Karin & David Henderson

21362 River Road

Maple Ridge, B.C.

Canada V2X 2B3

604-463-8666 (PST)

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Email or Phone Karin and David With Your Questions About Meniere's Disease

  What If Chemicals Going Into Your Body May Be Behind Your Meniere's Disease Symptoms.

Preamble: many times my articles are meant to make you think: to make you aware of something you may have thought about fleetingly...and then somehow this thought is just let go. In this article I want to make you think, consciously. It is not my intention to offend your way of doing things, but simply to show some results that you may not have thought of yourself. And I want to offer you a slightly different perspective. Sounds a bit weird, doesn't it? I want to share some questions I get from people who contact me about Meniere's disease. I have to think if one person has this problem, then there might be more. So (my usual disclaimer:) this is to enhance your education: not give any medical advice or to diagnose.

As you know, I get a lot of questions and I am always willing to help people understand their Meniere's disease symptoms. (I get thinly veiled requests for school assignments, but have learned to send helpful links instead!)

I find people on the Internet to be very informed. They have usually done a lot of research. They are very skeptical and don't believe everything people tell them. However, when I am given an overview of their medical history, I am often amazed about their drug intake! None of it is done with any research. Yet they have agreed to put these chemicals into their bodies.

As human beings we will do a lot to avoid our pain and move towards or restore our pleasure. Thus we seem to be caught in a culture of chemical "support" and think little about the negative results we might encounter. I am speaking of drugs that move you from pain, anxiety, and suffering to happiness, health, and wellness. And most people think drugs can help them achieve this goal. Yet these same people choose to believe that alcohol, smoking, and other "recreational drugs" might not be the best for them. They make a conscious effort to eliminate from their environment. Governments go to great lengths and spending in ad campaigns to show how cigarettes and alcohol are unhealthy for your body. They let you see some gruesome side effects.

What we don't seem to get is that any kind of chemical might also be a problem, possibly even more so if you have Meniere's disease. And that could include your medications!  People don't seek help when they are well. They seek it when they get to a level of discomfort where they can't cope: they need or want relief from their symptoms. They want to restore their wellness. I had an interesting request a short while ago.

Someone wanted to know how I defined health and wellness. Here is how Mosby's describes "health" as a condition of physical, mental, and social wellbeing and the absence of disease or rather abnormalities. (Mosby 5th Edition page 732) It describes "wellness" as a dynamic state of health in which an individual progresses toward a higher level of functioning, achieving an optimum balance between internal and external environments.  (Mosby 5th Edition page 1728) It turned out to be another student assignment! Frankly, I was glad to help with that one as it showed a very progressive teacher.

It is my personal opinion that most people want health and wellness although I suspect a tiny group need their symptoms to maintain their lifestyle. So when people contact us it is because they aren't happy with their state of wellbeing.  Out of curiosity, they seek explanations for their Meniere's disease symptoms. And here is the most interesting part...many people recognize that alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine may all be harmful but they are also told to add white flour and sugar on that "forbidden list". 

Ironically they are then given an anti-hypertensive or anti-depressant or anti-cholesterol medication. The point is that everything on this forbidden list is suspected to add chemicals to their bodies. And as you learned in high school chemistry, chemicals added to chemicals equal potential problems. And drugs are chemicals, too.

As I mentioned previously, people don't contact us about Meniere's disease unless they want to understand their negative health condition. In our conversation I often ask if they are taking any "meds". I am never surprised now as to what medications people do take. What still surprises me is that they don't feel they should have any side effects!

In one recent conversation, a lady told me how very careful she was with her food intake: no prepared foods, no junk foods, no preservatives, no canned goods, no alcohol, and no smoking. Then she told me the drugs she was on. It turns out that she is on three different pills for high blood pressure, more for cholesterol, plus something to "enhance her thyroid" and several other "natural" vitamins. She had never ever connected drugs and side effects or complications! An added concern for me privately
was that both her blood pressure and her cholesterol measurements were within "normal range". She was given these as a preventative measure.

In nursing we are taught that 2 drugs interact and the third will be prescribed to handle the side effects of the other two.  It might be interesting for you to realize that the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) has NINE single-spaced pages of drugs whose
possible side effects include tinnitus. She contacted us because she had severe tinnitus!

I find it fascinating when people tell me their Meniere's disease symptoms and I then ask if they are any meds. They often forget to tell me all of them, thinking they would not have any connection with their immediate problem. They forget to tell me about their meds for their anxiety and sleeplessness. Then I ask how long they have been on those. Most people have been on them for years! And that goes for both men and women.

I am intrigued as to why someone would need them long-term. I believe we mature and learn new coping methods. Our lives change with time. Incidentally many drugs loose their effectiveness over time. If you are on some sort of long-term meds, you need to be seen regularly and tested for drug potency. I heard one doctor tell his radio audience that doctors now prescribe small doses of several drugs instead of a large dose of one!

So my question to you is this. Did you do any of your own research before you filled your drug prescription? Did you seek out any different techniques that would teach how you can avoid having all these chemicals residing in your body? Were you offered any other resources?

What learned how to clean your sinuses instead of clogging of drying them up? (Learn what nasal sprays and decongestants do. Is that what you really want?) What learned how to deal with your high blood pressure "naturally"?  "Normal" blood pressure readings are a real challenge now to achieve. The "normal values" vary depending on who you work with. What knew that "sugar reduced" or "fat reduced" or "caffeine free" could well mean a host of added chemicals to the product? Would you make different choices? (Artificial sweeteners are just that: artificial.)

One thing you can do right now is to learn and recognize that chemicals come in many different forms and different disguises.  Your body has its own set, and anything you want to add must be in "sync" with its needs. Chemicals can easily enter your body
via the mouth, nose, ears, skin, and eyes, even your hair shaft.  But they are still entering your body, hopefully with your full knowledge, understanding, and consent.

The next time you aren't feeling well or have some sort of "upset" or negative health feeling or Meniere's disease symptoms, I suggest you stop and spend some concerted effort on research. Try to determine what changed just before you experienced that unwanted feeling. I suggest you discuss your drugs with your pharmacist and (or) your doctor. To get an interesting and different perspective, consult a certified naturopath or chiropractor.

All your meds come with list of possible side effects or complications. I asked the lady with the blood pressure and cholesterol meds if she had read the documentation that came with the drugs. She said she had not done that. Instead she asked her doctors and pharmacist if there were any interactions.  Everyone  felt she was safe.  Now she needs to read the papers.

Have you ever watched the TV commercials for drugs? I find them very interesting. By law, drug companies have to declare possible complications and side effects. Yes, the information is both runs across the screen. I have never been able to read the complete message. And yes, it is read aloud. But the lifestyle imagery in the overall picture is so captivating, that I loose my concentration and watch that instead! And of course, I block out or never even hear any of the negative possibilities! I suggest you listen more carefully than I do.  Those messages are vital to your health. If there can be no possible side effects or complications, it would mean no documentation is required. If you do see or hear about possible side effects, some people must be a part of the statistics.  Otherwise they wouldn't need to be mentioned.

My point, with this information, is to make you aware and to get you to think! Pay close attention to what is entering your body; include washing soap, toothpaste, and a huge variety of personal care products. And don't forget to think of your environment:
the chemicals you breathe in, the additives and preservatives in food, the fertilizers outside, and any enhancers such as sulphites, MSG, etc.  Some of these may be causing your Meniere's disease symptoms.

The list is a long one. All of these chemicals ride along with you. Are they providing you with health and wellness? Reflect on these ideas and take back some control. 

This information was intended to help you understand your body and its functions. If you have a medical problem, please seek appropriate advice.


By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.



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