Meniere's Disease - My Personal Daily Regimen

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This is the daily regimen that I follow along with a low sodium diet and low caffeine intake.

I also do not drink alcohol or smoke anything...lol.

Most of this list comes from the John of Ohio Meniere's Regimen – Updated – June 2014.

Thank you John for sharing your incredible research with everyone for free!

  1. Betahistine AKA Serc, 24mg every 8 hours – Prescription required, can be taken with or without food - 3 times daily
  2. Lysine, 1,000mg on empty stomach every 8 hours, 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after a meal – 3 times daily
  3. Lemon Bioflavonoid Complex 1000mg, -taken with food morning and night- 2 times daily.
  4. Vinpocetine 30mg, taken with food morning and night - 2 times daily
  5. Ginkgo Biloba, 120mg, taken with food morning and night - 2 times daily
  6. Vitamin C, (sustained-release) Two-Stage Timed Release Supplement, 1000mg- taken with food morning and night - 2 times daily
  7. Vitamin E in its natural form, d-alpha tocopherol, 400 IU Liquid Capsule, 1 time daily, taken with food
  8. MSM or Methylsulfonylmethane, 1000mg- taken with food morning and night - 2 times daily
  9. Nature's Way Alive Max3 Daily Adult Multivitamin, taken with food morning and night - 3 times daily
  10. Pine Bark Extract, 100mg, note*** Pine Bark Extract is much cheaper than Pycnogenol which is the US registered trademark name for a product derived from the pine bark of a tree, taken with food morning and night - 2 times daily
  11. CBD oil 50mg (0.6ml) only when feeling stressed or anxious- it is expensive so I only use it once or twice a week.

    I also use channelized (programmable) hearing aids which seem to have helped reduce the tinnitus.

    Best wishes to you all for a spin free life, today is not forever….

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  • Posted

    Does any of that help? I know that I tried all the of regiments and they never did anything. Diet change was the only thing that has ever worked for me.

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    • Posted

      It absolutely works for me is why I am sharing the regimen. It can take up to 6 months before someone can feel the positive effects so you have to be patient. Most of the regimen is just vitamins and can be bought online. I thought it was worth a shot and it has brought me back to living a normal life by the grace of God. If you look up the JOH regimen the PDF document is definitely worth reading. I have a printed copy that I keep for a reference. I read it line by line and page by page. The author, John, put an incredible amount of work into this.

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  • Posted

    I notice you take the pine bark extract. Has any research shown it to be as effective? I have been using the JOH regimen for probably 5 or 6 mos. Have had MD for a year and a half or so. One bad vertigo episode about a year ago. Only live with some mild to moderate dizziness ( "light headedness" type feeling) and a little "brain fog" like feeling. How long have you been blessed with this thing and how old are you if I may ask. I am 73. I also see that you use both pycnogenol and vinpocetine. Did you mean you take 30mg three times a day (total of 90mg daily) or 30mg total a day (10mg three times a day)?

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    • Posted

      Hello Ron,

      Pine bark extract was shown to be effective with other people that are suffering with MD so I started taking it too. It is also listed on a website called The Ultimate List of Helpful Meniere’s Disease Products and since it helps with inner ear blood circulation and it is cheap I started using it. After using it for about a year, I believe that it has helped me but there is "your Meniere’s" and "my Meniere’s" so not one thing will work for everyone. It takes time time, trial and error to put together a custom regimen that is effective. I was first diagnosed with bilateral Meniere’s Disease in June 2017 but have been fighting this wretched disease since September of 2015. I am 48 years old. I take a Vinpocetine 30 mg capsule once with breakfast and once with dinner for a total 60mg a day. I believe that the JOH regimen will be effective enough to stop using betahistine. Once I have been on the JOH regimen for 12 months (its been 3 months), I will start to taper down the betahistine to zero mg. We will see how that goes.... Best wishes to you, have a good one!

