Last Modified on Mar 23, 2014
What Is Burning Mouth Syndrome?
Much like the name indicates, burning mouth syndrome is the medical terminology for the ongoing or recurring burning in the mouth. Typically burning mouth syndrome is termed for this characteristic sensation when no obvious cause for the condition can be identified. Discomfort associated with the condition is not limited and can affect the tongue, gums, lips, inner cheeks, roof of the mouth, or any combination of the areas. The onset of burning mouth syndrome is generally sudden and severe, as is the affected individual has scalded his or her mouth.
Also called scalded mouth syndrome, burning tongue syndrome, burning lips syndrome, stomatodynia and glossodynia, the condition characterized by a number of associated symptoms. Common symptoms include a burning sensation that affects the tongue or any part of the mouth, dry mouth, increased thirst, change in tastes, and loss of taste. The pattern of symptoms typically varies and can be different at different points in the day. While the cause of the condition is largely unknown, commonly accepted causes include an issue with the peripheral or central nervous system, dry mouth, fungal infection, inflammatory condition in the mouth, nutritional deficiency, dentures, allergies, stomach reflex, endocrine disorders, and anxiety.
Natural Burning Tongue Treatment and Remedies for Burning Mouth
Although the cause of the condition is often unidentifiable, treatment options are available. Burning tongue treatment often includes adding supplements to the diet and identifying and eliminating triggers. Alpha lipoic acid or ALA is an effective supplement for treating burning mouth syndrome. Likewise, rinsing the mouth with a mixture of beer and baking soda helps diminish symptoms of the condition. Taking a supplement or lozenge with capsaicin is another treatment option. Additionally eliminating certain foods, particularly starchy ones, as well as other irritating oral hygiene products can help eradicate the condition.
03/13/2014: Susanna from Lexington, Sc: "I am so happy to have found this site and appreciate all the very helpful information. I have suffered from Burning Mouth Syndrome for 5 years. I have tried almost every home remedy (and some prescription medications) with minimal success. The toothpaste I used for several years recently changed their formula and the new formula irritates my tongue tremendously. I am now ready to try ALA. I hesitated previously because there seems to be some contraindications for its use in people with thyroid disorders. I have Graves Disease but have been in remission for two and a half years. So, I have two questions... First, is anyone aware of precautions for people with thyroid disease using ALA? Second, I am not particularly knowledgeable about supplements so can someone please clarify what type of ALA I should try? The discussion was very informative but a little over my head. Thanks in advance for any information."Replies
03/14/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "There was clinical test done in the late 60's that said ALA MiGHT affect the T3 thyroid meds. I take thyroid medicine and have been on ALA now for a couple of months and have felt nothing but better. The type of ALA you want to take is STABALIZED R Alpha Lipoic Acid. I take 450 mg in the morning and another 150 in the afternoon if I am having issues with my mouth. Also, when it gets particularly bad, put about 1/2 tsp of cooking grade baking soda in about 6 oz of water and drink. This will alkalize your body quickly and provide relief. The ALA is an amazing supplement...good luck!"
Alpha Lipoic Acid (Ala)
[YEA] 04/23/2010: Debbie from Hadera, Israel: "Burning mouth syndrome
I have suffered terribly from BMS for about 2 years,tried lots of alternative treatments and none helped. I then started taking ALA 600 mg every day. It's gone !!! The only thing that I am not sure of is for how long I need to carry on taking it? Forever?"
04/27/2011: Dean from Huntersville, Nc replies: "I get a burning sensation on the roof of my mouth in the rear twards the enterance of my throat when ever I eat starchy, flowery, foods, like Bisquick, Mrs. Butterworth, or pretty much any pancake mixes.
I have spent my adult life avoiding starchy carbohydrates as I might just as well attatch them to my waistline as that is where they go. I love the taste of breads and potatoes but dropping them from my diet also dropped my weight and waistline.
What causes the burning on the roof of my mouth? I think I remember reading that your mouth is the fastest way for starchy carbs to get into your bloodstream and mess with your sugar. Any input?"
03/20/2012: Wundurbear from Birmingham, Al, Us replies: "Try avoiding gluten containing foods. As soon as I removed gluten from my diet, the burning stopped. It is a hard diet to follow, but anything is better than the BMS."
03/20/2012: Wundurbear from Birmingham, Al, Us replies: "I tried taking ALA. It made my liver enzymes elevate. After 5 years of suffering from BMS, I also had some digestive issues. I had begun to address the digestive issues through research and elimination of certain foods. I came to the conclusion, I was gluten intolerant. After eliminating gluten from my diet, the burning in my mouth completely stopped. After 5 years. And the digestive issues have also ceased. I had gas, bloating, indigestion and just complete discomfort after eating. I was diagnosed with acid reflux and took those treatments. Turns out the gluten allergy was causing it all. Please try this, just to see. I can't tell you how relieved I am!"
06/08/2012: Brian from Campbell, California replies: "I also suffered with BMS for about 2 months. It was getting progressively worse. I could hardly eat or drink anything. Almost couldn't brush my teeth anymore. Did some searching on the web and decided to try 600 mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid 1x day. Also, stopped all oral products except Biotene toothpaste and mouthwash. Dramatic improvement within 2 weeks, and now 5 months out I still do the same regimen daily. I am back to normal. I can eat and drink whatever I did prior to the onset."
Beer Rinse, Baking Soda
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 05/21/2012: Peggy from Vidor, Tx - Texas: "I am a 60 year old female in really good health. I have had burning mouth for 6 months now. I have tried all the remedies on the computer. I have found rinsing my mouth with a light beer ( I do not drink) lessens the burn for a while. Also brush with baking soda often helps also. Good luck to you all."Replies
05/22/2012: Margie from Lebanon, Il replies: "Have you have any more luck finding why or how you got Burning tongue and how to quiet it down? Raisins help me..."
Burning Mouth Syndrome Triggers
03/23/2014: Bernie from Nj: "My BMS started about 3 weeks ago (3-01-2014) 1st started with dry mouth then shortly thereafter burning mouth. All of this started shortly after a ct scan with contrast of stomach and pelvic area. I have not seen a Dr. yet but will make appt. Monday. I am 75 yrs old in pretty good health I feel the scan had something to do with BMS. BERNIE"
08/09/2011: Kate from West La, California: "I have never experienced burning mouth or burning tongue syndrome until recently. However, I had read about the terrible problems people have with this condition by perusing different health sites over the years and I figured it out within a day or two. My episode was triggered after I ran out of our holistic toothpaste and grabbed my husband's small travel tube, which was an Arm & Hammer brand. Almost immediately after using it, the right corner of my mouth cracked open and started to bleed. Then my tongue started to feel raw. Not realizing I had just triggered burning tongue, I ate tortilla chips with the hottest salsa imagineable at a restaurant the next day. The hot peppers in the salsa burned the tip of my tongue, causing tiny but immensely painful blisters. I was unable to sleep for the next 2 days. It was sheer torture. After finding burning tongue remedies on Earth Clinic, I started to alkalize with Ted's baking soda remedies. I also swished baking soda and water solution in my mouth several times a day. It took a week to heal and what a painful week it was. During that time I spoke to an oral surgeon friend who told me that this condition appears more frequently for menopausal woman (I am not). He told me that he had a female patient commit suicide after months of having a burning tongue. That's how serious and painful this condition is.
I hope people will look to the chemicals in toothpaste and hot spicy food when they get a burning tongue. I never want to go through that again! Hope this post helps someone, somewhere."Replies
12/18/2011: Marina from Paros, Greece replies: "I recently suffered from BMS, never heard of it before and after reading ALOT about it did the following home remedies. I immediately bought a herbal toothpaste, I drank 1/2 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) in a glass of water twice a day to reduce acid, I also took 1 capsule of Spirulina with a glass of water 4 times per day after reading that my body could be lacking iron (along with some other nutrients). I took a capsule of milk thistle to help the liver illiminate toxins, I avoided sugar and other white carbs (white pasta, white rice, cookies, cakes, white flour etc. Etc. ). I also sucked on lumps of coconut oil (from the fridge so it was solid) which IMMEDIATELY eased the symptoms whenever the burning was unbearable (being anti virul, anti bacterial, antisceptic and anti fungal I thought it could do no harm). I also drank a couple of litres of water every day and often squeezed a lemon in too. Amazingly, after fearing that I was going to be living with BMS the rest of my life, it has GONE AWAY - yeah!!! I don't know whether to continue with this regime now it's gone or stick with it - I feel better all round so I may just keep it up. Avoiding the white carbs has also caused me to lose a few unwanted Kgs and I have heaps more energy. Good luck everyone - I can't imagine still having that bloody condition - nightmare."
