Dr. Wahl's Protocol

I’ve been diagnosed with Meniere’s but think my situation is more like MAV with some MD symptoms–loss of hearing in one ear, constant tinnitus, vertigo. I started having all these symptoms in 2007 after flying with resultant damage to the ear drum. I had one episode of vertigo in 2011 with residual brain fog and overall ‘bad feeling’. Then, no symptoms other than tinnitus until Oct. 2013 when the dam burst with extreme vertigo (with bad migraine) and vomiting. (and of course the other congnitive and physical results). I continued to have migraine, nystagmus, vertigo (to various degrees of severity) until May 2014. I would have migraines with no vertigo, but always nystagmus at times and then about 4-5 seriously debilitating episodes with the extreme spinning and vomiting. I followed the diet, lessened my work hours to 1/2 time, did yoga, and meditation. No meds other than zofran for vomiting and Xanax to help with sleep occasionally. I had and have insomnia to some degree.
I had 6 months of nothing which was blissful. Then, in early Dec I woke up to severe spinning and vomiting. 1-2 months before this, I had drank a bit of red wine and/or beer–nothing in excess. I rarely eat out. I did indulge in things like ice cream. I have also had a few less severe spins and less painful migraines. The spins always accompany the migraine (or vice versa) and I always have nystagmus.
LIke most of us, I investigate alternative therapies—I recently bought Dr. Wahl’s book. She claims to have vastly improved her multiple sclerosis through diet and lifestyle–mostly with a Paleo type diet–lots of vegies/fruit/meat and no gluten, sugar, dairy. Her basic assumption/research is to ‘feed the mitochondria in our cells’, especially for people with auto-immune and brain dysfunctions. I’m going to try this (though I was eating fairly close to this) and see what happens. I’m frustrated than my remission didn’t last more than 6 months. I take the supplements touted by John of Ohio for Meniere’s and Dr. Hain’s recommendations of Mg, CoQ10, Riboflavon, but not Feverfew or Butterbur. I’m going to try craniosacral therapy soon.
My daughter-in-law who is a psychiatrist suggested I take Imitrex to abort the migraine—do any of you take this? My most pressing concern is the extreme vertigo–I can endure the pain, but the vertigo is extremely unpleasant–can’t drive or do anything else. Anything that can stop the vertigo would be a Godsend. I seldom have dizziness or light headedness between attacks, and when the severe attacks come on, it takes about 2 days to recover and feel ‘myself’. I’m 65, moderately active, optimistic, but anxious about traveling anywhere. My former migraines (no dizziness or vertigo) had a visual aura, which I don’t always get nowadays, and were not as serious. Those started when I got pregnant at age 32. They were very intermittent and not alarming. I don’t know why I now have these severe migraine with vertigo spells, though I suspect the inner ear damage has played a large part.

Hi Netti49,

As far as Imitrex goes… I have read that it won’t help the dizzies/ or any aura. And that you shouldn’t take it more than a few times a month. That said, two neuros, and allergist, and an ENT have told me to take it during one of my “attacks”, and as often as needed. Now, my attacks typically include increased loud high pitch tinnitus, neck tightness, head pressure (not pain) and dizziness. I HAVE taken it at those times (I take a low dose since I am sensitive) and it HAS helped me. Everything… even the dizzies. Now I have had only attacks of dizzy/tinnitus no pressure, and I have not taken it, as I am worried it won’t work, and I have a limited amount. I have read a ton about this, and most research says not to take it for “aura”. I personally do not consider my dizzy, tinnitus, head pressure an aura, but rather a “subdued” migraine. And it has worked for what that is worth. But I will say the best thing that has worked for me was a preventative med. The first I tried, Nortriptyine, did not do well with me. The next was propranolol, and after about 4 days of a low dose, I was doing great. About 60% reduction. I am now increasing the dose a week or two at a time. I still get one or two days of mild issues/attacks. But I was having DAILY attacks so that is all good. I still take the Imitrex as needed. I think if you have a prescription for it, and are home, perhaps you should try it during one of your attacks. JMO.