May 19

Experiencing New Problems…Trying to Be Good

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Not that much to report in the way of weight change. Keeping the 100+ pounds off and I have completely adjusted to eating less with five or so meals a day. But some interesting experiences that I’ll share with you. I found myself judging a culinary competition and there were a lot of courses and a lot of teams competing. When my stomach got pushed, my anomaly two drips of the left nostril happened. Unfortunately, I’d barely judge 2/3rd of the dishes and pushed on. Then I experienced something I’d read about – slimy mouth. Simply stated, when your stomach is full some of the bile from your stomach is forced back up into your throat and that cause a large amount of saliva to be produced. It’s annoying but also an indicator you’ve pushed beyond your tiny stomach’s limits…beware! The other body event I’ve been experiencing is dry mouth particularly at night. Dry mouth syndrome occurs when there is not enough saliva (spit) in the mouth. A dry mouth is a symptom of an underlying problem, rather than a disease in itself. Causes may include drugs or medication, dehydration, mouth breathing, Sjogren’s syndrome, infection, nerve problems and some cancer treatments. Dry mouth syndrome is also called xerostomia. About 10 per cent of the general population and 25 per cent of older people have dry mouth syndrome – not enough saliva (spit) in the mouth. I could give you a drawn out dissertation of how to deal with this but since everyone may have a different issue, here’s some bullet points to follow. And treatment depends on the cause, but may include: Changes to medicines – if you are taking a medicine that causes dry mouth as a side effect, the doctor may be able to alter the dose or prescribe an alternative medicine Saliva substitutes – your doctor or dentist can prescribe an artificial saliva substitute. Use strictly as directed Dry mouth products – these products contain a variety of agents such as lubricants that may help treat your dry mouth. The product range includes toothpaste, mouthwash, gums and topical gels. Speak to your dentist for specific recommendations Antibiotics and anti-fungal drugs – are used to treat any infection Surgery – salivary gland blockages, such as stones, are usually treated with surgery Other treatments, if required – any underlying condition, such as Sjogren’s syndrome or diabetes, needs appropriate medical treatment. Be guided by your doctor and dentist, but general dietary suggestions include: Eat chewy foods to stimulate the flow of saliva. Chew food thoroughly before swallowing. Include watery foods in your daily diet. Avoid crunchy foods that could injure the mouth, such as crackers or potato crisps. Avoid acidic foods and beverages such as soft drinks, citrus fruits and citrus fruit juices to protect your tooth enamel. Restrict sugary foods and drinks or avoid them altogether. Avoid mint lollies and mint mouthwashes, as these products tend to aggravate dry mouth tissue and increase the risk of tooth decay. It’s better to ask your dentist about non-mint-flavoured mouthwashes. Avoid any substance that increases mouth dryness. These include cigarettes, alcohol, caffeinated drinks and spicy foods. Chew sugar-free gum between meals to promote the flow of saliva. Sip plain tap water often. It may help to carry a drink bottle. Ask your doctor and dentist for other dietary suggestions, including a complete list of foods and drinks to limit or avoid. Other means of preventing dry mouth syndrome but general self-care suggestions include: Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily. Regularly use fluoride-containing products. Ask your dentist about which ones are best. Treat dry lips with Vaseline or some other type of greasy balm, such as lanolin. An air humidifier used in your bedroom at night may help. Consult your pharmacist. There are preparations that may help to moisten your mouth, including sprays, lozenges or pastes. Ask your dentist for more information if you wear dentures – adhesive dental products may be recommended. Take out partial or full dentures while you sleep. Ask your dentist for advice on toothpaste suitable for dry mouth syndrome. Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups, and treatment if necessary. Continue to take your medication, even if your medicine is to blame. Your doctor may not be able to change it or alter the dose. Do not stop taking your medicine without your doctor’s knowledge and approval. As you continue on your journey to reach your weight goal, keep in mind that changing your body is a marathon, not a sprint. The sooner you can appreciate this, the better off you will be in the short and long term. My next blog: Fat over Muscle…Be Careful of Exercise Until next time…eat slowly, make good choices, enjoy your food, live life, and as always, carpe diem!