11/09/2012: Angierose from Dublin, Ireland replies: "I have been suffering from BMS for almost eight years now and have been reading up every article or item I can get my hands on to help educate myself on any possible cures out there. The medical profession seems to be either ignorant of its existence as an ailment or powerless to help. I also suffer from food allergies which I have now read are possibly related and which means I have Type 3 BMS (there are 3 types according to the website medscape). Anyway, have tried everything, every diet, every pill, every alternative therapy... Nothing has helped. I suppose I will end my days with the horrible ailment, I would not wish on my worst enemy. My mother also suffered from it, but not my three sisters, so far. Am trying the coconut oil, solid from the refridgerator which does ease the pain for a short time. Also doing the baking soda and water twice a day combined with lemon juice in water. Somethimes I get some relief, other times no relief.
I am 58 now and although am almost resigned to having this curse forever, I would be most grateful for any help, suggestions anyone out there may have. Thanking you in advance."
11/11/2012: Molosser from Asuncion, Paraguay replies: "Hi. I am a 44 yo male , living in South America. I had the same "Burning Tongue" symptoms for almost a year. I figured, that it had to be a metabolic problem, because I tried almost ALL existing treatments against the most obvious like candida and herpes, with no results.
I cured it with Oregon Grape Root.
I bought empty capsules, size 00, 1 pound of organic Oregon Grape root powder and a encapsulation machine, all on amazon. With my 210 pounds bodyweight, my dosage was 4 times daily 6 capsules. The pain got away at the fourth day of treatment. I halved the dosage after one week and took the capsules two more month. After a year, the problem came back and I used the same method again, with positive results. Before trying this, please adjust the dosage to your bodyweight.
I wish you all the best.
11/29/2012: Liette from Barrie, Ontario replies: "I've had BTS for a few months and it seems to go away when I avoid coffee! I do have food allergies, especially to wheat, dairy and eggs. Sometimes when I eat other types of flours it tingles a bit but for me coffee is the culprit. I don't know if I'm allergic to it. good luck everyone! Liette"
01/19/2014: Jacque from Seattle, Wa replies: "I had BMS for about five years with no help from my doctors (they seem to think you are crazy when you mention BMS). Recently I have been diagnosed with celiac disease and am following a strict wheat-free diet and after a few weeks my BMS has completely disappeared. I am convinced that the gluten in wheat is the culprit here."
02/16/2014: Maureen from Montreal, Quebec, Canada replies: "Hi,
I have burning mouth syndrome from time to time (I do right now) and I find that stress is a contributor but not a cause, but when I am not eating well (too much carbs or sugar) and am stressed as well, I have to cut coffee or my mouth will start to burn. Coffee seems to be the thing that is the ultimate trigger and I like my coffee STRONG!
I, like many of you, have digestive issues, allergies including one to nickel, food intolerances and even a sorbitol intolerance. Food intolerances often cause acidity as a reaction so I am not surprised that food intolerances or allergies may cause or contribute to BMS. Also, stress causes acidity as does sugars and refined carbs. I think the main culprit here is acidity in the mouth, whatever the cause.
Good luck to all!"
[YEA] 04/16/2009: Erin from Sherwood Park, Alberta: "I was suffering with burning mouth syndrome for over a year. Tried everything, B vitamins, oral rinses etc. My oral pathologist prescribed lozenges with capcasin and it is the only thing that helped. I have also been tested for celiac twice, but tested negative. As of right now my bms has totally disappeared. I was eating oatmeal everyday, but have stopped and my digestive system is better. Next week I am going to start eating oatmeal again everyday to see if the bms comes back."Replies
05/29/2010: Kaz from Burrill Lake, Nsw, Australia replies: "HI I have had BMS for the past six years and as you know it is consuming. I am soooooo over it. I am a 53 year old female and have tried everything you could possibly imagine and spent a small fortune trying to get some kind of relief. Some days are better than others, when it's bad I have actually taken to rubbing bonjela on my gums, tongue etc (baby teething gel).
I am a stress head, post menopausal,why me though? Please help! I also do not eat much red meat. I have had VitB injections and vitamin supplements.
Hoping to hear from you very soon.
[YEA] 01/29/2013: Mar Mimi from Greece, Paros: "Try an elimination diet of all food allergens - I'm in the process of doing a 10 day one for Hashimotos autoimmune disease (Dr Ks diet). I went gluten and coffee free a few weeks back and already my burning mouth syndrome has gone. With the elimination diet you completely clean up your body and then introduce things back in slowly to see what triggers your body - you'll be amazed at other little ailments just dissappearing - my back ache (which I've suffered with for 9 months) has also gone - what's that all about!!! I would recommend elimination diet to anyone suffering with this - it's hard going but well worth it."
[YEA] 12/03/2009: Kate from Newport, Ri: "Hi, I was in graduate school, managing to eat healthy mostly vegetarian home cooked food - but not sleeping enough and extremely stressed and drinking coffee - when my tongue started to burn. In a couple of days it got so bad that it became insanely distracting and spread to my gums and lips. Eating (especially acidic foods) became unbearably uncomfortable. My tongue looked normal and I felt fine - just the usual stressed and tired. I was desperate for a solution and went to a great country doctor near my school. He explained that the cause of Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is hard to determine and it can come and go for years. One theory, he said, was B vitamin or iron deficiency. He asked if I ate red meat and told me to go eat dark green leafy vegetables like kale and chard and red meat 2x a day for three days and see what happens. If no change, I'd go back for some tests. In two days of eating beef and kale the burning was gone. I realized that the stress was causing my digestive system to just not work very well; I wasn't absorbing the vitamins I needed from my food or from the B complex supplement I had been taking. B vitamin supplements don't work, your stressed out system just flushes them out. Whole foods, a healthy digestive system, and calming down a bit are key. This is not the cause/solution for all BMS cases but it is a good start in your self-diagnosis to rule out the possibility of vitamin/mineral deficiency. If you have BMS, you have my sympathy! And I hope you find some relief soon."Replies
05/09/2010: Burnettcj from Cathedral City, Ca replies: "do u still have BMS?"
Eliminate Mouth Wash
03/20/2009: Trudi from Surrey, England: "Burning Mouth Syndrome:
Hi, Can anyone suggest a cure for burning mouth syndrome, I've had this for 7 months, and the pain is unbearable. the only thing that helps calm it down a bit is sugar free gum, but I'm hoping there is an alternative to this."Replies
[YEA] 03/20/2009: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "Hi Trudi, Quite a while back I found my mouth feeling that the entire mucosa was raw, and this might be what you describe as burning mouth. One evening when heading out to join some friends, my mouth started it again when it hadn't bothered me all day long. Then my mind started searching for things that might have caused it. The last thing I had done before leaving home was use Scope mouthwash. Scope tasted better than Listerine and didn't burn like listerine while in the mouth, but when I stopped using Scope mouthwash, I stopped getting the problem. Apparently something in the mouthwash was causing the problem since getting rid of the mouthwash got rid of the problem.
If your entire oral cavity is burning, it is most likely going to be related to the mouthwash because it is more likely to touch all the mucosa."
03/20/2009: Gina from Oslo, Norway replies: "Hi; vitamin B12 deficiency has burning tongue as a symptom. You may check the level with your doctor. B12 is poorly absorbed from supplements; it is better to have an injection."
03/20/2009: Frank from New York, NY replies: "While the sugar free gum may help you temporarily, it contains artificial sweeteners which may be exacerbating (or even causing) your condition. Stop chewing it and see if the symptoms go away. You may also be brushing your teeth with a toothpaste which is giving you an allergic reaction. They put a lot of strong chemicals in toothpastes these days. Did you switch toothpaste brands 7 months ago?
Try swishing with baking soda and water to alkalize the inside of your mouth."
03/21/2009: Rosy from Orlando, Fl replies: "Use plain castile soap to brush your teeth. It could be a flouride sensitivity."
12/11/2010: Tennessee Girl from Kingsport, Tennessee replies: "I have also had BMS for about 1.5years and the only relief is chewing gum ( fruity flavors ) I use sugar free. My DDS is the ony Doctor that knows any such problems. I have seen every type MD from skin allergy to neuroligist. They have treated me with all kinds Medicine which was mentally killing me.... Seizure type.... DDS said it will go away as fast as it came.. I am trying vinegar water now 1 tsp in glass h2o.. Next I will try sodium bicarbonate(baking soda) 1/4 tsp in glass h2o."
