If you have the balance disorder known as Meniere's disease, there's no sure-fire cure. However, changes in your diet and nutrition can help reduce the buildup of fluid in your inner ear and reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. It can also help eliminate some of the "triggers" that set Meniere's in motion. Here's what you should know.
While conventional wisdom once had people on strict low-sodium diets, the current treatment is more about lowering sodium intake from the average 3400mg consumed daily by each individual in the U.S. to a stable, healthy intake of 1500-2000mg daily instead. That's approximately 1 teaspoon's worth of table salt per day.
Not adding extra salt to your food is one way to lower your sodium intake, but a nutritionist can help you to identify the "hidden" salts in your food. Processed lunch meat, bacon, ham, packaged soups, baked goods and even condiments like ketchup and salad dressing often contain more salt than you realize. These salts are often labelled monosodium glutamate, sodium caseinate, and sodium citrate.
Learning to recognize salts in your food and calculate out how much of any favorite item is "safe" to consume is part of nutrition control as well. Knowing that you can have small amounts of your favorite foods can help keep you from feeling deprived or breaking down and binging on something that will set off the attacks.
Because Meniere's disease has an auto-immune aspect, anti-inflammatory medications are sometimes helpful. There are also foods and supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Plant sterols and sterolins are being used to aid in the proper absorption of plant fats, which help keep the immune system functioning correctly.
Supplements are often used by nutritionists to help increase the sterolins that you consume, but there's also a focus on adding anti-inflammatory food items to your diet as well through nuts, fatty fish, berries, olive oil, and raw tomatoes.
Another thing that a nutritionist can help you do is find any specific "triggers" that are in your diet that set off the attacks of Meniere's. Different people have different tolerances, so you may be able to tolerate things that others with the disorder can't (and you may be hypersensitive to some things that don't bother others much at all). Common triggers are caffeine (including that in chocolate) and alcohol. However, you aren't likely to know at first what foods do and don't trigger an attack, or in what quantities.
Your nutritionist's job is to help you identify what triggers your attacks. You may be asked to keep a food diary and even weigh or measure the quantities of food that you eat and liquids that you drink until a complete picture is formed.
For more information on how your Meniere's disease can be controlled through diet, contact a nutritionist near you today.