I've been trying to get to the root of my Meniere’s Disease. As I've stated before, there is no known cause or cure for the disease but many have found some relief from symptoms through different methods. I’ve tried almost all methods except the antiviral method and I have also not yet been tested for candida overgrowth. My ENT doctor was unwilling to listen when I talked about doing an antiviral method so I contacted my family doctor and she is willing to try it. It starts as a high dose and tapers down to a maintenance dose. I had to get blood work done before starting the regimen. The blood work is to get a baseline for kidney function as the long term use of the antiviral medicine can cause kidney issues. I will then have to get regular blood monitoring every two months.
I'm sharing this information for anyone else who may be suffering from this disease. Below is the letter I sent to my doctor along with links to the medical studies. If you are suffering from this I highly suggest sending your doctor this letter along with a printed copy of both medical articles a week or two prior to your appointment so they have time to review it before your appointment. Once the doctor received my letter she called me to set up a 30 minute appointment to discuss. Links to the medical studies I've referenced in the letter to my doctor below. Dr. Gracek's Article -- HERE Autoimmune Condition Article -- HERE
Dear Doctor ...,
Sorry for not getting this information to you sooner. Just this morning I was able to secure an
appointment for tomorrow afternoon to discuss my Meniere’s Disease, Bell’s
palsy and an active cold sore.
I had seen Dr. ENT but he is
reluctant to take a look at viral issues being a cause for my Meniere’s
disease. Since Meniere’s disease has no
cause or cure he is taking a wait and see approach. Waiting for it to get worse then suggesting
ear injections or surgery to destroy the inner ear and that is something I’m
not willing to do.
I respectfully ask you to scrutinize
the information in this recent journal article. The author, Dr. Richard Gracek
of Boston, is extremely experienced in antiherpetic therapy of Meniere’s, as
the article will reveal.
Read closely the information on P. 103, for effective
dosages and durations. Dr. Gracek gains an 88% to 90% complete relief of
Meniere’s symptoms with his protocols, described in the paper.
I’m asking you to consider this
antiviral treatment for me in hopes of some relief from not only Meniere’s, but
the Herpes virus that is causing my cold sores and the Bell’s palsy causing the
drooping of my left eye.
For your information — here’s the cogent
treatment text. I’ve taken the liberty to highlight crucial information:
The antiviral treatment
protocol for patients with recurrent vertigo is as indicated below.
Discontinue all previous
medical treatments; ensure that patients are cleared for normal renal and liver function; use acyclovir tabs 800 mg t.i.d. for 3 weeks
and reexamine. If there is significant relief of vertigo, decrease to
800 mg b.i.d. for 3 weeks, then to 800 mg daily as a maintenance dose. If valacyclovir is selected
(in those who fail to respond to acyclovir), use 1 g t.i.d. for 3 weeks with taper to b.i.d. for
a further 3 weeks and then 1 g daily as a maintenance dose. The starting dose of acyclovir was given
for a longer period (3 weeks) than that used for zoster because it was felt necessary
to cross the blood-brain barrier to reach ganglion and satellite cells with virus. Most patients experienced relief from vertigo in the first 2
weeks but some required a longer period. The gradual lowering
dose was then used to find the lowest level maintenance dose for a given patient. Most
were controlled on a single dose daily but occasionally a patient required an adjustment to 1,200
mg of acyclovir or 1,500 mg of valacyclovir.
These dosages may require adjustment in patients with
impaired kidney or liver function. The follow-up period was as short as 3 years in the most
recent patients and 8 years in the earliest patients in the series. Of 106 patients with VN
(the earliest patients evaluated up to 8 years), 93 (88%) had complete relief of symptoms with
oral acyclovir, 54 of 60 patients (90%) with MD [Meniere's disease] were relieved
of vertigo, and 27 of 45 patients
(60%) with posterior canal BPPV were relieved of symptoms. Between the use of
antivirals and repositioning maneuvers (physical therapy), the number of chronically disabled
patients who were candidates for ablation of posterior semicircular canal function (canal
occlusion or singular neurectomy) was reduced significantly. As a result of these morphological and clinical
observations, our approach to the patient with recurrent vertigo has been simplified. It goes
without saying that the patient without recurrent balance symptoms needs no further treatment
after a hearing test and MRI of the brain (assuming that these are normal). A Hallpike
maneuver is included in the initial examination. Those patients with
recurrent vertigo are offered a trial of oral acyclovir (or Valtrex) for 3 weeks. Examination at the 3-week period will determine the
sensitivity of the particular NT virus to the antiviral. If there is no relief of vertigo
with acyclovir or valacyclovir, treatment is followed by vestibular tests (videonystagmography and
vestibular-evoked myogenic potential) to determine the responsible ear. If these
results are abnormal chemical labyrinthotomy is offered. The patient is offered a choice between
dexamethasone (12 mg/ml) or gentamycin (80 mg/2 ml), considering the risk of hearing
loss (dexamethasone 0%; gentamycin usually negligible if used in a single small dose).
