Chocolate and Salt

Discussion in 'Support' started by UKJon, Dec 23, 2015.

    1. UKJon

      UKJon Member

      Leicestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prolonged stress followed by bereavement
      Hi folks,

      I was out last night and ate two chocolate biscuits. After about an hour and a half when I was home again, my T seemed to have spiked. I later got hungry again and bought some chips with salt and vinegar. Today has been rough as my T seems to be a little louder and more noticeable.

      There are many threads here about diet but I am confused now. Should I avoid salt and sugar 100% or just try to reduce the intake of both. I've had sugar on cereal recently and it didn't cause a spike. I also eat processed foods which contain sugar and no spikes. At home, we often add salt or soy sauce to things and no spikes. And I've had things like salted anchovies, sauces and pickles without spikes. And I also eat a lot of granola which contains sugar and get no spikes.

      It may be just anxiety causing a spike but I don't know. Perhaps it's the ADDED salt from me which is bad. Perhaps it's chocolate, even a small amount. Perhaps salt is ok for me but chocolate isn't.

      I don't want to cut out all salt and sugar but it could certainly be reduced. I think what really worries me is making my T permanently worse.

      There's something called the Mediterranean Diet which is supposed to be ideal. I don't drink alcohol or smoke or have tea or coffee any more although I suppose decaff coffee should be ok?

      I'm just confused.

      Any thoughts welcome.

    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @UKJon Jon, I experimented a long time ago to find out if certain foods or drink affected my tinnitus. All it done was make me miserable. We are all different so give it a try if you want. I wrote a post about it some time ago.

      Food, drink and tinnitus

      Many years ago when I first got tinnitus, I wanted to learn as much as possible about it. I believed acquiring the right knowledge and being proactive was the best way forward in finding a cure. Like many people new to the condition I was desperate and going through a very difficult time. My appointment to be seen at ENT for the first time was six months away and it couldn’t come soon enough. Whenever I could manage it, I read books on tinnitus and it wasn’t long before I learnt certain foods and drinks could make it worse.

      The advice given was to keep a food diary and over a period of time, slowly omit certain foods and drink from one’s diet to see if there was a reduction of the tinnitus, and if there wasn’t reintroduce them. One of the main concerns was to avoid excessive salt and where possible reduce its intake. Cut down on red meat and avoid dairy products. Limit the use of sugar and refrain from drinking anything containing caffeine. It would mean missing my regular cup of coffee first thing in the morning but it would be worth it since I was on a mission and determined to succeed.

      Alcohol was best avoided. I wasn’t a regular drinker but enjoyed a glass of wine or brandy occasionally. Surprisingly, with the onset of my tinnitus I found a glass of wine during the evening helped to relax me. Everywhere that I went I had my notebook and pen writing down everything I eat or drank. At first there was a lot of enthusiasm but as the days and weeks passed this began to wane.

      Constantly reading the ingredience of every food item bought at the weekly shop can get tedious after a while, especially when there was no noticeable reduction in my tinnitus. I began to feel miserable and at times felt life wasn’t worth living. Having to cope with raging tinnitus and hyperacusis on one hand and monitoring every morsel of food and drink that passed my lips on the other. It just wasn’t a pleasant experience.

      I missed my regular cup of coffee because the caffeine free substitutes weren’t doing it for me. After enduring this for five weeks I decided enough was enough. I put my notebook and pen away and returned to my normal eating and drinking. I now looked forward to having a sirloin or ribeye steak without thinking is this going to increase my tinnitus, or eating a sugar coated jam doughnut or having yoghurt. One can easily be drawn into a world of paranoia over such issues if they aren’t careful. I became less stressed and I was no longer plagued with headaches, which can be a symptom of caffeine withdrawal.

      The result was no difference in my tinnitus or hyperacusis. Although they were still intrusive I felt life was more tolerable and I wasn’t constantly monitoring them to see if there was any reduction or increase as a result of what I eat or drank.

      There are many books on food, drink and tinnitus and the Internet is awash with this information. My advice to anyone that is new to this condition and wants to pursue this route then please do so with caution. In the early stages tinnitus can be very stressful and emotionally draining. Do you really want to put more pressure on yourself considering what I’ve mentioned above?

      It is true that some people are allergic to certain foods and drink and the addictives present withing them. Therefore, it’s important they be aware of what they consume. I had taken no such precautions before the onset of my tinnitus other than to eat and drink in moderation.

      • Like Like x 2
    3. Natalie Roberts

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      I try to lower intake of salt sugar and caffeine. If I am going to have a desert I only have a small portion. I haven't really noticed a t spoke directly related to food yet but I'm not really keeping track too well. I would try and enjoy the foods you want but just watch quantity. Some people notice a correlation and others do not. :)
    4. noisebox

      noisebox Member

      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      I have not cut any foods for T. But I am introducing foods which may help.
      My blood pressure is a little high at times and I feel that may cause spikes, so fir that and to please my dr I am cutting salt, and introducing other foods that lower blood pressure. I also realise that my body gets stressed fast so I am also introducing foods which lower cortisol.
      Over the months of my regime my T has gone right down. I realise some spikes are noise related so that is harder as I am tryingo rebuild my noise tolerance daily.
    5. glynis

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I have to keep to a low salt diet as it sets my Menieres off but my ears blast 24/7 so hard to tell on my tinnitus ....lots of love glynis
    6. AUTHOR

      UKJon Member

      Leicestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prolonged stress followed by bereavement
      Well it may have just been a random slight increase in my T and nothing to do with food intake. Impossible to say.

