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Jan's MVBD / MAV Escapade

First Acute Balance Issues

April 2018: I noticed that I was occasionally feeling dizzy when I ate /drank something - this lasted for about 5-15 minutes before wearing off.

Start of chronic phase April 2018

About one week later I went to a ‘Power Hoop’ session which followed on from a Pilates class. All fine until later that day and then wham, the vertigo/ dizziness hit me straight after I had been out for a meal with my husband on the journey home - but this time it didn’t stop. It got worse and then then nausea started followed swiftly by vomiting and not being able to walk in a straight line - that was scary. This lasted until about midnight and I eventually got to sleep and I stayed in bed until late the next day.
After a few days of this - unable to eat - and constant vertigo plus pulsating tinnitus I headed to the Drs and saw the practice nurse who diagnosed Labyrinthitis and an ear infection - she thought my glands were swollen too. I was prescribed anti nausea tablets Prochlorperazine 3mg Buccal tablets an antibiotic and ear drop. 5 days later nothing had improved so I went back again and was given Betahistine Dihydrochloride . I was also tested for possible brain issues - follow my finger etc. Unfortunately I couldn’t tolerate the Betahistine, but it took me some time to realise that it was that making the nausea worse rather than the illness. GP consultation number 3 revealed that the two drugs together were fighting each other and I was switched to Prochlorperazine 5mg tablets. This stopped some of the nausea but I was still unbalanced and dizzy which got worse ever time I ate something. Feeling no better I went back once more to see another GP who thought I had ear crystals. Next stop a Physio who specialised in the Epley manoeuvre. He tested me and said I had no ear crystal, but I had positive romberg and he felt I needed to see a neurologist . :worried:
I was very fortunate that I found my way fairly quickly to Dr Surenthiran , Neuro-otologist , at his London practice as a private patient, who prescribed his 6Cs diet and Pizotifen.

Age at Chronic Onset 64

Started Medication
Pizotifen in June 2018 - a gradual build up to 4 x 0.5mg per day dosage will be reviewed by Dr S in September 2019

Number and type of Consultants seen todate:
Dr Surenthiran

Diagnosis Received:
Migraine Variant Balance Disorder
2 degree mild visual dominance

Medications used successfully

Failed Medications
Prochlorperazine 5mg tablets.

Non Pharmalogical treatment tried which helped

Not applicable yet

Dietary Triggers identified
I am still on the 6 Cs diet so I am not sure about these. I suspect cheese, red wine and yoghurt might be culprits.

Any hearing loss in either ear?
Despite having tinnitus my hearing is ok - I had a hearing test at Specsavers in January which came out as normal.

Other chronic conditions
IBD - this had improved since I have been on the 6 Cs diet, so I suspect there is a strong link with food for me.

Meds taking for other conditons
Antibiotic cream for Rosacea - Metrogel

Any personal history of migraine
occasional throbbing headache - always needed to take tablets and sit/lie down with eyes closed

Any family history of migraines
My Father and eldest daughter

Any history of ear problems

Mastoid operation as a toddler
Ear infections as a child
Glue ear in my 40s
Perforated ear drum - left ear

How did friends, family and doctors react to your symptoms
Drs: You did very well to find Dr S !
Family: Very sympathetic, very concerned - very supportive - brilliant husband.
Friends surprised, sympathetic and supportive


Thanks for all of that information about yourself. I think this helps anyone who might have been through something similar. It was indeed fortunate that you found a good neuro-otologist early on. It’s great to see that you have so much support. It really makes a difference.