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
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 if...you 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 if...you
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 if...you 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 printed...it 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
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
This information was intended to help you understand your body
and its functions. If you have a medical problem, please seek
By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.
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