Stress/Cortisol and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Katkin, Sep 1, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Katkin

      Katkin Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2013
      Hi everyone, hope you are all ok.

      I recently had various blood tests carried out, which were mostly normal, apart from my cortisol levels, which were raised. I know this subject has been extensively covered on TT, but I found the following article interesting as I have been under considerable long term stress prior to, and especially after, hearing tinnitus. The article is from 2011, but is probably still appropriate:

      http://www.hear-it.org/Tinnitus-is-2-5-times-more-prevalent-in-those-under-stress
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Thanks for the link. It's probably a VERY good idea for many of us to learn to meditate / practice mindfulness...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I believe this to be true based upon my own personal experience. I went through a very stressful Winter and Spring this year and my T became worse than it had ever been in over 30 years. Fortunately, after the stressful period was over the severity of my T was not as bad.

      I think it's a good idea for each of us to do a "stress load inventory" to see what our stressors are and most of all if any of them can be reduced or eliminated. As we all know, stress is a part of this life and cannot be completely eliminated or avoided. However, there may be a stressor in your life that can be eliminated. For example, I had a so-called "friend" that was so negative, always complaining, gossiping about mutual friends and asking me to do things for him. So, after years of this I phased him out of my life. Such a person isn't really a friend. They are a stress load and a burden!

      A very stressful job causing "burn out" could be a major stressor. Then, if possible, look into a job change.

      That said, I hope that no one on the forum will divorce or eliminate their spouse now after reading this!...:D
       
    4. sandra72

      sandra72 Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      may 2014
      I have a quastion. The weard thing with me is that the last couple of weeks i did not notice it but only in silence room en when sleeping. But today had some stress and i can hear it over everything beside riding my car. When i am relaxt i dont hear it when watching tv, outside, going to my horse, shower etc.

      Can stress make it al worse? Did i gett T from stress? My T is most of the time not te same. It goes up and down. Is this also possible when you have T from sound trauma?

      How do i controll it? Wil it gett better?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @sandra72

      seems that up and down is normal for t
      at least that is what i am experiencing and many others on this forum
      stress definitely aggravates it
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    6. sandra72

      sandra72 Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      may 2014
      @amandine

      How do hou deal with it since you are also new at this?
       
    7. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @sandra72

      I dont
      I am going insane
      I have completely changed
      I dont know how to continue
      sorry to answer so like this but this is the truth
       
    8. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I would just be thankful you have low days. I don't have this, my T is loud and constant every day. Im not sure why I don't have this, low days seem to be the norm for most T sufferers. If I had a quiet day here and there this would give me more hope at times when it was loud. But I don't, it's just loud all the time. If I get a spike it's permanent.

      I would also say that if your T fluctuates this is a good sign. Maybe one day it will get so low it will just go away.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    9. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @Telis
      I know that you have a hard time.
      So do I
      are you considering going the trobalt route at all?
      seems that is the best thing that we have.
      wanted to get agar 35 and bimalah but someone sent me a message today saying it is all quackery so even tho i know that it is the equivalent of tree bark and herbs, some people tried it and say it works. So I thought to try it even if only for destress and better sleep which in turn would be better for t. Now after the quackery remark it has put me down again......
      sorry sandra but t is a living nightmare....
       
    10. sandra72

      sandra72 Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      may 2014
      @amandine
      thats bad to hear. Does your T also goes up and down and do you hear your T over everything? And what sound do you hear?
       
    11. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @sandra72

      yes and yes and a loud whistle noise with a hissing like a kettle on the boil
      took half a xanax today just to cope
      funny the sound seems to have subsided with the xanax
       
    12. sandra72

      sandra72 Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      may 2014
      @amandine

      Sounds like mine in bad days but when i am relax i only hear it in silent. How did you get your T?
       
    13. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @sandra72

      all guess work - not sure
      think it may have been from a car alarm internal but that was not loud and could speak over it
      dont know
      car alarm stress both other dont know
      all i know is that it will kill me
      unless i get some help real soon
      which i wont get so........
       
