Fixed My Tinnitus by Going Gluten Free

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Sugarpuddle, Dec 5, 2022.

    1. Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      I'm actually stunned this has worked. All my issues began after a short haul flight to Berlin in 2011. As we touched down, my sinuses suddenly swelled with the pressure and the pain was off the scale. I burst into tears and held my face because my sinuses became completely inflamed suddenly and painfully. I assumed it was because I had a blocked nose.

      My hearing has never been normal since then, I've always had slightly muffled hearing which I thought came from noise damage from listening to music.

      My tinnitus started in my left ear after a series of ear infections and sinus infections at the beginning of 2022. Never had tinnitus before this and never had an ear infection before this either. So this was all very new to me.

      I saw 3 GPs and 3 ENTs. All told me it was a mystery why I still had humming and hissing after the MRI scan came back completely clear.

      I tried everything. Multiple antibiotics, various different steroid sprays and drops, oral steroids, antihistamines, vitamin A, milk thistle, magnesium, garlic, ginger, everything. Nothing worked.

      One quack ENT told me immediately upon me entering the room that I have nerve damage in my ears and that I need powerful hearing aids so booked me an appointment to have hearing aids fitted.

      I was waking up every single day with congestion and a hum noise in my left ear. Then one day randomly while in a store, my Eustachian tube spontaneously opened up by itself and it was like someone turned the volume up 90% on the world. I literally could hear people talking about 60 feet away from me clearly after years of muffled hearing. Then it closed again. This blew my mind.

      I then used an EarPopper device to confirm this and yep - my tubes opened up all the way, my hearing improved and the tinnitus entirely disappeared for the first time in months. The second I took it away from my nose - the hissing and humming slowly resumed and I felt my ear swell back up. I definitely have extremely swollen Eustachian tubes. But the question was why? Why aren't they going back to normal? The steroid sprays made them worse, not better.

      I had a blood test taken by my GP for antibodies and an allergy test taken. No gluten intolerance. No gluten allergy. GP again said it's a total mystery and shrugged me out the door.

      Yet I started to notice a trend. Every time I had a bowl of wheat cereal before bed or some biscuits, I'd wake up the next day to a clogged nose and ringing in my ears. So I went entirely gluten free. 24 hours in and the hissing and humming has literally almost gone. The congestion is gone. My hearing has improved. I can breathe better. There is definitely an inflammatory link between our sinuses and gluten that absolutely needs to be studied more.

      When you eat processed gluten, your colon/bowels expand to process it because it's so heavy going on your gut. I've read that the same can happen with your sinuses (they expand and swell as your blood pressure rises to break down the gluten in your gut and thus - you can have symptoms of sinusitis).

      Vitamin A and powerful antihistamines also helped me (Benadryl 24 Hour) massively, as well as B12 and a daily B complex vitamin. I'm still testing magnesium currently. But I'm realizing I've basically been hard of hearing - for over 10 years - because of eating gluten. Which is crazy to me. Yet cutting it out my diet has worked wonders for my sinuses and that pressure feeling behind my eardrum.

      I hope this helps someone who could be facing the same issues. I'm going totally gluten free now indefinitely and will make another update post in a week.
       
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    2. Joe Cuber
      Curious

      Joe Cuber Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      Fascinating @Sugarpuddle, great read, thanks for sharing your journey. I hope your trend continues. I'll try to monitor any correlation between eating gluten and whether I have a bad day the next day. I have a history of sinus problems (mostly allergies and sinus headaches) and I have hearing loss on my audiogram in the high frequencies. Congrats again on finding your culprit.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Hey Joe!

      I'm now on day 5 of a total gluten free diet. I have so much more energy and my body is massively thanking me for it. I am also not waking up with a blocked nose anymore and the hum in my ear has gone, I now just have some hissing.

      Bear in mind that this isn't a quick thing. It takes 2 weeks for your system and bloodstream to completely flush out gluten toxins. My 2 weeks date is the 18th of December so I should have more news then.
       
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    4. Stuart-T
      Thinking

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      Good for you. I tried gluten free for 3 months. It had no effect one way or the other. Glad I tried it though.
       
