Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition of the inner ear. People with Meniere’s disease experience episodes of spinning sensations, ringing in the ear, fullness inside the ear, fluctuating hearing and gradual hearing loss, according to the Washington University School of Medicine. Traditional medical approaches to treating symptoms are diuretics and a low-salt diet; however, many people do find this approach to be helpful, so they turn to vitamins, minerals and herbs for symptom relief.
Vitamin B12 may help reduce ringing in the ears. People with ringing in the ear and hearing loss were found to be deficient in vitamin B12, according to a study in the March and April 1993 edition of the “American Journal of Otolaryngology.” After taking vitamin B12 in the study, people experienced less ringing in the ears. Although the way vitamin B12 lessens ringing in the ear is unknown, it appears to help improve nerve functioning.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, and vitamin B1, or thiamine, may also be beneficial to reducing symptoms of Meniere’s disease. In a study published in the April and May 2009 edition of “Integrative Medicine,” people with Meniere’s disease who took a combination of niacin and thiamine had decreased symptoms. As noted in the article, more research is needed to determine if niacin and thiamine really do lessen symptoms of Meniere’s disease.
The Mineral Magnesium
Magnesium may be beneficial to some people with Meniere’s disease. In a small study, people with Meniere’s disease experienced decreased symptoms after receiving 10 to 20 intravenous infusions of magnesium sulfate, according to the “Integrative Medicine” article. The authors of the article noted that this reported study was conducted in the 1940s and had some research design flaws, so more research seems necessary to determine the effect of magnesium on Meniere’s disease symptoms.
Several herbal products are often used for Meniere’s disease. Ginkgo biloba extract and vinpocetine are two plant-derived chemicals that are used in Europe to treat Meniere’s disease. The effectiveness of these substances are mixed in research, so more research is needed in this area, according to an article in the 2005 issue of “The Internet Journal of Otorhinolaryngology.” Ginger root is used to treat nausea, so it may help those with Meniere's disease who have that concern.
JOH is a combination of vitamins, herbal products and supplements that was developed by a biologist to treat Meniere’s disease, according to the Meniere’s Foundation. The components of JOH include lemon bioflavonoid, vinpocetine, l-lysine, Ginkgo biloba extract, vitamin C, vitamin E, and MSM, or methylsufonylmethane. Although the JOH approach has not undergone clinical investigation, the Meniere’s Foundation reports that some people with Meniere’s disease have fewer symptoms after using this method.
- “A New Approach to Meniere’s Disease: The John of Ohio Treatment Regimen”; Meniere’s Disease Foundation
- “Integrative Medicine”; Integrative Approaches to Ménière’s Disease; Alan Gaby, M.D.; April and May 2009
- “The Internet Journal of Otorhinolaryngology”; Is There Any Evidence for Complementary and Alternative Therapy in Meniere's Disease; Purushotham Sen, F.R.C.S., and Michael Papesch, F.R.A.C.S.; 2005