Palsy Information on Page 93.
major deterrent to the acceptance of a viral neuropathy in these common
vestibular syndromes is the lack of history pointing to a recognizable viral
insult to the ear. However, the mucous membrane of the aero digestive tract is
a ready portal of entry for NT viruses to invade sensory terminals of cranial
nerves (olfactory, trigeminal, facial, vagus and glossopharyngeal). The facial
nerve has a unique location adjacent to the vestibular nerve and ganglion in
the internal auditory canal.
A neuropathy causing facial nerve dysfunction (Bell’s palsy) is thought
to be caused by virus reactivation in the sensory ganglia of this nerve (
fig. 1 ). The human facial nerve has 2 sensory ganglia, geniculate and meatal
Although the geniculate
ganglion represents the major sensory input (80–85%) in most facial nerves, the
meatal ganglion is present in all specimens and may outnumber the geniculate in
10–15% of TB.
Four TB from patients with a
history of facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy) demonstrated only degenerated meatal
ganglion cells and no degeneration in the geniculate . Several MRI studies
of patients with Bell’s palsy show that the earliest enhancement of the facial
nerve is in the fundus of the internal auditory canal where the meatal ganglion
is located 
Article: Meniere’s Disease Might Be an AutoImmune Condition
Arnold and Niedermeyer
 evaluated the presence of higher IgG antibodies against herpes simplex
virus (HSV) in the perilymph of patients with Meniere's disease.This
result supported the hypothesis that the herpes simplex virus may play an
important role in the aetiopathogenesis of Meniere's disease. Higher titres of
IgG against adenovirus (ADV) and varicella zoster virus (VZV) were found in
patients with Meniere's disease compared with a control group. These findings
support the hypothesis that adenovirus and varicella zoster virus may be
important in the development of Meniere's disease . "Recently,
direct evidence of viral neuropathy in Meniere's disease has been provided by
the transmission electron microscopic observation of viral structures in
vestibular ganglion cells excised from a patient with Meniere's disease
(Picture 3 and Picture 4)  and .The clinical response to antiviral medication indicated that
vertigo due to Meniere's disease was relieved in 85–90% of patients. It is not
surprising that control of vertigo was not greater than 85–90%, as mutant
strains of the herpes virus group would be resistant to the acyclovir class of
antivirals. Until newer antivirals are developed, approximately 10% of
Meniere's disease patients with vertigo will not be controlled.
The auditory symptoms are less effectively treated by the antiviral approach
because loss of hair cells and spiral ganglion cells secondary to the toxicity
of viral proteins in the perilymph is not reversible."
"The antiviral approach to the very
common disabling balance symptoms experienced by patients with Meniere's
disease has virtually eliminated the use of various surgical methods used in
the past. These include labyrinthectomy, endolymphatic sac decompression and
vestibular nerve transection.The high (90%) rate of vertigo control with
orally administered antivirals should be considered as a frontline treatment
• Meniere's disease is an autoimmune disorder.
Its etiopathogenesis includes viral infection. The histopathological correlate
of Meniere's disease is endolymphatic hydrops and vestibular endorgans
demonstrates variable degrees of neuroepithelial degeneration • Due to the possible autoimmune pathogenesis of
the disease, pharmacotherapy for Meniere's disease may include corticosteroids,
etanercept and warfarin. The use of antiviral agents corresponds to the viral
hypothesis and has eliminated the various surgical methods of the past. • Gene therapy could be used in the future to
transfer genetic material into inner ear cells using viral vectors and to
protect, rescue, and even regenerate hair cells of the inner ear
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