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Ménière's Disease and Sodium

Topic Overview

The cause of Ménière's disease is unknown, but it may be related to a fluid imbalance in your inner ear. When the fluid builds up, it causes excess pressure. This pressure affects the sensory systems in your inner ear that are used to maintain balance, which leads to episodes of vertigo.

If you have Ménière's disease, eating less salt (sodium) may help. Salt "attracts" fluids, so it makes your body retain excess fluid. Eating less salt may result in less buildup of fluid in your ear.

Episodes of vertigo can be severe. Eating less salt does not reduce the intensity or severity of vertigo. But eating less salt may reduce the frequency of episodes, and:

  • Fewer episodes of vertigo may also reduce problems with balance.
  • Fewer episodes of vertigo means a better quality of life.

Eating less salt doesn't have to be hard, but you do have to think about it. Salt is in many foods, so limiting your salt intake means more than just not using the salt shaker. Packaged (processed) foods and restaurant foods are usually quite high in salt.

Click here to view an Actionset. Healthy Eating: Eating Less Sodium
Click here to view an Actionset. Low-Salt Diets: Eating Out

You may want to visit with a registered dietitian to help you get started or find more ways to cut down on salt and eat a healthy diet.

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Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator

Current as ofJuly 17, 2014

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