Recently, I’ve received several emails from people with tongue issues requesting more information on a common problem called “Dry Mouth”. Often it occurs as we get older and contrary to what you (and even many Doctors) may think it has absolutely nothing to do with not drinking enough water (well, not usually anyway). I know this seems counter-intuitive but there are very good reasons to believe that it is nutritionally based for people with tongue issues. Of course it could be the result of severe dehydration but it can also be the result of side effects of many prescription and nonprescription medications. WebMD also lists it as a side effect of certain diseases and infections. “Dry mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and mumps.” But some of these are not actually diseases, Anemia for instance can be the result of a lack of Iron and/or B-12.
Doctors tend to treat the symptoms and Dry Mouth is one. They will often prescribe an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute like Biotene Mouthwash, or Biotene Oral Balance. Or perhaps something much more expensive like Aquoral which will set you back $350-$450 a bottle. If that doesn’t help, he or she may prescribe a medication that boosts saliva production like Salagen. But although this may help temporarily it doesn’t get to the root of the problem and it doesn’t address the related issue of Dry Eyes for which you can also find a myriad of artificial tears products. But the bigger question is why isn’t your body producing enough saliva (and/or tears) in the first place. And what other hidden issues is that underlying problem (deficiency) causing?
There are several possibilities two of which (Iron and B-12) we have already mentioned. On the list of symptoms of Iodine deficiency is “Dry Mouth” so that is another possibility, and still another possibility is a Vitamin “A” deficiency and possibly a gallbladder that isn’t producing enough Bile.
In the following video Dr. Eric Berg talks a bit about some of the causes of Dry Mouth (and Dry Eyes).
If you have an Iodine Deficiency he offers a special Sea Kelp formula. His sea kelp is not only organic, but from a pristine location in Iceland. Sea Kelp is a sea vegetable and is loaded with plant based minerals, proteins and a great way to get your iodine, which is missing from most diets.
Sea Kelp is a great way to support a healthy thyroid and ovary. It can be used to help the menstrual cycle as well.
As we age, our stomach acid diminishes thus creating a cascade of negative health events. In addition to the aging process, other things can also influence your stomach acids: anti-acids, low salt diets, excess sugar and excess calcium. The correct pH (acid level) for the stomach should be between 1 to 3. This is VERY acidic, but is necessary to break down proteins, collagen, absorb minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, etc.) and B12 as well as to help kill off unfriendly microbes before entering the intestines. A strong acid stomach is also necessary to help release bile from the liver and enzymes from the pancreas. Dr. Berg offers his Digest Formula to help.
Desert Image Courtesy of meganfitzgerald and Flickr.