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Malic Acid Benefits

Malic acid is found in a lot of the foods we eat. This naturally occurring organic compound is found in a lot of fruits: apples and apple juice are especially high in malic acid. Although malic acid can be found in these foods, many people opt to take malic acid supplements to treat a variety of disorders and to help improve their health. Malic acid is often used as a preservative and food additive. This mild acid is not harmful if the daily dosage does not go over the recommended daily amounts.

Think of malic acid as an energy conductor in the body. It also plays a vital role in cell metabolism. Besides producing energy, malic acid is also beneficial in keeping the muscles from tiring too quickly, boosts the immune system, promotes the proper functioning of the heart, nerves and muscles, helps maintain oral health, decreases the toxic effect from some metals and leaves you with firmer, smoother skin.

  • Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Fibromyalgia is best described as a condition that causes pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. A total lack of energy along with muscle fatigue is another symptom of fibromyalgia. Most of the symptoms seen in patients with fibromyalgia are the same symptoms as those with chronic fatigue syndrome. Malic acid helps reverse the muscle fatigue in these two disorders, effectively lessening the severity of the symptoms from both disorders. Malic acid gives CFS and fibromyalgia patients a boost in the level of energy they have, while improving the overall quality of their muscle activity.
  • Heart Disease: An early study that was published in 2013 found that patients with cardiovascular problems greatly benefited from daily malic acids supplements.
  • Energy Boost: Besides being able to help reduce pain levels, malic acid is a great supplement to increase overall energy. This is definitely a good thing for those who have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. People who have added malic acid to their daily diet experience a marked reduction in their fatigue, as well as having more energy than they have had in a while.
  • Metal Toxicity: Over time toxic metals build up in the body. This build-up could lead to major health problems with your brain or liver. Malic acid has the wonderful ability to bind itself to these toxic metals and help them find their way out of the body.
  • Oral Hygiene: Malic acid makes a great antiseptic that keeps any germs in the mouth in check, while reducing the overall risk of mouth infections. Malic acid is a very popular ingredient found in a lot of toothpastes and mouthwashes; this is because malic acid activates saliva production and helps keep bacteria from reproducing and infecting the whole mouth.
  • Skin Care: Malic acid is not only good for the insides of your body, but it is also great for your skin. A common additive in many skin care products, malic acid is best known for its exfoliating properties. Because malic acid can penetrate deeply into the skin, it makes a great product to use if you want to improve your skin pigmentation or smoothness, or if you just want a better complexion.

Possible Side Effects of Malic Acid

There has not been much research done on malic acid, so not much is known about long-term use. It is known that too much malic acid may cause nausea or diarrhea in some people. As a skin product, malic acid is generally safe, however, a few people may experience signs of skin irritation like redness or a rash, and itching. Also, malic acid may cause your skin to become over-sensitive to sunlight. Always use sunscreen when you use products containing alpha-hydroxy acid.

Foods That Contain Malic Acid

As noted earlier, apples have the highest malic acid content of all fruits. However, these fruits also have a high level of malic acid in them: strawberries, peaches, cherries, nectarines, lychees, mangoes, tomatoes, and bananas. Malic acid is also found in many different candies and drinks, due to it being a wonderful flavor enhancer. Naturally sweet, it is also found in diet sodas and most all artificially sweetened beverages, as well as in unsweetened gum, and gummy candies. Malic acid is used in a lot of foods that use artificial sweeteners because the acid has a natural way to mask unpleasant flavors caused by these artificial sweeteners.

apple photo

Interactions With Medications

Studies to date have not shown any problems taking malic acid supplements along with your medicines. It is always possible that some side effects do exist. Therefore, it is important that you talk to your doctor about any benefits or risks you may face if you add malic acid supplements to your diet.

Gustatory Rhinitis

Rhinitis is the clinical name of a common disorder of the nose which is characterized by several symptoms, including nsal congestion, postnasal drip and a runny nose. These symptoms are caused by the insides of the nose and the nasal passages getting inflamed and irritated. This leads to an increase in the amount of mucus that is produced inside the nose, by the nasal passage lining. Rhinitis is categorized into three different types: Allergic rhinitis, non-allergic rhinitis and infective rhinitis. Infective rhinitis is normally caused by a viral infection or by a bacterial infection, while allergic rhinitis is generally caused by substances that bring on an allergic reaction. Non-allergic rhinitis is usually further categorized into various types, with the exact type being determined by the underlying cause. Categories of allergic rhinitis include atrophic, rhinitis medicamentosa, vasomotor, autonomic, drug-induced, gustatory rhinitis and hormonal.