12/12/2010: Marilyn from Oswego, Il replies: "I also have BMS. My oral surgeon gave me this and it works. You can email me and I will give you the email address since I cannot place it here
Eliminate Tooth Whitening Toothpaste
[YEA] 10/04/2011: Miss Poker from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: "Approximately 2 months ago I changed to a whitening toothpaste for a chance at whiter teeth. Succesfully the toothpaste worked right away (I mean the first time I used it), which of course left me suspicious. With no apparent health decline I continued to use this product with much happiness until just a few weeks ago. The initial suspicion about the toothpaste left my thoughts by this time. At first I thought that I was getting a cold because of the mouth irritation. So I took all of the preventative measures I knew, to rid my body of any other cold symptoms. A few days later I still had no signs of a cold. However the mouth burning continued to worsen reaching to my tongue and making it unbearable to brush my teeth. About a week into the intense burning, my mouth started to secrete a foul taste whenever I drank or ate anything. The day I started tasting this metallic/chalky/bitter taste in my mouth, I typed it into google and found a forum full of people with the exact symptoms I had. They claimed that it was 'burning mouth syndrome'. I did a little research and found that a stressor or change is what experts are thinking causes this 'syndrome'. For me I found that within 1 day my symptoms lessened by immediately switching from whitening toothpaste to 'Pro namel'! I believe that some of the things that people are putting in their mouths happen to be toxic to the cells and taste glands. In my case it happened to be a tooth whitening product. However there are many toxins hiding in our bathrooms and kitchens that we don't even realize are there."
06/11/2009: Abbe from Sydney, Australia: "I too think i have Burning Mouth Syndrome, only my burning seems to be really bad under my nose & upper lip as well. My symptoms are- reflux, constipation (for years now), dry eyes, psoriasis, sinus problems, low iron, brittle nails with ridges, flatulance and bloating. I cant seem to stomach vitamin supplements very well and i feel extremely full eating the smallest amounts of carbs.
I have been tested for H. pyroli and it was negative. Today i just had a biopsy of my intestines to see if it could be related to celiac/ gluten sensitivity. I am going to try and eliminate gluten as well as dairy and see if i notice any improvement. Has anyone else experienced similar symptoms to the above?
I feel like im going crazy and i would love to get some relief from this burning sensation in my lips etc! Its almost like a reaction and it seems to get worse throughout the day.."Replies
06/28/2009: Anjum from Miami, Florida replies: "I have been suffering with BMS for 10 years now. Recently about two months back I found Earth Clinic and I decided to do what TED said. He said to try baking soda 1/4 teaspoon in a half glass of water for two weeks that will get rid of burning mouth or burning toungue. It is burning because of acid in mouth (most of are too much acidic) but you need to avoid dairy, sugar ( all even honey and substitues sugars)and white bread and white grains (like white rice) Take any thing that is brown, like wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, corn bread is ok. ( unless you are allergic to gluten) because the gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and oats. Then you can eat only corn and rye and ofcourse gluten free stuff which is really hard to find. Drink lemon (1/2 sqeezed)with one glass of water ( 8 ounce)atleast two times a day when you are taking Soda bicarb in water. Good luck! I really got rid of burning mouth but I still have weired taste in the mouth that I think will go away with time. Sugars are eliminated for atleast 6 months for these conditions to go away. I even got rid of Migrains since I got rid of sugars.
I had my gallbladder removed 18 years ago and I was getting bloating and uneasiness in my stomach also for that I have been taking "Lecithin" just once a day with food. (It helps to break your fats and helps in digestion if you need to take it two times a day with your main meals it is ok too)
Good luck every one. It is not easy to leave all sugar, dairy and white bleached flour ( every food we consume has either suger, dairy or white flour) I am satisfied with this remedy but I also have leg cramps ( heavy legs) I am taking Vitamin E and doing some yogas that are helping me a little but not very much. May be it will take sometime before I can say anything since I just started this yoga a week ago."
08/02/2009: Xlevine from East Brunswick, Nj replies: "I agree with Anjum from Miami regarding baking soda. I use ____baking soda. It's "double action" whatever that is and it tingles somewhat. I take what is less than 1/8 teaspoon and put it directly in my mouth, don't bother to dilute it in water. Several times a day when the problem arises. Then I forget for a few days and the symptoms return. Also noticed that the problem is directly tied to sugar. After eating Italian ices I get a flare up right away. Am I going to give up sweets.... heck no. I discovered baking soda as the remedy because I noticed the problem subsided right after I brushed my teeth with a product that has baking soda (you guess which one). Then I went right to the high octane baking soda. BTW I went to Dr. specializing in this stuff and he didn't diagnosis it properly. He gave me a concoction that sort of worked but in the long run didn't help."
03/16/2012: Minka from Coatesville, Pa replies: "Abbe, I hope you have found relief since posting, but if not it sounds more likely that you suffer from Candida Albicans. An overgrowth of the candida yeast naturally found in the digestive track."
[YEA] 03/20/2012: Wundurbear from Birmingham, Al, Us replies: "I eliminated gluten and my burning mouth completely subsided after less than 2 weeks. I am convinced I am gluten intolerant, because of the many digestive issues that have also subsided. I would rather never eat those things again than have that constant burning in my mouth. after 5 years, relief finally!"
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 11/21/2007: Sharon from Okc, Ok: "I wrote a few months ago about burning mouth syndrome. Recently just been diagnosed wheat gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease. I recommend anyone w/ these symptoms to get it checked out. Symptons are frequent diarrhea, weight loss, migranes, abdominal pain, gas, constipation. Symptons are no differant then everyday complaints that this is HARD to diagnosis. I would recommend cutting wheat out for 2 weeks and see if symptons dissappear. I took a stool test at www.enterolab.com. IT is $99.00 but definatley worth knowing if you have an intolerance... my burning mouth has since dissappated... what happens is your body gets inflamed... and everbody symptons are different. google celiac and read about it. thanks"Replies
12/29/2007: Sharon from Okc, OK replies: "A f/u to my previous message(Sharon from OKC)..still was having burning mouth after eliminating wheat for 3-4 wks, diarreah subsided to twice a day but mouth/underneath tongue and sometimes palate of mouth TENDER....had a live blood cell test done..have leaky gut syndrome and yeast in system...doc says it all goes together along w/gluten intolerance..tested high for mercury, doing oxidation/chealation treatments, done about nine...since my mouth still hurts I cant tell if I feel better or not..if that makes sense..Guess I am going to have to call UNCLE and go see a GI doc which I was trying not to do..Im 41 and have never been sick, so I am just beside myself that I cant nip this in the bud. Will keep you posted as I go as there seems to be no quick fix....lots of prayer.."
06/10/2008: Feeny from Tokyo, Japan replies: "I also suffer from a burning (and sometimes bleeding) tongue. I also get these weird looking circular white sores all over my tongue, both on top and underneath. I get them because I am very allergic to (or intolerant of) citric acid (and probably the proteins in practically all fruits). Perhaps this is a possibility you might explore with your doctors. I would suggest that you do extensive research on the subject on your own, too (via the internet and libraries). Sometimes doctors don't go out of their way to find out what's wrong with people because they are often swamped with many patients and grueling schedules."
03/31/2012: Kat from San Antonio, Tx: "I have been suffering with BMS for about a year now and it has taken its toll on me. I am now being treated for GERD and I believe this is all related. I have been given 4 types of prescriptions for the GERD, have seen a dentist, maxiofacial doc, ENT and gastroenterologist, nothing has changed and I cannot seem to get through to these professionals. I am alarmed that they have kept me on the meds for so long without checking my mag levels. I do notice that sugar and bread have an adverse effect on my symptoms and am at the point of only eating proteins/meats and fresh veggies. At the point of taking this into my own hands and doing what is natural. Thanks for the previous feedback. This has helped me and given me hope!"Replies
06/03/2012: Dl from Sat, Tx. Usa. replies: "I too live in Sat. and your post could have been written by me. This tongue and bms has been going on now for about 4mo. I have been to four doctors' and a dentist and they all say it's some kind of allergy symptom. I bought some new tooth paste Dr. Kens in the health food department and it seems to be helping. I was using that new whitening toothpaste, heck doesn't everybody want whiter tooth paste. I am also going to try the baking soda and give up the wheat. This mouth stuff is awful, seems worse in the evening... Let me know any more tips. So glad I found this site!"
