I talked to my doctor today about my rather awesome response to the medication SERC (betahistine dihydrochloride) and she did tell me that it does mean I have Ménière’s disease because otherwise I would have had no response at all. Now is Betahistine effective for Ménière’s disease? This is a question! Because the research says it can be, for some people, for decreasing frequency of attacks, intensity of attacks, or symptoms, or one of those, or some of those, or None of those… Often none. But they give it a go often because so very little side effects. So why not, eh?
Serc is used to treat a disorder of your inner ear. This disorder may include one or more of the following symptoms, in one or both ears: ringing in the ears (tinnitus) loss of clear hearing problems with balance (vertigo) These symptoms may also be associated with nausea, vomiting and headache. Often these symptoms together are referred to as Meniere’s Syndrome. Serc tablets contain the active ingredient betahistine dihydrochloride. Serc works by improving the blood flow of the inner ear and restoring it to normal. It also acts on the nerve endings in the inner ear to normalise the way in which the nerves respond to outside influences.Medical News
And I respond decently to it. Or Not At All. But most days it seems so far are much better than they were and that is something. So I am still off balance. Still dizzy. Still motion sensitive. But the vertigo is not there most days. And the symptoms are diminished in intensity mostly. That immense fatigue is not there, for one, because the vertigo is not there. But then some days the medication fails to work and since I am in this severe bout- the Clonazepam, doesn’t work Either and I am Laid Out. It is either it works or not at all. And I do not know how long this severe bout is going to last. But for now the SERC is what is actually helping me function somewhat and that is awesome and it is on most days, so far, stopping the vertigo, and it is dampening the symptoms.
Facts about Ménière’s disease
- It affects the inner ear
- It tends to occur in your 40’s and 50’s
- It is chronic but can have episodes of remission
- It causes vertigo, ringing in the ears and hearing problems
- The cause is unknown but it is speculated it is caused by changes in fluid in the inner ear and could be genetic, due to autoimmune disease or allergies.
- Vertigo attacks lasting a few minutes to up to 24 hours
- loss of hearing in the ear affected
- Ringing in the ear affected (Tinnitus)
- Nausea or vomiting from the vertigo
- Loss of balance
- Feeling of fullness in the ear
- Barometric pressure changes, temperature changes, and humidity
- Bright lights may trigger dizziness (especially florescent lights)
- Scent triggers
- Too much salt
- Physical or mental exertion (Sticking to low level exertion may be the key to exercise)
- Movement via a vehicle, plane, boat… so forth
What I think about it all
It wasn’t too long ago that it was thought I have MS because I have lesions on my brain. But I am not presenting with symptoms and so far the lesions are not progressing. My neurologist who does specialize in MS said that there are times if MS runs in your family, and it does, you can develop lesions, look like you have it, and never develop it. He doesn’t think I present with it. And it will take years of MRI’s to prove it one way… or the other. So that will be looming for some time. But their sureness I had it dwindled when I simply didn’t present with any definitive symptoms. So probably not? Maybe? Maybe later? Who even knows.
So I could have Ménière’s disease since, yeah, I have the symptoms. And yeah, I am responding to the medication. But I have shown no hearing loss. Which can be slow to decline or fast. So whether I will get an official diagnosis of it for my chart or whether I actually end up having it… I am not so sure about. Vertigo is that weird a symptom. It just presents so similar in so many ways. And is so tricky to diagnose. And this MS thing being all iffy I am now… skeptical of a rare diagnosis. Although, granted, this one makes a lot of sense.
It doesn’t quite sound so promising on the vertigo side of things since with Ménière’s disease it is progressive. It will get worse. I will likely lose my hearing on the left side. Or most of it. Maybe it will spread to the other ear as it can. Or maybe it won’t. But either way as it does more damage my balance will get worse. Since the medication still leaves me with balance issues and dizziness I think I may in fact lose my license… not that I was driving… I just thought eventually the vertigo would resolve itself and I would be able to drive again and now I think that is quite unlikely at this point.
So not cool.
However, like I said in my previous post on Ménière’s disease this IS a diagnosis, if it in fact Sticks. And that does mean I can do the lifestyle changes recommended for this specific type of vertigo. And I can continue to take the SERC which has actually halted my vertigo (Well, it has reduced the Frequency). I still have some motion sensitivity I found… so that triggers me. Fast head motions. Scrolling too fast on the computer and such. But no spiny McSpinyPants who is laid out all day and has serious issues just walking. And that kept happening. And the fatigue was IMMENSE with it.
So I still have issues and have to be very careful. I have to take the med on a strict routine or the symptoms come back faster than all hell. And I have to take it with food or it is painful. As it is it causes some digestive symptoms that are not pleasant but my doctor and I are hoping they will dissipate once I am used to it.
My main issue
I have coped with this for 3 years now. As bad as it has been I have dealt with it. The lower functionality and all. But with this diagnosis I felt sort of sad. And now rather apathetic. Like Oh Another Thing to Deal With. Yay. And I don’t like this apathetic feeling. It is concerning to to me. It has made me sort of demotivated this last few days. Like I realized this is not actually going to go away. And that fact is not something I wanted to be faced with. I wanted to eventually have it Go Away. And if this is in fact the case, then it won’t. And I can’t even muster up anger.
All I know is vertigo and chronic dizziness are not like pain. You can’t seem to pace with it. It just nails you. And you are always burned out and running on empty. And Both. Well, it is a nightmare. So that is just not something I am cool with. But I know once I shake off this apathy, I will get down to business. Because I think my only shot at some semblance of a life with all this, is the lifestyle changes. Otherwise, I think It Will Control Me. I want to somewhat manage It.