It may sound funny, but there’s a link between dairy allergies and hearing loss. It’s not just dairy allergies, though. Allergies in general and iron-deficiency anemia could contribute to hearing issues. But the root of anemia- and allergy-related hearing loss? It could be your digestive system.
Iron-Deficiency Anemia and Our Hearing
How does iron-deficiency anemia play into hearing issues? A recent study found that adults with iron-deficiency anemia were more than twice as likely to develop combined hearing loss. (1) Someone who suffers from combined hearing loss suffers from both sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear, the brain, or the nerve connecting the ear and the brain is damaged. Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound can’t properly travel through the ear.
Those with iron-deficiency anemia were almost twice as likely to suffer from sensorineural hearing loss than those without. This may be because iron-deficiency anemia is linked to blood disorders that could damage blood vessels, including those in the ear. These damaged blood vessels could lead to sensorineural hearing loss. (1)
Luckily, those with iron-deficiency anemia could easily improve their condition by taking high-quality, medical-grade iron supplements like Ferrochel® Iron Chelate--provided their digestive system works properly.
Root Cause of Iron-Deficiency Anemia
This all begs the question of why you would have iron-deficiency anemia to begin with. It typically comes down to two things: malabsorption or excessive blood loss.
If malabsorption is to blame, it’s because of digestive tract issues. The digestive tract is likely experiencing a loss of hydrochloric acid. The stomach could be suffering from problems as well.
If blood loss is the reason behind a person’s iron-deficiency anemia, it could be due to ulcers or polyps in the stomach, or menstruation.
It isn’t healthy to lose so much blood during menstruation that it leads to iron-deficiency anemia. A situation like that is likely due to estrogen dominance, which also points to a digestive issue.
Estrogen is usually eliminated by the digestive tract. Since estrogen is fat-soluble, it has to bind to bile salt in order to be flushed out of the body. But bacterial overgrowth in the digestive tract destroys this bind, allowing estrogen to be reabsorbed. As the digestive system continually fails to eliminate estrogen, estrogen can pile up, leading to premenstrual syndrome and excessive blood loss.
Allergies and Hearing Loss
Now, what about all that stuff we said about allergies and dairy-related hearing loss?
Simply put, allergies could inflame and swell the ear canals, making it more difficult to hear. The root of these allergies lies in the digestive system.
An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system overreacts to something that it perceives as a threat. 70% of the immune system is in the gut, as is the root of many allergies. Depending on our diet, we may damage our gut lining, resulting in a leaky gut that could allow microbes out of the gut and into the bloodstream where they don’t belong. This could confuse your immune system and trigger an allergic response that could manifest as swelling or inflammation, even in your ear canals.
It makes sense that any allergy could be behind a case of hearing loss. But it might be an allergy that you don’t even know about. You may be sensitive to the whey in dairy products, but the only seemingly unrelated symptom could be a change in your hearing. So if you have hearing issues, avoiding dairy could improve your condition. (2)
Supporting Your Digestive Tract
Whether your hearing loss is related to iron-deficiency anemia or allergies, the root cause of your hearing loss is a faulty digestive tract. But if you want to go about fixing your digestive tract, you have to know what’s wrong with it first.
The best way to do that could be to come in for a digestive tract test. The digestive tract test that we use will give us a better understanding of your gut’s makeup by analyzing:
- Digestion and absorption
- Gut immunology as related to allergies, inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders, etc.
- Metabolic issues
- The microbiology of your gut, including any bacterial overgrowth, parasites, probiotics, and yeast
The information provided by the test will allow us to determine what steps you should take to support your digestive system and get it back in optimal condition. This may involve changing your diet or prescribing specific probiotics in order to seal and rebalance your gut.
It sounds like our ears are more connected to our stomach than we might’ve thought. So if you find yourself with sudden hearing loss, don’t hesitate to get your gut checked out. It could have more to say about your hearing than your ears do.