What should I eat if I have Meniere’s disease?

You should make the following changes in your diet to lower the severity of your Meniere’s disease:

1. Lower the intake of salt:

This is the most important thing, and also the most difficult to do. Ideally, patients with Meneiere’s disease should eat less than ½ teaspoon of salt in the entire day. There are different kinds of spoons, so don’t use a big spoon! ½ teaspoon equals about 5 grams of salt. In no circumstances should you eat more than 1 teaspoon of salt.

Many patients keep aside a small teaspoon of salt in the morning. They cook their food without salt. Just before eating, they take a small pinch of salt and sprinkle it over their food. This technique ensures that they enjoy the salt thoroughly, while keeping a check on how much salt they eat.

2. Stop drinking tea and coffee:

The caffeine and other chemicals in these drinks constrict your blood vessels and can decrease blood supply to the inner ear. Many cold-drinks (sodas) like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Mountain-Dew contain large quantities of caffeine. You should avoid these too.

3. Stop tobacco and alcohol:

Stopping tobacco also prevents other diseases including strokes and heart attacks.

4. Avoid chemicals in food:

Stop eating Chinese food from restaurants. Soya sauce and other ingredients in Chinese cuisine have enormous amounts of salt, and additional salt is added while cooking. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), an ingredient often used in Chinese cooking is probably not good for your inner ear. Artificial sweeteners (Scuralose, secrin etc) that are used instead of sugar may harm your inner ear, but this has not yet been confirmed by thorough research.

5. Avoid medications that can harm your ear:

I have provided a list of these medications. Talk to your doctor if you are taking any of these medications. Do not stop any medications on your own – some of these might be life-saving.