Vitamin B12 Deficiency Could Contribute to Tinnitus

by | Jan 24, 2023 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources, Tinnitus

A vitamin B12 deficiency is more prevalent in people who reach 60 years old and above. Have you been hearing a ringing in your ear? It could be a sign that you’re lacking the nutrient.

Vitamin B12 is found in the foods you eat. Normally, the protein is absorbed in the gut to be used by the body. However, if you have a ringing in your ear, there may be a problem.

Ringing in the ear(s) is known as tinnitus. The sound has been described as buzzing, whooping, humming, hissing, throbbing, music, or singing.

It’s possible to hear these noises, which may come and go, in one or both ears.

Tinnitus could be a neurological symptom of pernicious anemia – an autoimmune condition that prevents a person from absorbing vitamin B12 from their diet.

The Pernicious Anaemia Society explained that people with the autoimmune condition don’t have the necessary protein (intrinsic factor) to absorb vitamin B12.

Intrinsic factor is made from the parietal cells found in the lining of the stomach.

The parietal cells also create hydrochloric acid, which enables B12 to be released from food while the intrinsic factor enables absorption.

When the body produces antibodies that attack the parietal cells, intrinsic factor and hydrochloric acid aren’t readily available.

Vitamin B12 comes from animal products, such as cheese, fish, eggs, shellfish, and meat. But when a person has pernicious anemia, the body slowly becomes deficient in nutrients. This leads to deformed red blood cells, most likely bent out of shape and large. The strange shape will restrict the red blood cells’ ability to transport oxygen.

If you’ve experienced ringing in your ears, it’s essential not to overlook it as a mere annoyance. Tinnitus can be more than just a symptom; it may be a signal from your body indicating a deeper health issue, such as a vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia.

Understanding the root cause of tinnitus is crucial for effective management and treatment. At Port Credit Audiology, we’re committed to helping you not only manage tinnitus but also explore underlying causes and solutions.

Don’t let tinnitus go unchecked. Reach out to us to learn more about tinnitus, its connections with vitamin B12 deficiency, and how we can support your hearing health journey. Together, we can find a path to clearer hearing and overall well-being.

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Dario Coletta

Dario Coletta M.Sc., Au.D., Reg. CASLPO Doctor of Audiology is the head Audiologist of Port Credit Audiology & Hearing Aid Clinic. Dario obtained his Doctor of Audiology from A.T. Still University and Master of Science in Audiology from the University of British Columbia following his Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. He currently holds lecturer status at the University of Toronto in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Dario continues to work part-time at the Toronto General Hospital and has knowledge in advanced diagnostics, bespoke hearing aid fittings, and cerumen management. Dario also has a special interest in managing and counselling patients with tinnitus. He brings knowledge and efficiency in prescribing and fitting the newest hearing aid technology, and is committed to helping patients find an individualized solution for their hearing healthcare concerns.