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Burning Tongue and Throat

What could be causing my burning Tongue and Throat?

Question

I've had oral thrush for the past six months - my tongue and throat feel as though they're on fire and my lips swell. My GP has given me the usual medication but I have had an adverse reaction to it. I'm now on Nystatin pastilles but they're not working. Since it started I've had an ear infection and sinus problems, too. Can you help?

Answer

I am not certain that you have oral thrush, as the symptoms you describe are different from those of a typical candida or fungal-related infection. Moreover, the anti-fungal Nystatin pastilles have not helped.

Typical oral thrush will produce ulcerations (sores) in the mucosal lining of the mouth, throat, lips and even the tongue. These may produce a whitish discharge. Any irritation of the ulcerated nerve endings, either physical (as in touch or heat) or chemical (with acidic, spicy or salty substances, or alcohol, for instance) will cause excruciating pain, so eating, drinking, talking and even brushing your teeth is a nightmare.

I believe your symptoms are more likely to stem from one or more of the following, which I suggest you discuss with your GP, as you may need tests: yeast fermentation in the gut; chronic gastritis with acid regurgitation; sluggish liver; vitamin B deficiency and pernicious anaemia.

When I studied medicine in Moscow, the dean of the faculty of medicine carried out extensive studies to show that there is a link between certain telltale signs on the tongue and the mucosal lining of the mouth, and abnormalities in the gut, the liver and the patient's general health. He used to tell us: "The tongue is the mirror of your gut and your inner world". In my experience, there is a clear correlation, although there is no clear-cut explanation. Similarly, clubbed fingertips, swollen at the end, are considered to be a sign of chronic inflammation of the lungs, gut or heart by conventional doctors, who accept it as a symptom to look for during physical examination, although there is as yet no scientific link. Again, white spots on the nails can be indicative of zinc or calcium deficiency, but no one knows why this affects some people and not others.

I would like to suggest a more generalized treatment to support your body systems, particularly your entire digestive system from mouth and tongue to the point of elimination, and hopefully relieve the discomfort:

    Diet
    Eat soft or mushy food, which is easily digested and will improve your digestion and absorption of nutrients. Follow this diet for six weeks, choosing from the following options.

  • Breakfast: soft-boiled eggs; porridge with full-fat organic milk or soya milk; cottage cheese with honey; fruit salad with papaya, banana, melon and nectarines. Drink tepid or cool mint tea with honey to taste; infuse a handful of torn fresh mint leaves and one teaspoon of tea leaves (or one tea bag) in boiling water for five minutes, strain before drinking.
  • Day and evening meals: vegetable soups (warm or cool), minced meat/chicken, grilled fish, mushy rice, pasta, mashed potatoes/carrots/turnips/swede (don't add butter or oil when mashing) squash, mushy peas, spinach (overcook vegetables to soften them); grated
    carrot and cucumber salad( no dressing); soda bread.
  • Herbs and Spices: flavour food with spring onions, thyme, mint, basil, rosemary, and parsley; use garlic sparingly and avoid ginger.
  • Puddings and Snacks: yoghurt drinks, rice pudding, custard, cream crackers dipped in tea until soft.
  • Beverages: drink still, pure water at room temperature, home-made barley water, fresh cranberry or carrot juice (look for a brand with the fewest additives and no added sugar). Avoid all coffee, citrus juices, pineapple and tomato juice, and alcohol.
  • Supplements

  • To help control candida, soak two kadu twigs and one third of a teaspoonful of kariatu powder in hot water overnight strain and drink on an empty, stomach in the morning, every day for two months. Also take Nutrispore tablets: one daily for two months.
  • Take Stomach Formula (tablets): one twice daily for two months to control stomach acid.
  • Take Bioliv (tablets): one twice daily for two months to support liver function.
  • Take Dr Ali's Multivitamins and Minerals (Integrated Health Group, capsules): one twice daily for three months.
  • To help soothe ulcers, gargle with bicarbonate of soda (available at chemists): mix one teaspoon in 250m1 of water. Use to rinse mouth and gargle once a week.
  • Alternative Therapies

  • Consult a qualified homoeopath.
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