Tinnitus Newbie — Could a Peanut Butter Protein Bar Be the Reason for My Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by hobopatty, Feb 21, 2020.

    1. hobopatty

      hobopatty Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 21, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Greetings! My name is Hobo Patty. I first noticed my tinnitus January 21, 2020.

      I searched for causes and didn't find much that I could relate to. No loud music, no hearing loss, and was horrified to see that this could last forever, with no real cure. I lack quality health insurance so being tested for anything is unlikely any time soon. I would like to share, however one culprit I believe may be the cause (for me). The sound I hear, by the way, is a high pitched annoying never ending ring in my right ear. I occasionally hear crickets in my left ear, but only lasts a minute or 2 and then stops, and only once a week or so. But the right ear high pitch ringing is nonstop. Hard to fall asleep and concentrate.

      I decided to try and eliminate a new snack I have recently begun indulging on. High Protein bars, Pure Protein brand, peanut butter chocolate. 20 grams of protein per bar, 2 grams of sugar and I think 6 grams of fat. Stopped eating them for a bit over a week..., the tinnitus became lower pitch, and less audible to me (almost unnoticeable).

      Then I ate one bar each day for 2 days, and by the 3rd day the loud high pitch returned. (It's the 7500 Hz pitch, by the way). I will again stop eating the bars, and report back in another week or two....

      *Note - I have always been sensitive to noises - almost to the point of psychotic with sounds like leaf blowers, loud motorcycles/loud car muffler, loud music etc etc to the point in most cases of being put in an horrific mood/angry. I read somewhere that there may be correlations to noise haters like me, and tinnitus... interesting fact.

      I'm hoping to read more about it as time permits. Cheers!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @hobopatty

      Many things can cause tinnitus and it's possible certain foods, beverages can cause it too especially, if one has an adverse reaction to them that they're unaware of. Therefore, it is best to have an open mind as many things are possible.

      I think it best to rule out the two most common things that can cause tinnitus. The first is exposure to loud noise. I know you have said that you don't listen to loud music and this may well be the case, but to make sure I want to ask: do you listen to music regularly through headphones even at low volume? Do you use a headset for playing computer games or for work? Do you work in a noisy environment? If you engage in any of the things that I have mentioned, particularly using headphones which are the number one cause of Noise induced tinnitus, then it's likely your tinnitus is noise induced.

      The second most common cause of tinnitus, is an underlying medical problem within your auditory system. To determine this you will need to be examined at ENT. This will require a hearing test perhaps blood work and an MRI scan.

      The ear and auditory system are delicate, so I advise you not to try and self medicate as you don't know what you are doing and could make the tinnitus worse. By all means experiment by eliminating certain foods or beverages from your diet if that is what you wish to do. However, if your tinnitus becomes more problematic and I assume it is already otherwise you wouldn't be posting in this forum, then I advise you to see an ENT doctor for tests as soon as you are able to. Tinnitus needs investigation by professionals when it becomes a problem to manage.

      First you need to rule out exposure to loud noise as the cause of the tinnitus. If you don't use headphones, headset or go to clubs and concerts. You do not work in a noisy environment. Then it's most likely the tinnitus isn't noise related. The next step is to be seen at ENT. If your tinnitus isn't caused by an underlying medical condition, then you need to be referred to an Audiologist that specialises in Tinnitus and Hyperacusis treatment. The fact that you have an oversensitivity to sound, is something an Audiologist should be able to help you with.

      I am sorry to hear you do not have sufficient health insurance at the moment and I hope this changes for you. Please keep in mind what I have said about the ear and auditory system being delicate. I advise not try to treat yourself medically.

      Please click on the links below and read my posts on tinnitus that you might find helpful.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
      • Like Like x 3
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hobopatty

      hobopatty Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 21, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you so much for your reply, and for sharing your knowledge and information. It is very helpful to me and I appreciate that very much. As for sound, I have never used headphones, nor been exposed to loud sounds, ever. I do seem to have an odd relationship with sound, however, which is all the more reason why this tinnitus is so tortuous to me. I would say as of the past 10 years or so, I have developed an exreeeemly low tolerance to many sounds. Helicopter noise, leaf blowers, motorcycles, and especially music. Even the sounds of neighbors closing their drawers or cabinets can grate on my nerves. Music from speakers in grocery stores is extremely annoying to me. My irritation to these sounds is enormous, and I know that it isn't normal. Also, ear-worm, or the repetition to songs can get stuck in my head for days which can really torture me, which is one reason I hate music so much. Also, I can at times hear a "phantom" orchestra playing in my head, or phantom musical instruments like tubas and violins or organ music playing musical notes. Very very odd, I know. I can honestly say I have suffered from it, at times making me unable to enjoy my peace. But now, this tinnitus has started, and it is definitely an audible, high-pitched constant sound in my right ear, unlike the phantom music that plays in my head at times. I am baffled over whether there is some kind of connection. I've researched some information that suggests the phantom music that I've heard in my head was my brain being tricked by fan motors, or other outside sounds that my brain translated to musical notes that it had once heard in the past. Also, yesterday and today the tinnitus is louder than ever before. I also use diuretic blood pressure medication, which I have just read could be a culprit. Not a whole lot of info out there, but I have found some. Sorry to ramble, but wanted to share my experience. Cheers!
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hobopatty

