A Few Words...

What is written here is my opinion and personal experience only. I am not qualified to give advice - medical, legal, or otherwise. Please be responsible and do your own research regarding treatments, diets, doctors, and alternative therapies.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

(Another) Failed Attempt at Diuretics

When I was first diagnosed with Meniere's disease, my local doctor started me on hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), as diuretics are often the first line of treatment for attempting to manage symptoms.  I took it for almost 2 years with no appreciable effect, however I was afraid to stop in case I might actually feel worse by not taking them.  Though, at the time, that was hard to imagine!  I also religiously followed my doctor's advice to eat a low sodium diet and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

After getting gent injections and starting on famciclovir and allergy shots, my symptoms stabilized greatly so I felt confident in stopping the diuretic and liberalizing my diet a bit.  I am still careful with my sodium intake, to protect my other ear (in theory), but I do drink 2 cups of coffee a day and have an occasional glass of wine without any apparent negative effects.

However, in the past year I have woken up twice unable to hear well out of my good ear.  I felt some mild pressure in there, as well.  As in the early stages of my bad ear going south, the pressure dissipated over the course of about 24 hours and, inversely, my hearing improved over the same time period.  The evening prior to the most recent episode, we had guests over for dinner and I know I ate a lot more sodium than usual and I also drank several glasses of wine.  When I reported this to Dr. Derebery at my last appointment in October, she encouraged me to watch my diet more carefully and suggested I go back to taking diuretics, prescribing triamterene-HCTZ (Maxide) this time.  She did add the caveat that I could take just 1/2 to 1 tablet, as needed, if/when the symptoms returned.

I figured I'd give 1/2 tablet a day a try to see if anything improved in general.  By the second day, I felt terrible.  I was constantly dizzy.  Not a low blood pressure type of dizzy, but a change in ear pressure type of dizzy.  It reminded me of how I felt those first 2 years on diuretics.  Looking back, I wonder if a lot of my suffering could have been attributed to the HCTZ?

I stopped taking the triamterene-HCTZ after those first few days and the dizzies stopped.  I will, however, to continue to follow a low- to moderately-restricted sodium diet.  Just in case.

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