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    • Posted

      Hey, thanks for the reply. One question though...... I read of many people that are taking betahistine. I don't know where you live or any of the rest of those using betahistine, but I live in the U.S. and my understanding is that you can't get it in the U.S. Where is everybody getting the stuff and what is it good for?

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    • Posted

      Betahistine is widely available in the United States and is used to control vertigo.

      Betahistine is an anti-vertigo drug first used for treating vertigo assosicated with Ménière's disease. It is also commonly used for patients with balance disorders. I live in California and get it at a Walgreens. Most of the cost is covered by insurance.

      First you need to do some research to find a a specialty pharmacy or a full service Walgreens that has a compound pharmacy technician. Because Betahistine comes in bulk powder by special order your Doctor has to tell the pharmacy EXACTLY what you want. The standard prescription is 90 capsules, which is a 30 day supply, taken every 8 hours. Next the dosage has to be specified, the internet shows the standard dosages are 8mg, 16mg, 24mg, 32mg or 64mg. So my prescription looks like this, 90 capsules, 24mg, with 2 refills. When you have this worked out, you will need a prescription from your Doctor. Because of the severity of my vertigo, I started with 16mg but let my Doctor know upfront to please issue a 24mg prescription if the 16mg was to weak and it was. The 24mg has been very effective to control the vertigo but you have to maintain a high level of discipline to take it every 8 hours or it does not work like it should. The JOH regimen was been very, very effective in reducing the aural fulness (ear pressure), tinnitus, brain fog and has stopped all dizzy spells by the grace of God Almighty. I still have a bit of sensitivity to light but I'm hoping in time that will go away as well. You're welcome Ron, good luck brother and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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    • Posted

      I also had a big problem trying to order Betahisitne in America for the first time and found out it was because of all the fake news that it was not available in the U.S.

      Lies, disinformation & fake news.

      Betahistine is just about at every specialty compound pharmacy in America and with a prescription you can also order it from Canada.

      Thank God that Dr. Timothy C. Hain published a document complete with detailed instructions on how to order it. I followed his instructions and everything went perfect.

      Use your internet search browser and copy and past this:

      AVAILABILITY OF BETAHISTINE (SERC) Timothy C. Hain, MD

      Look at the results, in the top ten you will see a page titled

      "betahistine and serc availability"

      This link will take you to his website that has all the information.

      Thank you Dr. Hain!!!

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  • Posted

    Hi. I commend you on your regimen. It seems to require very strict discipline. However, with menieres disease we must try many non traditional treatments, other medical conditions permitting. There is no one size that fits all. Managing the symptoms of this disease is challenging and many times overwhelming but we press on in search of maintaining some degree of quality to our lives. Continued success to you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Arcticblueice, so glad to hear you are keeping well. Your list and routine sound exhausting, but like everything else, I'm sure you get used to it. Thank you for sharing it.

    I found a general practitioner who will prescribe the antiviral medication, Valtrex, for me. Just waiting for blood test to come back to make sure my kidneys and liver are functioning ok and I will then start on them.

    I'm feeling optimistic and hopeful that it will work for me. Fingers crossed!

    But my current thinking is that I need to look at my health in general and not just at my menieres. If menieres is caused by a virus and I take antiviral meds to suppress it, I believe that that is only half the story. I also need to work hard to improve my immune system. So I'm exercising as much as I can to get as fit as possible. I'm trying to get good quality sleep (I'm not always a good sleeper,) and I'm eating good, nutritious food (and low salt/no caffeine, and low/no alcohol. )

    But importantly, I'm also looking after my emotional and mental wellbeing. We are one single organism and I think if something isn't well in one area, it can affect other areas. So I'm trying hard to get fully well in the round.

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    • Posted

      Hello Pauline!

      You are right, it can be exhausting, especially getting up at 3:30A to start the regimen but it is better than becoming dizzy for sure 

      Congratulations on finding a general practitioner who will actually work with you in prescribing antiviral medication?! I also take a blood test once a year to make sure the kidneys, liver and everything else is looking good. I really hope that Valtrex will knock this wretched disease down and you will feel better.