Gustatory rhinitis usually comes on after eating certain kinds of food, especially foods that are spicy or hot. This may happen in both adults and children. If a patient smokes heavily or already suffers allergic rhinitis, they have a greater risk of getting gustatory rhinitis. This occurs when eating a certain kind of food causes a person’s vagal nerve to over react. Although spicy or hot foods are the most likely to cause gustatory rhinitis, ingesting alcohol can also bring on an episode, as can certain food colorings or preservatives.

Gustatory rhinitis can be caused by several different foods, especially those that are hot or spicy. Chili peppers, for example, are a fairly common cause of this condition. However, it can also be brought on by a range of other foods, including tea, vinegar, coffee, milk, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and citrus fruits. Any food that is either too cold or too hot can cause a bout of gustatory rhinitis. Sometimes a certain food preservative or a dye can also bring it on. What triggers gustatory rhinitis will differ from person to person.

What Are The Symptoms Of Gustatory Rhinitis?

The most frequently noticed symptom of gustatory rhinitis is having a runny nose either while eating trigger foods or drinking trigg drinks. Sufferers may also notice sneezing, a stuffy nose, and / or a post nasal drip. The resulting discharge will usually be watery and clear in nature. Gustatory rhinitis happens because eating or drinking a certain substance stimulates the vagal nerve in the body, which in turn leads to the blood vessels in the nose dilating. Sufferers are most likely to notice the symptoms while eating, or straight afterwards, sometimes a few hours after. It’s also possible to suffer gustatory rhinitis due to eating too much.

Gustatory rhinitis can affect both adults and children, though adults are generally more likely to get it. It’s possible that the risk of suffering gustatory rhinitis gets greater as a person gets older. If a person suffers with gastroesophageal reflux, that can also lead to a greater risk of them developing gustatory rhinitis. One easy solution is to simply avoid eating or drinking items which are known to set off the symptoms. If the symptoms are bad enough, medical intervention may be needed. Some health experts have suggested that antihistamines may be useful in reducing the symptoms, including the amount of mucus discharge. They are most effective if taken an hour before eating. However, there are others who think that antihistamines are not the most useful cure for gustatory rhinitis, because the symptoms of it aren’t actually brought on by the presence of histamines (which are released as a response to allergens) in the body.

What Treatments Are Available For Gustatory Rhinitis?

The easiest way to treat gustatory rhinitis is to simply work out which foods or drinks are causing the symptoms, and then to avoid eating or drinking those substances. As mentioned above, some experts think that taking an antihistamine before eating can help, if you really can’t resist that lovely spicy dish. However, some people think that because there is no histamine release involved in gustatory rhinitis, this isn’t the best treatment option. Other possible treatments if the symptoms get worse include mucolytic medication, anticholinergic agents, and corticosteroid nasal sprays.

• Rinsing out the nasal passages with water and salt might help to lessen the symptoms of gustatory rhinitis. There are several different products available that are designed to be used for administering a saline wash to the nasal area. This is sometimes known as nasal lavage or nasal irrigation and can be very helpful in reducing the symptoms of gustatory rhinitis.

• Ginger is a popular home remedy for treating gustatory rhinitis. Ginger root contains gingerols, which works as an anti-inflammatory agent, bringing down the inflammation inside the nose and helping to reduce related symptoms such as a postnasal drip, and sneezing. Sufferers can try taking ginger as a pinch of dried ginger root mixed with honey, or having a drink made of the boiled root.

• Mint is another home remedy that can be used to treat gustatory rhinitis. Mint is especially useful in cases where the gustatory rhinitis symptoms are caused by gastro-esophageal reflux disease (also known as GERD). Mint works by having a soothing effect on the lining of the gastro intestinal tract, which in turn can stop regurgitation from occuring, and therefore prevent the resulting gustatory rhinitis symptoms. The best way to use mint for the condition is to boil up ten or so mint leaves with a generous serving of honey and drink the resulting mixture regularly throughout the day.

