So I’ve been reading quite a bit about managing dizziness on this forum since VM onset about 8 weeks ago. Chronic dizziness can be such a frightening, confusing and isolating experience and these forums have provided much needed support and encouragement, so thank you!!! Anyway, I figured it’s time to stop lurking and introduce myself, and since I’ve had some success recently I thought it might be nice to repay the favour, and share what has been working for me.
I’m 39 and based in Melbourne, Aust. I had inner ear issues as a child (small perf. in my eardrum) and experienced a week-long infection-related vertigo attack after flying interstate 12 yrs ago, which was treated by antibiotics.
Since then I’ve also experienced occasional mini vertigo attacks of 60 secs or so (usually after cartwheeling), so when my VM symptoms onset after a winter virus (and a few cartwheels at the park) I thought I was dealing with inner ear crystals that were taking longer to re-balance… that was, until the dizziness went from a 2 to a 9 within a few days.
Internally I felt drunk/groggy all the time, and externally I was walking lob-sided, dizzy and lightheaded all the time, and swaying and rocking even when standing still.
After assessing my blood work - all normal apart from a slight Vit D def, and running through some neurological assessments, my GP diagnosed BPPV, prescribed Betahistine Dihydrochloride/Meniere’s Meds (3 x 16mg p/day) and suggested a few days on the meds should sort me out. If only.
It took a good a couple of weeks for the dizziness and balance symptoms to baseline on the meds but despite functioning better, I still felt awful physically, mentally and emotionally. It was effecting every area of my life.
I went to see an ENT specialist and after ruling out BPPV, assessing my hearing (slight bil loss) and taking my symptoms and history of chronic migraines into consideration, the ENT re-diagnosed VM and recommended I see John Waterston (a Melbourne Neurologist who specialises in VM). I haven’t seen John yet (I’m booked in for November) but armed with this new diagnosis, I started studying and exploring, and have come up with a recovery plan which finally seems to be providing relief…
I’ve been symptom free for well over a week now, have been able to return to the gym, start running again and get back into my yoga practice. I even took 4 kids to the Royal Melbourne Show yesterday - I was worried leading up to it but had a wonderful time.
So here’s what seems to be working for me…
I am still on Betahistine GH, but at a relatively low dose of 8mg, 2-3 x per day. Its enough to keep me at baseline even on ‘bad days’, and alongside the interventions mentioned below, much better at all other times. If things continue to progress as they are I will reduce even further over the next week or so.
Trigger Awareness & Remedies
*Replaced coffee with matcha green tea (1/2 tsp 2 x daily).
*Stopped drinking red wine (and other forms of alcohol).
*Reduced intake of chocolate, choosing cocoa butter or carob (rather than cocoa powder) based versions, i.e. Loving Earth ‘Caramel’.
*Replaced dairy cheese with vegan versions.
*Pink salt has a multitude of health benefits, so I do add small amounts of pink salt to my cooking at home, but make a conscious effort to reduce salty processed foods - even the ones in the health aisle!
*Drink tons of water (min 2lts daily) and additional herbal teas.
*I avoid fluorescent lighting, loud ongoing noise, wild weather, and chemical smells as much as possible.
*Offset ducted heating with plenty of fresh air.
*I’ve reduced my hours at work to 24 hrs over 4 days, to make sure I’m not overstimulated visually - reading left to right on backlit devices.
*I take regular computer breaks and walk around at work.
*I minimise wifi and mobile use at home at night.
Stress & Tension:
*I use therapies such as massage, acupuncture, yoga and meditation to release tension from my upper body and neck area.
*A solid sleep is essential to how I feel the following day, so I go to bed as soon as I’m tired and no longer use a backlist device/phone in bed. I turn the wifi off in the house and turn my phone to aeroplane mode every night.
*Rushing in the morning is a massive trigger, so instead of rushing in the morning I wake up an hour earlier now and enjoy a relaxed morning routine.
*Take supplements to help with stress, mood and energy.
*Walking around barefoot wherever possible is helpful too.
BioCeuticals Migraine Care: includes B2 (200mg), B6 (15mg), calcium (347mcg), B12 (200mcg), magnesium (928mg), coenzyme Q10 (75mg), Feverfew (200mcg). My VM presents with occasional headache-like symptoms - a spasmodic tension-band compression around the top of my neck/base of my skull/back of my ears. I started with 2 Migraine Care tablets twice daily and have been able to reduce that to the recommended dose of 1 tablet twice daily, after the headache-like symptoms disappeared.
Vitamin D: orally + plenty of natural sunlight.
Magnesium: orally (via Migraine Care tablets) + magnesium oil topically behind the knees, in the elbow creases and occasionally rubbed into my upper neck/scalp when headachey.
This has been a TOTAL GAME CHANGER!!! While all the other points listed have been important factors in my recovery, it is only since I started TM a week ago that I have been symptom free and that groggy baseline feeling has gone. In just 10 mins per day, impressive levels of stress and tension can be released from the body and deep levels of rest can be achieved (a huge underlying factor I suspect for my VM onset). If you want to try it for yourself, download the 1 Giant Mind app. It’s free and whilst the daily sessions run for 15 minutes, the meditation portion of each session is just over 10 mins.
Anyway, I hope this info offers some helpful tips. And if there are any other lifestyle factors or therapies that are working for you, I would really love to hear about them.