) and it was still resulting in numerous dizzy spell during the day and some of them turning into full blown vertigo, making it hard to cope. I ended up switching the medication to the evening and within ten days was experiencing far less episodes. I have been doing this for two years now and have not had one severe meniere's episode since then. I usually get dizzy spells, maybe once every three months now lasting less than fifteen seconds, a huge improvement. I urge everyone who has meniere's to discuss with a specialist if there would be any advantage to try something like i have tried, and good luck to all. Although a disease that can destroy anyone's quality of life quickly, you can see that a simple thing like changing the timing of taking medications can sometimes have a huge impact.

Good luck to all!

Rick also shows that you can’t give up the fight against Meniere’s disease. Just by switching the time that he takes a medication helped him.


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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hearing loss or no vertigo, which would you choose?

If you have Meniere’s disease then you know that in one way or the other your hearing will be affected. In fact you hearing may be damaged even before you ever see a doctor. Unfortunately, the treatment options for meniere’s often involve hearing loss, some might be a little loss and other treatments might result in the total loss of hearing. Is that a trade off that you are willing to take?


Considering the awful and unnerving experience of a meniere’s attack, the easy answer would be of course, take my hearing if it will stop the spinning! I know that I have felt that way many times especially when I was going through the worst of my attacks.

But losing your hearing shouldn’t be taken lightly. Before I had the gentamicin injections my hearing was poor in my ‘bad’ ear. After the shots I thought that my hearing would pretty much stay the same and it did at least for a little while. Now it looks my hearing is getting worse. I find it difficult to comprehend conversations at times and I know that it is annoying that I have to ask whomever I am speaking to repeat what they have said. But I can’t complain because I know that a lot of people with meniere’s have lost all their hearing, either due to the illness or certain surgeries like Labyrinthectomy or Vestibular neurectomy.


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Friday, March 19, 2010

Have you had any luck with the Meniett Device for meniere's disease?

Quick question.
Earlier in the year I wrote a post about the meniett device, which is used for Meniere’s disease. Recently I received a comment on that post asking if anyone has had any luck with it. I had the chance to use it but my insurance didn’t cover it. If you have had any experience good or bad let me know.


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David

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fear, Anxiety and Meniere’s disease

I have written in the past how stress is a trigger for me concerning meniere’s attacks. Just the least little thing that might irritate me immediately makes me think that an attack could happen. But how do you stop stress, anxiety or tension on a dime, its impossible.
I received a comment that made me think of how the anxiety of a possible attack can put you in a state of panic and stress constantly



From Suerobi77 on my Squidoo page


Does anyone else feel miserable with Meniere’s disease? I find myself constantly waiting and dreading a severe vertigo attack. It is the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep and the first thing on my mind when I wake up. I'm on Betahistine and following the low salt, non-caffeine and don't smoke but still feel like 'I'm walking on air' and have a constant feeling as if my head isn't quite on my neck. Any thoughts?



You do all the right things, you watch what you eat, you don’t smoke or drink but you still get an attack? I know exactly how this person feels! You just wish you could declare a truce with meniere’s long enough to enjoy life for just a while and to be able to do things what worrying that your head will start spinning and the vomit wouldn’t be flying out of you.


If you are reading this blog then you more than likely know what I mean. Living in fear is a bad place to be. I try not to do it but it’s hard. I have been fortunate that I haven’t had any real bad attacks for a while (knock on wood) but the thought of it still lingers in my mind.


I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

More on eyes playing tricks and meniere’s

I got a lot of good responses on my blog post about eyes playing tricks on you with a little help from meniere’s.



Here there are.


Jeff said...

I sometimes have a strange one a bit like this. Apart from feeling a reaction to unusual movements or shifts of perspective on TV, I sometimes get it on the computer as well. The odd thing is that it happens when things DON'T move!


What I mean by that is that sometimes on a page there is something you can click and you expect to get a menu or a pop-up or whatever. If I click and nothing happens, I feel a bit of a wobble. It's almost as if the body is expecting the visual feedback in response to the physical mouse click and if it doesn't happen the circle isn't complete and your balance has to kick in to compensate. It doesn't happen all the time, only when I'm not feeling great already. Pretty strange, eh?

That is strange. Our eyes seemed to be controlled by what we think will happen. I know that if I stare at a monitor too long images sometimes ‘bounce’ around. Of course I have bee working with computer graphics for years and that might also have something to do with it.



Anonymous said...

My doctor explained to me that MD involves deterioration of the Vestibular System. When you read what the Vestibular System controls...it all makes sense. Just a bit what it does is "The vestibular system sends signals primarily to the neural structures that control our eye movements, and to the muscles that keep us upright." This explains my wacky eye movements sometimes and Drop Attacks in MD patients. Love your posts David! Keep it up!!


Thanks, when I had the vestibular therapy last year the therapist though it was odd that someone with meniere’s would benefit from it, but it definitely helped me.


