Tinnitus Foods To Avoid
The healthy eating or – say the cynics – the food faddery debate of recent years has reached the subject of tinnitus. As the affluent West gives the impression of spending more time debating the supposed dangers of food than actually preparing and eating it, the torrent of words has spilled over into discussions of what on the menu is good or bad for permanent head noises. The conflicting advice it has all generated has left sufferers either rather confused or convinced that there is, as yet, but slender evidence of any link between what is consumed and what is heard.
With every other person seemingly wanting to excel in understanding the finer points of dietary matters, it had to happen that a large number of people with tinnitus should bring forward their own ideas. Variously they are ready to condemn almost any item of food and drink, from red wine and white cabbage to white sugar and red apples, as causing louder noises in the head. Anyone who took all their advice would have the added problem of malnutrition to confront.
To date there is no scientific evidence that the absence or presence of a particular food or drink can influence head sounds. Sufferers seeking advice from doctors are usually lectured sagely about sensible dieting in the interests of general good health but are not given any list of items to eat or avoid for their tinnitus. An otherwise healthy individual is naturally better able to cope with the strains and stresses imposed by any medical condition. Such general advice is therefore an indirect help in countering the worst effects of tinnitus, but that is as far as it should go. Many remain unconvinced, however.
At any meeting of tinnitus people – indeed, in any conversation between just two – dietary fads will often crop up. Alcohol is frequently cited as a major irritant, with red wine receiving most brickbats. Yet the relaxing effects of alcohol can be an aid to coping with tinnitus. A high-fat diet is also blamed for increased noise in the head, but eating a plate of pastries can be so enjoyable that the eater can better face up to his or her noises!
And what does one make of dietary arguments that change so rapidly? Not long ago the common potato was slammed as a fat-making threat to health. Now it is championed as a fat-free, stable and harmless food. Today the battle lines drawn between butter and margarine are perhaps not as clear-cut as opposing sides in that part of the food industry would have us believe. As the words and allegedly expert counsel fly around them, the tinnitus population is left to pick the wheat from the chaff, as it were. But is there anything of use to be picked?
The most important thing to remember is that food is fuel, no different from a tankful of petrol in a car. It gives us energy and the ability to run the complex machine we call our body from hour to hour. Virtually everyone with tinnitus says it is much worse when they are tired, or feeling worn out. Food is no substitute for sleep, but its absence during waking hours can and does induce physical weakness, which itself makes tinnitus feel louder.
The basic lesson is therefore: don't starve yourself. Proper eating can be an ally in keeping some tinnitus at bay. As tinnitus is also usually worse on waking, a sweetened or other high-energy drink first thing in the morning can help. Adequate reserves of energy will give a person the strength to put the noises partly in their place, below the highest levels of consciousness. At the other end of the day, going to bed with an empty fuel tank can produce what used to be called night starvation, unsatisfactory rest and a premature awakening with attendant louder noises.
Amid all the confused messages of the healthy food debate, there is the real danger that anxiety about food can itself seriously add to stress already brought about by tinnitus. In such cases it is not worth the worry.
Meanwhile, some people are ready to read too much into indications that a particular food or drink is bad for tinnitus. If red wine does make anyone feel worse, for instance, it is wrong to condemn all alcoholic drinks. If cheese does the same, other dairy products do not necessarily deserve condemnation. Before drawing lasting conclusions about one's diet, it is essential to approach the subject with method and discipline.
Changes in tinnitus and variations in diet should be recorded in detail over some weeks, to see if any pattern emerges. A suspect food or drink should be consumed for at least a week and then abandoned for a similar period. But as tinnitus can fluctuate anyway for no apparent reason, the chance of coincidence has to be taken into account if erroneous conclusions are not to be drawn. Giving hasty credence to a food theory can be quite silly. Giving up tea, coffee, wine, meat and cheese, for example, can mean sacrificing food and drink which may have no adverse effect anyway. The resulting lack of enjoyment found in those items makes life less of a pleasure and tinnitus a bigger burden.
As very little is understood about the causes of tinnitus, considerations of diet must remain on the periphery of the subject, but with a scarcity of knowledge at the centre, it is little wonder that the topic of food and drink should attract such passionate discussion at the edge of it. To find out more, you can check out Tinnitus Foods To Avoid.
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