Salt reduction is widely recommended for many people with vertigo, as it is thought to result in a reduction of endolymphatic pressure.
Reducing salt intake may help to reduce the frequency and severity of Ménière’s attacks. There is a strong belief that Ménière’s disease involves an excess pressure of the sodium-rich fluid (called endolymph) in the inner ear.
It is thought that reducing salt in your diet may be helpful, because it may reduce the pressure of that fluid. The build up of this fluid accounts for the feeling of fullness in the ear before an attack. The sudden release of that pressure, with the chaos that ensues, accounts for the sudden attack of vertigo that you have, and for the sudden changes in hearing that happen.
It is strongly recommended that you consult your GP before undertaking a salt restricted diet, particularly if you are taking medication for any other illness or if you are pregnant.
Empirically, many patients will themselves know that if they have a particularly salty meal a few hours later they start to develop an attack. (Meniere’s Org UK)
Flavouring food without salt
You don’t have to cut down on flavor because you are reducing your salt intake. Your taste buds will adapt to lower salt levels in a short time. Gradually reducing your salt intake is the key factors to success.
Experiment when you are cooking by adding fresh herbs or dry herbs, spices, garlic, ginger, onion, vinegar, lemon or lime. When buying mixed herbs and spices, check the sodium content on the back of the packet.
Bread is a major source of sodium on our diets. Choose reduced salts and breakfast cereals, eat fresh vegetables or select low salt canned varieties.
Choose products with low salt (less than 120 mg sodium/100 g) or ‘salt-free’
Some people believe that sea salt is a healthier alternative to normal table salt, but both are composed of sodium chloride.
Herbies spices and herbs show sodium content on their packaging.
There numerous websites to help you find low salt recipes, low salt products, and chat lines:
The Heart Foundation of Australia
Provide information on healthy eating, shopping guides, receipts etc.
Low Sodium Foods
Online shopping in Australia for low salt products
Helpful information to control salt intake
To join the discussion group for your sodium questions, send a blank email to:
30 page PDF- guide to low-salt eating
Chef Donald Gazzaniga has Meniere's
Dietary low sodium website
Coffee, tea and alcohol can be a problem as they cause the tiniest blood vessels at the very end of the system to contract and so restrict the blood supply to the inner ear.
A cup or two is one thing but 10 or more strong coffees a day could make your symptoms much worse.
Small amounts of alcohol - half a pint of beer, a glass of red wine or a pub measure of spirits - may actually improve the peripheral circulation, but any more has the opposite effect.
Laura Fisher is Registered Nutritional Therapist DipION, mBANT, CNHC.
Laura is a mum with Ménière's Disease.
Laura spent three years studying Functional Medicine at The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London.
After working in advertising for fourteen years Laura became interested in nutrition after experiencing digestive issues, and decided to pursue a nutrition qualification.
When her Ménières symptoms were at their worst, Laura was afraid to out or go on holidays and anxious to look after her daughter alone. She couldn’t drive, avoided busy places and had to step back from a busy corporate career. She was desperate for silence from the constant tinnitus and terrified the fluctuating hearing loss would become permanent deafness. She felt like her life was over.
With her training as a Nutritional Therapist, and based on the latest research suggesting that Ménière's is a form of autoimmune disease, Laura made a number of dietary changes that helped her to identify the underlying causes of her symptoms, and ultimately to control them. By listening to what her body was telling her after eating different foods, she learned to support her immune system back to health.
She has not cured her Ménière's but is now symptom-free, and is on a mission to help others support their health naturally.
Copyright © 2018 Anne Elias - All Rights Reserved.