Sunday, May 8, 2011

Meniere’s disease and Pregnancy

As I have done in the past I get a lot of my ideas for posts from the comments that I receive. I always look and see if I have written about it before and if I haven’t then I do a little research. I received a comment from Crimson56 the other day about any connection between Meniere’s disease and pregnancy.


Here is her post

Not to stray off subject, but have any of your female readers commented on the effects of pregnancy on Meniere's (or Meniere's on pregnancy)? I'm curious if any of those readers were also within the first few years of the disease. I've heard pregnancy can complicate Meniere's symptoms, but I'm not willing give up having a family, I've already given up so much in life. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!


I looked in all my past posts and couldn’t find that I had written about that before. I searched the web and didn’t see a lot about it out there. The only post that I saw was from DoctorNDtv where someone asked a question about being pregnant and having meniere’s disease. The doctor suggested that one should be careful about certain medication when there pregnancy and meniere’s disease.

If anyone has any information about this subject or other comments feel free to comment

Thanks

75 comments:

  1. Is it my imagination, or does Meniere's tend to hit most people later in their lives (i.e., after the usual child-bearing years)? I know there are always exceptions to the rule, but I think that might explain why not very much information is out there about Meniere's and pregnancy. You would definitely have to be very careful about some of the medications that are used to treat MD if you're expecting.

    I have sometimes wondered about Meniere's and hormones, as my attacks became much, much worse after I went through menopause. But I have nothing to back that theory up.

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    1. I am 37 years old and have had MD for 5 years. Real bad in both ears. Surprise.. I have a one year old. Pregnancy was ok except morning sickness becomes all day for 9 moths and gets worse at the end. The day I went into labor I was so sick I could not move or see and threw up way too much. Thought it could not get worse than that but I was wrong 2 days after the baby came when the hormones do what ever they do postpartum.. I was so sick I thought I would die..For three days. I got to tell you that no one should fear it because the baby that comes from your suffering is awesome! It is well worth it and makes me feel like a warrior mom:) Hormones most definitely affect meniere's dieases.

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    2. My response is to Peggy: I was diagnosed with MD when I was 32 and had 2 children at this age. I have substantial hearing loss and ringing in one ear - drives me crazy. I'm lucky enough to not experience extreme dizziness. I went on the birth control pill at 33 for a number of reasons and did not experience another bout of MD until I was 57 when I went off the birth conrol pill and was almost through menopause. So... I do believe that there is a correlation between menopause and meniere's. I mentioned this to my ENT and he was open to my suggestion of going back on the pill. Haven't done so yet but I'm willing to give this a try.

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    3. That is really interesting. It makes me even more sure that there is a link between hormones and Meniere's. I think it's worth a try, although you want to be careful about the possible side effects of hormone changes at this point.

      Make sure to talk about all this with your ob/gyn, too. Sometimes I wish doctors spent more time talking to each other outside their own specializations. I think it would be educational for them and beneficial for us.

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    4. Peggy -
      I will be definitely be speaking with my ob/gyn.
      Interesting enough I do believe MD is also a hereditary condition/disease. My younger sister was diagnosed at 19 and unfortunately has an extreme case. She experienced tinnitus and vertigo so bad that she has been hospitalized many times and needed fluids pumped in intravenously because of dehydration due to vomiting so much. She opted to go to the Shea Ear Clinic in Tennessese and have the operation -an endolymphatic shunt was placed behind her ear. It's been successful in that her bouts aren't as extreme - for 25 yrs now. She also says that she also experiences bouts more often because she is going through the change. My oldest son who is now 31 also experiences vertigo. So far we do not think he has MD. So, yes, this can be inherited.

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    5. I have heard that, about MD being genetic. Strangely, my family doesn't seem to have it, aside from me. I suspect my mother has some vestibular issues, but none of the typical MD symptoms. I'm sorry your family is so thoroughly afflicted with it -- it's quite a burden to carry.

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  2. I am a 28 year old female that has had Meniere's for 3 1/2 years now. I am not married and I do not have any children, but I've always wondered how a pregnancy would affect my Meniere's. I too have not been able to find much information. Thank you for opening up the conversation about this and hope that someone has some information!

    Tiffany

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    1. I am 29 and pregnant, I was diagnosed with Vertigo a few months before I got pregnant. After reading about MD I'm almost positive this is what I have but my doctor will not run any tests on me until after my pregnancy. All I can do is tell you that since I've gotten pregnant the dizziness and the "sensory overload" has tripled. I can barely go to the store on my own and frequently I can't go at all. I get dizzy and tunnel vision and then start to panic. All the Doctor does is prescribe me motion sickness pills which completely knock me out. I went on disability from work for 2 months and have been back to work for 1 week and already feel like I have to go back on disability. Because I am home bound so much I am terribly bored.

      This has just been my experience and like I said I have not officially been diagnosed with MD.

      I hope I can find a way to continue to work through this without calling off ever other day.

      Good luck to the rest of you. Please let me know if you have found anything that works for you

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    2. Hi, Theresa,

      The test my audiologist did to confirm my Meniere's Disease simply involved putting something into my ear against the eardrum, like a conductive electrode or something. It was like having a long, flexible fiber put into my ear and I couldn't even feel it. I find it impossible to believe your doctor couldn't allow THAT, even if you're pregnant.