      hobopatty Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 21, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Update: Stopped the protein bars two weeks now. There is a very slight decrease in the volume of the sound, but there are times when it pops up VERY loud for relatively short periods of time. I am not convinced the protein bars were the cause, but will still refrain for another week and see how it goes. The protein bars were the only new food that I began to consume, so that is why I am suspicious of them being the cause. There are a lot of suspect ingredients in them that I have never heard of, so there's that. Plus, soy. Just want to share in case it helps anyone who may search for similar experience. Will update again. I am learning to ignore the sound too, which helps.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hobopatty

      hobopatty Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 21, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Ok, I believe I have discovered the culprit causing my Tinnitus. It is aspartame. The protein bars I had begun to consume are a low sugar variety and artificial sweeteners are in the ingredients. After stopping the bars and experimenting with reintroduction into my diet, I noticed tinnitus became worse when consuming, and lessened when I refrained. So I stopped them completely. Then, as I was looking for a low cal, low sugar sweet snack (as I began a new diet as of Jan 1, 2020), I made a purchase of no sugar added jello cups. I began consuming 2 of these 10 calorie cups a day. Low and behold, it has been about 10 days in, and my tinnitus has become the worst it's ever been to date. The high pitch ringing has become a high pitch screaming, so loud I can barely think the past 3 days. I thought about what was newly added to me diet...the jello cups...ingredient number 2 - aspartame. I looked up aspartame causing tinnitus and yes, it has been clinically found to be one of the side effects of artificial sweeteners. Up until Jan 1, 2020, I had never consumed aspartame. The protein bars, as well as the jello cups were purchased and consumed due to a diet I have been on since the New Year (lost 27 pounds so far). Now I will eliminate the sugar free jello along with anything that has any artificial sweetener, and report back in a week or so. But I am confident the artificial sweetener is the cause.
       
    6. ACG
      Studious

      ACG Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      One of my doctors, a tinnitus specialist, claimed that aspartame was a trigger for a lot of his patients.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. ASilverLight
      In pain

      ASilverLight Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      That's the question.
      I might try to go a week without aspartame (rip Pepsi Max) and see if it helps me - however I have tried not drinking for a week before and found no difference, and whether I have any or none at all, my tinnitus doesn't increase/lessen... I've also been consuming it for YEARS and never had a single issue.

      I hope you've found your culprit though! Good luck :)
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hobopatty

      hobopatty Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 21, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      It may be that after consuming it for years, the affect from the aspartame that caused the tinnitus may be so deeply embedded in your cells that it will take much longer than one week in order for you to see any marked change. It may not be the culprit and of course could be something else, but you might try giving it at least a month since your usage has been so long/many years. It could take a long time for whatever changes the aspartame caused inside your cells to reverse, or, return to normal.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hobopatty

      hobopatty Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 21, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Also, if a tinnitus specialist claimed that aspartame was a trigger for a lot of his patients, I am even more convinced that this is a likely trigger in many cases, and, unfortunately, many thousands if not millions of sufferers may not even know it.
       
    10. ASilverLight
      In pain

      ASilverLight Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      That's the question.
      You may be right. I don't think it's the sole cause of my tinnitus as I have diagnosed ETD and there's something wrong with my neck, but I know it's worth a try. Strangely the tinnitus came on at a time I was consuming far less aspartame lol, my intake still isn't very high and never has been honestly. I'll give it a try for a month and hope I can last :LOL:
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      hobopatty

      hobopatty Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 21, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Well, a week with no artificial sweetener, and no difference at all. Although there are some hours during the course of a day that I am preoccupied and ignore it, as soon as I give it a thought I can hear it loud and clear. I will still remain artificial sweetener free, in desperation, with the hope that it may just need a lot more time. Haven't given up all hope yet. I will report again, down the road. Cheers!
       

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