The sheer number of atrocities and indignities visited upon menopausal women is legion. Among the Venuses, we thought we’d pretty much experienced them all: hot flashes, night sweats, tender tatas, dry skin, eyes, and hair, emotional roller coaster rides, memory loss, fatigue, weight gain and more.
We literally thought that nothing the big M dished out could surprise us. Then Burning Lip Syndrome and its nasty little cousin, Burning Mouth Syndrome, (BMS) brought us to our virtual knees.
One of our readers wrote asking for information and/or help because she suffers this bizarre menopausal malady. Emphasis on the word suffers! Our research turned up vague, sometimes contradictory information on treatment. Sifting through the medicalese, here’s what we found.
Burning Lip and Burning Mouth Syndromes occur most frequently in menopausal and post-menopausal women. Pain may be mild to severely debilitating, even depriving one of sleep. Although it is associated with diabetes and depression, cause is really unknown. (Only one source noted that depression could result from BMS, rather than cause it. Ya think???)
Treatments include heavy-duty prescription drugs such as antidepressants (eg Elavil), tranquilizers, or anticonvulsants. Capsaicin (the hot stuff in chili peppers) actually worked for a fair amount of people, with a lot less side effects.
Finally, a substance naturally present in our bodies called alpha lipoic acid can be taken as a supplement and was shown in one double blind clinical trial to result in significant symptom improvement. Check out burningmouthsyndrome.org for details and to order the supplement.