Planning Supplements — How to Determine If a Supplement Is Safe for Someone with Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Drachen, Dec 29, 2020.

    1. Drachen
      Tired

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Hey everyone! I wanted to ask a general question with regards to supplements. I tried to search a bit on the forums, but could not find anything that more or less addresses what I am asking here. The closest I have been able to find is this thread, but I am still unsure on the best strategy.

      In short, based on your observations and experiences, what would be the safest method for determining whether a supplement is safe to take?

      It seems to be the case that in the vast majority of cases, supplements do nothing for addressing the noise directly. They might help elsewhere, or they may do nothing at all. There are, however, those in which supplements have a positive effect or a negative effect on their symptoms, and I am of course trying to do whatever I can to pursue the former and avoid the latter.

      My timeframe at the moment is a bit tight, since I am a little over a week into what I hope is just a short period of time and I am doing whatever I can to get ahead of this thing. This has partly led me to get a bit too excited and take supplements as soon as they arrive. There's also the question of when you should take them, what you should and shouldn't take them with, and at what time should they be taken. So much to consider!

      There's also the issue that some supplements can take days or weeks to build up in the system to produce any meaningful effect, which gives me concern for being able to tell what causes what.

      In general, any "consensus" I could find previously seems to be that you introduce supplements one by one and, if a spike appears, reject it and see if it goes away. There are of course many variables to consider here, such as how long you wait before you "clear" it, how long you monitor for a spike, how long you expect a spike to continue, and what else might have actually caused the spike otherwise.

      So far, I've mostly just stuck with what seem to be almost universally well tolerated, such as Ginkgo Biloba, Magnesium, and Turmeric/Curcumin. I've been considering adding things like Alpha-Lipoic Acid and NAC, but they seem a bit more advanced and prone to effects. I just want to make sure that if I do decide to take them, I do it right.

      Thanks for taking the time to read, and I hope to see a reply down below!
       
    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      NAC is often recommended by members here. I have taken it for short duration during the initial days of my tinnitus.

      Is anyone aware that NAC has done harm to tinnitus or has bad side effect?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    3. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      What do you think is the cause of your tinnitus?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Tired

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      It is indeed often recommended, but it also seems quite scary! As you have mentioned yourself, there also seem to be some that take it but not for very long. I second your request to hear more from those who think it might have affected them negatively.

      Thanks, Billie!
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Tired

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Hey, Deb! It's nice to have an opportunity to reply to you :)

      To answer your question, I can't make any definitive guess, but I do have some thoughts on what may or may not be the culprit. There is a lot I have learned about this symptom, as I have almost obsessively been researching it daily since things began, so I would like to think my guesses are at least somewhat educated! :D

      First, let's cut out some options:
      • Anything vascular or joint-related: My symptoms do not seem to reflect the sort of expectations you would have in virtually any pulsatile form. My temporomandibular joint also seems to be in good shape as I have no issue with pain there. Pretty sure I don't suffer from bruxism either!
      • Infection: I have not experienced any symptoms indicative an infection, particularly if we are talking about a cold, flu, or COVID-19. Unless something is going on quietly under the hood, I can't believe this is the cause. There's also other conditions centered more in the ear like otitis media or something causing Eustachian tube dysfunction that could be a problem, but again, I feel I lack too many OTHER symptoms for these to be options. Can't rule them out entirely either until I see an ENT or my problems go away. I would prefer the latter! ;)
      • Earwax impaction: This was one I had been hoping was the problem, as it's one of the easiest to clear up. As I have historically used cotton swabs to clean my ears, and the fact that I have been using earplugs almost every night up to this point for months, I figured it made sense I would have wax pushed back. A visit to a primary care physician today has determined my ears are clean. A bit too clean, even.

      Next, there are some less likely options to be considered:
      • Neck/back problems: My posture is absolute garbage, and I have seem some (but not many) sources that claim issues here can at the very least contribute to this symptom. I am currently in the process of revisiting my chiropractor to get these issues corrected. While I am not convinced there is much weight in the relationship here, I felt it was worth noting as an option.
      • Diet-related or deficiencies: Considering I have never had the best and most well-balanced diet, it's very possible some deficiency might have at the very least contributed to this mess. I am trying to rectify this now, at least partly, with supplement usage. I don't think little to no exercise can cause this, but it seems relevant to this point as well.
      • Ototoxicity: Considering that trazodone is listed as a potentially ototoxic drug, I had some concern that it might have caused my symptoms, which led me to stop taking it abruptly about a week ago. The same goes for the periodic Fioricet I would take as needed for headaches. While there is no way to verify they had some or no effect, I have yet resolved entirely after a week. It also seems that trazodone itself is very mild and would not lead to an issue. I am starting back on amitriptyline tonight for sleep, though, so I hope it's safe as well.
      • Stress/Anxiety/Insomnia: There is also the factor of stress, anxiety, and insomnia, all of which are commonly comorbid with this symptom, but I cannot find anything that definitely indicates they can cause it. Seems to me that these other problems mostly exacerbate the issue rather than bring it to be. I can't even say I was particularly stressed at the time of onset; I did recently have to deal with some social drama, though.

      Finally, there is that extremely loud elephant in the room I have been trying to avoid:
      • Noise-induced or acoustic trauma: With each passing day and each other possibility added to the "less likely" pile, it seems this must be the case. Given that I have been taking frequent drives with music playing, this is a potential source that might have caused the issues. While I don't think I've used the speakers at my desk at too high of a volume, there is a chance there have been exceptions that have accumulated over time. Frankly, I can't think of much else it could really be besides this. I have a meeting with an audiologist next week, though there's a chance the audiogram wont tell the full story. My hearing feels as fine as it has ever been, and I notice no significant loss, but the problem could be in those higher frequencies.
      I apologize if this is much more than you had requested by your simple question. Unfortunately, this whole matter has absorbed a good majority of my attention since things began. I hate that it has, and I am working on doing better and returning to my normal life and routine, regardless of what may come.

      There is still a chance that this will be resolved very shortly as short-term footnote in this very questionable year, and I am still holding onto that hope!

      Going forward, I know one thing is for sure: I will take much better care of my hearing!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. Gabriel5050
      Balanced

      Gabriel5050 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (most likely)
      The first three responses in the thread you link answer it pretty well. Introduce a supplement one at a time for about a week and see how your tinnitus is affected, if at all. We know supplements don't outright cure tinnitus, but if you say you got tinnitus recently, you can decide what is more important: taking the supplements in the small chance it will help somewhat or potentially have side effects. Though, I never had any downsides by following the recommended amounts.

      Honestly I'm thinking: how much can a supplement harm anyway? Some constipation? Stomach pain? Sounds like a piece of cake compared to antidepressants or benzos withdrawal.

      Personally, I keep taking supplements at least for the peace of mind that I'm doing something, but to each their own.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Drachen
      Tired

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      I suppose this is the way to go then. I'm not sure if I want to break from any of the ones I'm currently taking to reintroduce them at a weekly rate, but any further ones will follow this pattern.
      The primary side effect I am worried about is whether or not it'll make my symptom worse, or at least make me perceive it to be worse. Other side effects I can likely manage unless they get too distracting themselves.
       
      • Creative Creative x 1
    8. T_Almost_Gone
      Mellow

      T_Almost_Gone Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bupropion nalextrone
      JUST itchy skin but I think it's helped me a lot.

      See here: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/posts/579748/.
       
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