Since my early teens, I’ve had misophonia. I really thought I was just crazy and had to deal with it my entire life. I didn’t realize that sound sensitivity disorder (SSD) was a real thing until just a couple years ago. I’ve self-experimented and found that a gluten-free diet is one thing that has really helped me. Below is more on misophonia, research, & my own experience…
That is the definition from WebMD. My case is/was quite severe. I would often feel enraged by noises & feel the urge to yell and punch. (I’m usually very calm tempered & relatively unemotional/unexcitable in person). I did not, fortunately, act on my feelings of rage- instead I would escape the situation by leaving the room. I often ate in other areas from people and needed headphones 🎧 in work environments. Being stuck somewhere was a Huge fear of mine – like in a car or plane, etc.
One of the the biggest problems is that the misophonia seems to be worse with people I’m close to :(. So my poor sister growing up and my husband and the people I work with are larger triggers than strangers most of the time. (The only time this seemed to not be an issue was when I first was dating my now husband – I’m convinced the love ❤️ hormones altered my brain chemistry with him in those initial stages).
It’s also gotten to a point where the sites of things (someone chewing – even if I couldn’t hear it) would trigger the misophonia.
So what is there to do? Once I realized misophonia was a real thing, I started seeing a psychologist. She treated it as PTSD and helped me realize the source of some of the anxiety (from things that happened in childhood). The treatment did not work, But what meeting with her did was still very beneficial– it helped me talk about it with the people I love and am with daily. It helped me feel less crazy. Misophonia was still an issue for me but I was able to at least talk about it and not feel completely crazy. I could excuse myself from situations where I was starting to feel triggered and not make up a random excuse. And my coworkers/husband/family understood!
This was a semi-solution, but I still wanted to find a way to get rid of it. As life would have it, I was actually starting to cut for an NPC show at the time and went on a ketogenic diet to help me lean out. (Keto is high fat, moderate protein, and very low carb – like 80% of calories from fat & less than 50g carbs/day).
During this time, my husband and I took a trip to NYC with his cousin. This was a 6hour drive. I was SO nervous knowing they would be eating 2-3times during the drive. And, to my surprise, they did but it didn’t bother me at all!! I was hearing the sounds, but not triggering.
I figured it had to be the diet change. And in part, I was right!
I kept with the keto but soon became aware that I could not live like that. So I experimented with keto cycles, etc. Basically anything where I could live & workout but also keep the misophonia to a minimum.
I should also insert here that this was not true all the time – even in the keto state, I would still face being triggered at times (usually long or stressful days).
I did a bit of reading on SSD’s and found that diet could play a huge role. The more I researched, the more I began to realize that it may have been the gluten free aspect of the keto-diet that was the key. So I began to experiment with gluten free living.
There is not a lot of research on the topic & a lot of what I found was anecdotal. Most of the research done in the context of gluten-free Diets and sound sensitivity disorders are related to autism as autistic individuals often have sound sensitivities. Here are a few articles I found on the topic:
So I have now been experimenting with a Gluten-free diet for the past 4-5months. It seems to be a great solution! It’s not perfect or a cure, but it definitely helps.
I still have days where I don’t get much sleep or am stressed and I might get triggered (it’s usually toward the end of a long day). I’ve also found that the more exposed I am to the sounds, they can begin to wear on me through a day. But I am now able to sit in my office with 3 other people during the day who are typing & chewing, and I can function! It used to be that I would sit there stewing over the sound and could not think so I’d just have to leave.
I still get nervous saying this because sometimes I feel it’s too good to be true after living with it for so long.
How I know the Gluten-free diet works:
While I’m not doing an experiment with it (although I pray more research will be done for this), I do Know 100% that eating gluten free does help me. The reason I am so confident it helps is because of how TERRIBLE the misophonia acts up when I do have gluten (usually without knowing too).
There will be days when my tolerance is Zero and the triggers all come raging back.
- One time was actually when Cheerios had a cereal recall because their cereals had been exposed to gluten.
- Another was when I Ezekiel bread which is NOT gluten free. But is placed next to the GF breads in most stores.
Now, when I have this feeling, I will immediately go back through my food log and try to figure out what had gluten in it. I posted a few weeks ago about some Godiva chocolates and toffee brittle a couple students got me as a gifts – I was using some for fat/carb macros. And I kept getting triggered!
Lo and behold– BOTH contained gluten. SMH 🤦🏼♀️😂.
So I’m now certain that although it’s not a cure for misophonia, it DOES do something that alleviates it. I’m not a scientist but hopeful that one might see this and decide it would be an interesting research topic. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼.
I also want to give a couple tips to others who suffer from Miso:
- Talk to your loved ones about it and even your friends and coworkers. I am aware that the sounds that can drive me Crazy are completely normal to other regular people. I let my family and friends (that I’m around often enough where it can get triggered) that I know it’s my own thing. I don’t expect them to alter their behavior, but I may leave an area due to the noise. It’s not something they should feel bad about. I am frustrated at myself that it is an issue, but not them. I don’t associate the annoying (to me) noise with them. I also talk to them about it & what it’s like. It’s not easy, but once I realized they understood it and didn’t treat me differently, it made me feel more at ease.
- Experiment with a gluten-free diet. It might not help, but if it does you get to feel “normal” for more of your days!
If you do try this and see success, I’d love to hear your story as well!