Bupa UK explains the common causes of mouth ulcers
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Known as canker sores, mouth ulcers are usually small, painful lesions that develop at the base of the gums. Although they can disappear within two weeks, recurring mouth ulcers could be indicative of an underlying health issue. Now that researchers point towards low iron levels as a potential cause of mouth ulcers, are you getting enough dark, green leafy vegetables in your diet? Other dietary sources of iron include meat, apricots and prunes – just to name a few.
The reality of healthy eating everyday can be much harder than one anticipates.
However, if iron levels are not remedied, iron deficiency anaemia can occur with its own bothersome symptoms.
For example, the NHS warned that the lack of iron in the body can cause tiredness and lethargy to impact your life.
You may start to feel heart palpations, your skin may become pale in colouring, and you may struggle with shortness of breath.
Banging headaches may seemingly come out of nowhere, and you may start to hear a ringing in your ears.
Itchiness could result, or you may end up losing more of your hair – you may even develop weird food cravings, such as ice or paper.
In regards to the mouth, the tongue may become sore and painful ulcers can develop in the corners of the mouth.
Other signifiers include spoon-shaped nails and restless leg syndrome.
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Thankfully, a simple blood test arranged by your GP can determine whether or not you’re deficient in iron.
And if you are, the solution can be as simple as taking an iron supplement.
Prescribed iron tablets are stronger than the supplements available in pharmacies and supermarkets.
As such, some people may experience side effects, such as:
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Tummy pain
- Feeling sick
- Black poo
However, taking iron tablets with or soon after food can help reduce side effects from occurring.
The NHS added: “It’s important to keep taking the tablets, even if you get side effects.”
Furthermore, experts advise to drink orange juice after taking the iron supplement to aid absorption.
Most people prescribed iron tablets are usually expected to take them for about six months.
There may be a more worrisome reason for iron deficiency that may need to be explored.
For instance, iron deficiency anaemia can be a sign of internal bleeding.
The stomach and intestines might be bleeding due to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
Other reasons include:
- Stomach ulcers
- Swelling of the large intestine or food pipe
- Cancers of the bowel or stomach
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