Thyroidectomy Recovery

A thyroidectomy is most often performed by a general surgeon; however, there are times an otolaryngologist may be called in to perform the surgery. Done under general anesthesia, the surgeon makes a small cut in the front part of the neck. He takes extra care while making this incision: he must avoid damaging the laryngeal nerves as well as the parathyroid glands. Once the surgeon locates the thyroid glands he will clamp off the blood supply and remove all or just a part of the gland. How much is removed depends upon what thyroid disease each patient has. Normally if there is cancer present the whole thyroid gland is removed, otherwise just small portions may be removed for further examination. Before the doctor stitches you up, a soft plastic tube may be inserted in the incision to help drain any fluids that may collect in the wound area. Then the doctor will either stitch you up the old fashioned way, or use staples, metal clips, or medical glue. A large bandage then covers both the drain and the incision.

Recovery time depends upon what type of thyroid surgery one has. The less invasive the procedure, the less time is spent in the hospital and recuperation. People who undergo a partial thyroidectomy may only spend a day or so in the hospital, and another 2 weeks recovering at home. However, everyone heals differently, so saying that “you will be better in two weeks” may not be the correct answer for all patients. You know your body best, take time to recover, but do increase your activities as soon as you feel you can do so safely.


Most surgeries come with risks of developing complications, thyroidectomies are no different. Complications are very rare, but they do happen and can include laryngeal nerve damage, hypocalcemia, and hypoparathyroidism. The signs and symptoms of these conditions can include, bad headaches, muscles spasms and cramps, tingling and numbness in and around your hands, feet, and lips, hoarseness, trouble talking much above a whisper, anxiety, and depression.

After Surgery

After surgery you are moved to the recovery room, where the nurses can keep an eye on you until you can be moved to your room. You will have an IV line in your arm that constantly supplies you with needed medications. You will be on a liquid diet for a while. The nurses will monitor you closely for any drops in your calcium levels, as low calcium is a very common reaction after a thyroidectomy. Your voice may sound a bit hoarse and raspy, and you might have some pain and trouble swallowing for a few days post surgery – this is also normal. Your doctor may have closed your incision in a number of ways, and covered it well with clean dressings. You will be shown how to change these bandages in case you need to continue to do so once you return home. Over the next two to four days you will get up and walk, start eating normal meals again, and go to the bathroom alone. Once you have accomplished all three tasks, the doctor will release you from the hospital.

thyroid photo

Photo by euthman

You will have neck pain and a weak or croaking voice. This does not mean that there has been permanent damage done to your vocal cords. During surgery an endotracheal tube (breathing tube) is inserted into the trachea, this will cause your throat to feel sore. Sometimes there can be a bit of nerve irritation from the surgery. Most of these are normal post-op symptoms for most patients who undergo a thyroidectomy.

If the thyroidectomy was not performed due to cancer, thyroid replacement hormones are given right after surgery. Patients with cancerous thyroids will be evaluated over the course of the next weeks to see exactly what dosage of medicine they are going to need.

Hormone replacement pills are tiny and easy to swallow. Your doctor will want regular blood tests done in order to keep a close eye on your hormone levels. Your thyroxine dosage may go up and down until your levels are in the normal ranges.

Will I Need To Take Vitamin D?

If you have low levels of calcium due to your thyroid condition then you will probably have to take calcium and/or vitamin D tablets, capsules or pills. Your doctor will always check your vitamin D levels when he checks your thyroxine levels. Fortunately, most calcium supplements now have vitamin D added to them; this not only allows for both to be better absorbed by the body, but you only have to take one pill.

Recovery Time

Most doctors recommend that you rest and recuperate for at least a week to two weeks; this means no going back to work or resuming most of your normal activities. Before resuming your normal life you should be able to turn your head in a normal manner, without any trouble or pain hindering these movements. Do not begin any post-surgery activities until you clear it with your doctor. You might feel up to doing some things within a week, and not be scheduled for a post-op appointment for a couple weeks longer. Call your doctor and get his okay in order not to cause yourself further complications.

