Success - no more dizziness!

Discussion in 'Your Living Room' started by charleston, Oct 23, 2006.

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  1. ariapace

    ariapace New Member

    i've been trying to assimilate the information in this great thread. i'm going through a major setback with dizzy spells and vertigo that's lasted so far for 3 weeks. it started after i ate some pastries--i'd been avoiding sugar and all gluten for months. for many weeks i'd also been eating much more animal protein (eggs, fish, and chicken) than i normally do. for most of my life i have been a lacto-vegetarian.

    i've always suspected that i had blood sugar problems (along with a sugar addiction), but in these past weeks i seem to have crossed a threshold and it seems much worse. several times in the past weeks i ate an orange by itself first thing in the morning while i was waiting for my cereal to cook. i immediately got dizzy. that never happened before. another time i ate an orange with a meal and didn't have a problem. some days i got dizzy after every meal. it was totally confusing to me, because i was eating different things at each meal. then i started to feel really weak, not only physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well.

    after talking to a friend who is a nurse and who has hypoglycemia, i cut out all the fruits, dried fruits, and fruit juices, cut out milk (apparently it has a lot of sugar in it) and milk products, and concentrated on complex carbohydrates like whole grains and beans. i felt much more steady, and if i was dizzy i gradually got better while i was eating. but then i'd be dizzy and/or hungry in 1 1/2 hours or 2. so then i started to eat smaller meals more often, which seems to work. it feels like i am controlling the dizzyness somewhat by eating this way, even though i am still getting dizzy sometimes and have a lot of fullness in the ear.

    i'm trying to figure out how much protein and/or fat (and what kinds) to eat with the carbohydrates. it seems that, whereas before, eating was a joy, now it has become a chore and a puzzle to figure out for surviving. (i hope my attitude gets better! lol)

    the past few days i woke up around 5 am and realized that i really needed to eat something quick. it wasn't that i was super hungry, but i felt that if i didn't eat soon, i would get weak and then dizzy.

    it all seems kind of overwhelming to me, but i do feel a little stronger. i was feeling like i was on the edge. i guess i just have to keep experimenting to see what works the best. a lot of the recommendations you see for hypoglycemia in books and on the web are contradictory. i hope i continue to feel stronger.
  2. Rick

    Rick New Member

    ...I suggest you look into the Glycemic index if your trying to control your carbohydrate metabolism. It's a rating of the carbs based on how fast they are metabolized. The statement that complex carbs are metabolized faster than simple carbs is a myth and also very frustrating when trying to modify the diet. Fructose and lactose are metabolized a lot more slowly than white starches like rice and poatoes.
  3. thornapple

    thornapple New Member

    Frankly, I think we are more motivated to figure out causes and solutions for our conditions than the doctors that treat us. The best thing is teamwork between us and medical professionals, if we can find any that are not offended by patients behaving like intelligent, well-educated, well-informed, open-minded researchers and partners instead of compliant, dweeblike slabs of animated meat.
  4. ariapace

    ariapace New Member

    thanks for the suggestion. i'm really looking into this seriously now. just from experimenting, i've found that i feel the best when i include legumes in a meal, along with some grain and veges. this makes sense from the point of view of the glycemic index, because legumes are among the foods that have the lowest GI rating. when i eat a meal like that, i feel really steady and stable, much more so than when i substitute fish or eggs or chicken for the legumes. so i feel more confident now that i could recover from this hypoglycemic crisis even if i kept to a vegetarian diet.

    i've been feeling a little stronger each day, and my dizzyness is much less. i haven't taken valium in a week.

    i got "The New Glucose Revolution" from the library, and i've been studying it. it's very interesting--this connection (for some people) of hypoglycemia with meniere's.
  5. ariapace

    ariapace New Member

    i LOVE that phrase, "dweeblike slabs of animated meat". what an image! it's poetry! lol
  6. peggoins

    peggoins Stop the world from spinning!!

    You know just the other day i said to my hubby that if i wait to long between eating then my dizzys seem to get worse then shortly after eating i notice a big improvement in them,,,,,
  7. ariapace

    ariapace New Member

    this is what i'm noticing, too. only it's really intense for me right now, because i think i entered crisis mode with this hypoglycemic thing last week. i can only go for 2-3 hours, sometimes even less, before i feel that i HAVE to eat something or i'm going to get really weak and dizzy.
  8. jsd

    jsd New Member

    I only return to this board, not because I am still having problems, but rather because members on this board, in particular Rick, helped me. I have been diagnosed with Menieres for almost twenty years. Progressively, my symptoms, vertigo and profound hearing loss, were making it difficult for me to work and made me more socially isolated. Hearing aids were not effective because my hearing frequently varied from hour to hour. In December of 2005, I started becoming completely deaf almost every afternoon. Although the vertigo attacks were not as severe, they were chronic and I felt always drained.

