What's the Consensus on Food Being a Trigger for Making Tinnitus Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Ryzen, Dec 18, 2018.

    1. Ryzen

      Ryzen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Began after a single night of wearing Bose Sleepbuds
      Does food really have an effect on tinnitus, or does it not?

      For those who are convinced, what foods affect you? And how long does it take for you to notice symptoms?
    2. JohnAdams

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      it started.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      hearing loss
      I think so. I found some sushi from the grocery store that seems to trigger spikes
    3. hans799

      hans799 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Always had it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Baseline: born with it, Morse code since 12/2016: headphones
      I think there's a lot of individual variability on this. For me personally, food has never had any effect on T - no matter how salty, sugary or spicy, nothing happens. I've experimented with various diets (I've been on keto for 1.5 years now), also no effect. Tried fasting, again no effect.

      The only "food" that does affect it is alcohol, mellows it out nicely. Alcohol is good.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. sky_high

      sky_high Member Benefactor

      Berlin / Bucharest
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      lexapro / stress / unknown
      I think asian food from the restaurant because they are notorious for adding monosodium glutamate as flavor enhancer. I noticed a correlation only after I've red a bit on the topic, so it might be just auto-suggestion. Also I've read this article recently: https://www.hearingsol.com/articles/food-affecting-tinnitus/, but take it with a grain of salt as I don't know how reliable is the source.
    5. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Dairy products. The spike begins in a couple of hours and is usually gone the next day.
    6. Red

      Red Member

      Northeast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure (Headphones)
      I've never really noticed, personally. I don't think it affects me but I could always be wrong.

      Supposedly the heart has a hand in tinnitus volume due to being related to how much blood is supplied to the ear or....something. Which would, I guess, explain food triggers.
      I also think people might end up imagining food triggers and that it's just coincidence.

      I'm not outright dismissive but I have a healthy dose of skepticism when people say T increases are related to diet, wifi, running, etc.
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Certain foods and drink can affect some people with tinnitus especially if they were predisposed to this before the onset of the condition. I personally feel, if a person wasn't previously affected by certain foods and drink before the tinnitus, then much of this is psychosomatic. Please read my post below.


      Food, drink and tinnitus

      Many years ago when I first got tinnitus, I wanted to learn as much as possible about it. I believed acquiring the right knowledge and being proactive was the best way forward in finding a cure. Like many people new to the condition I was desperate and going through a very difficult time. My appointment to be seen at ENT for the first time was six months away and it couldn’t come soon enough. Whenever I could manage it, I read books on tinnitus and it wasn’t long before I learnt certain foods and drinks could make it worse.

      The advice given was to keep a food diary and over a period of time, slowly omit certain foods and drink from one’s diet to see if there was a reduction of the tinnitus, and if there wasn’t reintroduce them. One of the main concerns was to avoid excessive salt and where possible reduce its intake. Cut down on red meat and avoid dairy products. Limit the use of sugar and refrain from drinking anything containing caffeine. It would mean missing my regular cup of coffee first thing in the morning but it would be worth it since I was on a mission and determined to succeed.

      Alcohol was best avoided. I wasn’t a regular drinker but enjoyed a glass of wine or brandy occasionally. Surprisingly, with the onset of my tinnitus I found a glass of wine during the evening helped to relax me. Everywhere that I went I had my notebook and pen writing down everything I eat or drank. At first there was a lot of enthusiasm but as the days and weeks passed this began to wane.

      Constantly reading the inredients of every food item bought at the weekly shop can get tedious after a while, especially when there was no noticeable reduction in my tinnitus. I began to feel miserable and at times felt life wasn’t worth living. Having to cope with raging tinnitus and hyperacusis on one hand and monitoring every morsel of food and drink that passed my lips on the other. It just wasn’t a pleasant experience.

      I missed my regular cup of coffee because the caffeine free substitutes weren’t doing it for me. After enduring this for five weeks I decided enough was enough. I put my notebook and pen away and returned to my normal eating and drinking. I now looked forward to having a sirloin or ribeye steak without thinking is this going to increase my tinnitus, or eating a sugar coated jam doughnut or having yoghurt. One can easily be drawn into a world of paranoia over such issues if they aren’t careful. I became less stressed and I was no longer plagued with headaches, which can be a symptom of caffeine withdrawal.

      The result was no difference in my tinnitus or hyperacusis. Although they were still intrusive I felt life was more tolerable and I wasn’t constantly monitoring them to see if there was any reduction or increase as a result of what I eat or drank.

      There are many books on food, drink and tinnitus and the Internet is awash with this information. My advice to anyone that is new to this condition and wants to pursue this route then please do so with caution. In the early stages tinnitus can be very stressful and emotionally draining. Do you really want to put more pressure on yourself considering what I’ve mentioned above?

      It is true that some people are allergic to certain foods and drink and the preservatives within them. Therefore, it’s important they be aware of what they consume. I had taken no such precautions before the onset of my tinnitus other than to eat and drink in moderation.
      • Like Like x 1
    8. coffee_girl

      coffee_girl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      All my life, but got worse 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced / Concert
      Coffee... The stronger it is the harder I go
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Kelvin

      Kelvin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Work
      Both high Salt and high Sugar foods will cause my T to seem much louder.
      It takes about a minute or so to start and only lasts about an hour or so...then returns to baseline.
      Happens every time without fail.
      As I seem to be listening to the blood flow in my neck / head...my best guess is these foods affect blood pressure / flow rate, and hence the T sound might seem louder ?
      Funnily enough a story about T and blood pressure / carotid artery disease was posted by the BTA today on their Facebook page.
      If you get the same it might be worth just asking your Doctor to check your BP and for artery scaling in your neck - just to make sure. :cool:

    10. another sean

      another sean Member Benefactor

      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Long duration of low audio
      Within minutes dairy, salt, citrus, vinegar, caffeine and certain herbals within teas will spike my shitinus for a few hours.
      • Useful Useful x 1
    11. ACG

      ACG Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      You and I are tinnitus twins! We have the same symptoms even the issue with the serotonin and dopamine. Thank goodness for wine.

      To answer the question, I've eaten the same meals over and over for days just to see if food had an effect. Some days it spiked, some days it didn't, so I really don't think certain foods causes tinnitus spikes for me personally.

      What I do think is if you have a food allergy that causes another reaction (causes inflammation, mucus buildup, whatever) that might spike the tinnitus. I also think salt can spike it because the sale/potassium balance affects water retention which can affect the inner ear.

      And then I do think that for some people with fluctuating tinnitus, food spikes it just because the process of digestion and the Krebs cycle itself spikes tinnitus.
      • Hug Hug x 1

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