My Ototoxic / Stress-Induced Tinnitus Is Nearly Gone

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by ThomasW, Jan 19, 2020.

    1. ThomasW

      ThomasW Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2019(nearly gone)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Short Version:
      I got tinnitus from taking medicine but I was also very stressed at the time. It went way down to a low hiss in my left ear during the summer last year after taking 600mg NAC, B-Complex and 22mg Zinc Picolinate but came back after a very stressful week and way to much sodium. It was constantly up and down but now that I've been taking:

      • Ginkgo Biloba E761 - 80mg morning + 80mg evening
      • B-Complex - 1 tablet an hour after morning Ginkgo Biloba
      • Zinc Picolinate - 22mg with a meal that doesn't have phytic acid (bread, rice, grain etc) and Calcium (milk, cheese etc) so it is absorbed correctly.
      My tinnitus is pretty much gone. I don't notice it anymore, it's so low. In the morning when I wake up I can occasionally hear it but I can just ignore it. I was also able to eat lots of salty food and indulge over Christmas. Salt and sugar used to spike my tinnitus within an hour or two of consumption. When you have time please to read through my whole story, there is a lot of information and it could help you. I'm not selling anything, just telling my story and offering advice.

      This is my story on how I've reduced my tinnitus to <5%. I spent a lot of time researching as much as I could into tinnitus. Success stories, reviews of supplements, medical papers, going through countless threads on this and other forums. What I've discovered is tinnitus is caused and cured by so many things. A simple example is: Salicylate acid which is used in the over the counter painkiller Aspirin can coat the hairs of the inner ear causing them to malfunction and shake, which can cause tinnitus and even hearing loss. Now on the other hand I read stories of how people had cured their tinnitus with aspirin because it increases blood flow. It makes sense why there isn't and will never be a single universal cure for tinnitus but from all the research I've done there are a lot of options. The supplements and lifestyle changes I took to relieve my tinnitus may spike yours so just remember everyone's tinnitus is different.

      Age and background?
      I'm a 30-year-old male who works in agriculture. It's a noisy environment at times but I make sure to wear hearing protection. I also love going to concerts and I also wear ear plugs to them. I have had tinnitus since February 17th, 2019. So 11 months at the time of writing this.

      What caused my tinnitus?
      I was in really bad pain from a back and pelvis injury. I was prescribed Amitriptyline. I took 10mg for 14 days. On the 14th day my left ear started ringing. I stopped the medication immediately and it went down slowly. I took Naproxen/Aleve which is an NSAID since I was still in very bad pain. My right ear started making ticking noises a few days later. The ringing went away and I decided to try 10mg of Amitriptyline since I was desperate from the pain. BAD IDEA! I woke up to 10/10 of ringing a few hours later which went down over the course of the next day. A quick google and I discovered what ototoxic medication was. I swore off all medication after that but unfortunately the tinnitus stayed. I'm shocked just how little medical professionals now about ototoxic medication.

      I researched as much as I could about tinnitus. I found papers that said Amitriptyline worked by decreasing Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide is a vasodilator meaning it causes blood vessels to relax which increases blood flow and circulation. Many types of tinnitus are caused by poor circulation to the inner ear or are lessened and even cured by increasing circulation through Nitric Oxide Production. Amitriptyline is also an anti-depressant but when you first take the medication it can cause a surge in Glutamate before it increases GABA which is why people can get much worse the first few weeks they take an anti-depressant. Now I was on a small dose but one of the ways tinnitus can start is through Glutamate. When the hairs of the inner ear are exposed to noise trauma the vibration causes Glutamate to build up. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter which can cause neuron death when there is too much. It's theorised this is how noise trauma can cause hearing damage and Tinnitus. Lots of supplements can also cause a build up of Glutamate in the body (brain?). What else can cause a buildup? Stress! I was in a bad place with the pain so its possible that was also the cause. Either way I had several avenues to to go down which were, getting physically better, increasing blood flow to my inner ear and regulating Glutamate.

      Description of tinnitus?
      I've had so many different types of tinnitus that I've lost count. From the start it would be up and down with near silent days and loud days. At its worst it was a whooshing hairdryer noise in my left ear and a dentist drill in my right ear that seemed to be more in the back of my head than my ear.

      Hearing loss?
      None. I have very good hearing and a recent audiogram showed that everything is fine. I have a sensitivity to loud or harsh sounds. For example I dislike the beep of a microwave when its done. My hearing was very sensitive noise at the start but its back to pre-tinnitus levels now. I didn't have hyperacusis. Just a dislike to loud or harsh sounds.