06/29/2012: Ashley from Torrington, Ct: "Hello, About 4 months ago, in early March of 2012, I woke up (more than once) feeling as though someone was choking me. At times, I even wondered if I was having a heart attack. It was really scary.
Anyway, after about a week or two of these "episodes", my neck began to ache (all over, front and back) and my throat started to burn. It was awful. Gradually, I began feeling strange sensations in my tongue, which soon changed to a burning feeling- around the sides, at the tip, and even on the top. It was bizarre and terrifying to have such unusual symptoms. Eventually, my tongue even felt very sore, so sore that I talked a little funny at times (b/c I was "babying" my tongue, I think).
While experiencing all of this, between early-March and early-June 2012, I saw my PCP 3x, an ENT, a GI (APRN), and a neck/back specialist. (I also went to the ER once where I was seen, diagnosed with a sore throat, and sent home.) I felt terrible and was so desperate for some relief! (By the way, blood work and neck x-rays were negative.) A few docs, including the ER MD, felt I had a virus (for which I was first given Ibuprofen/Tylenol and later antibiotic treatments), then a few other docs suspected acid reflux. I couldn't believe that acid reflux could cause me to feel so terrible especially since I was unaware of any symptoms! Although I wanted to dismiss reflux as a possible cause, I was feeling desperate, so I tried whatever was recommended, including Maalox (2 tbsp) at bedtime (recommended by 1 ENT), then prescription medication (for reflux) in the A. M. (such as Aciphex), always 1/2 hour before breakfast (recommended by the GI APRN). With time, I felt a little improvement, but not much. So I continued to doubt the whole reflux theory; I spent so much time in fear that I had a serious illness. Why else would I feel so awful with such unusual symptoms?
Finally, my PCP sent me to a second ENT in early/mid June, about three weeks ago (for a second ENT opinion). He listened, answered all of my questions, and majorly eased my fears. While he suggested Burning Mouth Syndrome as a possibility (maybe caused by anxiety/depression, a hormonal imbalance or neuropathy), he too, felt that acid reflux might be the culprit and needed to be ruled out first. (Note: He didn't see signs and symptoms of a vitamin deficiency or thrush or lichen planus, which can cause burning mouth). He just asked me to be patient and follow his recommendations...
He seemed to be really knowledgeable; For one thing, I was impressed as he was the only doctor I saw who knew a considerable amount about BMS! (He said he had seen about 30 cases in 15 years, almost all women.) Anyway, he disagreed with the other ENT I had seen and the GI I had seen re: their treatment recommendations for possible reflux, at least in my case. He said that I had "silent reflux", which explained why I was unaware of any symptoms. He said that Maalox at bedtime wasn't enough, and taking medication in the a.m. (I. E. Aciphex) wasn't doing me any good as I was experiencing "silent reflux" at NIGHT. He recommended Zegrid (over the counter, 20 mg) for 4 weeks; he wanted me to take it in the evening rather than the a.m. Again, I was doubtful, wondering if, again, I was just wasting my time and money. (This has gotten quite expensive as I'm sure you can imagine! ) Anyway, it's been almost 3 weeks and I'm feeling MUCH, MUCH better! Seriously, I went from being on the verge of tears (almost nightly) due to tongue discomfort, and gargling with Maalox (and other remedies) multiple times a day to rarely thinking about my tongue (d/t a lack of discomfort) and no gargling (with one exception, which I'll mention in a minute). My pain, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst) went from about an average of 8 to an average of 1 or 2! :) The choking feeling stopped first, then the burning in my throat went away; gradually, the aches and pains in my neck ceased, and finally my tongue burning and soreness subsided! But it did take time (3 weeks and counting) and patience like the doc said.
In short, I felt I just had to write and post on "Earth Clinic" b/c I had visited this website many times while trying to find relief for my burning/painful tongue. Others provided me with some helpful suggestions (and support), so I figured now it's my turn to (hopefully) help others.
In conclusion, here are my thoughts having been through this burning tongue/bottom lip/throat nightmare myself: First of all, while very uncomfortable, don't panic and don't think the worst (like I did). Be persistent (with your doctor), experiment with various remedies (from sucking on ice to gargling with Maalox), and, most importantly, be patient and positive (if at all possible)... Remember, it took 3 months for me to find a doctor with the right "remedy" and then weeks of using the this remedy (20 mg Zegerid OTC in the evening x 28 days) for me to feel ALMOST total relief. Seriously, I never thought I'd see this day (a couple of months back)!
Please note, I started taking folic acid and Vit. B Stress pills (in the A. M.) at about the same time I started taking Zegerid. I also started brushing my teeth (and gargling) with Biotene 2x/day awhile back. I figured I had nothing to lose. While I don't think I have (or ever had) a vitamin deficiency, I started taking vitamins b/c it was suggested by others with BMS symptoms. The ENT said my tongue would be bright red and shiny, which it wasn't, if I was suffering from a vitamin deficency. Just thought I should mention this anyway...
Good Luck to anyone suffering from a burning mouth/tongue. I know it's terrible, but I really think you can find some relief if you're able to get to the root of the problem. It may take awhile and, unfortunately, quite a bit of money, but it can be done, so please don't lose hope! Strive to meet with a doctor familiar with the various causes of BMS as this should save you a lot of time and unnecessary (and costly) doctor visits.
All My Best, Ashley"Replies
09/12/2012: Joann from Nashville, Tn replies: "I read your postings I thought I was reading my own story. I had gotten sick several months back and woke up choking one night unable to breath. I litterally felt like someone was choking me and in a lot of pain. My throat especially the larynx area felt squeezed and my tongue was so swollen I freaked out. For about a week couldn't swollow anything without choking and the pain was awful. I went to the doctor and he changed my medication but I couldn't even swollow the pills w/o choking on them. I didn't notice the change burning sensation (because I couldn't eat anything) until about a week and a half later. Everything I ate, drank, chewed on just hurt. Felt like glass going down my throat. Almost like strep throat except you can't breath and you keep swollowing hoping it will go down. It took a month for my throat to feel decent. Then the burning of the mouth which I had thought was just a side affect of my medication or from whatever had attacked my throat became more noticable. I just happened to get fed up with it this morning because I can't eat anything w/o my mouth being on fire. I'm still suffering from the awful BMS part. So I"m going to try some of these remedies and see if it helps. From the split mouth, to the bumps on my tongue. This has been going on for four months now. Something has to change, it sucks not being able to eat with your family and friends. Wonderful on the wasteline, not so wonderful on the social life."
12/20/2012: Judy from Adelaide, Australia replies: "To Badgerme from Seatte: Thanks so much for your info on BMS. Like you, I have tried literally every thing to elimate this problem. Mine has been ongoing for over 2 1/2 years, driving me totally insane. ENT specialist indicated Menopause and also silent reflux (he had seen this in mainly women only). I will be heading to chemist at lunch time to get these "Zegrid" tablets and give them a go. I am on reflux medication at the moment, 4th day into them, no sign of it mellowing. GGGrrrr........! Can't even enjoy a white wine lately as it burns my tongue soooo much. I will keep in touch in regards to the outcome. I hope I get the relief which you have from taking these tablets. Thanks very much. Will try anything :)"
11/22/2013: Kay from Bala Cynwyd, Pa replies: "To Judy from Australia- did you BMS stop? Your story sounds like mine."
02/21/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "I am 46 years old and have had burning tongue/mouth syndrome for 2 years and 7 months and yes, have spent literally thousands of dollars on doctor/dentist/specialists, lab work, more lab work, etc and am currently on Dr. #11. My chiropractor/nutritionist is helping the most. My story is similar in that the burning mouth and neck pain started together. Sometimes things seem to help and then the burning comes back and progressively gets worse. I have tried every remedy out there and then some. I have cleaned my body of yeast, have lost 15 pounds on an already very slim frame, avoid sugars (except red wine in evening. It numbs my mouth and is my only source of relief), breads, found I am very allergic to all dairy and eggs and have slight to moderate allergies of many foods. I eat extremely healthy and am scared of literally everything I consume. I am perimenopausal and the burning tongue/mouth and neck pain started in the midst of my mother's decline in her long battle with COPD. Some doctors thought it was stress related and the burning would subside after she passed. She died 15 months ago and it has not left. I have not had a single day without burning in my mouth in 2 years and 7 months. I am going to try the Zegrid starting tonight. My chiropractor ran tests that show I am significantly lacking in progesterone and when I started the natural oil 2 weeks ago, it made a tremendous improvement in the burning sensation. 2 weeks on progesterone, then 2 weeks off. I just started the 2 weeks off, 2 days ago, and they burning returned with a vengeance. This is a horrible affliction. I can sympathize with those that end their lives over this. This is all consuming and prior to this affliction, I rarely visited doctors. There is so much more I could write but I will stop for now and check back in once I have gone through a few rounds of progesterone and a month of Zegrid. Wish me luck please. And luck to everyone out there who suffers from this devastating affliction. Thank you for sharing Ashley.
