My Experience: Aspartame and Caffeine Are Huge Contributors to Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Vicki Leavitt, Aug 30, 2022.

    1. Vicki Leavitt
      Cheerful

      Vicki Leavitt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Hi, I'm Vicki and my tinnitus was brought on by a nasty bout of Shingles two years ago when I was 46 years old. My audiologist confirmed that Shingles can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. Shingles also brought on a severe allergy to NSAIDs. Anyway, I struggled a lot the first year I had tinnitus but then I did some research and tried a few things.

      One of the number one contributors to tinnitus can be caffeine. It took 4 months of little to no caffeine in my diet, but eventually, I saw a significant difference. I used to drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day and caffeinated sodas every now and then, but I switched to decaf coffee or tea and cut out caffeinated soda. Tea has much less caffeine than coffee and with only 1 cup per day, my tinnitus stays pretty quiet.

      But, the other thing I want to say is a contributor to my tinnitus is Aspartame. Aspartame can cause "aspartame poisoning". Look it up! Aspartame poisoning causes damage to the nervous system and inner ear and can be a HUGE cause of loud tinnitus. Sure enough, I cut all aspartame out of my diet, no more diet soda or foods with fake sugars and I started to see even bigger improvement in my tinnitus over just cutting out the caffeine. Aspartame should not be allowed to be consumed in my opinion. The FDA should ban it. Sucralose, Erythritol, and Stevia/Truvia seem to be ok as sugar substitutes... although I'm still skeptical of Sucralose and Erythritol.

      My tinnitus is so much quieter day to day that once in a while I let myself have a caffeinated drink. But I never consume aspartame drinks or foods anymore. I read a lot of labels to make sure I'm not getting aspartame. My tinnitus is so quiet most of the time now that I don't know it's there, or barely there. I can say that after drinking a diet Coke (which I forgot and did by mistake a few weeks ago) my tinnitus was screaming later that evening and part of the next day. It has caffeine and Aspartame. Yuck.

      I hope this helps some of you out there!
       
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    2. Strawberryblonde
      Alone

      Strawberryblonde Member

      Location:
      Northener
      Tinnitus Since:
      1st (12/2015) increase (5/2022)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Many reasons who truly knows
      I'm going to have to try this, if not for the tinnitus then at least for the health benefits. I consume too much sugar, especially Diet Coke and Pepsi as it is. Having a sweet tooth is not doing my waist any good. Hopefully I've got willpower to say NO! :p :popcorndrink:
       
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    3. MrBungle
      Cynical

      MrBungle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      As someone who drinks a lot of caffeine and diet drinks, I need to try this. I know regardless of my ears, it isn't good for you.

      I do know from giving up Aspartame in the past it had a huge impact on my dieting, I feel it really affected my metabolism, it's nasty stuff.
       
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    4. BrOKeN_1

      BrOKeN_1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High Frequency Hearing Loss
      New Goal Set... I should probably taper since I'm already pushing 400 mg a day. And I agree, aspartame is nasty stuff.
       
    5. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      I hope you don't mind me replying in this manner but I mean well.

      Since these forums (for good reason) are always holding everything to the highest standards (needs to have peer reviewed, placebo controlled trials etc), please link conclusive research that either aspartame or caffeine causes or makes existing tinnitus worse.

      If you google *anything* + tinnitus, you'll find at least a couple links that corroborate a link (backed by proper research or not).

      In the end we'll end up drinking water and eating paper as the only two things that haven't been written about yet causing tinnitus.

      For example: There was a "study" recently linking breast cancer with aspartame.
      Completely debunked thereafter: French Artificial Sweetener-Cancer Study is 'Le Bullsweet'

      Again - I hope you don't mind the tone of my message. Thank you for posting.
       
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    6. Rainer

      Rainer Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Please link peer reviewed, conclusive research that confirms your unproven assertion.
       
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    7. arctic_penguin

      arctic_penguin Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Coffee definitely made my tinnitus worse on many occasions. It would mess up my sleeping cycle and the next day my tinnitus would be louder. Caffeine stays in the blood stream for 12 hours.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Vicki Leavitt
      Cheerful

      Vicki Leavitt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I'm sorry if you don't feel what I've posted is scientific enough and therefore not helpful, but I'm just telling you what's worked for me and what I've read about. I think it's worth sharing if others want to try cutting out these foods, maybe some of them will be glad they did!

      I have tried cutting a lot of things out of my diet (including lactose and chocolate and gluten and...) to see what impacts my tinnitus. For me, I know that when I consume a lot less caffeine and cut out Aspartame that my tinnitus is significantly quieter. Quieter to the point where it's not really a thing in my life!! It took me the last 2 years to discover this. I also notice that when I eat out at a restaurant and the food has MSG in it, my tinnitus becomes very loud within a few hours and stays loud for several hours. Usually by the next day it's better, though. So I still eat out, just not often.
       
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    9. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Which assertion did I make?
       
    10. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Nothing wrong with you posting your personal experiences. I'm just interested what exactly have you read. If you could link the research, that would be great.
       
    11. Lurius
      Sad

      Lurius Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Oslo, Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Valsalva maneuver
      I always thought a lot about this as I used to chug 5-6 litres of Pepsi Max (sugarfree Pepsi, has a lot of aspartame) every week for several years. Now I'm down to 1 litre a week but I'm thinking of cutting that too.
       
