I just have to post about this because I’m sure there are many sufferers out there who are at their wits end trying to find a way to alleviate this terribly frustrating condition.
I think I have found something that helps!
If you have BMS you will already know all about it. if you don’t here is a little synopsis from medicinenet.
Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a painful, frustrating condition often described as a scalding sensation in the tongue, lips, palate, or throughout the mouth. Although BMS can affect anyone, it occurs most commonly in middle-aged or older women.
BMS often occurs with a range of medical and dental conditions, from nutritional deficiencies and menopause to dry mouth and allergies. But their connection is unclear, and the exact cause of burning mouth syndrome cannot always be identified with certainty.
For me it’s limited to mostly just my tongue and I liken it to the sensation of a very hot chili burn that is constant and very distracting!
When it’s happening my taste is affected greatly and most everything I eat I can’t taste properly.
At first all my searches online led me to the same kinds of causes . Namely vitamin B deficiency.
What I didn’t realise though was that being deficient in iron is also a common cause, and hey bingo…..suddenly tests have revealed that my iron is low.
I have also read that having thyroid issues can also affect iron levels and it is common to also have low B levels along with low iron.
Possibly why BMS is common among middle aged women who are having hormonal changes taking place? (Just my guess)
Anyway….let’s get to the nitty gritty.
I have tried everything to alleviate this horrible sensation.
The last time it happened my tongue was actually visibly inflamed and I was going insane with it!
(Doctors know very little about BMS and in my experience are usually not very helpful.)
Here are some of the things I tried…
Turmeric powder mixed with warm milk and honey as a gargle (Turmeric has anti inflammatory properties.) – helped a little.
Chewing raw cabbage (Also has anti inflammatory properties) – helped somewhat.
Gargling with DILUTED apple cider vinegar (Just in case it was some sort of acid/Candida imbalance) – Didn’t help much.
Using anti inflammatory pain meds….as a last resort. This did nothing.
This had been going on for about ten days straight and nothing was working and to be honest I was going out of my mind!
Then one night suddenly the thought popped into my head to try chewing on some mint leaves.
I didn’t even know if we had any mint, but lo and behold there WAS some in the fridge.
Mint smells lovely, but it’s a bit of a chore to actually chew on the leaves, but heck, what did I have to lose.
In the back of my mind I was aware that mint is one of those ‘cooling foods”. You know, the principles in Chinese medicine of “heat’ and “cold”.
I figured that my instincts were simply drawing me to this cooling food source.
As soon as I chewed the mint leaves I felt IMMEDIATE relief!
It was like magic.
I couldn’t believe it.
The next day my tongue felt a lot better but still not 100% so I simmered some mint leaves in a pot of water on the stove, added some green tea and a bit of honey and sipped on cool green/mint iced tea the whole day.
You know what? The burning just went away, as suddenly as it came it just got better, real quick!
I kind of thought, well, maybe it had just run its course…Sometimes these bizarre frustrating things just come and go at whim.
Then, just the other day suddenly , whammo…..the burning started up again.
I went to the supermarket last night and bought some more mint….chewed it and…..HEY, this is NOT a coincidence!
The mint really DOES work! (Ok…..for ME.)
So then I googled all about mint.
What a miraculous little herb this is.
Guess what….mint has anti pain properties!
And a whole lot of other healing capacities.
The chemical compound menthol, which is obtained from peppermint oil, is well known for its healing properties on the chest and respiratory system.
Mint is also said and in many cases proven to:
Relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome by relaxing the muscles in and around the intestine.
Act as a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body against the formation of cancerous cells.
Inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria and fungus.
Ease and unblock the breathing and respiratory passages and airways.
Relieves the symptoms of colds and flu.
Mint can help with nasal allergies.
It can relieve congestion, head colds and headaches.
Act as a mild sedative and has calming properties.
Relieve minor aches and pains such as muscle cramps and sprains.
Combat bad breath.
Provides a cooling sensation to the skin and can help to treat minor burns, itching and skin irritations.
Mint is a very good cleanser for the blood.
Mint tea can help clear up skin disorders such as acne
I’ve woken up this morning and my tongue feels FINE.
It’s almost too good to be true, considering that I know these bouts of burning tongue can last for weeks sometimes!
So, I felt I just had to share this.
I so understand the misery of this weird “condition”… and throughout my searches I have come across so many stories of people who are just mentally exhausted from putting up with the pain.
It seems to be working for me, so hopefully it might help someone else too.
One other thing too…
If you suffer from this… get your iron levels checked (and B levels) and also read up a bit about the principles of Chinese medicine.
“Hot and Dry” I think pretty much sums me up and for this reason , as much as I love hot spicy foods, I really honestly have a feeling that this could be contributing to the flare ups.