02/21/2014: Nanowriter from Hotspot, Texas replies: "Have you tried supplementing with magnesium? Most of us are low on it and stress will cause you to burn through it. A quick google showed a study that found a connection between burning mouth and magnesium deficiency."
02/21/2014: Prioris from Fl replies: "Hi Kristine.
Burning mouth seems to be a form of neuropathy. Burning is a common sensation of neuropathy, Maybe the myelin of the nerves is being destroyed. Have you tried the methylcobalamin, benfotiamine and R alpha lipoic acid remedies.
"In one study, researchers followed 42 women and 18 men with burning mouth syndrome. The patients were given either 200 mg of alpha lipoic acid or placebos three times daily for two months. Nearly all of the patients on alpha lipoic acid showed improvement compared to placebo, and 75 percent benefited substantially, with some experiencing complete recovery."
You mentioned that your mother who passed away had COPD. I am just curious what remedies she had tried."
02/22/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "Thank you both for your feedback. Yes, I have tried magnesium injections to no benefit. I have yet to try ALA but it did read very much about it on this site. My intention was to try the Zegerid at bedtime as Ashley had mentioned, give it a month, and if it did not help, switch to ALA. Or should I try the ALA first?
Thinking it was a neuropathy, we tried gabapentin for several months increasing the dosage to 2600 mg but the side effects were worsening and my BTS/BMS did not improve, although it did in the beginning.
My mother did not have BTS, just COPD. She lived much longer than any doctor predicted and they were actually amazed b/c she lived for more than 2 years after she fell and broke her hip. At the time of her fall her lung capacity was 12.5%. She was on oxygen for 9 years prior to her death.
Thank you very much for any and all advice.
02/22/2014: Prioris from Fl replies: "Zegrid has serious side effects: easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness; fast or slow heartbeats; or low magnesium (dizziness, confusion, fast or uneven heart rate, jerking muscle movements, jittery feeling, muscle cramps, muscle weakness or limp feeling, cough or choking feeling, seizure) ... This isn't a drug you want to be on for the long term. Even if you do get some relief with it, I'd keep searching for something more natural.
I'd make sure you use Right ALA. I'd go with right ALA first since your system may be more clean of medications."
02/23/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "To Kristine in Chicago.....try 1500 to 1800 mg of sustained release alpha lipoic acid along with a good b12 supplement....the ALA literally saved my life. It's not completely gone because I think part of mine is related to my thyroid, but I am living again. There are many medical studies related to ALA at that dosage and BMS. Good luck!"
02/24/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "To Prioris from FL and Becca from Abilene: Thank you both so very much for your input. I started on the Zegerid 2 nights ago and changed my diet/lifestyle (once again) in the hopes of some relief. I have noticed a big difference in the chemistry of my mouth in the am, but the burning, albeit less, still persists (and I know this is not an over night solution). Given all of the information I am seeing posted re: ALA, I believe I can take this with the Zegerid. Is this correct? I want to give the Zegerid time to help with the reflux because after all of the research I have done on silent reflux (LBR), and my lifestyle and diet, I believe this could be the culprit. I have every symptom of LBR except heartburn, and I realize most people who suffer from LBR do not present with heartburn. So now I have changed my diet and eating habits (I was always a late dinner eater), switched to alkaline water, am taking the Zegerid and would like to add ALA but have seen varying posts about the dosage. I am 5'6 and 107 pounds currently. Also, the burning really returned with a vengeance after I stopped the progesterone oil at bedtime (2 weeks on and 2 weeks off). After researching the internet and talking with my chiropractor/nutritionist, I found that progesterone neutralizes acid in the esophagus and stomach. And is a natural stress reliever. Stress causes more acid reflux. Ugh! I am obsessed and all consumed with this condition. I cannot believe I still have it after this long. I feel as if I cannot move forward in life or honestly enjoy life to the fullest until I get this constant burning pain under control.
Again, I really appreciate your input. I want to start on the ALA but need to be sure I am taking the correct dosage. And then again, I am concerned that starting on too many things (Zegerid, ALA and natural progesterone...which my doc says is very much needed as I am completely depleted of this hormone) will cause confusion as to which is beneficial for this condition, although all may be.
02/24/2014: Mike62 from Denver replies: "Kristine: 4oz canned sweet potatoes every other day makes progesterone. 1g hops extract prevents them from being aromatized."
02/25/2014: Prioris from Fl replies: "I think the progesterone being a hormone would be the highest priority especially if you are depleted. Being depleted of any hormone could set off a chain reaction of problems in your body.
I would stop taking the Zegerid and take the R-ALA. The other poster mentioned taking 1500-1800 grams and that being affective for her. I would consider that dosage since it was effective for her. They say that 300 grams is therapeutic dose. Start at 300 and work your way up. Maybe you won't need as high a dose. Even studies have used up to 1200mg for 3 weeks or so.
Experiment with Zegerid later. I'd be concerned about how the Zegerid interacts with the other two the most. I know you started it so may be pain to stop it but that is just my 2 cents worth."
02/25/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "I too am not a fan of the Zegarid....could actually compound the problem. You might try Mastic Gum..one capsule morning and evening....medically proven to heal stomach issues....took myself and worked great. As far as the dosage of ALA...most of the clinical trials said that some relief started at 600 mg....most got significant relief at 1200 to 1800 mg per day with no negative side effects noted and was studied for two years. I agree...start low and increase slow. My endo gave me progesterone capsules to take everyday...I take sporadically. Never heard of low progesterone being linked to BMS....but hormones do crazy things to the body so you never know. Hang in there...no one that has never experienced it can begin to understand what it does to the body and mind."
02/25/2014: Prioris from Fl replies: "Just for clarification. Are those doses of ALA the ALA or the R-ALA?"
02/26/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "To Prioris, Becca, and Mike62: Thank you so very much for all of your input and help you have shared. I really appreciate it. But I have to admit that I have stayed on the Zegerid at bedtime and the changes have been amazing. I have also committed to the diet and lifestyle of acid reflux sufferers, buying the book "Dropping Acid, The Reflux Diet Cookbook and Cure". I have nearly every symptom of this problem and medicine, namely Zegerid (1 of approx 5 listed) is needed to help alleviate the symptoms of Silent Reflux or LBR). LBR is different than GERD, that is why I was unaware of my condition. The changes since taking the Zegerid and changing my diet and eating habits is tremendous!!
Additionally, progesterone is a natural stress reliever and acid reducer (namely in the stomach and esophagus). I found this through my own research and discussions with my chiropractor/nutritionist/hormone therapy doctor. At the onset of this illness I was in the throws of my mother (whom I shared an extremely close and loving relationship with) entering the downward spiral of COPD, and I was in periomenopause (where your hormones are on the decline), and also a single mother preparing to send my only daughter off to college...not to mention I decided to quit my job of 20 years and start up my own business. What a perfect storm of stress and hormone depletion!!
Needless to say....I am excited and thrilled to no end right now. As I type this I have zero burning in my mouth. Yesterday I experienced maybe 2 hours of slight burning (range of about 3 on pain level). My pain level prior to the Zegerid was running a 7-8, bringing me to tears and monopolizing my entire life daily. As Becca mentioned, no one knows what this can do to your mind and body.
Thank you all so very much again and I will continue to keep you posted. If I have indeed found my remedy, after nearly 2 years and 8 months, I certainly want to help others.
02/26/2014: Prioris from Fl replies: "I'll add one more thing you can do.
Zegerid side effects may not be good for you long term. It may just mask the symptom and then boomerang on you later on. Research anectdotal reports of long term use of Zegerid and see what it is doing to other people so you can nip any problem in the bud.
