Tinnitus – Natural and Nutritional Approaches


Tinnitus – Natural and Nutritional Approaches 

Hello, and welcome to the Blood Detective podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Michael Wald, also known as the Blood Detective. Today, we’ll be delving into the topic of tinnitus and exploring natural and nutritional approaches to managing this condition. Tinnitus, often described as ringing or buzzing in the ears, can be a challenging and distressing experience for many individuals. In this episode, we’ll discuss how diet and nutritional supplements can play a crucial role in supporting overall ear health and potentially alleviating tinnitus symptoms.

Firstly, we’ll explore the impact of diet on tinnitus. Certain foods and beverages have been linked to exacerbating tinnitus symptoms, while others may offer potential benefits. We’ll delve into the importance of maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods, antioxidants, and essential nutrients that support overall ear health. Additionally, we’ll discuss specific nutritional supplements that have shown promise in managing tinnitus symptoms. From magnesium to zinc, vitamin B12, and coenzyme Q10, these supplements may offer support for individuals experiencing tinnitus. Join me as we uncover the natural and nutritional approaches that can potentially make a difference in managing tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by the perception of ringing or other sounds in the ears when no external sound is present. It is a common condition that affects an estimated 50 million people in the United States alone, and it can be caused by a variety of factors.

There are several possible causes of tinnitus, including:

  1. Hearing loss: Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, particularly in older adults. The loss of hair cells in the inner ear can lead to tinnitus.
  2. Exposure to loud noise: Exposure to loud noise, such as from heavy machinery, music, or other loud sounds, can damage the hair cells in the inner ear and lead to tinnitus.
  3. Earwax buildup: Earwax can sometimes build up in the ear canal and cause tinnitus.
  4. Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, aspirin, and certain antidepressants, can cause tinnitus as a side effect.
  5. Head or neck injuries: A head or neck injury can cause tinnitus by affecting the nerves in the ear.
  6. TMJ disorders: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can cause tinnitus by affecting the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull.
  7. High blood pressure: High blood pressure can cause tinnitus by affecting the blood flow to the ears.
  8. Meniere’s disease: Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause tinnitus, along with vertigo, hearing loss, and ear fullness.
  9. Otosclerosis: Otosclerosis is a condition in which there is abnormal bone growth in the middle ear that can cause tinnitus.
  10. Acoustic neuroma: Acoustic neuroma is a type of non-cancerous tumor that can develop on the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain and cause tinnitus.

There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are several treatment options available to help manage the condition. These include sound therapy, counseling, and medications such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. It is important to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and to discuss the best course of treatment for your specific case of tinnitus.

In conclusion, tinnitus is a complex condition with a variety of possible causes. It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing tinnitus, as it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. With the right treatment, it is possible to manage tinnitus and improve your quality of life.

Medical Treatments for Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. While there is no cure for tinnitus, several medical treatments can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals experiencing this condition.

1. Medications:

  • Tricyclic Antidepressants: These medications, such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline, are sometimes prescribed to help relieve severe tinnitus symptoms.
  • Benzodiazepines: Drugs like alprazolam may be used to reduce the severity of tinnitus symptoms, particularly in cases where anxiety or insomnia are contributing factors.
  • Anticonvulsants: Certain anticonvulsant medications, such as gabapentin or carbamazepine, may be prescribed to help manage tinnitus symptoms.

2. Sound Therapy:

  • White Noise Machines: These devices produce a consistent sound that can help mask the ringing or buzzing sensation associated with tinnitus.
  • Hearing Aids: For individuals with both hearing loss and tinnitus, hearing aids can amplify external sounds, which may help minimize the perception of tinnitus.

3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

  • CBT can be beneficial for individuals struggling with the emotional impact of tinnitus. It aims to reframe negative thought patterns and behaviors related to tinnitus, leading to improved coping strategies.

4. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT):

  • TRT combines sound therapy with counseling to help individuals habituate to the sound of their tinnitus and reduce its perceived loudness.

5. Alternative Therapies:

  • Acupuncture: Some individuals find relief from tinnitus symptoms through acupuncture sessions.
  • Herbal Supplements: While evidence is limited, certain herbal supplements like ginkgo biloba have been explored for their potential benefits in managing tinnitus.