      Have you been to see an ear/nose/throat specialist? Unfortunately, you probably should not try most of the medications that would help with MD, but you could find out more and come to understand it better.

      I have to believe that most of the women whose Meniere's gets SO much worse during pregnancy will experience at least partial remissions once their body chemistry reverts to their pre-pregnant state, and I hope that happens for you.

      Meanwhile, if I were in your shoes, I think I would find out as much as I could and see several different doctors to explore if something can be done to help while you are still pregnant.

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    3. I just recently went to an ENT, specializing in Meneires disease. He said that he will not see pregnant women, due to the fact that there is really nothing to be done for them. This makes sense because of fluid retention, the more weight a person has the more water they retain. Hence, a big symptom of meneires!
      hope this helps you !

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  3. I can't provide any info, just thoughts... It does seem the MD strickes later in life, but some of us aren't so 'lucky'. I was diagnosed when I was 19, and while I don't have any kids yet, I do plan on having a family one day. I don't want to say that I 'fear' being pregnent, but it certainly concerns me, essepcially thinking about the baby getting enough nutrients if I am going through a 'spell' etc. The post birth part also makes me nervous... how can I care for my child if I am too dizzy to stand? Hmm... I know there are MD sufferers who are mothers out there, so it's not impossible.... The only things I have even been told by doctors is related to my medications, and that I should consult before becoming pregnant.

    I also would not want to pass this condition on to my children! Oh so many things to consider...

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  4. Tiffany-
    I was diagnosed with BILATERAL Meniere's at 28 years old. All I've read is that it is "difficult" to be pregnant. What I really want to know is if the attacks are worse, more frequent, etc. Still patiently waiting for posts. :)

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    1. Hi crimson,
      I am 32 and 7 weeks pregnant with my second. I was diagnosed with MD at age 25. I noticed no change in symptoms during my first pregnancy only extreme brain fog postpartum. :(
      So far no major change during pregnancy 2... But still 33 weeks to go!!

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  5. Peggy, I am 48, 'peri-menopausal', and I would agree with you that hormonal changes may be an aggravating factor in Meniere's. I had a severe rotary vertigo attack when I woke up one morning 8 months ago. The doctors said it was labyrinthitis although there was no sign of any viral ear infection. I was taking prochlorperazine for 6 weeks or so, during which time I felt spaced out, unbalanced, constantly wary of a repeat severe attack like the first, I wasn't well enough to drive and as we live several miles from the nearest village this left me isolated and I lost a lot of self-confidence. Luckily I have some very good friends who have 're-socialised' me! Once I started to feel better and came off the medication I began to suffer with severe palpitations (the first time after a cup of strong coffee while I was under stress at work) which led to full blown panic attacks. I have been taking Prozac now, for anxiety, for the last 5 months. I still have palpitations, but they don't lead to panic attacks, I am just anxious until they pass. At the same time, I still have spells of mild vertigo and feeling a bit spaced out. I am finding that alcohol makes it worse and have now regretfully decided that I am 'allergic' to alcohol. Mostly the vertigo starts when I lie down and put my head back – I often sleep with my head up on 3 pillows. I am worse when I am on my own, as I clearly worry about myself – I have noticed I have fewer symptoms if I am out and about with friends. Although I haven't been diagnosed with Meniere's I am aware that my grandmother (in her 90s) has it, and that it is often hereditary, so I am preparing myself for the worst. One other thing – I know I clench my teeth when I am stressed, and I wonder if that cuts off the blood supply to the head, causing some of these things – I'd be interested if anyone else has thought that.

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  6. Claire, I also had palpitations when I was peri-menopausal, and it was awful. The good news is that will probably pass, although I would ask your ob/gyn about it to be sure. It's interesting to have it confirmed that the years around "the change" can be challenging from a vertigo standpoint(i.e., it wasn't just me).

    Stress is said to be a major trigger for Meniere's, and I wonder if it's for physical reasons. I know I've always had a tendency to hold a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders, which has gotten worse since the Meniere's got so bad. I suppose the muscle tension could set off the vertigo, but I don't know how, or how to prove it or deal with it.

    Crimson, what does the doctor who treats you for Meniere's say about pregnancy specifically? If I were still your age, I would be thinking about the possibilities of hormonal shifts making the Meniere's worse, and about balance issues during the final trimester, when balance is tricky even if you're in normal health.

    I'll do a bit of Googling and see if I can find anything on this. But I'm not optimistic about that... I had hoped Dr. Timothy Hain in Chicago might have written about this, since he is very big in the Meniere's area, but he's got nothing about pregnancy on his site.

