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Diet for patients suffering from vestibular disorders

Aditi Arora August 3, 2021

If you suffer from any kind of vestibular disorders, vestibular symptoms, & vertigo of any type, chances are you’ve already been prescribed certain vertigo medicines & vertigo exercises. Most patients with vestibular disorders show considerable improvement in their condition after trying one or more of these vestibular treatment methods.

However, these by themselves are not enough for vestibular disorder patients. They also have to follow certain dietary requirements & make some lifestyle changes to achieve the complete benefits of the vestibular rehabilitation therapy regime.

What should be the diet for patients with vestibular disorders?

Nutritionists understand the value of each food item, & how exactly do they help our body in achieving the perfect balance. But you don’t necessarily have to be a nutritionist to understand that certain foods are better than others in terms of providing our bodies with some necessary nutrients. They help build strong cell membranes & help the functioning of nerve cells.

These foods also contain fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties to help the blood cells function properly. They also contain vitamins like riboflavin & magnesium that are beneficial for all kinds of cells.

This help provides the much-needed energy to cells to be able to do their jobs well.

In absence of adequate nutrition, our cells don’t have much energy to function properly, leading to a variety of symptoms. This is especially true of your brain & vestibular cells, which when tired due to lack of nutrition, causes problems with balance, orientation, posture, concentration, memory, focus, & posture. This makes people with existing vestibular problems more prone to experiencing symptoms of vestibular disorders.

Doctors of patients with vestibular disorders often suggest a plentiful diet based on various nutrients that help strengthen their vestibular system. Additionally, they might also suggest that they avoid certain foods that might trigger their symptoms. Researchers have long known that some foods can trigger a migraine headache in those who are prone to it.

A natural amino acid called Tyramine, which is found in most foods, has been found to trigger migraine headaches. Avoiding foods containing tyramine might thus be a helpful suggestion in the treatment & management of Migraine headaches. Dietary changes are also useful for people suffering from other vestibular disorders like Meniere’s disease, & migraine-associated dizziness.

What are the things to keep in mind for dietary changes with regards to vestibular disorders?

If you’re following or thinking about following a vestibular diet, then there are certain changes you should consider making to your daily regime. Below we give you certain tips & the food items that you should be using + avoiding to get better benefits out of your vestibular treatment plan.

1. Keep a journal:

Keeping a journal of which foods trigger your vestibular symptoms, & which ones do not, can help you keep track of your dietary regime. It will also help your doctor get a clearer picture of just what triggers your vestibular symptoms. Keeping a journal will also help you be more in control of your daily diet & intake, which could also be of a lot of help to those trying to lose weight.

2. Try to eat more healthy, vestibular-friendly foods:

There are certain food items that are helpful in aiding your recovery from any vestibular disorders. These foods also help provide your body with the energy & boost needed to maintain balance & posture.

These foods include:

  • Fish like salmon, halibut, & cod are known to be rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are considered great for strengthening the vestibular system. Also try to include walnuts & flax seeds in your diet, as they also help support the functioning of the vestibular system.
  • Also try to include more fish-based foods like tuna, mackerel, sardines etc. in your daily diet to help ward off any vestibular disorders.
  • Certain foods are rich in riboflavin, which is another nutrient important for promoting vestibular health. These include spinach, cremini mushrooms, calf’s liver, etc.
    Riboflavin has been shown to be highly effective in providing relief to migraine sufferers, sometimes even working as good as or better than actual medicines for migraines.
  • Try to include more green foods & vegetables in your diet to help you with your intake of magnesium, which is an important source of energy for your cells. Green foods rich in magnesium include spinach & chard.
  • Also up your intake of Vitamin D through foods rich in that. Food sources include everyday food items like milk & shrimp, among many others.
  • Also try including more bread-like plain bagels, zucchini bread, & pumpernickel in your daily diet. These bread provide enough energy to your body to help boost your vestibular system & other cells.
  • Also try including fruits like grapes, apples, mangoes, peaches, strawberries & blackberries in your diet, along with melon fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, & honeydew.
  • Try adding more coloured vegetables like red beets, carrots, corn, squash eggplant, asparagus, & string beans in your diet as these are great sources of minerals & important nutrients. Other foods like turnip, mustard, & collard are also great sources of calcium.

3. Try your best to avoid foods that are potential triggers for your vestibular disorders:

Although the food-related triggers might be different for each individual patient, there are few foods that are a potential trigger for almost all vestibular disorders.

These include:

  • Chocolate
  • Red Wine
  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks with caffeine in them
  • Cheeses like parmesan, bleu, & cheddar
  • Food items with MSG(Monosodium Glutamate)
  • Onions
  • Foods that are dried, pickled, fermented, or smoked foods. These foods include sausage, aged meats, fava beans, snow peas, olives, sauerkraut, soy sauce, miso, nuts, teriyaki sauce, certain wines, & liquors.
  • Food items that contain the preservative Sodium Nitrate, including hot dogs & lunch meat.

4. Adhere to the diet strictly:

A vestibular diet is a well thought out & carefully planned diet for your particular case of vestibular disorder that is designed by experts to help in your vestibular treatment.

For it to work successfully, you’d have to adhere to it quite strictly & ensure that there are no trespasses. The more strictly you take your vestibular diet, the better are your chances of relieving yourself from your vestibular symptoms.

5. Don’t go cold turkey:

It’s important to follow the vestibular diet plan to a T, which also means that you shouldn’t ever try to go cold turkey. Remember, it will probably take some time for the effects of any of the foods you have cut off or included in your diet to show. So in the meantime, try to keep up with your vestibular rehabilitation therapy plan, & other procedures for your vestibular treatment.
It’s also important to not skip any of your meals when you’re on a vestibular diet plan, as doing so might cause a dip in your blood sugar level, making your vestibular symptoms worse.

Remember, when followed along with adequate vertigo exercises & vertigo medicines, a vestibular diet shows great results in terms of vestibular treatment.

About Author

Aditi Arora

Aditi is a social media marketing manager and a personal healthcare blogger who has written a couple of blogs on health care and health benefits that are liked by many. She keeps herself updated with the latest in the world of social media and imparts her knowledge with her followers through her health care blogs. Sharing her views on health care remedies, an effective diet to stay fit and healthy and following a regime for a healthy lifestyle are some of the topics that hold her interest. She loves to read and travel and share her piece of knowledge with her experiences. View all posts by Aditi Arora →

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