I'd experiment with Stabilized Na R-ALA after you've had a good vacation from pain. If it works, it will be more healthier for your body over the long term. Good Luck."
02/27/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "Thanks Prioris. I will check back in to confirm how I am doing. I intend on adding the ALA in time (unless I go pain free for a very long period of time). I have only been on the Zegerid for 5 nights now. Burning now and then but remain hopeful. I know it takes takes weeks for full benefits of Zegerid to take effect. I do agree that possibly the stress and burning has caused damage to the myelin and therefore I will need the ALA. Either way, I will check back in. Again, many thanks to everyone.
02/27/2014: Ed from Ct. replies: "Up until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of this. What I did come across was a show on TV that had featured something very similar. In this case the cause was the person's high blood pressure meds. When meds were changed the symptoms went away. Don't know if it will help but - something to consider."
02/27/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "It's ALA."
02/28/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "To Becca, Prioris and Ed: I am going out to get the ALA today. I did more research on Silent Reflux and BMS and find that some patients take the Zegerid and ALA together. They take the Zegerid to help control the reflux, and the ALA for the burning pain. Also, finding so many cases where BMS is directly related to Silent Reflux (LBR). Burning persists, at about a 1-3 today and yesterday....at least not the 7-8 I had been experiencing.
Becca, how long did it take for the ALA to kick in and give you relief? I am going to start at 200mg 3x a day and increase it weekly until I get up to your recommended dosage. Prioris: I am having some of the side effects from the Zegerid but hope they will subside over time (headache, muscle cramping). The headache could be from not eating as well. So difficult to eat as it inevitably increases the burning. Certain foods make it very bad, while others not so bad. I am trying to be patient and let the meds and diet kick in.
Ed: I do not have high blood pressure but do appreciate your input. My blood pressure always runs on the low side. Unless the burning pain is high. At the onset of my neck pain and burning tongue I was on zero medications. Not a single one.
Thanks again everyone. I am determined and hopeful. I can function at a pain level of 1-3. When it creeps up to 7-8 that's when life gets very rough. I cannot express enough how much I appreciate all of your input. Please stay tuned as I feel I may have more questions. Thanks-
02/28/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "Kristine....I was desperate....I started out on 900mg of a high quality sustained release brand and I also wanted to get alkalined quickly so I drank 1/2 tsp of cooking grade baking soda in about 6 oz of water the first night right before I went to bed. I did the same thing the next morning. I took 600 mg that night...no baking soda. I did this for several days and then cut out the daily baking soda...just every few days if I have an acidic meal. I continue the 900 mg in the morning and another 600 in the afternoon. I saw results quickly....with 12 to 18 hours. I also us a liquid vitamin b supplement and take vitamin d....both very important in nerve conduction and neuropathy. Don't be afraid of the ALA...and definitely do the baking soda with it for the first few days."
02/28/2014: Prioris from Fl, Usa replies: "Today I gave someone from some ALA I had lying around - about 600mg - to try for their neuropathy. They experienced bad heart burn. It is better absorbed on empty stomach but some people need to take it with food. For people who haven't taken larger doses of ALA, it is something to be aware of.
Stabilized Na R-ALA has the advantage of R-ALA. It also has contaminants removed. It suppose to have the highest bioavailability (40 to 60 percent more). It also suppose to NOT have heart burn and stomach upset properties of the other types. I ordered some Na R-ALA a couple days ago so will see how that does."
02/28/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "Prioris...am curious where you got information on the R ALA. None of the clinical studies I read mentioned a "stabilized" version of ALA. I would love to read up on it if you would share."
02/28/2014: Prioris from Fl, Usa replies: "This goes into more details about Alpha Lipoic Acid and why you may want stabilized form. I hadn't looked into ALA for quite a few years and found out things I hadn't been aware of. http://claudiap.hubpages.com/hub/What-to-Be-Very-Careful-About-When-You-Get-Alpha-Lipoic-Acid"
03/01/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "Prioris.....thanks for the info. Been reading up on it and have decided to give it a try. Just as DIM is the stable form of Indole Carbinol 3 ...which is what my doctor put me on years ago before the stabilized derivative was discovered..and is safer to use...i understand the stability issue of taking natural remedies. Although I have had great success with the ALA that I have been taking...there is still some unresolved issues and the brand that I trust also has the Stabalized R ALA and I should be able to take fewer tablets. Thanks again for the info....and God's health to you!"
03/01/2014: Prioris from Fl, Usa replies: "In one brand of the Bioenhanced Stabilized Na R-ALA I saw a note for Burning Mouth Syndrome
"Please note: For BMS (Burning Mouth Syndrome) we recommend you take 2 capsules 4 times a day until you see results. Then you can reduce the amount slowly until you see what works for you.
1 capsule = 150mg"
03/02/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "I picked up the only ALA I could find at the Vitamin Shop. There were 2 types and I bought both. One is a triple strength ALA rapid release at 300mg and the other is a maximum strength ALA at 600mg. Started on it yesterday afternoon. I could not find any type of stabilized R ALA, but maybe I could order once I finish the supply I have.
I am feeling very hopeful. I continue with the Zegerid for now, 20mg 2x a day and muscle cramping has ceased, with occasional headaches remaining. Prioris and Becca: Do you suggest then that I take 300mg of the ALA 4x a day to start then? I am basing this on your recent suggestion. I started yesterday with the 600mg straight off and like you said Becca, I had adverse stomach reactions which subsided over time but I was very happy with the level of burning. I would put it at a 1 yesterday. Yesterday was a very good day.
Becca: I have been on sub-lingual vitamin B-12 with folic acid for quite some time and my blood test results always show that I am running high on all vitamin B's. My doc stresses to keep up on this supplement. She also recently added vitamin D to my regime as I am running on the low end of the scale.
My vitamins and supplements were recently scaled back largely and at this time I am taking the following: Juice Plus, vitamin B-12 with folic acid (2 tablets under the tongue 2x a day), Vitamin D every other day, fish oil, Etodolac 400mg mostly in the mornings for maintenance of arthritis pain in neck (if it's bad in the evening as well), and Norco 5 for emergency tongue pain and/or neck pain. I do my best not to take this unless necessary as I realize what an awful drug this is. It does help tremendously when my tongue/mouth burning is bad. If the tongue burning goes over a pain level of 5 I will take one. Without fail it always brings the burning down to a 1-2.
Thanks so much to both of you. You are God's sends, without a doubt.
03/02/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "Kristine....I take my ALA twice a day....900 mg in the morning (3 x 300mg) and another 300 to 600 mg in the afternoon depending on how I feel. Vitamin D is crucial....at one time I was on a prescription of one a week at 100,000 I.u. Later, my doctor said I could just take OTC.....I take 1000 I.u. daily. I was taking several different supplements daily and ended up getting some imbalances. Now, I know this may sound weird, but I decided that I needed one balanced supplement that gave me everything I need and settled on a well known brand of pre natal vitamin with DHA. I take the above dose of ALA, vitamin D, and the pre natal. I feel better all over, energy is great, and the imbalances are re-balancing. I have layed off of the extra sublingual B for the moment...will let my body tell me when I need it. I am going to change to the stabilized ALA...found my brand on amazon...to see if I see any better results. when I have a burning flare up, I take 1/2 tsp of baking soda in water to alkalize quickly. This has always alleviated the burn quickly. I also rinse my mouth with soda water at night after brushing my teeth."
03/02/2014: Prioris from Fl, Usa replies: "I would order the Stabilized version of Na R-ALA just based on the research. I realized you already spent money and bought something and want to use it up but I'd bite the bullet and order the stabilized form. You can test it side by side. You want to stop the BMS first and then you can maybe use up the ALA later while on maintenance.
You have to take at least 1200 mg of ALA (and that may include side effects also) to even begin to hope to match the Stabilized Na R-ALA form but the stabilized version has much higher bioavailability. So it is probably between 5 to 40 times better than ALA so that makes purchasing ALA a waste of money. I can't verify at the moment whether it is 40 times.
Research has shown that unstabilized ALA absorbs better than unstabilized R-ALA so forget about unstabilized R-ALA.
Someone mentioned that sustained release form worked best. That is what helps maintain the levels in blood stream. That is probably the reason why they recommended taking it 4 times a day in NON-sustained release form. This is something to take into account when treating oneself to rid yourself of the painful symptoms.
They also had a dosage of 1200mg to 1800mg of ALA as effective. At least 600 mg of ALA was starting point for therapeutic effects. The stabilized form could cut that dose down to between 300 mg to 900 mg.