      Have I had tinnitus before?
      Yes I've had temporary 24 hour tinnitus after concerts before. I had it for about 3 days after a very loud gig once which is when I started wearing ear plugs every time I go to a gig now. That was about 10 years ago now. Before my tinnitus I had complete silence. There is a saying that everyone has tinnitus they just don't know it because they haven't heard it or learned to hear it but I can confidently say I had complete silence before my tinnitus started.

      What spikes my tinnitus?
      Salt - Sodium is the worse thing for my tinnitus. Sodium causes blood vessels to constrict which reduces blood flow and circulation. It is reported by most tinnitus sufferers that sodium spikes their tinnitus and is extremely bad for anyone with Meniere's Disease. I once had a Tuna sandwich and 2 hours later my ears were blaring. I checked the sodium content of the bread, butter, cheese, tuna and it came to over 6mg. The recommend daily allowance of sodium is around 4-5mg. I couldn't believe how much salt was in everything I was eating. Supposedly healthy food had 25-50% before serving. That also includes anything with MSG will spike my tinnitus badly.

      Alcohol - This is something I'm unsure of. I don't think its alcohol directly causing it but it's the way it dehydrates your system and causes you to excrete vitamins and minerals. On a night out or party I would always end up eating salty food which is more the reason. Alcohol can cause an increase in blood pressure which can lower blood flow and spike tinnitus.

      Magnesium - I read an article how magnesium could cause tinnitus by being deficient and how it could relieve tinnitus because its a Glutamate inhibitor. It can also work by calming your mind and nervous system and increasing blood flow by relaxing muscles. Whatever reason it causes my tinnitus to spike horrible.

      Tea - I'm not a tea drinker thankfully but for some reason it will cause a spike a few hours after drinking. The type of tea doesn't matter, whether it's black or green, they all spike it.

      Tomatoes - This is another interesting one. If I had Spaghetti Bolognese or a rich tomato sauce dish I would have an increase in tinnitus. Now whether this was down to the high salt content it's hard to know but tinned tomatoes are also very high in Glutamate and people report that it spikes their tinnitus also.

      Sugar - If I have to much sugar it will cause a spike. I remember having a very quiet weekend. I had a really sugary dessert and in an hour my left ear was making a horrible whooshing noise. It happened many more times after that.

      Bioflavonoid - I tried a supplement that had lots of positive reviews on Amazon saying they lessened and cured people's tinnitus. They were 500mg tablets. I tried one and I ended up with pulsatile tinnitus for the day. One of the side effects listed was that. Either that were too much and the surge of blood flow spiked my tinnitus or the Salicylate acid caused a spike.

      What lessens my tinnitus?
      Anything that increases blood flow helps. So reducing salt and increasing potassium in my diet has a noticeable effect. Supplements that increase blood flow through Nitric Oxide production also all help. More on them later.

      Exercise helps a lot too but that could also be to do with distracting the mind. Long walks outside and getting away for the day. Being busy.

      Decreasing salt, sugar and high Glutamate foods in my diet. I aimed for 3mg and lower of salt a day if possible.

      Staying calm. Getting worked up and stressed out would always make my tinnitus worse. That's one way a lot of supplements and medicine work to decrease tinnitus. So take big deep breathes and try to just empty your head. I remember in the first month or two of having tinnitus I did some really relaxing yoga and it silenced my tinnitus for about 12 hours. The same thing happened when I got a neck and back massage. Unfortunately it wasn't permanent but it did show me that blood flow and being calm did wonders for tinnitus.

      There is a thing called the Reddit trick where you put your hands on the back of your head covering your ears with your palms and snap your fingers against your head. For some it does nothing, for some they get 30 seconds of silence, for a very rare few it has silenced their ears for hours at a time. I tried it and it made it worse which people also reported. What did kind of work though when I was having a spike is placing my palms over my ears and move them in and out creating a suction affect. Then gently drum your first and second fingers on the back of your head at the base of the skull. I found this would be great at calming myself down and taking my mind of my tinnitus. It only really worked when I was having a bad spike before bed.

      Thankfully I've had relatively few sleepless nights so I didn't need to mask my tinnitus to go to sleep. I just tried to ignore it as best as I could.

      I work outside so there is a lot of environmental noise to cover it up. At home I would try to always have the TV or music on in the background. The key is to distract your ear so you don't keep tuning into it.

      I stopped using headphones entirely. When my tinnitus started getting low I found audiobooks were great for distracting your mind and ears.

