Meniere's Disease, Hypertension and
Stress: A Different Way of Looking at How They Could Be Connected
I had a very interesting and thought-provoking request a little while
ago. The gentleman (I will call him Bill) had gone to his doctor about
his Meniere's Disease symptoms. In the course of the conversation, it
became apparent that he was under some stress and he may have
hypertension - his blood pressure was
a bit elevated.
He left with a prescription for an antihypertensive drug
and the understanding that there was nothing much to be done for his
Meniere's Disease symptoms. A relative also had Meniere's Disease. So it was also alluded to Bill
that this condition was probably hereditary.
Bill did receive what I
perceive to be the traditional medical treatment. His doctor was
obviously trying to prevent possible cardiac problems.
As usual, and specifically in this case, I am going to ask you not to
use this information except for your own learning and thinking. Please
do not diagnose yourself. what I am proposing is a different set of
questions to ask. That might be a bit contrary to what you normally do.
This is thinking outside traditional or routine “box”.
This is also NOT
meant to offend any health care professional. I simply want you to
challenge your thinking: to rely on your own powers of deduction and
observation. In fact I want to turn this whole idea upside down.
Let’s discuss Hypertension,
Meniere's Disease, and Stress individually and then as a combination
or related group. I am using a regular medically-acceptable site called Medline.
If you don’t already use it, I would urge you to do so for your own
research when you need some easy-to-understand descriptions. The
encyclopedia section is the best area for this purpose.
To search for Hypertension
on Medline, please click here.
Hypertension is recognized when the top number in a “blood
pressure” reading is 140 (systolic) and higher and the bottom number
is 90 and higher (diastolic). That is considered high blood pressure:
“hypertension” in medical terminology. Nowadays some doctors feel normal
blood pressure should be lower than that and many doctors feel a drug to
prevent higher pressure from developing, is in order.
Some doctors try to find the underlying causes: many give
prescriptions more readily. Your doctor may recommend and encourage
lifestyle changes including weight loss, exercise, and nutritional
changes, especially a reduction in the use of salt. Salt is seen as
retaining fluids and is suspect as a possible contributor to
Here is an article that gives you more information about
hypertension. Usually, high blood pressure has no symptoms at all,
but in my experience, many people have tinnitus or ringing in the ear at
Meniere's Disease is not a household name…
visits and resides in your home! In
order to understand and appreciate Meniere's Disease, you have to know
the classic symptoms. They include
Meniere's Disease is also involved in some controversy as to its'
name(s) and treatments. So I will stay with the traditional mainstream
symptoms and suggested treatment.
If you are interested in how we have been living with Meniere's
disease in our home, our son wrote an article about
how we dealt with this as a family.
Stress is defined as Anxiety; Feeling uptight; Stress; Tension;
“Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel
frustrated, angry, or anxious. What is stressful to one person is not
necessarily stressful to another. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension
or fear. The source of this uneasiness is not always known or
recognized, which can add to the distress you feel.”
How Meniere's Disease, Hypertension and Stress Work
Together and Cause Some of Your Symptoms or Even Trigger Attacks
In case you have never heard of Meniere's Disease before, I want to
give you a tiny bit of insight through this article. At the beginning, I
mentioned Bill’s visit to his doctor. He had already had his Meniere's
Disease symptoms for some time.
Put yourself into his shoes…. What if… you started to feel dizzy
occasionally, and maybe had some unpleasant buzzing in your ear. And
sometimes your ear would feel full as though it had water in it. It was
annoying and you couldn’t get rid of it. And these feelings would come
once in a while and then disappear for a long time.
Suddenly one day, you had to grasp the edge of your desk to steady
yourself and someone had to drive you home or to Emergency. Normal? I
don’t think so. Scary? Yes, Very. Your doctor or the hospital staff
asked you questions and you really had no answers.