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    5. Joe Cuber
      Curious

      Joe Cuber Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      Well getting a boost in energy, that in itself is a great reason to try gluten-free. Glad to hear your nose isn't blocked too. Looking forward to hearing your progress in a couple of weeks. I'll look into trying gluten-free. I don't know what kind of foods I'll have to give up, so I don't exactly know what I'm signing myself up for lol...
       
    6. Stuart-T
      Thinking

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      You will be giving up the foods you love.

      Delicious fresh crusty bread for one - pasta for another.

      Gluten free bread is acceptable in its best form though expensive - but frankly pales in comparison to proper wheaten bread.

      I am so glad I have no issues with gluten.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Not really. Many countries offer very decent alternatives if you shop around. And white bread is bad for your gut anyway - gluten sensitivity or not.

      Europe is excellent for gluten free alternatives. Sainsbury's gluten free range in the UK originally from Italy is excellent (tastes exactly the same as the original stuff, yet doesn't include the toxins that irritate the sinuses when your body mistakes it as an allergen, thus giving you a blocked nose). They do spaghetti, bread, pasta, everything. And it tastes literally exactly the same as gluten products.

      I don't have a gluten sensitivity, allergy or intolerance either - and yet I feel miles better not eating it and my hearing has improved vastly. I'm now on day 6 of gluten free and I've lost weight, have less brain fog, my mood is happier, my nose isn't blocked and the hissing/hum in my ear has got quieter. It looks like after a year I am finally turning a corner on this after a very vicious, persistent sinus infection.
       
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    8. Stuart-T
      Thinking

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      Well I beg to differ - having tried gluten free products, I absolutely loathe them. But I can't argue with your taste and I am delighted gluten free has worked for you. As I said, I tried 3 months gluten free and found no difference in any aspect of my life - except my mood dropping due to having to eat gluten free. I have also noticed very few people on here saying gluten free made any difference to their tinnitus. But it is probably worth a try. I would rather try gluten free than acupuncture, homeopathy or chiropractor etc for the simple fact it costs no extra.

      I tend to eat wholemeal bread and pasta and a high fibre veggie and fruit rich diet so have no gut issues.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      I'm really not sure how your comment adds to my thread. You don't like gluten free products. You're not gluten free. You enjoy gluten. And it didn't affect your tinnitus either way. I also never at one point asked about your diet yet you're telling me about it.

      So why are you commenting on this post when it's completely irrelevant to you?

      There are actually other threads about this. So please stop derailing Stuart.
       
    10. Stuart-T
      Thinking

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      OK, fair enough.

      If anyone reading this thread has tried gluten free diet, please respond if it helped your tinnitus or not.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Stuart's salty because it didn't work for him but it has worked for others (multiple posts linked above) and it has helped me. Lol.
       
    12. hopefuldede

      hopefuldede Member

      Location:
      NIRELAND
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      cold
      I'm going to start this as I have similar presentations to @Sugarpuddle - it will be really hard though to start at this time of year. Could do a few trial run days on lead up to Christmas. I too am from the UK but would need to educate myself more on gluten free, otherwise I'd starve lol.
       
    13. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      I'd suggest getting details on the foods that @Sugarpuddle finds delicious and the foods @Stuart-T says (or insinuates) tastes something like cardboard. :D
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Dove's farm range at Sainsbury's is great. The pasta, spaghetti and bread taste like the originals. I actually think it tastes better because there's no wheat flour in it caking it up. It's originally made in Italy where they specialise in gluten free products now so it's decent stuff.

      Nestle's cereals which are gluten free also taste like the exact original. I've tried a lot of gluten free stuff - never buy the supermarkets' own make. They cake it up with flour so it tastes really off and bland. Always buy a brand, they make it properly.

      Yep, it's slightly more expensive (not always though) but hey, having this much energy and not feeling sluggish is worth it. I'm also not waking up with sinus issues anymore.
       
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    15. CarolB

      CarolB Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Pristiq
      You are not the first person I've heard this from. Definitely something to try!

      I think chiropractic adjustments are going to help me. I don't know for sure yet, only two treatments in but am hopeful.

      So glad you figured this out!
       
    16. Aschenherz
      Cheerful

      Aschenherz Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017 H since 7/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I would do anything for my hum to go away. I will definitely try this.
       