6. Experimental Treatments:

  • Research is ongoing into potential new treatments for tinnitus, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS).

It’s important for individuals experiencing tinnitus to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment approach based on their specific symptoms and medical history.

Certainly! Here is a list of the top 20 nutritional supplements, dietary, and other alternative treatments for tinnitus, along with their recommended dosages and a brief explanation of how they are thought to be effective:

  1. Ginkgo biloba: 40-80 mg per day – Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement that is thought to improve blood flow to the inner ear and reduce tinnitus symptoms.
  2. Zinc: 50-100 mg per day – Zinc is an essential mineral that is important for inner ear health, and deficiencies in zinc have been linked to tinnitus.
  3. Vitamin B12: 1000-2000 mcg per day – Vitamin B12 plays a role in the production of myelin, the protective coating around nerve fibers, and deficiencies in B12 can contribute to tinnitus.
  4. Vitamin C: 500-1000 mg per day – Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to tinnitus.
  5. Magnesium: 200-400 mg per day – Magnesium is an essential mineral that can help relax the muscles in the inner ear and reduce tinnitus symptoms.
  6. Omega-3 fatty acids: 1000-2000 mg per day – Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce inflammation in the inner ear that may contribute to tinnitus.
  7. Garlic: 1000-2000 mg per day – Garlic has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce tinnitus symptoms.
  8. Ginseng: 400-600 mg per day – Ginseng is an herbal supplement that is thought to improve blood flow to the inner ear and reduce tinnitus symptoms.
  9. Ashwagandha: 300-500 mg per day – Ashwagandha is an herbal supplement that is thought to reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to tinnitus.
  10. Vitamin E: 400-800 IU per day – Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to tinnitus.
  11. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): 30-100 mg per day – CoQ10 is an antioxidant that can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to tinnitus.
  12. Selenium: 50-100 mcg per day – Selenium is an essential mineral that acts as an antioxidant in the body and can help reduce inflammation in the inner ear that may contribute to tinnitus.
  13. L-theanine: 200-400 mg per day – L-theanine is an amino acid that is thought to reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to tinnitus.
  14. Melatonin: 3-6 mg per day – Melatonin is a hormone that can help regulate sleep and reduce stress, which can contribute to tinnitus.
  15. CBD oil: 25-100 mg per day – CBD oil is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help reduce tinnitus symptoms.
  16. Turmeric: 500-1000 mg per day – Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help reduce tinnitus symptoms.
  17. Ginger: 500-1000 mg per day – Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce tinnitus symptoms.
  18. Cayenne pepper: 100-200 mg per day – Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce tinnitus symptoms.
  19. Licorice root: 200-400 mg per day – Licorice root has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help reduce tinnitus symptoms.
  20. Vitamin D: 1000-2000 IU per day – Vitamin D is important for overall health and may help reduce tinnitus symptoms.


Medium Chain Triglycerides and Neuroplasticity in Tinnitus Improvement

Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of fat that has gained attention for its potential benefits in improving neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This process is crucial for learning, memory, and recovery from brain injuries. Tinnitus, the perception of noise or ringing in the ears without an external source, has been linked to neuroplastic changes in the brain. Understanding how MCTs may influence neuroplasticity and potentially improve tinnitus involves exploring their mechanisms of action and their impact on brain health.

Mechanisms of Action of Medium Chain Triglycerides

MCTs are unique fats that are rapidly metabolized by the liver and readily converted into ketones, which serve as an alternative energy source for the brain. Unlike long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), MCTs bypass the lymphatic system and are transported directly to the liver through the portal vein. Once in the liver, they are rapidly converted into ketones, particularly beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide an efficient fuel source for neurons.

Neuroplasticity and Brain Health

Neuroplasticity is essential for maintaining cognitive function and adapting to changes in sensory input. It allows the brain to rewire itself in response to experiences, learning, and environmental influences. In the context of tinnitus, maladaptive neuroplastic changes in auditory pathways can contribute to the persistence and perception of phantom sounds. Therefore, interventions that support healthy neuroplasticity may offer potential therapeutic benefits for individuals with tinnitus.

