Signs & Symptoms of Meniere's
Disease - Nausea
Nausea is the feeling that you might have to vomit, to
bring up stomach contents. There may even be feelings of nausea before a
Meniere's disease attack. This is a most unpleasant feeling and many people
just wouldn't be able to work effectively. The question constantly would be
"will I get there in time?"
Nausea can be a side effect of the dizziness that comes
from the inner ear imbalance. There certainly are anti-emetic medications,
but the side effects would probably cause the Meniere's disease sufferer to
be sleepy and non-productive. This dizziness can last for a short time or an
extended period. Whichever time it lasts, it is very debilitating.
For the family this can be a very unpleasant task to help
with. Patience and a lot of understanding will be helpful.
The Mayo Clinic in NY defines nausea as follows: “Nausea
and vomiting are very common symptoms that can be caused by a wide variety
of conditions. Nausea and vomiting most often are due to viral
gastroenteritis — often mistakenly termed "stomach flu" — or the morning
sickness of early pregnancy. Many medications can cause nausea and vomiting,
as can general anesthesia for surgery. Rarely, nausea and vomiting may
indicate a serious or even life-threatening problem.”
That is one perspective. Here is another.
People often ask what others tell us about their Meniere's
disease situations. Here are several (unedited) emails we have received from
“What a glimmer of hope I felt when I found your website,
as my search for help with Meniere's disease continues. I have had 2 bad
attacks in the last 10 days where I have been vomiting and feeling nauseous
and have to lay down for several hours I am really unable to do anything.
My hearing has pretty much gone in one ear (although I am
not convinced that this has been caused by the Meniere's disease as my
hearing went down suddenly after a holiday and it wasn't till several months
later I had my first attack), my hearing is also not affected I don't think
during or after an attack.
I also suffer with regular bouts of tinnitus and most days
I feel dazed - other than this I have been a pretty healthy individual. My
diet is average to low salt consumption and my stress level at work is no
more than it ever has been.”
“About 7 years ago I had my first attack of Meniere's
disease. I was 27 years old and scared to death. It started with pressure in
both ears that lasted for 4-5 days. I went to a doctor and he said I most
likely had a sinus infection. He gave me a nasal spray and I took it that
night and went to bed. I woke up in the middle if the night and started
feeling nauseous so I went to the bathroom and the room started to spin.
I started throwing up and my boyfriend at the time ended
up taking me to the hospital. I had full vertigo and continued to be sick
for over 8 hrs. They had me on an I.V. Of gravol and fluids the entire time.
In the morning they sent me to an otolaryngologist who first insisted I'd
been drinking and then told me I must have eaten something bad.
It was so frustrating. I had three more episodes before a
doctor finally suggested Meniere's disease. Of course they told me there was
no cure and that basically I needed to manage the symptoms with gravol. Like
you said on the website it was very debilitating and extremely frightening
for both me and my family.”
“Until one day, while having lunch at a restaurant, I felt
very dizzy and nauseous ( I didn't know it was vertigo at the time). Then I
felt a strong urge to go to the bathroom. Luckily, the doctor's office was
right next door. I spent a good hour lying in their bed until I felt ok to
go home. The next attack came a couple of weeks later then became more
frequent. I was scared to leave the house because the attacks happened
everywhere. Restaurants, pools, grocery store etc.”
Again, the last sentence from the Mayo clinic is “Rarely,
nausea and vomiting may indicate a serious or even life-threatening
problem.” It all depends if you are affected by these symptoms. When you
read these academic statements, it al sounds so innocent and harmless.
However when you read the emails we receive daily from people suffering from
Meniere's disease, they present a vey different picture.