    When I last went to the doctor, he told me that there was very little that could be done for me other than an operation which had significant risks of complete hearing loss. Before taking this risk, I decided to once again see if there were any paths which I should consider. I had tried the Menniets device which was not very helpful. In the past when I had searched for information, I found that many of the suggestions made me sick. In particular, I found that suggestions to eat a diet of bland foods, vegetables and grains actually made me feel worse. I mentioned this in a post on this board in February of last year, I received a response from Rick who suggested that I should consider a glycemic diet and that my diet which consisted heavily of carbohydrates was not balanced in terms of protein and fat. He also mentioned that he too felt better after eating what were perceived as bad foods such as Snicker bars. After reading his post, I read several books, including the Omega Zone and Inflamation Zone by Barry Sayers. (I liked the Omega Zone best). By March, I had turned the corner on my symptoms and stopped going deaf every day.

    With the passage of a year, my hearing has improved significantly to the point that it is no longer a hinderance. About a month ago, I noticed that I was experiencing some hearing loss again, which was at the same time that my diet went out of control. When I changed my diet back, my symptoms improved dramatically. One of the things that I associated with the improvement was the control of my cortisol. I thought there might be a connection when I read in one of Sayer's books that cortisol increases when a person lacks sleep, is under stress, or when he or she misses meals. These were the times when my menieres symptoms were the worse. Cortisol can be controlled through the glycemic or zone diets. Controlling cortisol also has a positive effect in weight loss. Cortisol increases the fat storage around in the belly area. The fat in the belly area also increase proinflamatory hormones in the body.

    I recognize that this will not be a solution for everybody, but it truly helped me. If someone is going to try, then it is important to truly understand how food and hormones interact. I was pretty strict about the diet for the first several months until I no longer was routinely spiking my blood sugar. I found that my body became more tolerant of occassional spikes after it had time to readjust. I did not feel a change until about 30 days. By April, I no longer lost my hearing and by the summer, it no longer was an impediment. I eliminated potatos, rice, grains, and breads from my diet, at least at the beginning. I also eliminated vegetable oil which is pro-inflamatory and substitited olive oil, which is neutral in terms of inflamation. I also take high grade fish oil which I believe is also helpful.

    When I read this post, I noted with some amusement one comment that questioned whether such symptoms as mine could truly be classified as Mennieres. I for one truly do not care whether it falls outside the classification. I do know that I have been diagnosed as having Mennieres by three or four separate ENT's. If I truly do not have Mennieres because of the response of my symptoms to diet, then I can truly celebrate the distinction. I, however, note that I others like myself come to this board for suggestions, who, regardless of their true diagnosis, have been lumped in under the general diagnosis of Mennieres and who suffer the the same hellish symptoms that plague others who have been diagnosed with Mennieres. As such, I believe, based upon the response on this board regarding this topic, that the glycemic diet should be at least tried for at least several months by individuals who have been diagnosed with Mennieres.

    Having read several of the rudimentary books on the gylcemic diet, I believe that it would be valuable to read one of Sayer's books for a more complete perspective as to controlling one's diet through the Zone diet. I have come to believe that many of my symptoms were linked to the interaction of a variety of hormones, including cortisol, insulin, and gluccagen, a perspective that became clearer after reading Sayer's books on the Zone diet. Prior to reading his books, I had been able to glean certain possible causes from other books and articles that I read. However, I tended to process such information narrowly, looking for only one root cause. After reading Sayer's books, I started to believe that many of my symptoms were not caused by just one thing, but the interaction of several processes. I am firmly convinced that this has merit a year later which has practically been symptom free.

    I have not visited this board for almost six months because Mennieres is no longer a central theme in my life. Having lived with symptoms of Mennieres for nineteen years, I am heartened that it is not something that I think about daily and it no longer has such a limiting effect on my work and social life. It is amazing how one forgets quickly what it feels like to always be sick. One of my primary reasons for coming back to this board is a sense of obligation to the several people who provided me with advice on this board, in particular Rick. He regularly provides advice on this board to those of us who wonder whether diet has an affect on our symptoms. He has taken the time to make the posts even though he has significantly improved his own symptoms through a change in his diet. You have to give credit to someone such as Rick who gives so much of his time to help others find a common solution to Mennies, rather than moving on with his own life without looking back. I am truly thankful!
  9. VickiS

    VickiS New Member

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely informative post, I for one appreciated your input.

