Tinnitus and levothyroxine?: Hi all, I have been... - Thyroid UK

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Tinnitus and levothyroxine?

Auntbessy profile image

Hi all, I have been suffering from bad tinnitus for 10 months now. I have had an MRI to check for the worst, have no wax problems, no fluid, but do have dry ears. My consultant thinks I have dermatitis in my inner ear. It’s hard to be sure of though because there isn’t anything that visible. I have been prescribed drops to help. Now the tinnitus onset also coincided with me upping my dose last year. My TSH is pretty good 0.2 if I remember rightly. My question is though has anyone else found that levothyroxine causes tinnitus?

28 Replies
SlowDragon profile image

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Can you add your vitamin D, folate. Ferritin and B12 results and ranges

Low B12 is frequent cause of tinnitus

Low B12 extremely common when hypothyroid

Have you had coeliac blood test yet?

Are you now on strictly gluten free diet

Auntbessy profile image
Auntbessy in reply to SlowDragon

Sorry I am so slow to reply. Work and kids are often getting in the way of me addressing my health problems! I had a B12 test a while ago (about 6 months I think) and it was something like 225 which I know is lower than it should be. I have been taking Jarrow high strength B12 lozenges ever since. They have really helped. I’m am on a very low income so cannot afford private tests very often. I am strictly gluten free and have been for 4 years.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Auntbessy

With B12 that low your GP should have tested for Pernicious Anaemia before starting on B12 injections

Was folate tested too? If not request it is BEFORE starting any vitamin B complex

Vitamin D and ferritin need testing too

In addition to B12 lozenges, Supplementing a good quality daily vitamin B complex, one with folate in not folic acid may be beneficial. This supports all B vitamins alongside B12


B vitamins best taken in the morning after breakfast

Recommended brands on here are Igennus Super B complex. (Often only need one tablet per day, not two. Certainly only start with one tablet per day after breakfast. Retesting levels in 6-8 weeks ).

Or Jarrow B-right is popular choice, but is large capsule

If you are taking vitamin B complex, or any supplements containing biotin, remember to stop these 7 days before any blood tests, as biotin can falsely affect test results



Have you tried supplementing with B12?? I have Grave's disease and radioactive iodine, am now on daily levothyroxine. However at one stage I had a slight B12 deficiency when I read up and started taking 1000mg of B12 perday it greatly helped with fatigue and tinnitus (which is a symptom of B12 deificiency...) disappeared. Good luck

JAMV profile image
JAMV in reply to mkem

Hi mkem would you recall how fast the tinnitus disappeared after you started taking b12 supplements? TIA.

When doctors reduced my levo , I quickly experienced bothersome pulsatile tinnitus. When the dose increased again, the problem almost disappeared within days.

Sorry to hear you have tinnitus. I had tinnitus on levo but this became much less frequent and much less intense once I was put on T3 and levo combo. Don't know if it's worth checking your meds are optimised?


Auntbessy profile image
Auntbessy in reply to

Did you get T3 for the tinnitus?

in reply to Auntbessy

Hello Auntbessy, no I was put on T3 because I couldn't get well on levothyroxine only. The big reduction in tinnitus was just one of the benefits of T3 - I was pleased and surprised as I'd become so used to the tinnitus.



My tinnitus started before I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem. I have read tinnitus can be a symptom of thyroid issues, is it possible it’s just a new symptom?

I was in an exactly the same situation. Tinnitus was one of the first symptoms of Hashimoto's. Unfortunately, it was not alleviated by Levothyroxine treatment, optimal levels of B12 etc. The worse is in the morning, immediately after getting up.

AliF profile image
AliF in reply to Margareta3

I am the same - although it was a couple of years before my tinnitus started. Woke up one morning and spent half an hour wandering round the house trying to work out where the high pitched tone was coming from

Auntbessy i get a faint tingling in my ear and was told that is tinnitus. I don’t think it is due to my dose of Levo which was decreased a little. I was advised maybe from here or a newsletter to take Vit B12 complex and while I don’t take that not every day I stepped it up and the tingling has decreased.

Low B vitamins and minerals involved in nerve health and reducing inflammation cause tinnitus or at least make it worse. Stress can bring it on as our demand for these increases when stressed. Low t3 will cause low stomach acid which stops us absorbing the minerals and creating the right conditions for the enzymes we use to absorb some b vitamins. You have already got a low TSH on T4 only, but as you are symptomatic you need T3 to be good as well. This means you may need to introduce t3, or at the very least have optimal vitamins and minerals to help conversion. Taking Magnesium helps us relax so this and some amino acids e.g taurine and l theanine can help with stress in the meantime. Taken in the evening it may help with sleep which is tricky with tinnitus.

