A few years ago I felt like my lips, tongue, throat and esophagus were burning. I went to a consultant who was very abrupt and straight away he told me that he had burning mouth syndrome, that it affected older women and that nothing could be done. But when I eliminated soy products from my diet (drastically increased consumption to relieve hot flashes) everything went back to normal. Now, if I inadvertently eat soy, my mouth lights up within minutes.
Angela Donnelly, Cambridge.
Her experience highlights a trap that medical professionals can fall into: reaching a diagnosis that seems appropriate and not taking a step back to rethink the conclusion, so enamored are we with our own brilliance!
She was quickly diagnosed with burning mouth syndrome, which causes symptoms like hers and is more common in middle-aged women, as she was told.
I suspect that your negative experience (in your longer letter, you say you had to ask the consultant if he was going to examine your mouth, which he reluctantly looked at) made you skeptical, rightly and correctly.
Soy products are a popular remedy for hot flashes during menopause as they contain plant estrogen (File Image)
Very often, when people exclude a particular food to get to the root of unexplained symptoms, nothing is revealed.
But fortunately, this resulted in relief from the burning sensation in his mouth and he later found that when he resumed eating foods containing soy, his symptoms quickly returned.
Soy products are a popular remedy for hot flashes in menopause as they contain plant estrogen, although the evidence on their benefits is conflicting.
Soybeans and products such as soy sauce and tofu are one of the most common sources of food allergies in babies and children, although this occurs less frequently in adults (who tend to have more allergies to milk, fish and eggs).
It’s unclear why you would experience this allergy later in life, but essentially the membranes lining your mouth reacted to the soy molecules by producing an immune protein (or antibody), called IgE, which in turn triggered the release of histamine and other chemicals, resulting in burning sensations. The only treatment is to avoid all foods containing soy products.
Most of my contemporaries (I am 83 years old) have suffered from the shingles vaccine. When I asked at my appointment if I should have it done, they told me no because I hadn’t had chickenpox.
Lee Janogly, North London.
Even though you say you didn’t have chickenpox as a child, it’s not uncommon for you to miss it: I’ve seen children with as few as seven spots, which the mother took to be some bug bites, but they were definitely chicken. smallpox.
While you say you didn’t have chickenpox as a child, it’s not unusual to miss it, writes Dr Martin Scurr (File Image)
The infection confers lifelong immunity, although the virus remains in the body, blocked by the immune system near the spinal cord. Later in life, factors such as age or poor health suppress the immune system, allowing the virus to escape and travel down a nerve, triggering herpes zoster (also known as shingles) and a very painful, blistering skin rash. and an acute illness.
The only way to know for sure if you haven’t had chickenpox earlier in your life would be for your GP to send a blood sample to a laboratory to check for antibodies. If you have never been infected, getting chickenpox at your age (either from someone who has the virus or shingles) would be very serious, since in adults a common complication is viral pneumonia, which is potentially fatal.
One in four people over the age of 50 will develop shingles and vaccination provides a high degree of protection. There are two vaccines: Zostavax, which works against the chickenpox and shingles viruses, and a newer vaccine, Shingrix, which is more effective against shingles and is now the standard.
The question of whether to receive Zostavax is controversial, because it is a live virus and could theoretically cause shingles, although this is highly unlikely. It’s a question you should ask your GP when ordering the blood test; You should know this and, until then, isolate yourself from anyone who has shingles, at least until the rash has completely healed.
In my opinion… GP surgeries need better funding
The NHS “is the closest thing the English have to a religion,” said Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson, “and those who practice in it regard themselves as a priesthood.” So where does this leave the flock?
As far back as 1984, a renowned health economist, Alain Enthoven, recognized that the NHS depends on the dedication and idealism of its staff, but observed that patients’ interests are somehow lost. I think for many people trying to make an appointment to see their GP, this is very true.
That loss is measurable; The Institute for Public Policy Research has estimated that there would have been 240,000 fewer deaths between 2010 and 2020 (before the pandemic) if the UK’s mortality data matched that of other comparable European nations.
Not accessing medical care in a timely manner is believed to be a major factor.
The answer is better financing of primary care compared to hospitals, since, after all, that is where up to 90 percent of healthcare is provided.
Write to Dr Scurr at Good Health, Scottish Daily Mail, 20 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6DB or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Scurr cannot correspond personally. Answers should be taken in a general context. Consult your family doctor if you have any health problem.