Picture of question marks made out of foodPeople with tinnitus (a neurological disorder) experience a ringing in their ears even when there is no external reason for the sound. Certain triggers may exasperate these sounds, one of which few people know about is foods. Although food doesn’t necessarily trigger the symptoms of tinnitus, certain foods can worsen the problem. If you have tinnitus, you may find relief by eliminating some, if not all of the following foods and beverages from your diet.

Foods that Raise Blood Sugar

Increases in your insulin or blood sugar levels may increase your tinnitus symptoms. Hyperinsulinemia, which is caused by a high blood sugar level, may be reduced by limiting your intake of refined carbohydrates and sweets. An attempt to keep your carbohydrate intake spread out evenly through the day may help to keep your blood sugar levels within recommended range, which may ultimately help to reduce or eliminate the ringing in your ears.

Foods that Raise Cholesterol

Metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of symptoms resulting from high triglycerides, high blood sugar and high cholesterol may increase the symptom of tinnitus. Studies have shown that people who suffer from metabolic syndrome and tinnitus showed improvements in their tinnitus symptoms when they made changes to their triglyceride, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. For example, foods that high in trans or saturated fats and animal-based foods can increase your cholesterol levels, so by limiting these foods and eating more plant-based protein foods, you will get your fat mainly from unsaturated fats. This can lower your cholesterol and reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.

Salt and Foods Containing Salicylates

Tonic water, alcohol, cheese and very salty foods may occasionally increase the symptoms of tinnitus. Some people who have problems with food allergens and/or foods that contain salicylates, such as tomatoes, peaches, tea, berries and almonds may also experience increased tinnitus symptoms when consuming these foods.


There is some “conflict” when it comes to caffeine and its effect on tinnitus. There is no sure-fire evidence that has proven one way or the other that caffeine may increase (or decrease) the symptoms of tinnitus, but there is an agreeance on the fact that caffeine is a stimulant and that it contains diuretic properties and stress (stimulant) and loss of body fluids (diuretic-induced) are both triggers of tinnitus. So, it is recommended that you keep a diary to record your own personal experiences with tinnitus symptoms increasing or decreasing with caffeine use.

It is extremely important that you keep a record of your symptoms and note any foods and/or beverages you consumed just prior to experiencing the symptoms of tinnitus. This will help to eliminate the foods that seem to worsen your symptoms. The best way to determine if it is indeed a particular food or beverage is to eliminate the food after having symptoms, then add the food back into your diet in order to verify that your tinnitus symptoms do worsen when you eat them.