Zone diet/Glycemic Index/Cortisol

Discussion in 'Your Living Room' started by jsd, Jan 18, 2007.

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  1. 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 a post regarding dietary changes, 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!
  2. oaktree8

    oaktree8 New Member

    That is great to hear, that your symptoms are so much better, it gives me hope. Congratulations.

    I'd also like to second your thanks to Rick--I've learned a lot from his posts, and I think changing my diet is helping me control my vertigo. It's too soon to know for sure yet though--
  3. deercharmer1

    deercharmer1 Somewhere in the forest....

    And this is why I love this forum - always something new to learn about the ways people are helping themselves!

    Great news, jsd!
  4. kristy

    kristy New Member

    Thank you for this post. This is very encouraging. I have just started learning about and trying to follow the GI Diet. I definitely think that many of my symptoms are blood-sugar related, as I often feel worse after eating, or if I haven't eaten anything. I also need to lose weight so I'm hoping that by following this diet I will be able to kill two birds with one stone.

    The book that I am using as a guideline is called The GI Diet by Rick Gallop. I chose it because it doesn't just tell you what you can't eat. It has a very detailed list of what you can and should eat. I have not started following it 100% yet (I'm taking baby steps) and I haven't been on it for long enough to say whether the changes I've made are making a difference. But I will probably post my results in a few months.

  5. Vgogh

    Vgogh Guest

    Excellent the Hydrops diet is also called the modified Zone diet. With respect I correct the author of the Zone diet to Dr. Barry Sears. Read his books and practice the Zone diet and see amazing results. Some folks have better results than other but it benefits everyone with Meniere's or Endlo. Hydrops.

    I have used it for years with success. My only bad times are after a fall. I have lost my right vestibular nerves, so I fall sometimes if I am not careful. One bang to the head and back to vertigo.

    This diet is published here on the internet by and some general guidelines by VEDA. The concern is sugar more than sodium. I will see if I can get permission from the adminsitrator to post the diet here.
  6. Yoko

    Yoko New Member

    Thankyou for this great information, I too believe that diet plays a huge part. I was given some information similar to this by people from another help sight

    I didn'tpay too much attantion to it though, I just wanted to get on the supplements they were recommending(which has helped by the way). I will go back and try and read it all properly, and pay attaention to the GI scores of the food I am eating.

    Thanks again
  7. shudabenanun

    shudabenanun Laters baby

    ? for all of you trying these.. aside from it helping with side effects of MM has anyone lost or gained any weight from them?
  8. Rick

    Rick New Member

    ...when I first started on the diet, I dropped 20 lbs 245 to 225 and have been at that level. I'm still overweight but I'm going to have to cut some calories to drop any more pounds. I eat until I am full and didn't change anything when I started the diet except the type of carbs I was eating, so I think it can have an impact of weight but I also believe it's going to depend on how overweight a person is to begin with. the diet is so balanced I believe a person who is underweight might even gain weight, but most of us with insulin resistance are overweight and it's around our middles.
  9. shudabenanun

    shudabenanun Laters baby

    Thanks...I was just curious
  10. SpinininOhio

    SpinininOhio New Member


    I am an insulin dependent diabetic (in other words - it's almost impossible for me to lose weight). I lost weight when I went on a regimen of Omega 3 fish oil caps; I read a number of places that you will lose weight on them if you are deficient in essential fatty acids. I lost more weight when I went totally non-gluten.

  11. Vgogh

    Vgogh Guest

    Amen on the Omega 3 fish oil capsules. Everyone should take them. A friend with high blood pressure brought it down to normal within 3 months on Omega 3 fish oil.

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