Upset Stomach After Eating

Are you suffering with an upset stomach after you eat? The symptoms of an upset stomach after eating can be very distressing and uncomfortable, so naturally you will want to get to the root cause and treat it. It’s also possible that your upset stomach is a symptom of an underlying health issue which needs attention. One common, and easily remedied, cause of upset stomach after you eat is simply having too much food in a meal. Too much food can make you feel rather uncomfortable for quite a while after you eat. There is also the chance that you’re suffering with a food related bug, like salmonella, or perhaps even an allergy to something that you’ve just eaten. However, an upset stomach might also have a more serious cause, such as a stomach ulcer or even a heart attack, which is why it’s important to get your symptoms checked out. The most common symptom of having an upset stomach is a feeling of being uncomfortable around your midsection, but you may also suffer nausea at the same time.

• Heartburn quite often accompanies an upset stomach. This produces a feeling of “something burning” inside your chest and throat or along the path of your esophagus. If you’re suffering with physical symptoms like heartburn, you might also find that you start to have other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.

• Gastroparesis, which means paralyzed stomach, means the usual churning motion of your stomach isn’t working quite as it should. This churning motion is important to break down and mix the food you eat and aid with your digestion. If your stomach isn’t moving as it should; you may notice that you feel bloated, nauseous, or uncommonly full after you eat.

• Overeating is a common cause of having an upset stomach. It can easily be remedied by reducing the amount of food that you eat. It’s common to have some delay between when your stomach becomes full and when you start to feel full. To help your brain catch up to your body, try eating more slowly so you can get a better sense of how hungry you are.

• Hiatus hernia. The hiatus is an opening in your diaphragm between your abdominal cavity and your chest. A hiatus hernia means part of your stomach is protruding through your hiatus. This can cause you to feel nauseous or bloated straight after you eat, and is actually quite a common condition.

• Food related bugs such as staphylococcus or salmonella can lead to upset stomach after you eat. Typically, the symptoms won’t appear right away. You may also notice that you have symptoms that include; vomiting, diarrhea and nausea, which can in turn cause you to become dehydrated.

• Food intolerance. If you have an intolerance to a certain food, you may notice gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating; excess gas, a change in your bowel habits, belching and nausea. Lactose intolerance, for example, means you can’t digest the sugars in milk, and is quite a common condition. Other foods that are responsible for food intolerance includes sugar, fatty foods, wheat and many others.

eating photo

Photo by Helga Weber

Diagnosing The Cause Of An Upset Stomach

The first step to finding out why you’re suffering an upset stomach after you eat is to visit your doctor for a thorough examination. Your doctor will most likely ask questions about your eating habits, and your medical and symptom history. If your doctor thinks it necessary, they can order a range of tests to help figure out what’s causing your upset stomach. Medical tests include; urine and blood tests, x rays, stool tests, a barium enema or an ultrasound of your abdomen.

Treatment Options For An Upset Stomach

You’ll need a diagnosis so that your doctor can recommend treatment options for you. For a stomach ulcer, you might be given antacids. If the cause is an infection such as H.pylori you’ll most likely need a course of antibiotics.

• Symptoms can often be helped by medication such as antacids that reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach.

• Antibiotics are helpful for destroying bacteria such as H.pylori. Treating the bacteria can both cure any current ulcer, and help to prevent them forming in the future.

• If the problem is caused by irritable bowel syndrome, anti diarrhea medicine might be a much more helpful choice.

Other things you can do to help your upset stomach include drinking more clear fluids, not over eating, and making sure you chew your food properly. Try to cut down on solid foods while your upset stomach clears up, and opt for easily digested foods such as whole grains and lean proteins. You would be well advised to avoid Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, as these aren’t easy to digest. Try to avoid spices, fried food, and red or black pepper, as they can make you feel worse. Coffee, fatty foods, chocolate, alcohol, onions, melons, apples and citrus fruits are also not recommended.

Swollen Gums Around Tooth

Did you know that over three quarters of Americans over the age of 35 will suffer gum disease (also know as periodontal disease)? The majority of people who develop gum disease will develop gingivitis, which is the less serious form of the disease. However, up to 15% may develop periodontitis, a much more severe kind of gum disease. Bacteria in your mouth can cause problems if you don’t practice good dental hygiene. Bad dental hygiene causes the formation of plaque on your teeth. If this happens, the resulting inflammation can lead to bleeding, swelling or redness on and around your gums. Swelling can happen around one area, if you develop an ulcer or a sore. The swelling can be on your gum line (if you develop periodontitis or gingivitis). Depending on the cause, the sore can be around the entire gum.

What Are Some Of The Causes Of Swollen Gums?

