CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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Geographic Tongue

I'm currently having a very PAINFUL outbreak of geographic tongue.

If you're not familiar with this term, it's now EASY to find out about it online via Google. But Marilyn and I first discovered it YEARS ago, via the medical book Mom had in the house. By the way, I can't tell you how often we relied on that book for medical answers! In those days when one didn't go to the doctor unless something was REALLY WRONG -- and long pre-dating the internet -- you had to have somewhere to turn. And books like this one were the answer. Our family's version was a thick, hardback book that told things in terms that could be understood by laymen...

Interestingly enough, I don't recall any mention back then of this being a genetic disease, but that's one of the main things they seem to know about it. And it's interesting that even now, very little is really known about this condition! It 'might' be related to psoriasis. It 'might' be related to asthma. (Both Marilyn and I have psoriasis -- and she's had asthma all her life.) It can last for days, weeks, months or years -- nobody knows what actually causes it, or how to medically treat it.

All the really valuable information about the condition comes from other sufferers, at 'unofficial' websites. Last night the pain was so bad that I started to google it and actually found some things to try -- and one of them really helped, allowing me to finally go to sleep.

There's a lot of speculation about geographic tongue. The medical profession doesn't appear to take it all that seriously -- and many medical sites are happy to state it's not related to cancer or infection. That said, it gets passed off as something your dentist should advise you on -- and it's mainly ways to deal with the pain, using: Over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, mouth rinses with anesthetic, corticosteroids applied directly on the tongue and zinc supplements.

It's suggested that certain 'triggers' can cause flare-ups of the condition, such as smoking (never have and never will), eating spicy foods or using certain toothpastes (or rinses). I think it's more complicated than that!

TMI: I've been dealing with bowel issues (as I've mentioned) -- and a lot of people feel an outbreak can be related to issues in the colon. Interesting! This seems like more than a coincidence to me.

Back when we were young, the medical book stated it was a sign of lack of vitamin A -- but nobody is saying that now. However, vitamin B (various B forms) ARE mentioned -- and just vitamins in general. I haven't been really good about taking my vitamins recently (while so nauseous), so this also makes sense to me.

Only 1% - 3% of all people will experience this condition -- and I'm glad for everyone who will never really need to know anything about it! The photos I saw were HORRIBLE -- and my tongue currently looks bad (though not as terrible as most the photos I've seen online). I seem to remember Marilyn mentioning something about my tongue a couple of weeks back, and how it looked 'coated' to her. It does have a kind of 'white' look to it...

This hurts. It hurts a lot! All during my life I've had a hard time telling when I've got a sore throat, or geographic tongue -- because both hurt and it's not that easy to tell the pain apart, believe it or not. (Mine has always focused at the back of my tongue, which may be why it seems to be throat instead of tongue.)

It's hurting right now, so I'm going to use the rinse I discovered (at 4:00 in the morning, no less!), again, and see if that helps.

TMI: I also seem to be getting my bowel back into order, so that should help (fingers crossed). To be honest, my bowel hasn't been quite 'normal' (normal for ME, anyway), since I had the lower GI test. (sigh) I need to really be eating my Activia (which I've been bad about). Today I had Activia twice, and I think I'll do that until things seem 'better.' (grin)

Well, this was an interesting blog entry, I'm sure!

By the way, Marilyn thinks my PAIN THRESHOLD has really changed -- and I think she's right. I used to have a very high pain threshold, but now even little things will bother me. I can't remember another time in my life when geographic tongue pain would have kept me awake like it did yesterday, for example. Recently when getting a hand and arm massage during my manicure, I found it extremely painful (and had to bite my tongue to keep from crying out). I don't know if this is related to my diabetes, getting older or some other condition, but I wish I could reverse it! As it is, I guess I need to learn to live with it.

Okay, I don't want to be a downer, focusing too much on these seriously LITTLE 'aches and pains,' folks. I mean, this isn't really a big deal. It's more of a FASCINATION to me than anything else! Partly because so little is really known about it. I get it -- it's hardly worth pouring money into researching something this unimportant, after all. But in our modern age, we kind of expect the medical profession to know MORE about conditions...

That's it for tonight!

Tags: 2014, genetic, geographic-tongue, health, january-2014, marilyn, medical-tests, pain, tongue

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