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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A fireman with Meniere's disease

"My brother has been given a hypothetical diagnosis of Meniere's disease. He was symptom free until a month ago and since then has had five violent episodes of vertigo with nausea and vomiting. The doctor (GP) thinks he may have a severe case and is referring him to an ear specialist but the wait is several weeks. My brother is a fireman and is very upset with the possibility of having this disease and its risk to his career. The episodes come out of nowhere and even have woken him up from his sleep!

I would like to recommend something to him while he waits to see this specialist. Currently he is self-treating on google... as we do! he is limiting salt, cutting out processed foods, and has (finally after years of my begging) stopped drinking diet sodas/aspartame."

Here is a description taken from the Meniere's Disease Information Office:

"Meniere's Disease affects each patient differently. Some patients experience acute (severe) rotational vertigo (a form of dizziness) "attacks" very frequently; other patients experience acute rotational vertigo attacks less frequently, or experience less severe attacks. Some patients lose hearing at a rapid rate and become deafened in the affected ear quickly; other patients lose hearing more slowly and never become totally deafened before death overtakes the disease. Some patients experience some degree of episodic, fluctuating tinnitus "24/7," while other patients experience episodic tinnitus that fluctuates from zero to a roar. The variations of tinnitus are endless. For some patients, tinnitus is the sound of a zillion crickets chirping; for other patients, tinnitus is the sound of a jet engine whine; for still other patients, a "thumping" sound; for even other patients, a cacophony of sounds. Some patients experience episodic, fluctuating aural fullness that can become acute, sometimes even to the point of ear pain (although ear pain is unrecognized as a symptom in the authoritative literature); other patients experience lesser degrees of episodic, fluctuating aural fullness. The majority of patients are unilateral, having Meniere's Disease in "just" one ear; other patients are, or will become, bilateral -- having Meniere's Disease in both ears."

While there may be no direct "cure" for this disease, this should not stop us from identifying and correcting everything that might have even the slightest impact on the condition and its progress.

Depression, anxiety, headache and fatigue are often associated with Meniere's. Whether these occur before or after the onset of Meniere's, it would be prudent to apply natural health interventions for these, lest they become overwhelming.

And it just so happens that there are some nutrient connections with Meniere's and depression, anxiety, headache and fatigue.

Iron deficiency is associated with tinnitus, depression and anxiety.  Magnesium deficiency has an association with anxiety and excitable nerves (twitching for example), as does vitamin B6 deficiency.  Silica deficiency is associated with migraines and possibly tinnitus.

Toxic elements like mercury, arsenic and lead interfere with the bioavailability of nutritional elements like magnesium and iron.  Even tiny amounts of these heavy metals can wreak havoc with these essential elements.  The body counters the harmful effects of these toxic elements and chelates them from the body by combining them with various substances, including sulphur, magnesium, iron and beta carotenoids.  If there is insufficient of these in the body then the toxic metals will gradually accumulate deep within the body.

Despite the best of protective practices, a fire fighter is liable to exposure to all kinds of toxic fumes, such as when attending a fire that is burning an arsenic treated timber house.  We are talking about tiny amounts of toxins that may never show in a blood test.  Many toxins, like lead and mercury are known accumulate in the nervous tissues over many years, slowly wreaking damage.

Stress may rob the body of nutrients like B6 and magnesium, while an excess of copper may reduce iron levels.  Excess iron will depress copper, as will excess vitamin C.  Copper is essential for the adrenal function as well as the production of neurotransmitters in the brain.  These are just a few examples of the complexity of interactions between each other and with their environment.

The diet may be inadequate to replace what is lost.  Shift work is a chronic stressor and working as a fire fighter certainly is.

Stress depletes the reserves of the adrenals and this eventually shows as a condition called adrenal fatigue.  Symptoms include blood pressure that may be either too high or too low or which varies wildly from one extreme to another.  Nutrient imbalances associated with adrenal fatigue include sodium and potassium disturbances.

The first step is to obtain  a hair tissue mineral analysis which will highlight areas of interest including any toxins.  Because this will take a number of weeks, the most immediate action while waiting is to contact me by email to obtain the Hair tissue kit and to get the correct form and combination of silica, pyridoxine and magnesium to start a course of these right away.

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1 comment:

Hearing Aids said...

I started to wear Hearing Aids and my tinnitus improved but its not a cure