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  • Jan Clementson

Dizziness & Vertigo In Meniere’s Disease (MD): Is your nerve transmission being impeded?

NYE 2023 was the day that hit me “like a brick” …….literally.  I’d just got out of a long hot shower after a short run that had left me unusually drained.  I sat down on the sofa feeling a little winded and then suddenly….out of the blue…. I was hit by that brick on my head. I felt such an excruciating pain in the top of my head that spread to my eyes and ears that I almost vomited. Moving my head made the room spin and I felt like I was on a boat. All I could do was lie down on the sofa and not move……..for 8 hours…..before crawling into my bed.  So, this must be what it is like to experience a Meniere’s disease attack, I thought.


Image: Michael Kulbel

 

For the last several years, I have been actively involved in the research of Meniere’s disease. This came about when a client was referred to me for help whilst I was working as the Functional Medicine practitioner on an online chronic fatigue course. That client was John Ingram, the founder of Deaf to Meniere’s…….whom I’ve been working with ever since to help uncover and address the underlying mechanisms behind this debilitating condition.  My interest in this condition stemmed from my father, who had lost his hearing in one ear to the measles virus as a child.  I was accustomed to living with someone with a hearing impairment, so I knew how difficult it could be for family members as well as for the sufferer.  But I had never experienced these symptoms myself.

 

NYE began a week of “hell” where I experienced symptoms that I had never experienced before. I was so ill that I couldn’t eat for days and lost 9lbs within 5 days.  Day 6, I was feeling a lot better and thought I was back in the “land of the living”, so I decided I would go back to work. That was the Friday when I was scheduled with back-to-back calls for a Food Intolerance Testing Company .  From call 2, the day took a turn for the worse. I was experiencing bounce-back on my phone, so I put in my phone earpieces……almost immediately, I started feeling dizzy.  I took them out quickly and then tried again and the same thing happened, so I had to stop using them.. For the next 90 mins of calls, I was swaying around like on a boat trying not to throw up before I recovered.  Needless to say, that was most unpleasant………. but I had learned something very valuable from the experience. From that point on, I strongly suspected that there was an electrical component to my dizziness.

 

My earlier research on MD had indeed identified electrical aspects to this condition. Clear evidence showed disturbances in electrolytes (charged minerals) in the inner ear fluid compartments, as well as excessive neuronal firing in the inner ear (as with tinnitus).  But was I missing something? The more I contemplated the electrical aspects of the body, the more I kept thinking about the myelin sheaths. These are the insulators of the nervous system wiring – a bit like the non-conductive material that surrounds electrical wires to insulate the wire and allow for proper electrical conduction.  And so, I delved into the research to see if I could find any correlation between the dizziness and vertigo in MD and myelin sheaths……and low and behold, there it was...…staring me in the face.  This was what I was looking for. 

 

In this 2019 neurology paper I discovered that dysregulation or lesions within the myelin sheaths can cause dizziness or vertigo by decreasing nerve transmission and impeding function. It further showed that myelin sheath lesions are indeed found in MD and that the greater the MD symptom severity, the greater the lesions. But it doesn’t stop there with its pearls of wisdom because it also identifies fungal infections as the likely culprit involved in the progressive damage to the myelin sheaths. This fungal link is what I have been finding, almost without exception with my 1:1 MD clients.

 

This was a hugely exciting discovery for me. So, with my nutritional knowledge of raw nutrients required for myelin sheath formation, I popped a couple of supplements of vitamin B12 and iron…….and within a short time my dizziness stopped.  Now, I was even more excited as I knew from the bloods of my MD clients that these two nutrients were often disturbed.  And my previous research had shown a clear correlation with vitamin B12 deficiency and/or iron deficiency and MD.  Further, mould research has also shown that mould mycotoxins interfere with the structure and function of vitamin B12 synthesis and metabolism leading to demyelination and neuropathy.

 

As the puzzle started to come together, I thought back to Friday’s “earpiece” trigger and the potential role of EMFs (electro-magnetic frequencies) in this. For many years now, I have known that I am electro-magnetic sensitive. When 5G was switched on in my local area around 3 years ago, I couldn’t touch anything electronic and had to buy EMF protectors (which are wave transformers) to protect myself.  Now thinking along the lines of electromagnetic sensitivity, I dug into the research again and found that another 2019 research paper showed that EMFs from electronic devices can also dysregulate myelin sheaths and cause dizziness. And the cherry on the top was from a 2014 Toxicology paper suggesting that those people who are electro-hypersensitive……..like me…….and many MD sufferers…..could actually have myelin sheath damage from radiofrequency electromagnetic exposure. 

 

MD is without doubt a complex multi-factorial condition. But with each new piece of the jigsaw puzzle comes a greater understanding in how this condition manifests.  And now I can add potential myelin sheath damage to my body of research on MD.  My research work into MD has surprisingly taken me on a fascinating personal journey…….but a journey that has made me better equipped at helping others with this complex condition.



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