• Periodontitis and gingivitis can both cause swollen gums. If you don’t keep up proper dental hygiene, you are at risk of developing a gum disease. Periodontitis is a serious condition that can even cause you to lose teeth. Gingivitis isn’t as severe and can be stopped if you catch it early enough, though prompt treatment is still recommended. If you are concerned that you might be suffering with Periodontitis or Gingivitis, please talk to your dentist.

• Not brushing properly. If you apply too much pressure to your teeth when you brush, you run the risk of damaging your gums. Your gums are more sensitive than you might realize. Try to avoid using a brush with hard bristles or brushing your teeth too hard, as both of these can cause irritation and make your gums swell.

• Not flossing properly. Flossing every day is important for taking care of food particles or plaque in areas that you can’t reach with your toothbrush. However, not flossing properly can cause damage in just the same way that over-enthusiastic brushing can. Avoid forcing the floss into your gums or pushing it too hard between your teeth.

• Medicine. If you find that despite following correct mouth hygiene and using the best techniques to avoid damage, you still have swollen gums, medication could be the cause of your problems. Certain medicines, for example some that are used to treat hypertension, can cause more fibrous tissue to grow around your gums. Excess fibrous tissue makes the gum seem swollen.

gums teeth photo

Photo by oliver.dodd

• Badly fitted prosthetic. If a crown, dental bridge, or partial denture doesn’t fit properly, it can cause swelling of the gums. If dentures and crowns are too tight they can irritate the gums and cause inflammation and swelling.

• Poor diet. A diet high in refined foods and those high in sugar is known to increase the risk of cavities and tooth problems, but did you know that it can also cause periodontal diseases? Eating high fiber foods such as raw vegetables and fruits that require chewing such as apples massages your gums and assists in strengthening them.

• Hormonal levels. Some hormones can cause more blood flow to the gums, which in turn causes them to become swollen. These include the hormones that are released in menopause, menstruation, puberty and pregnancy. Some birth control medications can cause more of these hormones to be released.

• Misaligned teeth. If you have teeth that are crowded together in your mouth, or are crooked, the chances of developing swelling around them is higher. It’s harder to keep up good hygiene when teeth are crooked, because it can be more difficult to brush around them. Misaligned teeth can lead to more bacterial growth.

• Irritants. It’s possible that you might have an allergy to an ingredient in food, metal dental restorations, toothpaste, or medicine. This can lead to swelling, redness and irritation of your gums. If this happens, think about whether you changed toothpaste brand around the time your symptoms started – if so, simply changing back could help.

Headache Behind Left Eye

People often complain about pain behind their left eye. This pain is often felt as a steady ache, or it could be as bad as shooting pains that seem to pierce the eye. The eye may appear droopy, and may not want to stay open. Pain, redness, contracted pupils, sensitivity to light, a stuffy nose, and tears are symptoms one also may experience.

Pain behind the left eye could be due to headaches, or to eye problems. Nine out of ten people never get an explanation for what caused their headache or eye pain. The skull and the brain tissues do not have nerves running though them, so they do not feel pain. However, the rest of the head and neck can feel pain. Head and eye pain can also be caused by problems with your teeth, sinuses, scalp, and the joints and muscles in your neck.

Here are some other reasons why you may be having pain in the head or behind your left eye:

  • Dry Eyes: Having your eyes dry out is a very common occurrence for people who spend a lot of time on a computer, or doing other close-up work. As your eyes dry out, you will feel a lot of irritation and discomfort. There may be a burning sensation as well as sharp pains and itching. Letting this condition go too long will result in the eye beginning to tear as it protects itself from drying out any further. The best way to stop dry eyes is to have a bottle of artificial tears nearby at all times.
  • Scleritis: Scleritis, inflammation of the eye, is usually seen in people who have gout or rheumatoid arthritis. Scleritis causes a lot of pain and redness in and around the eye. The best way to treat scleritis is to use steroids.
  • Tumors And Infections: Infections, abscesses and tumors in the eye are pretty rare conditions. However, these conditions will cause a considerable amount of pain to occur behind and in the left eye. The stabbing pains are not coming from the brain, but from whatever condition triggered the problem in the first place.
  • Cranial Nerve Palsies: Cranial nerve palsies occur when the blood supply that goes to the nerves that surround the eye becomes erratic. This condition causes a massive headache behind the left eye. It may also cause double vision. People with diabetes are very prone to suffering from cranial nerve palsies.
  • Optic Neuritis: Optic neuritis is a recurring condition that causes headaches, color misconceptions and blurry vision. The doctor can usually identify this disorder quickly due to the muscles that surround the eye becoming droopy. Steroids are often used to successfully relieve the symptoms.
  • Cluster Headaches: Cluster headaches are a rare form of vascular headaches that strike mostly men between the ages of 20 and 30. These headaches are not like tension headaches or migraines. Cluster headaches cause a sufferer to endure a droopy eyelid, a teary eye, congestion and a runny nose.
headache photo

