Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ménière’s Disease Triggers

What Triggers Will Make My Symptoms Worse or Bring on a Vertigo Attack?

Ménière’s disease (MD) triggers are different from patient to patient. It is possible that you have one trigger, or you may have many. You may want to keep a food and activity diary. This can help you find what your triggers are.

If I Know That Sodium (Salt) is a Trigger for Me, How Much Can I Consume Daily?

While there is no sodium (salt) recommendation specifically for patients with MD, the American Heart Association recommends an “ideal” limitation of 1500 mg and having no more than 2300 mg.1

I Have a High Stress Job/Life and It Makes My Symptoms Worse. How Can I Avoid Stress?

Stress can play a role in making MD symptoms worse. It is hard to live a stress-free life; however, there are many things you can do to manage stress. A few things you can do are:

  • get adequate sleep and exercise
  • meditate
  • join support groups
  • avoid natural depressants like alcohol and drugs

Is There a Special Diet I Should Follow to Avoid an Attack?

Diet may not affect everyone the same way. However, having too much sodium (salt) in your diet can increase fluid in the inner ear. Reading food labels can help you keep track and avoid having too much sodium. Foods that are naturally low in sodium include:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • whole food (not processed)
  • fresh beef, poultry, and fish

Also, having too much caffeine has been known in some people to trigger an attack. However, caffeine does not affect everyone.

What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make to Help Prevent Symptoms?

Living a healthy lifestyle and developing coping methods is a great practice to maintain good health. It may also help to control symptoms of MD. Examples of lifestyle changes are:

  • Limit salt in your diet
  • Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
  • Eat well-balanced meals throughout the day
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, avoiding drinks with lots of sugar
  • Manage stress appropriately: (1) get plenty of exercise, (2) get enough sleep, (3) join a support group, (4) journal, and (5) practice breathing exercises
  • Identify and manage any allergies
  • Get tested for sleep apnea if you have increased attacks of vertigo

1 Cogswell ME, Zhang Z, Carriquiry AL, et al. Sodium and potassium intakes among US adults: NHANES 2003-2008. Am J Clin Nutr.  2012;96(3):647-657.

Basura GJ, Adams ME, Monfared A, et al. Clinical practice guideline: ménière’s disease. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;162(2_Suppl):S1-S55.

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The information on is provided solely for educational purposes and does not represent medical advice, nor is it a substitute for seeking professional medical care.