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, May 17, 2014

Alcohol and Immune Suppression

Jessica Tyrrell, PhD, et al, published a study recently linking Meniere's disease with immune dysfunction.  This idea has been on my radar now for the past three years and there is quite a bit of literature out there to support this conclusion if you know what you're looking for.

Based on what I have learned, I don't want to imply that the answer is as simple as "boosting" our immune system through diet and lifestyle changes promoted on the Web.  Not that these things can hurt and, in fact, for some people, and in the early stages of the disease, they might be enough to tilt the immune system just enough to keep symptoms at bay for a while.  However, I can't emphasize enough the complexity of the underlying cause(s) of this immune dysfunction which is thought to lead to Meniere's symptoms and progression.  That being said, why not take some steps to avoid further compromising immune function?  One of the things that can be done to this end is minimize or avoid alcohol consumption.

This is sad news for many of us, myself included.  I do enjoy my red wine and before Meniere's disease,  I used to enjoy a whole lot more of it.  I quit drinking for the first three years after I was diagnosed and while that didn't seem to make any difference in my symptoms at the time, when I did reintroduce the occasional drink I found it often correlated with an uptick in my symptoms for the next few days.

The article entitled Influence of Alcohol and Gender on Immune Response, published by the NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,  provides an excellent explanation of how alcohol, in any amount, can compromise immunity.  As a bonus, it provides a basic primer explaining how the immune system works.  It is a long read, but well worth it if you're just becoming familiar with the idea that Meniere's disease is one of immune dysregulation.

For those who are following my progress on the Stephen Spring Treatment Protocol, I continue to feel very, very well.  Quite normal actually.  My hearing is excellent, perhaps only a little lingering loss in the high frequencies as a result of the three gent injections I had several years ago.  For the past several weeks, my only symptoms have been soft, humming tinnitus with only a momentary buzz here and there and a few thirty-second mini-spins most days which are unrelated to any other symptoms, as compared to before when I had a host of symptoms that went along with mini-spins and vertigo.  I am able to just push through these without having to stop what I am doing.  They feel like a burst of nystagmus (eye-darting) in my right eye.  It starts off fast and slows down gradually, then passes.  My energy level and mental clarity remain very good.  I am only requiring 7 hours of sleep each night.  And still no more chronic sore throat.


  1. That's so wonderful! Angelea great news!

    1. Thank you, Vicki. I had forgotten what "normal" felt like. I am not taking any of it for granted.