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  7. crimson-
    i was diagnosed unilateral at around 25 years old. i had my first child at 30 and the second at 32. i had some minor problems with my first pregnancy. more dizziness than usual and my ob/gyn put me out of work at 7 months. with my second pregnancy, i was using the meniett by that time and i had no problems unless the tube came out of my ear. i was able to work up until the end.

    my ob/gyn has a different take on medication use than most. he allowed me to use valium *sparingly* and only in the second and third trimesters. his reasoning was this...it's better to stop the vertigo attack and the violent vomiting and possible dehydration and the stress that would put on the baby than to take one small dose of valium. i can usually get by with 1-2 mg and laying down. if you were to ask most ob/gyn's, they would say absolutely no valium or other meds whatsoever. although, if my memory serves, it seems like meclizine may be category b. i'm not sure, you'd have to check.

    the hardest part in both pregnancies for me was the period right after birth. that's when your hormones go the craziest. i was breastfeeding and it's actually much, much harder to take meds while breastfeeding because there's no barrier between you and the baby. but i stuck with it both times. just remember, the hormones will settle within a few weeks (usually), and if they don't, you can always switch to formula and go back on your meds. you have to do what's best for you so you can be the best for your baby.

    hope that helps a bit. i have a blog too. for some reason, blogger no longer allows me to sign it with it, if you have any other questions. it's at fleetlydreaming.wordpress(dot)com.
    ~nicki

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  8. Hi Nicki,
    thanks for the comment. I don't know why blogger wouldn't let you use your blog I haven't changed anything
    David

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  9. hi david!
    no problem! i think it's an issue on my end because it has been happening when i try to comment on any blog on blogger. i'll keep trying!
    hope you're well!
    ~nicki

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  10. Nicki,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Unfortunately, my "doctor" situation is a little non-existant. I am being treated at a "learning hospital" in the U.S. Navy and my doctors have not told me ANYTHING about MD, including treatments. Everything I've learned have been from one site and this blog. I am up to 5mg of valium and on other medications to help me sleep, cope with depression, etc. The Navy is talking about giving me two Meniett devices but who knows if that will happen before my contract with them has expired. I'm worried about the amount of vomiting that will come with a pregnancy with MD. I did not have MD with my first pregnancy (6 years ago), but I had severe morning sickness for 9 months and took Zofran daily. I am immune to anything else, Meclizine, Dramamine, Phenergan, and a slew of pain medications also. But the after-birth advice was definitely most helpful. I have a feeling I will not be breast-feeding at all this go around. Again, thank you.
    Holly

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  11. I have had three pregnancies, all three with severe morning sickness for 9 months each. During the first pregnancy I had no MD, but I know now that my first serious attack was when I was 4 months pregnant on the second one. Also during the third pregnancy I had attacks, but I had no attacks in between. I didn't know what it was then, and I went to the hospital but they always checked the baby out first and after that the symptoms were usually gone...
    I started with hormonal birth control about 18 months after the birth of our youngest and shortly after that I had attacks again. After another year I was diagnosed with MD.

    I think that hormones did play a role (and am not looking forward to menopause), but I have to admit that I am not entirely sure. The first pregnancy went seriously wrong just before birth, so that resulted in a lot more stress during the other two.

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  12. I was diagnosed with Meniere's at age 19. Hormones and heredity play a part. I was told my grandmother had it, but she died young from cancer. I have had 4 children(ages 15-25). I had no symptoms while pregnant, but oh did dizziness and hearing troubles return after each pregnancy. I always made sure I was sitting when nursing and such as it would affect me real bad. Then symptom free for several years until I hit around 44-45. I have had hearing tested, rediagnosed and fitted with aids. Now at 51, hearing has gotten worse, dizziness is different(no vertigo, but real lightheaded for several days at a time). Hearing test-aids readjusted and now tinny sounding hearing and speech is distorted. Going back to ENT/Aud. and discuss next options for me. I want to hear. Also going through change-so seeing GYN to discuss those options too. I think hormones can play havoc with Meniere's. But overall pregnancy time was the best and no symptoms whatsoever, just before and after were killers. Good Luck!!

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    1. All my symptoms went away with pregnancy too...8-10 weeks pp, they are back and I am so depressed. Not been confirmed with MD but have all the symptoms and currently going through testing.

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  13. Hi...I'm new to this blog, but I wanted to give you some hope for the Meniere's and pregnancy question. I was diagnosed with unilateral Meniere's disease when I was 18. I didn't start having vertigo until about 10 years later. However, in the last 5 years (since I have moved to Cincinnati) they have been relentless. Until that is I got pregnant. I had one vertigo episode a week before I was pregnant then one during labor ( I assume both of these had associations with fluctuating hormones). Then I had no vertigo "attacks" all throughout nursing. I actually long for the days I am pregnant and nursing again, because I actually felt great! One of the physicians I see said this is not uncommon and that a number of her patients have found a reduction in symptoms with pregnancy. Just FYI...I have more vertigo cluster attacks when I am on the birth control pill. I have found that I can eliminate Meniere's associated vertigo completely by not taking the birth control pill. Hope this helps someone!

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    1. Hi.. Just found this thread and was researching taking the pill to help with MD. I also had NO symptoms when I was pregnant and hearing was very good. Now, 4 months after giving birth am starting to have symptoms again. I find it interesting that NOT taking the pill seems better for you. Maybe some people need less hormone, some more?

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    2. So happy i found this...i was also the same! no symptoms during pregnancy...now they are coming back 8-10 weeks pp

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  14. Huh. That adds a little more weight to my suspicion that hormones do play a role in Meniere's attacks... I just wish I knew what to do with that information, since I went through menopause a couple of years ago. I wonder whether my ob/gyn might have some insights? Worth checking...

