Friday, November 07, 2008

Salty Soup

At our house we do not eat very much salt. This is not just because we are too busy eating ice cream and cake and candy, it is also because Bryce has something called Ménière's disease. This is a condition that affects the inner ear, which is the tiny body part that controls balance. Basically your ears start telling your brain that the world is skee-wampus and your eyes keep telling your brain that the world is fine. Your brain does not tolerate this confusion and usually decides to make you puke and lie down until your ears and eyes get things settled. We are lucky because Bryce’s case is not very bad, for many people this is a debilitating condition. Salt makes your body retain a little more water, which can make your inner ear have a little more pressure inside which can cause all kinds of problems.

Because salt can trigger attacks we eat the least amount of salt that I can manage. I am an obsessive “Nutrition Fact” label reader now. I picked some powdered soup up off the shelf and nearly fell over when I read this label:

Holy smokes! That is a lot of sodium, but I was getting the soup for only me. I wanted to keep it in my office for when I get hungry. I rationalized that I do not have Ménière's and so it would be fine for me to eat it.

So I bought the soup and ate some for lunch yesterday. I immediately turned into a human pickle because of the extreme brininess. I didn't even add extra salt like the instructions say!

Turns out you can’t leave salt and then go skipping back to it a year and a half later, and expect things to be the same.


raucous said...

One of my sisters has Ménière's! The problem for her is that she also has an orthostatic intolerance problem that necessitates that she have a lot of sodium. It's a bad conundrum.

Ménière's is really interesting I think because it's the only sensorineural hearing loss that typically has a rising pattern/low-frequency loss on the audiogram because of the way the cochlea is laid out, and the excess endolymph being more likely to burst the basilar membrane at those places because it is thinner there.

I like your description :)

I'm glad Bryce's is relatively mild!

Melanie said...

As a typical salt eater, any prepackaged soup would do the same to me! I hate prepared foods for that very reason, too much salt!