Photo by Diamond Farah

  • Orbital Inflammatory Syndrome: The orbit, or house for the eye, contains nerves, muscles, fat, lymphatics and blood vessels that work together to make the eye move. Inflammation may occur in the orbit, but knowing what caused the swelling and pain is often difficult to determine. Blood tests and a CT scan will tell whether the problem is due to an infection. Pain is felt by touching any place near the eye, or when looking from side to side.
  • Trauma: Any trauma to the head or face, like from a fall, or getting a soccer ball kicked directly into your eye, can cause hemorrhages in the skull and around the eyes. A direct hit to the eye area can also result in orbital bone fractures. Pain will definitely be felt behind the left eye if that takes a hit.
  • Sinus Headaches: Infections in the sinuses often trigger headaches behind the left eye. Symptoms of a sinus headache might resemble cluster headaches, but a sinus headache always produces pressure and pain in the face, between the eyes, and behind the eyes.
  • Hormones: Fluctuating hormones cause chemical changes in blood vessels in the brain. Women who are prone to getting migraine headaches often complain of increased pain during their menstrual cycle. Hormone fluctuations are a common cause of headaches and pain behind the eyes.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a build up of pressure in the eye. The National Eye Institute says that glaucoma is one of the most common eye problems and will cause a lot of pain behind whichever eye is involved. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to optic nerve damage, causes all kinds of eye pain, may destroy your peripheral vision and may even result in blindness.

Sweet Taste In Mouth

Many people enjoy sweet tastes. But if you find you have a sweet taste in your mouth all the time, even if you haven’t eaten any sweet food, it can get irritating and you might wonder what’s causing it. A sweet taste in the mouth that you can’t get rid of is usually caused by an internal problem with the body’s function. This problem can cause repeated episodes of unwanted sweet taste in the mouth.

Of course it’s natural to have a sweet taste in your mouth after eating something sweet such as chocolate, ice cream or candy. However, an ongoing sweet taste in your mouth, which might not even correlate to what you have eaten, can be sign that you have an underlying condition that might need treatment. Let’s take a look at some of them.

• GERD (gastro escophageal reflux disease) is a condition which causes a reflux of food particles into your mouth. You will sometimes taste and smell the food. GERD has symptoms which are common with other illnesses, and therefore it can sometimes be hard to diagnose. GERD causes many different symptoms which can leave you confused as to what is going on with your body, and on some occasions a more serious condition can be misdiagnosed as GERD.

• Indigestion can cause you to have a sweet taste inside your mouth. If you have problems with acid reflux, you are also prone to indigestion. Acid reflux occurs when excess acid in your stomach is sent into your esophagus, which leads to the sweet taste.

• Pseudomonas infections are caused by a type of bacterium, knowing as pseudomonas. Pseodomonas can cause several different health problems. The most common symptom of pseudomonas infection is problems with your sinuses. If psuedomonas causes problems with your nose, ears or sinuses, it can interfere with your taste sensastions. A loss of taste in your mouth can be a side effect of such sinus problems. The ear infection that is commonly called swimmer’s ear can be caused by psuedomonas. It can cause a range of symptoms including breathing problems, chest pain and nasal congestion, along with issues with taste.

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• Neurological disorders can affect your sense of taste. The nervous system is in charge of the senses, including taste. Your nerves can be connected to either your spinal cord or your brain, and work by sending out and receiving electrical signals from your brain. If you develop a neurological disorder (such as epilepsy or another seizure disorder, or a stroke), it can affect your sense of taste.