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    1. I have had menieres for afew years now Im 49yrs old and approaching menopause.I am convinced that hormones play a large part..I came off premarin which was prescribed and I was on it about a year and got worse...panic attacks ...shaking involuntarily.. gerd...getting through a half day in work but then home to lie down,I did a lot of research online about hormones and am convinced I was estrogen dominant and that the estrogen in premarin is not suitable for women...so I came off it and started natural progesterone cream..I also had a myrena coil fitted for heavy bleeding and insisted that be removed as well...the stress, the panic attacks the gerd and even the bleeding came under control and even dissappeared in time.It took nearly four months of experimenting with the cream myself as there are no bio identical doctors avaiable in ireland. my ears and my head definitely get worse in the last two weeks of my cycle which is when your hormones plummet i am still experimenting with the dosage of the cream and considering adding estriol cream to my regime as i am convinced this will be of benefit too. Its such a pity that doctors will only write you off as bit mad if you tell them this instead of listening to what actual sufferers are saying

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  15. Thank you so much for posting about this topic! I am currently 7 weeks pregnant.

    I was diagnosed with Meniere's one year ago after experiencing symptoms for several years. I finally found a doctor who would listen and do an ENG after being told by a neurologist that at 26 I was far too young to have it.

    For the past year I had been taking dyazide and occasional valium, both of which I have had to stop. Before stopping, I had been attack-free for more than 6 months.

    The morning sickness has been unbearable with constant nausea and vomiting. It finally occured to me that it could be Meniere's attacks and not exclusively morning sickness.

    I have an appointment with my ENT to discuss options at the end of the month.

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  16. I have a son already, 2005, had my first MD attach - Hospitalization in 2007, after many, many doc appt.digiagnosed in 2010. I am 32, and I may be pregnant, pretty sure, waiting another week to take home test, with my 2nd child. I am glad that there is a topic of discussion here. You'll have given me hope. Thank You.

    My first pregnancy was very normal. Luckly the Hubby had the morning sickness. {I had NONE, Thank You, God!} I had no dizzy spells, I may have had a few lightheaded days due to hormones.

    I had a Cochlear, Steriod injection about 7 months ago, and have had no major spells. Every so often. My eyes will start moving and my head will feel heavy and I know that I'm about to have an attach. But I just pop a meclizine and in 10 Min. I'm good to go!

    With out Meclizine, Due to Pregnancy?? What will I take to keep the sympoms at bay? How will I keep from dehydration in an attack? Can I take Phenigrin if it gets to bad? Are the regular MD Meds allowed? Will it harm my baby?

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  17. Great information thanks everybody!

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  18. I was googling to find any info related to MD and pregnancy and meds and your site came across. I had first vertigo attack when I was 15 but doctors thought it was due to low blood pressure. Many years later until I was 27 it was coming back and often. My ex had to call 911 to take me to er becuz it was so severe.

    Keep this in mind I already have 2 kids...no morning sickness or dizzy spells. And few months later it came back... This time it was everyday for few months straight so there was alot of appts, tests etc. Then I was finally diagnoised with MD. But the meds werent helping that at a point they had to admit me to hospital to adjust the meds. I did ask about getting pregnant again because I do want to have another one. I was told I can even tho there may be some risks.

    Then I met with specialist who majored in MD and I asked him that even with meds and low sodium diet I noticed that those attacks would still happen when close to menstrual time. He said it is due to hormones. He said to drink 60 to 80 oz water daily but when its close to period..to drink 100oz water. Yes it sounds alot but he said we bloat close to period so those attacks can happen so water helps.

    Now I dont get those spells much...just here and there but I didnt think about about pregnancy and meds... Since my man and I are actively trying to have another baby and I notice I am starting to get those spells (I am 29 now) now I am back on meds to control them but was wondering how meds would affect conception and pregnancy. Hm.

    While I dont have an answer to that question I hope the number of water recommendation may help some of you....

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  19. I don't get that about water, since the very first medication an ENT specialist put me on was a prescription diuretic -- and this is the first step in many very traditional MD protocols. Vicky, do you notice an effect from drinking all the extra water? it seems counter-intuitive to have a Meniere's patient drink MORE water when diuretics are designed to wring the water out of your system, and excess fluid in the is thought to be the cause of MD.

    Then again, no doctor seems to have absolute answers.

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  20. I was diagnosed with MD 4 years ago. At my last ER visit I was advised to drink LOTS of fluids. It makes no sense based on what I have learnt so far, but I find a couple of gallons of water, and a few pints of regular Gatorade each day really does help.

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    1. I think that this is because water is the best diuretic itself and since most people are constantly dehyrated and your body and its cells cant work efficiently without plenty of water

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  21. If you are taking prescription diuretics, it might sound counter-intuitive, but you probably do need to drink more water to keep your body hydrated. You need the fluids to go into your tissues, even if you don't want them building up in your inner ear.

