Magnesium And Tinnitus: Exploring Alternative Remedies

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Magnesium supplements

Magnesium, a mineral well-known for its potential benefits in improving sleep and aiding digestive health, is also gaining attention for its role in hearing health, including its impact on tinnitus. When you browse the vitamin aisle of your local store, you’ll likely find a variety of magnesium supplements, each designed to address specific health concerns. But did you know that these supplements might also offer significant benefits for your ears, especially for those experiencing tinnitus? Research has indicated that magnesium supplements can positively influence hearing health, offering an additional avenue of support for individuals with tinnitus symptoms. In this article, we’ll delve into the specifics of how magnesium is used for tinnitus, exploring the ways in which this essential mineral affects the body and how incorporating a magnesium supplement could bolster your hearing health.

Why Magnesium Is Necessary For Good Health

Magnesium is a mineral within the body. It is found in abundance in healthy bodies, and is partially responsible for energy production and maintaining metabolic homeostasis. Magnesium contributes to the structural development of bones, and is also a necessary component involved in the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and glutathione, an antioxidant. Magnesium is also used in the transportation of calcium and potassium ions across cell membrane – a process that is integral to healthy cell function, the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and a normal, established heart rhythm.

"Treble Health is a beacon of hope - they helped me to significantly reduce my tinnitus volume and awareness within just a few short months."
"Treble Health is a beacon of hope - they helped me to significantly reduce my tinnitus volume and awareness within just a few short months."
– Melinda
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Magnesium, a mineral commonly recommended for specific health issues like muscle cramps, constipation, and sleep disturbances, plays a much broader role in maintaining overall well-being, including long-term glucose regulation. Research has shown that diets rich in magnesium are linked to a significantly reduced risk of diabetes, likely owing to magnesium’s critical function in glucose metabolism.

Beyond its impact on glucose levels, magnesium is a key player in bone health. It influences the absorption of vitamin D, a crucial element for maintaining bone homeostasis. A number of population studies have found a positive link between adequate magnesium intake and improved bone mineral density in both men and women. These findings suggest that a diet high in magnesium not only promotes stronger bones but also potentially lowers the risk of osteoporosis. This highlights magnesium’s multifaceted role in supporting various aspects of our health beyond its commonly known benefits.

What Does The Science Say?

Maintaining healthy magnesium levels is crucial for preserving good hearing health. Interestingly, tinnitus symptoms can emerge when magnesium levels in the body are deficient, as these low levels may adversely affect hearing. Given that hearing loss is a primary factor in the development of tinnitus symptoms, it’s plausible to suggest that insufficient magnesium might trigger the onset of tinnitus or exacerbate its symptoms. Consequently, addressing this magnesium-dependent tinnitus could involve elevating the body’s magnesium levels, either through dietary modifications or by taking supplements. This approach highlights the importance of magnesium in managing and potentially mitigating tinnitus symptoms.

Scientist examining different beakers in a lab

One study actually found using magnesium for tinnitus useful: the study assessed the relationship between serum magnesium levels found in blood samples and bilateral subjective tinnitus. By evaluating patients reporting tinnitus and those with normal hearing, the researchers found that serum magnesium concentration was significantly lower in tinnitus patients than in the normal hearing group. The study concluded that low levels of magnesium within the body is linked to changes in auditory signals, potentially leading to the loud sound associated with tinnitus, or the increase of symptoms.

Another study evaluating the health of the inner ear and how magnesium impacts inner ear conditions determined that magnesium has the ability to protect the hair cells within the inner ear from loud sound exposure. 300 subjects in the study were given magnesium supplements prior to loud sound exposure, and were found to experience less noise induced hearing loss than the control group.

Magnesium Could Offer Fresh Hope To Tinnitus Sufferers

People with hearing loss and tinnitus may be able to find some relief via magnesium supplementation. Used as a treatment or a preventive measure, magnesium may be able to guard against hearing loss and hearing conditions through its neuroprotective and vasodilation properties. This is particularly true of hearing loss and tinnitus caused by noise exposure and sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Research has continually suggested that tinnitus comes alongside damage to the delicate structures of the inner ear and issues within the nerve signaling apparatus along the auditory nerve and auditory systems within the brain. Supplementation may help address signaling issues within the auditory system, and support nerve cell communication, further addressing the presence of tinnitus symptoms.

Is There A Specific Magnesium Dosage To Treat Tinnitus?

Determining the optimal magnesium intake for supporting hearing health, particularly in the context of tinnitus, is not straightforward. Currently, there isn’t a specific dosage of magnesium that’s officially recommended for treating tinnitus. This is because magnesium is available as a supplement rather than a prescription medication, meaning its usage guidelines are based on general Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs), which vary according to age and sex. While these RDAs provide a baseline for general intake, they do not constitute an officially endorsed treatment for tinnitus. However, these guidelines can still be a useful starting point for individuals looking to tailor their magnesium intake to their specific needs, keeping in mind the broader context of their overall health and nutritional requirements.