"Most ALA supplements sold today contain a 50/50 mixture of natural (R-Lipoic) and unnatural (S-Lipoic) Lipoic Acid. The S-Lipoic Acid form, which is not found in nature, is a byproduct of chemical synthesis.
Research indicates that not only does the human body have difficulty absorbing this unnatural version, it may actually inhibit the most essential properties of the R-Lipoic Acid form.
The “R” form is considered the biologically superior form because it is identical to the ALA produced by the body.
Unfortunately, without special processing, R-Lipoic Acid is highly unstable and difficult to absorb.
This problem has been solved with the introduction of Bio-Enhanced? R-Lipoic Acid, the world’s first stabilized RLA." Geronova is one of the companies doing research into this."
03/03/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "Thank you so much. Prioris, will do re: the Stabilized ALA. I feel so much better, it's amazing. Becca, I failed to mention that I have been brushing my teeth with baking soda only, dating back to June. I tried to switch back to regular toothpaste a few weeks ago but couldn't handle the increased burning. I've had 3 great days in a row (I would rank my burning pain at a 0-2 all day long) and have had no need for Norco. I am drinking only alkaline water, rather than regular bottled water since last week and will try your remedy next time the burning increases, but hoping there isn't a next time. I also added back in an occasional glass of red wine (not suppose to have alcohol on reflux diet) as I have to say I do love it, and it completely takes away the burning.
So to sum it up for any other sufferers, I currently have been on the Zegerid for 8 days at 20mg 2X a day, started the anti-reflux diet and alkaline water at same time, and have added ALA at 1,200mg per day 2 days ago. I have to reiterate how the chemistry of my mouth has completely changed since starting the Zegerid and diet, amongst so many other Silent Reflux symptoms diminishing.
I remain very hopeful, positive and blessed to regain control and have my life back. I cannot give enough thanks to EarthClinic for hosting this site, Ashley for her original posting, and Prioris and Becca for staying with me and helping so very much. 2 years and 8 months now, 11 or more doctors later, and finally, some hope for relief of this horribly chronic burning pain.
03/10/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "to Kristine from Chicago....just wondering how you were doing. I am 4 days on the Stabilized R ALA and have seen even more improvement than on the regular ALA. Definitely worth the extra money. I still take 3 capsules in the morning...but its only 450mg instead of 900mg. So far, that has been enough for the whole day."
03/20/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "Two more questions Becca: Do you go days without any burning? And how long have you suffered from this condition?
When I asked my oral surgeon why it is when I try anything new...be it the anit-yeast diet, learning about my food allergies and steering clear, from those allergens, various supplements, more exercise, Neurontin, Zegerid, Anti-Reflux diet, ALA, etc...the first few days my burning diminishes so very much. He said it's what's known at the 'Placebo Effect'. Your mind wants the treatment/remedy/medication to work so very much that your mind believes it will...for a time. And eventually the symptoms do return. But I do contend that my reflux is minimal now, compared to before starting the Zegerid and ALA, and that the pain is much better now most days. I will continue on the ALA, as there are some hours that I am as close to burn free as possible. It hasn't reached the pain level of an 8 in some time. But there are days that it creeps up to a 5. Even with the ALA, reflux diet and baking soda mix.
03/20/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "To Becca from Abilene, TX, ...Hi Becca, thanks for thinking of me. I've tried the Stabilized R-ALA and my burning symptoms actually got worse. So after 2 days I switched back and after almost 3 weeks on ALA at 1200 mg (600 in am, and 600 after lunch), I've pulled back to 600 in AM and 300 in pm. Seems to not make a difference in the burning so I am holding at this dosage for now. My oral surgeon called me in to see how I was doing (I had originally seen him for swelling of my parotid gland) and this appt we discussed my BMS in more detail. I also switched from Zegerid to Mastic Gum after 3 weeks and my silent reflux is holding at a minimum. But back to my oral surgeon...when he studied for his MD in Ireland and then went on to become an oral surgeon, their team of doctors saw approximately 100 patients with BMS. He said in his experience the cause of BMS 90% of the time was an anxiety disorder. And I have suffered from anxiety issues my entire life but trying to control it without meds. I have been off my anxiety meds for almost a year now (went off a few months after my mom passed) and that is when the burning became out of control.
Right now I am still taking the Norco at a low dosage to help with the burning (it does! ). Life stressors and lack of sleep make the burning much worse. Still off coffee which was very rough. My oral surgeon thinks that I will really benefit from an anxiety med for BMS in the Klonopin family...but not Klonopin. Can't remember the name. I have an appt with a GP April 8th who is currently treating 2 patients with BMS. So, I am biting the bullet and hoping to go back on meds to help with anxiety. Apparently the majority of people who have anxiety issues usually go on to develop some sort of reflux later in life.
Also, of the 100 patients my oral surgeon and his team treated in Ireland, they were able to cure not a single one. I held it together until I got to my car. Then cried and cried and cried. Then I went out and ate a delicious lunch of the foods I have been denying myself due to reflux issues and anti-yeast diet (Big delicious burger with French Fries!! ). My oral surgeon states some people are just hard wired for anxiety. A co-worker asks what do you have anxiety about now? I respond, the constant burning in my mouth each and every day. And my highly restricted diet. Other than that, life really isn't bad at all. But it certainly was the worst it ever was when this burning began. Apparently more than my mind and body could handle.
Sorry I haven't been checking this posting. My work deadlines have really ramped up as well. But please let me know what you think-
03/21/2014: Nanowriter from Hotspot, Texas replies: "Kristine, you may want to look into B vitamins as well as magnesium. I think that your life long anxiety is an initial symptom of a nutrient deficiency that got worse and then manifested in a different symptom, BMS.
Your symptoms got worse when you took ALA, which uses up B vitamins. Tracking what makes your symptoms worse or better may give you clues as to what nutrients you are missing. The pharmaceuticals you took May have also deprived you of still more vitamins.
My own anxiety and insomnia resolved when I started taking trace mineral supplements. Doctors tend to see anxiety not as a valid physical symptom of its own, but as some weird neurosis."
03/21/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "Dear Nanowriter from Hotspot: Thank you so much for your input. My symptoms became worse when I switched from ALA to Stabilized R-ALA. They are definitely much better with the ALA than without, so I am back to a maximum strength and rapid release ALA. I take B's every day and especially sublingual B-12 with folic acid. My lab results always reflect that I am not lacking at all in my B's and my B-12 runs very high as I take much of it daily. I am running low in zinc however.
I do completely now agree (since most everything else has been ruled out) that my BMS is directly related to my anxiety. Stressors and lack of sleep make the burning much worse. I have always been a Type A personality and put very much on my plate daily, and the stress of helping my mom die as painlessly and peacefully as possible, running my own business, and sending my only child off to college (all within a 2 year period), I believe, pushed my anxiety to it's limit and yes, manifested itself as BMS. But I do believe that not only anxiety but also reflux, food allergies, and perimenopause all played roles in this condition. That is why I have decided to bite the bullet and go on an anxiety med...and I did read numerous times that clonazapam/klonopin is the drug that is effective with BMS. I am also doing my best to rest and de-stress my life...but it's a hard change when I have been hard wired this way for nearly 47 years. But I will continue to try my best to relax my lifestyle. I am definitely effective and successful in what I do...but paying the price for it mentally and physically.
More input/advice is always welcome :)
03/21/2014: Nanowriter from Hotspot, Texas replies: "Kristine, thank you for the feedback.
You mention that you have been a type A personality lifelong. My theory is that Type A people are that way due to a mineral/vitamin deficiency, rather than having a Type A gene.
So one can try to "brute force" oneself into being less driven, but you will still actually be driven, due to a lack of the proper nutrient whose job is to calm the mind. I understand that it was a cardiologist who noticed his patients were literally clawing the material from the armchairs in their inability to relax. High blood pressure and cardio problems are linked to magnesium deficiency. My theory is that mental states are not being linked to deficiencies, but they should.
For example, one of the symptoms of pellagra, or a vit b3 deficiency is dementia as well as schizophrenia. A type C or cancer personality type has also been posited.
So my theory is that trying to not be anxious or depressed or driven or manic is an exercise in futility. It is only by getting the proper vitamins/minerals that brain health can be restored. Anyway, it's a theory and may be total nonsense! I appreciate your patience and hope you get relief."
