Meniere's and the challenges of low sodium eating
Friday, March 22, 2019
I have Meniere's and over time have become careless with watching my sodium intake. Just like I got careless with watching my food intake! I guess I got to the point where I'd just eat whatever and didn't care what it was doing to me. Then I had the scale wake up call which got me back to tracking my calories so I can shed these excess pounds Then a couple weeks ago I had another episode with my Meniere's which was my 2nd wake up call to get back to watching my sodium intake.
I know Meniere's isn't very common and most people don't know what it is so here's a brief explanation. It's an inner ear issue that can cause tinnitus, hearing loss, dizziness, vertigo etc. People have different symptoms and triggers but because it has to do with fluid build up in the inner ear, keeping a low sodium diet is very important (1500-2000 mg per day). Other no-no's are caffeine and sweets, although again, everyone has foods that they've found to be triggers. I'm still identifying mine. Other things that can set it off are stress, not enough sleep and even barometric pressure to name a few.
I have non-stop tinnitus in my left ear. It's basically a loud white noise/roaring sound and I have lost a lot of hearing in that ear. When an "episode" hits it happens without warning and the room starts spinning violently. Then the spinning makes me horribly nauseous and the next couple hours are spent laying on the floor next to the toilet - trying not to move. Afterwards I'm pretty wiped out and just want to rest. It's a crazy disease and there's still so much they don't know about it.
Sodium is really challenging to control in a diet! Everything is loaded with it! You don't realize how bad it is until you start reading the labels! So for me it means a lot more cooking things from scratch and rarely eating out and even then, doing so carefully. I need to work at preparing food ahead of time - using the weekends to plan and prep food for the week. It goes hand in hand with prepping and planning meals for losing weight too.
The trick is to stick with it. I can go for months without any episodes so I start thinking the sodium thing isn't that important but the thing is to be consistent and stay with it so that it keeps the symptoms and episodes to a minimum. I'm starting back on a diuretic today, just as another precaution.
I know this is nothing compared to what many others have to deal with in their lives so I have to be grateful for the health I have!