• Diabetes can cause a sweet taste in your mouth. This is caused by poorly controlled glucose levels in the blood. As blood glucose levels go up, there is more glucose present in the saliva which can lead to a sweet taste – in fact this is quite often noted by people with diabetes. Left untreated, diabetes can cause health problems including neuropathy, which also compromises the sense of taste.

• Nerve infections can also cause problems if the nerve that sends taste signals is damaged in some way. The damage can cause you to lose taste, or can manifest as a constant sweet or metallic taste inside the mouth. Such damage is usually caused by a virus that infects the nerve, disrupting its electrical impulses.

Bad Taste In Back Of Throat

Have you ever taken an over-the-counter medicine and then noticed a bad taste in the back of your throat? This is a pretty common side effect for a lot of people. Prescription medicines may also leave a nasty taste in your throat.

However, medicines are not the only thing that can leave a bitter taste in your mouth and throat; so, too, can tooth decay, unhealthy gums, bacterial infections, diseases of the gums and throat, and even cancer. Other systemic diseases may leave a nasty, bitter taste in your throat.

Poor oral hygiene is another cause of that nasty taste. Food left on the teeth after meals is a wonderful breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. As these particles of food begin to rot, they produce sulfur compounds which taste, and smell, terrible. Abscesses and dental caries, postnasal drip, gastritis, pyrosis, over use of selenium, mercury poisoning, and copper toxicity may all cause a foul taste in the back of your throat.

At times you may even notice that the food you are eating has a slightly different taste than it normally does. This may be due to certain medications you are taking, or it could be due to a runny nose from a cold or sinus problems, or you could have a nasal infection or nasal polyps.

The tongue is covered with sensory cells (taste buds) that give each food we eat its distinct flavors. The taste buds are as prone to infection as any other part of the body. When a bacterial or viral infection affects the taste buds, the result may be a foul taste in the mouth and throat. Fungal infections and mouth ulcers may also be another cause for this nasty taste. People with diabetes and jaundice often complain about foul tastes in their throat and mouth.

At times, if not done properly, root canals – the cleaning of the inner part of the infected tooth – can lead to nasty gum infections. These infections leave the nastiest, foulest tastes in the mouth, and requires another trip to the dentist for further treatment.

Pregnant women many also notice a foul taste in the back of their throat. Pregnant women should discuss this with their doctor as there are ways to prevent it.

A bad taste in the back of your throat could mean just about anything. Most often it is simply due to poor oral hygiene. Taking proper care of your mouth, including your tongue, will go a long way towards keeping parasites and bacteria away. One simple way to care for your mouth is to change your toothbrush often – once a month would be ideal, but you should use a new one at least every three months.

If you do notice a foul taste in the back of your mouth or throat, visit your doctor for further treatments. He may find a medical problem is causing the bad taste, or he may decide you need to visit a dentist for further treatment. Practicing proper mouth care should keep you away from the doctor and the dentist.

Bumps On Back Of Tongue

The tongue is just about the strongest muscle in the whole body. This small muscle allows us to taste our food, swallow it, and talk (but not all at the same time!) A healthy tongue should be pink and covered with small nodules called papillae.

The circumvallate papillae, or vallate papillae, are the large bumps on the back part of the tongue. These papillae, shaped like a V, with the point towards the back of the tongue, house the taste buds. Underneath the back section of the tongue are eight to twelve cicumvallate papillae that cannot be easily seen. At the base of the tongue we have the lingual tonsils. All of these are natural bumps that can be found on any human mouth.

Sometimes you might notice other bumps on the back side of your tongue and wonder what they are. Here is a list of possible causes for those bumps:

  • Injuries or Trauma: While it is relatively easy to burn or bite the front section of the tongue, doing the same to the back of the tongue is not as common. However, it can happen and the pain from these bumps and burns can be pretty bad.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies: If you notice that your tongue has changed colors from its healthy pink to a reddish strawberry, or even brown, then you need to be aware that you probably have a vitamin deficiency and need to add more folic acid or vitamin B-12 to your daily diet.
  • Stomatitis: Stomatitis, also known as an aphthous ulcer, is caused by poor oral hygiene and often leads to the development of bumps on the back of the tongue.
  • Burning Tongue Syndrome: An actual problem that women may experience after menopause, burning tongue syndrome does just what its name implies – it makes women feel like their tongue is burning.