Here are three more email excerpts to show what many
people live with:
“I am now 63 years old and am not deaf, but. I do suffer
from noises in the ears, ringing, whooshing (for want of a better term), and
a throbbing type of sound like there are crickets somewhere in the
background , (as of right now) ..some noises disturb my head and
ears...yesterday, before the attack last night, I had a headache, was very
irritable and just didn't feel well.. the head was a bit 'woolly' and
woozy...but not exactly dizzy as yet, that didn't happen till I woke up
whilst in bed and attempted to turn over...then the 'sea' came up to meet
me, so to speak...although I don't vomit, I do feel nauseous, as I am still
slightly nauseous today...I am an independent personality and. I enjoy a one
hour walk everyday (usually) and an hour at the gym, about two to three
times a week.. its a lifestyle that I enjoy immensely and don't want to give
it up.. giving up wine altogether, is fine with me, as I am not an habitual
drinker...When I have a bout, its not just a dizzy spell, its more the room
turning upside down to meet me.. the ceiling on the floor, and of course,
the floor on the ceiling type of experience, then the nausea of course...the
odd thing is that I can take a trip on boat/ship/ yacht with no ill...I have
to confess, that if there is any stress”
“I am dizzy and nauseous almost all the time; cannot
concentrate to get paperwork done; have no strength to get anything done. Do
you have any advice that I can do until the tests?? I really can't go on
like this! A YEAR! I am behind in everything, my house is a mess. But the
very WORST is that I can't even play with my precious granddaughter! It
breaks my heart! A whole year of my life and she has just seen me in bed,
sleeping or weaving through the house! I HATE THIS!!”
“I don't suffer vertigo, but have lost hearing in one ear,
tinnitus and aural fullness with a little imbalance. Have only been recently
diagnosed. Often feel nauseous when the aural fullness is a bit more
extreme. Keen to know about the system to self diagnose my way back to
better health. yours sincerely,”
There is another way to look at all of this. If you have
read anything our website, (or had an email response from me,) you will have
come across references to causes and effects of Meniere's disease. This is a
scientific occurrence. Absolutely NOTHING ever happens in our bodies without
a cause. And a cause will create an effect, an outcome, a feeling.
So what could be a cause for nausea? Here are a few
possible causes as listed by the Mayo Clinic.
It’s important to note that this is an accredited medical
facility. I will pull out only terms you may be familiar with as you seek
information on balance and hearing issues, the purpose of our website.
They list (amongst many other very serious causes): (some
have links to learn more) Dizziness, Ear infection (middle ear), Benign
paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere's disease. I would encourage
you to search for more understanding in this and similar sites.
So what could be the cause of nausea from our ordinary
point of view?
If we take a step backward, why would the body even react
to anything? Your body has an overall responsibility to keep you from harm
(your immune system). And anything that comes to it as a potential harm,
will be noted and you will be alerted. How? In this case with a feeling of
nausea or in fact, if it’s serious enough, with vomiting.
You will recall if a child eats something harmful, we rush
them to an emergency department and have their stomach cleaned out. The
purpose of each event is similar. Get the bad, harmful “ingredient” out of
the body. Nausea is a forerunner or warning of vomiting. Your body is
warning you that something unpleasant is in you.
There can be two ways to get this potential harm out. You
may realize that whatever you took, you cannot take any more, i.e. repeat
the cause. or else, you can vomit it out. As you get this out of your body,
you are already helping your body do its assigned job: keeping you from
For instance, if you had food poisoning, you would insist
this harmful food/cause comes out, somehow. And you would try to figure out
what caused this in the very first place. That is the responsible thing to
do. This is a bit trickier if you suspect a drug reaction. Nausea is often
cited one of the side effects. So you have some choices to make.
This is a website about Meniere's disease. So how does
nausea and vomiting fit into this “picture”?
Nausea and vomiting are not directly linked to the
classic symptoms of Meniere's Disease:
ear pain or inner ear pressure,
tinnitus, dizziness /
vertigo, hearing loss
As you read in the emails from our readers, they have many
of these Meniere's disease symptoms. People are often told to live with
these symptoms as this is a disease and nothing can be done. However, if you
look at this from a different perspective, you may choose to look for the
underlying cause of the nausea and draw your own conclusions. You now know
that nothing ever happens in our bodies without a cause.
My point is that nausea and vomiting are not natural
occurrences in your body. They are warnings for you to DO something
different. Can you also now consider that the balance and hearing symptoms
that “make up” the “Meniere's disease" name, may also have underlying causes
that might be fixed/repaired? Once you find that cause (of anything) and fix
it, your symptoms should diminish or disappear.
By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.
When David was suffering through his Meniere's disease symptoms, his nausea was so
bad he had to crawl to bed pushing a garbage can in front of him in case he
was sick along the way.
If you would like to know more about what David used to get his life back,
use this link to go to the Meniere's System Information page.
If you have not signed up for our Meniere's Disease Health Information
Newsletter you can learn more about it, or sign up for it, by
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