      I guess it's the old mantra as far as eating and drinking is concerned. 'Everything in moderation'.
    7. Andersson

      Andersson Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Salt, Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol does not effect my T.
      Hell Alcohol helps it :) (Not a big drinker though)

      Tried living strict without what some said are "no-no" for T, but did not change much. And to be honest I rather live eating what I want unless it just major effects something in a bad way.

      But we are all different, only you can find it what triggers your T, there is no golden rule regarding diet and T.

      Also, if say someone have enjoyed a glass of Whine at evenings for years then they suddenly stop doing that for T, that will probably have a MAJOR negative effect on it because you take something away from a person.

      The same way someone likes to drink coffee, or green tea etc. You will for sure make T worse quite some time before you get rid of that in your system, then you MIGHT find out if it triggers your T in a bad way.

      Not worth it in my opinion.

      And here is the main thing, if you ALWAYS go around thinking "oh I cant eat or drink this because It might trigger my T" Then fear is always in your mind.
      You will have a really hard time moving on, letting go.

      I learned this myself after trying a strict diet for several months, checking for T triggers etc.
      Finally I just said, nopp. I'll go back to eating and drinking what I want, and that helped more then trying to limit or reduce/remove something I enjoyed.
    8. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Best English mis-spelling ever. A deeper truth in itself!

      I'm with you on the diet thing. I know someone who religiously scans labels for salt content. She believes absolutely that this works for her, and who would we be to argue? Myself though, I noticed no difference whatsoever, except H is worse when hung-over (surprise). I sometimes wonder if the line between Menierre's and tinnitus is more blurred than we realize. Maybe Glynnis has an opinion. There are certainly a range of similarities as well as differences, and sometimes T with H (even from presumed sonic injury) can extend its presentation to transient balance issues. Maybe sodium restriction has value for some who are further up the continuum?

      Glynnis. Did your Menierre's arrive fully formed, meeting the diagnostic criteria straight away or did it come on more insidiously than that?
    9. Aussie Lea

      Aussie Lea Member

      Melbourne Yarra Valley
      Tinnitus Since:
      Foods don't cause perm changes! Enjoy what you want... Chocolate is healthy for the mind.
    10. Sgguy46

      Sgguy46 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      The only thing that ever affected my T is lack of sleep
    11. zombiechick

      zombiechick Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication and hearing loss
      Definitely noticed a decrease after a few months of lifestyle changes. Low sodium, no caffeine (including chocolate) and no drinking. I think to notice a huge difference, you would have to stick to a diet change for longer than mere weeks. Like weight loss, it can take a bit before you notice a change. But most people would rather not make these changes.
    12. JasonP
      No Mood

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Very interesting. Did you ever figure out if it was the chocolate or the salt?

      That is fantastic! Is the T still lower?
    13. Bobbie7

      Bobbie7 Member Benefactor

      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Extreme stress, sinus infection
      I am a "chocoholic" BIG time and I'll either have some chocolate or ice cream in the evening and the volume of my tinnitus remains unaffected after these yummy treats. As for salt, I absolutely love that and I do salt my food and the same remains true... no increase in tinnitus. hmmm... might be possible if it increases even slightly I do not notice since I'm too busy enjoying those tasty goodies. Seriously though, these do not impact my tinnitus one bit.

      Also, when I first got tinnitus and read that it was inadvisable to drink caffeinated coffee I cut it out... then felt deprived so I began having regular K-cup coffees (with caffeine)- also with no negative effect. It seems the affect of various condiments on our tinnitus is very individual and varies from person to person.

      What has more to do with my changing volume of T is most definitely stress and sleep. It seems very reasonable that severe stress can exacerbate tinnitus but for reasons I can not fully grasp, sleep seems to reset it. Recently, I awoke with much louder tinnitus than usual and the next day it was a bit milder.
    14. Screamin Ears

      Screamin Ears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I also think that how severe your tinnitus is may come into play, for 10 years i could eat and drink what i wanted and it had no affect on my T, i could also lift weights and no affect there either, but i'm now 6 months into a massive increase to my T and every time i eat or drink any of the usual suspects my T gets even louder, same thing with lifting weights.

      I thought if i could just get a decent nights sleep it might make a big difference to my T but 2 weeks ago i managed to get 6 hours and my T was still just as loud when i woke up.
    15. Kelvin

      Kelvin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Work
      Chocolate and Salt always make my T idea why !
      I still eat them as its only temporary and life just has to go on.
      Wishing you all a peaceful day...with a little of what makes you smile X
    16. TheDanishGirl

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      Salt and sugar does not effect my T, but I do try to limit my intake somewhat because too much of it is not healthy regardless.

      Caffeine and alcohol does effect my T though, especially Iced Coffee and my anxiety shots up, and therefore my T becomes worse/more intrusive and it is just not worth it, so I have stopped drinking Iced Coffee. Luckily I don't like plain coffee, so it is not a problem cutting it out of my diet.

      Wine (red and white) sometimes spikes my T a bit, and sometimes it makes it more manageable. It really varies. I still enjoy the occasional glass of wine (or two :D ). Beer I do not like.
    17. Shera

      Shera Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      head trama caused TMJ/neck problems
      Everyone told me to give up coffee and anything with caffeine. I did give it up more than once for long periods to see if it helped/changed anything. It didn't. I don't notice any difference with chocolates, sugars, salt and so on. I'm a pretty healthy person in general.

      I'm sure some people's triggers could be food related. Doesn't hurt to eliminate things to test the waters.

      Things that make my T worse are elevation changes and muscles. Lack of sleep is one.

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