The Vestibular Migraine Community
Please read our welcome post!

Hot baths anyone?


Hot baths have been shown to dilate blood vessels and be as effective as exercise in reducing inflammation.

See article:


It’s interesting how I find long showers usually make me feel worse. However, I took at 40 minute bath this evening and at minimum it helped me relax a bit.


From a purely personal point of view - a hot bath eases just about anything that ails me - especially anything to do with muscular tension or pinched nerves. I don’t like showers (although I have heard many times that they are better for you)…but wondering if the actual action of the drops falling on you and reflecting light somehow make it worse??? Make sense to anyone else???


I found baths uncomfortable before I started ‘MAV meds’ because the movement of the water had begun to make me nauseous. I have no issues now and enjoy them as much as I did before.


Showers used to make me feel unwell so I have a seat in the shower cubicle which solved the problem as I no longer have a bath tub.


Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Glad it works for you!


Showers used to make me feel unwell so I have a seat in the shower cubicle which solved the problem as I no longer have a bath tub.

I think part of it is the shock of the high humidity


You could well be right as I find functioning in high humidity a real challenge. I use the seat though because I feel faint and nauseous lifting my arms above my head, as in washing my hair etc. Sitting down really helps with this. My neurologist explained that the action of lifting my arms above my head triggered a bunch of nerves in my brain stem hence the reaction because it happens when I put things away in a cupboard above my head etc.


@Revolving Margaret that is interesting what your neurologist said about lifting your arms above your head. I am generally okay with lifting my arms to wash and dry my hair but what bothers me there is moving my hair around and the tension is creates on my sensitive scalp. Washing my hair does get me the most dizzy out of the shower experience, but usually getting a shower is the hardest thing I do all day. I am trying so hard not to cave to sitting as it is sometimes the most standing I do in one day & I need to try to keep my legs capable of standing and walking.

I also get extremely dizzy reaching up to get something or put something on a shelf. My understanding from the doctors was it was the change in neck position and eye movement (reaching up or down) that causes the extra dizziness, but what your neurologist says makes a lot of sense too. hmmm…food for thought for sure. I will also sometimes try to raise an arm above my head while lying in bed to support my neck, but that gets me so much dizzier. Seems like there’s definitely something to raising arms. And they wonder why we can’t do any “simple” arm exercises while seated to keep up muscle strength.


Good to hear from you again jess09. I hear what you say about using your legs but have you tried walking with a walking stick? I have to some days. It keeps me walking but makes me more secure and stops me falling. If I am really Mrs Wobbly Wobbly I stop and lean on the stick. I don’t care what people think because I would rather be out side and if that is the only way to get there then that is what I do. I do appreciate how very hard it is and maybe you just can’t do that but maybe trying the walking stick at home would help you. For me standing washing my hair in the shower is a whole lot worse!


@Revolving I have used a walking stick, thanks for the suggestion. I find it doesn’t work that well for me on solid surfaces like concrete but on the days I feel good enough to try softer surfaces like grass it’s good. I actually just had 3 and a half days of hardly feeling dizzy at all, only a little bit of blurred vision and eye fatigue at times. Those days were amazing. I was able to get out and walk around without my stick, sit up for hours, and basically move around like hardly anything was wrong. After having this for almost 6 years now I didn’t think I had any food triggers for dizziness, only a few minor ones for headaches. However I did realize that the day before and all during those good days I hadn’t eaten any lunch meat, and I usually eat it almost every day. So I’m trying a period without lunch meat, although I thought that perhaps I was getting better, but then I got a headache and dizziness and have felt awful again. I highly doubt the lunch meat has anything to do with it at this point. I was hoping I’d recover faster or something without the lunch meat if it was indeed a trigger. I’m supposed to be trying the Lexapro again soon, maybe this weekend or next weekend or so, but I can’t picture myself going through it. I’m supposed to take a tums with it to hopefully prevent any heartburn like I got from it last time, and even Zofran (anti-nausea med) if need be. I hate the thought of taking more meds (not that tums is a big deal, but still) to combat side effects of other meds. And I still don’t understand how Lexapro is supposed to help the dizziness. However each weekend that goes by that I don’t try the Lexapro again I feel guilty like I’m not doing all I could to get better. I just can’t picture suffering with more and new symptoms. And after those few good days I definitely don’t want to be on a medicine when I see how well I can function. And I haven’t had any anxiety for months now so I think Lexapro is a dumb choice, but honestly there are no medicines i want to try. Ugh. Thanks for listening to my rant! I can’t even talk about it to my husband or mom anymore they just want me to make the decision and I’m 50/50 down the line incapable other than that I absolutely don’t want stomach issues on top of everything else nor do I want to be dizzier! So frustrating!


Hello Jess09 It is good to hear from you and even better to hear that you have had some good days, I am sincerely happy for you.

As for the meds, the only thing I can say is my doctor added topiramate, 12.5mg at first for a week, then added in 12.5mg next week and so on. I was supposed to go up to 50mg but stopped at 25mg because that did the trick for me. Now I am someone who has refused to take more than paracetamol for anything in the past and now I am on an immunosuppressant for RA, an anticonvulsant, an antidepressant, and a calcium channel blocker!!! I would never have thought my body would cope with that combination but it has got me back to being able to live a relatively normal life. I still am limited in some things and my diet is very restricted but I am no longer nauseous and dizzy and exhausted and in pain all day every day. So don’t be afraid to try the meds because if they work it is a wonderful release form hell and if they don’t just take a step back and start again. Just take it slowly Jess09 and you will be fine I am sure.


