Posts Tagged ‘Support group’

Chronic Invisible Illness

Want a place to go where others understand?

For young women: http://www.chronicbabe.com/

For individuals with chronic headaches/migraines: http://www.thedailyheadache.com/

A blog from a woman diagnosed with an invisible chronic illness (the most recent post was “54 Ways You Respond to ‘You Look So Good!'”): http://theiciexperience.blogspot.com/

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Dr. Hain and the 3rd Vestibular Support Group

Our most recent Vestibular Support Group, held at LifeStyle’s office in Chicago, increased in attendance and we had our first guest speaker, Dr. Timothy Hain. Chicago’s “dizzy doctor”, as many patients call him, is a neurologist with Chicago Dizziness and Hearing as well as a Professor of Neurology and Otolaryngology at Northwestern University Medical School.

Dr. Hain began his discussion with an overview of the different definitions of dizziness and the reasons for dizziness. Patients go to doctors for many reasons and use the term “dizziness” and it could refer to many things, whether it’s vertigo, or a sensation of motion, ataxia, an unsteadiness, or lightheadedness/faintness.

dizzyAlmost 50% of dizziness stems from your ear, but that means that about 50% of dizziness stems from something else (including brain trauma, psychological reasons, and other medical reasons).

Dr. Hain then gave an overview of BPPV, Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis and bilateral vestibular loss. He gave great insight and even case examples about the different vestibular disorders. Dr. Hain discussed studies that are being conducted on mice (no humans yet) to regenerate damaged, non-working hair cells within ones ear – which are the cells that are the sensory receptors for the vestibular system – humans are not able to regenerate damanged cells while birds are able to.

Dr. Hain also discussed the use of Betahistine in the treatment of Meniere’s Disease – while not FDA legal in the US, the Europeans widely use the product. For an overview and Dr. Hain’s review of the drug, please go to: http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/treatment/serc.html

For more information on Chicago’s VSG, please send an email to: info@balancechicago.com.

Reminder: Vestibular Support Group on Saturday!

Our Vestibular Support Group will be held this Saturday, August 15th at LifeStyle: 3130 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657. We already have a fantastic RSVP list but would like to have more. Dr. Timothy Hain, a renowned neurologist from Chicago Dizziness and Hearing, will be speaking  at the meeting. Bring your family, friends, and support systems. Light refreshments at 11:30am, meeting starts at 12:00pm.

For more information or to RSVP, contact info@balancechicago.com.

Maximizing the Office Visit

Keeping a diary before going on your office visit for a balance problem is a great way to be prepared for the questions your doctor may ask. These are some routine questions that your general practitioner and/or neurologist may ask. By writing down the following information before the office visit, you may save yourself a follow up visit to that same doctor!

Frequency of dizziness:

  • How often do you have dizziness or other symptoms of a balance problem?
  • Do you feel dizzy or have a vertigo attack after eating certain foods that contain high levels of salt, alcohol or caffeine?
  • How do weather systems affect your symptoms?
  • Have you ever fallen? If so, when, where and how often?

Medications:

  • What medications are you taking? Remember to include all over-the-counter medications, including antihistamines and sleep aids.
  • Do you take any supplements beyond a multi-vitamin, such as St. John’s Wort, Ginko Biloba, etc.?

Other Medical Conditions:

  • Do you have another medical condition(s)? If so, do you take any medication for this condition?

Parenting While Dizzy

Being dizzy is difficult enough without factoring in supporting and caring for a family. The symptoms of vestibular disorders are not conducive to having children running around or crying babies who need to be picked up. Even a task such as leaning down to pick up a baby could cause severe vertigo attacks to those with vestibular disorders.

Here are some tips to consider to alleviate the added stress of raising children with vestibular disorders:

  • Make sure that you are sitting while holding an infant. People tend to look down at the infant, which can initiate vertigo in some.
  • Join groups to meet other parents. You can form relationships with other parents who can help out during rough days and vice versa – you drive the carpool on those days you feel good, they can take over on the days you don’t.
  • Join a support group. You may meet other parents who are dealing with similar issues or patients who have dealt with vestibular disorders while raising children.
  • Place things around the house conveniently for you to reach. If looking up and down triggers vertigo and dizziness, place things that you use on a consistent basis at eye level (ie. baby bottles, keys).
  • Keep a routine. This way you can figure out what works for you and to filter out what triggers your disorder.

3rd Vestibular Support Group

Please join us at our 3rd Vestibular Support Group on Saturday, August 15th. Individuals dealing with or have dealt with vestibular disorders, such as BPPV, neurotoxicity, Meniere’s Disease, labrynthitis, vestibular neuritis, to name a few, are invited to take part in the support group in the heart of Chicago. Bring your support system as well!

Meet other vestibular disorder sufferers and learn more about your disorder. Topics of discussion will be announced shortly.

Refreshments will be served at 11:30am and the meeting will begin at 12:00pm and will last for about an hour. This support group is FREE of charge!

Please RSVP to: info@balancechicago.com or 773-525-5200.

Online Dizzy Support Group

For those individuals who do not have access to a support group or those who would like another outlet to discuss their vestibular disorders, there are support groups on Yahoo! Groups focused on diseases like Meniere’s and BPPV. Two groups in particular, “dizzygroup” and “meniersetc”, have a large group of followers. Enjoy!

http://groups.yahoo.com/phrase/bppv