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Can fasting help improve tinnitus?

Although there may be a link between diet and tinnitus, current research does not support the idea that fasting can improve or prevent the condition.

Tinnitus is usuallyTrusted Source subjective, which is when a person experiences a high-pitched ringing or buzzing noise that occurs even though there is no such sound in reality. These audible experiences can come and go or be constant.

However, tinnitus can also be objective, in which there is an actual sound that a doctor can also hear during a physical examination.

Doctors may useTrusted Source cognitive therapy, sound therapy, or stress reduction to help people manage tinnitus. Further research is necessary to determine whether fasting or other dietary changes can help.

This article looks at how fasting might affect tinnitus, the role of diet more broadly, the risks of fasting, and potential treatment options to help with tinnitus.

Does fasting help tinnitus?

Anecdotal claims may suggest that fasting can affect or improve tinnitus. However, no current research has found a link between fasting and tinnitus.

Further research is necessary to understand whether fasting can affect or benefit this condition.

Diet and tinnitus

Aside from fasting, there may be a link between diet and tinnitus. A 2020 population studyTrusted Source looked at 34,576 adults from the United Kingdom, ages 40–69 years. The study authors found the following patterns:

  • higher intake of vitamin B12 correlates with a lower risk of tinnitus
  • higher intakes of calciumiron, and fat correlate with a higher risk of tinnitus
  • high protein diets correlate with a lower risk of tinnitus

2023 study also looked at different dietary patterns in 185 people with tinnitus and 198 people without the condition in a hospital in Italy. The study reports the following patterns:

  • diets with moderate intakes of caffeine or butter correlate with a lower risk of tinnitus
  • diets with high intakes of poultry, prosciutto, and legumes correlate with a lower risk of tinnitus
  • people with a more varied diet have a lower risk of persistent tinnitus

Although these results suggest diet can affect tinnitus, the authors state that further research is necessary to confirm and understand their findings.

Risks of fasting

Fasting can cause weight loss. As a 2018 studyTrusted Source suggests, underweight women may have a higher risk of tinnitus.

If fasting as a weight loss method causes someone to become underweight, their risk of developing tinnitus may increase. However, there is no direct evidence for this effect.

Aside from tinnitus, fasting can pose other risks. A 2023 studyTrusted Source investigated the side effects of intermittent fasting. This is when an individual alternates between fasting and a typical eating routine. The study found evidence for the following side effects:

Tinnitus treatment options

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders lists the following treatment options that doctors may recommendTrusted Source for someone with tinnitus:

  • treating the underlying issue, such as addressing earwax and jaw joint problems, stopping medications that cause symptoms, or managing blood pressure
  • sound therapies, including hearing aids to help improve hearing and sound generators to help with sleep
  • behavioral therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy to help reduce negative thoughts about tinnitus and tinnitus retraining therapy that helps the brain to ignore tinnitus sounds
  • drugs to assist with side effects of tinnitus, such as antidepressants and antianxiety medication

Researchers are also investigating new treatment strategies, such as noninvasive electrical stimulation and deep brain stimulation.

When to speak with a doctor

Anyone with symptoms of tinnitus should speak with a healthcare professional. A doctor can diagnose the condition and provide a personalized treatment plan to help manage symptoms.

People who already have tinnitus should also seek medical advice before beginning to fast. The same is true of people who are considering making other radical changes to their diet.

A healthcare professional can help people make changes to their diet without experiencing nutritional imbalances or any other risks to their overall health.


Current research does not suggest that fasting can alleviate or prevent tinnitus. However, researchers have yet to study the topic extensively, so further studies are necessary to understand if there is a link.

Although there may be a connection between diet and tinnitus, dietary changes are not currently a first-line treatment option for people with tinnitus.

People can speak with a healthcare professional before fasting or making dietary changes to treat or manage tinnitus. A doctor can help people maintain proper nutrition and avoid the potential side effects of fasting, such as headaches and lethargy.

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