A Question About Geographic Tongue
Bette, here is a crazy thing for you. If you can give me an answer, I’d be very grateful. What in the world will help a geographic tongue (GT)?
I don’t believe I’ve seen anything, anywhere, about this. I have GT, but the dentist is of no help to me. My tongue is on fire all the time.
I do believe B-12 helps me some. Am I on the right track? Thanks, God bless, Sue. (not real name)
What is geographic tongue
Truth to tell, Sue, nobody really knows what geographic tongue is, what causes it or how to fix it, but I had it for years-starting as a young child-and got rid of it, so let me offer some possibilities.
Geographic tongue gets its name from raw, shiny, red areas that appear on the tongue-and look like something you’d see on a map. Maybe a tiny continent. Perhaps a lake.
Spots come and go, hurting and stinging all the way. Your tongue gets ugly, too, so where it’s not raw, it may be furry and grooved.
My mother, born and raised in England, used to tell me it meant I had a superior sense of taste, and if I were in England, they’d move me right up to the head of the line for a job as a tea taster. Well, that’s a kind of weird thing to say to a kid, and I never quite understood why I should appreciate all the burning in my mouth. Maybe she was just trying to boost my spirits.
I remember times when people caught sight of my tongue while I was laughing. They would get a horrified look on their faces as they tried to figure out if I had a dread, possibly contagious disease.
Geographic tongue is a completely benign condition-which may be why we have so little research on it. If the doctor even knows about it, he/she also knows medicine has nothing to offer and ignores it.
Vitamins and minerals
You’re on the right track with B12. In fact, there’s evidence all the Bs help GT. But adding other vitamins and minerals would make sure you cover all the possibilities. And don’t be unnecessarily shy about dosages. If you do vitamins right, toxicity won’t rear its ugly head. Check my Pep for the Pooped e-book for dosage discussions.
I got rid of my geographic tongue after I had my vitamin/mineral program in place. I wasn’t thinking about my tongue at the time, just about getting through the day and, with luck, finding my brain and my hair again. As much as it hurt, my tongue was way down the list of what needed to be fixed.
One day, though, I noticed that my tongue didn’t hurt anymore. So I investigated, and it wasn’t a mess anymore, either. I don’t know how long my tongue had been on the straight-and-narrow, and I have no idea which combination of vitamins and minerals did the trick or how long it took. It was just a lovely bonus on top of all the other good stuff that was happening.
While GT comes and goes, mine went and stayed away. Now my tongue only hurts if I bite it-and that doesn’t hurt nearly as much as GT.
GT gone for good
The tricky part is knowing when geographic tongue is gone for good. Since, as I said, it comes and goes, you might celebrate victory too soon. That’s not a problem, though, just a temporary disappointment.
Diet plays a role. I’m a potatochipaholic, and potato chips really did my tongue in. Perhaps it was the salt or, then again, maybe the vegetable oil used to cook the chips. In either case, no more potato chips for me.
Vegetable oils-Omega 6 oils-cause a lot of inflammation in your body, and of course, inflammation leads to diseases such as heart disease and cancer. And perhaps GT-since it’s an inflammatory condition.
Many people blame food sensitivities. And some people notice that eating chocolate triggers new GT ‘events’. Try to remember what you ate, say, 24-hours prior to new outbreaks and see if you can narrow it down.
I read that geographic tongue may be related to a problem with absorbing nutrition. Now, poor absorption often accompanies` endocrine problems, so maybe we endo people are more prone to GT than average.
Some doctors prescribe antacids for GT, a good way to make things worse for anybody with absorption problems.
And GT may be familial. My mom had geographic tongue, and one of my brothers has it, too.
Tis a mystery, but I’m living proof you can get rid of it.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.
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