Diet Recommendations for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo


Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a condition in which the sufferer feels as if the world is moving around him, much like a merry-go-round. These episodes can take place in short bouts, typically associated with when a person changes position, such as standing up or quickly turning the head. One of the reasons for this type of vertigo is a fluid imbalance. Therefore, a physician may recommend a diet designed to maintain fluid balance.

Fluid Intake

Drinking an adequate amount of fluids throughout the day is important to maintaining constant balance. You should aim to drink 8 to 10 8-oz. glasses of fluid each day. If you exercise regularly, anticipate fluid loss by drinking 8 oz. of water before, during and after your exercise routine.

Certain fluids can have an effect on vertigo, such as caffeine. This stimulant can affect the inner ear (which helps to maintain balance) and can also dehydrate the body due to its diuretic properties. Alcohol also can have dehydrating effects on the body and can change the amount and makeup of fluid in the inner ear, meaning alcohol should be consumed only in small amounts, such as one to two drinks per day.

Foods to Avoid

Foods high in sodium, such as lunch meats, canned soups, frozen foods and other processed foods have a high sodium content and can therefore be dehydrating, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you are curious as to how much sodium intake is appropriate for you, you should consult a dietitian or physician to determine an appropriate level.

You should also avoid foods known to trigger migraines, as these contain high levels of tyramine, which can cause dizziness. These foods and drinks include red wine, chicken livers, smoked meats, chocolate, citrus fruits, Brie, cheddar cheese and nuts.

Foods to Choose

Instead of foods high in sugar, choose those high in complex sugar, such as whole-grain breads and legumes. Also, you should try the following to lower your salt intake while cooking by substituting salt-free seasonings or low-sodium vinegar, lemon juice or herbs. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned whenever possible, Avoid processed foods or choose those with less than 35 mg sodium per serving. Opt for reduced-salt or reduced-sodium versions of products you enjoy whenever possible. As a general rule, consume 2,000 mg or less of sodium per day, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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