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    17. Hottopic29

      Hottopic29 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Niagara falls
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Zithromycin acoustic trauma 2022
      Dairy fills my ears with fluid in the morning. I wouldn't drink before bed; that causes an infection.
       
    18. Nick47

      Nick47 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral/noise
      @Hottopic29, you may have IBS or reflux.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Here is the update as promised!

      I am going to make this as detailed as possible to help people here (and anyone who finds this thread).

      PROBLEM: Hissing electrical tinnitus in left ear after sinus infection and ear infection. Very swollen turbinates in left nostril. It's been almost a year now since this began. I got the infections from unknowingly smoking mouldy weed a friend gifted me for my birthday (yep, really).

      First up, for the people saying gluten and your sinuses have no link are dead wrong. Doctors and scientists have found links between inflammation in the sinuses and the gut with gluten. Many people with gluten intolerance experience repeat sinus infections and nasal drip. This is because the toxins in gluten cause swelling around your body, including your sinuses.

      I was tested for gluten sensitivity, an intolerance and allergy. All 3 came back clear. However, when I ate gluten, the following day I would have a blocked nose. So I decided to stop all gluten entirely for 2 weeks.

      So what have I found?

      I've seen a massive uptick in energy. Like huge. I'm not sleeping for 10+ hours a night anymore. I'm getting by easily on 6-8 hours. I am also not waking up with a blocked nose every single day anymore. I have also lost weight.

      However, the hissing continued. So a few days ago I went to my doctor for another swab test. And it came back with Candida which is a fungal infection. It's been living behind my turbinates in my left nostril completely dormant, which is causing the swelling in my turbinates which is causing the hiss in my ear (as the pressure is off in my Eustachian tube).

      Apparently many people can be living with a Candida infection in their sinuses for years and not even know about it. It very rarely causes any major symptoms. But can cause tinnitus. Candida is caused by exposure to mould and a long course of antibiotics can also cause a fungal infection.

      The only major symptoms it causes is a blocked nose, tinnitus and a white/yellow thrush either on your tongue or gums (or both). The best way to check is by looking with a torch in your mouth to check out your tongue and gums. If they're fluffy or scaly, go see your doctor. You could be living with an infection.

      I literally had no idea. This whole time, for months, I've had candida in my sinuses. I've had no fever, no sneezing, no coughing, nothing to signify I was ill with an infection. I have been going to the gym and living my life as normal. I'm now on antifungal tablets until the end of December in the hopes that it will clear up.

      Turns out however, there is a link. Gluten/yeast massively makes candida/fungal infections 10x worse. That's why when I was eating gluten, I was essentially having a "flare up" in my sinuses. My body has been telling me with the hissing, the blocked nose and the gluten rejection that I have an infection.

      To me this is crazy because I was told by an ENT the hissing was caused by a damaged nerve and ordered me to go get hearing aids. Which is completely inaccurate and dangerous - if you don't need hearing aids but are given them, you can cause long term hearing damage to your ears by having a louder exposure to the world around you.

      The entire time the hissing was caused by swelling in my sinuses caused by a dormant infection which, when it has completely cleared up, the swelling in my Eustachian tubes will go down on their own or with the help of steroid sprays. It's scary how ENTs can get it so wrong.

      What's next?

      Once the hissing disappears, I'll make another post. I'm not going back on gluten simply because I physically and mentally feel amazing. I have way less brain fog, my sinuses are no longer blocked, I have way more energy, my mood is better and my digestion is better too.
       
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    20. Joe Cuber
      Curious

      Joe Cuber Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      Completely fascinating @Sugarpuddle, I'm so happy for you, that you've found out so much about your particular condition and are seeing amazing results. The very gains alone make it worth trying. I'm still trying to avoid gluten but finding it challenging. Will still try though, I'm eager to see if I get a similar energy boost.
       
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    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Thank you!

      Honestly the only way to get through it is to buy decent gluten free alternatives and fill up on prebiotic food. Prebiotics are good for the gut and can (sometimes) address tinnitus issues if it's caused by an imbalanced gut bacteria or candida.

      Prebiotic foods are super filling and help rebuild your gut bacteria. These are foods such as apple with the skin, carrots, hummus, watermelon, oats, bananas, mangos, pears, tomatoes, honey, kiwi. The list goes on. These are very beneficial after a round of antibiotics to get rid of bloating and cravings.

