Martin Murdoch's home pages - Marc Tiltman's Meniere's disease guide

Hello and welcome to my Meniere's page.

On this page Iím going to offer what I hope, will be some useful 
information in regard to living with Meniere's disease/syndrome.  This includes 
the results of my own research from which I have regained most of my freedom.

Firstly, what is Meniere's disease?

Meniere's is a chronic condition characterised by hearing loss, tinnitus, 
sensations of fullness of the ear and recurrent bouts of severe vertigo or 
dizziness which induce nausea.  Typically only one ear is affected, though in 
about 30% of sufferers, both ears may later become involved.  Episodes of 
vertigo can last between a few minutes to several hours.  My own experience 
also includes fleeting moments of giddiness which I call dizzy-strikes.  The 
hearing loss and tinnitus may become constant over time.

The cause or causes of Meniereís is unclear but is thought to involve 
both genetic and environmental factors.  There are numerous theories as to how
it occurs. These include the constriction of blood vessels, viral infections
and autoimmune reactions. Symptoms are believed to occur as a result of fluid 
build up in the labyrinth of the inner ear.  This would explain the sensations 
of fullness of the ear leading up to and during a vertigo attack.

There is no known cure, so the attacks are instead managed with medications 
such as Prochlorperazine 5mg, to reduce the sensations of vertigo and thus help 
reduce the resulting nausea.  There are measures which can be taken to reduce 
the likelihood of attacks but these are overall poorly supported through the 
lack of controlled testing.  This is where my story comes in.

Onwards from the mid 1980's I experienced on-off bouts of tinnitus, but being 
young and busy, I paid it little mind.  Then one February morning in 1993, while 
on my way to work after a particularly noisy bout of tinnitus, I came over 
very, very giddy.  I gave up with that journey, and with great difficulty, 
returned home.  Once home, the vertigo got far, far worse. Iím talking 
real room-spin where by closing eyes, or by trying to focus on something 
offered no relief whatsoever.  My bed felt as if it were doing somersaults all 
over the place.  I never did enjoy fairground rides.

After a few successive attacks I discussed this with my GP where I was 
prescribed Prochlorperazine.  To cut a long story short, I found this 
medication very useful and never left home without it.  The years passed, and by 
the early 2000ís I had almost no severe attacks at all.  I would however 
always keep the medication at hand wherever I went.† Between the early 2000's 
and summer 2016 I enjoyed an almost Meniereís free life.  Any attacks I 
had during those years were only mild; I would take a tablet and just carry on 
with whatever I was doing.

Then during the summer of 2016 I had a surprise attack which was severe enough
for me to stop what I was doing and go and rest for an hour or so.  Believing 
it to be a one-off, I thought little of it and just got on with life.

All Meniereís attacks I had up to this point were preceded by the fair 
warning of much tinnitus for a few days, followed by a gradual deterioration of 
my sense of balance over the course of several minutes.  However, early on the 
evening of 28 August 2016 while working on my upcoming book, I was clobbered by 
a very, very sudden and equally severe Meniere's attack.  Thankfully this was 
more motion induced giddiness than room-spin.  Nevertheless, I was very ill 
that evening.  I could not stand, and to move from one room to another, I had 
to crawl very slowly and carefully with my knees and hands splayed outwards to 
prevent myself from keeling over.

To cut a long story short again, I would continue having attacks like this 
almost every day - some days, up to five such attacks.  The Prochlorperazine 
although helpful, did not offer enough relief to prevent me from being 
incapacitated by these attacks.  My GP informed me that this drug is about as 
good as Iím going to get when it comes to alleviating the effects of 
these attacks.  I learnt at this time I could take up to four tablets at one 
time if required.  This is only helpful if one can keep the little critters 

So I carried out some research.  Surely there must be some way of warding off 
these vertigo attacks.

Initially, via my intellectual friend Google, I could find nothing of a remedy 
which exceeded that of Prochlorperazine.  I did however come across this very 
informative website:
As informative as this place is, I did not find what I was looking for.  Then I 
had an idea. I began searching for natural remedies instead.

I found this,
Italy's University of Chieti-Pescara
the results of a test made at the University determined that French Maritime 
Pine Bark Extract is of great benefit to those suffering with Meniere's 

After 6 months of taking French Maritime Pine Bark Extract tablets @ 150mg, 87% 
of those taking them became symptom free.  Unable to work and with very little 
freedom, I had to try something,†so I searched for French Maritime Pine Bark 
Extract on EBay and found these:-
120 Tabs French Maritime Pine Bark Extract 95 OPCs Powerful Antioxidant
Here's a smaller pack of 60
My only link to the above suppliers is as a customer, many other suppliers are 

This natural remedy works as a vasodilator which helps increase blood flow. 
Seeing as constricted blood flow is thought to be a contributing factor in 
Meniere's, anything which improves blood flow should in theory help prevent 
Meniereís attacks.

Prevent them it does!

This remedy is not one which will work instantly in the same sense as a pain 
killer, but instead has to be allowed to build up in your system. So after a 
few days of taking one tablet per day with breakfast, the severity and 
frequency of my vertigo attacks began to drop off.  I had also been suffering 
from what had become permanent motion induced giddiness.  This also began to 
drop away.

I initially bought 120 tablets, and once I had run out and because I am unable 
to earn an income and they are fairly pricey, I did not buy any more.  Some 
weeks passed, and the attacks began to return, so I ordered another 120 
tablets.  Within a few days of taking them, the attacks had once again 
vanished.  Now I am convinced that they work and have kept taking them since.

Further Google research revealed to me that Ginkgo Biloba has also been shown 
to prevent Meniere's attacks.  I have yet to try them for this but this lady 
YouTube article - 1 of many about Meniere's on YouTube
Like French Maritime Pine Bark Extract, Ginkgo Biloba also promotes good blood 
flow.  So this may explain why Meniere's sufferers have benefitted from taking 

In short, anything which promotes good blood flow appears to ward off the 
vertigo attacks associated with Meniere's disease.

There is a diet known as the Meniere's diet which also helps ward off the 
symptoms of Meniere's disease.  This is mainly a low salt diet which includes 
fresh fruit and vegetables, as little processed food as possible and no 
caffeine.  This is to help prevent the fluctuations in the fluid pressure in 
your inner ears.  This diet would of course be healthier for you all round too.

I generally eat very little processed food, always preferring to cook from 
scratch.  However I do enjoy a cup of tea, followed by another cup of tea, the 
occasional beer, single malt with friends and I also enjoy chocolate too much 
to give it up.  Another issue I have is with severe leg cramps in the morning 
(Charley horses).  Seeing as a lack of sodium in one's diet can be a 
contributing factor, and that I eat very little processed food, salt avoidance 
is not for me.  I instead deliberately add salt to some of my meals for this 

So despite my not so strict following of the Meniere's diet, I am now almost 
symptom free.  That I put down to my taking of French Maritime Pine Bark 

I do hope you found this information to be useful.

Like all articles of this nature please do your own research too and chat to your 
GP before taking any new medication.

Kind Regards,
Marc Tiltman.
Comments welcome via this Email link
Just a few useful links, loads more can be found via google!