      Did I go see an ENT?
      Yes and it was pointless. He said medicine can't cause tinnitus. It is only caused by sound. There is no cure and nobody has ever cured tinnitus before. Everything you can do to lessen it is all a placebo in you head and you can only learn to ignore it. No wonder tinnitus is such a problem when ENTs don't know anything about it. I was warned not to go to one so a lesson learned. It did make me even more determined to get rid of my tinnitus.

      So what did I do to treat my tinnitus?
      I read a good quote before "Cancer was an uninvited guest in my house and I would do everything to make it leave". I'm a very determined person and I was adamant I would get rid of it. Learning to ignore it and live with it was not something I was prepared to do. The first thing I did was find out foods spike my tinnitus and cut them out or heavily reduce them in my diet. I then read up on everything I could about tinnitus. It's mind blowing just how many ways tinnitus can start. Noise trauma, ototoxic medicine, nitric oxide disruption, ear infection, high blood pressure, countless supplements etc.

      NAC - N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is an amino acid that's mainly used as a powerful antioxidant. In my opinion it is the best thing you could start taking for tinnitus. It regulates Glutamate so it's ideal for noise trauma and is used by the military and workforce across the world. It can also boost blood flow by making Nitric Oxide last longer in the blood stream. There is a lot of conflicting research and opinions on NAC but I notice a result as soon as I take it.

      B-complex - I could write pages on all the things B vitamins do. A B12 deficiency is a common cause of tinnitus and supplementation works well for most cases. They are also vital in nitric oxide production and metabolising other vitamins and minerals. I read its best to take a B-complex rather than one at a time because they nearly all rely on each other. I remember I had been taking NAC for 2 weeks and there was a noticeable difference but the morning I took a B-complex I had near silence for a few hours. By evening my ears would ring again.

      Zinc - I read how Zinc worked wonders on people's tinnitus by increasing circulation, calming the mind, regulating Glutamate or maybe it was increasing GABA so I looked into the different types and figured why not try. I took one Zinc Picolinate - 22mg, the following morning I woke up and noticed I just had a light hiss in my ears, my tinnitus was down 90% if I was to give a number.

      It stayed that way for about a week but I ended up being very stressed by work and consuming way too much salt. It came back in my left ear first and then a few days later after a super salty meal my right ear started screeching again. It took about a week to come back down but my tinnitus tones had all changed. I didn't have the hissing anymore, instead it was a higher pitched ringing which was much harder to ignore and mask.

      Ginkgo Biloba - I've read a lot about Ginkgo Biloba and it's one of the first things people are pointed to. Results vary quite a lot. So much so that many countries have tried to even get it banned because it doesn't work for some people. Ginkgo Biloba works by increasing blood flow. It does this by increasing Nitric Oxide production. Nitric Oxide is a vasodilator meaning it causes blood vessels to relax. Many types of Tinnitus are caused by poor circulation to the inner ear or are lessened and even cured by increasing circulation. That's why Ginkgo Biloba has a proven track record of helping tinnitus. Now unfortunately it doesn't help all types and it's not as simple as taking it. This is the complicated part. Ginkgo Biloba is also very high in salicylates. Salicylate acid which is used in aspirin can coat the hairs of the inner ear causing them to malfunction and shake, which then causes tinnitus. This and a surge in blood flow can often make tinnitus worse for people. Since it's a vasodilator that means it's fighting against vasoconstrictors like salt, temperature, high blood pressure, caffeine, sugar. It is all a balancing act. If you take Ginkgo Biloba but have high blood pressure and consume too much sodium well then it isn't going to work that well. I read on here about Ginkgo Biloba E761 that is made in Germany under the name Tebonin. I came across a bunch of cases that people reported dramatic reduction and even total elimination of their tinnitus. On a post here a guy recommended to start with a small dosage of 40-60mg twice a day and see how that works.

      These last few months have been an up and down battle with my tinnitus, but the last month has been very low. I'd say I'm at about <5% now.

      Right now I'm taking:
      • Ginkgo Biloba E761 - 80mg morning + 80mg evening
      • B-Complex - 1 tablet an hour after morning Ginkgo Biloba
      • Zinc Picolinate - 22mg with a meal that doesn't have phytic acid (bread, rice, grain etc) and Calcium (milk, cheese etc) so it is absorbed correctly.
      Final thoughts:
      I wanted to wait until my tinnitus was super low and I could eat whatever food I want without spikes before I posted what worked for me. I know a lot of people have been asking me to post what I know and to be honest this is just ta fraction of what I've learnt about tinnitus. I've read so many posts and articles about how there is no cure and nothing works but I and many others are proof that isn't true.