    14. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      That is the scary thing about T...even the quackery stuff seems to work for a lot of people. I don't know if this is because they have such wild swings in their T to begin with but they seem to be very unreliable when it comes to assessing what works and what doesn't. I'm actually starting to think a lot of this T stuff for some is just phycological and depends on mood, how much they stress about it etc. I guess this makes T patients susceptible to quackery and a lot will buy into whatever and swear it is helping them.

      As far as retigabine, I think this applies as well. I know a lot here believe in the science behind it, but I'm not quite sold. I think a combo of placebo, turning the brain into Swiss cheese accompanied by the sedating effect could be where people are seeing some results. Hope I'm wrong, it's all just my opinion so I could very well be.

      How about you? Are you going to give it a go?
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    15. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I think your changes in volume are a good thing. In the meantime, protect your ears.
      I've had T for over 40 years. I have a tea kettle in my left ear and a snake in the right. I don't listen to them, but if I do catch myself listening, I ask myself what my reaction is, I don't measure the T. I learned that here and it's helped a LOT.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    16. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @I who love music

      I cannot protect my ears. The person I live with keeps screaming in my ears and have terrible beyond control rages where he smashes things and threatens me. I called the police for the third time over the weekend but they are really stupid and wont do anything. They say he can do what he wants in his house.
      If I try to leave he goes berserk.
      Yesterday evening he cut off the internet and condemned me to being upstairs in the silent bedroom totally afraid of going downstairs.
      I had a house to go to see about to rent. this afternoon ..and got a phone call this morning that it has been rented.
      The police have said that i have to go to make an official complain against him but if i do he will go berserk and probably kill me.
      The police have told me that even if i do make a complaint it could take at leat 2 months before anything is done even IF something is done.
      He has told me that if i get him evicted he will come back in the night and kill me.
      Meanwhile my T is screaming out of control today. I dont know if there is a connection between all of this and my T.
      I took half a xanax to try to get more sleep today - more than the 4 hours i normaally get.
      He has told the police that i have mental problems which i dont - i just have the t.
      So the police when they came and after listening to him who was really nice to the police, the police have said that i have to go the hospital...
      can you believe it?
       
    17. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      sandra
      IMO stress is one of the three-legs in this three-legged chair; mine goes way up (and stays up) when I'm in deep anxiety or stress. I'm convinced that my high stress levels were a key component present at the advent of my T (life was overwhelming at the time).

      How do I control it? No disrespect intended, but the best way I've learned to control it is by learning not to get so stressed (again, I don't mean to come across disrespectful). I have zero control over many things that effect me; but I do have control over my reaction to them -- for someone like me (wound a little too tight, hyper-competitive) that is not easy to do. It has been a very challenging journey (taking a chill-pill) but it has been very rewarding.

      Granted, some situations are just stressful beyond all reason; but we still have a large amount of control over our reaction to them. I'm not advocating an acquiescence to things that really bother us, just exercising control over our visceral reaction and then finding healthy ways to express (your POV) or influence the situation. Nonetheless, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not exactly an Olympiad when it comes to dealing with stress; I wouldn't even get a bronze medal, I'm just getting better (more mindful) about it.

      But hey, if you ever need someone to do the 'freak-out' I'm your guy :LOL:

      Mark
       
    18. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      @I who love music How do you not listen, how do you get your focus off listening, other than keeping busy, or playing music. I am trying to tune it out.
       
    19. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      You can not try to tune it out...you either do or you don't. It's like saying...I'm trying to habituate....you either do or you don't but you don't have much control over it. You can make your body and mind less stressfull and go on with your day to ignore it earlier or mask it a little. Because if you think you are tuning it out you are not because you are thinking about it. The stresslevel has to come down first.

      It will go with big ups where you think your almost there...and than you crash like the stockmarket in 2008 to go back up again adn think you there again....this will happen about a zillion times and than your there. The brain is strong but it takes time to adjust and for some people it will never happen, but you must not think in doomscenario's because they will stress you even more.

      I'm now at a point that I almost completly do not care about it anymore.
      And YES I do not hear it because my brain does not care anymore..... When I focus on it I hear it at ones.
      In a silent room I hear it but I just do not care anymore cause I cannot do a damn thing about it.