Eventually you would go home and life continued. But every once in a
while you still have this dizziness and pressure and your hearing comes
and goes. And this goes on for months or days… or even years. Could this
be worrisome? Could it be stressful? Could this stress lead to
increasing your blood pressure over time?
Let’s look at these two Meniere's disease symptoms a
little more closely - Dizziness and Vertigo
If you are suddenly faced with mild or severe vertigo, chances are
you would find it difficult to handle your job or your responsibilities.
- Sometimes this spinning is so strong it throws you to the
- Sometimes you feel so dizzy and bump into things that people
think you are drunk or on drugs.
Then you have hearing fluctuation which means one minute you can hear
well and the next you can’t hear anything or a just a little bit. Then
there is the tinnitus. This pertains to noise of any sort: from strong
sounds to buzzing. Part of a day. Sometimes. Occasionally. Or
constantly in different tones. One ear or both ears.
Do you think this could be stressful for you?
- Could it maybe raise your blood pressure?
- Would you like to be told you have to live with this for the
rest of your life?
- Would you maybe get a bit concerned about your future?
- Could you ask yourself “why”?
Why would something come and go, with no apparent reason. Or could
there be a reason? And what could possibly have any connection to things
you were doing one moment or day… and not again for a while… or very
frequently and then not again for a year? Or several years? Sometimes
for 15 years! Would it be possible that something made you dizzy? And
why would someone get dizzy? What part of the body gives you
that symptom or even causes the Meniere's disease attack?
This all has to do the balance nerve. And this nerve is situated in
the inner ear and is located close to the hearing nerve, also in
the inner ear. Let’s look at hearing fluctuation. What would give you
any symptoms? Anything that irritates, disturbs, or influences that
(hearing) nerve. (That may also go for the balance nerve, but not
- Do you think any of this might give you additional stress?
- Is there anything you can do about the symptoms so you don’t get
them and have to deal with these unpleasant feelings?
- Do you think that any two nerves that are so close together
might also be disturbed by the same thing?
I would like to encourage you to search for more
conditions or things that might possibly contribute to having these
symptoms of Meniere's disease.
Did you know that some dental work or sinus conditions can make you
dizzy and also create a lot of pressure? Did you realize that if your
ear was already sensitive, any vibrations such as using an electric
toothbrush could set off similar symptoms? Or artificial sweeteners? Or
exposure to mold and other possible toxins such as time-release
Many drugs list tinnitus or dizziness as a side effect. And here is a
huge potential “problem” creator…amalgam fillings. They are the mercury
or silver ones.
So my final question might be… then how could a drug for high blood
pressure help you cope with your Meniere's disease symptoms?
Just asking…. could there be another way of tackling Bill’s problems?
Oops! That was another question. But my point is this. Could there be
another reason for Bill’s elevated blood pressure that could also be
triggering his Meniere's disease attacks or his symptoms? Could there be
another way of looking at this problem? Things are often not what they
first appear to be.
Just as I am finishing this article I spoke with a lady who had
asked me to check out a drug her doctor prescribed. She was suffering
from dizziness and vertigo and tinnitus. Guess what the side effects of
the drug were.
Many of these chemicals don’t belong to your body “naturally”. Could
it be that your body is reacting to them? The term “side effect”
is there for a reason. To get a good sampling of information, you may
want to do your own research by checking out several sites and while you
are in each one, see who the sponsors are. Can you now see a connection
with hypertension, Meniere's disease and stress?
If any one of these conditions is a part of your life, take control
by asking questions that are not the normal, expected ones to ask. Ask
yourself how all this ties together. Your answers will always come as
long as you persevere in your search.
It is your body. No one can ever describe how dizziness and tinnitus
affect you. It is a very personal and stressful “always on guard”
lifestyle. Could it possibly elevate your blood pressure? Probably. Are
their possible solutions?
Only you will find that answer, but it won’t come about until you
start your search and then it may take time. Is it worth it? From the
comments I receive, it is the only thing to do.
By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.