    I've just gone BACK on diuretics, after nearly two years of treatments, and I plan to drink more water. We'll see how things go for awhile. :(

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  22. I was diagnoced with MD officially in February, but i have had symptoms for several years with only a couple of episodes a year, Doctors didnt know what to do with me. I now see a MD specialist after sever episodes lasting for over 24hrs. I have had surgery which has helped some. I have not been dizzy, but i occasionally need to take diuretics and sometimes valium if the tinitus and ear pressure become unbarable. My husband are talking about having another child and since my eposodes have become so severe (hence the surgery) i am concerned about being pregnant again since Valium is the only thing that seems to help.
    Any information on this subject would be great.

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  23. Tara, if you look through this blog, you will find a thread about MD and pregnancy. I can't remember when it was, but I think it was just a month or two ago.

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  24. Oh, shoot, I'm sorry... this IS the thread I was talking about. Sorry about that...

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  25. Never mind that last post of mine... it replaced another that was in the wrong place!

    Tara, I would talk to an ENT about the effect of pregnancy on MD, and to your Ob/Gyn about what you can and cannot do to treat Meniere's while you are pregnant (what meds you can take and so on). If you could get your ENT and OB to talk to each other while you are pregnant, that would be ideal. But I know it's tough to get doctors to work together on a patient's care, which is really too bad.

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  26. Vertigo/Menier's disease & pregnancy. I am 33 now. At 27 I had my first "vertigo" attack. Attacks came almost annually & took 1-2 months for symptoms to subside. At 31 I was pregnant. During pregnancy, vertigo symptoms lingered but were not severe. Post labor was hell, I was dizzy for months. It took a good 4-5 months for the extreme symptoms to stop. After that I still had balance issues, trouble turning my head side to side, and very disoriented due to lack of sleep & stress on my body. Since I never got back to an original state, I had anxiety as well. The other day I had a full attack & now I am layed up again. The quality of life will not be very good while trying to raise a child with this problem. For me, it has caused me depression to know that I cannot play with & take care of my daughter, I have caused my family stress & it is not guaranteed that a partner can handle the stress of picking up the slack. I am constantly told I have vertigo though my attack symptoms linger for weeks, I constantly have a low level of unbalance/dizzy feeling & have had low grade temps which seem to indicate an auto immune disease. I was told I must not have Menier's because I would surely vomit, which I do not. Any feedback on that topic would be appreciated.
    Thank You!
    Deanna

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  27. I am 39, menieres since I was about 25. Am 27 weeks preganant and suffering from HD - severe long term morning sickness and have often wondered if there is a link. This article may be of interest... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2577839/

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  28. I am 25 years old and pregnant with my third child. I had my very first syptoms of Meniere's when i was 19 (I was under an extreme amount of stress when the first attack happened.) I believe that I was in partial remission, and at 22, I became pregnant with my second child. The symptoms came back, but nothing too severe. Now I am 18 weeks into this pregnancy, and the vertigo attacks are almost daily. They will subside about one day out of the week, but most of the time I am in bed. I have also been extremely sensitive to the heat lately, which was something that I never had a problem with in the past (and for those tht live in texas, you know how unbearable it has been for the past couple of months). I am not sure if this could be something else manifesting, but all of my doctors that have been monitoring me for the pregnancy and the Meniere's dont seem too worried about it, saying that it is normal. I also have such severe anxiety that I have become unable to drive most of the time, fearing that i will have a vertigo attack while i am alone with my two little ones.
    I have also found that with my doctors approval I can take Meclizine for the dizziness if it gets too severe, and i am taking Phenergan 25mg daily (which is what is prescribed for nausea in pregnant women anyway). But i am still worried about the intolerance to he heat. I can be outside for five minutes and i feel awful for the rest of the day, unless i soak in a cold bath for a while, and even then the pressure builds up in my ears and the headaches start up. My OB has already done every test that she can think of, but everything comes back normal, other than the ocassional high blood pressure during an attack. Is there anyone else with these kind of symptoms, and if so, what have you done that has helped?

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  29. Anonymous,

    Where in Texas do you live? I'm in the Dallas area and I see a phenomenal ENT that only sees patients with diseases of the ear, balance system, and facial nerve disorders. I recently asked him about pregnancy because my husband and I are thinking about having our second child. I have had menieres since I was 14. I'm 27 now. He said that there isn't a whole lot that can be done, but you can get steroid injections in your ear to relieve some of the pressure. I get those now sometimes and it helps relieve the pressure for about 24hrs. For some people it helps longer, but I appreciate the relief for even that long if it helps prevent having an episode.
    I hope that helps, keep in touch, and let us know how things worked for you! I am very afraid about being pregnant again since my Menieres hasn't been bad until this past February. I don't even know if its worth it because the meds I'm taking right now cannot be taken while pregnant.

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  30. I am 29 and 16 weeks pregnant. I was having difficulties with my ear in addition to dizziness. I was just diagnosed with having MD. My doctor assumes that the pregnancy has triggered my recent attacks. So far, other than ear sensitivity and dizziness I am able to function normally daily(although at times, very uncomfotably).
    I am new to learning more and if I will always suffer now that I have had my first attack or if it will only get worse?

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  31. Anonymous, everyone has a different experience with Meniere's. Not everyone has the dreadful "drop attacks," and some people go into spontaneous remissions that last for very long periods of time.

