Any doubts about the diet?

I must admit I was sceptical about all the foods to be avoided and the major effect they can have but I have just gone through 3 days of awful VM symptoms because I ate both blueberries and grapes. To be fair I had no idea they were on the no list but as I was baffled by my relapse I looked up everything I have recently eaten and found those two culprits. I also thought red kidney beans were ok but they too contain tyramine. It would seem all my favourite foods are culprits, boo hoo! All I can say is to anyone starting this journey please take care with the diet, it really does have a major effect.

I agree with you about foods being triggers. It is up to each of us to decide which foods from the list are the culprits. For example, I can eat a few sliced tomatoes or even a little marinara made from fresh tomatoes and no onions, and I am fine. But recently I made a marinara with canned tomatoes and tomato paste. I had it two days in a row. I suffered for two days after that. Apparently tomatoes, peas, mushrooms and corn have some type of MSG and in concentrated form (tomato paste, dried mushrooms, etc.) it is much worse. I can have half an orange or two teaspoons of peanut butter or a quarter cup of yogurt, but I need to spread these out over a week. I can have a small square of good quality chocolate and that does not bother me. But I completely stay away from alcohol, coffee and eating out too often.
I knew that grapes and beans were on the “no” list but I have never seen blueberries on it. Of course, triggers are cumulative (like canned tomatoes two days in a row) and additive (having too many triggers in the same day (beans + storm coming in + lots of head motion from an activity + grapes + not enough fluids, etc.). We certainly have to be vigilant. No more carefree days. Good luck to you. (

Thank you spinning girl (love the name). I had to give up potatoes and tomatoes as I have inflammatory arthritis as well as VM so tempted as I am to eat them I can’t for two reasons. As a vegetarian I do wonder just what I can eat sometimes as all of my favourite staples are off the list - avacados, beans, nuts, most cheese etc, etc, etc!!!

I get the things that affect the brain like alcohol and caffeine. I get the salty things that might impact the inner ear. But blueberries and grapes? Really? You sure this isn’t just an unfortunate coincidence? Blueberries are one of the most healthy fruits we consume, full of anti-oxidants. Confirmation bias is so easy with this condition because the symptoms fluctuate so much …

Just being devils advocate …

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You have an additional challenge, being vegetarian. Do you eat eggs and cheese? If you do, then I suggest you splurge and buy (or get it at the library) a great, comprehensive book like “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone” by Deborah Madison ($$) or a good Ayurvedic Cookbook like the one by Amadea Morningstar. They have wonderful, motivating recipes for vegetarian style eating. You can substitute beans and nuts or just really reduce the amount to a condiment size and see if that is okay for you. Check your library for some motivating books. Also, you can make things like Lasagna Cupcakes (substitute pesto for marinara or just use 1-2 tsp of fresh made marinara, omit meat) and Vegetable Quiche cups. Vertigo Tales and Tastes: S G Recipes: PROTEIN FOR BREAKFAST
When I compared the diets, I never saw blueberries listed, except on the low Tannin diet which does help some people. Vertigo Tales and Tastes: S G Blog Post: COMPARE THE DIETS But I eat blueberries everyday (I get frozen organic ones in the winter and just defrost them).
I did find some frozen items that may be of help since it is hard to cook fresh everyday (especially without a coffee boost every morning :cry:) Vertigo Tales and Tastes: S G RECIPES: 5 FAST FOOD FREEZER FINDS These might help a little.
Be creative. Find your portion limits. See what you can handle and how you can cheat a little. I never have real coffee, alcohol or Asian food from a restaurant. I eat home and cook a lot. And remember, it is very difficult to isolate triggers. they are additive and cumulative. Do you need a shopping list - here is one to start with: Vertigo Tales and Tastes: (6) Lost and Found - WHAT TO EAT (USA) Good luck setting up your personalized program - for each of us it is a little different. (

Thank you so much spinninggirl for all that information. The reason I had to become a vegetarian was because VM has messed up my digestive system so I can’t digest it!!! Mean I say. Anyway I have gone back to the diet info and it was the grapes, I really fancied something sweet so ate loads of them bit by bit all day long! You and James are correct about blueberries so I am tucking into them now having had home made vegetable soup and in need of a sweet something, yummy. I am very good at the cooking malarky and never ever buy ready made anything or order a takeaway so once I get it into my poor brain what it will allow me to have I will be fine. Eggs are good and so is goats cheese so all is well really, just rather limiting.