tongue photo

  • Leukoplakia: This condition results in thick white lesions forming in the mouth. Raised bumps may also appear on the gums, inside the cheeks and on the tongue. Although benign, in rare cases leukoplakia lesions may be precancerous.
  • Scarlet Fever: The streptococcal infection that causes scarlet fever not only causes a really high fever, but also leaves its tell-tale rash of red bumps on the tongue.
  • Cancer: Although not very common, cancer of the tongue may be one reason for some of those bumps on the tongue. These bumps can be red or white and they usually bleed easily, although they don’t normally hurt.
  • Allergic Reactions: Certain foods, medicines, or other drugs or substances may cause an immediate allergic reaction on the tongue. These allergic reactions usually involve bumps forming on the sides and back of the tongue.
  • Kawasaki Disease: This autoimmune disease, which often affects children, is rarely seen. However, it is characterized by the large, red bumps that form on the back part of the tongue.
  • Warts: Warts in the mouth is fairly common. Most often due to sucking on fingers with warts present, or engaging in oral sex with someone who has genital warts. These warts can grow on the tongue.
  • Oral Thrush: Caused by a yeast infection, oral thrush is usually seen in people who wear dentures, and in infants who drool. People using steroid inhalers are also prone to developing the characteristic bumps of thrush.

Good Sources of Calcium

Calcium is necessary for many bodily functions. Calcium is needed for nerve transmission, hormonal production, intracellular signals, muscle functions, vasodilation and vascular contraction. Calcium is the most common mineral inside the body. The body doesn’t even need 1% of its total calcium to keep up those necessary metabolic functions. Serum calcium doesn’t change according to the amount of calcium in your diet. Bone tissue is used both as a source of calcium and as calcium reserve. The calcium from the bones is needed to keep up a steady concentration of the mineral in muscles, blood and intercellular fluid.

So what happens to the other 99% of the calcium in the body? That’s what gets stored in the teeth and the bones where Calium supports their structure. Bone tissue is constantly reabsorbing calcium and making deposits of new calcium, to form new bone tissue. The ratio of bone deposits to bone reabsorption alters as we get older. For children and teenagers, more bone is formed than is reabsorbed when they hit growth spurts. For those in early or middle adulthood, bone formation and reabsorption tends to be more or less the same. As we get older, especially for women who have gone past the menopause, bones are reabsorbed faster than new material is deposited. This condition leads to bone loss and can eventually lead to osteoporosis. Calcium can be obtained from several sources, which are generally split into supplements, food sources, and some medications like antacids.

Dietary Sources of Calcium

When it comes to getting calcium from food, the amount of calcium in the food isn’t the only thing to think about. The bioavailability is also an important consideration. In other words, it’s important to also think about how much of the calcium can actually be absorbed into the body. For example, the calcium in many kinds of leafy dark green vegetables is better absorbed compared to the calcium found in dairy products.

dairy photo

Many people are surprised at just how many foods can be eaten to boost calcium intake. Milk is often talked about as a good source of course, but there are many other calcium rich foods out there. Getting calcium from food is preferable to other means, as the calcium is coming from a natural source. Here are some calcium rich foods that can easily be incorporated into the diet:

• Fortified foods are helpful if you or your family have milk allergy. Fruit juices, tofu and cereals are often fortified with calcium, making them great sources of Calcium.

• Many fruits and vegetables, such as kale and cabbage, are fantastic sources of calcium, alongside foods such as pulses, seeds and nuts.

• Breakfast cereals that are fortified with calcium can be added to your diet, such as Total Honey Clusters, Total Raisin Bran, General Mills Whole Grain Total and Total Cranberry Crunch.

• Eggs, fish, poultry and lean cuts of meat are also good sources of Calcium.

• Dairy products provide a good dietary source of calcium, including cheese, yogurt and milk.

• Broccoli is also a great source of calcium especially as it helps to increase calcium intake.

Calcium Taken As A Supplement

Sometimes calcium supplements may be recommended for people who have bone loss, bone related problems, or any other conditions that can result due to lack of calcium. A calcium supplement can be a helpful source of extra calcium, and can also support the teeth and bones. However, it should be noted that getting more than the recommended amount of calcium from supplements can be damaging. Excess calcium supplements have been linked to heart problems, constipations, kidney stones, digestive problems and prostate cancer. Extra calcium in the diet isn’t a problem, however.