MCTs and Neuroplasticity

Research suggests that ketones derived from MCT metabolism can exert neuroprotective effects and modulate synaptic plasticity. By providing an efficient energy substrate for neurons, ketones may enhance mitochondrial function, reduce oxidative stress, and promote the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein associated with neuronal growth and synaptic plasticity. These mechanisms collectively support a conducive environment for neuroplastic changes that could counteract maladaptive processes associated with tinnitus.

Potential Impact on Tinnitus

Given the association between neuroplastic changes and tinnitus perception, interventions aimed at enhancing neuroplasticity have garnered interest as potential strategies for managing tinnitus symptoms. While further clinical studies are needed to directly investigate the effects of MCTs on tinnitus, their ability to support neuroplasticity and brain health suggests a plausible link to improvements in tinnitus perception.

In conclusion, medium chain triglycerides have garnered attention for their potential role in supporting neuroplasticity through the generation of ketones, which can influence synaptic plasticity and neuronal function. While direct evidence linking MCTs to tinnitus improvement is still emerging, their impact on brain health and neuroplasticity presents a compelling avenue for further exploration in the context of tinnitus management.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Atherosclerosis, High Lactic Acid, Low Blood pH, and Tinnitus

Atherosclerosis is a condition characterized by the buildup of plaque in the arteries, leading to restricted blood flow. This can result in various health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. High lactic acid levels and low blood pH can be indicative of poor circulation and inadequate oxygen delivery to tissues. Tinnitus, on the other hand, is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears without an external source.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. This treatment increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, which can promote healing and improve various health conditions.

Atherosclerosis and HBOT

In the context of atherosclerosis, HBOT has been studied for its potential to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation in affected arteries. By delivering high levels of oxygen to the tissues, HBOT may help stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. This can potentially bypass blocked or narrowed arteries, improving circulation to affected areas.

Research has shown that HBOT may also reduce oxidative stress and inflammation associated with atherosclerosis. These effects could help slow down the progression of plaque buildup and reduce the risk of complications such as heart attacks and strokes.

High Lactic Acid, Low Blood pH, and HBOT

Elevated lactic acid levels and low blood pH are often associated with conditions where tissues are deprived of adequate oxygen supply. In such cases, HBOT can play a crucial role in increasing oxygen delivery to these tissues. By doing so, it helps shift cellular metabolism away from anaerobic pathways that produce lactic acid and towards aerobic pathways that utilize oxygen more efficiently.

HBOT has been shown to decrease lactic acid levels by enhancing tissue oxygenation and promoting the clearance of lactate from the bloodstream. Additionally, the increased availability of oxygen through HBOT can help normalize blood pH by supporting cellular respiration and reducing the reliance on anaerobic metabolism.

Tinnitus and HBOT

Tinnitus has been linked to various underlying factors, including poor circulation and damage to the delicate structures within the inner ear. Some studies have explored the use of HBOT as a potential treatment for tinnitus by addressing these underlying issues.

The rationale behind using HBOT for tinnitus lies in its ability to improve blood flow to damaged tissues within the inner ear. By increasing oxygen levels in the blood, HBOT may support tissue repair and reduce inflammation in the auditory system. While research on this specific application is ongoing, some individuals with tinnitus have reported improvements in their symptoms following HBOT sessions.

In summary, hyperbaric oxygen therapy shows promise in addressing atherosclerosis by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation. It also has potential benefits for conditions characterized by high lactic acid levels, low blood pH, and tinnitus by enhancing tissue oxygenation and promoting healing processes.

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*DISCLAIMER: Dr. Michael Wald is a doctor of chiropractic with a masters degree in nutrition. He is also a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Nutritional Specialist and Sports Nutritionist. Dr. Wald is certified to provide acupuncture in several states, but not New York. Dr. Wald has two board certifications in nutrition. Dr. Michael Wald earned his MD diploma, but did not complete a residency and is thus not licensed to practice medicine. The information on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not to substitute for sound medical or health advice. Information contained within this website may change at any time without prior notice. The information on this website is under copyright, 2021.