@Revolving Thanks for being so supportive! I appreciate the encouragement on the medicines. You are so brave to take so many, I am glad they are working for you and that you’re feeling a bit better. I just don’t seem to have any courage to try any more. I’ve tried so many and have had too many bad experiences. Right now one of the few things I can still do is eat (most of the time) and to make that worse with the heartburn and nausea the Lexapro gave me when I tried it before sounds like too much to handle again. I am really beating myself up about whether to try anything again. I am too sad and nervous when I think about it and once I decide not to I feel extremely guilty. Not a healthy approach, but at least I’m not suffering side effects. But I don’t have a life either. I really don’t handle stomach side effects well though. Ultimately makes me more miserable than the dizziness.

Out of the medicines you are taking which one do you feel helped the most to get the dizziness better? I can say I will not try Topamax again, that one was miserable. However I’m pretty sure my former neuro started me at the 25 mg, but back then I wasn’t nearly as sensitive to medicines as I am now.

The weird thing about the good days is that I rarely to never have any. I had a few back in the beginning of January, and none since until this first week of April. I definitely can’t say I’m symptom free between migraines or worse spells. I have no idea why I sometimes, every 1-3 months, have a few good days. I really wish I knew.


Oh golly Jess09 you are having such a hard time finding help with all this. I hate to say it because of your bad experience but the med that put dizziness almost to bed is topiramate. Nortriptyline started me off on the road to recovery by getting rid of the 24/7 nausea, but I was still made dizzy very easily but since taking the topiramate it takes a bit more for the dizzies to reappear, ie I have to turn round in a hurry rather than just turn round. I am so sorry you cannot tolerate this med. I know a lot of people can’t. I can understand your reluctance to try anything at all now as you have had such a hard time but maybe try a tiny dose? I have given up on enjoying food because my stomach has basically given up working properly so I have to liquidise two meals, sometimes three, and only have small meals, for example a mango to me is a meal and that is liquidised with a little coconut milk. I don’t actually care any more because I am just so grateful to feel better. Truly Jess stomach issues are a doddle in comparison with all the horribleness of VM!!! Please be brave and try something which may help you. Just imagine all the stress of not doing so will disappear and if it does work so will all the other stuff! If it doesn’t work stop it immediately and rant at me!!! :slight_smile:


Jess09 I should also add my stomach problems are not caused by meds but by VM, just in case that put you off even more! The stomach issues have been around for 6 years.


Margaret I get stomach churning. It’s a combination of stress and anxiety. The anxiety is kind of automatic when you have a vestibular issue, it’s fight or flight mode. Your Nori should hopefully help with this? My churning is very rare now. Got a bit with last night’s spins though but not usual.


James it is gastric stasis, my stomach actually stops working because the electrical circuit has been disrupted by VM! My neurologist explained it to me. I can’t take the meds for that because I have cardiac issues. Definitely not stress related, definitely functional!!! Sorry, but true.


Ah gotcha, you poor thing! No wonder you have trouble on higher Nori


Yep, it all just sits there and ends up as a mega dose!!! Does move as long as I liquidise most of my food, finally got that sorted but is somewhat limiting, liquidised curry anyone? YUCK!!!


@Revolving Thank you again for your continued support and encouragement. It seems like my body is telling me to take any preventative medicine at this point. I have started to get “regular” migraines in the past few weeks. I never had episodic, long lasting headaches like these that lead to extreme dizziness and imbalance as they subside. The head pain itself has been lasting 24 to 36 hrs. I just got through one Wed thru Sat afternoon, then another headache started this morning. It wasn’t enough time to even rest! Ugggh!

Margaret I feel so bad for you with your stomach issues. I don’t know how you survive on the liquid diet and something like a mango for a meal. I don’t have diabetes but my doctor has said I am sensitive to having too many carbs without enough protein to back it up. If I don’t get good protein with lunch and dinner I can get shaky, sweaty, and weak. I guess that’s another reason why I really don’t want my appetite too disturbed. Missing a meal or two for more than a day or two starts affecting me super quickly.

I think I’m going to call my neuro this week and update her on the changed state of this beast, as it now includes regular migraine headaches that last a long time. Prior to this I was getting headaches but they never lasted too long, usually responded to Aleve or other NSAIDs, and weren’t that bad and seemed more tension related. She may still advise Lexapro or the increased headaches may change her decision to a different medicine.

These meds of course work differently with everyone. I have heard for some Topamax doesn’t help with dizziness only headaches, and you’re the opposite. While others seem to have great success with Nortriptyline or Amitriptyline helping the dizziness. If we all could have our own crystal balls to help us decide which ones to try.


I think that is a very good plan and I hope your neurologist can really help you this time. Mine is in London and wants an update so I have just sent a letter off to her, maybe she will have a med for me to sort out my stomach that doesn’t affect my heart as well as it is pretty difficult getting sufficient protein. Fortunately I am ok with yoghurt I make myself so that is a good source and I can add ground almonds because they don’t affect me and are also good protein sources. I know when I have got it wrong as I get super grumpy!!!

I hope all goes well for you and the beast will be told where to go!!!