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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 8999
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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I've been having a lot of problems recently and going to

Customer Question

I've been having a lot of problems recently and going to doctors is painful, because it makes me feel like a hypochondriac! I've lost taste in 3/4 of my tongue, the parts that don't taste feel like I have burned my tongue. My lower back pain shoots into my abdomen and down my hips and legs. I have very poor balance and have frequent bouts of dizziness. I thought it may have been my glasses, but the new ones don't help. I feel wrong in the head, like I'm a constant fog. I've also developed a resting twitch in the last two fingers of my left hand. My ANA was negative. My MRI should a vascular loop in my right ear and a cavum velum interpostium in my brain. Chest x-ray was normal. My other labs have high WBC and other stuff. I'm just at the end of my wits now. I'm 41, female, Black...5'3" and 224lbs.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 9 months ago.

How can I help? A septum cavum interpositum or cavum velum interpositum is a normal variant of brain anatomy, and does not have any relevance in terms of symptoms. You could have burning mouth syndrome, have you investigated that diagnosis? Please get back to me with questions, and I will try to answer them. Dr Frank

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
But my mouth is not painful. My tongue looks completely normal. And CVI rarely appears in adults. What causes it and why didn't it show up 10 years ago? I'm about to give up and go back to having nothing to do with doctors.
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 9 months ago.

You had a scan 10 years ago? This would be present since birth, although it is harder to see as a young child. You said your tongue feels like it is burnt when you touch it, but you say as well that it is not painful, can you explain that better? Sensation to the tongue is different entirely from taste from the tongue. Most taste is actually olfaction, you get a lot more from smell than with your tongue, but the sensory aspects are from a diffferent cranial nerve, and a different pathway, so if it feels like its burnt, and you don't taste, then both cranial nerves are effected, or two entirely different regions of the brain are effected. Taste comes from the chorda tympani section of the facial nerve. Sensation comes from the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V) the V3 section. So I don't have a neuroanatomic explanation for your symptoms. Are you under a lot of stress? Dont give up on doctors, we are really only trying to help. get back to me to discuss this further Dr Frank

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It's the sensation that you get from a burnt tongue without the pain. My smelling is fine, but I can't taste with my whole tongue. I've had labs, x-rays, and an MRI. I really haven't had anymore stress than usual. I'm just so tired, literally and figuratively. I get no answers at all. I grew up with a hypochondriac and I rarely go to doctors unless it gets unbearable. I get an "All clear and normal", nobody seems to even bother. I can't walk a straight line anymore. My lower back pain is constant and radiates now. The finger twitch is new and has been around since I lost taste. I'm by no means a complainer. I fell trying to get out of bed to pee this morning.
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 9 months ago.

I want to change the subject about your tongue. Any chance you have GERD? (gastric reflux disease, or heartburn). That is the most common reason for the change in sensation on your tongue, that, and B vitamin deficiency (angular cheilosis, or glossitis of the tongue). You mentioned your nutrition was fine, but what about heartburn? have you tried a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) like Prevacid (can get OTC) or Prilosec, or Nexium? I cannot really diagnose you from here, unfortunately, but I would not worry so much about these problems. Dr Frank

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Heartburn can cause that? I wasn't even asked or checked for GERD.
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 9 months ago.

Yes. heartburn can cause the erosive change on your tongue, so when you touch it, it feels raw and burned. With that type of heartburn, other symptoms would be dental carries (cavities), sinusitis or congested sinuses, snoring,, and feeling all bloated, or swollen when you get up, all puffy eyed. You can just do a simple test and buy some prevacid from a pharmacy, take it religiously for 3 to 4 weeks, and see if your tongue improves. Please get back to me to discuss this further. Dr Frank

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'll pick some up tomorrow. Didn't think much of the heartburn.
Expert:  Dr. Frank replied 9 months ago.

Give it a try. You might also just take some tums now and then. It increases your calcium, they taste good and cannot hurt unless you take too many. The fact that you have two neuropathways, namely taste and sensation, means it isn't neurological but probably topical as you are taking out your taste buds and effecting your tongues outer sensory layer. Think acid burn. I hope that helps. Please get back to me anytime if you have questions, or if satisfied, please remember to rate my service by clicking on the rating stars as that is how i am compensated for this work thanks *****