The Links to Magnesium Deficiency
My younger son and I both have had problems from time to time with sensitivity to noise. In both our cases we believe we have traced the problems to a magnesium deficiency. Many of the other problems we have in our family can also be traced to a lack of this important mineral, so we suspect that a predisposition to need higher than normal amounts of magnesium may run in our family. From my experience, most conventional medical doctors are not aware of the magnesium deficiency - noise sensitivity link, so I put up this web page to make more people aware of the connection.
Magnesium is a vital co-factor in several hundred enzymatic reactions in the human body, so a deficiency of magnesium can result in a wide variety of health problems, as shown in the table below.
Subset of Conditions Linked to Magnesium Deficiency
In our family, we each tend to have clusters of the types of problems listed in the chart above, but when we eat diets high in magnesium, we are able to keep many of these problems under control.
At home we try to eat a very healthy diet, with many magnesium rich, fruits, beans, grains, and vegetables. This helps to keep the sensitive hearing problem under control for both my son and myself. However, my son tends to develop problems whenever we go on vacation--times when he eats more processed foods and less vegetables. We know he is having trouble when we go to an amusement park or loud movie, and he put his fingers in his ears to block out the pain from the loud noise. When we see this happening, we then head to the nearest Mexican restaurant and load him up on salad and refried beans, two magnesium rich foods. A meal like this will often bring about an immediate improvement.
Another interesting point to note is that the magnesium deficiency - sensitive hearing link may be true for animals as well as humans. We bought a guinea pig as a pet for our kids last year. We had read that guinea pigs were very sensitive to noise and, indeed, when we first got out little piggie he would shake, squeal or hide whenever there were loud noises in the house.
We thought changing his diet from pet store food to a more natural diet higher in magnesium might help him. So we took him off the guinea pig food from the store and fed him a diet a fresh clover and grass from the backyard as well as a wide assortment of organic fruit and veggies from the local health food store. Our hunch was right. His hearing seems to have become much less sensitive these days. Now he comes out of his little guinea pig house readily even if we are vacuuming or our children have a large, noisy group of friends over to play. Prior to the diet change, he would have hid in his house and not come out for a long time until after the noises went away.
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Sensitive Hearing Triggers
There are a number of factors that we've noticed bring on the sensitive hearing and related signs of magnesium deficiency in our family. These are:
Alcohol use is another possible cause of magnesium deficiency, leading some experts to suggest that hangovers are actually acute, temporary episodes of a deficiency of this nutrient. Migraine headaches are another condition that has been linked to both magnesium deficiency and sensitive hearing.
Noise Sensitivity Treatments
The treatments that work for us are basically just to:
For more information on the diet changes that helped our sensitive hearing, refer to my page on the fibromyalgia diet at www.dtds.info/fibromyalgia-diet.html. The same types of diet changes that helped relax our muscles also helped with the noise sensitivity.
Related Pages in This Site:
Related Web Sites:
The Importance of Magnesium to Human Nutrition: http://www.healthy.net/asp/templates/article.asp?PageType=Article&ID=541 - Reviews the symptoms of magnesium deficiency including " loud noise sensitivity from stapedius muscle tension in the ear." Other symptoms reviewed in this web site include impaired contraction of smooth muscles, photophobia, especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights not caused by eye disease, twitches, cramps, muscles soreness, TMJ, anxiety, constant movement.
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