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