New Vestibular Migraine Diagnosis - Seeking Clarity

About five years I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease after a severe vertigo attack, tinnitus, aural fullness and fluctuating hearing loss – all textbook MD symptoms. However, after that initial vertigo attack I lived relatively symptom free (I should say vertigo free since I still had mild tinnitus and hearing loss, but vertigo is the only one that is really debilitating for me) for 4 and a half years.

In the last six months, though, I’ve had the dizziness and vertigo come back much worse and in varying forms than I ever experienced it in the past. I’ve also suffered some additional hearing loss, as well as many many NEW symptoms like tingling in my scalp and hands, GI issues, throbbing headaches, auras, neck pain, etc. etc. etc.

I saw a new neurotologist who thinks that I haven’t been experiencing Meniere’s Disease, but instead have Vestibular Migraines, and the “symptoms” that look like Meniere’s are basically being caused by damage from the migraines. I’ve seen lots of people, on this forum and others, say that hearing loss isn’t a symptom of vestibular migraines but this doctor’s opinion, and what I’ve read in various studies suggest that the migraines can restrict blood flow to the cochlea which damages the little hairs in the ear, resulting sometimes in hearing loss. Anyway… I’m unsure what I’ve been experiencing and am only just beginning to treat vestibular migraines instead of MD. My doctor took me off a very low sodium diet, and instead wants me to focus on consistency of sodium intake. I think the restriction diet was making my symptoms worse, as even just a few days eating more normally I’ve felt better and less foggy than I have in months.

It seems like every doctor says something different which is frustrating. I’m wondering if any other’s doctors have mentioned hearing loss, or the relationship between Meniere’s Disease and Vestibular Migraines.

Hello

I’m new to all this also but arent most migraine diets low sodium? I recently started cooking out of the migraine cook book and they all seem to be low sodium foods/recipes.

Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can chime in

I’m not sure! I’ve read a few studies that do indicate diets really HIGH in sodium can cause migraines, but I was on a very, very low sodium diet for MD. I think too low. This doctor advised that he doesn’t prescribe a low sodium diet to even his worst MD patients, but rather they should focus on consistent sodium intake throughout the day.

As it relates to migraines, though, I’ve also read that low electrolytes and dehydration can cause migraine symptoms. Your body does NEED sodium, at the end of the day, and I was on a diet that was so low I don’t think I was doing myself any favors in terms of migraine symptoms.

Welcome to the site.

I would just say:

  1. The traditional diet for VM/MAV is the 6C’s diet. Nothing about sodium in that. Please note how the 6’Cs diet is suspiciously similar to the diet often prescribed for ETD which is no dairy …
  2. Vestibular Migraine is a diagnosis, not a pathophysiology, though medicine would love you to think it’s worked everything out? For example, ear trouble of any kind can give you migraines, so why are some people so sure things are caused by migraine? It’s dogma. I can’t help but observe that 10 years ago everyone called this Migraine Associated Vertigo … now people appear to have got lazy, forgotten that association is not causation and call it Vestibular Migraine … which ceases to accept that none of this is proven.
  3. If you don’t have “roaring” tinnitus during an attack and don’t have low frequency hearing loss you probably don’t have Meniere’s?
  4. However, there are some interesting theories that link these conditions, one of them being dysfunction in the middle ear causing increased pressure on the inner ear … actual outcome may just depend on severity …

I’ve been through a lot of different theories around this family of conditions and my current bet is VM/MAV is actually a form of ETD. It’s possible someone getting migraines might actually “cause themselves” ETD? Which might explain why people with migraines get VM/MAV and people with ETD get VM/MAV?

But if migraines cause ETD cause migraines, who’s not to say this isn’t some vicious cycle that you can fall into?

Ahhh ok that makes sense… my migraine diet doesnt eliminate sodium but it is a lot lower than my body is used to… i went from eating fast food every other day to home cooked meals everday… so far i think it is helping. Its hard to tell between md and vm because the symptoms are so similar. I also suffer from tinnitus for many years but only recently started to have vertigo. I really hope you find relief soon