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The Patterns of Disharmony Associated with the Symptoms of Ménière’s Disease

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What is Ménière’s disease?

A condition affecting the inner ear, Ménière’s disease causes problems in hearing and balance in a person. It is caused by a rise in the amount of fluid volume and pressure in the semicircular canals, causing increased and pathological pressure there. This usually results in vertigo or dizzy spells, which create feelings of violent whirling, rotation, spinning, and falling.

Meniére’s Disease (MD) is oftentimes an extremely distressing and disabling condition. Tinnitus is another symptom that can crop up in Meniére’s Disease. During spells, this ringing in the ears may not be noticeable but eventually will be constant during the later stages of the disorder.

Pressure or a sensation of fullness in the affected ear, nausea, and vomiting are oftentimes experienced, in an MD attack. However, after the episode, hearing loss may fail to recover once the disease is established. In the advanced stages of the disease, hearing loss can be quite constant and cannot be recovered, and may impact hearing in all ranges.

According to studies, one out of every thousand people is affected by Meniere’s disease. The condition can occur at any age, although people between 40 and 60 years of age are the ones to be likely affected.

Causes of Meniére’s Disease

There is no known cause for Ménière’s disease although certain factors are associated with it. They include:

• Anxiety and stress
• Too much salt in the diet (most likely due to a rise in fluid retention)
• Migraine
• Premenstrual syndrome that are connected to fluid retention
• Hormonal or glandular imbalance including hypothyroidism
• Severe head injury enough to cause a concussion
• Common factors such as wheat, dairy products, alcohol, smoking, and chocolate
• Elevated levels of cholesterol

The Symptoms of Meniére’s Disease

Each patient may manifest different kinds of symptoms. Symptoms can suddenly arise, and their duration and frequency may differ.

Symptoms include:

• A spinning sensation, even when you are stationary
• Vertigo – Meniere’s disease often most striking symptom, which includes:
 Dizziness
 Vomiting
 Nausea
A vertigo spell may last from a few minutes to a number of hours. It is hard to predict when an episode of vertigo may happen.
 Perspiration
 Palpitations (Irregular heartbeats)
 Hearing loss – During the early stages of the disease, hearing loss may fluctuate. The patient may suffer from hypersensitivity to loud sounds. Most sufferers eventually, experience varying degrees of longstanding hearing loss.
 Tinnitus – There may be hissing, whistling, buzzing, or ringing sensation in your ear that is created generated from inside your body. When you are tired or during quite times, you will be more aware of it.

Ménière’s Disease from the Viewpoint of Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine usually considers health condition as disorders of the organs and organ systems (spleen, kidney, gallbladder, and liver). These organs usually apply to the traditional organ systems and may not be directly referring to the modern functional and structural connotations of the named organs.

Patterns of Disharmony in Chinese Medicine Associated with the Symptoms of Ménière’s Disease

1. Phlegm-fire syndrome: This pattern usually exhibits as intermittent ringing in the ears, such as the chirping of cicadas, occasionally combined with a feeling of blockage in the ear resulting in impaired hearing.
2. Hyperactive gallbladder and liver fire: This pattern comes out as a sudden rise of a type of tinnitus that has continual sound combined by excess syndrome symptoms such as constipation, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, a flushed face, and headache.
3. Qi deficiency: This shows up as tinnitus that occurs intermittently that can be aggravated with stress and assuaged with rest. Tiredness is another possible symptom of this deficiency.
4. Kidney yin hsu (xu): This a condition associated with tinnitus in which the tinnitus gradually gets worse (which may reach specific constant degrees and gets no worse after that) and is combined by symptoms of a deficiency type: back ache, dizziness, knee weakness, occasionally accompanied by flushing of the face and hot sensation of the soles and/or palms.

Tips for coping with symptoms and lessen the intensity and regularity of attacks related to Meniere’s disease.

1. Before resuming your regular activities, you need to rest during and after attacks.
2. Be aware of the tell-tale signs of an attack – when you start to feel dizzy, sit or lie down immediately.
3. Always have good lighting and as much as possible, walk on an even surface lest you start losing your balance.
4. Stay away from triggers that may aggravate your symptoms. This may include reading, watching TV, bright lights, or sudden movement.
5. Eat balanced meals – A balanced consumption of drink and food throughout the day can help stabilize your body fluids.
6. If you suffer from frequent spells of vertigo, do not drive or operate heavy machinery as this can lead to injury or accident.
7. Refrain from alcohol and caffeine – Too much alcohol or caffeine (in cola drinks, coffee, and tea) or alcohol can tighten up your blood vessels and worsen your symptoms.
8. Stop smoking – The intensity of your symptoms may increase if you smoke.
9. Lessen your intake of salt – Taking in too much sodium may not only worsen your symptoms and increase the fluid in your inner ear, it can also lead to high blood pressure.

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Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 578-6730

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Written by Valerie

January 24th, 2017 at 4:49 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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