The vertigo I have been suffering turns out to be due to a condition called Meniere's Disease, or so I'm told...
It has been about 5 weeks since the first "attack" and I have only really been able to do normal activities for the last week, as I was unsure if I would be safe to drive, and to be honest didn't feel like going out for a few weeks there. After the extreme dizziness abated, there was just a constant feeling of "brain fog" and a buzzy feeling, like a swarm of tiny bees in my head. It was hard to concentrate, and every so often I would lurch as if drunk. If you've ever had a bad dose of 'flu, the feeling is similar (minus the sore throat, etc).

No-one can say with Meniere's how soon, if ever, there will be a repeat attack. Apparently some sufferers get them daily, and can't lead a normal life! When I found out about that I freaked out a bit. Sometimes there is too much information on the internet for one's own good!

But so far, knock on wood, I'm feeling much better. I decided to go on a comprehensive multi-vitamin and antioxidant regime, and exercise regularly, and cut out coffee :-( and wine :-( .

Thankfully Mr B was very gracious about being given a 4 week break, and was very nice when I got back on board. The strangest sensation was of not being able to gauge by feeling how fast or slow we were going, so I was unable to work out when and how much to half-halt! Also, going in a circle it felt like my head was still following the curved line even as we went straight ahead.

It has been unpleasant, and rather a setback in our winter training, but *fingers crossed* we're back on track.

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Comment by Ottilie on August 22, 2010 at 5:09pm
Well it has been more than a year since the symptom subsided, and I have been feeling pretty much back to normal.
Comment by Ottilie on July 19, 2009 at 4:41pm
The results from the Interclinical Laboratories Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis came back, with some interesting points to note:

Boron - was below the calibration limit (less than 0.2ppm)
Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Manganese, Selenium and Molybdenum were all in the 'low' range.
Copper was in the 'high' range.

Some of the ratios were out:
Calcium/Phosphorus and Calcium/Magnesium both high
Calcium/Potassium very high
Sodium/Potassium, Zinc/Copper, Sodium/Magnesium, Iron/Copper were all low.

Although Mercury was not very high, the elements needed to detoxify it (Iron, Selenium and Zinc) were not quite into the desired ratios against it.

The lab also recommended a range of supplements including Vit B6, manganese, chromium and antioxidants (plus some others) - I just mention these ones in particular, as they also came up when I was researching Meniere's Disease previously.

I'm not suggesting this regime for anyone else, but maybe if you're interested, you can get your own hair tested. I think Interclinical is US based, they are on the internet and they'll also test horse hair if you ask them! They do recommend a load of their own supplement products but I find it easier to source similar products locally. It certainly takes some of the guesswork out of supplementation - for example, I would probably take too much Calcium and not enough Sodium if I were to follow standard advice, and would never have even thought about taking Boron!
Comment by Jackie Cochran on July 2, 2009 at 7:49pm
I don't know if this can help, since I don't have your type of dizziness. There are some homeopathic combination remedies for dizziness. They did not help my balance, but I have a totally different problem than you do. There are also various others for ear problems, again I do not know if these could help.
Good for you for taking Ginkgo biloba, I literally did not have a short term memory that would let me remember things the next day. With Ginkgo I have a memory, however imperfect.
I would also like suggest that you try walking with two canes when dizzy. I find that this is the safest and most stable way for me to walk, and as a side benefit I can practice thinking as a four-legged creature. If I don't have 2 canes, I sway when I am standing.
I hope your medicine works and that you continue improving.
Comment by Ottilie on July 2, 2009 at 7:00pm
Hi Barbara,

The first line of inquiry would be an infection of some kind in the inner ear, but I'm sure the doctors would have checked that out already. Then they assess for BPPV (ear stones) which is related to head position but in my understanding it should mean the dizziness stops completely when the head is not in the aggravating position. They do a manouvre to treat BPPV, which basically repositions the loose 'ear stones' to stop them sending false balance signals from the inner ear. The other possible scenario is a neurological cause: stroke, tumour, nerve damage, or pressure on the nerve - but this would have shown up on MRI probably.

The problem with Menieres Disease is that it is diagnosed by ruling out the other possible causes, there is no definitive test for it. Also, there is no specific cause for it, so treatments may work differently for different patients. What your friend's son has does sound to me (though I'm not a doctor!) like Meniere's.

My ENT specialist prescribed a drug known as Serc (Betahistine Dihydrochloride) which seemed to help with the symptoms. It is available in most coutries except the US. It is quite cheap and has no nasty side effects. Now that my symptoms have subsided, I am trying Ginkgo Biloba which helps with the circulation to the inner ear and brain. It is not as quick acting as the Serc, but I will try it for a month or two, unless I have another attack.

I would also suggest exercise (increases peripheral circulation, feels better afterwards, if not during!), and nutrition including vitamins and antioxidants to enable the body to heal itself. I'm seeing an osteopath also, as I discovered my neck vertebrae were quite stiff and misaligned, which some people think can have an impact on the facial/ cranial nerves.

The other thing I have done, is get a hair tissue mineral analysis from Interclinical Laboratories, this should tell me if I have any major excesses or deficiencies of any mineral nutrients, or elevated levels of the toxic elements. I am still awaiting the results, if there is anything of interest, I'll be sure to post an update.

I hope there is something there that can help your friend's son, it is awful feeling dizzy all the time, and so frustrating! He (and his family) might feel better knowing that fatigue and irritability are part of it (I thought I was going crazy!)

Cheers,
Ottilie
Comment by Barbara F. on July 2, 2009 at 6:19pm
My friend's son has had dizziness for over three months and no one can find a cause. They have done a battery of tests, including an MRI. Any ideas at all? His dizziness never goes away completely, but does get slightly better or worse depending on his head position.
Comment by Ottilie on June 28, 2009 at 4:27pm
Thanks for the advice, Jackie, it is probably a technique that could benefit even the non-dizzy! The vertigo is much better, most days about 95% "normal" for which I am truly thankful. I'm sorry to hear you have MS, that must be very difficult. How long have you had it? Do you find riding helps? Don't feel you have to answer my questions if you don't want to :-)
I'm just going to go and visit your blog, I'm sure I will learn more from you there.
Best Wishes, Ottilie
Comment by Jackie Cochran on June 28, 2009 at 10:15am
Dear Ottilie
I do not have vertigo, but I do have balance problems with my MS. At those times of worsening balance I try to shift my attention from my head to my pelvis following the horse's back. As long as my pelvis is relatively centered and following the horse's back it does not matter quite as much that my head is spinning off to another dimension. I also spent this time (at a walk) learning to time my aids just to the motion of the back.
I really hope your vertigo improves, and stays improved. But practice this so your body will know what to do the next time. It really helped me.
Comment by Ottilie on June 27, 2009 at 6:12am
Thanks, Barby :-)
Comment by Barbara Sky Horse on June 26, 2009 at 10:20pm
Ottilie ....
Thanks for sharing ... I'll look forward to reading your future posts that let us know You're Ok .. and Definitely back on track, and that ALL is Well With You!! ;)
~ Barby
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