AliF profile image
AliF in reply to HLAB35

Which sort of magnesium ? Citrate ? There are lots!

HLAB35 profile image
HLAB35 in reply to AliF

Citrate is good in powdered form and it is quite well absorbed for those of us with low stomach acid. You can get it as Taurate for heart palpitations, but it's often quite a low dose. ReMag is the expensive Pico Ionic form that bypasses the gut entirely, so very good if you are quite ill and can afford the price tag. Glycinate does suit lots of people, but for some reason didn't really agree with me, not sure why - could have been fillers. Malate is good for Fibromyalgia but is more energizing than calming. Avoid oxide - it will just give you the runs.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to HLAB35

As you say....Re - Mag from Botanical Health is very expensive, but it does seem very good.

I am on levo, but also have a hearing loss (wear hearing aids) and have tinnitus. For me I don't think there is any connection, however I read that tinnitus can be made worse by what you eat and drink, and for me this is true.

Alcohol of any sort can make mine worse (at the time and the following day or two), but red wine is one of the worst culprits - and I like red wine! Also stress makes mine worse - if I'm late for something and rushing, it can suddenly become much worse for a short time.

I believe it can also be onset by other things such as loud noises - I worry when I walk past roadworks, but also is something that affects most people as they age.

Tinnitus is one of those things that the more you think about it, the worse it seems. It really is good to try to think of other things, otherwise you can go bonkers :) Easier said than done, I know. Playing music when trying to go to sleep can help mask it.

Auntbessy profile image
Auntbessy in reply to Ruby1

Do you find coffee makes your tinnitus worse?

Ruby1 profile image
Ruby1 in reply to Auntbessy

I haven’t noticed a link, but usually I have decaf or very weak coffees as it often gives me headaches or a racing heart.

I have read that lidocaine patches on the back of the neck can help with tinnitus, but I haven't got round to trying it, yet. I developed tinnitus about 30 years before I was diagnosed, so pretty sure it's a hypo symptom - in my case, at least. But, I'm lucky that it's not too prominent and I often just forget it's there. But, I do intend to try the lidocaine patches, one day. :)

Well I take Levothyroxine ( currently 75mg) and since starting to take it I have developed severe tinnitus and light headedness. I suspect that the 2 are linked but the medical profession would say not. There is quite a long list of known side effects but tinnitus is not one of them.

Have you had any further tests? I had to have an MRI as my tinnitus was one sided. This can indicate a tumour, it didn’t, but it was checked. I do have 2 sided tinnitus now but one side is much worse than the other so I only notice that side. I was given a hearing aid for the worse side and it really helps during the day. Night time I have a audio file of water noise that I was given by the tinnitus specialist to listen to via an iPod to go to sleep.

I haven’t found anything else that helps yet and I’ve had it since 2008.

Yes I had an MRI and there are no tumours or fluid. How does the hearing aid work? Is it very small?

Yes the hearing aid is tiny, sits above the ear with a tube into the ear. My hearing is slightly below what it should be so the hearing aid just acts like a speaker to bring it back up to the correct level. This then masks the tinnitus and for most of the day I don’t get bothered by it. It’s still there but no where near as loud. Ask your go for a referral to the audiology department, preferably a tinnitus specialist, much more understanding than a ENT department.

I hope it helps

Good advice thanks. I went to ENT actually and they said I had dermatitis inside my ear canal. They have me drops which have made no difference!

Ruby1 profile image
Ruby1 in reply to Auntbessy

Try changing your shampoo or hair products. I get eczema on my eyelids and ear lobes that is set off by hair products. Took me years to work out!

I wear two hearing aids. On my first checkup I told them the aids were making my tinnitus worse, but they explained that because it masks it when you wear them, you then become more aware of it when you take them out.

Each time I’ve read this thread, I’ve suddenly become more aware of my tinnitus!

Sorry that you are suffering from tinnitus, I don’t know if Levothyroxine causes it not, I’ve had tinnitus for a long time but I was hypothyroid when mine started, I think mine may have been caused by going to loud concerts when I was younger without any ear protection. I tell everyone that I come across that has tinnitus that it can get louder, I made mine worse by hammering nails into a fence that was falling down after a storm, I don’t usually do that kind of hammering but I must have been having a really bad brain fog day that day, or I thought...I am woman hear me roar, I don’t know, so mine has been louder every since so I always tell everyone to wear ear protection around loud kitchen appliances, vacuuming, hammering 🙄loud tools and equipment, loud movies etc. If it really bothers you when you’re trying to sleep, like it does me, get a sound machine to run while sleeping, there are many different kinds out there for that purpose, my sound machine has white noises, or fan sounds on it but they have other ones that have nature sounds etc. Good luck with yours, I hope that it goes away or at the very least tones down.

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