Diet's Effect on Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Treatments' started by Shay O'Connor, Aug 29, 2012.

    1. Shay O'Connor

      Shay O'Connor Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      I'm just wondering if anyone has had any appreciable effect on their tinnitus by a complete overhaul of diet?

      I'm considering going much more fruit and veg based (no more Big Macs for now!)

      I would be very interested to hear some feedback...

      Another interesting thing for me in relation to this and other positive general lifestyle choices (such as exercising or sleeping more) is that the reaction to the tinnitus certainly improves (for me exercise has made it less of an apparent threat and improved my acceptance of it).

      Sometimes for me this is interpreted as a lowering of the volume but in hindsight I think it, as I say, is merely an improved reaction. Whatever the case it makes life a bit more bearable...

      Take care folks...
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    2. Molan
      No Mood

      Molan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
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    3. erik

      erik Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      For me, changing my diet probably made a difference to my overall health and well being, but not sure if it has helped my tinnitus. In the beginning (for the first couple of months) I tried low sodium, cutting out all sugar, caffeine and even went gluten free for a while. None that those changes affected my tinnitus, but I am sure my body appreciated it.

      I have since been much less restrictive and enjoy everything in moderation. The doctor at OHSU said to follow the 80-20 rule. Be good 80% of the time, eat what you want the other 20%. I have caffeine daily, eat a little more sugar (I don't go overboard) and eased up on low sodium everything.

      So far there are no negative changes to my tinnitus. In fact, my tinnitus now is much lower than the first 3 months. However, I attribute most of the improvement to "time" passed, much lower stress levels, back to exercising, my acceptance of the tinnitus and most of all -getting back to 90% of my normal life before tinnitus.
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    4. daedalus

      daedalus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sorry, but the claim that tinnitus can be treated by diet has been made and debunked a zillion times. That is disinformation either by people who want to feel important or by people who are going to sell you that ineffective diet.
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    5. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      I do believe for some people diet is important. It's just so hard to determine what in your diet is affecting your tinnitus. It's unlikely that everything affects it. I'd keep a diary and take away one food at a time for a week or more. Then reintroduce one at a time. That's what I did/am doing. My tinnitus fluctuates--but in part this is just my brain and has nothing to do with my diet.

      If sugar is a trigger for one's tinnitus, I do have an interesting 2004 study on hyperglycemia and tinnitus. Hyperglycemia results from insulin resistance. It's very common in women.

      Here's the abstract and conclusion:

      Tinnitus affects millions of people worldwide, and it signals the presence of several underlying diseases, including hyperinsulinemia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the response to dietary treatment in 80 patients with associated tinnitus and hyperinsulinemia. On the basis of data obtained by a questionnaire, two groups were established: One included patients who followed the prescribed diet; the other group included patients who did not comply with the treatment. The likelihood of improving tinnitus symptoms was fivefold higher in hyperinsulinemic patients who followed the diet than in those who did not (relative risk [RR], 5.34; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.85-15.37; p < .05). In addition, resolution of tinnitus was reported by 15% of the patients who followed the diet as compared to 0% of those who did not. These findings underscore the importance of including hyperinsulinemia in the routine diagnostic investigation of patients with tinnitus regardless of whether associated with neurosensory dysacusis or vertigo (or both).


      The results of our study show the great potential of dietary management to improve tinnitus in patients with carbohydrate metabolism disorder, independently of tinnitus intensity. Dietary management alone was associated with a fivefold increase in the probability of significant reduction in tinnitus. The fact that 76% of the patients who followed a specific diet achieved at least partial decrease of tinnitus symptoms reinforces the need for considering this metabolic disorder as a possible etiological diagnosis in the presence of tinnitus. As far as we know, the significant lessening of tinnitus symptoms observed in this study (with resolution in 15% of cases) has not been observed with any other types of treatment (drug therapy, for example).

      The difficulty of treating tinnitus patients (who frequently present with associated depressive or anxiety disorders) is well-known. Therefore, a thorough investigation of associated metabolic alterations using the 5-hour glycemic and insulinemic curves, as performed in this study, should be part of the routine evaluation of patients with tinnitus and may result in significant easing in symptoms and quality of life. Only with the optimization of the diagnosis of metabolic alterations will we be able to correct or at least attenuate those disorders, which may have an extremely relevant impact on tinnitus.

      You might have your primary care doctor test you for insulin resistance. If you're fine, you can go back to eating sugar! :) I know how frustrating and inscrutable this disease can be! (n)

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    6. Sound Wave

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      I haven't yet found any linkages with diet and my tinnitus. Then again, I haven't really been looking. ;) I think that rigorous diet experiments take a lot of time and effort and that will remind you of your tinnitus a lot, which probably doesn't help with the habituation process...
    7. Kathi

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      For the first six months I completely gave up caffeine, sugar, alcohol, sodium and artificial sweeteners. Then one morning when I couldn't get moving, I decided to have my decaf coffee with a spoonful of sugar--I won't use artificial sweeteners--and nothing happened. The next week I added one tablespoon of real ground French Vanilla coffee to my decaf coffee--and nothing happened. I found out through more experimenting that I can have a beer or two or a couple of glasses of wine with nothing happening. I still maintain a low sodium diet and I don't take any meds OTC. I haven't had an ibuprofen in 7 months because they did cause a spike--although it could've been coincidence as my tinnitus was new at the time. :) I've been happier since I've stopped being so restrictive because for me, restrictive=fear of tinnitus. I was letting my tinnitus rule. Now I do what I want in moderation.

      I even went to McDonald's last week with my friend and had a quarter pounder with cheese and a small order of fries--of which I ate half. Nothing happened with my tinnitus and I had a fun lunch. :)

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