    I also thank Rick for all his posts, which I always read with interest (and am trying a low GI diet, feeling much better for it too).
  10. McCubbins

    McCubbins If he brought u 2 it He'll bring you through it!

    I wonder if being prone to diabetes ( I am ) might be a warning of the onset of diabetes. I actually thought when this all began that is was diabetes, as I was walking drunk, and feeling very physically ill. The ears, though, were the telling tale. The roar in them told me something else was afoot.

    Docs seem to agree.

    I have set a date for next week to start modifying my diet. This is going to be tough. I am a lifetime overeater, and love starch more than air. Going to have to figure out what is likely to work for me. I want to take off the weight, but also make myself feel a lot better. If I can shake this dizzy thing and the throwdowns in the process, all the better! Thanks.. this gives me something to think about.
  11. Rick

    Rick New Member

    ...A lot of the docs are beginning to understand insulin resistance and it's ramifications but not all are on board yet. If you understand the diagnoses of Type 2 diabetes, then you'll see that it's really a symptom of another underlying condition. The underlying condition is called insulin resistance. What that basically means is that it starts taking more and more insulin to regulate blood sugar than a normal person. Doctors used to never concern themselves with this condition as long as it was still regulating the blood sugar. What the researchers are finding out now, is that elevated levels of insulin can be bad news.
    ...Many cases of previously unexplained hypertension have been found to be caused by these high levels of insulin. It's well documented now that PCOS is caused by elevated insulin levels. Looking at the number of people who get meniere's at the same age as a most people get Insulin resistance, there's no doubt in my mind that high levels of insulin may be damaging our inner ears and that the underlying cause of most Meniere's cases is insulin resistance and the high levels of insulin.
    ....I think JSD'd post says a lot to that argument but I seriously doubt if there will ever be any research to prove that theory. But back to the type 2 diabetes. To get a diagnoses of type 2 dabetes means that the insulin is now so resistant that it can't regulate the blood sugar. So if you think about it, the diagnoses of type 2 diabetes justs means you have the symptoms of severe insulin resistance.
    ...The way the Glycemic diet works is to slow down the rate at which carbs are converted to blood sugar, thereby giving the insuin more time to work and thus lowering the amount of insulin needed. Remember that if the rate that we used blood sugar for energy equaled the rate at which carbs were being converted to blood sugar, then no insulin would be released. Insulin just stores the energy for use later.
    ...That's also why those with insulin resistance have larger midsections because that's where this stored energy is kept.
  12. LisaB

    LisaB New Member

    Hi, I am just a bit confused. I am so glad you figured out that eating a certain way helps you.....thank goodness! But I am diabetic, and I know that a reading of 80 is not medically hypoglycemia. (But I defer to you because I have not studied reactive hypoglycemia). Are you diabetic? Because the thing I don't understand, is if your blood is 200 and you fall to 80, that can cause hypoglycemic feelings, but for me never spinning and terrible MM feelings. I can very much separate my MM reactions and my diabetic ones. I can be 40 and still not have MM feelings. Do you think it can be another medical problem, or a food allergy that causes these triggers? I'm just wondering and adding glad you're feeling better. Lisa :)
  13. fgaglione75

    fgaglione75 New Member


  14. Rick

    Rick New Member

    ...Out of curiosity, are you type 1 or type 2? If type 1 have you every gave yourself too much insulin and what were your symptoms then? I never measured my blood sugar when I started getting the vertigo from fasting so I'm not sure what it was. Since the GI has helped with that, it indicates that insulin resistance was the cause. With that in mind, several scenario's could play out.
    ...Reactive hypoglycemia which is a condition where the pancreas does not produce glucagon because of the high levels of insulin and the adrenal system takes over. Thus blood sugar is usually higher than normal and there are also high levels of cortisol and insulin.
    ...true hypoglycemia where blood sugar levels are low, cortisol is low, and insulin is high. Very similar to insulin shock which is why I ask you the question.
    ....But then there could be a case of low blood sugar, low insulin, and low cortisol which would indicate depleted glycogen stores and a suppressed adrenal system. Fairly unlikely scenario.

    ...All I could tell you for sure is that the longer I went without eating the worse the vertigo got which means to me something was getting low or getting high (out of normal limits) and that as soon as I ate, I would feel ok in about 30 minutes. Blood sugar would bounce back faster than that so it could be something else.