      You point out an interesting area of looking at wellness overall. Yes, I would agree with you. Improving the immune system sounds like a great idea. I’m not always a good sleeper either. Having to wake up so early is a pain. My body clock wants to always wake up at 3:30am even when I have time off so if I stay up late I wind up paying for it the next day. It sounds like you have a great diet of low salt and healthy food. Good for you!

      I notice quite often people with MD talk about depression or feeling hopeless so looking after your emotional and mental wellbeing is another great idea for us all. Thanks a lot for sharing where you’re at in fighting this wretched disease. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!!

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    • Posted

      Hi. I'm glad to see that all is progressing well with you. I'm coming along. Recently finished my second round of vestibular therapy since my sac decompression surgery. My balance has improved quite a bit. Still have to exercise care/control in movements though. I'm now in the mist of the valtrex viral treatment. I'm doing okay with it so far. Dosing is 3000 mg per day for 30 days. I haven't had vertigo since my surgery so I see no immediate changes. However, I hope it will address any immune system compromises that may be attributing to the menieres disease hearing loss, etc.

      Best to you....

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    • Posted

      HI Rubye, that's great your balance has improved and hopefully now your other symptoms will also start improving.

      It's interesting to hear you are also on Valtrex. I started taking Valtrex yesterday - 3000 mg daily for 3 weeks. Then 2000 mg daily for 3 weeks. Then 1000 mg daily for anything up to a year.

      When picking up the meds, I had a lengthy conversation with the pharmacist and this is what I learned from her:

      1. If I do have a virus in my inner ear, the Valtrex will do a very good job at suppressing it.

      2. A healthy immune system is crucial in assisting that suppression.

      3. A healthy immune system is achieved by five things: exercise, diet, sleep, mental health, gut health.

      4. Gut health is achieved by taking natural yoghurt every day, as well as a fermented food or drink.

      5. Gut health is linked to mental health.

      It's probably possible to say that most people are full of viruses that they've come in contact with throughout their lives, but they remain dormant and suppressed by their immune system. So I feel a healthy immune system is crucially to overall health, whether it's menieres, or some other condition.

      The pharmacist also said the Valtrex will immediately start attacking the virus (if that's what's causing my menieres,) but that it depends on the virus count in my body as to how quickly I will notice a difference. A low virus count, and I could notice it pretty quickly; a high virus count and it could take weeks, even a couple of months to notice an improvement.

      The very best of luck to you.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the additional information. Sounds like great advice. Neither my ENT or primary doctor have not discussed any additional time beyond my current prescription. I am highly sensitive to medications in general. I am struggling with the side effects of valtrex trying to get through this phase. In line with this discussion, we have to always remain aware of all of our medical issues and that one size does not fit all.

      I have one fully functioning kidney. I also have IBS/lactose intolerance which are challenges but controlled quite well. I take a probiotic to help along with zantac 300 mg daily. I know that my immune system is not great so thank you again for the summary from your pharmacy. I find it a very helpful perspective.

      Best to you...

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    • Posted

      Hi Pauline. How are you? You were about to begin a regimen of valtrax a couple of months ago. I was wondering how it's working out. I finished a round of 3000 mg per day for 30 day around November/December. It was not easy but I thought it worked. As you may remember, I was have a very difficult time recovering from the sac compression surgery that was done in May 2018. After several vestibular therapy sessions, I began to gain some confidence. I had later reported that I was doing better and no vertigo. This week I had one of the worse attacks ever. I am still not feeling well. My doctor has prescribed another round of valtrax in addition to my usual meds. I have to be very careful with my kidneys as well. I am seeing my neurologist soon to see what he thinks. I am so disappointed. I thought after all of this I just might get a break for just a little while.

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    • Posted

      hi Rubye. I'm really sorry to hear you're not well again. I know how very disappointing that is for you, especially given all the hard work and effort.

