Information on Dieting and Dry Fasting in the Treatment of Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (MD)' started by dfl, Nov 12, 2019.

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    1. dfl

      dfl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      exposure to explosions/stress/who knows?
      Dear Dr. Nagler,

      Have you seen any information on dieting, dry fasting, etc. in the treatment of tinnitus? In regards to inflammation, it seems promising. Wondered what your thoughts are.
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    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician Benefactor

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Wow, @dfl. What a question! Why don't you ask me something easy - like how to solve global hunger forever!!??

      OK. Here are my thoughts about dietary management in the treatment of tinnitus ...

      First, regarding inflammation. Tinnitus is a sound, not an inflammatory process. (The Greek suffix -itis means inflammation; tinnitus ends in -itus.) So the idea that an anti-inflammatory diet will lastingly affect tinnitus directly makes no sense to me. So what about tinnitus that is the indirect result of an inflammatory process? The only one that comes to mind is the inflammatory process associated with a middle ear inflection. And middle ear infections are generally treated with antibiotics; not diet. I do know that it is appealing to think that an anti-inflammatory diet will somehow clean up all those free-radicals and such. But strictly in terms of tinnitus, I just do not see it making a difference. Could there be an exception? Sure. All I can do here is speak in generalities.

      So inflammation aside, what about the role of diet in general in the management of tinnitus? Because most everybody can identify at least one food that really makes his or her tinnitus scream, right? (For me, it's the spices in Thai food.) So this question comes more down to philosophy than science. And my philosophy is ... I'll be damned if I'm going to give my tinnitus the power to dictate my diet. The way I see it, since tinnitus is not associated with a sound wave, no matter how loud it is, your tinnitus cannot possibly do you physical harm. (The physical harm from a very loud externally generated sound - like a jackhammer - is actually caused by the sound wave associated with that loud sound. But with tinnitus there is no sound wave.) So, since your tinnitus cannot cause you physical harm, all the power your tinnitus has over you must be coming from you! It's not your fault of course, but it's true nonetheless. And one way to begin taking some of that power back is not to let your tinnitus dictate your diet. For me, that means taking my wife out for Thai food a couple of times a month - because we both love Thai food - and realizing that the next day I am predictably going to wake up with a freight train running through my head. Now truth be told, if it was Brussels sprouts that made my tinnitus scream, I'd probably give 'em up. Because I hate Brussels sprouts!!! But there is just no way I am going to give my tinnitus the satisfaction of depriving me of something I like.

      I suspect you were looking for more of a medical analysis than a philosophical one - but until you can solve global hunger, my friend, philosophy is the best you're gonna get from me at this point in time.

      Now I could be wrong about everything I've written above. It's just how I personally see things. Your mileage may vary.

      All the best! And thanks for your great question.

      Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.
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