Thank you James but yes, grapes are on the list! I will never ever eat them again! I must admit I had also had a stressful afternoon as I had to have an eye test because of a new medication I have been prescribed for inflammatory arthritis and it can affect the retina. During this I found my right eye which has always been my strong eye, has deteriorated so that was stressful plus it took 3 hours without a drink and I was worried about my dog being home alone as she hates that so I guess the grapes just tipped the balance. Hey ho, life can’t always be simple!

I have blueberries every morning … perhaps if I stop i’ll be cured?? :wink:

Wouldn’t that be good!! Grapes, plums and raspberries contain tyramine and histamine, bananas and pineapple ditto and loads of other fruit contain histamine so I guess we have to discover the hard way if it is just tyramine, and/or histamine that causes us problems. Who would have thought such lovely goodies could càuse such havoc?

Margaret, i’m still super skeptical, if you will forgive me … I ultimately believe there is a physical cause to many people’s MAV, albeit so minute you can’t see it on any currently available clinical scan. I guess i’m slightly special as I’ve had various different diagnoses, but MAV was my first one.

Sure, migraine is definitely a given… MAV gives you horrible migraines, and if you haven’t got those under control (I have with Ami) you may not want to take any aggravating food - especially if you are not taking meds!

However, I do not believe migraine or tyramine is causing the 24/7 dizziness, nausea, tinnitus, variable (if never severe) hearing loss and the frequent mini spins and let’s not forget the big bang vestibular attacks that happen less often!

I simply don’t believe food or drink can contribute to those symptoms (give or take any food or drink which aggrevates inner ear fluid volume perhaps)

And even if they might contribute, gosh, how to decode your symptoms - mine fluctuate so much that its next to impossible to find a good correlation. My balance can sometimes be as good as 95% then following day drop to 40%!

Having said all that yes, I do get that if you are not on meds because you are a borderline case with less extreme MAV, then dietary control makes complete sense and that is potentially a much better option that taking medication chronically.

I hear what you say James and agree really because today my balance has gone, even worse than before AND I was super good after the stress/grape fiasco. So blooming frustrating!!!

I think I have to agree with James. I tried the diets and I see absolutely no relation between food and mav.

Right now I am just trying to eat healthy, but mostly in order to keep generally healthy, trying to avoid a new health condition… after all, the fact that we have mav, does not mean that we are inmune to the rest of the illnesses out there. And I do not want to even imagine having mav + another illness going on.

When thinking about possible food mav triggers, I think is easier to just make a list of what you can actually eat! I am also skeptical about the food triggers, I think if you eliminate coffee, alcohol and all the sugar you can, you are pretty much safe.

Probably you all Heard about ginger as a good natural remedy for migraines and balance disorders… on my bad days I eat a lot of it with no change.

I’m addicted to Ginger tea!!

I agree with all of that and think I proved it because when I ate loads of grapes I consumed a lot of fructose which was very likely the cause of my horrible symptoms. I don’t usually have any sugar at all other than that which is found in fruit and I did eat a lot of grapes!

Yesterday I thought blow it I am stressing about this food malarky and it isn’t doing me any good at all so I had an underripe banana and a quinoa bar which had about two raisins, quinoa and a few nuts and I was fine even though I also had a stressful day because my dog had diarrhoea in the night 3 times so I was running on very little sleep. This disease is just random!

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Like I said, diet control is probably more critical when not on meds.

For me by far and away my biggest trigger is motion, of both me or my environment so diet will not help with that except lower your threshold but if the motion intolerance is overwhelming that may not help enough.

I am the same with the motion and also good and bad stress. I have had periods where I have been quite normal then wham back it all comes. During my good spells I was eating whatever I fancied, drank coffee but no alcohol. I have upped the nortriptyline to 10mg a night to see if it helps me get back to kind of normal. I thought I would feel a lot more spaced out than I do so that is a good start.

I’m on 20mg Ami which is apparently dose equivalent to Nori. Up to that point it only improved me. 30mg made me more dizzy but apparently you can adjust to that. Some are on much higher.

Yes stress is definitely a trigger.

I just met a friend who stood watching me walk because she was so worried I was going to fall over! She asked me if I had had a drink!!! Maybe I have got so used to wobbling about I don’t realise how bad it looks. I think I had better use my stick again. Maybe the nortriptyline has stopped me worrying about it. I must say I do feel very chilled out. I am not complaining.

Good. Stay chilled. You could try titrating up a bit more. I remain normal to look at when walking apparently. However I don’t feel normal at all! It is usually a bit uncomfortable to walk but I know I must as otherwise there is no chance I’ll compensate.

Oddly it’s more comfortable to run or bicycle.