      Here are two things about my health:

      1. I'm feeling the healthiest I have felt in a long time;
      2. I am not free of menieres symptoms.

        This is how I've been taking valtrex:

        3000 mg daily for 3 weeks; 2000 mg daily for the next 3 weeks; and then a so called 'maintenance' dose of 1000 mg daily for at least a year. I started the 1000 ml at the beginning of January.

        Before I started taking valtrex in mid-November I was very, very slowly making small improvements. After starting it, I continued to improve at the same slow pace - there was no noticeable indication that Valtrex was accelerating my recovery. But I wasn't finding it hard to take, and I will definitely take it for the year. I've had my bloods taken a couple of times and thankfully it isn't compromising my health in any way.

        I credit my general good health to what I call my 'big 5' steps to health and wellbeing. At the outset I said I wasn't setting out to cure my menieres, but to get fully well so as I would at the very least be in a better position to handle my menieres.

        Four weeks ago I had a bad attack - just the one thankfully, and I got over it better and far quicker than usual. Unfortunately, it set back some of my symptoms: hearing very reduced; tinnitus louder; and music sounding out of tune. I was desperately disappointed because, like yourself, I had been making such efforts.

        But what helped me somewhat, was that I knew why I got it. I had been recalling difficult childhood memories, and 24 hours later pressure started building in my ear. And two days after that I had the attack. Before, I probably would have said that the attack came out of the blue. But now I'm trying to listen to myself and to my body and to be conscious of what is happening around me, and in my thinking, and how that may be affecting me.

        I believe my 'Big 5' are essential, whether I have menieres or not.

        Hope this is of some help. Take care.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for responding. It's all too interesting in how this disease affects us. My attacks came on sunny beautiful days when I felt free, balanced, and confident for the first in quite a while. Drove locally and some light errands. My family was elated. I woke up a couple of days later with legs feeling like cement columns and the vertigo began after having none for months. Had other residual issues for though.

      Best to you...

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    • Posted

      You're right about it being interesting!!

      Only ourselves can know what might be a trigger for our attacks, and it's even more frustrating when there's no obvious cause.

      Speaking personally here.... I feel if all aspects of me aren't fully well, then I'm probably at a higher risk of getting an attack, because my menieres is my weak link.

      In other words, if my immune system is suppressed for any reason at all, whether through stress, a physical illness that's not related to menieres, lack of adequate quality sleep, etc., then I am at risk of my menieres flaring up.

      And again, I'm speaking personally here - taking valtrex, or indeed taking any medication for any other condition, I believe is only half of the equation. The other half is about me taking responsibility for the things that I do have control over, like my Big 5. In the long term, I don't think medicine will do the job on its own . It will try to do a very good job, but full efficacy requires that I am 'fully' well.

      I really hope you soon get over this current series of attacks and that it starts to settle down for you.

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    • Posted

      Thank you. Great advice. For most of my adult life , I rarely needed or used any kind of long term medications. I maintained a pretty healthy life style. Full healthy career and all that. As things begin to change with aging, slowly there are physical changes. My problem is that the side effects of most medications, they present problems for me, for example dizziness. This is a side effect of most medications. Thankful I don't have vices or life threatening issues at this point. This disease affects our quality of life terribly.

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    • Posted

      You're so right about menieres affecting our quality of life, and it can take quite a toll. Another skill that's demanded of us is to be able to adjust to our new limitations that often come with the condition.

      I haven't driven since getting menieres over 4 years ago. We lived in the countryside, and I became totally dependent on my husband for taking me everywhere. I had lost my independence and had become somewhat isolated, especially during weekdays when he was away at work. So we decided to move to a town. We left behind a home where we had reared our children, and where we had 2 acres of ground and a large polytunnel (almost an essential for gardening in Ireland!) I was the gardener and grew much of our food. I had my own studio there separate to our house, (I'm an artist.) But we left it all behind. Where we live now, I have easy walking access to all public transport, and shopping. We are the proud owners of two balconies, but not garden, therefore a sort of maintenance free home suited to my new health situation.

