My philosophy is this...
When we have a vestibular disorder that has no obvious cure, and medical doctors have few, if any, solutions for us, we need to help ourselves by becoming an experiment of one (N=1).
We need to be fully open-minded and willing to look at all kinds of things: physiotherapy, active rehab, massage, Chiropractic, Naturopathic, functional medicine, diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, meditation, hypnosis, ophthalmology, audiology, sleep, sunlight, circadian rhythm, stress, gut microbiome, auto-immune responses, food sensitivities, carbohydrates, gluten, oxalates, salicylates, FODMAPS, nightshades, lectins, additives, fructose, seed oils, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, anxiety, depression, ergonomics, posture, TMJ, yoga, tai chi, tools, innovations like the PoNS™ device, tips and tricks... and so on.
Let us leave no stone unturned in our quest for self-help. When someone tells us about something outside our comfort zone, listen anyway. Be curious, do some research... lots of research. Dismiss nothing! Take risks! What if eating healthier made you feel better? What if a daily walk made you feel better? What if adopting a pet made you feel better? What if meditation made you feel better? What if getting more sleep made you feel better? What if you found some tools to make it easier for you to function, like an iPad or book stand (click on link and scroll to bottom of page for book stand option), walking poles, a weighted vest like OTvest™ or BalanceWear™, single-vision lenses?
Accepting that we can never get any better or live a better life is just not an option.
Recently I've been experimenting with the Keto Diet (Low Carb, High Fat). I cut out many inflammatory foods: sugar, processed foods, vegetable (seed) oils, grains. Lots of good things happened: I lost weight, my blood pressure and beats per minute went down, most of my aches and pains went away, my digestion became silent and calm for the first time in decades and my energy increased by leaps and bounds. I also noticed that my tinnitus has been bothering me far less; I just don't seem to notice it now. It has only been a few weeks, so I imagine there is much more healing to come.
But that isn't all...
As a constant self-experimenter, and because of my enjoyment of the Keto Diet and the successes it has brought me, I've been asking myself, "Can some of the symptoms of vestibular disorders be attributed to inflammation?"
Some vestibular disorders have "itis" as part of the name: vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis, etc. The suffix "itis" means inflammation, so, yes, inflammation can play a major part. These we know about, but maybe there are more subtle ways that inflammation can affect dizziness, like swelling in the ear canals from food sensitivities (which cause inflammation) and so on. My quest for more information on vestibular disorders and inflammatory foods has just begun. I'll soon begin to experiment on myself with whatever information I find.
What experiment are you going to try?
- Andrea Wilson, Webmaster, Balance & Dizziness Canada