Lita wrote...
I too have had similar situations and have read that those of us with MD are really "re-training" our brains how to think and react to visual situations like the car moving that was adjacent to you. A non-visual example for me was when we purchased a front-load washing machine. I had heard that some of them create quite a bit of vibration, depending on the location in your home and your home's structure. The first week we owned the new washer I couldn't stand in the same room or the adjacent rooms while the washer was spinning. The floor shook a little too much and my brain couldn't figure it out. I was so scared I was going into vertigo that my anxiety triggers kicked in. After a couple of weeks I could stand in the next room and now I can be in the laundry room while the washer is spinning. Also, any situation where pressure changes in a room really confuses me and I have to leave. An example would be a windy day outside and 2 people simultaneously open front and back doors to the house, creating a pressure change in the house. I usually grab my ear (my left is the one involved) and look around to see what happened while other people in the room haven't sensed a thing. It's so subtle and strange and I used to be self conscious about it, but the brain seems to be able to re-learn because most situations I can handle here at home. I have had Meniere's for 2 years but have not had vertigo in 15 months - yay! Love your blog. I visit often. Thanks David! -Lita in Washington State, USA

Thanks Lita, it is really strange about the washer. I am glad that you haven’t had the vertigo in such a long time. Hopefully it will stay away for a long time.


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Meniere’s disease and gluten

I have read various theories on what causes or agitates Meniere’s disease. The hydrops theory and the viral theory are usually the most popular reasons for meniere’s. As for agitating meniere’s or bringing on an attack, diet, mostly one high in salt is at the top of list. Smoking and alcohol are also bad. Another theory that I have read about lately is gluten.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein that is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is also an important source of protein for much of the world’s population. Gluten is the substance in bread that allows it to rise before baking. It also gives bread its chewy taste.

Unfortunately gluten is also responsible for celiac disease which can be fatal. The gluten causes damage to your small intestine and also limits your ability to digest certain nutrients. Without those nutrients your body’s organs and functions can be severely affected. So with celiac disease wheat products are to be avoided.

The connection between meniere’s and gluten

I have read that some meniere’s patients have found that reduced intake of gluten can help lessen meniere’s attacks. It could also have something to do with wheat allergies agitating meniere’s because allergies have also been considered as something that provokes meniere’s. It seems reasonable especially if vertigo can be a side effect of gluten.

As usual there isn’t any concrete proof that gluten and meniere’s have a connection but I wouldn’t rule it out either.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Meniere’s disease and doctor visits

After my last trip to the doctor, I don’t know when I will be going back, if at all. As I wrote on this blog I wasn’t very satisfied with the visit. I know that I am not alone in this regard. For some reason it seems difficult to find a doctor who truly understands the emotional aspect of this disorder.

Of course very few ENTs have Meniere’s disease so they don’t really have a grasp on how debilitating and frustrating this is. One of the first ENTs that I saw told me to live with it, like how some people live with fallen arches. Yes, it compared meniere’s to fallen arches, which is ridiculous, considering all the procedures and medications that you should try before throwing in the towel.

I do know that I need to occasionally go back to the doctor at least to have prescriptions filled but other than that what is the use. I certainly don’t want to have another gent injection because I had four done in 2008 and I don’t think that another would help. I have little doubt that there isn’t any balance left in my bad ear so another shot wouldn’t make sense, at least to me.

One thing is for sure I will continue to research the internet on Meniere’s disease. The web has been a godsend for information about everything and it is very important to continue to learn as much as possible about inner ear problems, tinnitus, vertigo and meniere’s. The feedback that I have received from this site and from social media sites has helped me tremendously not to get discouraged about my situation.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Meniere’s disease and droperidol

I am always curious about what medications are given to Meniere’s disease patients. Most of the time patients are prescribed Antivert (Meclizine) or valium and if you live anywhere, except America, Serc. I received a comment from a post that I had done on fatigue last year.  The comment referred to a drug called Droperidol.
Anonymous said...


My doc did an ENG and gave me Droperidol drops to take 3+ times a day for a month afterwards. My nausea and headaches have been less severe however it has not helped the spin factor. My vertigo is mild by comparison but is constant and consistent. Meclizine didn't work. Currently I'm on clarinex in the morning and Valium and Elavil at night. Any suggestions on getting back to baseline would be appreciated


What is droperidol?

It seems that droperidol is a rather potent and serious medication. According to the MayoClinic.com this medicine is used to reduce nausea and vomiting after surgery. It can also be used to combat extreme agitation and combativeness as well as to make you sleepy before a procedure. The website also lists about a page of medications that shouldn’t be taken with droperidol.

I also found out that droperidol has a connection with histamine, that is often mentioned with Meniere’s disease. It seems to make sense that it is used for Meniere’s disease especially if it reduces nausea and vomiting. As far as reducing the spinning one reader found that it didn’t help.

Unfortunately the drug doesn’t seem to be easy to get according to this comment that I received.


Anonymous said...


My doc recently gave me a script for the droperidol. Am glad to hear it is effective for you. It has been very difficult to find a pharmacy that could compound it due to low demand but I finally did in Houston near the Texas Medical Center. Was told it is often easier near a large medical center because they are used to working with docs who ask for the not everyday. It is not covered by my insurance. However if it is helpful the $65 cost is well worth it.

But like serc, if you think that is going to be effective and you can get a prescription and an okay from a doctor you are going to do whatever it takes to fight this miserable disorder.

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