    ...I also remeber reading that hunger pangs are caused by histamine, so it may go back to the very substance that caused the vertigo from allergic reactions but in less of a quantity.
  15. tamarak

    tamarak New Member

    Once again...wonderful thread and great posts. Thank you all for this important contribution to the board!

  16. LisaB

    LisaB New Member

    Hi Rick, I am Type 1 diabetic. This means my body makes no insulin at all...I am on an insulin pump. When I don't eat and get very hungry I can feel light headed, that has been me my whole life, I think because I have a fast metabolism. I became diabetic at 25. But when my blood drops to say 40, (a normal person may pass out at this, but my blood sugars are used to fluctuating and my body has gotten used to it) I just feel......low. Just a feeling that I have to eat right away. I drink juice and feel fine in about 5 minutes. I am on intensive insulin therapy to have good health, and my blood sugar drops low usually daily. This sounds weird, but the closer you keep your sugars toward normal the more chance of this there is. It's not dangerous, just something I fool with, changing my doses on my pump to prevent it. But then a burst of cleaning can throw me into a "low" also. I never experience MM symptoms when I go low. The thing about falling blood sugars is I can't envision being slammed by dropping sugars say if you are falling from 120 to 80 (both normal levels for normal people, the normal range). If you are higher than 120 then you are diabetic or insulin resistant, but it still is not very far to fall to cause reactions in a diabetic whose body has adjusted to this. My sister in law for example, is insulin resistant, and her sugars go as high as 160. She also will go lower than 80. But she also has no MM symptoms. So it makes me wonder if something else is adding in.......when you say "reactive" hypoglycemia, and that means reactive to eating, my sister in law is affected by that too. She feels bad from being too low, but no vertigo or MM symptoms. So what causes the MM type symptoms? I think what you say is interesting but just doesn't click with me. My diabetic doc is a lead researcher in the field and is very aware of my MM, you think he would have mentioned a link if there was one. Also my MM doc is a lead researcher and knows about my diabetes, vice versa. I am not saying you are not right, I just don't get how the research ties it together. I do know that the research says that higher insulin levels in your body can cause damage...but then you think there would be a more proven link between the 2, especially to the docs? I think having a suppressed adrenal system is also a separate problem from a pancreatic problem? I have been checked for that and mine is's something they watch for me. Interesting thread. Lisa
  17. Rick

    Rick New Member

    ...Your logic is absolutely flawless and remember the only thing "known" is that I would get very dizzy and then vertigo if I skipped a meal and would recover within 30 minutes after I ate and that reducing sugar and starches in my diet prevents these occurances. That just indicates that it was my carbohydrate metabolism that was at fault but that covers a lot of area. And I think it's interesting that basically a diet based on the the GI works the same as an insulin pump. Smaller doses of insulin spread out over a longer period of time.
    ...Spinning in Ohio is also type 1 diabetic but is not on aninsulin pump and by following the GI has been able to reduce the amount ofinsulin she is using and it's also helped with her Meniere's. Put your story and her's together indicates to me that it may be more of the insuln than the acual blood sugar level.
    ...Most of our adrenal systems are ok, but the risk with Meniere's is that we are often given treatments of Prednisone and that will suppress the adrenal system. I also take flonase and found that the full dosage would do the same thing to me so I cut my dosage in half and everything is cool. But at the time that all of this was taking place is when I was suseptible to having a suppressed adrenal system and that may have also had an effect.
    ...Since following the GI, I've seen my blood pressure drop from 135/80 to 118/75 and my triglycerides drop from 350 to 97. I think that's another indicator that "excess" insulin was an issue. I think there's a close parrallel from my condition to a type one diabetic who injects insulin(non insulin pump) in that we see a whole lot of insulin at once and then it tapers off instead of smaller amounts at a constant level.
    ...Just remember that fasting was causing my symptoms and treating the symptoms with a diet for controlling insulin and blood sugar levels controls the symptoms. That's the only "known" and the rest is just a non professional trying tomake sense of it all. Again, thank you for you story and by putting it with Spinning in Ohio's story has given me amore depth into this phenomenon.
  18. LisaB