03/21/2014: Becca from Abilene, Tx replies: "Kristine...the first few days I responded well to the stabilized version. I am now blending the two types until I use up all of the stabalized r ALA and then will go back to the regular ALA. I too have anxiety issues and a stressful career and fully believe that stress and a missed prescribed dosage of thyroid meds set my BMS off. I am not losing faith though that this will go away. So much of what I have read said that it can stop just as quickly as it began...average of 7 years. I have very little burning now...just a desensitized feeling in my lips and mouth."
03/23/2014: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois replies: "Dear Nanowriter: I literally have been checked, tested and re-tested on every vitamin, mineral, hormone, saliva test, RA disease, stomach tests you can think of, and then more and again.The only hormone that stands out is my lack of progesterone, which is being supplemented. When I say my zinc level is low, it's really at the low end of the 'normal' range. My RA factor was slightly elevated (18), but not enough to diagnose a RA disease. And at my last blood draw, my vitamin D was at the low end of the normal range. Food Allergies, on the other hand, are a different story. My entire life my blood pressure has remained low...usually 100-110/60-65. No history of heart disease or cancer in my family at all. Everyone lived a long life into their 90's except my mother who was a lifetime smoker (55 years) and died at 76 from COPD. She too, suffered from anxiety. My bad cholesterol is always low (last reading was 59). My good cholesterol usually runs about 100, but last reading was 151 and my doctor was astounded. She said in her 45 years of practice she had never seen a good reading that high. Additionally, every time I apply for additional life insurance and have to undergo a blood draw (most recently 3 years ago) I am always informed that I fall into the top healthiest category and always qualify for the lowest rates. I am perplexed. But all this aside, what type of trace mineral supplements do you use? Thanks Nanowriter-
Dear Becca: Yes, I have read that 7 years is the average in about 60-70% of BMS sufferers. July will mark my 3rd year anniversary. I have started a natural tension and stress reliever containing valerian root, passiflora and magnesium carbonate. Today marks the day I taper off the Norco (will do 1/2 pill for a few days, then come off completely) and see what happens with my burning level. Right now, on the Norco, I am burning about 1-2 all day long. Of course less in the am. Stress, without fail, always increases the burning exponentially. I usually sleep very well, but when I do not, the burning increases the same. I am seeing my 13th and final doctor on April 8th. She does have experience with BMS and I am going to speak with her about possibly starting on clonazapam at a low dose. I will keep you posted. I have liberalized my diet which has cut down on the stress. Not being able to eat nearly everything was causing much stress as well. I just steer clear of dairy, eggs and sugar right now. Try not to eat too much processed foods or whites, but added occasional bread and potatoes back in to try and gain some of my weight back. Thanks Becca!
[NAY] 06/27/2010: Denise from St. Paris, Ohio: "I'm 47 and eight months ago I went on diet and lost 40 lbs. Two months ago my tongue turned white and burning tongue started and acid reflux. Also hot flashes returned in a major way. Doctor put me on 1 a day Ranitidine 150 mg for acid reflux and 5 a day Clotrmazole 10 mg Tro R for my tongue. I also take 1 Mega Vita-Min pill, 1 5000 iu D3 (have a low D level), 2 Omega 3 Fish oil 1000mg, 2 B-100 complex, 3 calcium 600mg Vitamin D3,and some different herb to help get rid of acid reflux. I also started taking 1/2 tsp of baking soda with 2 Tbsp lemon juice in 4 ozs of spring water 3 times a day on June 25 2010. My tongue is hurting real bad and i have no energy. Should i stop some of these vitamins? like calcium? I'm at a loss. I'm not using any dairy products but I am drinking soy milk and avoiding wheat products. Any help would greatly be appreciated."Replies
06/28/2010: Denise from St. Paris, Ohio replies: "This Question is for Ted: I'm new to this site and never needed any help but now I have all these problems I posted on 6-27-2010 . I forgot to say I also now take 3 pills of probiotics in morning and evening with all the other pills. Should I stop most of these vitamins? I dont know what pills could be feeding this problem. And should I avoid fruits and sugar? Thank you."
06/28/2010: Bill from San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines replies: "Hi Denise...My thoughts on your problems are that when you went on your crash diet, your body suffered perhaps through a weakened immune system due to this diet, which left the door open to your burning mouth yeast infection as well as helping to cause acid reflux. Your body appears to be too acid for the following reasons:
The drug Clotrimazole is used as an anti-yeast and anti-fungal that your doctor advised for your burning mouth problems. Clotrimrazole is also used in a topical creams against yeast/fungus. Here are the possible side-effects from Clotrimazole when taken orally as Mycelex Troches:
"Itching; nausea; unpleasant mouth sensations; vomiting."
"Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)."
Taken from Drugs.com
Your use of Clotrimazole might also be aggravating your your mouth yeast condition. Best talk with your doctor about this.
You also seem to be taking very high doses of Calcium with Vit D (1800 mgs). Since most western foods -- from milk to corn flakes to most processed grains -- now contain so much fortified calcium, I would avoid taking calcium supplements altogether unless you have a particular reason for supplementing large doses of calcium as excess calcium tends to cause considerable problems in the body -- causing acidosis as well as other problems like muscular aches, cramps and muscular pains, tremors and heart arrythmia.
In order to help cure your acid condition, the following protocol would be very beneficial:
*Continue to alkalize your body two or three times a day using Ted's Lemon and Baking Soda remedy.
*If you do take calcium, its very to important balance this intake with at least a 1:2 or 1:1 ratio of Magnesium to Calcium. Supplementing Magnesium will help to regulate the calcium in your body and clear the excess, normalizing the calcium levels.
*The best way to find out what minerals you actually need or what excess heavy metals are in your body is to get a simple hair analysis done. Heavy metals can be removed from your body by drinking green tea as well as eating cilantro in your salad 3 times a week.
*Stop taking calcium supplements completely for a month and see if this helps(take magnesium supplements instead).
*Supplement twice a day with 300 mgs Magnesium Chloride or Mag Citrate or Mag Gluconate.This will help balance your hormones and help remove and balance calcium excess.
*You are taking 2 X B-100 complex every day, which is a high daily dose and excessive. If there is no particular reason for this high dosage, try cutting down to one B-100 or B-50 tablet every 2 or 3 days. Excessive levels of Vitamin B-100 complex can cause problems that irritate - such as insomnia, high blood, fatigue, palpitations, etc.
*Take boron tablets, 3 - 6 mgs a day. You can also use 20 mule team borax which is the same but cheaper and just as good(I use it). Just add 1/8 teaspoon of borax to a litre of bottled water and drink this in cups throughout the day. Boron/borax is the ultimate yeast/fungal killer, helps balance the hormones and gets rid of fluoride from your body as well. See this link for dosage - Borax Cures.
*Use the Oral Detox that Ted recommends for your mouth and tongue problems -- which is the 1% Hydrogen peroxide with Borax(anti-yeast, anti-fungal). See Ted's Oral Detox Remedies here.
*Supplement lugol's iodine 2 drops once a day in a glass of water. This is also an anti-fungal and very beneficial for your body. You can also dissolve 1000 mgs Vitamin C in water and add 2 drops of lugols. This will convert the iodine to iodide and there will be no horrible iodine taste.
*Rather than using multivitamins, try using dessicated liver tablets -- these contain every vitamin, mineral and amino acid that you will ever need -- and in its most bio-available form. You can buy these tablets at any weight training shop. See this link.
I had intestinal candida for about 8 years and finally cured this fungal problem using many of these simple remedies above - which will also work well against your mouth yeast problems. But I'm just a little worried, because if you have other symptoms such as psoriasis, eczma, continual bloated feeling, insomnia, continual constipation or loose stools, irregular bowel movement, low appetite, sugar cravings, low energy, athletes foot, recurring UTI -- then these are all symptoms of intestinal candida as far as I'm concerned -- I had most of these symptoms for many years when I had intestinal candida."
07/15/2010: Denise from St. Paris, Ohio replies: "Bill, Thank you! For getting back to me. I didn't go on a crash diet, I just cut out all the junk food and ate real foods and exercised a lot and than developed all these problems. I have stopped the Clotrimazole and my tongue is feeling better. Also, I have stopped taking calcium. I am just taking vitamin D and Fish Oil and 1 B -100 complex and medicine for acid reflux. I am also soaking in a tub for 20 minutes 3 times a week with Epsom salt added. Sorry for the delay to your fast reply, just was not feeling very good. Thanks again! Denise"