      It has made a huge improvement in my life. There are things we both miss, but that is outweighed by all the positives. Facing reality and then adjusting accordingly is a must. I could at times be tempted to feel sorry for myself, but that is a road best avoided!

      I understand what you're saying about how aging chips away at our health, bringing the need for medications with all their side effects! That really is a conundrum! The best that can be done is to continue the sort of healthy lifestyle you have lived to this point and hope it will protect you from too many ailments. Take care.

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    • Posted

      Wow! Your story is so captivating. I felt the emotions of it. You gave up a lot.

      We live in a quiet residential neighborhood in the northeastern US. I am very convenient to all but not by walking. It's been 4 years since diagnosed with menieres disease and 3 year after retiring from a full career. It's been a struggle. I was always independent. I was about family, staying healthy, career and all that. I have my brand new retirement car in my driveway with 6000 miles and 2 years old. How ironic! My husband drives it sometimes but we have other cars. He is also retired.

      Have you ever been alone when a vertigo attack comes? For me it is extremely violent. I have no sense of gravity, space, or control. The room or surroundings spin at a rate that the human eyes cannot focus or see. I can't find my way to any point in the room or out. I am convulsing. I have sedation medication in multiple spots with water just in case I can get ahead of the full effect. It has to not worked. I hit my emergency cell phone contacts right away and stay put trying to focus on anything. Someone arrives fast because they know. It is a horrible situation. Many times I cannot get the meds down with help. This can go on for hours. My most recent episode last week after the sac decompression lasted 2 hours straight before I could get enough meds down to put me to sleep. I woke up still spinning for another hour. Finally, the meds took full effect.

      Before my sac decompression surgery, I was taken by ambulance to the hospital. It took them 4 hours to finally sedate me because they could believe that vertigo was the only culprit. Their emergency room doctors finally contacted my ENT at home. He directed them to sedate right away. I remained hospitalized for a week. That is unheard of for many conditions these days.

      So we are all so different when it comes to navigating this journey but am very happy to share and learn from other. It has truly helped me! Thank you.

      Best wishes.....

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    • Posted

      Golly, it's amazing to hear your testimony, it could be mine! Your vertigo attacks sound exactly like mine and they're horrendous. It's really hard to get across to people just what they are like. You describe them well.

      It looks like you've been having a terrible time of late. And you've gone through so much with the sac decompression, etc. I really hope it will start easing off soon. I know there's no predicting this condition, but hopefully it will.

      I take stemetil to repress the nausea, but my problem is that quite often I lose the benefit of it because I start vomiting. And taking it as a suppository isn't an option either because I usually have diarrhoea as well. At this stage attacks will last about 4-5 hours at its most intense, and then take many hours or a day to taper off. Whereas before they would have lasted a minimum of 6-8 hours.

      I've had many attacks while on my own, and like you, have to be prepared in advance. Under the bed I have a basin for getting sick into, I've stemetil and tissues to hand, along with a sweet drink and a small packet of apple biscuits. One time I was too unwell and weak to get up for food following an attack and had to wait for my husband to come home to get me something to eat. By that stage my blood sugar was very low, which added to my symptoms. After that I had to always be prepared. I don't have back-up to help me. It sounds great that you have that support. My husband is amazing, but he has to work so can't always be here. But I'm in pretty good shape at the minute. And I'm feeling positive. I'm focusing on my health regime and it's keeping me well. I don't know what my menieres will be like into the future, but I am determined to strengthen my immune system to the point that it will be better able to deal with it, or even suppress it....fingers crossed!!

      Taka care.

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    • Posted

      Yes, our experiences are identical. It's sad to say. We'll keep up our overall health as much as possible l and pray for cure for all diseases. I will be starting another round of viral meds after getting my kidneys checked.

      Best to you and stay well...

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    • Posted

      The very best of luck with the new meds. I hope they help to give you good relief. And I hope you stay in good health generally. Keep well, and we'll talk again at another time. All the best.

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