      Prebiotics are designed if you have an overgrowth of gut bacteria, such as candida. They help flush out the excess. You know you have an overgrowth if you keep getting infections (anywhere in the body) or cold and flu's constantly.

      Probiotics such as Kefir (you can buy it from supermarkets) and supplements can also help food cravings.

      Probiotics are designed if you have a lack of gut bacteria. You'll experience sugar cravings, tiredness and aches and pains.

      Scientists have recently found that everything in our health is all connected to "the brain in our stomach" (our gut bacteria). If it's imbalanced in anyway, you'll be more likely to have food cravings, sugar cravings, bloating, infections and cold/flus. Basically the happier your tummy - the happier your overall health.

      Basically in my personal journey, I think my body is telling me it's time to eat better. I think the tinnitus is a wake up call to get my diet back on track.
       
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    22. Joe Cuber
      Curious

      Joe Cuber Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      Thanks for the info @Sugarpuddle! Based on your descriptions, I'm guessing I might need probiotics, since I'm often lacking energy lately and have been craving foods and sugar throughout the day, even right after a meal.

      If probiotics are what I need, do I then avoid prebiotics?
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      If you're craving sugar after a meal, then this is your digestive system struggling to digest it, thus causing a sugar craving (for energy). Which is a sure sign that yes, your gut bacteria is unbalanced.

      Honestly? You can take both. There's no harm in regularly eating carrots, apples and bananas while also drinking Kefir or taking probiotic supplements.
       
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    24. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      Hi @Sugarpuddle -- Thanks for your great informative posts. I'm aware of most of what you've been mentioning, but it's always good to review things that have been sent to the back of my mind, lol. Regarding eating better, have you ever considered organic juice powders? I'm a big believer in them, and they make it so much easier to get the types of good foods you've been mentioning. Here's a link to a website I just got done making a big order from because they have a year end sale going on:

      https://yaeorganics.com/
       
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    25. star-affinity
      Wishful

      star-affinity Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1993, increase in 2020, then new in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure about the first. Too many beers? Music during sleep.
      I don't know. I thought it was interesting to read Stuart's input even if it didn't work for him.

      Thanks for the info here – worth a try absolutely. If it helps the tinnitus I'm prepared to sacrifice quite a lot.
       
    26. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      I'm nearing 3 months gluten free. I have seen no difference in my tinnitus level or hyperacusis severity. I think it has helped me to feel better mentally and physically though, but I am just starting to experience dysacusis symptoms, and now I am feeling bad again... (I don't think gluten free diet is causing this though, I don't see how that would be possible.)
       
    27. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      My chiropractor has tinnitus, and occasionally comments on it, knowing I also have tinnitus. He told me during my last visit that gluten spikes his tinnitus like almost nothing else.
       
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    28. Sammy0225

      Sammy0225 Member

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      COVID-19, ear infection, stress
      Please update when you can in regards to the hissing. I’m starting a clean anti-inflammatory diet today.

      I researched that pineapple, kiwis, mangos and berries are great for healing inflammation in the body. I’m also giving up sweets and soda. I also have the hiss and hum you described and ironically have the yellow thrush thing.
       
    29. Joe Cuber
      Curious

      Joe Cuber Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      I'm about 2 weeks into gluten free. I haven't noticed an impact on my hiss, I still get it at about the same frequency and intensity. I'm not detecting any change in my energy level, but I didn't consume a lot of gluten to begin with, as I've come to learn while learning which foods to avoid. I'm happy to continue doing gluten free though, perhaps I'll see an effect later.
       
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    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sugarpuddle
      Worried

      Sugarpuddle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Yeah if you have yellow thrush, you have Candida. See a doctor ASAP as you need anti-fungal medications. No amount of diet will get rid of it, even though people on the internet insist differently. If you're in the UK, you can buy Candida-Away or Candida Support vitamins which helped finally kick my candida once and for all. Also eat tons of apples with the skin - it's a powerful anti-fungal.

      Seriously though, GP time. Candida (it's essentially mould in your body) can spread and get worse. It can even eventually spread to your brain and kill you. It's a very serious, persisting infection which requires weeks, (sometimes) months of medication to destroy and flush out. The Candida die off period is also awful. So yes, please see a doctor.
       
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