    Which doctor assumed that the pregnancy triggered recent attacks, your OB or your ENT? I wonder if you could get them to speak to each other to devise a treatment plan for you?

    Good luck. I hope things improve for you.

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  32. In reply to peggy: The ENT doctor was the one whom implied that is was triggered from pregnancy. I had never had any problems previously. I am also feeling much better since last week and have not had a dizzy spell in days. The infrequency (or frequency) is so interesting to me. I guess I am just fearful of how severe it can become for me just by reading others stories. I meet with my OB today and hopefully I will be able to make more progress with treatment/answers.

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  33. It's tempting to wonder if you're feeling better because you're in the second trimester now? I've often thought hormones might have something to do with Meniere's in women. Not sure how to apply that to all the men who suffer from it, though.

    Just make sure both your doctors are kept up to date on any symptoms and medications. And I hope you keep on feeling better!

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  34. Hi there! i'm new to this blog but a veteran with MD. I am 33 years old and was diagnosed at 17. My MD is probably close to burn out according to ENT, but I've begun to have the worst symptoms as of a year ago. I've had 9 pregnancies and have 2 children, I must admit that pregnancy is the worst for me, but birth control pills make it just as bad. The scariest thing for me is now I am experiencing drop attacks. (so scary) I HATE MD!!!!!!! hang in there guys!!!!

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  35. Hi Jenine,
    Thanks for the comment and hope that your menieres is burning out.
    stay in touch
    David

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  36. Jenine, what makes your doctor think you are close to burning out?

    Meniere's burnout is a phenomenon I keep hearing people mention, but I'm still not sure I know of anyone who has actually burned out after experiencing full-fledged Meniere's.

    David, I've asked about this before, but do you have any idea how many Meniere's patients actually stop having attacks, which is how I interpret "burnout"? I'd really like to know, just to give me something to look forward to.

    Since it seems some people suffer from it for decades, I'm not really sure I believe in this burnout theory.

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  37. I'll post the question about burnout in an upcoming post.
    David

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  38. David, I just Googled burnout (can't think why I didn't do this earlier) and came up with this definition from a Meniere's information web site. The definition surprised me:

    Some doctors say that Meniere's "burns itself out," leading patients to erroneously conclude that Meniere's will simply fade away and that they will be "cured." However, "burnout" does not mean this at all. "Burnout" refers to a condition where Meniere's Disease has progressed to the point where it has finally destroyed the entire (or nearly the entire) vestibular function in the affected ear. At the point of burnout, the patient has little or no vestibular function left and the body may or may not compensate in other ways. The vestibular function in the other ear may take over and/or the patient may learn to balance through visual cues (with some degree of difficulty occurring during darkness). However, nothing stops the relentless progression of Meniere's Disease, and it will continue to destroy hearing, produce the sense of fullness, and produce tinnitus -- even in patients who are "stone" deaf (because of Meniere's Disease or otherwise). While some patients reach a rotational vertigo-free, or nearly rotational vertigo-free, state of burnout, burnout is a progression, not a cure, and there is no certainty of any one patient reaching burnout. Not all doctors (and not all patients) believe that "burnout" can happen.

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  39. Thanks Peggy,
    I will add that on to my post on Sunday about meniere's burn out.
    David

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  40. When I read of people who have had this disease for 15 or more years, and are still experiencing vertigo...or who then go bilateral, I find it difficult to buy the burn-out theory.
    I do hope daily for remission though...which is possible.
    I also don't know that I buy the 1-2-3 stages of Menieres some ENT's talk about.
    Menieres hit me hard and has stayed that way.
    No stages seem to be involved at all.

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  41. hello lauri
    have you tried Propranolol
    regards
    ali

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  42. Hi Ali~
    No, I haven't.
    Are U taking it? If so, has it helped?
    Lauri

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  43. hello lauri
    before proranlol, my life was a living nighmare, i am on it daily 40mg in the morning and 80mg in the evening. ask your dr you never know.
    regards
    ali

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  44. Ali~
    What symptoms are you taking it for?
    I'm really not big on drugs due to chemical sensitivity, so I steer away unless it's unavoidable (like Valium for vertigo).
    I do take a diuretic, but that's also to keep my blood pressure down.
    I tell you though..if they had a pill that could stop all Menieres symptoms, I would take it in a heartbeat. :)
    Thanks!
    Lauri

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  45. hello lauri
    i strted with betaserc and diuretic, when i first got menieres, it was not really helpful. then 3 years later i went to a neurologist and he gave me propranlol for migraines (i am not a huge migraine sufferer, i would just like to point out). and wow how that drug helps me with menieres.
    regards
    ali

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  46. I was diagnosed with md this past July. I have a 15 month old and during the pregnancy is when I started getting attacks.This was my third pregnancy and had no symptoms during the first two. I am 33 and my husband wants to start trying for another baby in January, i'm so scared it will come back. The tinnitus is the worst for me. I just want an easy pregnancy.

