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Can acupuncture help with a permanent horrible acid tase in the mouth?

Q: ]I have a permanent horrible acid taste in my mouth, morning to night. And pain in the mouth. > I take protopump inhibitors but they make no difference. > I also suffer from vasculitis affecting the nerves in arms and legs. > Fatigue, anxiety goes with this. > Could acupunture help?

A:  This sounds like a complicated mixture of symptoms, and we have to admit that we enjoy cases like yours because very often the diagnostic systems of Chinese medicine can put together all of the problems in a single overarching diagnosis. However, here we shall take them one at a time.

The acid taste in the mouth is probably just that, if you are taking proton pump inhibitors, stomach acids which are finding there way
upwards. This is immediately suggestive to us of a hiatus hernia, where the incompetence of the muscular ring in the diaphragm allows the top of the stomach to protrude through, and thereby opens up a permanent conduit for acids to rise up with any action which squeezes the stomach, like bending over, or where the person lies flat. This needs to be addressed because the acid will
eventually start to cause problems in the oesophagus which can be more difficult to treat.

From a Chinese medicine perspective the acid or bitter taste is a sign of excessive heat in the system, and the practitioner will be looking at why this heat is being generated. The 'pain in the mouth' doesn't quite give us enough to work on. It may be a part of the same problem - acid reflux sufferers often get a persistent cough or sore throat, and in some cases this can extend to pains in the mouth, but without more detail we can't really comment. Our factsheet


gives a good indication of the kinds of research which have been done and how successful treatment may be.

As far as the vasculitis is concerned, again it is difficult to comment without greater detail. Vasculitis is a relatively rare condition
with many cases going into remission without needing treatment. There is nothing of consequence in the research databases about this specific manifestation, which is not surprising given the rarity of the condition.

Our advice to enquirers is very often to visit a local BAcC member for a brief face to face assessment, but in your case we believe that this is essential if you want the best possible advice. As we said at the top of the email Chinese medicine has complex diagnostic processes based on an entirely different understanding of how the body works, and it is often possible to make sense of symptoms which from a western perspective have no connection at all. Our first thought was to be intrigued and we suspect any colleague you visit will be too.

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