      Stress makes everything worse....if it is not T it will be something else...believe me I know that for a fact now. I finaly got over T and now I got something else to stress about and the symptoms are the same. And when I'm stresst my T is not louder but the thing that bothers me the most at that moment will become worse.

      And that's the whole key of it...what bothers you the most becomes worse when you are stressed...plus some extra stuff you than did not think of.

      Will I have a fallback again? I don't know, but I know for a fact that if that happens I will go in panicmode like everbody else and just sit it out until my body and mind have peace with it.
       
    20. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      @RicoS I hear it, but I am not stressed or anxiety riddled anymore, but I don't like it, that's about how reactive I am. Fear is pretty well gone too, a little wary, but all down to say 20%. T is louder than 15 weeks ago when it is bad? So?its just time, the brain has to do the work to adjust? I am almost at that point where I realize I can't do anything about it. My expectation is that it should be backing off, maybe my expectation is flawed.
       
    21. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Team Research

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      To the contrary, stress takes my focus off my t for some reason.
       
    22. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      @Katkin
      The more I live with (and learn about) T the more I'm convinced stress, anxiety, and the resulting depression are prime suspects -- time to put them in the slammer.

      I'm a typical, high-strung American; now I'm learning to deal with stress (and more importantly how not to get so stressed out).
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    23. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      @Blair14
      You're right on track (not stressed or anxiety riddled anymore); and I don't like mine either, I don't think we ever will (or should). Realizing you can't do anything about it is a frustrating thought; but it's also one more step toward habituation. I think this it is the hardest part of habituation; at least it was for me -- it's not so much the sound as it is the idea (of T) that made me nuts for a while.

      Mark
       
    24. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I really don't know how it works, but by telling myself how I feel about my T, instead of listening to it, .. that is how the focus goes off the T. I didn't invent it, I just do it. It's such a relief!!
      Your comment, "I am trying to tune it out," is pretty close to what I'm talking about. But how about, "I am so tired of trying to tune it out." The important word is "Tired." That would be your feeling.
      I know this must sound simple or crazy, or simple and crazy both, but that simple step of describing the feeling instead of the volume or sound of the T changed everything. Right now I hear it loud in both ears. I always do hear it when I am here on the forum. That's OK, it'll go away soon. Today I was sitting around for the whole day in my Lazy Boy with a cold, just watching TV and goofing around on the laptop. I never heard my T once. The technique is amazing. But not easy. I have to quickly shift gears to how I feel if I ever catch myself listening to it, or for it, and trying to wish it away, or trying to ignore it .. etc... those things don't work for me.
      It did take a few weeks to start working. My first sensation was not silence, it was happiness and feeling calm. And I guessed that that was the first indication the technique was working. Following that was getting up in the morning and not hearing it. That is still great. Then hours would go by when I didn't hear the T, then days.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    25. dh42

      dh42 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014

      How is your blood pressure? I had a doctor recently tell me that if your blood pressure is high, your cortisol levels are probably high. I asked to test cortisol but he said since my blood pressure is low there was no need.

      My C-Reactive Protein levels are undetectably low which is a measure of inflammation in the body. I would assume that might be an indication of cortisol too.
       
    26. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      @I who love music I think I got it, I stumbled across something when reading a book on mindfulness, "being" rather than "doing", this seems to have potential to work, I have had two relatively decent days in a row, I have had nothing close to this point. I have had glimpses a couple of times, otherwise there has been only regression and not progression. I'll keep with this approach along with sound therapy and see where this goes. The experimentation continues.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    27. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Yes, stress generally does worsen tinnitus. About tinnitus variability, some people (myself included) have fluctuating tinnitus. And the fluctuations are often random.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    28. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @I who love music

      Please tell me how you go about this. Some simple exercises please to begin with if possible
      cos i am having a real bad time here and freaking out
       
    29. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      @jazz
      Hey jazz, does your t still fluctuate like before? Mine is not being nice and hasn't been giving me 2 days in the clear. Just one, followed by a real bad day.
      When yours fluctuates down does it rebound loud?

      I don't know why I persist finding others with matching T condition...
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    30. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      @Marlene
      Hugs to you too. Thank you.
       

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