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  47. I suspect I experienced the first symptoms of Meniere's twenty years ago during my second pregnancy and shortly after. The symptoms were relatively mild and infrequent back then (unlike more recently), but I can't recall ever having had them before that. I have since wondered if the edema of pregnancy was a contributing factor to Meniere's - My ankles and feet were so swollen - Maybe my endolymphatic sac was, too. Did you experience much edema in your pregnancies? - LB

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  48. I started showing Meniere's symptoms at 29 and had my first vertigo attack while 4 months pregnant at age 30. I was diagnosed shortly after.

    I'm now 32 and in my first trimester of my second pregnancy. I've noticed that in both pregnancies my Meniere's symptoms were at their worst when I was having bouts of very low blood pressure (common during early pregnancy.)

    I had little to no symptoms later in the the pregnancy up until the time I stopped breastfeeding.

    Its hard to tell if this is all coincidence, correlation or what, as I'm in the early stages of MD and symptoms seem random.

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  49. Hi Im in the Uk I had my first vertigo/vomiting attack at 19 I had just started taking the Contraceptive pill and this seemed to be the trigger in my case..I immediately stopped it and had tests and menieres was diagnosed..

    I was put on Stemetil tablets and told not to add salt and the symptoms were pretty much controlled I became pregnant at 23 and had severe morning sickness my consultant told me to continue the stemetil during my pregnancy (this was back in 1976) thank goodness my lovely daughter was born perfect but by the time she was 2 year old my attacks were becoming more severe usually early in the morning soon after I got up the room would start to spin and down I would go.. I had an operation to decompress a sac in my ear ..this was a success and I went on to have my son.. my symptoms were much better after this operation but I would still have some vertigo usually when I was laying down or turning over in bed the room would spin then settle again..I was still on Stemetil and as some symptoms returned the dose was increased.

    When I was around 43/44 (I was NOT menopausal) the attacks came back again only much more severe.. by this time I was on stemetil 3 times a day and serc tablets along with a diuretic.. I was admitted to hospital several times to control the vomiting ..
    I then started to have drop attacks without any warning so was unable to go out on my own.. my consultant agreed that I needed the Labrinthectomy operation(I was 45) as my hearing had gone in that ear and the first op had stopped working ..it usually lasts for around 10 years so I had been lucky that it had worked for a little longer..
    The Labrinthectomy was a real life saver ..I was totally free of attacks for the first time since I was 19 ..
    I started menopause at 53 I am now 58 and I still believe that the contraceptive pill was the trigger that started my Menieres..my consultant would not let me go on the HRT pill as he feels it could trigger the menieres in my good ear ..So I am still having hot flushes but I have been able to have two children (who are now in their 30's) in spite of Menieres.

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  50. I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with MD two years after my first child. I was 24. When my vertigo strikes it is unbearable. I am unable to move. I have vomiting and sensitivity to noise and light. And it usually takes an entire day to full clear. I am currently 15 weeks pregnant with my second child and my Menire's is on a rampage. WTH the help of meclizine and zofran I have been able to survive but during the attacks I am miserable. If I understand my doctors correctly, the flares are caused due to the fact that my blood volume has increased dramatically over a short period of time and my blood vessels are enlarged due to increased hormones. I have managed my menire's well with a low sodium diet and continue to take in as much water as possible. The goal is to keep as much fluid off my inner ear as possible. Before this pregnancy i had been vertigo free for 2 years. I feel pregnancy has thrown a wrench in the works but to those of you suffering with MD and still wish to have a family it is worth every minute. I have friends without my complications and still have morning sickness throughout pregnancy. It is a rough time in most women lives and not without sacrifices. Good luck!!!

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  51. Hi there, I read straight through this full thread. I was looking to find some experiences on women who have MD and have been pregnant are preggers or is in the situation like myself wanting to become pregnant. I have had MD for almost 5 years. I went into remission from 2007 to early 2011. My MD came back a year ago and since the attacks, tinnitis and hearing loss have progressed. I just had another attack this morning, 3rd one this week. Although milder than the last one I had in Sept. I think it is because I am now immediately on it with taking Gravol and an Ativan. I find just before my period, my symptoms get worse. THe problem for me also is that I have been dx with premature ovarian failure. If all goes well with my reproductive system this coming up month, I will start injections and taking some hormones to start the IUI process. I am very concerned that in addition to the intense emotional side effects the drugs will have is my my symptoms getting worse and my ability to cope will be lacking. It is hard enough dealing with PMS and MD. I am glad though that many women who have taken the time to write and share their experience have had good experiences or if not still feel that they would go through the pregnancy. It is comforting to read that several of you ladies have more than one child.

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  52. i too have menieres and one child. during my first pregnancy i was so sick, all the way through. i hadnt been diognosed yet but had had attacks that i couldnt explain. my son is 18 months now and the past two weeks have been hell with md paralysing me. im wondering if i may be pregnant again and it has triggered these attacks off. its strange that i have been free of them almost since last pregnancy but they are now relentless. eaither way im at my wits end with md, i am willing to do whatver it takes to get it out of my life eg complete hearing loss. theres a very good furum im on atm called menieres disease uk, has loads of topics on md and u can get some good advice from fellow sufferers. kelly. xx

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  53. Hi All,

    I live in Australia so unfortunately there isn't a lot of information about MD out here. I was diagnosed with MD when i was 7 years old and now i am currently 21 years old and 6 weeks pregnant. I have successfully managed MD throughout my life by sticking to a very strict diet of low salt and this has worked a treat. i have already lost 70% of my hearing in one ear and i hope that MD doesn't move to the other. I have not had a MD attack in years, but as soon as i hit the 6 week mark in pregnancy that changed everything. i am getting attacks all day long and i am hoping that they subside soon.
    it is great knowing that there are other people out there that are young like me and have been diagnosed with MD.