    LisaB New Member

    Hi Rick, just one thing to add. While an insulin pump delivers insulin differently, you don't really have "less" insulin, you just have to eat when it peaks instead of pumping insulin when you eat. It's more of a schedule issue, not that you have "extra" insulin floating in your body because you inject. I just don't want diabetics reading this to think that being on injected insulin is a bad's not at all. Or that you have too much should have just the right amount. It's more of a lifestyle question. Remember, people who are insulin resistant's problem is that their sugars may spike when they eat. If a diabetic is on insulin eating and taking insulin prevents these spikes, you don't have that problem if you are dosing correctly, which is easily proven by checking your sugars. So I am just leary of the tie you are trying to make between these two. A controlled diabetic will not experience this. I do understand for you that having too much of certain foods causes MM like symptoms, or actual ones. But a diagnosed, controlled diabetic shouldn't have these issues. If Spinnin is taking less insulin by eating less carbs, that's fine. But taking more to cover more food she has doesn't mean that this extra is floating in her body causing damage, or that that is a bad thing. it's just processing the food she eats. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are very different. Excess insulin does float around an uncontrolled diabetic's body......when your sugar is high, the insulin is not getting into the cells to do its job, and that is what causes damage. But if you are a controlled Type 2 diabetic this does not happen. A big difference to understand. Lisa :)
  19. charleston

    charleston New Member

    To answer Fran's question from 1/18, it was a 5-hour glucose test which tested not only the pattern of the blood sugar levels after drinking glucose but also the insulin level patterns - for the five hour period. These patterns indicated the reactive hypoglycemia, where there's not enough insulin and then too much. According to a senior endocrinologist at Duke, 20% of the population has this pattern. He called it a variation of normal!
    I agree with several of the recent posts that it's very difficult to connect all the dots. One of my biggest questions is why I only (and very thankfully) have Meniere's in only one ear. So I do think I have a medical/structural problem with that ear. Maybe lots of people have problems with their ears, but they don't have the blood sugar fluctuations or the allergies. Or maybe lots of that 20% of the population that has reactive or relative hypoglycemia don't have ear problems. As my doctors have said, Meniere's syndrome is the name of a collection of symptoms. We're just lucky enough to have something weird going on in our ears which is affected by something else - maybe allergies, sensitivies or blood sugar fluctations. Or something else?
    In recent months, I haven't been testing my blood sugar very often, but one day recently I tested all day just to see how things were going. After eating more carbs than I should have, I tested myself over a 5 minute period. My blood sugar dropped from 165 to 148 to 125 to 119 (and yes, the monitor was working fine). I don't understand why, but I do get symptoms when that happens - louder ear sounds, blurred vision, tightening in my head, pounding of my heart, feeling shakey, foggy brain. In the past when that happened, eating was the last thing I'd do and I would have a dizzy episode, never less than 3 hours and often longer.
    But now I can stop that cycle by eating. If the sypmptoms are pretty serious, I use a glucose tablet, which gets to the blood faster than food (which usually takes about 30 mintues). But then I have to compensate later for higher blood sugar level.
    I do eat a low GI diet, too, because that is the easiest way to control the blood sugar, but I can still splurge sometimes, as long as I compensate later for the higher blood sugar by eating again before it plunges too low. Sure, that causes a spike, which isn't healthy, but at least I don't get dizzy.
    I can't explain everything, but this definitely works 100% of the time for me. Good luck to everyone else. We all need to figure out what works for us!
  20. SpinininOhio

    SpinininOhio New Member

    Sorry I have been missing this thread lately.

    LisaB, For context, my history - I have had type I IDDM for 17-1/2 years, as the result of toxemia attacking my pancreas. I have had Meniere's since 2001; 18 months with vertigo once a month; 3 year remission; 10 months puking my guts out two to three times per week; 10 months with no vertigo; now four months with 15 to 30-second vertigo attacks.

    I don't know the machinations - whether it is because I inject or because the sugars drop rapidly or what, but I support what Rick is saying. In the past year, I will get increased tinnitus and begin to feel dizzy. For a while, based on reasoning like yours, I didn't even check my sugar - it was Meniere's, not IDDM. Big mistake. Now when I get those sensations, the first thing I do is check my blood sugar and sure enough, it is 70 or below. Didn't do that in previous years; don't know why this change happened, but it did.

    One thing I know is that a modified GI/zone/non-gluten diet has done more for me in controlling my sugars than anything... insulin, doctors, etc. My endocrinologist did not understand that Humalog is 50% more effective than Humulin R and I gained 22 pounds in two months and was on 44 units of combined Humalog/Humilin N per day under his care. Since going on these diets, I take about 19 units total (of both) per day and my HbA1c has dropped from 7.2% - 7.4% to under 6.0%, and you can see above how well my "disease formerly known as Meniere's" has done. Not cured of either, but a whole lot healthier.


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