      The first step is hope. You have to want it to work. You have to want silence and understand that it is possible. Tinnitus is as much a mental battle as it is a physical battle. Once you get a decrease in your tinnitus, you will feel better and you notice it less, so after the next decrease in your tinnitus you will feel even better and notice it even less and so on. I call this the tinnitus reduction cycle. It's not a straight road, you can fall back and have to start over again but once you get on a path you can keep everything moving the right way. My recommendation? Start with supplements like a B-Complex, NAC 600mg in the morning, Zinc etc. Take them one at a time, maker sure they are high quality supplements, don't cheap out here.

      It's a very long read but anytime I read a success story there was always so much information missing. I hope this can help people.

      I'm here to answer any Qs people have.
      • Like Like x 10
    2. Cher2

      Cher2 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Thanks for this great post and answering questions for me earlier.

      Where do you get Ginkgo Biloba E761 from?
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    3. Rae Garzone

      Rae Garzone Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Since August
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wisdom tooth pulled
      How long did you have tinnitus?
    4. ChrisBoyMonkey

      ChrisBoyMonkey Member Podcast Patron

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ditto question but hasn't been answered, where did you get that specific Ginkgo Biloba?
    5. AUTHOR

      ThomasW Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2019(nearly gone)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi, sorry for the late reply, super busy.

      I had to buy it from Ebay and have it shipped from Germany. I'm after running out so I'll see what happens now.

      All in my post. 11 months now.
      • Like Like x 1
    6. mrbrightside614

      mrbrightside614 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Advocate

      NE Ohio, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      • Informative Informative x 2
    7. Zigs

      Zigs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Thanks so much for this post. Whenever I feel stressed I find it so helpful to come on and read people’s success stories. Would you mind sharing a link to where you bought the Gingko? X
      • Hug Hug x 1
    8. AUTHOR

      ThomasW Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2019(nearly gone)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ok so the opening post is a bit large. Here is my daily routine at the moment that is working very well.
      • Breakfast - Porridge and a banana then NAC 600mg.
      • 2 hours later a B-complex with a lot of water. I try to drink 5-6 litres a day.
      • For lunch and dinner I try to avoid salty food as much as possible. With one of those meals I take Zinc Picolante 22mg but I have to make sure I'm not consuming any dairy at all or too much phytic acid (rice, bread, grain etc) 2 hours before and after to allow the zinc to absorb properly otherwise it doesn't.
      • Before bed just eggs, banana and Milk fortified with B vitamins and Vitamin D. I avoid any salt and sugar before bed.

      I don't feel the need to take Ginkgo anymore. As long as I take my supplements and restrict salt I don't notice anything. I've gotten to the point now where if there is a little hissing or ringing by mind just tunes it out. It's nice to be able to read again before bed and wake up forgetting to even check tinnitus.
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    9. all to gain
      No Mood

      all to gain Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      never trust a doctor
      Thanks for this thread. How did you manage to get your sodium intake so low? Everything seems so sodium heavy.

      What are the exact NAC, B-complex Zinc picolante brands you take? What was a typical meal when you took the Zinc picolante?

      Do you eat the porridge with milk?

      Do you still think it's worth taking Ginkgo? Again, what as the exact brand?
    10. AUTHOR

      ThomasW Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2019(nearly gone)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      It is not easy. If I had a slice of toast with butter before bread it would cause a small spike. If I had a salty tomato dish my whole head would be ringing. I just had to be super strict avoiding bread, butter, sauces, cooked meats, sweets etc as much as possible. It's crazy how much salt is in the packaged food we eat.

      I also noticed how bad salty food made my feel. I don't think I process it well. I've obviously been bad with oily foods like cheese and fast food but cutting way down on salt definitely had a positive affect on my body.

      There aren't to many brands here in Ireland. I use Solgar NAC 600mg, Solgar Zinc Picolante 22mg and Viridian High-12 B-Complex. I avoided naming brands in my post because it often ends up with "shill" comments on this site. To be honest any high quality brand should be fine.

      With Zinc I'd usually have it after lunch or dinner. So chicken or beef with potatoes and veg. I read how your body absorbs vitamins and minerals better if its with food thats high in it. As long as you don't have any milk 2 hours before and after then your body should in theory absorb it better.

      Yep. I've started drinking Vitamin D fortified milk and its knocked my T down further. There's a light ringing in my left ear if I check at night but its easy to ignore. Maybe I always had that but my mind never tuned into it. Sometimes its there, sometimes it isn't the last week.

      I honestly don't know. I've been meaning to order more but haven't got around to it. Maybe I could benefit from it but I feel my current supplements and diet are enough to keep Nitric Oxide levels high without the need for any more supplements. I used Tebonin Ginko 761.
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