Weighty Decisions – Life with Burning Mouth Syndrome

img_4278Our younger daughter just got engaged.

It was a dream proposal (at the highest lookout of Kauai’s Waimea Canyon) and it will be a dream wedding next fall. They are wonderful young people who have loved each other for nearly seven years, and the next stage of their lives together is right around the corner!

I, like many of my fellow Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) sufferers, have put on weight from the stress of chronic pain and the transient relief of eating. I have resolved to change that trend, both for my health and to feel better about myself.

It will not be easy.

I have been a yo-yo dieter since puberty, and my weight has gone up and down the scale over the years, but since this bout of BMS that started May 2008, it has only gone up slowly, surely, and with consequences to my blood sugar and blood pressure. I have kept exercise in the picture, but this last year or so I have ramped it up to three one-hour sessions a week with a personal trainer to combat my natural inertia.

The results?

I am in better shape, but still too heavy. It takes more than just exercise, my friends. It takes a better diet and quite frankly, for me it takes less food. Because food feels so good to me as a BMS sufferer (pain stops and eating is satisfying), I eat too much of it.

What do you do instead?

Only you know what has worked for you in the past, but it will always come down to more calories expended than taken in, and protein will always stay with you longer and be more satisfying than carbohydrates. Those are just fundamental laws of matter and energy, and although I personally think that our current diet that is often high in processed carbohydrates has done us great harm, the large, conclusive studies needed are only now underway and will not be completed soon enough for me.

 I am going back to the basics.

Plenty of protein, carbohydrates only from vegetables and fruits, little to no sugar and no alcohol.  I started putting this in place as soon as I returned from the engagement trip and melted off nine pounds in a little less than a month. But I know from experience that this is the easy part, and those next twenty-one to my goal will be a tough slog. I have a little less than a year and would love to meet my goal far in advance of the big day so that I can feel and see the rewards of carrying around less poundage as soon as possible.

As for BMS?


I will keep hydrating, sleeping well, and taking my Klonopin ODT. I will try hard to keep from confusing boredom or habit with hunger. I will reach for a glass of water before anything else, and I will keep sharing anything that helps me along the way with you!

Sometimes, feeling like you are doing something proactive makes you feel better in general.

Wish me luck!

UPDATE: May 2017

18 lbs. down and feeling great. I have added the occasional fast into my routine based on Dr. Jason Fung’s “The Obesity Code,” and I think a break from insulin is a boon for my system. It has been surprisingly easy and I may expand my fasts from half days to full days as it fits into my schedule. This is not for insulin-dependent diabetics without close support from your doctor, and everyone who tries it needs to be sure they are staying well hydrated, but if you read the book you will learn all about that!

Yep, that’s me, rocking a ball gown at a recent awards gala. It works and I felt like a princess!



2 thoughts on “Weighty Decisions – Life with Burning Mouth Syndrome

  1. Dear Kali…..I struggled with my weight too a few years ago because eating lessened down the pain. Started eating and living Paleo in the beginning of 2015 and lost 40 pound and feel so great….it helps me to cope with BMS….food is an important trigger and it seems eating Paleo is the best for it…..BMS stays a struggle, but when your body feels great it looks like it is not so bad….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Riet,
      I am so glad you found what worked for you. I think that all self-care, including exercise and a good diet, is an investment in coping with chronic pain. Looking and feeling good physically are great bonuses, too! Thanks for sharing your strategy.


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