    12. Stuart-T
      Thinking

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      Thanks for your post. It is always good to hear anecdotal accounts and I think most of us are aware of the claims relating to caffeine and tinnitus. You say it took 4 months to make a difference - that is quite a long time - maybe long enough to include the possibility that your tinnitus simply got better. I am not saying this is the case - but it may be.

      I got tinnitus in February this year and fairy quickly did what you have done. Decaff coffee and 1 standard tea bag per day from which I make several cups. I cannot tolerate decaf tea.

      In August this year I concluded that there was no significant difference and now drink standard coffee.

      The British Tinnitus Association have concluded the clinical evidence is not good enough to warrant eliminating caffeine from one's diet. I already knew about this before my 6 month test but tried anyway.

      I am glad it worked for you.

      As for aspartame - I try to avoid all artificial sweeteners - including sucralose. Though I have not read up on the studies - I just hate the taste and aftertaste.

      Personally - I have not found that any element of my diet makes a difference to my tinnitus level.

      The only thing I did test and seemed to have success was liver. I ate 400g of liver over 2 days - on day 3 and day 4 I noticed very low level tinnitus. I need to try this again and see if I can repeat the results.
       
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    13. Lurius
      Sad

      Lurius Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Oslo, Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Valsalva maneuver
      I sent an email to Dr. De Ridder to ask about this because I'm extremely curious about this. I've been wondering about this for years. I cut all aspartame very recently - tinnitus got a lot worse after a few days and it's been a constant nightmare instead of fluctuating. I haven't had any relief in a while now. I also asked his opinion on whether the Dr. Shore device will work for non-somatic tinnitus or not, although I might not get any meaningful answer there. If Dr. De Ridder says that aspartame is most likely completely irrelevant I'll put it to rest but I have a feeling that's not the case.
       
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    14. benjd2016
      Irritated

      benjd2016 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Tinnitus was caused by a virus. I doubt foods will have any real influence unless it was the foods themselves that caused the tinnitus.

      I am at a point where I've just stopped caring. I'll eat whatever the heck I want. I am tired of being a slave to this noisy bitch.
       
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    15. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Dr. De Ridder won't know either. At this point he is basically doing a kitchen sink approach when you visit him. He put me on all kinds of things (Deanxit, amongst others), just to see if anything works.

      That's why my initial comment in this thread still stands. If there is no research backing up the Aspartame <> tinnitus connection, Dr. De Ridder will have nothing to add either, until he himself conducts research on the topic, which as far as I know, he hasn't.

      Sorry to sound a bit harsh, but I'm a bit fed up with doctors. They don't know either. Not even Dr. De Ridder, one of the leading tinnitus 'experts' in the world - he is also just going off of research papers, exactly the same ones we have access to online.

      Currently Dr. De Ridder is researching Ketamine as a cure. I haven't heard any results there.
       
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    16. Óscar PP
      Psychedelic

      Óscar PP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Coronavirus
      I have to disagree on that. My tinnitus was also caused by a virus, and now loud noises spike it, which never happened pre-tinnitus.

      My theory is once you've activated those neurons/synapses, they become much more sensitive to stuff that never was an issue before.
       
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    17. Nick47

      Nick47 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral/noise
      Yet if you look at research from biobank data and Dr. Dirk De Ridder's presentations, high coffee drinkers have less chance of developing tinnitus.

      Aspartame is a different story.
       
    18. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      Hey @Ben Winders -- I have to completely disagree with you that these forums are held to the "highest standards" you reference. I post stuff all the time that doesn't meet those kind of standards LOL. But that doesn't make what I post (or @Vicki Leavitt) any less worth consideration than some of the often irrelevant trials that are so common these days.

      So many of these trials are very narrow in scope, have a myriad of conflicts of interest, and quite often (usually it seems) designed to achieve a desired result. There are so many pitfalls to so many of these peer reviewed, placebo controlled trials, that I'm surprised more people don't realize it. A former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine resigned her post because of the increasing unreliability of so many of the trials they report on.

      Something to consider: I've heard that it's quite common for mothers who take their children to pediatricians and describe what's going on with them, are told that it's simply not possible. That the "peer reviewed, placebo controlled studies" don't support it. Isn't it a sad commentary on conventional medicine thinking when it leads to no longer believing what their patients/clients are telling them? Especially when mothers are told they can't be right about what they're noticing about their own children???
       
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    19. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      I see what you are getting at. Truth be told: I'm getting so tired of apparently everything anecdotally possibly making tinnitus worse.

      Most recent example: I'm in this thread about a guy that was taking baths in Epsom salt and was getting reduction in his tinnitus. I went out and bought it and before actually trying (water was literally running) I googled "Epsom salt Tinnitus Talk" and lo and behold, 3 threads popped up stating taking Epsom salt baths caused spikes...

      I guess I just want to have an ideal world where all this stuff can be peer reviewed so I don't end up in bubble wrap eating paper because that's the only thing that doesn't have a thread on Tinnitus Talk :)

      In short: I see what you mean, but I'm just tired. I hope both you and Vicky understand.
       
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