Sources Of Magnesium

Bowl of almonds as a source of magnesium

There are two ways to increase your magnesium intake to develop ear protection or improve tinnitus symptoms: through food items, and through a magnesium supplement. Food items most frequently associated with excess magnesium include green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale), legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. High dietary fiber foods generally offer sufficient magnesium, with fruits, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cereals, edamame, rice, yogurt, dark chocolate, and almonds all being notable sources. Additionally, magnesium is commonly added to breakfast cereals and other fortified foods as a convenient way to increase intake without relying on dietary supplements.

Over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplements are another accessible source of magnesium. These supplements come in various forms, such as magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, and magnesium chloride. They are available as capsules, caplets, and dissolvable powders, some flavored to make consumption more palatable. Consulting a health professional is advisable to determine the most appropriate type of magnesium supplement for your individual needs, considering factors like medical history and serum magnesium levels.

Medications can also elevate magnesium levels, with examples like Milk of Magnesia and Rolaids containing substantial amounts of magnesium. However, it’s important to use these with caution and under some level of supervision, as even over-the-counter medications can have significant side effects. They are not a one-size-fits-all solution and should not be used indiscriminately.

Ultimately, while it can be difficult to determine what triggers tinnitus, supplementation and dietary changes can be a good starting point from which to work to develop a “signal boost” to cells and increase hearing health.

Supplementation Side Effects

Man holding a jar of magnesium supplements

For most individuals who increase their magnesium intake through diet, the risk of serious side effects is quite low, except in cases of food allergies or sensitivities. Consuming large quantities of magnesium-rich foods, particularly those high in fiber, might occasionally lead to digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea, but such instances are uncommon. Generally, dietary sources are deemed the safest and most effective method for enhancing magnesium levels in the body.

However, the use of magnesium supplements can be associated with certain side effects. Excessive intake of these supplements might cause cramps, diarrhea, and nausea, which usually resolve upon discontinuing the supplement. Persistent overconsumption, despite these symptoms, raises the risk of magnesium overdose. Such an overdose can result in an accumulation of magnesium in the body, leading to toxic levels. Symptoms of magnesium toxicity include fatigue, low blood pressure, muscle weakness, and difficulty breathing. In the event of experiencing these symptoms, immediate medical attention is crucial. It’s also important to be aware that side effects from various medications and supplements can adversely affect hearing health. Therefore, understanding the potential risks associated with any new supplement or medication is essential for maintaining overall well-being.

What Are Alternative Treatments For Tinnitus?

Although using magnesium for tinnitus has shown promise, it is not yet recommended as a cure for tinnitus or a stand alone treatment for the condition. It can be used to prevent damages caused by loud noise exposure, as loud sound exposure turned out far less harmful in trials using magnesium, but limiting noise exposure effectively accomplishes the same goal. Neither magnesium, nor ginkgo biloba and other dietary supplements are currently used as frontline treatments for tinnitus; researchers and hearing health professionals alike recommend other forms of treatment with more long-term success and years of research supporting their use. Evidence-based treatment options offered by hearing health professionals such as those at Treble Health recommend the following treatment options:

  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). TRT is a tinnitus treatment that addresses phantom sound by using educational counseling to improve a patient’s understanding of tinnitus and sound therapy to help address the phantom sounds associated with the condition.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a mental health intervention that is used to address the emotional response to having a ringing sensation in the ears. CBT is an effective intervention to help reduce any significant stress caused by tinnitus symptoms by reframing responses to the condition and improving mental health surrounding its symptoms.
  • Sound Therapy. Sound therapy can be delivered using a hearing aid or a sound machine. The purpose of this therapy is to interrupt the incoming signals from the auditory system headed to the brain structure involved in processing sound, and masking or matching the sounds of tinnitus.
  • Hearing Aids. Hearing aids can be used in several ways to address hearing loss and tinnitus. Aids can amplify sounds, to help overpower the sounds of tinnitus to improve hearing, but they can also be used to deliver a specific sound frequency to help mask the sounds of tinnitus.

Managing Tinnitus With Treble Health

At Treble Health, we understand the unique challenges presented by tinnitus. Our team of audiologists is here to help, offering expert guidance and support tailored to your specific condition. If you have any questions about how we can help your personal situation, we encourage you to schedule a complimentary telehealth consultation with our team.

By scheduling a complimentary telehealth consultation, you are taking a vital step towards understanding and managing your tinnitus. In this 20-minute Zoom session, our team will provide personalized recommendations, answer your questions, and help you navigate the complexities of tinnitus. We are committed to helping you find relief and improve your quality of life. Click here to book your free consultation and start your journey to a quieter, more comfortable life.

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