Newbie Q: How long to try diet alone without meds?

Newbie to MAV. Was diagnosed wrongly for 2 years. Now can’t drive, can’t type, can’t use the computer, can’t take walks. Walking on a bouncy ball all the time.

Have been on MAV diet for 3 weeks and still the same. Finally got in to see Dr. Rauch this morning and he wants me to continue without meds til the end of the year to see if lifestyle and diet alone can set me right again.

When does the diet generally work? How long til the dissipation of vertigo after diet triggers? I am flummoxed. I can’t continue to not function for 6 more weeks. Is it really worth waiting to see if I can make it without drugs?

I welcome all input and experience!

Thank you,

MAV Newbie

I survived for eleven years without drugs because I was misdiagnosed several times. My symptoms came and went which confused things because I could do something sometimes without problems but the next time I did it I would be incapacitated for hours. I think you need to read The Migraine Brain available on Amazon as it explains all the processes and options very clearly and helps you to make sense of VM. I am on only 5mg nortriptyline at night and it has calmed things down but I do still get dizzy if I bend down. I have learned what my triggers are and avoid them if possible, but having read the book I now realise that if I am stressed for example I must not do ANTHING at all that is another known trigger for me as my threshold is so low.

I hope this helps you.

Do people take drugs to calm the initial flare up and then taper off later? Is that a common strategy? I would like to start functioning sooner. I can’t really afford Ubers all the time or to skip work while waiting for something possibly to happen eventually.

I am afraid I think it depends on the doctor you see, how well informed he/she is about VM and what your triggers are and how long they last. I can have three solid months of nausea and vertigo along with all the other weird symptoms and then I can go for two months with no nausea or vertigo even though I am doing and eating exactly what I was doing and eating before. None of this disease makes sense and I don’t think there is a medication that will completely cure everything, it just seems to dampen it down which is wonderful, but I would really concentrate on your triggers because even with medication you are still going to have to be aware of them and be careful.

I am sorry this isn’t the magic answer you are after, there just doesn’t seem to be one but you will feel better . I had a whole year off work but I didn’t get a diagnosis so I was struggling alone as it seems very few doctors understand how VM can have an effect on all sorts of things. At least you have a diagnosis so you can do your research and go armed with knowledge when you see your doctor.

Given this condition can last several years, I would look at medical relief asap given it can have tremendously negative effect on your state of mind and your economic circumstances.

The guideline I was given is that if you get a migraine more than four times a month you should consider medical prophylaxis.

I take Amitriptyline and it had numerous other beneficial effects reducing nausea and dizziness too and helping you sleep at night. My existence is night and day compared to before meds.

I have had this feeling of being unable to walk properly for 2 weeks solid, not being able to drive at all for 2 weeks, not even being able to take a walk for 1 week. There is no respite. It’s not up and down. It is there when I get up and stays there straight thru til I go to bed.

Sadly this is normal with VM but this level of incapacitating symptoms will pass. I have a dog so had to go out no matter how I felt so I used a cane to help balance me and I stopped walking when I felt I would fall. I bought a pretty walking stick/cane so I still felt feminine! Silly I know but it helped me through the worst spinning symptoms. My dog is wonderful and got used to this new way of being very quickly. It took me a bit longer to accept that this is the new me at times but it is worth making the effort to be as normal as possible albeit with limitations. Just be reassured it will pass, return, pass again etc. You will surprise yourself at how much you can do if you accept the situation and work round the difficulties. Just stop when you need to, go when you can and become inventive about how you go about things. You will find ways to cope and you will get your life back by listening to your body and being kind to yourself. It is tough at first but as human beings we are resilient and find ways to cope so you will!

It took me four years to finally see the correct/most helpful doctor for this problem. He started me immediately on the diet (Healing Your Headaches 1-2-3) and 25 mgs of Nortriptyline. Then 50 mgs. Then 25 and then 10. After that, I stayed on the diet and had no issues for 14 months. You can read my whole story if you want. The summer heat hits me the hardest so as a preventative this July I went on 25 mgs. for three weeks and then 10 mgs for a few weeks and that stopped the whole problem before it became an emergency room visit. I have gone anywhere from 9 months to 14 months without meds. I am always on the diet but I can tolerate small amounts of some items. I never have coffee, alcohol or large amounts of MSG (in any of its forms). Good luck to you in finding your best routine for problem solving. (