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Claudia, Lexington, MA

The Sunday before Thanksgiving 2010,  I had a tingling sensation in my tongue. That feeling became more intense as the day went by and it also included a burning sensation similar to when someone burns his tongue with a very hot liquid. By Thanksgiving day, I had a persistent burning and itchy sensation and I was unable to taste any food. I could only feel the softness of the turkey.

I started an online search describing my symptoms and immediately found information on “burning tongue syndrome”. This is a syndrome with more questions than answers but did not surprise me to learn that this is another “blessing” women experience between the ages of 50-52. Several websites talked about this being another menopausal feature, for example, The following week I called my gynecologists who had never heard of it. I then called my acupuncturist, Tamie, who not only knew about it but treated people with the condition. After two sessions with Tamie, the burning and itchy sensation was decreasing a little. I decided to call my internist to make sure this situation was not anything else that “I” misdiagnosed. The physician assistant of my internist saw me, confirmed that was not any other oral problem and admitted that she did not know anything about this syndrome. After leaving me in the small room for 15 minutes  came back with a photocopy from the 2010 Diagnostic Manual that confirmed the symptoms and existence of this problem (nothing that I did not know form my online search). She also checked with my internist who was also clueless about this situation. When I asked her what she had found out about my sense of taste, she agreed with what I had learn online that it may never come back.

After realizing that Tamie has been the only knowledgeable person, I continued my plan to have more frequent and intense sessions with her. We did exactly that and I am happy to report that after a month and a half since it started, I am 90% recuperated. The burning sensation is gone and I can taste food again. I still feel very sensitive so I need to pay attention to what I consume to avoid irritation. The test that acupuncture helped is by pressing pressure points now that she identified to me as the connectors to the tongue. A month ago, I could not tolerate the pain as she pressed on them. Today, they are pretty much painless.