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    1. Hiii,
      I am 34 now and was diagnosed with MD one year back during 8th month of my 1st pregnancy. I witness vertigo attacks every 2 months. I also had hearing loss. There's continuous tinnitus and fullness in my right ear. I am now pregnant again with the 2nd child and it's 5 weeks now. I am taking homeopathy treatment but I am worried that as pregnancy will progress the attacks would get worsened. Can anyone tell about the homeopathy treatments effectiveness and how will minieres be in pregnancy.

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  54. I had suffered from attacks for about 6 years. The course of the disease ran to drop attacks that would have me feeling like I was falling metres through the floor. I fell pregnant with my first child and was so fearful of impending attacks. Coincidence or not, I did not have any attacks during pregnancy however I had one episode whilst breast feeding my new baby boy, that struck fear in my heart. THAT WAS THE LAST ATTACK I HAD, Harrison is now 11. Sometimes the feeling of heavy head and weird vision came back. I am now peri-menopausal and guess what...I have had two attacks that leave me bed ridden. I believe hormones play a part in Menieres.

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  55. Wow! Thank you for posting this! After 15 months after giving birth no one could give me answers to what has been happening to me. I even had to drop out of nursing school because the symptoms we interfering with my studies. I see an ENT this week and I hope he will have some answers for me. My kids pediatrician believes I'm suffering from MD, go figure huh! My GP or Nuero docs couldn't figure out what's wrong but my kids doc has!! It gets wrost before my menses and it's so debilitating. Im so over this and I'm praying for a cure. Thank you ladies

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  56. Hey guys! I too have been suffering from dizziness for over 3yrs now. I am 29yrs old and have no children. Honestly, this dizziness has prevented me from that as of now. I just don't know how i could function. Have any of you taken prozac to help with your anxiety from dealing with all this? Has it helped or did it make your dizziness worse? Also, do any of you notice a differnce in your dizziness with the weather? Rainy, stormy, etc does it make it worse? Thanks

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    1. I'm in a similar position as you - I've had MD for 2 years now, and am almost 28 years old. I desperately want kids, but have been afraid of the idea of pregnancy because of the vertigo and all of the uncertainty of whether MD would get worse during those 9 months. It seems like, with every treatment I've had, if there's a 20% chance of complications or making it worse, I fall into that 20%, so my fear isn't completely unfounded. When medical management, lifestyle changes, and the endolymphatic sac surgery all failed, I pretty much gave up on the idea of pregnancy until I got the episodes under some sort of control.

      My ENT agreed to start a very conservative round of gent injections 6 months ago. One of the three shots so far has helped, but he thinks something is occluding the round window, so I'm scheduled for surgery to clear that up next month. The one shot that worked took me from attacks 3-5 times/week to only once a week, so if another shot can get me down to every 10-14 days, I'm willing to try to get pregnant. I also just had my birth control implant taken out last month to see how the normal monthly fluctuations of hormones affects my MD.

      I take Clonazepam (an anti-anxiety drug) to help with the vertigo attacks. I'm allowed to take it every day as a preventative, but I'm quite sensitive to drowsy medications, so I only take it when I feel an attack coming on. It has helped immensely with the actual episodes. I don't have any experience with Prozac, but maybe your doc would try you on Clonazepam. It might help you deal with the overall anxiety as well as the episodes. I think most people build up a tolerance to the sedative effects of it.

      Weather makes a huge difference for me. If it rains, storms, or the barometric pressure fluctuates significantly, my dog gets really anxious and I have a lot of problems with my ear. Between the dog and I, we can pretty accurately forecast whether it is going to storm on a given day.

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  57. Hi everyone! For anyone wondering about MD and pregnancy, it is worth the risk! I was diagnosed with MD at 26 years old and had my first child at 29. The pregnancy literally took all my MD symptoms away!!! I was dizzy free and could eat whatever I wanted with no medication being taken for 9-10 months. It was great, it was like having a break from the disease. I am now pregnant again, I will be 32 next month, I am so excited for this next baby, but this time the pregnancy has amplified my MD symptoms. They say no two pregnancies are alike and that is so true! Bottom line, there is no way to know for sure how your body is going to react. You might feel worse than ever or you might get a pleasant break from being incapacitated. Either way you end up with a life changing blessing as the end result.

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    1. I had my first child at age 26 without MD...it came along 6 months later. I went through one pregnancy with MD and went bilateral but then hit a kind a remission for several years...now I'm full blown bilateral and intractable. I think it would have happened anyway. Maybe the pregnancy just made it happen sooner. Who knows?? I don't regret anything. The pregnancy with MD was very rough.
      Things to think about: have family close by to help you. Plan for your future...this disease is progressive.

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