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Eating Well with Meniere’s Disease

Habib Rizk, M.D., having a discussion with a colleague

Role of Diet & Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease is thought be caused by problems with fluids in the inner ear. By controlling the fluid in the inner ear with diet = we can reduce symptoms.

The Basics

  • Eat consistently throughout the day. Do not go longer than 4 hours without eating. Limit or avoid alcohol 1 drink max per day, this can help prevent migraines. 1 drink = 12 oz. of regular beer or 5 oz. wine or 1.5 oz (shot) of liquor.
  • Limit caffeine. Avoid things like coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, chocolate, and diet pills. Caffeine will stimulate the nervous system and make migraines and tinnitus worse.
  • Eat a low sodium diet. Sodium causes fluid retention and can make your symptoms worse in your inner ear.
  • Avoid MSG (monoSODIUM glutamate) - which is form of sodium that is a common migraine trigger. Common foods that contain MSG include Asian foods, Ramen noodles, and Accent seasoning.

 Seasoning Table

Low Sodium Diet

2,000 mg sodium limit can help alleviate symptoms, but some people need to limit their sodium intake to 1500 mg. If this limit does not help, please consult your doctor.

Tips To Reduce Sodium

Read nutrition labels. Know how much sodium is in your foods. What if your food doesn’t have a label? Look up nutrition facts for free at calorieking.com

Nutrition Label

Rethink your seasonings

  • Just a pinch of salt is equal to 600 mg of sodium.
  • Sodium free seasonings are best such as Mrs. Dash powdered or liquid marinades which can help infuse flavors.
  • Get creative.

 Seasoning Table

Tips To Reduce Sodium For Dining Out

  • Check the nutrition facts before you go. Go into restaurants with a game plan of their lowest sodium items. If you don’t check before you go, don’t hesitate to ask your server for a nutrition facts listing of their menu. Chain dining restaurants are required by law to provide you with such info. Calorieking.com can be a great resource to look up foods. If it’s a local place, ask a lot of questions about how food is cooked.
  • Cut back on portions. Restaurant portions are often much more than we need to eat. Eating only part of your food in one sitting can help distribute the sodium content. Eat half today and half tomorrow.
  • Ask to leave off sauces and dressings completely or keep them on the side. Sauces are loaded with sodium and best if they’re avoided especially if you don’t know their sodium content. Ask for lemon, lime, or orange slices, oil, vinegar, pepper (black or red) to help give flavor.
  • Pair foods with fresh fruits and vegetables (without sauce or dressing) that are known to be low sodium.

Eat This…Not That

 eat this